Central bank independence is a bit like marriage: Israel’s Fischer

April 18, 2013

For Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer, this week’s high-powered macroeconomics conference at the International Monetary Fund was a homecoming of sorts. After all, he was the IMF’s first deputy managing director from 1994 to 2001. The familiar nature of his surroundings may have helped inspire Fischer to use a household analogy to describe the vaunted but often ethereal principle of central bank independence.

Abe’s European spring break: Japan stimulus sends euro zone yields to record lows

April 5, 2013

It wasn’t just the Nikkei. Euro zone government bonds rallied following Japan’s announcement of a massive new monetary stimulus. That sent yields on the debt of several euro zone countries to record lows on bets that Japanese investors might be switching out of Japanese government bonds into euro zone paper, or might soon do so.

Yellen-san supportive of BOJ’s aggressive easing

April 5, 2013

For all the talk about clear communications at the Federal Reserve, central bank Vice Chair Janet Yellen’s speech to the Society of American Business and Economics Writers ran a rather long-winded 16 pages.

Investors call for interest rate hike in Brazil

March 21, 2013

Two analyses published this week highlight how alarmed investors are about inflation in Brazil.

For whom the bell will not toll: Fed ditches old-school tech in policy release

March 20, 2013

It’s had a good run, and will remain in use for the purposes of alerting reporters that “Treasury is in the (press) room.” But when it comes to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions, which are also released out of Treasury, the central bank is ditching the old ringer.

Beware: UK services PMI is no crystal ball for QE

March 5, 2013

Take with a pinch of salt economists who say Tuesday’s strong UK services PMI  might persuade the Bank of England to hold off from restarting its printing presses this week.

Bernanke’s Senate tone not that of Fed Chairman seeking third term

February 26, 2013

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may be keeping quiet about his future plans, but he sure doesn’t sound like someone planning to seek Senate support for a third term at the helm of the U.S. central bank.

Bullard weighs in on his colleague’s challenge to the ‘Bernanke doctrine’

February 26, 2013

Earlier this month, Fed Governor Jeremy Stein made waves that are still rippling with a speech on the risks of credit bubbles. The policymaker said that the U.S. central bank could use interest rates, as opposed to the more conventional tool of regulation, to cool overheating in junk bonds and other markets.

A Stein in Bernanke’s shoe: Is there a bubble in corporate bonds?

February 25, 2013

Financial markets are again on edge about the direction of Fed policy following the surprisingly hawkish minutes of the January meeting released last week, even if most still expect the central bank to keep buying bonds at the current $85 billion monthly pace at least until the end of the year.

Fed stimulus benefits still outweigh risks, Lockhart tells Reuters

February 20, 2013

The Federal Reserve is cognizant of the potential costs of its unconventional policies, but the economic benefits from asset purchases are still far greater than the potential costs, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told Reuters in an interview from his offices.