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Powell Backs Quarter-Point March Rate Hike, Open to Doing More [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
“I am inclined to propose and support a 25 basis-point rate hike,” Powell told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday. “To the extent that inflation comes in higher or is more persistently high than that, then we would be prepared to move more aggressively by raising the federal funds rate by more than 25 basis points at a meeting or meetings….” While acknowledging the uncertainty posed by the attack on Ukraine, Powell said the need to remove pandemic policy support had not changed.

Fed’s Preferred Inflation Measure Reaches Fastest Pace Since 1983 [WSJ]
The Commerce Department’s personal-consumption-expenditures index measure of core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 5.2% in January from a year ago, up from 4.9% in December…. The data reflect prices in January, before Ukraine-Russia tensions pushed oil prices to seven-year highs. The most-widely held futures for Brent crude, which call for delivery of oil in May, exceeded $100 a barrel on Thursday after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to scramble the region’s exports.

Citigroup return forecast underwhelms investors, shares slide [CNBC]
“It’s frankly not a surprise that we’ve been outperformed by our peers and we failed to meet the expectations of our investors,” Fraser said during her opening remarks. “Our maniacal focus right now is on getting to these medium-term targets and building credibility with you along the way….”
Analysts have also been concerned about expense growth at Citigroup, which is dealing with demands from regulators to overhaul its risk-management controls. The bank said that expenses would jump 5% to 6% this year, excluding the costs from divesting non-U.S. businesses.

Ransomware Attackers Begin to Eye Midmarket Acquisition Targets [WSJ]
The attack fit an increasingly familiar pattern, as ransomware groups are turning their attention to midmarket acquisition targets, presenting a risk for private equity, venture capital and other deal makers that often invest in such businesses.
“Because of the M&A and because of the publicity around that, it became a better target,” [UHY cybersecurity expert Richard] Peters said. “They’re watching. They know what’s going on in the news as well as any businessman out there.”

Billionaire Richard Li’s FWD Files for Hong Kong IPO [WSJ]
The company aims to raise about $1 billion via the share sale, according to a person familiar with the matter…. The planned Hong Kong IPO follows a $1.6 billion fundraising done in two parts in December and January, which was backed by investors including U.S. investment giant Apollo Global Management Inc., Swiss Re AG , and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Ben Melkman’s Light Sky Macro is Shutting Down [WSJ]
Ben Melkman’s Light Sky, which managed roughly $1 billion recently, started in March 2017 with investments from other hedge-fund managers including Steven A. Cohen and Daniel Loeb. Mr. Melkman was previously a partner and portfolio manager at Brevan Howard Asset Management, where he attracted notice for a profitable wager he made on Argentina.
But Mr. Melkman has had a tougher time running his own firm. Since launching with about $900 million, he has made about 1% a year over the last five years, a person familiar with the firm said.

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