Correspondent, Chicago
Ann's Feed
Apr 23, 2015

Analysis: Delayed flash crash arrest may herald future spoofing detection woes

By Douwe Miedema and Ann Saphir

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO(Reuters) – The five years it took
regulators to bring high-profile charges against a UK trader
underscore how hard it is to spot wrongdoing in fast-developing
markets, and may herald problems in detecting future mishaps.

Navinder Singh Sarao, 36, was arrested in London on Tuesday,
charged with market manipulation and wire fraud. Authorities
sought to link his activities to the May 6, 2010, so-called
flash crash when about $1 trillion was temporarily wiped out
from U.S. stock markets in a matter of minutes.

Apr 23, 2015

Delayed flash crash arrest may herald future spoofing detection woes

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The five years it took regulators to bring high-profile charges against a UK trader underscore how hard it is to spot wrongdoing in fast-developing markets, and may herald problems in detecting future mishaps.

Navinder Singh Sarao, 36, was arrested in London on Tuesday, charged with market manipulation and wire fraud. Authorities sought to link his activities to the May 6, 2010, so-called flash crash when about $1 trillion was temporarily wiped out from U.S. stock markets in a matter of minutes.

Apr 13, 2015

Exclusive: Fed’s Williams sees less risk of rate retreat after lift-off

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – As the U.S. job market improves, the risk is receding that an unexpected setback could derail the recovery once the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, San Francisco Fed President John Williams told Reuters.

Concern that it could be forced to retreat to near-zero interest rates, where the Fed has little room to maneuver, if it pulled the trigger too soon has been a significant reason the Fed has kept rates pinned to the floor well into the recovery. With that less of a threat, policymakers can now focus on charting an appropriate rate path and worry less about sliding back to zero, Williams said in an interview late on Friday, expressing a view that appears to have taken root more broadly at the central bank.

Apr 10, 2015

PG&E fined record $1.6 bln for deadly California pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 (Reuters) – Pacific Gas & Electric
Corp must pay a record $1.6 billion in penalties
stemming from a natural gas pipeline explosion in 2010 that
killed eight people near San Francisco, California’s chief
utility regulator ordered on Thursday.

The penalty levied for the deadly rupture in San Bruno,
California, marks the largest ever imposed by the five-member
state Public Utilities Commission, dwarfing a $38 million fine
against PG&E for a 2008 natural gas explosion near Sacramento,
according to the agency.

Apr 9, 2015

PG&E assessed record $1.6 billion penalty for California pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California’s chief utility regulator on Thursday ordered Pacific Gas & Electric Corp to pay a record $1.6 billion in fines and other penalties stemming from its deadly 2010 San Bruno natural gas pipeline rupture and fire near San Francisco.

The sum marks the largest penalty ever imposed by the five-member California Public Utilities Commission, dwarfing a $38 million fine against PG&E for a 2008 natural gas explosion in Rancho Cordova, California, according to the agency.

Apr 7, 2015

Fed should not raise rates until late 2016 –Kocherlakota

By Ann Saphir

BISMARCK, N.D. (Reuters) – Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota on Tuesday laid out a case for waiting until the second half of 2016 to start raising interest rates, and to then raise them gradually to just 2 percent by the end of 2017.

It was the first time the dovish policymaker detailed his preferred path for “late and slow” rate hikes. His remarks afterwards to reporters suggest he is increasingly worried that market expectations for nearer-term rate rises, fueled by comments from many of Kocherlakota’s Fed colleagues, could knock the wind out of the economic recovery.

Mar 27, 2015

Fed’s Yellen says rate hike may be warranted later this year

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve may be warranted later this year, with a gradual path expected to follow, although a downturn in core inflation or wage growth could force it to hold off, the central bank’s chief said on Friday.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that after the first rate increase a further, gradual tightening in monetary policy will likely be warranted. If incoming data fails to support the Fed’s economic forecast, the path of policy will be adjusted, she said.

Mar 25, 2015

Don’t blame economic doldrums just on weather: Chicago Fed

By Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – Last year’s unusually harsh U.S. winter probably had some transitory effects on economic activity, but the “folk wisdom” that it was primarily to blame for the slump in early 2014 is suspect, a pair of researchers at the Chicago Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

The theme of harsh weather holding back economic growth is back again this year, with many states registering even colder temperatures than last winter.

Mar 19, 2015

Evans calls for later rate hikes as Fed faces fading growth

SAN FRANCISCO/ATLANTA, March 19 (Reuters) – The Federal
Reserve should err on the side of looser policy, a leading dove
said on Thursday, a day after Fed officials dramatically cut
their forecasts for the economy’s growth, inflation and rate
hikes at the U.S. central bank’s policy meeting.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in a research paper
there was a case for keeping interest rates at zero until at
least 2016, arguing that the risks of a premature rate hike may
be rising if the economy is in fact weakening.

Mar 19, 2015

Fed’s Evans says delaying U.S. rate hikes is ‘optimal’

By Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve expects both labor markets and inflation to improve, but those projections are so uncertain that the U.S. central bank should err on the side of looser, not tighter, policy, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

“In this paper, we demonstrate that the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates implies that the central bank should adopt a looser policy when there is uncertainty,” Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in a draft of a paper for a Brookings Institution conference on Thursday and Friday. “In the current context this result implies that a delayed liftoff is optimal.”