North America

  • 2011-04-05 12:45

    By Brai Odion-Esene

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President
    Narayana Kocherlakota said Tuesday that the Federal Reserve is committed
    keeping inflation under control as part of its continuing role in
    promoting affordable and accessible housing finance.

    Kocherlakota also spoke out in favor of a reduction in the amount
    of debt homebuyers take on to buy a house, arguing that individuals
    should be encouraged to save and become equity holders in their homes.

    In brief welcoming remarks at a workshop sponsored by the

  • 2011-04-05 12:29

    By Steven K. Beckner

    STONE MOUNTAIN, GA. (MNI) - The Federal Reserve and other central
    banks need to pay more attention to the behavior of credit aggregates,
    participants at an Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank financial markets
    conference were told Tuesday.

    Monetary policymakers "ignore credit at their peril," said Moritz
    Schularick, a professor at the Free University of Berlin, told an
    audience at the conference in Stone Mountain, Georgia, that included two
    Federal Reserve Bank presidents and numerous Fed staffers.

  • 2011-04-05 10:37

    --House Majority Leader: 'No Decision' On Another Temp Spending Bill
    --Rep. Cantor: Eager To Finish FY'11 Budget, Move On To FY'12
    --Rep. Cantor: House GOP Has Drafted New Stop-Gap To Cut $12B
    --President Obama Meets Hill Leaders
    --Sen. Durbin: May Need 'Divine Interjection' To Avoid Shutdown

    By John Shaw

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday said
    House Republicans want to "avoid a government shutdown," but that the
    GOP is more determined than ever to demand substantial spending cuts for
    the final 2011 spending bill.

  • 2011-04-05 10:30

    NEW YORK (MNI) - The following is the text of a statement released
    Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve Bank:

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York welcomes the letter from major
    market participants to the OTC Derivatives Supervisors Group (ODSG)
    outlining a strategic roadmap that supports ongoing collaborative
    efforts to bring improvements and risk reduction to global
    over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets. The broad objectives,
    specific initiatives and supporting commitments in this letter are the
    foundation of a roadmap for implementation of G-20 objectives.

  • 2011-04-05 10:19

    --Cutting Tsy Budget Would Weaken Ability To Support 'Critical' Reforms

    By Brai Odion-Esene

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Tuesday
    said the government's move to shore up banks during the financial crisis
    will reap a "substantial positive return" of nearly $20 billion for the
    taxpayer.

    He warned, however, that if Congress trimmed the Treasury's budget
    for the 2012 fiscal year, it would limit the department's ability to
    support reforms that are "critical" for the economic recovery.

  • 2011-04-05 09:00

    By Steven K. Beckner

    STONE MOUNTAIN, GA. (MNI) - A Federal Reserve study released
    Tuesday found that electronic payments continue to gain relative to cash
    or check transactions.

    The Fed Payments Study estimated that the number of noncash
    payments totaled 109.0 billion in 2009, with a value of $72.2 trillion,
    continuing an uptrend that has seen noncash payments in the United
    States increase at a 4.6% annual rate since 2006.

    "Electronic payments (those made with cards and by ACH) now
    collectively exceed three quarters of all noncash payments while

  • 2011-04-05 08:55

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the weekly retail
    sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday, for the month-to-date
    through the week-ended Apr. 2:

    The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 0.5% in the fifth and
    final week of March following a 2.6% gain the prior week. Month-to-date,
    March is up 1.9% compared to March of last year (relative to a target of
    a 2.5% gain). Month-over-month showed a 0.6% drop compared to February
    (relative to a flat target).

    Our model finished the month below its monthly plan. The week's

  • 2011-04-05 03:13

    SINGAPORE, April 5 (MNI) - The U.S. dollar remained steady near
    midday levels through the Asian afternoon Tuesday, barely moving after
    the Reserve Bank of Australia did exactly as the market expected and
    issued a largely unchanged policy statement.

    Given that markets in mainland China and Hong Kong were closed
    today for, and a lackluster U.S. session overnight, Asian markets got
    off to a slow start.

    Initial market attention was on comments by Federal Reserve
    Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that the Fed would "respond" if

  • 2011-04-04 23:48

    SINGAPORE, April 5 (MNI) - The U.S. dollar spent a subdued Asian
    morning slightly firmer but within narrow trading ranges, with the
    Australian dollar holding a modestly weaker tone ahead of a Reserve Bank
    of Australia rate decision later today.

    Markets in mainland China and Hong Kong are closed today for the
    Ching Ming (tomb sweeping) holiday. Given this, and a lackluster U.S.
    session overnight, Asian markets got off to a slow start.

    Initial market attention was on comments by Federal Reserve
    Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that the Fed would "respond" if

  • 2011-04-04 21:05

    By Steven K. Beckner

    STONE MOUNTAIN, GA. (MNI) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
    said Monday evening that the Fed will "respond" if inflation pressures
    persist, but made clear that is not his expectation.

    If anything, Bernanke said that underlying inflation may ultimately
    prove to be too low relative to historical norms.

    And he pointed to continued problems in the housing market, which
    he said are retarding economic growth.

    A few Federal Reserve officials have suggested lately that the