WASHINGTON (AP) — The Janet Yellen era at the Federal Reserve begins in earnest this week with a two-day meeting, a policy statement and fresh economic forecasts. Yet all that will be a prelude to the marquee event: Yellen's first news conference as Fed chair.
Zero growth or even recession in 2014, asset freezes in the West and tens of billions of dollars in capital flight -- Russia must brace for the consequences of putting political ambition above economic sense in seizing control of Crimea, analysts say. The huge "yes" vote in the disputed referendum in the Ukrainian region of Crimea to become part of Russia means Moscow has claimed an addition to its territory for the first time since the end of World War II. But President Vladimir Putin's swoop has given the Kremlin's economic policy makers an unenviable task of limiting the inevitable damage to the economy which was already showing troubling signs of weakness. "There are many signs the economy is now being hit by an uncertainty shock," said analysts at VTB Capital, slashing their forecast for growth in Russia in 2014 to zero.