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Regulators Can’t Make Their Minds Up About Crypto

The trans-Atlantic antitrust danceThe review of an $8 billion deal between the life sciences companies Illumina and Grail may point to a new playbook for antitrust enforcement. Regulators are looking to block the merger in the U.S. and Europe, a trans-Atlantic coordination that unlocks resources to question more deals as …

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Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down

As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin scrambled to save faltering markets at the start of the pandemic last year, America’s top economic officials were in near-constant contact with a Wall Street executive whose firm stood to benefit financially from the rescue.Laurence D. Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was in frequent touch with Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Powell in the days before and after many of the Fed’s emergency rescue programs were announced in late March. Emails obtained by The New York Times through a …

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Federal Reserve Expects to Raise Interest Rates in 2023

Federal Reserve officials signaled on Wednesday that they expected to raise interest rates from rock bottom sooner than they had previously forecast and that they were taking baby steps toward reducing their vast bond purchases — tweaks that, together, demonstrated their increasing confidence that the economy would rebound robustly from the pandemic.Fed policymakers expect to make two interest rate increases by the end of 2023, the central bank’s updated summary of economic projections showed Wednesday. Previously, more than half of officials had anticipated that rates would stay near zero, where they have been since March 2020, into at least 2024. Officials now …

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The Fed Meets as Economic Data Offers Surprises and Mixed Signals

Investors will scour the Federal Reserve’s policy statement and economic projections Wednesday for any hint that recent data surprises — including faster-than-expected inflation and slower job growth — have shaken up the central bank’s plans for its cheap-money policies.Economic policymakers are unlikely to make major changes at a time when interest rates are expected to stay near zero for years to come, but a series of tiny adjustments to their policy messaging and new economic projections could combine to make this week’s meeting one to watch, and an important moment for markets.The central bank will release new …

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May 2021 Consumer Price Index Shows Fastest Inflation Since 2008

The discussion could shape the path ahead for economic policy, helping to determine how much support President Biden has for infrastructure spending proposals and how patient the Fed can be in removing emergency monetary policy supports.“This is the largest year-over-year increase in prices since the Great Recession, and massive stimulus spending is a contributing factor,” Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, wrote on Twitter. “Proposals for further federal spending, coupled with job-killing tax hikes, are not the remedy for economic recovery.”The White House has been focused on alleviating bottlenecks where it can, reviewing the supply chain for semiconductors …

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The Fed Faces Criticism as It Wades Into Climate and Equity Issues

And Michael Strain, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said he was concerned that the Fed’s focus on fostering equity — by driving down Black unemployment, for instance — could make it too hesitant to lift interest rates, allowing inflation to bubble up.But Fed officials say the central bank is being pragmatic, not political. Ms. Daly regularly points out that understanding climate change risks to the financial system is important for bank regulators and supervisors. Mr. Powell said during a webcast Wednesday that the Fed sees such issues “through the lens of our existing mandates” — racial, gender …

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Jerome Powell Promises Not to Take Away the Punch Bowl

It was once said that the governor of the Bank of England had the power to guide the behavior of Britain’s banks with the mere raise of an eyebrow. For the Federal Reserve in 2021, the equivalent may be Jerome Powell’s chuckle.Mr. Powell, the Fed chair, was asked at a news conference Wednesday whether — in light of its forecast that the economy would recovery quickly in the months ahead — it was time to “start talking about talking about” slowing the central bank’s buying of $80 billion in bonds each month.He let out a half-laugh before answering, “Not …

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The Financial Crisis the World Forgot

By the middle of March 2020 a sense of anxiety pervaded the Federal Reserve. The fast-unfolding coronavirus pandemic was rippling through global markets in dangerous ways.Trading in Treasurys — the government securities that are considered among the safest assets in the world, and the bedrock of the entire bond market — had become disjointed as panicked investors tried to sell everything they owned to raise cash. Buyers were scarce. The Treasury market had never broken down so badly, even in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.The Fed called an emergency meeting on March 15, a Sunday. Lorie Logan, who oversees the Federal …

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Investors Are Focused on Treasurys. Here’s What the Fed Could Do.

Longer-term interest rates have jumped in recent weeks, a move that has been broadly interpreted as a sign that investors are betting higher growth and slightly faster inflation may be right around the corner.Federal Reserve officials have mostly brushed off the increase to date, saying it is a signal of economic optimism. But many investors have wondered whether the central bank might feel a need to intervene. The adjustment has at times roiled stock markets, which tend to sink when interest rates increase, and it could weigh on consumer spending and growth if it is sustained and borrowing becomes …

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Why Market Investors Are Now Troubled by Signs of Surging Growth

Investors had no trouble gliding past the death and economic devastation wrought by the pandemic last year to drive the market to record highs. An increasingly healthy economy is what’s making them panic.In recent days, the S&P 500 stock index has wobbled, suffering its worst weekly performance in a month last week, before rising on Monday, only to dip again on Tuesday and fall 1.3 percent on Wednesday. The bond market, too, is showing anxiety, with yields rising sharply as returns in the market for Treasury bonds have fallen roughly 3 percent this year.The market conniptions are a direct …

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