Ever since the nationalists in Catalonia flared a low key rebellion against Madrid, the region seems close to the world depicted by Aldous Huxley. They are attempting to create a brand new life, erasing all Spanish vestiges from early childhood onwards.
Articles by JP Marin Arrese
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In her last press conference as Fed Chair, Janet Yellen showed no visible signs of emotion or resentfulness, taking her wholly unjustified dismissal with notable fortitude and good spirits. For all her weaknesses, both observers and markets will miss her unbiased attitude, conscientious dedication and economic mastery.
Since the segregation process in Catalonia began, one got the feeling that it would be a serious risk to our country’s economic stability. Spain would pay a high price for the loss of its main economic region, which accounts for about 20% of GDP.
Investors and observers have hailed the Fed’s decision to trim its balance sheet from October onwards as a turning point in the drive to normalise monetary policy. But a decline of $10 billion per month in the hefty portfolio the Fed has accumulated in recent years will hardly have any visible effect on the bond market.
The ECB governing board will meet today amidst a climate that doesn’t invite a move of any kind. It goes without saying that the only open option is whether or not to launch a discussion on how to undertake the tapering of its asset buying programme.
Donald Trump has launched a nation-wide campaign in an attempt to salvage his tax reform plans. And time is running out for Congress. After deciding to totally amend the bill, it is proving to be incapable of reaching a minimum consensus on its shape and content.
In Jackson Hole, the FED and ECB Chairs have voiced concern about US plans to unravel the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act, thus undermining overall stability.
The US Congress used to bully the White House by threatening to put a lid on public expenditure, forcing the administration to face failure. Mr Trump has turned the rules of the game upside down by menacing that he will do this should Congress fail to fund the Mexican wall.
The minutes released by the FED and the ECB last week shared concern about how to inform about their monetary stance. They fear unsettling the markets should investors wrongly interpret the messages conveyed to them. When you lack a clear policy perspective, the best thing you can do is to manage communication in a fairly tight way.
Mr Trump would be wise to avoid further threatening once he’s made clear that the US will immediately retaliate should North Korea launch even a harmless attack close to Guam. Undoubtedly Mr Kim got the message. That said, no-one knows how he might react next time.