Breakingviews

Review: Ben Bernanke and a global monetary plague

By Edward Chancellor
August 28, 2015

Ever since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve has engaged in financial experimentation that has delivered the weakest rebound on record while spreading deleterious effects around the globe that author Brendan Brown, in a forthcoming book, likens to a plague.

Oil price slide complicates life for central banks

August 4, 2015

Brent is back down at $50 a barrel. Bond prices show this is eroding investor confidence that inflation will pick up. Central banks usually ignore the temporary impact of commodity price swings, but can’t afford to be complacent with inflation and policy rates already so low.

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.

Fed might fret about emerging market “spillback”

June 16, 2015

Weak investment and import demand in developing nations is threatening to drag down U.S. growth just as the Federal Reserve mulls raising interest rates. The central bank was able ignore the effects of its bond-buying on others. But a spillback could choke the American recovery.

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.

Santander’s U.S. woes a cautionary M&A tale

March 12, 2015

The Spanish bank’s stateside lender is struggling to pass the Fed’s stress test for the second year in a row. A flawed bank takes time to fix. But Santander let it drag on too long. New bosses should help. The tardy response, though, keeps Santander on the takeover sidelines.

Review: What the Great Depression taught the Fed

By Guest Contributor
January 30, 2015

Ben Bernanke is an expert on the famous crash. But Barry Eichengreen argues in his new book that the Fed boss during the 2008 crunch hadn't learnt the lessons of the boom preceding the bust. Bernanke's knowledge helped with crisis management, but it is too early to say how much. 

Meddling will be central banking’s new mantra

December 23, 2014

Monetary authorities haven’t stopped being responsible for financial stability. But weak output and the threat of deflation mean they can’t raise interest rates to fulfil their mandate. That leaves macroprudential policies – meddling, in plain English – as the preferred tool.

Review: “Forgotten Depression” worth remembering

By Guest Contributor
December 12, 2014

James Grant’s new book on the U.S. government’s response to the 1921 crash is a timely reminder that our forebears knew of other, apparently more efficacious, remedies to cure financial hangovers than the hair of the dog.

Gold’s rally won’t outlast tectonic rate shift

December 11, 2014

The yellow metal is up as tumbling oil prices and a rising dollar destabilise many financial markets. Euro zone fears and Russian gold buying have also helped. But U.S. rate rises will create major shifts in the financial world. Gold is set for a bad 2015.