Greenspan Nominated For Another Turn At Fed
President Bush last week nominated Alan Greenspan for another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, which could make him the longest-serving Fed Chairman. Greenspan, 78, has been head of the central bank for 17 years, putting him on course to exceed the 18 years, 10 months served as chairman by William McChesney Martin.
Greenspan, who is generally lauded on Capitol Hill, is widely expected to be confirmed for a fifth term.
For credit unions, the Greenspan era will be remembered for decades-low interest rates, ushering in record mortgage financing, and also the lowest savings rates ever recorded in the financial industry. The Fed last year cut short-term interest rates to 1%, the lowest in 50 years.
As a result, average rates on credit union savings (share) accounts fell below 1% for the first time ever last year and have hovered around 0.75% for the past five months. Bank rates are even lower, around 0.50% for regular savings.
Fed watchers are expecting the central bank to heed rising inflation and hike short-term rates when the Fed's Open Market Committee meets next, on June 10.