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.

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.

from Rahul Karunakar:

ECB TLTROs working but lending has a long way to go

June 24, 2015

A labour council representative holds a facsimile 500 euros note with the portrait of Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, before the French carmaker Renault's shareholders general meeting in Paris

Almost a year after the European Central Bank announced new cash loans tied to actual lending to small and medium enterprises, data on Friday is expected to show euro zone private loans are picking up pace.

Brazil’s relentless rate hikes shielding economy from inflation bout

June 16, 2015

Employee arranges pricetags at vegetables work bench during the opening day of upmarket Italian food hall chain Eataly's flagship store in downtown Milan

Brazil’s relentless series of interest rates hikes is successfully lowering inflation expectations – despite recent signs to the contrary, from lottery to tomato prices.

India’s central bank nearing policy crossroads

June 11, 2015

Traffic moves at busy intersection in New DelhiThe Reserve Bank of India is facing a fork in the road for the first time since Governor Raghuram Rajan took office amid much fanfare and started targeting inflation as the central bank’s primary mandate.

IMF paid but how much money does Greece have left?

By Mike Peacock
May 12, 2015

Greece's Finance Minister Varoufakis and Eurogroup chairman Dijsselbloem talk during an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece made a 750 million euros repayment to the International Monetary Fund a day ahead of schedule on Monday but it is not clear precisely how much money Athens has left in its coffers.

Monetary policy: New T-shirt needed?

May 1, 2015

San Francisco Fed President John Williams  believes deeply that monetary policy is data-dependent, so much so that he has printed the mantra on T-shirts that he is giving away coast to coast. On Friday at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., however, he didn’t discuss the current state of U.S. economic data or the stance of monetary policy. Instead, he focused on why forcing the Fed to follow a strict monetary policy rule to make interest rate decisions would be, well, a problem (http://reut.rs/1bmCfvB). It’s a view that a number of his colleagues, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have publicly embraced. Monetary policy — it’s independent. Sounds like something you could put on a T-shirt.

Data isn’t as objective as the Fed might have you believe

April 28, 2015

SFFedTshirt.jpgFed officials say they will be “data-dependent” when it comes to making monetary policy. San Francisco Fed President John Williams feels so strongly about it, he’s even printed up a T-shirt to get that message across. But truth be told, data-dependency is not as objective as it sounds. Data doesn’t dictate policy; it’s the interpretation of data that’s key. What is rate-hike-worthy data to one policymaker is keep-the-pedal-to-the-metal data for another. Take, for instance, U.S. GDP growth. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker says he expects GDP growth to average 2 percent to 2.5 percent this year, a pace that would justify a Fed rate hike in June. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans expects 3 percent growth this year, and does not believe even that would justify a rate hike until the first half of 2016. So what does it tell you about monetary policy if you see GDP growth of 2.5 percent? Not a whole lot, judging from these two. And the statements of other Fed officials are hardly more helpful. Indeed, as Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said recently, “I don’t think it is advisable to approach such a decision with rigid quantitative triggers in mind.” Watch the data, sure. But don’t assume the data will tell you much about the exact timing of the rate hike. Monetary policy – it’s subjective. Maybe some policymaker will print that on a T-shirt.