We’re looking for ongoing, sustained improvement in the labor market. There’s not a specific number we have in mind. What we’ve seen in the last six months isn’t it.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke • Discussing the Fed’s plan to expand its mortgage debt holdings at a rate of $40 billion per month for the foreseeable future, in an effort to jump-start the economy. The third round of quantitative easing, lovingly called QE3 by the monetary nerds, drew a major reaction from the market, pushing benchmark indexes to a level not seen since people listened to “Chocolate Rain” on the regular. If monetary policy makes you happy to be alive, today was your day.
» How they worked: These banks took advantage of a set of emergency loans from the Federal Reserve distributed between August 2007 and April 2010. Bloomberg Markets magazine did the math on the numbers and figured out that, by looking at the companies’ net interest margin, you could see how the companies took advantage of the below-market rates they got on the loans to earn a profit. The companies that scored the biggest paydays? Citigroup, which earned $1.8 billion, and Bank of America, which earned $1.5 billion.