Tag Archives: Economics reporting


Yellen makes Federal Reserve debut


Janet Yellen’s debut didn’t say anything out of the ordinary, but apparently, investors didn’t care for her commentary.

The Wall Street Journal story by Jon Hilsenrath and Victoria McGrane led with investor reaction to Yellen’s comments around when the Federal Reserve might start raising interest rates:

Investors bristled after Janet Yellen emerged from her first meeting as Federal Reserve chairwoman with some unsettling signals about the central bank’s outlook for short-term interest rates.

The Fed intends to keep short-term rates near zero into next year, but investors sniffed out signs that rate increases might come a bit sooner and be a touch more aggressive than expected. Even though the Fed’s official policy statement sought to give assurances of continued low rates far into the future and Ms. Yellen played down rate-increase expectations, stock prices fell and longer-term rates on Treasury bonds moved up.

In a press conference after the meeting, Ms. Yellen suggested that interest-rate increases might come about six months after the bond-buying program ends—a conclusion that could come this fall. She offered that projection with many caveats, but some investors took it as a sign that the Fed could start raising interest rates sooner than expected.

“This could have been a rookie gaffe on Yellen’s part,” Paul Edelstein, director of financial economists at IHS Global Insight, said in a note to clients. “This was, after all, her first press conference.”

In futures markets, prices indicated investors’ expected rate for the Fed’s benchmark federal funds rate for June 2015 moved up from 0.28% before the Fed’s meeting to 0.36% after the meeting.

Writing for Bloomberg, Craig Torres, Steve Matthews and Michelle Jamrisko also led with investor reaction:

Janet Yellen said the Federal Reserve wasn’t altering policy when it overhauled the way it signals changes in borrowing costs. Investors didn’t buy it.

In her first press conference as Fed chair, Yellen emphasized that dropping a 6.5 percent unemployment threshold for considering an interest-rate increase “does not indicate any change in the committee’s policy intentions.”

Rather than paying heed to Yellen’s assertion, investors seized on an increase in Fed officials’ own interest-rate forecasts and Yellen’s comment that that borrowing costs could start rising “around six months” after it stops buying bonds. Yields on two-year Treasury notes climbed as much as 10 basis points, the most since June 2011.

The market reaction highlights the perils faced by central bankers when they retreat to language investors consider vague after setting precise numerical markers for changes in policy. Lacking specific guidance in the Fed’s policy statement, investors swung toward the next best thing: Fed officials’ own forecasts for the benchmark federal funds rate.

Binyamin Appelbaums story in the New York Times led with the announcement and added this background about the statement:

The latest statement — the longest one the committee has ever published — was careful to say that the change in guidance was not intended to alter the possible timing of a rate increase. Instead, Ms. Yellen said that new measuring sticks were necessary because the unemployment rate had fallen more quickly than expected, while other economic indicators, like inflation, remained weak.

“The purpose of this change is simply to provide more information than we have in the past, even though it is qualitative information, as the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent,” Ms. Yellen said.

But the Fed also released a separate set of economic forecasts showing that officials had raised their expectations for the level of their benchmark rate at the end of 2015 to 1 percent from 0.75 percent.

The Washington Post story by Yian Q. Mui led with the notion that the Fed way paving the way to increase rates:

The Federal Reserve began laying the groundwork Wednesday for the first increase in interest rates since the Great Recession upended the economy.

The nation’s central bank said it will consider a broad swath of indicators to determine the moment of liftoff, including job market data, inflation expectations and financial developments. The official statement was a retreat from the blanket assurances that rates would remain untouched, which have dominated the Fed’s message for the past five years. Instead, the debate has shifted to how much longer the Fed should wait before pulling the trigger.

The Federal Reserve began laying the groundwork Wednesday for the first increase in interest rates since the Great Recession upended the economy.

The nation’s central bank said it will consider a broad swath of indicators to determine the moment of liftoff, including job market data, inflation expectations and financial developments. The official statement was a retreat from the blanket assurances that rates would remain untouched, which have dominated the Fed’s message for the past five years. Instead, the debate has shifted to how much longer the Fed should wait before pulling the trigger.

No matter how the story was framed, it was a stumble for Yellen. Much of the earlier coverage anticipated that she would have an easy debut, especially since the Fed has clearly projected its moves to the markets. The fact she rattled the markets with her post comments shows that she has some work to do, despite her years of experience and knowledge of the markets.


US News & World Report seeks economics reporter


The News & Opinion section of U.S. News & World Report is looking for an experienced economics reporter well versed in macroeconomic policy and trends. This is a high-profile reporting position with a broad scope and the opportunity to do significant work that identifies and reports on trends in the national and global economy.

It’s also a highly productive beat, and requires a journalist up for the challenge. The successful applicant should be comfortable covering economics at the intersection of the public and private sector. It will not be enough to write what happened; it will also require the ability to explain why. The writer will cover the Federal Reserve as well as economic trends in the business world. The candidate must be able to understand complex issues and write clearly, accurately and authoritatively.

We are looking for a critical thinker who knows how to dispense with acronyms and jargon to explain what’s working and what’s not – whether it is Obama’s jobs program or the Fed’s stimulus plan. An understanding of how politics plays into economics is also required.

The candidate should be as comfortable interviewing Fed governors as CEOs.

This is a position requiring a lot of collaboration with other writers. The ability to be a team player is essential. The writer will be expected to both be able to turn around a breaking news item on the latest jobs report as well as a rich, analytical piece on deflation.

A minimum of three years of reporting experience, with specific coverage of economic news, is required.

Additional requirements:

·         Strong editorial sensibility and news judgment

·         Excellent knowledge of grammar and AP style

·         Strong communication and organizational skills

·         Awareness of social media tools

Applicants must provide two references, a résumé, cover letter and three writing examples. Please send all materials to newsjobs@usnews.com and include “Economics Reporter” in the subject line.

Josh Zumbrun

Fed reporter Zumbrun leaving Bloomberg


Joshua Zumbrun, who has covered the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. economy for Bloomberg News for the past four years, is leaving the news organization.

In an email to Talking Biz News, Zumbrun said he has a new job lined up, but declined to say what it is.

“It was a really tough decision to leave because I have so much admiration for my colleagues at Bloomberg,” said Zumbrun. “I do have a new opportunity lined up. But first I am taking a brief but much-needed sabbatical.”

Before Bloomberg, Zumbrun spent two years as a Washington correspondent for Forbes magazine. He also worked for The Washington Post for four years.

Zumbrun is a Georgetown University graduate in international economics.

Reuters Logo

Reuters seeks economics editor in Singapore


Reuters is seeking a top-flight editor to drive the regional economics file from the fastest-growing region in the world.

The successful candidate for this high-profile role will be an idea generator, working with journalists across Asia to produce an economics file that stands out from that of competitors. He or she will strive for excellence, looking for smart angles and sharp context to show a global readership why they should care. Strong news judgment is a must and a sophisticated understanding of the subject is essential to make sure our coverage teases out the angles clients want and need to know about.

The chosen candidate should be an excellent writer and editor, able to lead and inspire a far-flung group of journalists to produce an agenda-setting file. Economics is a highly competitive and commoditized subject, so it is essential the Economics Editor can find new ways to tell this important story, whether focused on China’s mounting debt, Japan’s “Abenomics” phenomenon, or regional minnows such as Taiwan.

The Economics Editor, Asia, will report to the Asia Editor and will be a key member of a senior news team shaping the regional and global file, so the ideal candidate must be a driven newsroom leader with a proven ability to develop and execute strategy working closely with a wider team.

- Proven excellence in writing, editing and team leadership
- Sophisticated understanding of domestic and international economics and policy
- Ability to hone in on the questions that financial professionals need answered
- Ideas generator to drive the file forward in original ways
- Diplomacy and influencing skills: the Editor must be able to lead a far-flung team or reporters and to work closely and well with peer

To apply, go here.

AP logo

AP seeks economy editor in Washington


The Associated Press business news department seeks an editor/reporter for its Washington, D.C.-based economy team.

The AP is a global leader in the coverage of economic news. This editor will report to the economy team leader and play a key role in driving daily coverage of economic news, including coverage of the indicators released through the month.

This editor will also shape enterprise stories and help set coverage priorities. This editor will be expected to help develop new approaches to story-telling and the use of video and social media. Some reporting and writing will be required.

Qualifications: The job requires deep knowledge of the U.S. and global economy.

The successful candidate must have excellent news judgment and the ability to edit clearly and concisely on deadline. The successful candidate must be a critical thinker and have the ability to connect dots, spot trends and ideas that will interest our general news audience. Collegiality is a must.

Applicants must have at least 5 years of experience editing or writing stories about the economy.

To apply, go here.


Bloomberg seeks economics editor in Tokyo


Bloomberg is seeking a Japanese-language economic news editor in Tokyo.

The successful candidate will be able to meet real-time deadlines. Knowledge of the economy, financial markets and business is key. Excellent communication skills are vital and English is a plus. The Tokyo bureau produces breaking news stories on business and general-interest topics, ranging from company earnings, stock market reports, merger and acquisition news and politics to natural disasters.

The Requirements

- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience is required
- Experience working in a real-time news environment
- Knowledge of the economy, financial markets and business
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills

To apply, go here.

WSJ Real Time Economics

Wall Street Journal seeks data journalist for economics team


The Wall Street Journal is seeking a data journalist to lead its expanding economics team into a new era of innovation in the presentation of news and analysis. This person will conceive and execute ambitious projects—some in a matter of hours, others over days—to illuminate the Journal’s economics coverage on its Real Time Economics site.

The journalist will serve as the in-house data artist, transforming often complex subjects into simple yet striking visual displays. The journalist will find ways to make data come alive for investigative projects and enterprise stories, both solo and in collaboration with other reporters. This person must be able to sort quickly through complex economic and demographic data.

The ideal candidate should have advanced knowledge of Excel, SQL databases, and statistical programming (preferably in R or Python). A comfort level with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP is preferred. An ability to conceive and execute projects, alone and while working as part of a collaborative team, is essential.

Please attach a resume, cover letter and three to five published clips to your online application.

To apply, go here.


Izzo, head of WSJ’s Real Time Economics, to join Hub


Wall Street Journal economics editor Neil King sent out the following announcement on Friday:

In early 2007, when digital journalism was in its infancy, Phil Izzo emerged from deep within the Journal’s ranks to build a website that would bring WSJ-caliber analysis to the most important economic issues of the day.

Within weeks of its launch, Real Time Economics topped the bookmark lists of central bankers, finance ministers, PhD economists and Wall Street analysts. Within months, it was a must-read for everyday readers around the world. Phil was one of the original trailblazers in bringing economic news to the digital world, drawing legions of both admirers and imitators. He has done more than anyone to promote our team’s online storytelling, laboring early in the morning and late at night to dominate the field and grab readers in every time zone. He personally chronicled the most memorable moments of the recession and recovery, from the early stages of the credit crunch in 2007 through the global financial crisis and on to today’s persistent economic problems.

Phil, the longest-serving member of the WSJ’s current economics crew, will be moving up the Journal ranks in the coming months to take on exciting new challenges on the Hub (details to be announced later). Though he won’t be steering our ship daily, he has promised to help us expand RTE into an even more powerful force. He has already shaped our early expansion plans and will be working closely with his successor to take the site he built into a new era. And, yes, he has vowed to stick with us on jobs day.

We hope to toast Phil properly in person before he moves on to his next mission. Until then, we hope you’ll join us in expressing our sincere gratitude to Phil for all he has done for us, for RTE and for the world of economics.

Nick Timiraos

WSJ’s Timiraos moving to economics team


Nick Timiraos, who writes about the U.S. mortgage and housing markets and federal housing policy for The Wall Street Journal, is moving to the paper’s economics team in Washington.

Timiraos, who is best known for his coverage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, joined the Journal in 2006, and covered the 2008 presidential campaigns.

“After five years on the housing and mortgage beat, I’m thrilled to be joining the WSJ’s growing economics team in Washington as a national economics correspondent next month,” said Timiraos in an email Wednesday to Talking Biz News.

Timiraos is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he was editor of the student newspaper.


WSJ Real Time Economics

WSJ seeks editor for Real Time Economics


The Wall Street Journal is seeking an editor to help redesign, relaunch and manage the Journal’s Real Time Economics digital site.

The new RTE will become the Journal’s showcase for economic news, analysis, and commentary, much of it delivered in nontraditional formats, with a heavy emphasis on data and graphics. Joining the team when the new platform is still in incubation, the RTE editor will play a central and innovative role launching and then running a fluid and dynamic site in a highly competitive environment.

The editor will conceive coverage, shape stories and graphics and work with the Journal’s far-flung cast of economic reporters in the U.S. and around the world. The ideal candidate will bring experience in news writing and editing, preferably with some experience in economics coverage, along with a background tailoring and presenting news for a digital audience. A zest for collaboration, energy and fresh thinking is critical.

The job will be based in Washington as a central part of the Journal’s expanding economics team.

Please attach a resume, cover letter and three to five published clips to your online application.

To apply, go here.