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Mar 12, 2014

Fed vice chair nominee Fischer stresses financial stability

SAN FRANCISCO/ NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stanley Fischer, U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick to be the Federal Reserve’s next vice chair, called on Wednesday for financial stability to be an “explicit focus” of Fed policy, alongside the congressionally mandated goals of price stability and maximum employment.

“The Great Recession has driven home the lesson that the Fed has not only to fulfill its dual mandate, but also to contribute its part to the maintenance of the stability of the financial system,” Fischer said in written testimony released on Wednesday for a Senate confirmation hearing set for Thursday. “Almost always, these goals are complementary. But each of them must be an explicit focus of Fed policy.”

Mar 12, 2014

For eventual tightening, Fed to signal slow rate rises

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) – Janet Yellen
has a message to markets: the Federal Reserve will keep interest
rates low for a while yet and, when it does begin to tighten
monetary policy, it will do so only slowly.

For now, the public has zeroed in on when the U.S. central
bank might finally raise rates after more than five years near
zero. But that tells only half the story: just as important for
American families and businesses is how quickly the Fed will
hike borrowing costs, and how high.

Mar 11, 2014

Fed set to ditch ‘threshold’ guidance under Yellen

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Janet Yellen’s first policy-setting meeting as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve will focus on how to finesse a rewriting of the central bank’s promise to keep interest rates low without roiling financial markets.

Fed policymakers will probably decide next week to scrap their threshold of a 6.5 percent unemployment rate for considering a rate rise, and instead embrace new language that is less specific about when tighter policy might come.

Mar 10, 2014

Evans says flatly: Fed will keep trimming bond purchases

COLUMBUS, Georgia (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve will continue to trim its monthly asset purchases at a $10 billion pace, an influential Fed official said on Monday as he also detailed how the U.S. central bank might rewrite its plan for keeping interest rates low.

The blunt comments from Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed and among the most dovish U.S. policymakers, were perhaps the strongest indication yet that the Fed will keep cutting stimulus at each upcoming meeting, including one next week.

Mar 7, 2014

Fed’s Dudley flags easy money now, rate rise around mid-2015

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is not about to back off its highly accommodative policy, though investor predictions of a rate rise by midway through next year are reasonable, an influential U.S. central banker said on Friday.

New York Fed President William Dudley outlined some bright spots in the long U.S. recovery from recession, calling U.S. economic prospects “reasonably favorable.”

Mar 7, 2014

Improving U.S. economy not enough for Fed to back off -Dudley

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy’s “reasonably
favorable” prospects are not yet good enough for the Federal
Reserve to stop providing highly accommodative monetary policy,
an influential U.S. central banker said on Friday.

New York Fed President William Dudley outlined some bright
spots in the long U.S. recovery from recession. But he stressed
that the labor market is still hobbled, saying in a speech he
would like to see faster economic growth and more rapid progress
in lowering unemployment and raising inflation.

Mar 6, 2014

Fed should be patient, keep trimming U.S. stimulus: Lockhart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It could be another two months before the U.S. Federal Reserve can determine whether recent weak economic data is truly weather-related or something more permanent, so policymakers should keep trimming their bond-buying stimulus, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

In an interview, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said flatly that the central bank should keep reducing its policy accommodation even if the February jobs report on Friday falls short of expectations, making for three straight months of sub-par hiring in the world’s largest economy.

Mar 6, 2014

Fed officials see high hurdle for changing course on QE taper

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. economic outlook would have to change dramatically for the Federal Reserve to alter the pace at which it is winding down its massive bond-buying program, three top U.S. central bankers said on Thursday.

And one, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, told Reuters in an interview that even a third month of below-par U.S. jobs growth would not be enough to warrant such a move.

Mar 6, 2014

Fed should keep paring stimulus even if jobs growth weak: Lockhart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should continue to pare its massive bond-buying program even if a key jobs report due out on Friday falls short of expectations, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

“In my mind, unless we really fall off track in the economy pretty dramatically, I think the tapering program should proceed,” Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart told Reuters in an interview, adding that he has “modest” expectations for the Labor Department’s nonfarm payrolls report.

Mar 5, 2014

Yellen commits Fed to boost still-weak U.S. economy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen vowed on Wednesday to do all that she can to boost a U.S. economy that is running well short of the central bank’s objectives.

“The economy continues to operate considerably short of these objectives” of maximum employment and stable prices, Yellen said according to prepared remarks at a swearing-in ceremony at the central bank in Washington.