This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

When's the Rate Hike?: Ask the CEOs

Stocks in this article: FNFG

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) 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.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs