Anyone have change for a quadrillion dollar bill?

By Edward Hadas
June 12, 2015

The African nation is paying one U.S. dollar for every 35,000,000,000,000,000 of its old scrapped scrip. Zimbabwe is a byword for monetary disaster but the outcome is unusual. It shows it takes truly exceptional incompetence to create hyperinflation.

“Seller beware” when profiting from market calm

July 10, 2014

Volatility, gauged by indicators like VIX, is ultra-low. While it could be the calm before a storm, investors including Pimco have been selling insurance against price swings. It’s one way to make money amidst shrinking yields, but it’s also a risky bet against the unexpected.

Risk appetite set for brutally hot Spain vacation

July 23, 2012

Distress in Spanish regions and new fears for Greece have broken the markets’ summer calm. Italy’s spreads have overtaken Ireland’s. Until external support for Spain is clarified, stocks, commodities and the euro may pay. Yet again, the dollar, yen and safe-haven bonds will win.

China’s yuan: a guide for the perplexed

September 10, 2010

More international use of the yuan might increase China's trade clout, unseat the mighty U.S. dollar and make a lot of financiers very rich in the process. But it can be hard to separate the facts from the fable. Here are some questions answered.

Yuan-dollar rate doesn’t drive Chinese rebalancing

June 21, 2010

Who will be a bigger driver of global trade rebalancing - the People's Bank of China or the country's migrant workers? The PBoC guides the yuan exchange rate, which U.S. politicians and investors are fixated on. But other factors, including labour costs, are probably doing more to increase the cost of exports from China.

Sterling flirts with safe-haven status

August 12, 2013

The pound has a lot against it, including dovish central bank rhetoric, but Britain is returning to growth as the euro zone struggles. And while the U.S. may soon taper QE, the UK has already parked the policy. The cheap British currency looks like a good bet.

Old trade habits are hard to break

November 13, 2009

The United States talks a big game when it comes to global imbalances. Today's trade data, though, underscore that the recovery in the global economy threatens to reinforce old bad habits that would keep America reliant on the kindness of other nations for some time.

The gathering storm against the dollar

October 19, 2009

What confidence should dollar investors have that America will really cut entitlement spending? Very little. Instead, we are more likely to see huge tax increases that could cripple productivity, or further dollar neglect, or a central bank that turns dovish on inflation. Or perhaps all three.

The recovery starts in Times Square

October 14, 2009

The I.M.F. has called for a stronger-than-expected rebound in global growth next year, with Asia, not the U.S. expected to fuel the growth. And with the dollar hitting its lowest levels in more than a year again Wednesday, the allure of heading to the U.S. for cheap goods promises only to get stronger.

Who lost the dollar?

October 12, 2009

The greenback's continuing slide makes it a handy metric that neatly encapsulates America's current economic troubles and possible long-term decline. House Republicans for instance, have been using the weaker dollar as a weapon in their attacks on the Bernanke-led Federal Reserve.