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YELLEN: Rate Increases Cannot be Ruled Out

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Photo Credit: Federal Reserve, March 18, 2015

Photo Credit: Federal Reserve, March 18, 2015

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen calmly stated at a press conference that a rate increase in June cannot be ruled out. Yellen added for the Federal Reserve to raise rates, there must be “further improvement in labor markets,” and inflation will need to go back to its 2% target over the medium term. The Federal Reserve downwardly adjusted their inflation forecast for 2015. Low energy prices and low wage growth are holding back inflation in the United States. Economic and data metrics will be key determinants if the Federal Reserve will change rates in June.

Yellen commented on the Federal Reserve’s monitoring of financial stability – viewing it as moderate for now. She said, “overall measures of the equity markets are on the high side.” Yellen also saw the U.S. corporate debt market having unusually low spreads.

The Word Patient

Notably, the word “patient” was removed from the March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement after the two-day meeting that ended on March 18th. In December 2014, the FOMC statement read the Federal Reserve “can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.” Federal Reserve Chair Yellen in her comments emphasized the removal of the word “patient” does not mean the central bank will be impatient on monetary policy. Money managers believe the pace of rate hikes will likely be extremely gradual.

Calamos Investments to Acquire Timpani Capital Management

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Naperville, Illinois-based Calamos Investments signed a deal to acquire Milwaukee-based Timpani Capital Management LLC, which focuses on small and small-midcap growth investing. Founded in April 2008, Timpani Capital Management oversees around US$ 588 million in assets. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

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RDIF and Russia-Japan Investment Fund to Invest in Russian Subsidiary of SBI Holdings

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Russia-Japan Investment Fund (launched by RDIF, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and JBIC IG Partners) have reached an agreement with the Japanese corporation SBI Holdings to invest in SBI Bank LLC, SBI Holdings’ subsidiary in Russia. SBI Bank LLC will undergo a large-scale reorganization.

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Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters to Oversee US Banking System via House

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The youngest woman ever to serve in U.S. Congress – starting at the age of 29 – already has an opponent in her sights. Freshman U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, often dubbed AOC on Twitter, was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee, where the democratic socialist will oversee Wall Street. This committee oversees the banks and financial institutions of the United States. With Republicans controlling the U.S. Senate and the White House, and the Democrats controlling the House, one can expect less game-changing bills being turned into laws in the banking sector.

While bartending and waiting tables at the Flats Fix taco bar in Union Square, Ocasio-Cortez upset the more centrist Representative Joe Crowley, Chairman of the House Democratic caucus. Encouraged by her success, other far left democrats are planning to challenge moderate democrats in the 2020 primaries. Ocasio-Cortez is also expected to further strengthen the influence of Chairwoman Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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