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Nov 21, 2014

Under Senate glare, Goldman rejects commodity manipulation

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Thursday took the lead in rejecting allegations by a U.S. Senate subcommittee that Wall Street banks were exploiting physical commodity markets to manipulate prices and gain unfair trading advantages.

In an often heated hearing before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Carl Levin pressed bankers and executives on whether the company had inflated physical prices and curbed supplies of aluminum, adding billions of dollars in costs for consumers such as the U.S. Navy and beverage can makers.

Nov 19, 2014

Senate probe says Goldman, other banks exploited commodity markets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A two-year Senate investigation into Wall Street’s physical commodities business found that U.S. banks had manipulated prices and gained unfair trading advantages at the expense of consumers.

While the detailed report was critical of how banks purchased and exploited huge commodity stockpiles, it did not offer any damning new details on their activities.

Oct 30, 2014

Percentage of Fed Board women economists tracks U.S. average

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Around a third of the economists at the Federal Reserve’s Washington headquarters are women, a figure in line with women’s representation in the profession nationally, according to a Reuters analysis of Fed employee data.

The findings come as Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the U.S. central bank seek to improve efforts to recruit and promote more women and minorities into the institution.

Oct 29, 2014

Fed ends bond buying, shows confidence in U.S. recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday ended its monthly bond purchase programme and signalled confidence the U.S. economic recovery would remain on track despite signs of a slowdown in many parts of the global economy.

“The Committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability,” the central bank’s policy committee said in a statement following a two-day meeting.

Oct 29, 2014

Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday ended its monthly bond purchase program and signaled confidence the U.S. economic recovery would remain on track despite signs of a slowdown in many parts of the global economy.

“The Committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability,” the central bank’s policy committee said in a statement following a two-day meeting.

Oct 21, 2014

Fed spotted JPMorgan ‘Whale’ risks years before scandal -inspector

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The Federal
Reserve’s New York branch knew about risks JPMorgan Chase & Co
was taking with its massive “London Whale” derivatives bets four
years before they imploded, but it failed to act properly to
head them off, the U.S. central bank’s inspector general said.

The Fed’s Office of Inspector General said on Tuesday one of
the key flaws it uncovered in its probe of the 2008 transaction
at the Wall Street bank was the New York Fed’s over-reliance on
certain personnel who left the supervisory team in 2011. That
created a “significant loss of institutional knowledge” within
the team assigned to inspect JPMorgan, the report said.

Oct 20, 2014

Banks should defer bonuses 10 years, tap them for fines: Fed official

By Michael Flaherty

(Reuters) – Banks should defer bonus payments for 10 years and tap the bonus pool to pay any regulatory fines, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday, taking aim at continued lapses across the industry even after the 2007-9 financial crisis.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said banks should move toward paying employees in debt securities for their annual incentive pay, rather than in equity.

Oct 17, 2014

At least 113 staffers at U.S. Fed earn more than Yellen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top 113 earners among staff at the Federal Reserve’s Washington headquarters make an average of $246,506 per year, excluding bonuses and other benefits – more than Fed Chair Janet Yellen and nearly double the normal top government rate.

Yellen, whose salary is set by Congress, earns $201,700 a year.

The details on Fed pay were provided to Reuters in response to a Freedom of Information Act request for data on all employees of the U.S. central bank’s board whose salaries outstrip $130,810, which is the top of the government’s pay scale in most areas.

Oct 16, 2014

Fed official wants to keep up QE as inflation expectations slip

Oct 16 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should keep buying
bonds for longer than planned in the face of volatile markets
and falling inflation expectations, a top U.S. central banker
said on Thursday, even as another Fed policymaker warned against
an over-reaction.

James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, is the only
official at the central bank to publicly suggest putting on hold
the Fed’s widely telegraphed plan to halt its asset-purchase
program later this month. Yields on U.S. bonds, which have
plunged the last few days, rebounded after his comments.

Oct 16, 2014

Exclusive: Fed considers using bank stress tests for crisis prevention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is considering turning its annual health check for big banks into one of the tools it could use to prevent a build up of excessive financial risks.

If deployed, the modified tests could force banks to retain billions of dollars that otherwise would have gone to shareholders. While the move would help cool off sectors at risk of overheating, it could spark the ire of bank executives, who complain of rising regulatory burdens.

    • 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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