Not again, please! Brazil and India more vulnerable now to another crisis

April 25, 2013

After bad economic news from Germany, China and the United States over the past few weeks, here are two more. Brazil and India, two of the world’s largest emerging economies, are increasingly vulnerable to another crisis or to the eventual end of the ultra-loose monetary policies in developed economies after five years of a severe global slowdown.

Want to know what the ECB is going to do? Watch the German PMI

April 23, 2013

A sudden turn for the worse across German companies should clinch an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank next week, or in June at the latest.

Currency peace: G20 gives BOJ a pass for deflation fight

April 22, 2013

All the talk of currency wars is mostly just that – talk. This week’s meeting of the Group of 20 nations at the International Monetary Fund was living proof. Despite speculation that emerging nations would redouble their criticism of extraordinarily low rates in advanced economies, the G20 ended up largely supporting the Bank of Japan’s new and bold stimulus efforts aimed at combating years of deflation.

Baby it’s cold outside: monetary policy as outer wear

April 19, 2013

Discussions about central banking are often belabored by analogies to moving vehicles, which make some sense given that interest rate policy can act both as accelerator and brake on economic activity. Perhaps tired of being in the driver’s seat, Minnesota Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota decide to switch gears and talk about clothing instead.

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.