The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.
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One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.
As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, money continues to roll into The One Fund, that's the charity set up for victims of the attack. More than 200 claims have already been paid out, but some victims are questioning the methods used to divvy up the funds. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're asking the state attorney general to intervene.
Here's another question Congress took up today: Do secret courts always have to be secret? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decides whether wiretaps and other surveillance methods used by the intelligence community are legal. It's staffed by federal judges, but their work takes place in the shadows.