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    The topic at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is "Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy." Pardon the attendees at this year's meeting, which runs through Saturday, if they are feeling a little deflated. This isn't just because Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has chosen not to attend.

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    By Myra P. Saefong and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch, Eric Yep. U.S. oil benchmark rallies sharply for a second straight day. Oil futures settled higher on Friday to score a nearly 12% a weekly advance on growing expectations that overall weakness in prices will soon prompt sizable declines in production.

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    One in 9 student loan borrowers would eat a tarantula to pay their debt off faster. And nearly one-third say they would eat only ramen for weeks to more quickly pay off their student loans, according to a new poll. TY KU, an upstart brand, calls it the perfect "après yoga" sip.

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    Dennis Lockhart, the president of the Atlanta Fed, said that chances of a rate hike have come down since earlier in August and are now' 50-50.' "That seems to me to be a reasonable assessment of the situation," Lockhart said in an interview on Bloomberg News. Earlier in August, Lockhart told the Wall Street Journal he was likely to support a rate hike in September. But Lockhart said the market volatility in recent days was a "new" risk factor.

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    Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer says he can't predict yet whether the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates in September. Fischer also said that the storm of market volatility seen in the last week could affect the timing of a liftoff.

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     Alcoa  is a material name that gets a lot of attention, probably because it reports early in the earnings period or because its products have important uses in the global economy. The long-term chart of AA shows both the severity of the 2008-2009 bear market and the subsequent repair process since.

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    The U.S. economy is "insulated" from overseas inflation and deflation pressure from exchange rate movements owing to the fact that most of the world's trade is invoiced in dollars, according to new economic research presented at the Federal Reserve's summit in Jackson Hole. If true, this would ease one concern surrounding prospective Fed rate hikes. Some analysts have argued a U.S. central bank rate hike would cause a deflation scare in the domestic economy as a stronger dollar...

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     Ford stock is up 1.11% to $13.71 in afternoon trading on Friday after auto sales boosted U.S. consumer spending. U.S. consumer spending increased 0.3% in July, 0.2% when adjusted for inflation, according to the Commerce Department, Reuters reports.

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    Though Federal Reserve officials have not come to any decision on whether to hike rates in September, the case was strong before China's currency devaluation, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Friday. Fischer responded to the comment from William Dudley, the president of the New York Fed, who said that a September rate hike was less compelling, telling CNBC "it is too early to tell... I wouldn't want to go ahead and decide right now what the case is- more compelling or...

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    There was a "pretty strong case" for a September rate hike before China devalued its currency earlier this month, said Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Friday. China's surprise forex decision and the subsequent market turmoil have changed circumstances and could have an impact on the Fed's decision in September, Fischer said in a television interview from Jackson Hole. But he quickly added it was too soon to tell for sure.

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    The yields on Treasury notes spiked Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Stanley Fischer suggested that the Federal Reserve is still open to raising interest rates at its September meeting. The 10- year yield was up 2.2 basis points on the day to 2.188%, while the two-year yield was up 4.7 basis points to 0.731%. Shorter-term Treasurys are more sensitive to rate-hike expectations.

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    Narayana Kocherlakota, the Minneapolis Fed president, stuck to his outlier view that not only should interest rates not be hiked but further easing should be considered. Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the Jackson Hole conference, Kocherlakota said the market volatility represents a signal of concerns over the global economic outlook. "It's another argument for not being hasty in removing accommodation," said Kocherlakota, the retiring official who doesn't have a vote...

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    There should be plenty of debate when Federal Reserve officials gather in mid-September to determine whether to hike interest rates for the first time since the end of the Great Recession. Between low inflation, market turmoil, continued job growth, a strong second-quarter GDP reading and the impact from China's devaluation of its currency, the decision is no slam dunk. Here's a roundup of the latest comments from every Fed official.

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    JACKSON HOLE, WYO. -- The Federal Reserve has drawn plenty of critics in the years since the financial crisis. But it’s a good bet nobody guessed one of the founders of Facebook (FB) would be among them. Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, have become billionaires since he started the behemoth social networking site with his former Harvard University roommate Mark Zuckerberg. (Moskovitz left the company in 2008 to found Asana, which streamlines task management). The couple is bringing Silicon Valley-style analytics to the world of philanthropy through their fund, Good Ventures. The goal is to find and incubate projects with the potential to create the most change for every dollar of funding. Many of the fund’s initiatives tread traditional charitable ground. Good Ventures has backed research on the connection between crime, cannabis and incarceration and helped stop the spread of drug-resistant malarial parasites in Myanmar. But the group is also broadening its reach into public policy issues, including macroeconomics. It has granted $850,000 to the Center for Public Democracy over the past year to fund a campaign urging the Fed not to raise its target interest rate until the economy is much stronger. Good Ventures is the single largest backer of the campaign -- dubbed Fed Up -- whose budget this year is about $1 million. “The central reason we believe that marginally more dovish Fed policy relative to the current baseline would carry net benefits is that, at roughly their current rates, we see unemployment as more costly in humanitarian terms than inflation,” Good Ventures wrote explaining its decision to fund the project. “Dovish” policy generally supports lower interest rates, while a “hawkish” stance would raise them. The funding has helped the group expand its presence at an annual symposium of economic elite that kicked off Thursday here in the foothills of the Grand Tetons and sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The group arrived at the conference last year with a handful of workers holding up signs and wearing green T-shirts. This year, Fed Up held “teach-ins” in a meeting room at the same hotel as the Fed’s conference and drew prominent economists such as Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, University of California-Berkeley professor Brad DeLong and Center for Economic and Policy Research Co-Director Dean Baker. The campaign also flew in dozens of workers to underscore the disparity in the nation’s economic recovery. Wage growth has remained stagnant for years, and unemployment among black and Hispanic workers is significantly higher than that of whites. “An economy that doesn’t deliver for most of its citizens is a failed economy,” Stiglitz said in a press conference in Jackson Hole. Monetary policy has not traditionally been subject to populist activism, and Good Ventures acknowledges that the success of the campaign is uncertain at best. Fed Up is also working to increase public input in the selection of regional Fed presidents, an effort that Good Ventures rates as more unequivocably positive and, at the very least, easier to measure. But, the funders note, if the campaign works -- and if easy money is indeed the way to go -- the payoff could be massive: Our best guess is that the campaign is unlikely to have an impact on the Fed's monetary policy, but that if it does, the benefits from a tighter labor market would be very large; we think this small chance of a large positive impact is sufficient to justify the grant.  






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    The U.S. Federal Reserve is waiting to see how data and markets unfold over the coming weeks before deciding whether to raise interest rates at its September meeting, Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said on Friday. "It's early to tell," Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer told CNBC, asked if he felt the case for a September rate hike was less compelling after recent market volatility.

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    Louis Fed President James Bullard on Friday said the Federal Reserve is not likely to change its outlook based on market turbulence. "I won't deny it is a volatile period. It is a volatile period, "he told Bloomberg Television on the sidelines of the Jackson Hole event there.

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    Late in the HBO (TWX) miniseries "Show Me a Hero," which concludes this Sunday, several hundred public housing residents gather on folding chairs in a Yonkers gymnasium hoping for tickets out of the city's neglected high-rise projects. On offer are 71 new townhomes on the wealthier, whiter side of the city, under construction as part of a court-ordered desegregation plan several agonizing years in the making.On stage at the front of the room spins a plastic tumbler with scraps of white paper inside. This is a true lottery, a bureaucratic necessity performed as public show. "Now I know there are a lot of anxious folks here, so let's just get started right away," says Peter Smith, the director of the city's housing authority, grasping the first white scrap. "Number One... is Delphina Page!"One woman after the next leaps up, hooting with joy. The mothers wrap their children in bear hugs and dance in the aisles. Everyone applauds. This is the moment in the series, based on Lisa Belkin's book about an epic and true housing clash that occurred in the late 1980s, when the 200 units of housing at the center of the fight — over which Yonkers officials court contempt, jail time and municipal bankruptcy — cease to be a theoretical possibility or a political burden. Up to this moment, it's not even clear if the houses will ever be built, as pipe bombs and racist graffiti mar their construction.At the lottery, as the houses are paired with families, they begin for the first time to take shape as homes. As places where specific people will raise their children and take out their trash and re-hang their family photos. Housing that symbolizes, to other characters, an economic threat, or a political accomplishment, or a social theory, now mean to someone a place to set up home.[‘Show Me A Hero’ and how government is supposed to work]As the lottery progresses, the mood in the gymnasium turns glum. The room starts to empty. The names still spinning in the tumbler outnumber the empty houses left. Their enormous value becomes even more clear in the grief of families who will not get them. By the end of the lottery, some of the show's recurring characters are winners. Others are not.The scene dramatizes the hard-to-capture human side of every fair-housing fight. We talk about historic events like the Yonkers court case, or battles that precipitated the Fair Housing Act, with obscure statistics and impenetrable words. Sociologists track the snail's progress of desegregation with something called the "index of dissimilarity." HUD warns communities that they're obligated to "affirmatively further" fair housing. Another suburb boxes out the poor through "exclusionary zoning."But these fights are all, always, about someone's home (or a home denied), and the deeply personal things that home entails: safety, security, opportunity, pride. Fair housing is an abstract concept. But there is nothing abstract about a blind woman who can't get a home health aid to visit her in the projects. HBO's (TWX) drama has been widely celebrated by housing wonks because it illustrates that emotional reality as statistics and moral arguments fail to.The show, written by David Simon and William Zorzi, has aired with astounding timing. Ferguson and Baltimore have shown that deep racial inequality persists in America, and that it's still built into our housing patterns. In June, the Supreme Court upheld a crucial legal tool that has long been used to attack segregation. In July, HUD announced historic new rules strengthening the Fair Housing Act.Now, in late August, here comes a sweeping television drama that captures why that Supreme Court decision matters, and how places like Baltimore and Ferguson were created, and what HUD means by integration. "Show Me a Hero" is the story we need in 2015 to interpret the significance of these other complex events.To buy that, you have to recognize that Yonkers in the late 1980s and early 1990s is not so different from plenty of American communities today. In fact, Westchester County, New York, where Yonkers is located, is embroiled right now in its own years-long standoff over how and where to build court-ordered low-income housing.St. Bernard Parish, on the edge of New Orleans, just last year settled a decade-long lawsuit over local laws that restricted rental housing and who could move into the community. This summer, many wealthy suburbs of Chicago shrugged off a state deadline to draft affordable housing plans.['Show me a hero' reveals the polite faces of racism]Part of what's so powerful about the Yonkers story is that it has more in common with these recent episodes than with the desegregation fights of the 1950s and '60s. Opposition to the new black neighbors in the white part of town isn't, for the most part, violent. It's passive. It's a homeowner letting her poodles go on the public-housing lawn. It's coded: those people. In Yonkers, racism mostly lurks below the surface, among people waving American flags.“You will never hear Jack O’Toole utter a racist phrase," Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasiscko (played by Oscar Isaac) says of one of the community activists fighting the housing, "because guys like that, they learn how not to say the bad words. ... No more 'n----,' nothing out of his mouth that will give it away. It’s all property value and life and liberty and people only living where they can afford.”Opposition to HUD's new fair-housing rules sounded a lot like this, too: If the government moves poor families into the suburbs, property values will fall. And that just punishes people who worked hard for what they have. The government shouldn't meddle in a housing market that's already free and fair anyway.There is a particularly infuriating scene in "Show Me a Hero" where Hank Spallone (another city councilman who takes a turn as mayor) drives through the projects with a photographer, collecting evidence to show at city council meetings of the mayhem that will rein on the nice side of town if 200 units of low-income housing are built there. The photographer snaps a drug deal and a craps game, and men idling on a couch on the street corner.He puts his camera down as the car drives past students, lunch boxes in hand, walking home from school with their mothers, past a playground with children hanging from monkey bars, past a nurse returning home from her job. Silently, we watch the photographer edit out the humanity in the neighborhood. And what's left over feels, too, like how poor urban communities are often described in political fights today.The show's closing credits remind us, one last time, that this story isn't so far removed from our own time. The case at the heart of "Show Me a Hero" that began in the 1980s wasn't completely settled until 2007.






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    The U.S. economy is on track to grow 1.2 percent in the third quarter on data showing a decline in consumer spending on services in July, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow forecast model showed on Friday. This was weaker than the regional Fed bank's prior estimate on Wednesday of a 1.4 percent rise in gross domestic product, the Atlanta Fed said on its website.

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    When Ted Leonsis was trying to bring the Olympics to Washington, he talked extensively about the need to revitalize neighborhoods along the Anacostia River and even took Olympic officials on a helicopter ride along the river’s banks to show off the area’s potential.Now Leonsis has his chance to play a role in that revitalization, and he does not need the Olympics to do it.Leonsis is weighing whether to build a glitzy Wizards basketball practice facility on the site of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital, a mostly vacant campus in Southeast D.C. that is considered one of the District’s largest redevelopment opportunities.At St. Elizabeths, the Wizards would practice amongst some of the city’s poorest communities and could serve as a central component of a long-promised revival that could also include a Microsoft Innovation Center, offices for technology firms, new shops and affordable housing.[Ted Leonsis hopes to have Wizards practice facility location chosen by end of offseason]The campus is one of three final locations that Leonsis and his company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is weighing for the facility, along with a property on the campus of Howard University and a location atop parking garages near the Silver Spring Metro station.The idea is to build a complex similar to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, in Ballston, which serves as a practice center for the Capitals hockey club, another Leonsis team, and as a community skating rink for Arlington County, said Randall Boe, Monumental’s executive vice president and general counsel.“As we look at all three of these sites, what we’re looking for is the opportunity to create a facility that has positive community impact the way that Kettler does,” Boe said.A string of D.C. mayors have tried to bring new life to the east campus of St. Elizabeths, which is owned by the District government, with little to show for it. The west campus is owned by the federal government and is envisioned as a future home of the Department of Homeland Security. So far only the U.S. Coast Guard has moved there; the rest of the project is more than a decade behind schedule.If D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Leonsis can come to terms on a deal to bring the Wizards to St. Elizabeths, it could give redevelopment efforts in the District’s Ward 8 a shot in the arm and provide the team with a state-of-the-art training center akin to what other teams including the Chicago Bulls have recently unveiled.Boe said Leonsis expects to make a selection next month, which could mean the facility would be under construction by the next summer, when NBA teams go to the free agent market looking for talent.Among the players that might be available is four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, a native of Seat Pleasant — seven miles from St. Elizabeths — whom the Wizards are hotly pursuing.“It’s a huge recruiting tool for free agents. This is where the players go to to work every day,” Boe said.[No one is certain where Kevin Durant will go. But the Wizards are all-in.]Some NBA teams have accepted public incentives to open facilities in neighborhoods in need of economic development. The Philadelphia 76ers are building a 120,000-square-foot practice facility in Camden, N.J., after the state offered its owners $82 million in subsidies. Arlington County financed Kettler for the Capitals.Using sports to drive economic development in struggling parts of Southeast Washington was something Leonsis talked about extensively when he led the effort to land the 2024 Summer Olympics.“We want to make sure that Ward 7 and Ward 8 — communities that need our embrace and some transformation — can benefit from the Olympics,” Leonsis said on a sports radio show.In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he lamented how the Anacostia River “separates the community.”On his blog, Leonsis he urged people to support efforts to clean up the river, writing: “Sadly, the Anacostia has been neglected. If we clean it up, only good things occur for our community and our next generation.”Mayoral spokesman Joaquin McPeek declined to discuss St. Elizabeths specifically but said that “any proposal we pursue has to be bigger than basketball.” “It’s about creating jobs for D.C. residents, investing in our most under-served communities and making sure that the next generation of Washingtonians is ready to compete in the 21st century workforce,” he said. D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, (D-Ward 2), who chairs the body’s finance committee, said he supports the idea of putting the facility at St. Elizabeths but he wasn’t sure “whether the Wizards are willing to go there” and what the cost to the city would be.  “My preference would be St. Elizabeths. I think it would be a great site. But there are a lot of discussions going on right now,” Evans said.  Boe said wherever the complex ends up that surrounding communities would enjoy some of the boom in energy and amenities that Penn Quarter and other neighborhoods around the Verizon Center have enjoyed.“The Verizon Center has had a significant positive effect on downtown D.C. and our aim is that a practice facility will have a similarly positive impact,” Boe said.Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz