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Oct 10, 2013

Fed’s Bullard – fiscal problems make October QE cut less likely

LOUIS (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is less likely to reduce its bond-buying program this month given the U.S. government shutdown and resulting lack of economic data, as well as the ongoing debate over the debt ceiling, a top central bank policymaker said on Thursday.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voter on policy this year, said the fiscal problems in Washington have “changed the odds” on whether the central bank will trim the monthly $85-billion (53.2 billion pounds) quantitative easing program (QE) at a meeting set for October 29-30.

Oct 10, 2013

Fed less likely to trim QE this month due to fiscal problems: Bullard

LOUIS (Reuters) – A reduction in the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program is less likely to take place later this month given the U.S. government shutdown and resulting lack of economic data, as well as the ongoing debate over the debt ceiling, a top central bank policymaker said on Thursday.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voter on policy this year, said the fiscal problems in Washington have “changed the odds” on whether the central bank will trim the monthly $85-billion quantitative easing program at a meeting set for October 29-30.

Oct 9, 2013

U.S. Treasury, Fed planning for possible default: source

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve officials worried about the growing possibility of a catastrophic default are crafting contingency plans to mitigate the economic fallout if Congress fails to extend America’s borrowing authority, a source familiar with the plans said.

With just eight days before the Treasury Department says the U.S. will hit its $16.7 trillion borrowing limit, lawmakers and the White House remain far from a deal to extend it. Officials are examining what options might be available to calm financial markets if a U.S. debt payment is missed.

Oct 9, 2013

Fed shock decision not to taper QE was ‘close call’: minutes

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s shock decision last month not to reduce its support for the U.S. economy was a “relatively close call” for policymakers, according to minutes of the meeting that also suggested there was still broad support to trim bond-buying this year.

Since last month’s meeting, the outlook for scaling back bond purchases has grown cloudier.

Oct 8, 2013

In tight decision, a Fed centrist wanted to trim QE

/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Federal Reserve official known for her centrist views said on Tuesday she wanted to reduce the U.S. central bank’s asset purchases last month, adding her voice to the Fed’s so-called policy hawks who have spoken out against the shock decision to leave monetary policy unchanged.

The admission by Sandra Pianalto, who is retiring as president of the Cleveland Fed early next year, may come as a surprise given her long-standing support of Chairman Ben Bernanke’s concerted effort to boost the U.S. economy in the wake of the Great Recession.

Oct 8, 2013

Pianalto wanted Fed to reduce bond-buying last month

By Jonathan Spicer

(Reuters) – A top Federal Reserve official on Tuesday added her voice to those at the U.S. central bank who wanted to reduce asset purchases last month, though she stressed that “very supportive” policies remain essential to support the economy.

“For me the improvement in labor markets seemed substantial enough to support a scaling back of the asset purchase program at last month’s FOMC meeting,” said Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto, who does not have a vote on policy this year, and who is retiring early next year.

Sep 29, 2013

A Fed love story: Janet Yellen meets her match

By Marilyn W. Thompson and Jonathan Spicer

(Reuters) – Janet Yellen found love at the Federal Reserve. She met him at a luncheon in 1977, launching a whirlwind romance that led to marriage in less than a year.

In connecting with George Akerlof, then on a temporary assignment at the Fed’s research division in Washington, Yellen discovered not just a soul mate but an intellectual equal with similar views about the societal impact of economic policy.

Sep 27, 2013

Could be long time between QE taper and rate rise: Fed’s Dudley

By Jonathan Spicer

(Reuters) – Once the Federal Reserve reduces its bond-buying program, it could then wait “a number of years” before it raises interest rates, an influential official at the U.S. central bank said on Friday.

The two things “are very loosely connected,” said New York Fed President William Dudley. “The amount of time that can pass between the decision to begin to taper and actually raising short-term interest rates could easily be a number of years.”

Sep 27, 2013

Fed’s Rosengren slams SEC’s plan for U.S. money markets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A top Federal Reserve official on Friday took a swipe at a fellow U.S. regulator’s proposal to rein in money market mutual funds, saying a key part of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s plan is a step backward and should be ditched.

Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed branch who has long called for reform in the $2.5-trillion industry, took aim at one part of the SEC’s two-part plan to protect investors in times of stress like the 2008 financial crisis.

Sep 26, 2013

Harper: Obama assures him Keystone verdict to be based on facts

NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The logic behind the Keystone
XL pipeline is “simply overwhelming,” Canadian Prime Minister
Stephen Harper said on Thursday, adding that U.S. President
Barack Obama had assured him his decision on the project would
be based on facts.

Addressing a business audience in New York, Harper said he
was optimistic that Obama would approve TransCanada Corp’s
pipeline from Canada to the United States.