The age of the quadrillion is finally here.
After years of being stuck in millions, billions, trillions and other terms that usually come up short of twelve zeros, Japan has broken out, with its debt crossing the magical 15 zero barrier.
Post corrected to show Brooksley Born is a former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) not a former Fed board governor.
Surprise! Euro zone unemployment was stuck at record high of 12.2 percent in May, with the number of jobless quickly climbing towards 20 million. Still, as accustomed to grim job market headlines from Europe as the world has become, it is worth perusing through the Eurostat release for some of the nuances in the figures.
Let’s face it: “Gerxit” doesn’t roll of the tongue nearly as smoothly as a “Grexit” did. While Europe continues to struggle economically, fears of a euro zone break-up have receded rapidly following bailouts of Greece and Cyprus linked to their troubled banking sectors.
It’s raining central bankers today which is well-timed after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropped the bombshell that the Fed could take the decision to begin throttling back its money-printing programme at one of its next few policy meetings. If that’s the case, and it’s not yet a done deal, then it will be the Fed that will move first in that direction, presumably putting further upward pressure on the dollar and send financial markets into something of a spin.
Spanish government bonds have had a good run since the European Central Bank said it would protect the euro last year. But some analysts say the threat of a rating downgrade to junk remains an important risk.