Reforms to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac could shock sector: Fed’s Rosengren

A Federal Reserve official warned U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that any reforms that reduce the massive lending presence of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the multi-family real estate market could shock that sector of the economy. Members of Congress and the Trump administration have signaled they will overhaul the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which the government took over during the 2008 financial crisis, after they suffered massive losses on bad mortgages…

Fed leaves rates unchanged, but on track for two more rate rises this year

Federal Reserve leaders chose not to raise the bank’s key interest rate on Wednesday, after raising rates in December and March. It was widely expected that the Fed would not take any action on rates at its latest two-day meeting. However, another rate hike could be around the corner. Fed leaders meet again in June, and Wall Street predicts there’s a 67% chance of a June rate increase, according to CME Group…

Dollar edges up ahead of Fed decision; Fall in Iphone, U.S. car sales knock global stocks

World stock markets fell on Wednesday as declines in iPhone sales brought about some concern about consumer strength, while the dollar edged higher before a U.S. central bank statement that may hint towards a rate hike next month. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) lost 0.9 percent as the biggest drag on the S&P 500 after it reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales in its fiscal second quarter on Tuesday. The drop came on the heels of a decline in sales for U.S. automakers for April and a soft first-quarter reading on U.S. growth last week…

U.S. economy can handle rate hike without slowing expansion: Fed’s Williams

The Federal Reserve can raise interest rates without threatening the U.S. economic recovery, a top Federal Reserve policymaker said on Tuesday, saying the central bank risks doing more harm by continued inaction. “It is getting harder and harder to justify interest rates being so incredibly low given where the U.S. economy is and where it is going,” San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said in an interview at his bank’s headquarters…

Oil prices bounce back up nearly 1% on weak dollar, OPEC meeting

Oil prices rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday, bouncing back from a selloff in the previous session, on expectations the dollar would weaken ahead of a key speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday. Crude futures also saw support from players buying on dips and looking for a bottom on speculation that next month’s informal meeting between OPEC and other major oil producers could result in production curbs…

U.S. economy expanding at modest pace, Brexit weighs on some regions: Fed Beige Book

WASHINGTON—The U.K. vote to leave the European Union is causing concern among businesses in certain pockets of the U.S., a Federal Reserve report said Wednesday. The Brexit vote was a factor in recent weeks across at least three areas, according to the central bank’s latest beige book, a review of regional economic conditions. But broadly, the report showed the U.S. economy is expanding at a modest pace…

Fed hits pause button on rate hike, cuts economic growth forecast in 2016 to 2%

The Federal Reserve once again hit the pause button. The central bank, led by Chair Janet Yellen, decided not to raise interest rates Wednesday at the end of its two-day meeting. The decision was in line with expectations after a brutal May jobs report. The Fed cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth in 2016 to 2%, down from 2.2% earlier…

Fed officials struggle to understand why mysterious natural rate has fallen

While Federal Reserve officials debate when to next raise short-term interest rates, they also are wrestling with the question of how high to lift them in coming years. Signs point toward the new normal being much lower than in the past, which has broad implications for when the Fed should tighten monetary policy, how quickly, and how far…

Global markets appear to be ‘well-prepared’ for summer rate hike: Fed’s Bullard

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday global markets appear to be “well-prepared” for a summer interest rate hike from the Fed, although he did not specify a date for the policy move. “My sense is that markets are well-prepared for a possible rate increase globally, and that this is not too surprising given our liftoff from December and the policy of the committee which has been to try to normalize rates slowly and gradually over time,” Bullard told a news conference after speaking at an academic conference in Seoul…

Yellen is clearly the boss, it really doesn’t matter what any regional Fed President says

Janet Yellen put her foot down in April. Yellen’s colleagues on the Federal Reserve’s committee kept dropping hints in March that a rate hike in April was possible. Then the Fed Chair gave a speech at the end of March squashing all that talk. “Yellen is clearly the boss and what she wants is what she’ll get,” Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, wrote in a research note…

Is the U.S. Fed chief still considered as being ‘God on a good day’?

The job of being chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve was once described as being “God on a good day.” That was before the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession, but still, the Fed chair is the director of the world’s largest economy. Stocks, bonds and exchange rates surge and fall based solely on the words that come out of the Fed chair’s mouth…

Yellen defends the Fed, disagrees with Sanders

Add Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s name to the list of people who wonder if Bernie Sanders has all the facts down on Wall Street regulation. Yellen strives to be as apolitical as possible as Fed chair, but in a rare interview Thursday, she defended the Fed as a good watchdog of big banks. “We’re charged by Congress with regulating financial institutions. We take that mission seriously. We are tough supervisors and regulators,” Yellen said…

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