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Fed gives banks 2 more years to ensure holdings of risky securities fit Volcker Rule

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve is giving U.S. banks two more years to ensure their holdings of certain complex and risky securities don't put them afoul of the new Volcker Rule. The Fed's move announced Monday didn't give banks an outright exemption for the securities from the Volcker Rule's ban on high-risk investments. Wall Street banks had sought an exemption and the leading Wall Street lobbying group expressed disappointment with the Fed's move.

More Wall Street economists see rate hike in first half of 2015: Reuters poll

By Richard Leong (Reuters) - More Wall Street economists now believe the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the first half of 2015, as evidence builds that the U.S. economy has regained some momentum lost during an unusually rough winter, a survey showed on Friday. Eight of 18 U.S. primary dealers said they expected the U.S. central bank to increase its policy rate by the end of June next year, according to a poll conducted by Reuters among the Wall Street's top 22 firms that do business directly with the Fed.

Leaving buyers club could be Fed's next tricky task

By Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the wind-down of the Federal Reserve's massive bond buying under way, policymakers are beginning to discuss the next stage - when to allow the U.S. central bank's swollen balance sheet to shrink. If the Fed sticks to a plan laid out in June 2011, a decision to stop reinvesting bond proceeds would precede any increase in interest rates and mark the beginning of the Fed's first tightening cycle since 2004-2006.

Fed's Fisher: forward guidance should not be binding

By Michael Flaherty HONG KONG (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve must avoid being locked into calendar-based policy commitments and instead ensure its forward guidance is flexible enough to allow it to respond to changing conditions, a top Fed official said in Hong Kong on Friday. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said he worried that predictable commitments were unsound policy as they could lead to false complacency and market instability.

Stein to step down from depleted Fed board

By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein, who has spearheaded the debate over whether monetary policy should be used to combat asset bubbles, will step down next month, leaving another big hole in the ranks of the U.S. central bank. Stein will leave on May 28 to return to his teaching post at Harvard University. He has served at the Fed for nearly two years, and made the move now because he risked losing tenure at Harvard had he stayed in Washington much longer.

Stein resigning from Fed board to return to teaching position at Harvard

WASHINGTON - Jeremy Stein, a member of the Federal Reserve Board, announced Thursday that he plans to resign next month to return to Harvard University, creating more turnover on the seven-member board. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Stein said that he will resign effective May 28 and return to Harvard, where he had been an economics professor beginning in 2000. Stein had been on the Fed board since 2012. There had been speculation that he might leave given that he was facing a May deadline to decide whether to return to his tenured Harvard teaching post.

Amid rate-hike debate, Fed officials eye crystal ball

By Jonathan Spicer and Kevin Gray ST. LOUIS/MIAMI (Reuters) - Two top policymakers said on Wednesday the Federal Reserve was in no rush to raise interest rates and would have to see improvements in the U.S. economy to do so. The comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Dennis Lockhart of the Atlanta Fed, though not ground breaking, did reinforce the notion that accommodative monetary policies would remain in place for a while to come despite intense market speculation over the timing of tightening.

US stocks rise on China data, Fed remarks

US stocks opened higher Tuesday following solid manufacturing data from China and with momentum from Monday's market-friendly remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 63.56 (0.39 percent) to 16,521.22. The broad-based S&p 500 tacked on 7.96 (0.43 percent) to 1,880.30, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 29.64 (0.71 percent) to 4,228.63.

Yellen takes case for Fed's easy money policies to the public

By Jonathan Spicer CHICAGO (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Monday took a page from a politician's playbook to defend the U.S. central bank's easy-money policies, citing the struggles of three Americans in a speech and touring a college workshop to shake hands with students and teachers.

Yellen signals that job market will need Fed's continued low-rate policies 'for some time'

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made clear Monday that she thinks the still-subpar U.S. job market will continue to need the help of low interest rates "for some time." Yellen's remarks signalled that even after the Fed phases out its monthly bond purchases later this year, it has no plans to raise a key short-term rate anytime soon. The bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low.
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