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2017-10-16
Yellen indicates that another hike is coming

 

Last week's US Retail Sales and CPI data fell short of market expectations, which in turn saw the probability of a rate hike before year end decline from 78% to 73%. Fed Governor Janet Yellen has said repeatedly that the Fed is confused by the stubbornly low inflation prints, so data such as the CPI number is watched very closely by the market.

 

On Sunday, ahead of the Group of 30 banking conference, Yellen painted a bright outlook for the US economy and for inflation prospects in the coming year, as impacts of recent hurricanes would only have a minor and short-lived impact on growth, and that the economy tends to bounce back quite quickly from these types of events.

 

Her comments seem to suggest that the Fed is planning to hike rates once more before year end.With Yellen's future as the Federal Reserve Chair in doubt, once her term ends in...



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2017-10-09
The folly of volatility suppression: Why Catalonia is a warning for Europe

Complex systems that have artificially supressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile…although the stated intention of political leaders and economic policymakers is to stabilize the system by inhibiting fluctuations, the result tends to be the opposite.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Blyth

The Black Swan of Cairo: How suppressing volatility makes the world less predictable and more dangerous- Foreign Affairs, May / June 2011

 

It has been only four months since Emmanuel Macron swept to power in France, prompting many to proclaim the end of populism in Europe.  Well, four months is a long time in politics, and it has been made abundantly clear in that time that populism is anything but dead.  Macron’s own approval rating has fallen to 32% and he is increasingly viewed as a ‘president of the rich’.  Germany’s recent elections were a rebuke to Angela Merkel, and the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surged into 3rd place...



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2017-10-02
What can we expect from the Conservative Party Conference this week?

Last week’s Labour party conference couldn’t have gone much better for Jeremy Corbyn. After two fractious years of infighting and chaos, the party presented itself as more united. Tom Watson and Sadiq Khan, two of Corbyn’s biggest critics in the past, both publicly backed their leader in their speeches, while Corbyn himself stood tall and delivered the sort of confident and inspiring speech that he has struggled with in the past.

 

As we look ahead at this week, the pressure is firmly on Theresa May and her Conservative Party to do the same and win back the support that has evaded her since she called a snap election earlier this year. Her main challenge comes from within her own party and the uncertainty surrounding the future leadership of the Tory party. There has been widespread speculation that Mrs. May will not see through her full term in office and instead step...



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