Yellen is Obama choice to succeed Bernanke at Fed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a lengthy and politically charged search, President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve’s vice chair, to be chairman of the nation’s powerful central bank, succeeding Ben Bernanke at a pivotal time for the economy and the Fed’s monetary policies.
If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to head any country’s major central bank anywhere in the world. She also would be the first Democrat chosen to lead the Fed since Paul Volcker was picked by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. France’s Christine Lagarde heads the International Monetary Fund.
Obama was scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday with Yellen and Bernanke at his side in the White House’s ornate East Room.
Fed now unlikely to slow bond buying before 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s decision last month to maintain the size of its economic stimulus was a shocker. Just about everyone expected a pullback in its bond purchases, which have helped keep loan rates low.
Thanks to the government’s partial shutdown, many analysts don’t think the Fed will reduce its stimulus before next year. And with the White House’s choice of the like-minded Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman next year, the Fed will likely be cautious about any pullback in early 2014.
Bernanke and the Fed may also now look a bit wiser to those who questioned their stance last month. After all, a key reason Bernanke gave for maintaining the pace of the Fed’s stimulus was Washington’s budget impasse. It posed a risk to the economy and financial markets, he suggested.
Shutdown means no new beer from craft brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover.
Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers.
Wal-Mart splits from India partner; retail on hold
MUMBAI, India (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday it is splitting from its Indian business partner and suspending plans for its own retail stores in India because strict government regulations on sourcing from local small businesses make it impossible.
The move by the world’s largest retailer represents a blow to India’s attempts to attract foreign investment in the huge but underdeveloped retail sector. Wal-Mart already runs a wholesaling joint venture in India and will continue that business, buying out partner Bharti Enterprises.
Despite a potential market of 1.2 billion people, no large foreign chains have formally applied to open supermarkets and other multibrand stores since the government changed the law last year to allow them to invest more in the $400 billion sector previously reserved mostly for Indian companies. The new law allows international companies to open multibrand retail stores with 51 per cent ownership and an Indian minority partner.
Jos. A. Bank offers $2.3B for Men’s Wearhouse
NEW YORK (AP) — Nothing like getting the brush-off.
Jos. A. Bank proposed to acquire its bigger rival Men’s Wearhouse in a $2.3 billion deal that could create a men’s wear juggernaut with close to 2,000 stores.
But the leaders at Men’s Wearhouse — which sent the company’s founder packing last summer — rejected the offer about two hours after the proposal was publicly disclosed, calling it opportunistic and inadequate.
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers disclosed Wednesday that it had made the unsolicited proposal in September to buy Men’s Wearhouse for $48 per share in cash, a 42 per cent premium at the time.
Men’s Wearhouse said in rejecting the deal Wednesday that it wasn’t in the best interest of its shareholders or the company.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 26.45 points, or 0.2 per cent, to close 14,802.98. The Nasdaq composite fell 17.06 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 3,677.78.The S&P 500 index gained 0.95 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 1,656.40.
Benchmark crude for November delivery fell $1.88 to $101.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.62 per gallon. Natural gas lost 4 cents to $3.68 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $3.02 per gallon.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, was down $1.10 to $109.06 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.