Warren blasts Yellen for endorsing very white, very male regional Fed presidents

June 21, 2016

  Around this time last year, as another white male took the reins at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Fed’s archaic and opaque system of choosing its regional presidents started to come under fire. At first the criticism was over the way the system appeared to favor insiders. Patrick Harker, at the time the new Philadelphia Fed President, had sat on the regional Fed board that was tasked with filling that position. Later that summer the Dallas Fed would name Robert Kaplan, who is also white, as its president despite the fact that he was a director at the executive search firm that that regional Fed board hired to find candidates. When the Minneapolis Fed named Neel Kashkari its president later in 2015, groups like the Fed Up Coalition pointed out that while he was the only non-white regional president, he, like Harker and Kaplan, had former ties to Goldman Sachs.

Federal Reserve’s loss is Bank of Canada’s gain

March 3, 2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco produces some of the U.S. central bank’s best research on labor markets and monetary policy. And it’s from there that the Bank of Canada plucked its newest deputy governor,

Valentine’s Day disappoints after Star Wars surge

March 2, 2016

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

The Fed’s Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes from business contacts across the U.S. central bank’s 12 regional districts, is not known for tickling detail.  But it seems one regional Fed district – Boston to be precise – is paving the way in bringing a bit of relatable life to the usually dour document. In January’s report it pointed out that a toy company in its district reported strong sales “largely driven by the new Star Wars movie.” This time, it seems that all that movie-related spending has left locals with little money to spend on love. “Sales of Valentine’s Day items usually spike a few days before the holiday, but this year sales were lackluster,” the Boston Fed reported. Next time around, will we find out that children were deprived of their chocolate Easter bunnies? It’s anyone’s guess, but it seems like the researchers in Boston are minded to let us know.

Not all Fed policymakers sing from the same songbook

February 18, 2016

San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday said he still thinks gradual interest-rate hikes are the “best course” (http://reut.rs/1RaUTa9), a view that fails to harmonize with that of fellow Fed policymaker James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed who said late Wednesday further rate hikes would be “unwise” (http://reut.rs/1XAnEjh)

Kicking the can down the road on British rates – again

January 28, 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speaks during the bank's quarterly inflation report news conference at the Bank of England in London August 13, 2014. The Bank of England forecast on Wednesday that wages would grow far more slowly than previously expected and linked their rate of increase closely to borrowing costs, suggesting it was in no hurry to raise Britain's record low interest rates.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett   (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) - RTR4299J

Forecasts for when the Bank of England will raise rates have been put off into the future for the seventh time since Mark Carney became Bank of England Governor nearly three years ago.

Prospects still slim for major global economic pickup

December 22, 2015


The world economy may be set for another year like 2015, with modest growth in developed economies offsetting persistent weakness elsewhere but generating very little inflation and keeping interest rates low.

Fed’s Williams preps new Tee-shirt after rate hike

December 18, 2015

San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams earlier this year got so sick of answering reporters’ questions about when the U.S. central bank would raise rates that he had his son design a Tee-shirt that he could just give out.

Potholes could be dead ahead in the road soon after Fed rate hike

November 20, 2015

Patches on top of patches covering potholes litter a road in Sonoma County, California, May 9, 2013. Harrison, a local resident and attorney, is part of a grass-roots campaign to fix the crumbling roads of Sonoma County, which is struggling with the same type of government financial crisis that has driven California cities such as Stockton and San Bernardino into bankruptcy. Picture taken May 9, 2013.   REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach   (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRAVEL) - RTX1053C

The Federal Reserve’s planned smooth and gradual rate hike path may be bumpier than anticipated if U.S. economic growth over the next several months and punishingly cold winter weather follow a well-established recent pattern.

With such similar inflation, how far behind the Fed can the BoE be?

November 18, 2015

RTR4OY3Z.jpgNot long ago, the big debate was over who would raise rates first, the U.S. Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. Now with the Fed giving clear signals it’s on the brink of hiking and the BoE appearing to be pushing that day further off into the future, one could naturally conclude that the inflation outlook in both economies is vastly different.

What’s China gonna do? Forget about it. What’s Yellen gonna do?

October 30, 2015

By now, you’ve probably heard this catchy song about China’s five-year plan on Youtube. If not, take a listen.