Don’t bank on Brexit saving Britain billions

March 2, 2016

File photograph shows an employee walking over a mosaic depicting pound sterling symbols on the floor of the front hall of the Bank of England in LondonOne of the advantages trumpeted by those hoping Britain votes to leave the European Union is the savings the country would make in not having to pay the billions of pounds in annual membership.

Rampant house price optimism lives on

February 26, 2016

Men push a float representing a foreclosed home during the "Main Street to Wall Street" rally in New York, April 29, 2010. The AFL-CIO and other labor and community groups gathered to protest against Wall St. Banks.   REUTERS/Mike Segar   (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR2DA27

Groupthink on prospects for continuous uninterrupted U.S. house price rises, along with financial engineering run amok, caused the last global financial crisis.

Beware the cracks appearing in British consumer sentiment

February 26, 2016

GfK consumer confidence

A slight tremor rumbled through a key pillar of British economic growth – household spending – as consumer confidence slipped this month to its lowest level since December 2014.

Europe’s unhappy political families

February 26, 2016

Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way – the so-called Anna Karenina principle is as true for Europe’s growing collection of hung parliaments as it was for 19th century Russian aristocrats.

Latin America raises guard against sharp currency swings

February 23, 2016


Central bankers in Latin America took their fight against high currency volatility to a new level last week, with interest rate hikes in Mexico and Colombia and a ramp up in interventions in foreign exchange markets.

Not all Fed policymakers sing from the same songbook

February 18, 2016

San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday said he still thinks gradual interest-rate hikes are the “best course” (, a view that fails to harmonize with that of fellow Fed policymaker James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed who said late Wednesday further rate hikes would be “unwise” (

Tepid UK wage growth may end calls for early BoE hike

February 17, 2016

A herder is seen between a caravan of camels, roped to each other tail-to-mouth, which haul blocks of salt from desert mines up the winding tracks for sale in Ethiopia's Afar highlands, March 7, 2007. The mysterious kidnapping of five Europeans and eight locals has put the international spotlight on a remote, barren and searingly hot corner of Ethiopia left behind by the modern world. The Afar region's 1.4 million inhabitants -- mainly nomads -- occupy one of the earth's harshest terrains. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (ETHIOPIA) - RTR1N70J

Wednesday’s British pay data showing wages rose only 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter could well be the straw that broke the camel’s back for anyone still expecting the Bank of England to raise interest rates anytime soon.

Indian central bank to hold its horses while others bolt

February 15, 2016

A member of the Sikh Nihang warrior sect, mounts two racing horses during the annual "Rural Olympics" on February 22 in the village of Kilaraipur in India's northern state of Punjab. The three-day festival, in its 55th year, began on February 21. - RTXHNV1

Financial markets and borrowers rooting for the Reserve Bank of India to ease policy this year could be in for a disappointment – in stark contrast to 2015 when it lopped 125 basis points off the repo rate.

Can South Africa draw lessons from Brazil’s mistakes?

February 11, 2016

South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan gestures during a media briefing to announce a new deputy governor of the central bank in Pretoria March 25, 2011. South African National Treasury Director General Lesetja Kganyago is to leave his position to become a deputy governor of the central bank from May 16, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Friday. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2KE94

Growth expectations for South Africa have tumbled in recent weeks as the government struggles with growing budget and trade gaps. Brazil walked a similar path a couple of years ago – but can South Africa draw any lessons from that spectacular fall?

German, Japanese industry on increasingly parallel lines

February 10, 2016

Workers assemble BMW i3 electric cars at the production line of the BMW factory in Leipzig September 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: TRANSPORT) - RTX13PQV

A global slowdown in manufacturing that began late last year is getting more entrenched, particularly in Germany and Japan, economies that increasingly seem to share a lot in common apart from being the world’s two best-known exporters of high-tech cars and electronics.