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Israel’s central bank first to tighten

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So much for waiting for the jet lag to wear off.  Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel’s governor and listed as an attendee at this weekend’s Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming, is first among central banker governors to push interest rates higher since July.

From Reuters:

The Bank of Israel said on Monday it increased its key short-term lending rate by a quarter-point to 0.75 percent to help inflation get back to its 1-3 percent target.

In doing so, it became the first major central bank to raise interest rates since the global financial crisis prompted a cycle of sharp monetary easing across the world, but analysts said other central banks were unlikely follow suit soon.

The rate increase, which was a mild surprise since most economists had believed the central bank would wait at least another month, was the first since July 2008 and came after the Bank of Israel had lowered its key rate by 3.75 points from last October to March.

Goldman’s trading secret

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs last week reported record net revenues from trading and principal investments ($10.8 billion) during the three months ending June, with the major contribution coming from the fixed income, currencies and commodities segment ($6.8 billion).

Most commentators ascribe the firm’s stunning performance, and strong results reported by some of its peers to luck (a rising market lifts all boats); brilliance (trading strategies that are just smarter than everyone else); being one of the last men standing (benefiting from the lessening of competition in many of the markets in which Goldman operates); or some combination of all three.

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