This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

When's the Rate Hike?: Ask the CEOs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Standard & Poor's downgrade earlier this week of U.S. sovereign debt sent shock waves through the financial world.

Against this backdrop of ongoing budget and deficit battles in Washington, which likely will continue until the next presidential election in 2012, TheStreet asked First Niagara CEO John Koelmel how he sees the issue playing out.

When do you expect interest rates to rise and what impact do you see on your business?

First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG - Get Report) CEO John Koelmel: "It will be a while before rates rise," said the chief of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based retail banking outfit. "They only have one way to go, and that is up. It is not a question of if, but when. I continue to believe that until the economic recovery, narrowly and broadly defined, is much more stable than it is to date -- rising rates on top of rising gas prices and uncertainties in the regulatory arena would compound the problem, not be part of the solution. It will be a while before we see some rise in rates."

S&P downgraded its outlook for U.S. sovereign debt to negative. How do you think the deficit and economy will affect the banking business?
John Koelmel
First Niagara CEO John Koelmel

"This is just one more level of uncertainty. That is a major deterrent to the economic recovery. The private sector makes it clear that there is a hesitancy and a pause to re-engage and reinvest. When you look at the collective economic uncertainty in the political environment, who is going to do what next?

"What does it mean to us and the private sector? People want more specificity and need more clarity. The free market system is used to taking some risk, but at this point it continues to be too much of a moving target, and the uncertainties are getting in the way of stimulating a sustainable economic recovery.

"It is important that there is better definition and much less partisan politics, that the common sector coalesces around a common objective and the necessary objective, and we get there sooner rather than later. Although none of us expect sooner to be any time too soon."


What are America's corporate leaders saying about the issues of the day? TheStreet's reporters, during the course of their weekly coverage, will pose a thematic question to the business executives they interview. Have a question you'd like to see TheStreet ask the CEOs? Send it to tips@thestreet.com. Follow TheStreet on Twitter.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
FNFG $9.46 -0.94%
AAPL $126.44 -0.13%
FB $87.28 0.43%
GOOG $523.40 0.30%
TSLA $280.02 4.04%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs