Correspondent, Washington
Jason's Feed
Mar 18, 2015

U.S. urges allies to think twice before joining China-led bank

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has urged countries to think twice before signing up to a new China-led Asian development bank that Washington sees as a rival to the World Bank, after Germany, France and Italy followed Britain in saying they would join.

The concerted move by U.S. allies to participate in Beijing’s flagship economic outreach project is a diplomatic blow to the United States and its efforts to counter the fast-growing economic and diplomatic influence of China.

Mar 17, 2015

Defying U.S., European allies say they’ll join China-led bank

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Germany, France and Italy said on Tuesday they would join a new China-led Asian investment bank after close ally Britain defied U.S. pressure to become a founder member of a venture seen in Washington as a rival to the World Bank.

The concerted move to participate in Beijing’s flagship economic outreach project was a diplomatic blow to the United States, reflecting European eagerness to partner with China’s fast-growing economy, the world’s second largest.

Mar 11, 2015

U.S. blacklists more Ukrainian rebels, expands non-lethal aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States targeted eight Ukrainian separatists and a Russian bank with sanctions and announced more non-lethal aid for Ukraine on Wednesday after accusing Russian-backed rebels of breaking a European-brokered ceasefire.

Washington is ratcheting up pressure on Moscow a day after it said Russia sent tanks and heavy military equipment into Ukraine in breach of the Minsk accord agreed on Feb. 12.

Feb 27, 2015

Conservative economist to lead research at U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans lawmakers on Friday appointed a former White House economist with a conservative pedigree to head Congress’s traditionally nonpartisan research body for budget policy.

Keith Hall, who served as chief economist on former President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, will take the reins at the Congressional Budget Office in April.

Feb 26, 2015

White House sees China as trump card in trade debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is confident lawmakers will warm up to a proposed Pacific free trade deal on the grounds that it is a chance for America to dictate the rules of Asian trade rather than China, a top official said on Thursday.

“It’s a choice between us writing it and, frankly, China writing it, which I think is very compelling to many members of Congress,” said Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

Feb 26, 2015

U.S. lawmakers battle over currency in trade deals

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are drafting
battle plans to punish foreign rivals accused of currency
manipulation but a growing chorus of critics argue the battle is
already won and warn the push may derail a massive trade pact.

A bipartisan bill introduced this month and proposals from
other lawmakers seek to stop trading partners such as China and
Japan from manipulating exchange rates to make their goods
cheaper for overseas buyers.

Feb 20, 2015

Fannie Mae’s derivatives losses to curb U.S. Treasury payment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will make its smallest payment to taxpayers in more than four years after large derivatives losses crimped its fourth-quarter profit, the government-controlled mortgage financier said on Friday.

Fannie Mae said a drop in long-term interest rates sharply reduced the value of the derivatives contracts it uses as hedges in financial markets, adding that low capital buffers are raising the risk it could need taxpayer money in the future.

Feb 11, 2015
Feb 6, 2015

For blue-collar America wage gains are slim even as employment surges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America has added more than a million jobs in the space of three months but wages, especially for blue-collar workers, are showing few signs of gains.

The Federal Reserve is following wage increases as well as employment numbers as it weighs whether to raise interest rates this year, and strong job creation data released on Friday shifted Wall Street bets on the timing of a hike to September from October.

Feb 5, 2015