Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

The Fed wants you to believe in it

Caught in the middle of the Brexit saga, European investors can be forgiven if they glossed over a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that could turn out to be the starting point of a very risky period for the global economy.

It’s no secret that President Donald Trump would want the Fed to cut interest rates and debase the dollar. Earlier this year, he called the Fed “crazy” and Powell himself, “clueless.”

Of course, Powell did not immediately show that these repeated attacks influenced his policy. However, in a speech he gave last week he reiterated his fondness for a very risky idea on how to ease monetary policy even further.

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Central banks enabled populism; they will soon pay the price

It is becoming increasingly difficult for central banks to surprise the markets with good news. No matter how dovish they are, investors expect them to be even more dovish still. This financial repression has facilitated the rise of populist politicians, who threaten to bring the end of central banks’ independence.

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Central banks cannot paper over the cracks of populism

Central banks are trying to prolong the decade-old bull market, but it looks like instead of reassuring investors, this makes them nervous.

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What’s behind the Fed’s ‘whatever it takes’ moment

January was an extraordinarily positive month in the markets for virtually all assets, after a horrible 2018 — and it’s all due to the Fed. The US central bank executed a massive U-turn in its monetary policy and, while many observers like to point to low inflation as the reason for the Fed’s aborted effort to normalise monetary policy, something more sinister is behind it.

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Trump signals the end of central bank independence

We live in such strange times that most people don’t even notice how quickly certain principles that until not long ago appeared fundamental for Western societies are being eroded.

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Zombies will prevent interest rates from rising too high

For those who are afraid of zombies, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has some bad news: they’re on the rise. What’s more, many people may be working for zombies.

But on the flip side, zombies may spook central banks enough that they don’t raise interest rates too high.

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The end of money printing is not the end of the world

How afraid should investors be of the end of quantitative easing? Judging by recent comments, but also by the markets’ reaction until now, not too afraid.

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As Fed changes to dovish, emerging markets could rally

As the US stocks bull market is now officially the longest after World War II, fears are increasing that the end is nigh for the bulls. However, the approach of the US mid-term elections in November might mean not just that the bull market could continue, but also the end of the emerging markets rout.

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Fed interest rate hikes could make China’s debt implode

While all eyes are still on Turkey, another emerging market is about to show the ugly side of quantitative tightening, and this time things could get really serious.

The world’s second largest economy has been a “success story” for so long that people have forgotten about China’s many vulnerabilities. Or rather, the Chinese communist party has been so good at keeping things under wraps, that few of the country’s weaknesses are known to the outside world.

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Argentina shows the bad side of quantitative easing

This past week, there has been a frenzy of selling of emerging markets assets. The outflows from both stocks and debt in emerging markets reached their highest level since December 2016.

This amounted to $3.7 billion withdrawn from emerging market equities and bonds, according to data analysed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. These outflows have helped push our old friend, the Bull/Bear indicator developed by BofA Merrill Lynch, to 4.8 — its lowest level since January 2017.

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