Wed, 24/03/2010 - 06:51 by harsheeb
Richmond -- The Richmond, Va., Federal Reserve Bank said manufacturing in the central Atlantic states rose in the latest monthly survey.
The Richmond Fed said new orders in March were "virtually unchanged," but shipments of goods increased "at a modest pace." The employment index "steadied," the monthly report said.
The overall index rose from 2 to 6, coming up from January's minus 2. The shipments index went from zero to 5, while new orders went from 9 to 10, up from 1 in January. The index concerning the number of manufacturing employees in the region shifted up from minus 7 to zero, while the average workweek index went from minus 4 to zero.
Tue, 23/03/2010 - 06:57 by harsheeb
Washington -- The Senate Banking Committee, with minimal debate, voted along party lines in Washington Monday to pass a 1,300-page financial reform bill to the full Senate.
The committee approved the bill that had failed to find bipartisan agreement in months of preliminary debates between Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and then with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who took over negotiations when talks with Shelby reached an impasse.
The strategy of sending the bill to the full Senate with 401 amendments filed, in part reflected disagreement among the 10 committee Republicans on how to oppose the bill, The New York Times reported Monday.
Tue, 23/03/2010 - 06:34 by harsheeb
Washington-- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the debate on financial reform had reached a critical point and asked lawmakers to listen to their constituents.
"These are difficult issues and our legislators and their staff often look the the financial industry for advice as they try to sort out what makes sense," Geithner said in a speech in Washington at the American Enterprise Institute.
"Instead, listen to the families and businesses still suffering from this crisis," Geithner said.
Wed, 17/03/2010 - 07:36 by harsheeb
Washington -- The U.S. Federal Reserve said it would leave its historically low interest rates intact in an environment of modest economic improvement.
Decision makers of the Open Market Committee said "economic activity has continued to strengthen." The labor market, however, was characterized as "stabilizing."
The bank-to-bank interest rate is zero to 0.25 percent.
With unemployment high (9.7 percent), "household spending is expanding at a moderate rate," the Fed said.
"Modest income growth, lower housing wealth and tight credit," round out the pressures on consumer spending, keeping the recovery at a slow pace, the Fed said.
Bank lending "continues to contract," the Fed said.
Tue, 16/03/2010 - 08:43 by harsheeb
Washington -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., unveiled his 1,336 page regulatory reform bill Monday, saying it included Republican input.
The bill seeks to create a consumer protection agency as an autonomous program housed at the Federal Reserve -- although a council of regulators can vote to reject some of its rulings.
The bill also reins in risk-taking by banks and establishes a system for the government to take over financial firms, not just banks, deemed so large their collapse would ripple through the financial system.
Tue, 09/03/2010 - 09:16 by harsheeb
Washington -- A top candidate for a post on the U.S. Federal Reserve board of governors may turn down an offer if one is made, sources told The New York Times.
If Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a former chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, is offered the position, she may not want to return to Washington, where she would earn half as much as she does now, the Times reported Monday.
There are three vacancies on the board, the newspaper said.
Tue, 09/03/2010 - 07:36 by harsheeb
Washington -- The Treasury Department said some homeowners could receive a cash incentive to sell their homes to steer them away from a foreclosure.
The government's $75 billion program to provide incentives for banks to refinance mortgages with better terms has produced far fewer loan modifications than anticipated, The New York Times reported Monday.
The new strategy involves the government paying the bank serving the loan $1,000, and paying $1,500 to the consumer for "relocation assistance."
Thu, 04/03/2010 - 07:45 by harsheeb
Ottawa-- The Bankruptcy Canada agency in Ottawa reported an 8.6 percent monthly decline in bankruptcy filings in December.
Combined insolvencies, which include bankruptcy and refinancing proposals, were down 11.1 percent overall, the agency said.
On an annual basis, consumer insolvencies were up by 8.5 percent. However, business insolvencies were down by 15.7 percent for the 12 months ending December.
"A significant reduction in insolvencies in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; construction, and transportation and warehousing sectors contributed to this decrease," Bankruptcy Canada said.
Copyright 2010 United Press International
Wed, 03/03/2010 - 09:20 by harsheeb
Washington -- U.S. mortgage lender Quicken Loans said it was considering moving 700 more employees to Detroit within a year after posting a banner year in 2009.
The lender has already said 1,700 employees would be shifted to downtown Detroit from its headquarters in Livonia, Mich.
The online lender wrote $25 billion in loans in 2009, more than twice the $12 billion it wrote in 2008, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.
Before the financial crisis hit, the lender was talking of building a new headquarters in Detroit. Those plans changed with the economic downturn. The firm is now looking for more space to rent.
Sat, 13/02/2010 - 07:58 by harsheeb
Beijing -- The People's Bank of China increased reserve requirements among most banks in a move widely interpreted as a step to slow inflation.
The bank said small, rural banks would be exempt from the order to increase the reserve ratio requirement half a percentage point to 16.5 percent, meaning a greater share of deposits would need to be kept in reserve at the central bank, where the funds earn little interest, The New York Times reported Friday.
More to the point, the funds become unavailable to lend to consumers and businesses. Less money in circulation tends to put downward pressure on prices.
Mon, 08/02/2010 - 23:34 by harsheeb
Washington -- The U.S. Federal Reserve bank is likely to use a variety of options to slow the economy when the recovery is stronger, bank officials said.
New York Fed President William Dudely said the bank could "raise the interest rates paid on excess reserves," which are now set at 0.25 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
By doing so, the central bank would be encouraging banks to leave money in their reserve accounts, which would take that much more money out of circulation. In turn, this would reduce money available for borrowing and ward off inflation, which can occur when there is too much money available.
Wed, 13/01/2010 - 23:43 by harsheeb
Washington -- A majority of U.S. economists indicated in a survey low interest rates contributed to the housing bubble that sent the financial system into a tailspin
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday 42 business economists indicated low interest rates established by the Fed and passed to customers through banks contributed to the building boom. In contrast, 12 business economists indicated the low rates were not part of the problem.
Academic economists were split with 13 indicating low rates were a factor and 14 indicating they were not.
"The 'bubble' didn't really get going until 2005-06, by which time the Fed had raised rates to more or less normal levels," said Kenneth Kuttner of Williams College.