Sunday, December 13, 2015


Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled she’s ready to raise short-term interest rates this month barring a surprise that shakes her confidence in the economy. She also suggested she sees dissension within her ranks, which could complicate her moves toward ending seven years of near-zero rates. “I don’t need unanimity. I think we have to tolerate some dissent,” Ms. Yellen said Wednesday, in answer to a question after delivering a speech on the economic outlook. “I wouldn’t try to stifle dissents, and I would even expect some at critical junctures.” In addition to some regional Fed bank presidents, two Washington-based Fed governors have expressed hesitance about raising rates, though the consensus appears to be moving against them. “Absent information that drastically changes the economic picture and outlook, I feel the case for liftoff is compelling,” Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said in a speech in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday. The Fed, which holds its next policy meeting Dec. 15-16, has said it would raise its benchmark federal-funds rate from near zero after it saw further improvement in the job market and became reasonably confident inflation will rise toward its 2% target......

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