Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
Michael's Feed
Feb 24, 2015

Yellen faces Senate grilling on Fed rate policy, transparency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to face pointed questions this week from U.S. lawmakers aimed at revealing details about the Fed’s timing on interest rate hikes, as well as fresh scrutiny about transparency at the central bank.

Yellen will likely give away little in her prepared testimony for the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. But her answers to lawmakers’ questions will be parsed for insight into the her thinking about issues like persistently weak inflation, stagnant wage growth and whether she still feels the nation’s falling unemployment rate disguises lingering ills in the labor market.

Feb 23, 2015

US Senate to hold Fed reform hearing on March 3-aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Banking committee is expected to hold a hearing next week on reforms aimed at the Federal Reserve, a Senate aide said on Monday, as lawmakers push for more transparency at the U.S. central bank.

The hearing will be scheduled for the afternoon of March 3, the aide said. Gathering economists and other central banking experts in front of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee to discuss Fed reforms is the fulfillment of a promise made by the panel’s new chair, Richard Shelby.

Feb 19, 2015

Freddie Mac suffers $3.4 bln in derivative losses in Q4

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Freddie Mac saw
$3.4 billion in quarterly derivative losses due to declining
interest rates, the government-controlled mortgage finance
company said on Thursday.

The losses caused a $1.9 billion drop in fourth-quarter
earnings to $227 million, the company said, its lowest profit in
that quarter since 2001.

Feb 18, 2015

Fed officials worried about hiking rates too soon – minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers expressed concern last month that raising interest rates too soon could pour cold water on the U.S. economic recovery, and fretted over the impact of dropping “patient” from the central bank’s rate guidance.

The minutes from the Fed’s Jan. 27-28 policy-setting meeting, released on Wednesday, show officials grappling to square solid U.S. economic growth with the weakness in international markets as well as worrying about falling inflation expectations in the United States.

Feb 11, 2015

Senate Democrats come out against Fed audit bill

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Democrats on the Senate
Banking committee on Wednesday voiced opposition to a bill that
would expose the U.S. Federal Reserve to a full government

The support from Democrats shows they are starting to form a
united front against Republican-led efforts to

Feb 10, 2015

Republicans eye bill to limit U.S. rescues of failing banks

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers in the
U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are discussing a joint
effort to repeal a key section of the landmark Wall Street
reform law, seeking to limit the U.S. government’s role in
supporting financial institutions on the brink of collapse,
according to people familiar with the matter.

Efforts by Republicans to revamp the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act,
including its handling of failing banks, went nowhere in the
past because the Democrat-controlled Senate defended the law.

Feb 10, 2015

Fed’s Lacker eyes June hike, Williams says getting ‘closer’

By Michael Flaherty

RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates in June, a top Fed official said on Tuesday, saying the U.S. economy is strengthening and that inflation will move back to the central bank’s target.

“At this point, I think June looks like the attractive option” to raise interest rates, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker told reporters here. “The data could change that, but it would have to be surprising data for me.”

Feb 9, 2015

Fed’s Powell slams ‘misguided’ proposals for deeper Fed oversight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve could be hamstrung in its response to any future crisis if Congress approves legislation deepening its oversight of the central bank, Fed governor Jerome Powell said on Monday.

In a strong defense of the central bank’s continued independence, Powell told a Catholic University law school audience that various proposals being debated in Congress carried more risk for the economy than proponents realize.

Feb 4, 2015

Fed’s Mester says U.S. economy on course for rate hike by June

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should likely raise interest rates in the first half of this year to account for an economic recovery that continues to build momentum, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said on Wednesday.

Mester said she regards the U.S. recovery as deeply rooted, with labor markets steadily improving, households and businesses freer from the heavy debt loads that constrained them, and low oil prices providing a “tailwind” to boost consumer spending.

Feb 3, 2015

Fed’s Bullard calls for deleting ‘patient’ from rate guidance

By Michael Flaherty

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should delete the word “patient” from its next policy statement, a top Fed official said on Tuesday, which would give the central bank more flexibility on when to raise interest rates.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, speaking on a panel of economists at the University of Delaware, also downplayed the Fed’s reference to international developments in its last policy statement, and called for breaking up big banks.

    • 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
    • Contact Michael

    • Follow Michael