Tag Archives: bond buying

Why I hope Liz Truss is lying

Liz Truss, the favourite in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, has laid the blame for inflation at the door of the Bank of England, saying it must do more to fight price rises.

Truss also said she would change the Bank of England’s mandate if she becomes prime minister, to ensure that the central bank fights inflation more efficiently, but gave no details about what that change would entail.

With consumer price inflation hitting a 40-year high of 9.4% in June, you may think she has a point. The Bank of England is behind the curve, but when it comes to changing the central bank’s mandate, I really hope Liz Truss is lying. If she is not, then we should all be very afraid.

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Consumer price inflation or house price inflation? UK has to choose

The perfect storm is brewing for UK inflation. Boris Johnson and his government will not admit it, but their choice of a hard Brexit will exacerbate price rises, on top of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This could put the Bank of England in the unenviable position of having to choose which bubble to burst: consumer prices, or house prices.

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ECB pays lip service to worries about inflating a housing bubble

The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its inflation target last week, at the same time going to great lengths to try to persuade people that it did not.

In the process, the central bank also stated that it will find a way to deal with an issue that is increasingly pressing: that of runaway house price inflation.

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Investors fear inflation but run to it

Recent capital flows highlight a paradox: investors are afraid of inflation, but seem to have increased their allocation to just the assets that would do worst out of it.

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Inflation is not transitory after all

“Transitory” is the preferred word to describe inflation these days. Central bankers love it, because it means they can continue their easy money policies. Investors love it, because it means the markets’ party goes on.

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Italy tourism season is crucial for post-Covid recovery

The fact that Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic seems a distant memory. Will Italy now be the first in the European Union to stage a spectacular recovery?

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Beyond the Covid-19 crisis, forecasts may be too optimistic

The Covid-19 crisis is one year old, and already, on the economic front at least, optimism is gaining ground.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic growth projections, released last week, point to a strong rebound: the world economy is forecast to expand by 6% this year, led by emerging and developing Asia, which is expected to grow by 8.6%.

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The Fed starts a dangerous dance with the market

With baby steps, the Fed and other major central banks are beginning their journey back towards some semblance of normality.

This will be a big resilience test for a financial system which, for more than a decade, has relied on repeated rounds of monetary generosity. Continue reading

Stricter liquidity and leverage controls may be coming

If you are wondering what’s behind the sudden largesse of the European Central Bank (ECB) when it comes to purchases of bonds, you may find a recent speech by an ECB official at a conference about financial stability enlightening.

While regulators focused on making banks safer following the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the non-bank financial sector has been allowed to continue without the same stringent requirements for liquidity and leverage. This gap came into sharp focus during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Was Dominic Cummings pushed to save the pound?

The abrupt fall from grace of Dominic Cummings, the much-admired and much-loathed adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has sparked all sorts of theories as to what was behind it, and with good reason.

Cummings’ actions have been divisive and often controversial, starting with his choice of “misfits and weirdos” to replace civil servants whom he sacked unceremoniously, to the famous drive he took across the country while both he and his wife were ill with Covid-19 and a national lockdown was in place.

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