Breakingviews

Investors struggle to find true safe havens

August 26, 2015

Boltholes like U.S. and German bonds or the Swiss franc are benefiting less than might be expected amid equity swings and concern over a slowing China. Investors are rightly wary of once-safe assets that have moved erratically of late. The mystery is where they are going instead.

Edward Chancellor: The cost of China’s devaluation

By Edward Chancellor
August 17, 2015

Forget about currency wars and global deflation. The true impact of the yuan’s sudden decline will be felt by China’s dysfunctional credit system, where domestic borrowers and foreign lenders believed the currency could only appreciate.

Edward Hadas: Stop knocking the euro

By Edward Hadas
July 22, 2015

Ben Bernanke thinks the single currency is failing. He is not alone. But the former Fed boss is too short term and too financial. The euro zone has tough structural economic problems. The currency is different. Its future is political, and bright.

Review: The virtual bubble of bitcoin

By Edward Chancellor
May 15, 2015

The digital currency fits well in the inglorious history of finance. Nathaniel Popper tells the story in “Digital Gold”. Bitcoin’s hot idea, limited supply and uncertain value helped spawn a price explosion. After the bust, the underlying technology may still have a future.

Currency market still scarred by Swiss trauma

January 28, 2015

Brutal swings seen just after the Swiss central bank suddenly abandoned its franc cap have faded. But price signals and perplexing moves suggest the extraordinary gyrations left their mark. Singapore’s surprise easing and continued Swiss official musings will add to the jitters.

Bitcoin is latest victim of disinflation

By Edward Hadas
January 16, 2015

The would-be currency is down 33 pct this year. Bitcoin is a collectible like a painting so psychology matters, and that’s against it in the current climate. Free transactions could end too. The tech may have value, but bitcoin will struggle to regain lost confidence.

Swiss recalibrate currency world by dropping peg

By Edward Hadas
January 15, 2015

The Swiss National Bank could print enough francs to keep the currency stable against the euro but not against the dollar. So it dropped the euro peg in favour of more negative rates and a vague commitment to intervene. The franc rocketed. But it is a less predictable safe-haven.

Only Putin can stop rouble’s fall

By Pierre Briancon
November 7, 2014

Russia’s currency is sinking. The central bank is blameless. Neither intervention nor higher rates can support the rouble. The economy is deteriorating and reform hopes are fading as Moscow retreats into isolation. The situation will persist until the president changes policy.

Russian central bank intervention is a dead end

By Pierre Briancon
October 8, 2014

The central bank of Russia is buying roubles on the market, but the exchange rate keeps sinking. The economy has deep structural flaws, worsened by Putin’s aggressive foreign policy. There are many reasons to take capital out of Russia. For the currency, the only way is down.

Pound joins euro as weak dollar victim

May 8, 2014

The Federal Reserve keeps printing money and Europe isn’t. That forces the greenback down, and the euro and now sterling up. The euro zone’s deflationary risks are rising while the UK recovery is becoming more unbalanced. When Fed policy finally changes, the UK looks more at risk.