Tag Archives: quantitative easing

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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Low interest rates threaten financial stability

When the bank of central banks warns about financial stability, you have to take notice — even if the warning comes in the Bank for International Settlements usually dry, academic style.

The BIS recently published a paper about the effect of prolonged interest rates on financial stability, and it makes worrying reading. (However, as most people are on holidays in August, unless they are reading it on the beach it will largely go unnoticed).

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The ECB should not extend its bond purchases

Speeches and releases from various European Central Bank officials don’t make the best summer reading, that’s for sure. But it might be a good idea to go through a couple of recent ones, which give a hint of what the future might bring.

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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This amounted to $3.7 billion withdrawn from emerging market equities and bonds, according to data analysed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.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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The great Fed unwind could cause market turmoil

A recent working paper published by the International Monetary Fund looks at the impact of unconventional monetary policy on an open economy, taking Canada’s case as an example.

The paper’s main finding is that unconventional monetary policy by the Canadian central bank has had expansionary effects on the Canadian economy. Continue reading

Policymakers could have lifted inflation, if they wanted

Central banks are still worried about the danger of deflation, even though they have timidly started to lift interest rates. How else would they explain real negative rates almost everywhere in the developed economies?

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The real reason the Fed is hiking interest rates is scary

Some people wonder why the Federal Reserve is in such a hurry to raise interest rates, pointing out that growth in the world’s first economy is hesitant at best. Inflation, of course, is an issue — even the stripped-down official version of inflation, “core” as they like to call it, is rising.

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Europe’s year of change depends on its voters

Beyond the depressing, backward-looking policies that the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as US president seem to have brought, there is a ray of hope.

People elsewhere in Europe, seeing the first ugly consequences of populism, might find enough motivation to go to the polls in elections just to try to keep populists out of government. I am talking about the decent people who are tired of politicians but aren’t seduced by the populists’ siren calls.

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Will there be a post-Brexit Armageddon?

“Happiness is a candle. In fact, don’t laugh too loud, you risk putting it out.”

— Christophe Maé – Il est où le bonheur

“Brexit Armageddon simply hasn’t happened,” writes with delight the Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Elliot.

“The 1.4% jump in retail sales in July showed that consumers have not stopped spending, and seem to be more influenced by the weather than they are by fear of the consequences of what happened on 23 June. Retailers are licking their lips in anticipation of an Olympics feelgood factor.

The financial markets are serene. Share prices are close to a record high, and fears that companies would find it difficult and expensive to borrow have proved wide of the mark. Far from dumping UK government gilts, pension funds and insurance companies have been keen to hold on to them,” writes Elliot.

Perhaps this optimism is partly justified. After all, confidence goes a long way in financial markets, as any observer of emerging markets can testify. As long as you can project confidence, the battle is, if not won, at least not entirely lost. In most cases, anyway.

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