Correspondent, Chicago
Ann's Feed
Nov 8, 2015

Fed rate hike ‘makes sense’, says U.S. central banker

By Ann Saphir

Tempe, Ariz. (Reuters) – Now that the United States is closing in on full employment and inflation is likely to rise to target levels, the “next step” should be to start gradually increasing rates, a top U.S. central banker said on Saturday.

“I do think it makes sense to gradually remove the policy of accommodation that helped get the economy to where we are,” San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams told the Arizona Council on Economic Education.

Nov 5, 2015

California high school students walk out over racist post probed as hate crime

By Ann Saphir

BERKELEY, Calif. (Reuters) – Hundreds of high-school students, some chanting “Black Lives Matter,” walked out of school in Berkeley, California, on Thursday and marched to a nearby campus to protest a threatening and racist message left on a school computer, police said.

As many as 1,000 Berkeley High School students left class around 10 a.m. (1800 GMT), after school district officials had notified parents the night before about the hateful message, said Berkeley Police Department spokesman Byron White.

Nov 4, 2015

Fed’s Lacker, Kaplan meet with labor, community groups

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Two Federal Reserve bank presidents on
Wednesday met separately with community and labor groups that
are pushing for continued near-zero interest rates just as U.S.
central bankers appear to be only weeks away from raising them.

Representatives of the groups said that by airing their
concerns about labor market health to Richmond Fed President
Jeffrey Lacker and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, they hope to
help shape policymakers’ understanding of the economy, if not
necessarily their views on monetary policy.

Nov 2, 2015

U.S. small-business borrowing rose in September: PayNet

By Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – U.S. small businesses boosted borrowing in September, an index released on Monday showed, a sign that more firms are betting on an increase in household spending in the coming months.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index increased to 140.4 in September from a downwardly revised reading of 135.6 reading in August. It was up 11 percent from a year earlier, led by firms borrowing in the transportation, warehousing, construction, accommodation, food, healthcare and real estate industries.

Oct 30, 2015
via MacroScope

What’s China gonna do? Forget about it. What’s Yellen gonna do?

By now, you’ve probably heard this catchy song about China’s five-year plan on Youtube. If not, take a listen.

I heard it for the first time on the train Wednesday, as I headed into work, a few hours before the Fed wrapped up its policy-setting meeting (for the story on what the Fed did, which was both nothing and a lot at the same time).

Oct 26, 2015

Yellen, consensus-builder, needs to send strong signal at Fed meet

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, praised as an adept listener and consensus builder, may need to adopt a stronger tone at this week’s policy meeting if she expects to keep a December interest rate rise in play.

Yellen’s inclusive style has been tested recently by two fellow governors who publicly appeared to disagree with her view, shared by Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, that the Fed will probably need to raise interest rates this year.

Oct 12, 2015

Fed’s Brainard urges caution amid Fed split on rate hike timing

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should hold off on any interest rate hike until it is clear that a global slowdown, trouble in China and other international risks will not push the U.S. recovery off course, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Monday in one of the strongest defences yet of a go-slow approach to rate policy.

“I view the risks to the economic outlook as tilted to the downside. The downside risks make a strong case for continuing to carefully nurture the U.S. recovery – and argue against prematurely taking away the support that has been so critical to its vitality,” Brainard said. It was, Brainard said, time only for “watching and waiting” – not hiking rates.

Oct 12, 2015

Fed policymakers keep December rate hike in spotlight

By Ann Saphir and Lindsay Dunsmuir

CHICAGO/ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – Two Federal Reserve policymakers whose views are often at odds both suggested on Monday they could well support an interest rate hike in December, as long as the economic data does not disappoint and that rate hikes once begun are gradual.

While two does not make a crowd, their apparent agreement on the plausibility of a December rate increase came just a day after Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said he too expects a 2015 hike.

Oct 9, 2015

Fed still plans rate hike this year, but not committed

NEW YORK/MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Two influential Federal Reserve policymakers on Friday reinforced Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s message that an interest rate hike is coming by year’s end.

Meanwhile one of the Fed’s most dovish policymakers appeared to soften his opposition to that timing, a subtle shift that could pave a smoother way to the Fed’s first rate hike in nearly a decade.

Oct 6, 2015

Fed should not raise rates when no one is expecting it -Williams

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should
be communicating its views of the economy well enough that
markets will not be taken by surprise by an eventual
interest-rate hike, a top U.S. central banker said on Tuesday.

While it is not a problem if traders are not fully pricing
in a rate increase before it happens, “it shouldn’t be the case
that no one is expecting a rate increase,” San Francisco Fed
President John Williams told reporters after a speech here.