With so many moving pieces, and under such unconventional conditions, navigating today’s global economic landscape would be challenging for anyone. But even if we cannot anticipate every contingency, we can understand quite a lot by assessing the US Federal Reserve’s prospects for engineering a soft economic landing in the near term.
The US Federal Reserve is adrift, and it has only itself to blame. Regardless of whether its policy-setting committee announces another interest-rate hike in June, its top priority now should be to address the structural weaknesses that led it astray in the first place.
The US Federal Reserve's growing list of policymaking, supervisory, and communications failures is becoming increasingly consequential not just for Americans but also for the rest of the world.
The sudden loss of confidence by depositors in some US banks is causing many to focus on the scope for financial contagion and the needed policy responses. What should not be overlooked is the other, and slower, contagion channel in play — that involving enablers of economic growth...
As US inflation gradually eases, the claim that today’s inflationary pressures are the result of a temporary supply shock has re-emerged.
Having oscillated between anticipating another 50-basis-point interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve next week or a downshift to 25 basis points, traders have settled solidly on the latter, guided both by Fed officials’ comments and by media reports.
Over the past two years, the US Federal Reserve has repeatedly erred in its analysis, policymaking, communications, and governance.
Markets surged on Wednesday after Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, indicated that the world’s most powerful central bank would slow the pace of rate increases this month.
To say that the world’s top central banks have been under strain this year would be a big understatement given the amount of political pressure, public blame and economic condemnation thrown their way.
After the Federal Reserve meets Nov. 1 and 2 this week, we may know more about how this Fed will be remembered: as a Volcker Fed that decisively conquered inflation or, instead, a Burns Fed that allowed the country to slip into a stagflationary quagmire.
The heated debate about how central banks should respond to high and persistent inflation has focused primarily on how high interest rates should go and how long should they stay there.
After previously eschewing interest-rate hikes, the US Federal Reserve has been tightening monetary policy at an unprecedented rate.
Frequent flyers are accustomed to turbulence on some flights. Indeed, many expect it. Despite such anticipation, however, the turbulence can once in a while create significant anxiety among even the most seasoned travelers.
Rather than using the traditional asset-class analysis, I have found employing a risk-factor approach particularly helpful in understanding the impact of economics and policy on markets this year.
This is an environment in which it is hard to argue for silver linings, especially when so many analysts are warning that additional losses may be ahead in both public and private markets. Yet three are already evident.
While the market chatter in the run-up to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve interest rate decision has understandably focused on whether the increase will be 50 or 75 basis points, the critical issue in play is a broader one.
The most recent change on the supply side of the global oil market has involved Saudi Arabia suddenly and dramatically regaining its swing-producer role.
Last week’s rising stock prices suggested that many investors are still wishing the Federal Reserve will step in to counter downward pressures on the market. Hopes for this “Fed put,” however, may be confusing the Fed’s willingness to act with its ability to do so.
Rich countries have shown impressive unity in helping Ukraine counter the Russian invasion.
With so many analysts, not to mention market pricing, having settled on a 50-basis-point interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve this week, it would be understandable to assume that it’s a “done deal” when it comes to what the central bank will announce at the conclusion of its policy meeting on Wednesday. The situation could not be further from the truth.
The International Monetary Fund’s significant downward revision to its 2022 World Economic Outlook, just one quarter into the calendar year, has generated headlines and hand-wringing around the world.
Much of the commentary about the Ukraine war’s implications for the investment-management industry has tended to be both immediate and narrow, particularly in discussions about the spillovers for different segments. By zooming out, however, some longer-term ramifications become more apparent for both public and private markets.
Judging from price movements on Monday, the Federal Reserve risks slipping further into a no-win interaction with markets that is more familiar to developing countries that lack policy credibility than to a systemically important central bank — let alone the world’s most powerful one.
The Federal Reserve is in a deep hole of its own making as its top policy committee meets this week to announce the start of a long-anticipated cycle to raise interest rates. Inflation is at a 40-year high and still accelerating, the Fed’s inflation-fighting credibility is damaged, and it has lost control of the monetary policy narrative.
Whether it was friends or total strangers, everyone seemed to have the same question for me on a recent trip. Is it time to buy the dip in stocks? After all, U.S. stock markets have already had a few encouraging bounces in the past two weeks of trading, though they proved both temporary and more than fully reversible.
While the Russian and Ukrainian economies are being hit the hardest by Russia's invasion, the economic consequences of the war will not be confined to the countries fighting it.
The US Federal Reserve’s series of suboptimal decisions in the last 12 months regarding inflation means that its next policy decision also is likely to be suboptimal.
Tragically, life has been upended for those who were living in a peaceful Ukraine only a few days ago. Now their country is under intense military attack and creeping occupation. Many fear for their lives. Others have become refugees.
The global economy has less policy flexibility to deal with a possible stagflationary shock, and central banks have few good options to counter possible financial market malfunction that would amplify economic challenges.
From the pandemic and geopolitical tensions to broader macroeconomic developments, new obstacles to "normality" seem to be cropping up everywhere.
Rising inflation and declining growth are more likely to be a part of the global economy’s upcoming journey than features of its destination. But how policymakers navigate this journey will have major implications for longer-term economic well-being, social cohesion, and financial stability.
Interpretations of Wednesday’s consumer price index data, which in recent months has become as eagerly anticipated as the jobs report, are a reminder of why President Harry Truman once pleaded for “a one-handed economist,” adding that “all my economists say ‘on the one hand,’ then ‘on the other.’”
As the global economy emerges from the COVID-19 shock, systemically important central banks are faced with the unenviable task of deciding when and how quickly to phase out extraordinary stimulus measures.
Given recent history, policymakers would be unwise merely to hope for a best-case scenario in which a strong and quick economic recovery redeems the enormous run-up in debt, leverage, and asset valuations.
Trust is a precious commodity.
But two priorities stand out.
The world is going through a period of accelerating change, as four secular developments illustrate. Firms and governments must make timely adjustments, not only to their business models and operational approaches, but also to both their tactical and strategic mindsets.
Compared to this time last year, the prospects for markets and the global economy heading into 2020 are surprisingly bright. But look further ahead and you will encounter deep uncertainty, suggesting that policymakers around the world would do well to implement inclusive-growth policies sooner rather than later.
These days, the International Monetary Fund’s policy recommendations – especially as they pertain to the advanced economies – have little impact. Although this is partly a consequence of more inward-looking national politics in richer countries, the Fund itself is not blameless.
Contrary to the warnings of some political analysts, even after the recent debacle in Canada, the G7 can and will play a role – albeit a less important one – on the global stage. But that does not mean that the summit's failure was cost-free.
Unless there is a notable geopolitical shock, traditional oil producers should treat the recent oil-price gains as a temporary windfall, not a permanent state of affairs. To prolong the price recovery as long as possible, they should reinforce their collective production discipline.