Breakingviews

Chancellor: Zero-coupon bonds are not a joke

August 26, 2016

On April Fools' 10 years ago Breakingviews suggested Washington fund itself with perpetual bonds paying no interest. The idea is now being seriously touted by some monetary policymakers. For households with cash and other assets that would evaporate, this is no laughing matter.

Bank stress exams may test investor patience

June 28, 2016

Results are due this week from the Fed on how 33 financial institutions performed in a simulated bad economic downturn. Countercyclical factors included this year could mean even banks that ace the tests will be required to keep more profit rather than pay out bigger dividends.

Trump’s Fed position befits a banana republic

By Rob Cox
May 6, 2016

The reality-TV veteran turned White House contender says Janet Yellen is following the right monetary policy, but he’d replace her because she’s not a Republican. That’s not only a break with decorum. It’s a red flag that a President Trump would meddle in central-banking affairs.

Chancellor: Pensions are a bubble waiting to burst

April 15, 2016

Bubbles are essentially illusions of wealth. So look no further than the gap between what pensioners have been promised and the assumptions about returns on their inadequate savings for a glimpse into the next source of financial fragility.

Review: Stop blaming the world’s central bankers

April 8, 2016

That’s the message of a new book, “The End of Alchemy”, from the former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King. It doesn’t completely wash. Low rates bear much responsibility for seeding the financial crisis - and it was central banks, after all, that set them.

Chancellor: Lessons from the Mississippi Bubble

March 23, 2016

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the start of John Law’s ambitious, and ultimately failed, economic experiment. Much like today’s central bankers, Law thought printing banknotes and forcing interest rates lower would solve all of France’s problems. He was so very wrong.

from Viewsroom:

Fed follies, Dish dish, Scalia scraps

February 19, 2016

The Minnesota Fed boss shocked colleagues with a call to break up the banks, and the satellite TV firm has left investors confused. Plus: How the Supreme Court justice's death affects Corporate America.

Federal Reserve playing with fire on bank capital

February 18, 2016

The watchdog is allowing Capital One to buy back more stock than initially permitted under Dodd-Frank stress tests. It’s good news for lenders aiming to exploit recent stock drops. But it singes the central bank’s reputation for toughness in ensuring banks keep adequate cushions.

Bernie Sanders may have found his Fed chief

February 17, 2016

The left-wing presidential candidate wants to break up big banks. So does new Minneapolis Fed boss Neel Kashkari, a Republican and ex-Goldmanite who helped bail out the banks in 2008. That calls to dismember banks bridge the political divide should keep Wall Street on its toes.

Chancellor: Negative rates, negative implications

February 12, 2016

The latest weapon brandished by central banks is supposed to boost economic growth and ward off deflation by punishing cash hoarders. In practice, this radical policy damages credit creation, fuels bubbles, threatens civic freedoms and spooks the living hell out of markets.