Jonathan's Feed
Jul 2, 2015

Regional Feds’ head-hunting under scrutiny over insider bias, delays

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Efforts to fill top positions at some U.S. Federal Reserve regional branches are casting a spotlight on a decades-old process that critics say is opaque, favors insiders, and is ripe for reform.

Patrick Harker took the reins as president of the Philadelphia Fed this week, in an appointment that attracted scrutiny because he served on the committee of directors that interviewed other prospective candidates for the job he ultimately took.

Jun 18, 2015

Fed may hike just once in 2015 as Yellen strikes less certain tone

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The question of how quickly the Federal Reserve should raise rates is dividing normally like-minded policymakers at the U.S. central bank, pitting those who favor two hikes this year against a growing number of those who want to stop at just one.

That shift, and the very real possibility that Fed Chair Janet Yellen may be one of the five who now prefer a single rate hike in 2015 rather than among an equal number who prefer two, is bolstering the view that the Fed may not deliver until late in the year.

Jun 18, 2015

Fed says U.S. economy strong enough to handle rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year, but concerns remain over the recovery of the labour market, U.S. Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday.

With the economy still on track to grow as much as 2 percent for the year, the central bank’s latest policy statement keeps it on track for at least one and perhaps a second rate increase later this year.

Jun 17, 2015

Fed says U.S. economy still strong enough to handle rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year, U.S. Federal Reserve officials indicated on Wednesday.

After contracting in the first quarter, the economy is now

on track to grow between 1.8 percent and 2.0 percent this year, down from the 2.3-2.7 percent range forecast in March, according to the central bank’s latest policy statement and new projections issued by Fed policymakers.

Jun 12, 2015

Insight – Bond selloff a wild card that could delay Fed rate hike

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The sharp bond market selloff is starting to pinch American consumers and companies, causing a mild economic tightening that, if sustained, could raise alarms at the Federal Reserve and even delay a plan to hike interest rates in coming months.

U.S. mortgage rates have reached their highest level in a year-and-a-half, auto loans are getting a bit more expensive, and corporations across the board have seen their borrowing costs jump as U.S. and European debt retrenched in recent weeks.

Jun 12, 2015

Bond selloff a wild card that could delay Fed rate hike

NEW YORK, June 12 (Reuters) – The sharp bond market selloff
is starting to pinch American consumers and companies, causing a
mild economic tightening that, if sustained, could raise alarms
at the Federal Reserve and even delay a plan to hike interest
rates in coming months.

U.S. mortgage rates have reached their highest level in a
year-and-a-half, auto loans are getting a bit more expensive,
and corporations across the board have seen their borrowing
costs jump as U.S. and European debt retrenched in recent weeks.

May 22, 2015

Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane: Yellen

WASHINGTON/PROVIDENCE (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the central bank to raise interest rates this year, as the U.S. economy was on course to bounce back from a sluggish first quarter and headwinds at home and abroad waned.

Yellen spoke amid growing concern at the Fed about possible market volatility once it begins to raise rates, and a desire to begin coaxing skeptical investors towards accepting the inevitable: ending a 6-1/2-year stretch of near-zero interest rates.

May 21, 2015

Fed still seen in lift-off mode as Yellen takes center stage

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to stick with plans to raise interest rates later this year, with progress toward its employment and inflation goals helping allay concerns over the economy’s recent weakness, current and former Fed officials say.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who on Friday will talk about the economy’s prospects, is expected to acknowledge the recent sluggishness, including near stagnant performance in the first few months of the year.

May 19, 2015

Central banks playing with fire in growth push – RBI’s Rajan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The “spectre of deflation” is spurring the world’s major central banks into a dangerous struggle for stronger domestic growth that imperils financial markets and ignores the needs of developing nations, the head of India’s central bank said on Tuesday.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, making a familiar argument for better global coordination on monetary policy, said central bankers in developed economies should take more seriously their international responsibilities.

May 19, 2015

Economy’s weak spell puts Fed at crossroads over liftoff plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates this year, forged over months of strong jobs growth and a seemingly durable expansion, now faces an economy that no longer follows the script and may push the “liftoff” far into the future.

The world’s largest economy slowed to a crawl in the first quarter and may actually have contracted.