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BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and E. Scott Reckard
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators rejected plans by Citigroup Inc. and four other large U.S. banks for dividend payments and stock buybacks after the latest round of stress tests. The results raised concerns about weaknesses in the risk-planning processes of Citi and three of the banks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. It was the second time in three years that Citi failed a federal stress test. Citi's chief executive, Michael Corbat, said he was "deeply disappointed" by the Fed's findings, asserting that the nation's third-largest bank by assets was "one of the best-capitalized financial institutions in the world.
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BUSINESS
October 25, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers held steady on their new stimulus program, noting some improvement in household spending and an uptick in inflation since the effort began last month. In a statement after its two-day meeting Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged and reiterated that it planned to keep them at their current level at least through mid-2015 because of the struggling economic recovery. Six weeks after the Fed fired what might be its last bullet to try to strengthen the recovery, analysts did not expect the central bank to make any major new announcements Wednesday.
BUSINESS
July 10, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers are increasingly divided on the central bank's bond-buying stimulus, with more officials than previously thought wanting to pull back very soon. About half of the Fed's officials believe the program should be halted by the end of the year, according to an account of their last meeting in mid-June. At that meeting, a few participants even wanted to see the purchases slowed or stopped immediately. But the minutes, released Wednesday with the customary three-week lag, said that "many other participants anticipated that it likely would be appropriate to continue purchases into 2014.
BUSINESS
August 23, 2012 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve gave its strongest signal yet that it would undertake a new effort this fall to strengthen the hobbling economic recovery. Unless the economy improved significantly, "many members" of the Fed's policymaking committee felt that additional stimulus would be needed "fairly soon," according to an account of the group's last meeting, which ended Aug. 1. Policymakers didn't specify which actions might be taken. But the meeting minutes, which were released Wednesday after the usual three-week lag, suggested that their preferred option was large-scale bond purchases known in Fed-talk as QE3, short for a third round of quantitative easing.
BUSINESS
January 29, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - Shrugging off the recent turbulence in financial markets, the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat take on the U.S. economy and went through with a second straight cut to its large bond-buying stimulus program. Although the decision to reduce its purchases was expected, Ben S. Bernanke won rare unanimous backing in his last meeting as Fed chairman Wednesday. The 10-0 vote to make another $10-billion-a-month cut in its bond purchases also cemented the central bank's plan to gradually dial back its unprecedented monetary stimulus.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2013 | By Don Lee and Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Analysts are widely expecting the Federal Reserve to dial back its bond-buying stimulus program next month. So are bond investors and emerging markets. And it looks as if the Fed is too. Although such action is not a sure thing, the minutes of the Fed's July meeting suggest that policymakers are largely preparing to scale back their $85-billion monthly purchases at their next policy session in mid-September - unless the U.S. is hit with a major dose of bad economic news before then.
BUSINESS
September 3, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - For the first time in several years, the annual G-20 summit won't be dominated by the Eurozone's debt troubles. But that may be little comfort to world leaders gathering this week in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition to sharp differences over the conflict in Syria, which is certain to hang over the meetings Thursday and Friday, President Obama and other heads of the so-called Group of 20 major economies have a new economic threat on their hands. After financial fires were contained in the U.S. and then Europe, things now are heating up in the emerging economies.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers, expecting to pull back on their bond-buying stimulus "in coming months," are considering keeping short-term interest rates quite low for quite a while, among other options to try to support what they see as a moderately improving economy. Financial markets have been intensely anticipating signs for when the Fed might start reducing its $85-billion-a-month purchase of Treasury and mortgage securities, a program aimed at holding down long-term interest rates.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
There's nothing like a slap in the face from the Federal Reserve to rattle a stock price. Just ask investors in Citigroup Inc. Citi shares dropped 3.4% Wednesday after its poor showing in the Fed's stress tests for big banks whose failures might blow up the financial system. For the most part, the Fed report amounted to a stamp of approval for the banking industry's recovery from a near-meltdown. Many of the giants — including JPMorgan Chase & Co., US Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. — were sound enough to return more of their profit to shareholders, the Fed said in its bank stress test report.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The nomination of Janet L. Yellen to be the next Federal Reserve chair gives critics of the central bank something they rarely have: leverage to force some changes. As the Senate Banking Committee prepares for a confirmation hearing Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plans to delay a vote on Yellen's nomination by the full Senate unless Democratic leaders bring up his bill to require more expansive audits of the Fed. Although Paul is not on the Banking Committee, half of the Republicans on the panel co-sponsored his bill.
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