Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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Jun 3, 2014

Fed’s George urges halt to bond reinvestment before rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should let its balance sheet begin shrinking before raising interest rates, Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George said on Tuesday in remarks that highlight divisions over how to wind down years of crisis response.

The Fed is on pace to end monthly asset purchases by October or December. In a speech prepared for delivery in Colorado, George said that once that happens, and before the Fed begins raising interest rates, the central bank should also stop reinvesting the proceeds as its $4 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury and other securities mature.

May 21, 2014

Fed begins policy exit talks, split on view of U.S. job market

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers
last month began laying groundwork for an eventual retreat from
easy monetary policy with a discussion of how to best control
interest rates as they remove trillions of dollars from the
financial system.

No final decisions were taken, and minutes of the session,
released on Wednesday, said the Fed was merely engaged in
“prudent planning” and not signaling it was ready to “normalize”
monetary policy or raise interest rates any time soon.

May 20, 2014

Fed’s Dudley sees ‘relatively slow’ rate hike cycle

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should be able to raise interest rates slowly when it eventually tightens monetary policy given that slack in the U.S. economy is restraining inflation, a top official at the central bank said on Tuesday.

New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said the economy was poised for stronger growth and inflation should “drift upwards” towards the Fed’s 2 percent goal. But a swift climb in inflation was unlikely, he said.

May 19, 2014

Fischer, Brainard to push for more activist Fed

WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) – The two new nominees to the
Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors are expected to push for an
expanded Fed role in managing the U.S. economy, working to
replace the current raft of programs that resulted from the
financial crisis with more permanent tools.

The arrival of former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley
Fischer and former U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard will add
two strong voices to back Chair Janet Yellen’s view that loose
monetary policy needs to be extended to turn around a slack
labor market.

May 7, 2014

Yellen says U.S. economy still needs help, housing poses risk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. economy was still in need of lots of support given the “considerable slack” in the labor market, adding that the housing sector’s weakness and geopolitical tensions posed risks.

Even as she took note of “appreciable” improvements in the jobs market, Yellen told a congressional committee a high rate of long-term unemployment and a slow rise in worker pay suggested plenty of room for further job gains.

Apr 29, 2014

U.S. Senate panel backs Fischer to be Fed’s No. 2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Banking Committee approved three nominees to the Federal Reserve’s board on Tuesday, including Stanley Fischer to be the U.S. central bank’s No. 2, in a big step toward replenishing the Fed’s governing body.

The panel also backed the nominations of former senior U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who was nominated for another term. All three nominees were approved on a unanimous voice vote.

Apr 4, 2014

Fed’s Fisher bashes U.S. politicians for slowing economic growth

HONG KONG, April 4 (Reuters) – Political gridlock is slowing
U.S. economic growth, impacting the confidence and budgets of
businesses across the country, a top Fed official said here on

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher took a
swipe at U.S. politicians and their inability to cooperate, and
accused them of impeding jobs growth.

Apr 4, 2014

Fed’s Fisher: forward guidance should not be binding

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve must avoid being locked into calendar-based policy commitments and instead ensure its forward guidance is flexible enough to allow it to respond to changing conditions, a top Fed official said in Hong Kong on Friday.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said he worried that predictable commitments were unsound policy as they could lead to false complacency and market instability.

Apr 2, 2014

China’s COFCO to pay $1.5 bln for stake in Noble’s agribusiness

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) – COFCO Corp agreed
to pay $1.5 billion to buy a 51 percent stake in Noble Group
Ltd’s agribusiness, its second acquisition in less than two
months as China’s largest grain trader seeks to strengthen its
market position across the globe.

The two companies plan to form a joint venture, in which
Noble will retain a 49 percent stake, that will link COFCO’s
grain processing and distribution business with Noble Agri’s
grain origination and trading business, Noble said on

Mar 28, 2014

Fed’s Evans says he wants no rate hike until early 2016

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve would do best to keep rates at rock bottom until early 2016 and then raise them only gradually so as not to risk derailing a building economic recovery, a top Fed official said on Friday.

“I personally doubt that the funds rate is going to start to increase before the middle of 2015,” Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans told a Credit Suisse investment conference in Hong Kong.

    • 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
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
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