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Nov 4, 2013
via MacroScope

The limits of Federal Reserve forward guidance on interest rates

The ‘taper tantrum’ of May and June, as the mid-year spike in interest rates became known, appears to have humbled Federal Reserve officials into having a second look at their convictions about the power of forward guidance on interest rate policy.

Take James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed. He acknowledged on Friday that the Fed’s view of the separation between rates guidance and asset purchases had not been fully accepted by financial markets. “This presents challenges for the Committee,” he noted.

Oct 18, 2013
via MacroScope

Congress “smashed the instrument panel” of U.S. economic data: Fed’s Fisher

Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve and one of the U.S. central bank’s arch inflation hawks, took us by surprise this week – he told Reuters that, given all the uncertainty generated by the government shutdown, it would not be prudent for the Fed to reduce its bond-buying stimulus this month.

“It is just too tender a moment,” he said. That was on Tuesday, before a last-minute deal averted a debt default but set up additional uncertainty by pushing the statutory spending cap into February.

Oct 10, 2013

Thrust into crisis, Bernanke tested bounds of Fed policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke spent his whole life training for the job of Fed chairman – even if he didn’t know it at the time.

One of the Great Depression’s most prominent scholars, Bernanke inherited a historic slump of his own not long after taking the helm of the Federal Reserve eight years ago.

Oct 8, 2013
via MacroScope

Time for Fed to rethink its forward guidance?

Federal Reserve officials have largely acknowledged by now that leading markets to believe the central bank would reduce its bond buying stimulus in September and then failing to do so was a communications blunder.

For Zach Pandl, a former Goldman economist now at Columbia Management, this means the Fed may have to reshape its guidance to financial markets – even if the exact contours of the changes remain unclear.

Oct 8, 2013

Plosser says time has come for Fed to phase out bond buys

, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should
start reducing its asset purchase stimulus program as soon as
possible given that economic growth is already firm and will
become stronger next year, a top Fed official said on Tuesday.

Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed, told a
local chamber of commerce meeting that he disagreed with the
central bank’s decision last month to hold off on reducing the
$85 billion current monthly pace of bond-buying.

Oct 4, 2013

Lacker says Fed can still cut stimulus despite U.S. shutdown

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve could reduce the pace of its bond-buying stimulus despite a government shutdown that is preventing the release of key economic data, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.

He was speaking even as the Labor Department failed to release its monthly jobs report, the most widely watched global indicator, because of cost cuts related to the budget impasse and shuttering of government.

Oct 4, 2013
via MacroScope

Fed doves strike back


Now that Washington’s circus-like government shutdown has put a damper on hopes for stronger U.S. economic growth going into next year, dovish Federal Reserve officials again appear to have the upper hand in the way of policy commentary.

Take Eric Rosengren, the Boston Fed President who had been unusually quiet as the tapering debate gathered steam. In a speech in Vermont on Thursday, he returned to a familiar theme – the central bank still has plenty of firepower and should not be afraid to use it.

Oct 3, 2013

Protests at key Argentina port cause headaches for exporters

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 3 (Reuters) – A spike in shipping costs
and lower profits resulting from a series of union protests at
Argentina’s Rosario port, one of the world’s biggest grain
export centers, has raised concerns among the country’s
agricultural companies.

Strikes by powerful unions representing river pilots,
longshoremen and soy crushing workers have been frequent at the
port, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of Buenos Aires,
where some of the world’s top grain traders – such as Cargill
, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus – operate.

Sep 30, 2013
via MacroScope

How big is the Fed’s communications gap? Six months, give or take

You have to give Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke credit for standing his ground on data-dependence. Despite widespread suspicions, including on this blog, that the central bank would begin reducing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus in September simply because the markets were expecting it, the Fed chose to hold off in the face of a still-fragile economy.

Here’s how Bernanke addressed the issue of the market’s surprise at the Fed’s decision at his press conference:

Sep 26, 2013

Lacker says Fed’s guidance on rates could hurt U.S. growth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s effort to assure the public that interest rates will remain near zero for years could have the perverse effect of hurting confidence and damaging economic growth, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, offered a conference in Stockholm a taste of his hawkish skepticism of the U.S. central bank’s unconventional monetary policies.

    • About Pedro

      "Pedro da Costa has been covering economics and financial markets since 2001. He is currently based in Washington and focuses on the Federal Reserve and macroeconomic policy. Da Costa earned a Master's in international relations at the University of California San Diego and studied sociology and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. He grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."
      Joined Reuters:
      2001
      Languages:
      English, Portuguese, Spanish, French
      Awards:
      2011 Deadline Club Award from the Society of Professional Journalists' New York Chapter
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