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Feb 6, 2013

Fed says internal site breached by hackers, no critical functions affected

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.

Feb 4, 2013

Banks report stronger loan demand, easier standards-Fed

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.

Feb 3, 2013

NFL’s Goodell: no brain damage cover-up in football

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.

Feb 1, 2013

Fed officials see brighter global economic outlook

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.

Feb 1, 2013

Fed’s Bullard paints upbeat picture for 2013 US growth

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is on track
for a better performance this year and improving growth will
put the Federal Reserve in a position to slow or halt its
massive bond-buying program, a top central bank official said on
Friday.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who voted in favor of
maintaining asset purchases at an $85 billion monthly pace at a
Fed meeting this week, also said he favored tapering off
purchases rather than calling them to a sudden halt.

Jan 31, 2013

Investors prone to herding in corporate bonds -Fed paper

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Institutional investors are
more prone to “herd-like” behavior in the U.S. corporate bond
market than in stocks, according to researchers at the Federal
Reserve.

A Fed research paper that was posted online earlier this
month highlights investor dynamics that could intensify price
movements in the U.S. corporate bond market, where issuance has
soared as companies take advantage of ultra-low borrowing costs.

Jan 31, 2013

Fed keeps stimulus in place as U.S. economy “paused”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left in place its monthly $85 billion (53.7 billion pounds) bond-buying stimulus plan, arguing the support was needed to lower unemployment even as it indicated a recent stall in U.S. economic growth was likely temporary.

The U.S. central bank predicted that the nation’s job market would continue to improve at a modest pace, and repeated a pledge to keep purchasing securities until the outlook for employment “improves substantially.”

Jan 30, 2013

Fed seen maintaining bond-buying, but divisions remain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is expected to keep monetary policy on a steady path when it concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, though behind the scenes intensive debate continues over when the controversial bond-buying program should be curtailed.

The policy statement issued by the U.S. central bank at the end of the meeting will likely be only slightly rephrased from its meeting in December to reflect minor changes in the economic outlook, notably reduced risks from financial turmoil in Europe

Jan 28, 2013

Study underscores political risks from Fed bond buying

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is
paying close attention to risks linked to its bond buying
program, including the possibility of losses on its massive
portfolio that might touch off a political fire storm and harm
the central bank’s independence.

A Fed staff research paper released last week highlights a
range of scenarios under which bond buying in 2013 inflates the
danger the Fed incurs a loss.

Jan 23, 2013

IMF chief economist says currency war talk “overblown”

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The International Monetary
Fund’s chief economist played down concerns on Wednesday that
easy monetary policies in advanced economies risk sparking a
“currency war”, saying there had not been a major surge of
capital into emerging nations.

“I think this increasing talk of currency wars is very much
overblown,” Olivier Blanchard said at a news conference.
“Countries have to take the right measures to get their own
economies back to health … (and) to the extent we think the
policies are appropriate, then the implications in terms of
exchange rates are also appropriate.”

    • 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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