WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve may
have to slow or stop buying bonds before seeing the pickup in
hiring the bold program is designed to deliver, a number of Fed
officials felt last month, according to minutes of the central
bank’s January policy meeting.
“A number of participants stated that an ongoing evaluation
of the efficacy, costs, and risks of asset purchases might well
lead the (policy-setting) committee to taper or end its
purchases before it judged that a substantial improvement in the
outlook for the labor market had occurred,” the minutes released
on Wednesday said.
Size matters, and Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is not as big as shrill critics of QE3 would lead you to believe.
True, $3 trillion is serious money. It represents a tripling in the size of the Fed’s balance sheet since 2008, before the U.S. central bank unleashed the first round of its aggressive campaign of so-called quantitative easing. It is now on round three, and has committed to keep buying bonds until it spies a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market.
STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve has ramped up its monetary stimulus “considerably” this year compared with 2012, thanks to two significant changes, a senior Fed official said on Thursday.
James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, said the switch to outright open-ended bond purchases, plus the adoption of thresholds to guide expectations on when the Fed would start to raise interest rates, were making policy more effective.
JONESBORO, Arkansas (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is unlikely to be able to forge a consensus to adopt thresholds for guiding expectations on when it will end massive monthly bond purchases, a senior U.S. central banker said on Wednesday.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also said that it would make sense to taper off the buying, currently running at $85 billion a month, in order to avoid going “cold turkey” and confusing financial markets.
JONESBORO, Arkansas (Reuters) – Receding uncertainty about the global economy is bullish for U.S. growth this year but the country still faces risks from unresolved long-term fiscal challenges, a top Federal Reserve official said on Wednesday.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voting member of the U.S. central bank’s policy-setting committee in 2013, said implementation of the country’s new healthcare law could also create headwinds, though other restraints have been lifted.
(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve said on Thursday it was still working to determine the extent that its computer systems had been breached by hackers, adding that the incident was the subject of a criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“We are in the process of a comprehensive assessment to determine what information might have been obtained in this incident,” said Federal Reserve spokesman Jim Strader. “We remain confident that this incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve,” he said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday that one of its internal websites had been briefly breached by hackers, though no critical functions of the central bank were affected by the intrusion.
The admission, which raises questions about cyber security at the Fed, follows a claim that hackers linked to the activist group Anonymous had struck the Fed on Sunday, accessing personal information of more than 4,000 U.S. bank executives, which it published on the Web.
WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Banks eased U.S. credit
standards somewhat over the last three months and reported
stronger demand for loans and residential mortgages, according
to the Federal Reserve’s latest quarterly Senior Loan Officer
Survey, which was released on Monday.
The January report, based on responses from 68 domestic
banks and 22 U.S. branches of foreign firms, also asked if
domestic banks had tightened lending standards to European
competitors, but found that only 10 percent had done so.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the National Football League, in remarks before the Super Bowl on Sunday, defended his organization’s efforts to make the game safer and flatly denied an allegation that it had deliberately covered up the risks of head injuries in the sport.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said there had been no effort by the NFL to hide the dangers of brain damage in football, as claimed in a lawsuit by the family of an NFL player who killed himself last year.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Two top Federal
Reserve officials painted a picture of cautious optimism on
Friday for the U.S. economy in 2013, helped by stronger global
growth as the central bank aggressively prints money to curb the
nation’s lofty rate of unemployment.
The Fed this week decided to keep buying bonds at a $85
billion monthly pace, and hold interest rates near zero until
the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent, so long as inflation does
not threaten to rise above a threshold of 2.5 percent.