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Feb 11, 2014

Yellen, new Fed chair, takes hot seat at Capitol

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The health of the U.S. economy and the extraordinary and controversial measures the Federal Reserve has taken to support it will top the agenda on Tuesday when Janet Yellen testifies to lawmakers for the first time as head of the Federal Reserve.

Yellen, in just her second week on the job since succeeding Ben Bernanke earlier this month, will want to reinforce the central bank’s determination to halt the money-printing presses later this year while ensuring investors that a rise in interest rates remains a long way off, economists say.

Feb 9, 2014

As Yellen makes Fed debut, expect theater, not fireworks

By Jonathan Spicer

(Reuters) – Janet Yellen’s first test as chair of the Federal Reserve comes on Tuesday when she faces U.S. lawmakers, some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how committed she is to winding down the Fed’s support for the economy.

With the world’s financial markets watching, Yellen, who succeeded Ben Bernanke last week, will have a chance to set a mostly upbeat tone and point to signs of steady economic progress, despite some recent bumps in the road.

Feb 7, 2014

U.S. jobless rate forces Yellen’s hand on Fed guidance

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The rapid drop in U.S. unemployment will make re-crafting the Federal Reserve’s easy-money promise a top priority for new Chair Janet Yellen, who will probably avoid tying policy to specific targets in the labor market.

It was more than a year ago that the U.S. central bank first promised not to raise interest rates until joblessness fell to at least 6.5 percent, a pledge that policymakers thought would hold until at least mid-2015.

Feb 5, 2014

A hawk pushes against majority at Fed on trimming stimulus

/NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Going a step
further than his colleagues at the Federal Reserve, a hawkish
policymaker said on Wednesday the U.S. central bank should wind
down its bond purchases faster than planned and end it before
mid-year.

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser’s criticism of
the policy stimulus is unlikely to sway new Chair Janet Yellen
and the majority of Fed policymakers, whose position was
reinforced on Wednesday by Dennis Lockhart of the Atlanta Fed.

Feb 4, 2014

Bernanke starts new job at Brookings after weekend off

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke began his new job at the Brookings Institution on Monday, wasting no time getting back to work just three days after ending his tenure as head of the world’s most powerful central bank.

Bernanke, who led the U.S. central bank in its aggressive efforts to right the economy after the financial crisis and pull it out of the Great Recession, joined the centrist policy think tank in Washington as a distinguished fellow in residence, Brookings said.

Feb 3, 2014

Fed study suggests U.S. labor market rosier than thought

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A key measure of the U.S. labor market appears to exaggerate the damage brought on by the Great Recession, according to a fresh study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, suggesting the job market may be closer than previously thought to a full recovery.

The findings add to evidence that the retirement of baby boomers could be playing a bigger role than previously thought as Fed policymakers struggle to determine whether the dropping unemployment rate is likely to lead to inflation sooner than later.

Feb 3, 2014

Bernanke arrives for first day on the job at Brookings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke, who stepped down as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Friday, checked into work Monday morning at his new job at the Brookings Institution, a centrist policy think tank based in Washington.

Bernanke, whose eight-year tenure atop the U.S. central bank was marked by financial crisis and policy experimentation in the face of the Great Recession, joins Brookings as a distinguished fellow in residence at its economic studies program, the institution said on Monday.

Feb 3, 2014

Bernanke to join U.S. policy think tank Brookings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will join the Brookings Institution, a politically centrist policy think tank based in Washington, beginning on Monday.

Bernanke, who stepped down as head of the U.S. central bank on Friday after an eight-year tenure marked by financial crisis and policy experimentation in the face of the Great Recession, will join as a distinguished fellow in residence at its economic studies program, Brookings said on Monday.

Jan 31, 2014

Fed draws criticism from abroad as emerging markets still reeling

MUMBAI/NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s
decision to keep trimming its economic stimulus drew fire on
Friday as India’s central bank chief said Americans should be
more attuned to the global impact of their policies, and the IMF
called for vigilance given strains in financial markets.

The push-back came on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s last day
on the job and two days after the U.S. central bank reduced the
pace of its huge asset purchase program. The Fed made the move
on Wednesday despite a bruising selloff in emerging markets that
was prompted in part by the prospect of less U.S. monetary
support.

Jan 31, 2014

Emerging-market drop hasn’t hurt U.S. prospects: Fed’s Williams

By Jonathan Spicer

(Reuters) – The recent drop in emerging markets and U.S. stocks has not hurt the growing momentum of the U.S. economy or its labor market, a top Federal Reserve official said on Friday, adding the Fed should not focus too much on “short-term developments.”

San Francisco Fed President John Williams, speaking on Fox Business television, said the U.S. central bank is nonetheless carefully monitoring emerging-market turmoil and discussed it at a policy meeting this week.