January 30 and 31 will mark the first meeting of 2018 for the Fed Open Market Committee as well as the last meeting for Janet Yellen as Chair. As we move into the second full year of Trump’s presidency, the composition of the voting members of Board of Governors will change. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Richmond Interim Fed President Mark Mullinix (soon to be replaced by Thomas Barkin), Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, and San Francisco Fed President John Williams will replace Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari as the latter rotate from voting to non-voting members.» Read More
In remarks to The Executives Club in Chicago this morning, Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled the next interest rate increase. “At our meeting [of the Open Market Committee] later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate,” Ms.» Read More
Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced this afternoon the much anticipated increase in its benchmark interest rate from zero to 0.25%. While many of the US economic sectors have improved, the Fed has been concerned about the low inflation rate. Notwithstanding that concern, the Fed unanimously agreed to the rate hike, noting in its policy statement that “the Committee judges that there has been considerable improvement in labor market conditions this year, and it is reasonably confident that inflation will rise over the medium term to its 2 percent objective.”
The increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate ends its quantitative easing program that has been going on for the better part of a decade.» Read More
This week in international business, we have an update on relations between Apple and China. We also cover news on efforts in Japan to achieve 2% inflation rate, impact of Puerto Rican bonds on the U.S., and revelations on who is taking advantage of offshore tax shelters.» Read More
The tragic natural disaster and the resulting atomic reactor breakdown in Japan have caused great human suffering and will also cause enormous economic and legal problems for both the Japanese people and everyone doing business with Japan.
Unofficial estimates of the economic damage in Japan are running at some $350 billion (U.S.). This estimate does not consider the losses to businesses and financial entities doing business with Japan. » Read More