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Apr 4, 2013

Fed’s George, defending dissent, says Fed policy too easy

EL RENO, Oklahoma (Reuters) – Ultra-easy Federal Reserve policy risks financial instability and future inflation, Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George warned on Thursday, as she explained her decision to dissent at her second meeting in a row last month.

Noting that recent data on the state of the labor market had been encouraging, and the recovery seemed to be on track for a gradual recovery, George said growth remained slow.

Apr 3, 2013

Fed hawk Lacker and dove Evans face off over inflation

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) – One of the Federal Reserve’s most hawkish officials confronted one of the institution’s most dovish policymakers on Tuesday in a rare joint public debate over the risks posed to inflation by the U.S. central bank’s bold steps to spur growth.

Policy dove Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and anti-inflation hawk Jeffrey Lacker, chief of the Richmond Fed, sparred pointedly and respectfully disagreed.

Apr 1, 2013
via MacroScope

US enjoying consumer-led growth spurt in Q1, eyes on Q2

Spring is in the air and U.S. growth is getting unexpected support from the nation’s doughty consumers.

Despite higher taxes, households are lifting spending, begging the question of how much momentum will carry into the second quarter and what it means for Fed bond purchases.

Mar 26, 2013

Fed study says China’s growth could slow sharply by 2030

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic growth in China faces mounting headwinds and could fade dramatically in the years ahead due to declining productivity and an aging population, according to a U.S. Federal Reserve study.

Trend growth could slow gradually to around 6.5 percent by 2030, or it could break much more sharply to a pace under 1 percent if forces undermining economic activity combine in a “worst-case scenario,” according to the study, which was published online on Monday. Over the past decade, China’s economy grew on average around 10 percent a year.

Mar 14, 2013

U.S. imposes sanctions on covert Iranian oil-shipping network

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday slapped financial sanctions on a Greek businessman for secretly operating a shipping network on behalf of the Iranian government to get around international sanctions on the country’s sale of oil.

“Today, we are lifting the veil on an intricate Iranian scheme that was designed to evade international oil sanctions,” U.S. Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen said in a statement.

Mar 9, 2013

Fed’s Duke says Fed may hold mortgage-backed bonds longer

WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve may
consider holding mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, longer on
its balance sheet to minimize market disruption instead of
selling them as it exits easy monetary policy in the future, a
top Fed official said on Friday.

Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke also said the broad recovery in
U.S. housing was likely to strengthen as an improving economy
unleashed pent-up demand, but she warned that tight credit
conditions could be a drag on the upswing.

Mar 7, 2013

Rise in U.S. household debt hints at end of deleveraging

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – U.S. household debt grew at
its fastest pace since early 2008 in the fourth quarter of last
year, a possible sign that the painful process of paring back
borrowing in the aftermath of the financial crisis may have run
its course.

Household debt rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the
fourth quarter, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday in its
quarterly Flow of Funds report. It was the steepest gain since
the first quarter of 2008 and only the third quarter since then
in which debt levels rose.

Mar 6, 2013

Fed says economy continued to post modest growth in Jan-Feb

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic growth continued to improve gradually in January and early February as consumer spending picked up and the country’s battered housing market maintained a broad-based recovery, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

In a cautiously optimistic report from its 12 regional branches, the U.S. central bank also drew attention to stronger demand in the auto sector and for technology and logistics services, while emphasizing that price pressures remained muted.

Mar 5, 2013

Fed foes take aim over zero rates in congressional show trial

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – It wasn’t a fair fight. A
Republican-controlled committee of the U.S. House of
Representatives pitted three outspoken critics of the Federal
Reserve against a lonesome dove, who tried his best to defend
the central bank against charges it was ruining the country.

Entitled “Near-zero rates, near zero effect? Is
unconventional monetary policy really working?”, the hearing on
Tuesday before the subcommittee on monetary policy sought to
explore the risks of ultra-bold Fed actions to spur U.S. growth.

Feb 26, 2013

Bernanke says Fed stimulus benefits clear, downplays risks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly defended the U.S. central bank’s monetary stimulus before Congress on Tuesday, easing financial market worries over a possible early retreat from bond purchases.

Bernanke said Fed policymakers are cognizant of potential risks from their extraordinary support for the economy, including the possibility that it might fuel unwanted inflation or stoke asset bubbles.

    • About Alister

      "White House Correspondent. Based in the United States for six years covering the economy and Federal Reserve before moving to the White House beat. Previously reported for Reuters from Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Iraq."
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