U.S. Fed interest rate “crawl-off” not yet fixed for September

July 28, 2015

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike in September is almost certain according to many forecasters and investors, but the decision to tighten policy for the first time in nearly a decade is not as clear-cut as it may appear.

Does the Bank of England really follow the Fed?

July 21, 2015

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Daft” is how outgoing Bank of England policymaker David Miles described the idea that Britain’s central bank would have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve before hiking interest rates.

Interest rates hikes are not done and dusted

July 20, 2015

U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Yellen talks with Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Istanbul

The U.S. and British central banks are scrambling to be the first of the majors to raise interest rates after a long period of unprecedented monetary generosity. It won’t happen immediately but both Janet Yellen, who chairs the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney say there will be a hike this year (Yellen) or around the end of the year (Carney). Might this be a bit of a rush? Not everything in the world economy is as sanguine as the U.S. and British economies purport to be.

Britain’s job miracle starting to look slightly less miraculous

July 16, 2015

After years of defying gravity and outperforming the rest of Europe, Britain’s job market looks like it might be slowing down.

Fed: behind the curve, or too trigger happy? Neither

July 15, 2015

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????As the U.S. Federal Reserve edges closer to its first interest hike in nearly a decade, its critics are lining up into one of two camps: either the Fed is hopelessly behind the curve, and will have to grapple with runaway inflation very soon; or the Fed seems overzealous in wanting to get interest rates back to what it would call a normal level and instead should wait until late this year or next before hiking.

Are banks really lending again to euro zone businesses?

July 14, 2015

Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.

Commodity sell-off adds pressure on unpopular Latin American leaders

July 8, 2015

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (C) and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (2nd R) surrounded by security arrive for the family photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for political survival less than a year after being re-elected. Several reasons have been pointed exhaustively to explain how things got so bad in such a short period of time: chief among them are the burgeoning corruption scandal at state-run Petrobras and stubbornly high inflation, out of sync with the rest of the world.

UK pay may be taking off but rates will stay grounded for a while yet

July 2, 2015

The Bank of England is seen through columns in LondonBritish wage growth will outstrip the Bank of England’s forecast this year but that doesn’t mean the first rate hike will come sooner.

Grexit polled probability strikes danger zone for the first time

June 30, 2015

Man walks by a bank in Athens, GreeceWhile Greece has been trapped in the clutches of an economic and sovereign debt crisis for half a decade, it has only been over the last month that the risk of leaving the euro has risen so dangerously high.

Euro zone bank lending to businesses still in the doldrums

June 26, 2015

About a year ago, the European Central Bank singled out a recovery in bank loans to private businesses as crucial to a lasting economic recovery – and even more crucially for the ECB, a rise in inflation which it targets at 2 percent.