Correspondent, Washington
Jason's Feed
Jul 28, 2014

Slower U.S. healthcare cost rise extending life of Medicare fund: trustees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Slower growth in U.S. healthcare spending and expected savings from Obamacare are shoring up the funding outlook for the federal Medicare program that covers the hospital bills of the elderly, trustees of the program said on Monday.

The program’s trust fund for hospital care will run out of money in 2030, four years later than previously estimated, the trustees said in a report. When the fund runs dry, Washington would only be able to partially cover its obligations.

Jul 18, 2014

Washington asks Wall Street if it wants super long-term debt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury asked big Wall Street brokerages on Friday if Washington should start borrowing money over extremely long periods, a move that would potentially help the government capitalize on current low interest rates.

The Treasury released a quarterly questionnaire it circulates among large financial institutions that asked if it should “consider issuing a security with a maturity greater than 30 years.”

Jul 17, 2014

Fed seen likely to raise rates in 2nd quarter of 2015: Reuters poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rising inflation pressures could push the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates as early as the second quarter of next year, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

America’s jobless rate sank to almost a six-year low in June and consumer prices posted their largest rise in May in more than a year, bolstering the belief that the U.S. economy is turning a corner.

Jul 17, 2014

White House sees labor force dropouts getting back into the game

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Thursday it expects America’s strengthening economy will temporarily halt the troubling decline in the share of workers who have jobs or are looking for one.

Policymakers and investors are closely following this measure of the population’s engagement with working life for two main reasons.

Jul 16, 2014

Obama administration urges Congress to act on tax-driven mergers

By Jason Lange and Howard Schneider

(Reuters) – The Obama administration urged Congress on Wednesday to act to stem what it described as a growing trend in which U.S. companies move their headquarters abroad to reduce their U.S. tax bills.

“Congress should enact legislation immediately,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told a business conference in New York hosted by cable television channel CNBC.

Jul 1, 2014

Cyber-spying concerns won’t overshadow U.S.-China talks-Lew

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) – U.S. concerns over China’s
cyber spying on American companies will not impede progress on
other fronts when top officials from Washington and Beijing meet
next week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday.

“I’m optimistic that we are going to be able to make some
progress again this year,” Lew told an event sponsored by the
U.S.-China Business Council. “Not withstanding other issues that
come up between our countries, it is in both of our interests to
maintain the economy discussions.”

Jun 25, 2014

US housing finance regulator considers insurance suits

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – A U.S. housing regulator
will look into whether lawsuits should be filed by
government-controlled mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac against companies that left
them on the hook for overpriced insurance, a watchdog at the
regulator said on Wednesday.

Overpriced insurance may have cost the companies $158
million in 2012 alone, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s
Office of Inspector General said in a report.

Jun 23, 2014

Manufacturing picks up pace in leading economies; Europe lags

BEIJING/WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – Global manufacturing
activity appeared to accelerate in June, buoyed by a return to
growth in China and Japan and the fastest expansion in the U.S.
factory sector in more than four years.

Surveys of manufacturers around the world released on Monday
gave some positive signals for the global economic outlook, but
dark clouds remained over Europe, where an unexpectedly sharp
fall in French business activity dragged on the wider euro zone.

Jun 19, 2014

Ukraine, creditors in talks on possible debt restructuring: IIF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine is holding talks with creditors on restructuring its foreign currency debts, an official from an international finance association said on Thursday following recent meetings with Ukrainian officials.

Lubomir Mitov, an economist with the Institute of International Finance, said that while Ukraine’s finances were precarious, it was too soon to say whether it would need to change the terms of its debt.

Jun 18, 2014

Fed keeps faith in recovery, bumps up expected rate-hike path

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday expressed confidence the U.S. economic recovery was on track and hinted at a slightly more aggressive pace of interest rate increases starting next year.

At the same time, however, officials at the central bank lowered their projections for the long-run target interest rate, evidence of slightly diminished expectations for a nation climbing out of a severe crisis and struggling with demographic headwinds like declining labor force participation.