Entries filed under 'U.S. Economy & Policy'

    Global Economy: Developments to Watch after Paris

    November 19, 2015 4:20 PM by Zane Brown

    What should investors be monitoring in the wake of the attacks on November 13? 

    As governments respond to the threat of terrorism in the aftermath of the November 13 attacks in Paris by Islamic State (IS), some developing trends may have significant economic implications. 

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    The Fed: October Jobs Report Starts Countdown to "Liftoff"

    November 6, 2015 1:25 PM by Zane Brown

    Strong growth in nonfarm payrolls, and an uptick in hourly earnings, increases the odds of a December rate hike. 

    Will we have “liftoff” at last? The 271,000 monthly gain in nonfarm payrolls in the U.S. employment report for October, released Friday, November 6 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, boosts the likelihood of a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) at its December policy meeting. 

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    The Fed: Are Yellen and Markets on the Same Page?

    September 25, 2015 4:04 PM by Zane Brown

    The U.S. Federal Reserve chair attempted to clarify the central bank’s policy stance on September 24. Investors appear far from convinced. 

    In an academic speech at the University of Massachusetts, on September 24, U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) chairwoman Janet Yellen did her best to provide clarity on the direction of Fed policy. The fine-tuning came one week after a communiqué from the Fed’s policy-setting arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), on September 17—and a subsequent press conference from Yellen—that left investors dazed and confused.

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    The Fed Scrubs a September "Liftoff"

    September 17, 2015 3:38 PM by Zane Brown

    Besides leaving the fed funds rate unchanged, the U.S. central bank also signaled a measured pace to future interest-rate hikes. 

    The long-awaited rate increase—“liftoff”— will have to wait at least another month. Although low unemployment (5.1%) and improving labor conditions provided justification for the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) to raise rates, the central bank’s policy-setting arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), opted to delay taking the first step to policy normalization at the conclusion of its policy meeting on September 16–17.  

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    For the Fed, a 1/8% Solution

    September 11, 2015 1:15 PM by Zane Brown

    By starting small, the U.S. Federal Reserve could initiate interest-rate hikes without sparking market volatility.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) needs to replenish its policy ammunition. To achieve that, it will have to raise the fed funds rate from its current near-zero level. Such a move will help the central bank restore its traditional policy approach of adjusting the benchmark interest rate to help speed up, or slow down, U.S. economic growth, while ensuring that price stability and employment growth are maintained.

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