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Inside Washington (02/08/2010)
* WASHINGTON (2/9/10)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to lay out an exit strategy to tighten credit this week. The plan will be implemented when the Fed decides that the economy has sufficiently recovered. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Fed likely won’t raise interest rates for several months, but officials have been discussing for months what to do when the economy strengthens (Feb. 8). When the economy has recovered, the Fed plans to raise the interest rate paid on excess reserves--currently at 0.25%. The rate aims to entice banks to tie up money they would otherwise lend, which would in turn limit credit. If the Fed moves too quickly, it could trigger an economic downturn. Otherwise, if the Fed waits too long, it could trigger inflation ... * WASHINGTON (2/9/10)--Though the Obama administration has predicted a $1.6 trillion budget deficit this year, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. will not lose its Aaa debt rating ( Feb. 8). Investors worldwide turn to the U.S. when they are concerned about global stability, which reflects basic confidence in the U.S. and its ability to withstand the global recession, Geithner said. Last week, Moody’s Investors Service said the U.S. government’s bond rating will be under pressure unless budget deficits are reduced. The nation plans to tackle the deficit once the labor market improves, Geithner added. Tax cuts and small business assistance are among the proposed measures to jumpstart the economy. Geithner has said a cut in spending could hurt the economy ... * WASHINGTON (2/9/10)--Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), 77, died Monday after being hospitalized for several weeks with a gall bladder infection (Politico Feb. 8). He was the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania delegation and was chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. In 1974, he was the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress. One of Murtha’s most noteworthy efforts included bringing jobs to western Pennsylvania, which was hit by the loss of steel and coal jobs during the 1970s and 1980s ...

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