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Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Fed Chairman Yellen Urges Congress to Reject Fed Reform Bill

H.R. 3189, known as the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization (FORM) Act, is scheduled for a full House vote this week after passing in the House Financial Services Committee by a 33-25 vote on July 29. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan), who is the House Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Chairman.

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Presidential Hopeful Ted Cruz Demands More Transparency from the Fed

Just a few days after proposing to eliminate several government agencies, including HUD, Texas Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz agreed to cosponsor the latest Federal Reserve Act of 2015 (S. 2232), commonly known as the “Audit the Fed” bill introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

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Mixed Economic, Housing Data Cast Doubt on Fed Liftoff

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ stellar October employment summary, which reported 271,000 jobs added during the month, is believed by many to be sufficient economic improvement for the Fed to finally raise rates. That October employment summary many not be so rosy after digging a little deeper into the data, Crowe said.

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Economic Data Will Ultimately Determine When the Fed Will Raise Rates

On the side of the argument for exercising patience, Williams said there are two main concerns: One, the constraint of the “zero lower bound,” which is to say rates can’t go any lower than zero and there will not be room to lower the rates if there is another economic downturn or if inflation drops further; and two, the inflation has been “stubbornly” below the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent for almost three and a half years.

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Stellar October Jobs Report Sets Stage for December Rate Liftoff

“As disappointing as last month’s jobs report was, this one more than makes up for it,” said Curt Long, Chief Economist of the National Associations of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). “Job gains surged past analysts’ expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped even as 300,000 workers joined the labor force. Meanwhile, year-over-year wage growth hit its highest mark since mid-2009. Barring catastrophe, everything looks set for the Fed to raise rates in December.”

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Fed Chair Yellen Hints at Possible December Rate Hike in Congressional Testimony

Interest rates nearly took center stage in this banking testimony as Chair Yellen noted that the domestic economy is “pretty strong” and the “gradual rise in rates should not derail the housing market. Employment is going up, income is going up, and If the labor market improves, inflation will move up. December sounds incrementally more likely, but hinges on jobs reports.”

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Banks Can Expect a Change in Long-Term Strategy Due to Low Interest Rates

While waiting for the Fed to raise rates, banks will likely place "additional focus on cost controls to improve operating efficiencies and extend balance sheet duration" to reduce margin compression, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings. Bank margins have fallen to 3.02 percent as of the first quarter of 2015, the lowest average since 1984, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said.

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Fed’s Second District Reports Lower Consumer Distress Rates than National Average

In New Jersey, 16.2 percent of consumers have seriously delinquent debt (90 days or more overdue) or debt that was in third-party collections, compared with the national rate of 20 percent for the reporting period. New York and Connecticut also reported overall consumer distress rates (14.8 percent and 14.9 percent respectively) lower than the national rate.

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