The Great Debate

Fed redux: Making policy behind the curve

January 29, 2010

— John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. —

With clear signs the U.S. and world economies have returned to growth, investors are trying to guess when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates again.

There’s no way to hedge politics

January 26, 2010

Ben Bernanke in peril and the Volcker crackdown on proprietary trading by banks show two truths of the current dispensation: there is no effective hedge against politics and the reflation trade rests on fragile foundations.

Fed stuck doing the heavy lifting

January 12, 2010

James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own
With employment weak and consumer credit weaker, look for extended official measures to support the U.S. economy.

Icelandic, Greek sagas show sovereign risks

January 7, 2010

— James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. —

Developments in cash-strapped Iceland and Greece nicely illustrate two themes for 2010: sovereign risk and financial balkanization.

Bernanke’s fearful asymmetry

January 5, 2010

saft2.jpg — James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own —

Ben Bernanke may minimize the role of monetary policy in the housing debacle, but he minimizes two key factors: the effect of low rates and the Fed’s policy of cleaning up after but not popping bubbles had on risk-taking.

Welcome to the Teenies, sorry about those returns

December 29, 2009

saft2.jpg
-James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own–

As we say goodbye to a decade so abysmal it never even earned a nickname, it is time to take bets on how the coming 10 years will shape up in economics and financial markets.

from The Great Debate UK:

A year of austerity looms in 2010

December 23, 2009

david-kuo_motley-foolthumbnail-David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

If you thought 2009 was as bad as things will get, then think again: 2010 could be worse. It is likely to be a year of enforced austerity with both the government and households making obligatory cuts to their budgets.

from MacroScope:

Crisis? What Crisis?

November 18, 2009

The title of this post is taken from two sources. One was a headline in British tabloid, The Sun, in January 1979, when then-prime minister James Callaghan denied that strike-torn Britain was in chaos. The second was the title of a 1975 album by prog rock band Supertramp that famously showed someone sunbathing amidst the grey awfulness of the declining industrial landscape.

Can recovery and credit crunch coexist?

By J Saft
November 12, 2009

jamessaft1.jpg(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

New studies from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank show that, whatever else, a recovery in the economy is not being supported by a resumption in bank lending, raising concerns about how exactly growth will become self-sustaining when official stimulus ebbs.

from The Great Debate UK:

When firms “Too Big to Fail” fall

November 5, 2009

Amid the turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis a myriad of events unfolded that the general public knew nothing about, writes New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin in a new book titled "Too Big to Fail."