The Great Debate

from Breakingviews:

Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

June 3, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Yellen shows her hand

By Nicholas Wapshott
April 19, 2014

The difference between the Federal Reserve Board of Chairwoman Janet Yellen and that of her immediate predecessor Ben Bernanke is becoming clear. No more so than in their approach to the problem of joblessness.

Servicing the underbanked

By Jamie Fulmer
February 13, 2014

A new report from the United States Postal Service inspector general proposes that the agency offer non-bank financial services, including payday loans. Opinion pieces and blog posts praised this idea as a way for the post office to solve its fiscal woes while reaching a portion of Americans outside the traditional banking system. A Reuters “Great Debate” piece, “Transforming Post Offices into banks”), called the proposal a “win-win.”

from The Great Debate UK:

How central bankers have got it wrong

September 24, 2013

If you asked someone to list the chief qualities needed to be a good central banker I assume that the list may include: good communicator, wise, attention to detail, clear thinking, credibility, and good with numbers.  However, in recent months these qualities have been sadly lacking, most notably last week when the Federal Reserve wrong-footed the markets and failed to start tapering its enormous QE programme.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

Twisted Sister and the Federal Reserve

September 21, 2011

The Federal Reserve's "Operation Twist" has set the literary- and musical-allusion juices flowing.  It is all about the Fed selling or not rolling over short-term debt and buying long-term bonds instead in order to keep borrowing costs low.

from Reuters Money:

Retirement investors suffer as economy catches up to Wall Street

August 9, 2011

Retirement investors have struggled with a Jekyll and Hyde economy these past two years, where Dr. Jekyll lives very well on Wall Street while Mr. Hyde runs roughshod over a terrified Main Street.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

The unsyncopated rhythm of central banks

April 11, 2011

The European Central Bank is off and running with its tightening cycle -- raising by 25 basis points last week and talking in tongues enough to persuade markets that another hike is coming by July.  At the same time, the Fed -- despite some hawkish comments recently about QE -- isn't seen actually tightening for some time. Next year, actually.

There is no such thing as inflation

October 18, 2010

In 1987, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whipped up a firestorm of criticism from her opponents on the left when she told a magazine reporter that “there is no such thing as society”, only individual men and women, and families.

U.S. recovery – a mixed scorecard

June 8, 2010

Ultra-low interest rates and massive liquidity injections have acted like a painkiller, stabilising the U.S. economy and preventing it from going into shock. But they have not cured the underlying problem of over-extended households and an economy dependent on increasing consumer indebtedness as its main source of growth.

Market should prepare for autumn rate “exit”

April 13, 2010

Could the first increases in  short-term U.S. interest rates come much earlier than most forecasters expect, perhaps as soon as September or November 2010?