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Dec 18, 2014

Fed eyes audit push as key political challenge in 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is lobbying to stem a rising threat to its independence as the “Audit the Fed” movement, once seen as usual background noise, looks set to gain momentum in 2015 when Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress.

Interviews with current and former Fed staff, lawmakers and lobbyists show that the central bank, led by Chair Janet Yellen, is taking the audit threat seriously. Fed officials are making their case for independence across Capitol Hill, reminding politicians of the damage that can come from political interference into economic policy discussions.

Dec 17, 2014

Fed confident about U.S. growth, opens door wider to rate hike

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on
Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise
interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep
them near zero for a “considerable time” in a show of confidence
in the U.S. economy.

Closing out a two-day meeting against a backdrop of solid
domestic growth but trouble overseas, the U.S. central bank said
in a statement it would take a “patient” approach in deciding
when to bump borrowing costs higher.

Dec 17, 2014

Corrected: Fed confident in U.S. growth outlook, opens door wider to rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – (Corrects to say “considerable time” phrase still in statement)

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep them near zero for a “considerable time” in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy.

Dec 17, 2014

Fed confident in U.S. growth outlook, opens door wider to rate hike

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, dropping a pledge to keep them near zero for a “considerable time” in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy.

Closing out a two-day meeting against a backdrop of solid domestic growth but trouble overseas, the U.S. central bank ditched its long-standing vow and instead said it would take a “patient” approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher.

Dec 17, 2014

Fed likely to signal rate hike on track despite global woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A sturdy U.S. recovery is expected to trump global economic worries as the Federal Reserve concludes its last policy meeting of 2014 on Wednesday, with officials likely to signal they are still on track to raise interest rates next year.

With oil prices in freefall, Japan in recession and the euro zone sputtering, the Fed for a second meeting running will weigh the U.S. economy’s apparent strength against overseas risks that now include a potential currency crisis in oil exporter Russia.

Dec 16, 2014

U.S. bill mandating community banker on Fed board nears passage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the U.S. House of Representatives approved a terrorism insurance bill last week, it contained a little-noticed provision that would require at least one member of the Federal Reserve’s board to have community banking experience.

    That provision appears destined to become law in what would mark a rare change to the composition of the U.S. central bank’s governing structure.

Dec 16, 2014

U.S. Senator Levin aims to clamp down on physical commodity trading

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Carl Levin has
introduced a bill seeking to crack down on trading on inside
information in physical commodities, the first U.S. legislation
limiting Wall Street banks’ ability to deal in physical markets
from crude oil to aluminum.

The bill, sponsored by the Michigan Democrat and
co-sponsored with Republican John McCain, is seen as Levin’s
parting swipe at Wall Street before he retires in January. He
has previously accused Goldman Sachs and other banks of
manipulating physical commodity markets.

Dec 11, 2014

Solid U.S. retail sales point to firming economic recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jack Reed can see the recovery taking hold at his family’s 109-year-old clothing store in Tupelo, Mississippi, with sales buoyed in part by the paychecks tied to a Toyota plant up the road and rising confidence that the jobs are here to stay.

As retailers nationwide reported a brisk jump in November sales and optimism about the holiday season, Reed said on Thursday that the gears of the U.S. economy seemed to have finally meshed.

Dec 8, 2014

Fed signals rate guidance likely to stay for now

By Michael Flaherty and Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s vow to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” is likely to remain in place for now, with the U.S. central bank set to take a slow and steady approach to its first rate rise in a decade.The pledge will be up for debate again when policymakers meet next week, with a strong jobs report bolstering the case of officials who want to remove it.

But others feel it still has some shelf life, and even when officials drop it, they will almost certainly insert a placeholder to assure financial markets any rate hike is still a ways off.

Nov 21, 2014

Fed to issue rules on banks’ role in commodities in early 2015

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve will
issue in the first quarter of next year a formal notice of rules
on its review of financial holding companies and their
activities in the physical commodities markets, a top Fed
official said on Friday.

“We are conducting a careful and thorough assessment of the
costs and benefits of financial holding company engagement in
these activities,” Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said in prepared
remarks ahead of a Senate subcommittee hearing on the issue of
banks’ involvement with physical commodities.

    • About Michael

      "In June 2009, Michael Flaherty became a Chief Correspondent for Reuters News, leading a team of journalists who cover investment banking, mergers & acquisitions, private equity and hedge funds, equity capital markets, natural resources and property across Asia. He arrived in Hong Kong in Feb. 2008 as Reuters' Asia Financial Services correspondent, covering the investment banks and M&A. Flaherty was hired by Reuters in New York in Dec. 2003. He was voted Reuters Journalist of the Year for his 2007 coverage of the U.S. private equity boom and bust. He started at Reuters with the consumer group covering office retailers ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      Dec. 1, 2003
      Awards:
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
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