MADRID | March 24, 2015 | By J.P Marín-Arrese | On face value, Europe is recovering from a bad spell while the US is growing at an invidious rate. However, the wild currency swing may yet destabilise the global economy. Janet Yellen’s remarks on the threat of an overvalued dollar were designed to preserve a balanced performance, and indeed sparked a quick reaction in exchange rates. Yet, as the ECB unfurls its massive quantitative easing programme, volatility in the currency markets could inflict further damage.
By Barry Eichengreen via Caixin | The reform response to the financial crisis was mild compared to that of the Great Depression, but all is not lost.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | On December 2 2014, Stanley Fisher gave an interview (video) to Jon Hilsenrath of the WSJ. It was notable because Fischer had mostly been quiet, except for a couple of Lectures (not speeches) – here, here – given in international forums. Six or seven weeks later, is that interview still pertinent? At that point oil prices stood at close to USD 70 and now they stand below 50. Mostly as a reflection of low global AD (here).The global scenario is changing quickly, and not for the better. So maybe Fischer is not so sure anymore. [Image:WSJ]
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | If things get worse [for the US economy], that’s the fault of weak growth in Europe and the BRICS, having nothing to do with bad monetary policy by the Fed itself. Keep wearing those rose-tinted glasses and soon everyone will start feeling things couldn’t be better!
SAO PAULO | By Benjamin Cole via Marcus Nunes’s Historinhas | The results are in, and it appears the Fed’s use of QE—faltering, dithering, at times mindlessly circumscribed in advance—was moderately successful in helping the U.S. climb out of recession. Europe is still mired in econo-gloom, courtesy of the ECB’s monetary noose around its neck. Japan may only now be fighting its way out of perma-gloom by way of aggressive QE. The U.S., in contrast, has posted slow growth since the end of the 2008-09 “great recession”.
MADRID | The Corner | The leading indicators of the manufacturing sector both in Europe and the US will be announced on Monday. China’s indicators showed an economic slowdown of the sector, which could force the government to implement new stimuli measures. Together with the service sector index, which has a bigger impact on the developed economies, these indicators will show -again, two divergent scenarios: 1) the American economy keeps on growing at a good pace after two quarters in which the GDP increased more than 4% on average, 2) the economy of the Eurozone continues its slow expansion, but there is a threat of stagnation, according to experts at Link Securities.
SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | Why? According to the “accountants”: “It’s no secret that spending cuts (and tax hikes) have retarded America’s growth for the past four years. But data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis suggests that the era of austerity may finally have ended.” See the “flagship chart” above.
Maury N. Harris, Drew T. Matus, et al. (UBS) | The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its estimates for a 4.1% y/y rise in holiday sales—among the stronger growth forecasts in recent years. Although sales have fallen short of NRF expectations in each of the last two years, trends in income and confidence suggest better for this year. Falling energy prices also help.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Having €2.83 trillion in the bank and not knowing what to do with it is a problem that everybody would love to have. But it is actually a really serious problem for 316.1 million Americans, especially for those whose income increased by 0.43% in 2013. And, by extension, for the other 6.8 bn of human beings in the planet. Behind this problem there is a lack of investment opportunities, without which investment in the US will remain in a state of weakness and heavily dependent on an inability to increase consumption.
ZURICH | By UBS analysts | Will a strong dollar much weaken overall U.S. growth and inflation? The answer importantly depends on how much export and import prices respond to changes in the dollar’s foreign exchange value. Exporters may cut dollar prices and profit margins in order to blunt a stronger dollar’s impact on their market shares and volumes. In fact, over the three months through October, dollar prices of nonagricultural exports fell steadily (by a cumulative 1.3%).