Prescient Yellen saw limits of zero Fed interest rates back in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen.jpgDespite the Federal Reserve’s trillions of dollars in newly printed money, workers’ wages and overall U.S. inflation have failed to take off since the recession. Longer-term borrowing costs, from 10-year Treasury yields to 30-year home mortgages, have also compressed without any real signs of reversing. While this has perplexed many economists, transcripts of the U.S. central bank’s crisis-fighting meetings in 2009 show that Janet Yellen, then the head of the San Francisco Fed, was prescient in warning colleagues of these very problems.

The more things change: Fed wrestled with same policy “exit” issues in 2009

March 4, 2015

bernanke2009.jpgThe Federal Reserve faces two big challenges in the months and years ahead: how to finally “liftoff” after more than six years of rock bottom interest rates, and how to begin drawing down its $4.5-trillion balance sheet after three massive rounds of bond purchases. But, it turns out, those questions were being raised at the U.S. central bank as far back as 2009.

Transcripts show just how scary things were getting for Yellen and the Fed in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen2009.jpg The U.S. Federal Reserve just released full transcripts of its crisis-fighting meetings of 2009, when the U.S. economy was in the depths of recession and unemployment was soaring to 10 percent. Janet Yellen, who at the time was head of the San Francisco Fed, gave a sense of just how scary things were getting:

Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.

Brazil’s shock therapy against inflation

March 3, 2015

Brazil's Central Bank President Alexandre Tombini reacts during the first ministerial meeting in Brasilia

Brazil’s central bank’s two-day policy meeting kicks off later on Tuesday with all bets placed on a fourth straight interest rate increase, despite growing consensus that the country is headed for its worst economic recession in 25 years.

Turkish interest rate standoff

By Mike Peacock
March 3, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a conference at the Foreign Affairs building  in Mexico City

Turkey’s central bank releases minutes of its last meeting at which it cut interest rates by a quarter point.

Negative inflation to herald QE launch

By Mike Peacock
March 2, 2015

US dollars and euros banknotes are seen in this illustration photo taken at a change bureau in Paris

The European Central Bank is about to start printing money. Euro zone data today will show why.

Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension

By Mike Peacock
February 27, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel, members of government and parliament observe a minute of silence during a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin

Germany’s parliament will vote today on the extension of Greece’s bailout by four months and will duly back it though we can expect some grumbling from a clutch of lawmakers.

Whisper it, is the euro zone perking up?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2015

People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin

The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.

The Greek plan is in, breath bated

By Mike Peacock
February 24, 2015

Varoufakis arrives at a news conference after an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece sent an economic reform plan to its EU and IMF creditors overnight, according to an EU source, and euro zone finance ministers will this morning see the list which is a condition for extending the country’s bailout programme by four months.