Holding pattern

No surprise here: in its meeting today, the Federal Open Market Committee held the Fed funds rate at 0 to 0.25%. The Fed also said the pace of economic recovery is likely to only be moderate for the time being, citing weakness in employment, depressed housing numbers and sinking growth abroad. "Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance," the statement said.

In one of our online exclusives for the July issue, Steve Beckner notes that there's no end in sight for the Fed's current monetary policy, due in part to major risk aversion from Europe.  He says most of the Fed's tough policy decisions will come next year. The experts we spoke with for our interest rate outlook were of the same opinion, saying that rates will not rise until 2011 or even 2012, with Europe and plodding economic recovery in the U.S. as key factors.

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