Breakingviews

Edward Hadas: Central banks can save the world

By Edward Hadas
June 10, 2015

The monetary authorities made a hash of things last decade, as they did in the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s. They still have a three-fold problem. Central banks fundamentally misunderstand financial markets, debt and currencies. With new ideas, their record could improve.

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

June 10, 2015

Chancellor George Osborne is to enshrine budget surpluses in state legislation. For a nation with low interest rates and sagging productivity, aping German deficit-phobia is nuts. But plain thinking wins votes because the public has learned to mistrust the wisdom of economists.

For bonds, crowds are more dangerous than Draghi

June 4, 2015

The ECB chief’s relaxed attitude to volatility is fuelling gyrations in euro zone debt markets. But Mario Draghi is only stating the obvious. Supposedly risk-free assets have become some of the most perilous. The biggest hazard for investors is being part of too big a herd.

Edward Hadas: Why Lehman Brothers lives on

By Edward Hadas
May 27, 2015

Almost seven years after the U.S. investment bank failed, the reputations of financial markets, central banks and economic theorists remain deeply tarnished. Worse, the shock permanently damaged already-weak governments, ever-fragile labour markets and the frayed social fabric.

Cult of central bank transparency is too powerful

May 26, 2015

Rate-setters around the world are in a bind. The zeitgeist demands they share every twist and turn of their deliberations. But too bright a light can be blinding. Hard talk is often best done in private. While some transparency is good, more is not always better.

Bankers get ammo but no ally in regulation tussle

May 22, 2015

Financiers unhappy with tougher regulation can cite new analysis from the BIS. The central banks’ own central bank says new standards will probably change how economies and markets work. But the BIS is firmly focussed on coping with the new paradigm, not returning to the old one.

ECB’s bank board-crashing makes sense – to a point

May 7, 2015

The euro zone’s financial stability gnomes will observe board meetings. Handled right, the ECB should glean extra insight – after all, corporate culture starts at the top. But regular sessions with board committees may reveal more about how Frankfurt’s 123 charges really operate.

Clipping Indian central bank’s wings is bad idea

March 30, 2015

The Reserve Bank of India is facing a campaign to undermine it. Subjecting its regulatory decisions to judicial review will erode its authority. Removing the bond market from its control serves little purpose. Investors can live with a bossy RBI, but not a weak one.

ECB torn between two roles in Greek bank support

March 20, 2015

The central bank’s monetary policy wing has delayed a plan by its supervisory arm to legally stop Greek banks increasing their stocks of illiquid assets. The stability-searching supervisors have the right idea. But the policy group has an even higher political responsibility.

Wobbly stock markets are in thrall to central banks

By Edward Hadas
March 11, 2015

Performance this year reflects likely monetary policy. The euro zone is set to ease: equities are strong and insiders are selling down stakes in Zalando, JCDecaux and others at a record clip. The U.S. market is weaker as tightening nears. Dollar-exposed Asian bourses struggle.