Receiving Wide Coverage ...
The FOMC and Rates: The Fed offered new insight into its thinking on interest rates at the conclusion of the central bank's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. The upshot: the Fed appears to be more aggressive in its outlook for raising rates in the next two years, but less aggressive in raising rates beyond 2016. Officials estimated the benchmark federal funds rate will hit 1.2% by the end of 2015, and 2.5% by the end of 2016. That's up slightly from the projections provided in March: averages of 1.125% in 2015, and 2.4% in 2016. In the longer-term outlook, the target interest rate could stay at around 3.75%, down from the earlier forecast of 4%. The New York Times noted that Chair Janet Yellen remains wary about the economic recovery, as she worries about possible "permanent damage" to some groups of unemployed people. The Times also quoted a Brookings Institution scholar who says Yellen "knows the Fed has been consistently over-optimistic about economic growth" and that Yellen's overall tone "didn't exude confidence."
Wall Street Journal
First Data, the payments giant led by ex-JPMorgan Chase exec Frank Bisignano, raised $3.5 billion in equity. The investment will be used to reduce its debt load and produce annual interest savings of about $375 million.
U.S. Bancorp and several other banks have been sued by BlackRock and PIMCO, which seek to recoup losses tied to the U.S. housing bust. The other banks sued include Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC and Bank of New York Mellon. They were sued for their role as trust banks overseeing payments and enforcing terms on residential mortgage securities.
Japan's ruling party has decided to hold off on regulating Bitcoin, at least for now. Self-regulation is the best course of action, as Japan "seeks to nurture the fledgling industry."
New York Times
Citigroup named Mark Slaughter, a senior New York banker, head of its corporate and investment banking for Asia-Pacific. Slaughter was most recently global chief operating officer for corporate and investment banking.
You can always count on an accidental leak by the U.S. Marshals Service to produce news on the banking industry. The Service, a sub-agency of the Justice Department, mistakenly released the names of individuals who may bid on 30,000 Bitcoins, valued at about $18 million, which it will be auctioning off this month. Some of the potential bidders may be acting on behalf of investment pools that want to obtain Bitcoin below its current $600 price. Those on the list include some you might expect: Barry Silbert, head of the SecondMarket online exchange, and Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Bitcoin processor Coinbase. Other potential bidders, not-so-much expected: the public policy director for Yelp
Capital One unveiled its new office for its digital operations on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported. The office, in Tysons Corner, Va., will house CapOne's social-media managers, software developers and digital product managers. The bank hired Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, to help celebrate the grand opening. Capital One paid Wozniak his standard "appearance fee." It's unlikely Wozniak will follow in the footsteps of some other celebs that CapOne has hired for its commercials: Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Fallon and Alec Baldwin.