Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Fed's New Patience?: Looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement this afternoon and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's briefing, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times offer contrasting views on the million-dollar question of when rates could rise. The Journal says the Fed and Yellen may very well drop from the official statement that the Federal Open Market Committee expects to keep short-term rates near zero for "a considerable time," and instead adopt the language that the Fed will be "patient" about raising its benchmark rate. That would indicate the Fed is comfortable enough with the economic recovery to consider the possibility of raising rates in mid-2015. Strong signs of job growth could lead the Fed in that direction, as well as strong figures in retail and industrial production. The steep drop in oil prices could also be viewed as something to give a boost to consumer confidence, and spending. But both the Journal and the Times note soft inflation remains a concern, as does the weakness in overseas economic markets. The Times also mentions the recent drop in junk bonds, which could shut off a means for some companies to finance their operations, muddying the economic comeback.
New York Times
A former contender to succeed Jamie Dimon as CEO of JPMorgan Chase James "Jes" Staley has been nominated to the board of UBS. Staley had been head of JPMorgan's investment bank before bolting for BlueMountain Capital Management, where he's a managing partner.
A political science professor responds to the argument that Bitcoin is going to succeed not as a currency, but as a financial network like Western Union. The problem, the political scientist argues, is that Bitcoin likely faces massive government regulation, and that's what spells doom for Bitcoin as a financial network. Someone, however, apparently forgot to send Time Inc. a memo on this.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Union First Market Bank appears to have been the latest victim of a cyberattack. The Richmond, Va., bank shut down all its ATMs after a data breach compromised more than 3,000 of its debit cards. The attackers reportedly breached Union First Market's network placing skimming devices at bank ATMs and at gas stations.
Charlotte Observer: Bank of America failed two tests of whether it's meeting the terms of the national mortgage settlement, and Citigroup failed one test, the paper reports. A report from Joseph Smith, the national settlement monitor and the former banking commissioner of North Carolina, said B of A failed tests on whether it sent pre-foreclosure letters to borrowers and if the bank sent notifications to borrowers who are seeking modifications to their mortgages. Citi failed a test on whether it approved or denied a loan-modification application within 30 days. The banks were tested on 31 separate measures. B of A and Citi must implement corrective measures and they face penalties if they fail those metrics again.