Results 51–100 of 226 found.
Unconventional Monetary Policy on Stilts
With most advanced economies experiencing anemic recoveries from the 2008 financial crisis, their central banks have been forced to move from conventional monetary policy – reducing policy rates via open-market purchases of short-term government bonds – to a range of unconventional policies. And now they are poised to do so again.
The Global Economy’s New Abnormal
Since the beginning of the year, the world economy has faced a new bout of severe financial market volatility, marked by sharply falling prices for equities and other risky assets. A variety of factors are at work – and will remain so throughout 2016 and beyond.
The Europe Question in 2016
At the cusp of the new year, we face a world in which geopolitical and geo-economic risks – in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – are multiplying. Yet it is Europe that may turn out to be the ground zero of geopolitics in the coming 12 months.
Europe’s Barbarians Inside the Gate
For Europe, solidarity begins at home. That means supporting aggregate demand and pro-growth reforms to ensure a more resilient recovery of jobs and incomes – and thereby beating back the populists and nationalists currently gaining ground throughout the continent.
Europe’s Politics of Dystopia
The recent victory of the conservative Law and Justice party in Poland confirms a recent trend in Europe: the rise of illiberal state capitalism, led by populist right-wing authoritarians. Failure to act decisively now will lead to the eventual failure of the EU and the rise of dystopian nationalist regimes.
The Middle East Meltdown and Global Risk
With the US on the way to achieving energy independence, there is a risk that America and its Western allies will consider the Middle East less strategically important than they did in the past. Wishful thinking should not cloud policy judgment: a burning Middle East can destabilize the world in many ways.
A Financial Early-Warning System
Recent market volatility – in emerging and developed economies alike – is showing once again how badly ratings agencies and investors can err in assessing countries’ economic and financial vulnerabilities. More than ever, the world needs an early-warning system for financial tsunamis.
Emerging Markets After the Fed Hikes Rates
The prospect that the US Federal Reserve will start exiting zero policy rates later this year has fueled growing fear of volatility in emerging economies’ currency, bond, and stock markets. But, with a few exceptions lacking systemic importance, widespread distress and crises need not occur.
The Liquidity Time Bomb
Advanced countries’ central banks have managed to keep interest rates low, reduce the volatility of bond markets, and lift many asset prices. But a series of recent shocks suggests that macro liquidity has become linked with severe market illiquidity.
The Dollar Joins the Currency Wars
Until recently, US policymakers were not overly concerned about the dollar’s strength; America’s growth prospects were stronger than in Europe and Japan. But things look different today, and officials' exchange-rate jitters are becoming increasingly pronounced.
The Negative Way to Growth?
Monetary policy has become increasingly unconventional in the last six years, with central banks implementing zero-interest-rate policies, quantitative easing, credit easing, forward guidance, and unlimited exchange-rate intervention. But now we have come to the most unconventional policy tool of them all: negative nominal interest rates.
An Unconventional Truth
To be effective, monetary stimulus must be accompanied by temporary fiscal stimulus, which is now lacking in all major economies. That is why, given persistent insufficient aggregate demand, unconventional monetary policies will remain a central feature of the macroeconomic landscape.
Where Will All the Workers Go?
In the years ahead, technological improvements in robotics and automation will boost productivity and efficiency, implying significant economic gains for companies. Yet, unless the proper policies to nurture job growth are put in place, it remains uncertain whether demand for labor will continue to grow as technology marches forward.
The Return of Currency Wars
The recent decision by the Bank of Japan to increase the scope of its quantitative easing is a signal that another round of currency wars may be under way. The cause of the latest currency turmoil is clear: In an environment of public and private deleveraging, monetary policy has become the only available tool to boost demand.
The Single-Engine Global Economy
The global economy is like a jetliner that needs all of its engines operational to take off and steer clear of clouds and storms. Unfortunately, only one of its four engines is functioning properly, the pilots must navigate menacing storm clouds, and fights are breaking out among the passengers.
Markets’ Rational Complacency
A century ago, financial markets priced in a very low probability that a major conflict would occur, blissfully ignoring the risks that led to World War I until late in the summer of 1914. Back then, markets were poor at correctly pricing low-probability, high-impact tail risks; they still are.
Abenomics, European Style
Two years ago, Shinzo Abes election as Japans prime minister led to the advent of Abenomics, a three-part plan to rescue the economy from a treadmill of stagnation and deflation. It now appears that the European Central Bank has a similar plan in store for the eurozone.
Russias Eurasian Vision
The escalating conflict in Ukraine between the Western-backed government and Russian-backed separatists has focused attention on the Kremlins long-term objectives. Though Russian President Vladimir Putins immediate goal may have been limited to retaining some influence in Ukrainian affairs, his longer-term ambition is much bolder.
Gouging the Gauchos
Like individuals and private firms that rely on bankruptcy procedures to reduce an excessive debt burden, countries sometimes need orderly debt restructuring or reduction. But the ongoing legal saga of Argentinas fight with holdout creditors shows that the international system for orderly sovereign-debt restructuring may be broken.
The Great Backlash
In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers success in preventing the Great Recession from turning into Great Depression II held in check demands for protectionist measures. But now the backlash against globalization has arrived, and we know from bitter experience what could come next.
Global Ground Zero in Asia
The most pressing geopolitical issue of our time is not the prospect of conflict between Israel and Iran over nuclear proliferation or rising tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine. It is the challenge of managing China's rise and ensuring that peace and prosperity prevail in Asia.
Emerging-Market Risk and Reward
Industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of a middle-class consumer society were supposed to boost emerging-market countries' long-term economic and sociopolitical stability. But in many countries recently wracked by political unrest, it is the urban middle classes that have been manning the barricades.
The Trouble with Emerging Markets
The financial turmoil that hit emerging-market economies in the spring of last year, following the Federal Reserves "taper tantrum" over its quantitative-easing policy, has returned with a vengeance. But the immediate trigger for these pressures should not be confused with deeper causes: Many emerging markets are in real trouble.
Slow Growth and Short Tails
The global economy will grow faster in 2014 than it did in 2013, while tail risks will be lower. But, with the possible exception of the US, growth will remain anemic in advanced economies, and emerging-market fragility - including Chinas uncertain efforts at economic rebalancing - could become a drag on global growth.
Bubbles in the Broth
As below-trend GDP growth and high unemployment continue to afflict most advanced economies, their central banks have served up an alphabet soup of unconventional monetary policy measures. But, with asset prices continuing to rise, many countries may have more helpings than they can stand.
The Eurozone's Calm Before the Storm
A little more than a year ago, in the summer of 2012, the eurozone, faced with growing fears of a Greek exit and unsustainably high borrowing costs for Italy and Spain, appeared to be on the brink of collapse. Today, that risk has diminished significantly but the factors that fueled it remain largely unaddressed.
Autumn's Known Unknowns
During the height of the Iraq war, then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke of known unknowns foreseeable risks whose realization is uncertain. Today, the global economy is facing many known unknowns, most of which stem from policy uncertainty.
Trouble in Emerging-Market Paradise
Some of the better-managed emerging-market economies will continue to experience rapid growth and asset outperformance in the coming decade. But many BRICS countries and a few other emerging markets may hit a thick wall, with growth and financial markets taking a serious beating.
The prices of a wide range of risky assets have been rising, despite sluggish GDP growth worldwide. This discrepancy portends a new period of asset-price volatility one that could mark the beginning of a broader de-risking cycle for financial markets.
After the Gold Rush
The run-up in gold prices in recent years from $800 per ounce in early 2009 to above $1,900 in the fall of 2011 had all the features of a bubble. And now, like all asset-price surges that are divorced from the fundamentals of supply and demand, the gold bubble is deflating.
The Trapdoors at the Fed's Exit
It may be too soon to say that many risky assets have reached bubble levels, and that leverage and risk-taking in financial markets is becoming excessive. But the reality is that credit and asset/equity bubbles are likely to form in the next two years, owing to loose US monetary policy.
The Global Economy on the Fly
In a fragile global environment, has America become a beacon of hope? While the US is experiencing several positive economic trends, Europe continues to stagnate, and China will be vulnerable to a hard landing in 2014 unless its new leaders accelerate the pace of reform.
Ten QE Questions
Most observers regard unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing as necessary to jump-start growth in today's anemic economies. But questions about the effectiveness and risks of such policies have begun to multiply as well.
The Economic Fundamentals of 2013
The global economy this year will exhibit some similarities with conditions prevailing in 2012 no surprise there. But there will be some important differences, as fiscal austerity spreads to more advanced economies, the risk of a hard landing in China rises, and the threat of war in the Middle East grows.
The Eurozone's Delayed Reckoning
The tail risks of a Greek exit from the eurozone or a massive loss of market access in Italy and Spain have been reduced for 2013. But the fundamental crisis of the eurozone has not been resolved, and another year of muddling through could revive these risks in a more virulent form in 2014 and beyond.
The Year of Betting Conservatively
As consumers, firms, and investors become more cautious and risk-averse, the equity-market rally of the second half of 2012 has crested. And, given the seriousness of the downside risks to growth, the correction could be a bellwether of worse to come for the global economy and financial markets in 2013.
Hard to be Easing
The US Federal Reserves third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, has many observers arguing that the effects on risky assets could be greater than in previous rounds. But, despite the Feds commitment to aggressive monetary easing, QE3's effects on the real economy and on US equities could well be smaller and more fleeting.
Fiddling at the Fire
Worldwide, political leaders are putting off the economic reforms needed to avoid a painful, if not catastrophic, endgame. But, as everyone kicks the can down the road, the can is getting heavier and, in the major emerging markets and advanced economies alike, is quickly approaching a brick wall.
Early Retirement for the Eurozone?
Germany and the ECB are now relying on the hope that large-scale liquidity will buy time to allow the adjustments needed to restore growth and debt sustainability in the eurozone periphery. But, if a eurozone breakup can only be postponed, delaying the inevitable would merely make the endgame worse much worse.
American Pie in the Sky
For the last three years, the consensus has been that the US economy was on the verge of a robust and self-sustaining recovery that would restore above-potential growth. That turned out to be wrong, as a painful process of balance-sheet deleveraging implies that the recovery will remain, at best, below-trend for many years to come.
A Global Perfect Storm
Dark, lowering financial and economic clouds are, it seems, rolling in from every direction: the eurozone, the United States, China, and elsewhere. Indeed, the global economy in 2013 could be a very difficult environment in which to find shelter. For starters, the eurozone crisis is worsening, as the euro remains too strong, front-loaded fiscal austerity deepens recession in many member countries, and a credit crunch in the periphery and high oil prices undermine prospects of recovery.
Greece Must Exit
The Greek euro tragedy is reaching its final act: it is clear that either this year or next, Greece is highly likely to default on its debt and exit the eurozone.Like a doomed marriage, it is better to have rules for the inevitable breakup that make separation less costly to both sides.
Europes Short Vacation
The honeymoon for the ECB's new president Mario Draghi has turned out to be brief. The trouble is that the eurozone has an austerity strategy, but no growth strategy and, without that, all it really has is a recession strategy that makes austerity self-defeating, because, if output continues to contract, deficit and debt ratios will continue to rise to unsustainable levels.
Todays fragile global economy faces many risks: the risk of another flare-up of the eurozone crisis; the risk of a worse-than-expected slowdown in China; and the risk that the US economy's recovery fizzles (again). But no risk is more serious than that posed by a further spike in oil prices.
The Upticks Downside
Since late last year, a series of positive developments has boosted investor confidence and led to a sharp rally in risky assets, starting with global equities and commodities. But at least four downside risks are likely to materialize this year, undermining global growth and negatively affecting investor confidence and market valuations of risky assets.
Results 51–100 of 226 found.