MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does the credit decrease because the demand is weak or because banks don’t offer any? Requirements imposed by banks to lend money (excluding to the public administrations) are aggressive both in real and collateral interest rates. Meanwhile, the possibility that the ECB increased rates would further collapse bank credit.
LONDON | By Michael Gapen at Barclays | Persistent improvement in US labor markets has caused the Fed to continue tapering and to alter its quantitative policy rate guidance in favor of qualitative language indicating that the committee is prepared to maintain the current target rate for the federal funds rate for “a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal.”
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | The Fed’s (and central banks in general) preferred tactic is “wait-and-see”, usually expressed in the form of “we will monitor closely”! Instead of becoming a focal point for the coordination of expectations, inflation has become a barrier to getting the economy’s recovery back on track.
LONDON | By François Cabau at Barclays Capital| The ECB stayed on hold this month. Keeping its easing bias, the Governing Council had a “very rich” and “ample” discussion on possible further easing measures. In our view, if expectations of a rebound in April HICP are not met, affecting the medium-term price outlook, the ECB may need to ease further.
MADRID | By Juan Ballesta.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes | There is a significant difference between the discourse formulated by Ms. Yellen and the one formulated by Feldstein. While the first talks about a “suffering economy,” the second insists on being preoccupied about the future of inflation.
MADRID | By J.P. Marín Arrese | Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank. Observers blame it for an overcautious approach to rate cutting. They openly express contempt at its reluctance in setting up aggressive asset-buying schemes. Even the IMF advocates an across-the-board cheap money stance. As the ECB fails to act when inflation rates sink far below the 2% target and credit is faltering, most believe Draghi remains hostage to hardliners in Germany.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes | That’s plainly absurd. But maybe it’s what you should expect if the Fed narrows down its focus of analysis to a “corner of the room (inflation) which has already been ‘cleaned-out’”.
FRANKFURT | By Dr. Beate Reszat | The other day, the New York Times provided us with an example of how fads and fashions can be used to draw attention to, and win acceptance for, an economic argument. In his article ‘In Search of a Stable Electronic Currency’ Nobel laureate Robert Shiller proposed the introduction of an inflation-indexed unit of account similar to the Chilean unit of development or unidad de foment (UF) which is existing since the 1960s. The article is in large parts a summary of the ideas of an academic paper the author published in 1998. In short, its main argument says that recent progress in computer technology has considerably widened the possibilities of inflation indexing which would allow for a better pricing, contracting and risk management in an economy.
MADRID | By Francisco López | In the midst of the markets’ euphoria thanks to the sharp fall in the risk premiums of peripheral countries, the big commander came and ordered to stop. The president of the ECB, Mario Draghi, appealed to investors to be cautious facing the risks of a “fragile and weak” recovery in the Eurozone and about an inflation whose expectations on the medium-term have worsened.