Today’s links carry a widely-diverging set of opinions about the moral issues surrounding the situation in Ukraine. But since this is a finance site, I want to discuss the economic issues. I continue to believe the Ukrainian situation will have only a modest impact on the global economy unless war breaks out. Moreover, Europe’s trade linkages to Russia make sanctions a trickier subject for Europe than the US. Expect to see diverging views within NATO and no meaningful economic penalty as a result.Read more ›
Post Tagged with: "Britain"
By Frances Coppola This chart caught my eye: It’s the GBP/USD exchange rate from 1915 to the present day. Accompanying this chart on Twitter was the comment “quite shocking though how much the pound has been devalued since 1945″. This is a fine example of the way in which economic indicators can be misinterpreted when the historical narrative underlying them […]Read more ›
There have been two central bank actions in Asia to note. In Europe, two countries reported lower than expected inflation.Read more ›
The UK government this week ruled out any question of agreeing to a currency union with an independent Scotland. So where does this leave Scotland’s currency conundrum? And what about the banks? Scotland has two very large banks – RBS and HBOS. The majority of both RBS’s and HBOS’s business is in England & Wales.Read more ›
Themes for today:
Commodities: soybean prices could fall due to increased supply. This would be troublesome for Argentina.
Emerging markets: Of the fragile five, India is looking better, Brazil is still a big concern.
Developed Markets: House price inflation makes France, the UK, Australia and Canada vulnerable to real economy shocks.
US: Consumers are only supporting 1-2% growth. Q1 will be weak. Inventory builds are still the big story.
- The big event today is the BOE’s Quarterly Inflation Report and the updated economic assessment and forward guidance; sterling is outperforming
- Carney indicated that the new forward guidance would look at a broader range of economic indicators, without being too specific
- Italian Prime Minister Letta was to announce a new coalition pact yesterday, but PD head Renzi withheld support
- Japan reported a dismal December machinery orders data, a proxy for capital investment
- China reported news that seemed, well, over the top
The investment climate has proven extremely difficult for investors to navigate. Fed tapering and better world growth was to lead to higher interest rates. Yet interest rates for the developed world have fallen sharply in recent weeks. We identify, discuss and assess nine event risks of global investors in the week ahead.Read more ›
At the Fabian conference yesterday, Ed Balls announced the Labour Party’s intention, if elected in 2015, of restoring the 50p tax rate that was abolished by the present Coalition government. It is the central plank of his deficit reduction plan. But it is by no means clear that it is capable of bearing the weight he would like to place upon it.Read more ›
This column argues that the legacy of public debt resulting from the crisis in the Eurozone is a serious threat. Both the size of the problem and the options to address it make life much more difficult for policymakers than was the case in the late 1930s after the collapse of the gold standard. For some countries, a ‘subservient’ central bank might be preferable to the ECB.Read more ›
The data on the global economy continue to improve. The US expansion has continued, Europe is exiting recession and China’s growth his defying expectations of a slowdown. All of this portends well for 2014. Part one of the data and analysis follows below.Read more ›
Drawing on research by the IMF’s Hites Ahir and Prakash Loungani, the chart compares the house-price-to-rent ratio compared with the historical average. This is a standard measure of valuation. Clearly by such a metric, the recovery in the housing market has been uneven. Canada has the dubious honor of having the most over-valued houses, or where it makes the most sense to rent. The current ratio is about 85% above the average.Read more ›