While the upcoming Federal Reserve board meeting keeps economists and financial analysts on their toes, President Barack Obama will spend the week urging Congress to stop a rate hike on federal student loans.
- The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, second NFC-enabled smartphone that supports Google Wallet, has arrived. The mobile device launched on Sunday on the Sprint network for $200 with a two-year subscription plan. The only phone that has supported the Google Wallet since the mobile wallet launch in September 2011 was the Nexus S 4G — also on the Sprint. Subscribers to activate Google Wallet within the first week of the phone’s purchase may get up to $50 in credits.
- The Federal Reserve is scheduled to hold its next board meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The same recurring economic issues — inflation, unemployment, interest rates and monetary policy — are expected to be of the main concerns to the committee and economists alike. “I consider a highly accomodative policy stance to be appropriate in present circumstances,” said Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen earlier this month in a speech in New York.
- On Monday, a new monthly fee of $9.99 goes into effect for Citizens Bank customers with a Green Checking account. The previous monthly maintenance fee was $4.99. The fee waiver requirements, however, will remain the same — maintain an average balance of $1,500 or make five qualifying payment transactions per month.
- Any savers who would like to earn an effective 2.10% APY in one year on Series I savings bonds should buy them this week before the next rate change, which is slated for early next week, and redeem them in April 2013. They serve as another savings alternative to traditional savings accounts and CDs in low-interest environment. Series I bonds bought in May 2012 and redeemed on year later would only earn 1.11% APY.
- In his weekly address, President Obama said he will embark on a week-long campaign to convince Congress to stop interest rates from doubling to 6.8 percent on Stafford loans on July 1, 2012. If lawmakers fail to keep interest rates at 3.4 percent, nearly 7.4 million students will be impacted by the increased debt burden. Student debt has taken the spotlight since the Federal Reserve Board of New York found that total U.S. student loan debt has exceeded that of credit cards.