Fed “forward guidance” blows too much smoke

September 22, 2016

The U.S. central bank again declined to raise rates, leaving what hedgie Dan Loeb called the crack cocaine of loose monetary policy in place. The Fed counts talking to the market as one of its tools. But its story has changed so much that it might do better being less chatty.

Rajan reforms can thrive with India’s new RBI boss

August 22, 2016

Urjit Patel is a safe choice to lead the central bank. The deputy governor was a key architect of reforms introduced by outgoing head Raghuram Rajan. To earn the same level of acclaim, Patel must see these through and ratchet up the fight against bad debts. 

BOJ does bare minimum for Abenomics reboot

July 29, 2016

Japan's central bank added just $26 billion of equity funds to its annual asset-buying binge. That is about as little as it could do without disappointing markets or Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. The BOJ is running low on options and probably wants to keep some powder dry.

Breakdown: Solving Asia’s other bad debt problem

June 30, 2016

It's not just China: soured loans are clogging up Indian lenders too. Though a cleanup is underway, the worry is that the departure of central bank chief Raghuram Rajan will delay it. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to fix the banks to fulfil a pledge to create jobs.

Bank of Japan’s boldness risks diminishing returns

April 25, 2016

Inflation and growth remain moribund despite epic bond-buying and subzero interest rates. One bold move would be for the central bank to step up purchases of exchange-traded funds. That would lift shares and maybe help confidence - but wouldn’t change corporate behaviour much.

Singapore joins global battle against deflation

April 14, 2016

The city-state has problems others would love to have, including a budget surplus and low unemployment. But falling prices and exposure to weak global trade are a concern. That’s why the monetary authority has unexpectedly eased policy by pledging to keep the currency stable.

Stronger yen heightens pressure on Bank of Japan

April 8, 2016

One U.S. dollar now buys less than 109 yen, versus 120 at the start of the year. That is bad news for corporate earnings, inflation, and state finances. Direct intervention would be unpopular abroad. The central bank, already deep in experimental territory, may need to do more.

Draghi pulls a risky rabbit out of his hat

March 10, 2016

The ECB chief cut rates, said non-bank corporate bonds could qualify for a larger asset buying programme, and flagged new long-term loans. The good news is Mario Draghi is willing to go the extra mile. The bad: he may encourage excessive risk-taking without lifting inflation.

India needs its central bank chief a bit longer

March 8, 2016

Raghuram Rajan’s three-year term as governor of the Reserve Bank of India ends in September. Inflation has almost halved under his watch. Yet Rajan’s campaign to clean up banks’ bad debts is far from complete. Confidence will take a hit if he isn’t around to finish the job.

Bank of Japan’s new currency salvo could backfire

January 29, 2016

The central bank has responded to turmoil in global financial markets by cutting interest rates below zero. The shock move weakens the yen and opens a new front in Japan’s battle against deflation. But it also risks adding to the international tumult that prompted the BOJ to act.