Currency concerns everywhere

By Mike Peacock
March 24, 2015

A bureau de change operator counts U.S. currency notes in Abuja

Currency concerns in the central banking world have come to the fore again.

Sweden cut interest rates further into negative territory out of the blue last week, fearing its strong currency will engender deflation. The Swiss National Bank said it would aim to weaken what it sees as a “significantly overvalued” franc. And the Bank of England flagged the risk that sterling could strengthen further and leave inflation below target for longer.

Patient: Fed may drop the word, not the idea

March 18, 2015

RTR4R4RY.jpgFed Chair Janet Yellen may signal later today that she is no longer patient about when to consider raising rates but any eventual hike is likely to come after June, judging by how many key economic reports so far this year have undercut expectations.

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.

Long night of talks in Brussels and Minsk

By Mike Peacock
February 12, 2015

Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem greets Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis during an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

A long night of talks in Brussels and Minsk.

Despite going into the early hours of the morning, euro zone finance ministers failed to reach agreement on a way forward with their Greek counterpart and will try again on Monday.

Low-inflation wave reaches Mexico

January 22, 2015

A Mexican soccer fan watches a large screen broadcasting the 2014 World Cup soccer match between Mexico and Cameroon, in downtown Monterrey

Just as ECB President Mario Draghi announced a massive bond-buying program to revive Europe’s economy and fend off deflation fears, news of shockingly low inflation popped up elsewhere in the globe: consumer prices in Mexico dropped 0.19 percent in early January, far below all 19 forecasts in a Reuters poll.

from Global Markets Forum Dashboard:

GMF @HedgeWorld West, World Bank/IMF and Financial & Risk Summit Toronto 2014

October 3, 2014

(Updates with guest photos and new links).

Join our special coverage Oct. 6-10 in the Global Markets Forum as we hit the road, from the West Coast to Washington to the Great White North.

from Global Markets Forum Dashboard:

More volatility expected as Fed rate rise looms – Cumberland Advisors’ David Kotok

October 1, 2014

David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors

David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors

A healthy dose of fear has re-entered financial markets in the final three months of the year. The Chicago Board Options Exchange VIX, a widely tracked measure of market volatility, rose to a two-month high on Wednesday.

ECB’s fingers crossed for private loans growth

August 4, 2014

Mostly bereft of policy options except for outright quantitative easing, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hopes that hundreds of billions of euros more in cheap loans to banks will boost inflation.

U.S. hiring may be rebounding, but wage growth is not

July 7, 2014

AThe U.S. job market has finally turned a corner. What is remarkable is that it has taken so long.

The Fed’s taper and the question of the “tag-along” $5 billion

June 12, 2014

By Ann Saphir

Federal Reserve policymakers are expected next week to trim their monthly purchases of bonds by another $10 billion, putting them on track to end the massive program by October or December. So – which will it be, October or December? Some Fed officials are pushing for an answer, and soon.