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Obama's Goal in Asia: Reassure Nervous Allies
Marvin C. Ott / National Interest
Marvin C. Ott President Obama has begun a four-nation Asia trip-which may prove to be one of the more consequential Presidential trips of recent years. The Asia-Pacific has long been the most economically dynamic region on the planet; it encompasses the world's three largest economies and half of global GDP. ...
Related: The U.S., TPP and Taiwan
Alexander Benard, Paul J. Leaf / National Interest
Alexander Benard Paul J. Leaf As President Obama travels throughout Asia this week to revive his stalled pivot there, he should pay special attention to Taiwan-a country that, in recent years, has quietly but steadily drifted deeper into China's orbit. The U.S. military commitment to Taiwan has historically been strong. ...
Related: What's Really Impeding Progress in the TPP?
Daniel R. Pearson / Cato
Daniel R. Pearson Japan and the United States have undertaken a series of high-level negotiations over the past several weeks in an effort to reach a bilateral agreement that could lead to completion of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Japanese Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Akira Amari, ...
Related: Why almost everyone hates the trade deal Obama's negotiating in Japan
Jaime Fuller / The Fix
As President Obama spends his first day in Asia Wednesday, one of the big topics will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that his administration has spent years negotiating. It's a giant unwieldy treaty that has inspired many strong opinions at home and abroad. Here'a quick guide to ...
 
BOJ says 90 percent of banks taking on more risk post-QE
Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) - Over 90 percent of Japanese banks have increased loans and investment in riskier assets in the past year, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday, suggesting that the wall of money it...
Related: BOJ Beat: Banks Becoming More Insulated Against Rate Jump
Tatsuo Ito / WSJ Japan Real Time
Japanese banks are becoming more insulated against losses that could emerge from a sudden rise in interest rates, a Bank of Japan report shows.
 
Smart Money in China Cuts Back on Property
WSJ
For years, Chinese property has been a sure bet for savvy investors looking to ride the country's economic surge. Now, some of the best-known names in Chinese investing are cutting back, at least for the present.
Related: Chinese banks warned of growing bad loans
South China Morning Post
China's banking sector was warned bad loans are growing due to overdue borrowings at a time when economic growth is slowing on the mainland, according to an analysis by (PwC).
Related: China's Debt Endgames
Satyajit Das / EconoMonitor
Quick And Slow Deaths... Understandably, the major focus now is on the denouement of the crisis. Pessimists are concerned about a catastrophic crash. Optimists are more sanguine, expecting a soft landing with gradual reforms correcting the systemic issues. The crash scenario is predicated on continuing increases in debt levels and ...
Related: China's Factory Production Is Slow, but At Least It's Picking Up Slightly
Michael S. Arnold / WSJ China Real Time Report
An initial peek at April manufacturing data Wednesday suggests China's economy is beginning to stabilize after growth slowed sharply in the first quarter of the year.
Related: Yuan Falls to 14-Month Low
WSJ
China's yuan fell to its weakest level in more than a year as Beijing signals it isn't done pushing the currency lower, a move aimed at shaking out speculators who bet on gains and flood the economy with excess cash.
 
Obama considers bankers for Fed board
CNBC
The White House is weighing candidates with banking backgrounds to fill gaps on the Fed's depleted board, sources familiar with the matter said.
Related: Big Banks Dispute Fed's Case for Physical Commodities Restrictions
American Banker
Wall Street banks - and the trade groups and law firms that represent them - are challenging the Federal Reserve Board's basis for restricting bank ties to physical commodities, arguing it is fundamentally flawed.
 
The Bond Market Disagrees With The Fed: So What's New About That?
Terry Connelly / HuffingtonPost
The U.S. Federal Reserve through its Chair Janet Yellen has been making clear in recent meetings and speeches that the "federal funds" overnight interest rate (close to zero) is going to be with us for a period of time, possibly lasting until 2016, so long as unemployment stays above and ...
Related: Fed on course for further $10bn taper
FT
Expected slowdown in asset purchases next week is being driven by a resilient economy that has shaken off its winter torpor
Related: CHART OF THE DAY: The Fed's Feeling Pretty Confident About Its Outlook For Rates
Sam Ro / Business Insider
During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to help the economy claw its way back to growth. With the economy now humming and the unemployment rate coming down, everyone now wants to know when the Fed might begin raising rates and how high rates will be in ...
 
Speeding toward inequality
Angry Bear
If you were a passenger in a car speeding toward a cliff, you would scream at the lunatic driver to steer away or slow down. The car is our economy. The cliff is inequality. Inequality is a disaster for society. Who is driving the car? A combination of government policies ...
Related: Over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth: Piketty Day Here at Berkeley: The Honest Broker for the Week of April 26, 2014
Brad DeLong / Grasping Reality
[Over at the Washington Center for Equitable It's Piketty Day here at Berkeley. So let me note that Robert Solow has another good Piketty review: **Robert Solow:** 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century' by Thomas Piketty, Reviewed: "Inequality... has been worsening... >the widening gap between the rich and the rest.... A ...
Related: Solow on Piketty
Greg Mankiw
A review in the New Republic.
Related: Inequality in Well-Being
Atif Mian and Amir Sufi / House of Debt
As we mentioned in our post yesterday, economists care much more about inequality in well-being rather than inequality in income or wealth. Data on well-being are more difficult to gather, but we discussed some evidence that inequality in consumption also increased from 1980 to 2010. Consumption directly affects the utility ...
Related: More Effective Remedies for Inequality
Yves Smith / Naked Capitalism
Yves here. The subject of inequality in income and wealth has, in the last year or so, become an oft-mentioned topic in economic and political commentary. It's now even acceptable to use the word to describe the US. Yet too often lost in the debate is that this type of ...
 
Europe's debt crisis eases as Greece and Portugal report economic progress
Graeme Wearden / Guardian
EU praises Athens for budget surplus while Lisbon's return to bond market boosts hopes of avoiding second bailout Europe's recovery from its debt crisis took two significant steps forward on Wednesday as Greece posted a primary budget surplus and Portugal made a successful return to the bond markets for the ...
Expand sublinks   Also:  ETF Trends | FT | FT | Heard on the Street | BBC | FT | euronews
Related: Portuguese bond yield falls to 3.58%
BBC
Portugal's chances of exiting its three year bailout programme have risen after the sale of 10 year government debt fell to a record low of 3.75%.
 
Greece's public finances are in a dire state, and cooking the books won't help
Larry Elliott / Guardian
Primary budget facts and details in the small print can no longer be hidden by creative accounting and a sleight of hand It was dodgy accounting that got Greece into a mess in the first place. Now, more dodgy accounting is being used to dress up the dire state of ...
Related: The Importance Of Greece
Seeking Alpha
There has been much skepticism about Greece's fiscal progress and interim reports suggesting that it was recording a budget surplus when debt servicing, and one-off factors were excluded, were greeted with scorn. And even some of those accepting that it had recorded a primary budget surplus warned that this will ...
 
Euro-Zone Business Activity Accelerates
WSJ Economy
Business activity in the euro zone accelerated at the start of the second quarter, but companies cut prices they charged customers, a sign that the European Central Bank's worries over low inflation are far from over.
Related: Closing the US-EU productivity gap
VoxEU
Ana Rincon Aznar , Anastasios Saraidaris , Michela Vecchi , Francesco Venturini , 24 April 2014 The importance of innovation activities for productivity growth has long been recognised. However, there are significant differences in the level of intangible investments across developed economies. This column describes how the EU can enhance ...
Related: ECB's Nowotny says would not rule out QE, but don't need it yet
Reuters
VIENNA (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said he would not rule out a quantitative easing (QE) - or money printing - program to buy sovereign bonds, but the time for such a...
Related: The Euro crisis and its aftermath
Bruegel
The euro's life, while only slightly more than a decade long, has been riddled by a series of challenges and crises. At this event Jean Pisani-Ferry, former Director of Bruegel who currently serves as Chief of the Policy Planning Staff for the Prime Minister of France, will present his new ...
 
France raises deficit forecasts amid low growth
U.S. News
PARIS (AP) - The French government has raised its public deficit forecasts amid slow growth, but is still pledging to meet the European Union deficit target of 3 percent next year.
 
Bank raises UK growth forecast
BBC
The Bank of England raises its estimate of economic growth in the first quarter of the year and a CBI survey indicates robust growth in the manufacturing sector.
Expand sublinks   Also:  The Times | WSJ | Guardian | FT | FT | WSJ | Telegraph
Related: UK factories most optimistic since Heath years
FT
Uplift in mood comes as Bank of England officials raise their estimate of economy-wide growth in the first quarter to 1%
Related: UK government hits borrowing target
BBC
The UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the amount it borrowed the previous year.
Related: Is the UK becoming more productive?
Robert Peston
Well, well, well. UK productivity - the output of British workers - may be improving at long last. That is the implication of the latest survey of business conditions by the Bank of England's agents, and it is the hope of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Why does that ...
 
Catalonia to forge ahead with referendum
FT
Region's president vows to call a regional vote on Catalonia's future status, warning that he sees little chance of a negotiated settlement with Madrid
Related: Spain to cut 2014 net debt issuance on higher tax revenue
Reuters
MADRID (Reuters) - Higher than expected tax receipts and falling financing costs will allow Spain to sharply cut net debt issuance for 2014 from an estimated 65 billion euros ($90 billion), Economy...
Related: The Gain in Spain
Michael Spence / Project Syndicate
The Spanish economy is beginning to attract investors' attention - and not only because asset prices are depressed in the current climate. While there are huge problems that must still be overcome, there is also a clear sense on the ground that the economy has passed a turning point, roughly ...
 
The Economic Monster Called Deflation
A. Gary Shilling / Bloomberg Views
Central bankers fear deflation so much that they want an inflationary cushion to prevent an economic shock or geopolitical crisis from sending low inflation into negative territory.
Related: Targeting wage inflation
Mainly Macro
I was pleased to see that David Blanchflower and Adam Posen have advocated using wage inflation as an intermediate target in their analysis of labour market slack in the US. Specifically they say"Our results also point towards using wage inflation as an additional intermediate target for monetary policy by the ...
Related: Good News: Wages Are Rising, and Inflation Is Still Low
Business Week
"It should be obvious to everyone by now that there is wage pressure in the pipeline"
 
Bond Markets Put the Squeeze on Putin
andrew / Fiscal Times
REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk By Rob Garver,The Fiscal TimesApril 23, 2014 In the worst moments of the U.S. debt ceiling crisis in 2011, then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned lawmakers that if markets lost confidence in the ability of the U.S. to pay its debts, the Treasury might one day have to withdraw ...
Related: Does Putin Want a War?
Steven Pifer ... / National Interest
Steven Pifer John Herbst William Taylor Does Vladimir Putin want war with Ukraine? Given Moscow's failure to help implement the April 17 Geneva statement and its bellicose tone, it is increasingly difficult to escape that conclusion. The United States and Europe need to apply sterner sanctions immediately if they hope ...
Related: Putin learning what U.S. didn't
Nicholas Wapshott
In his stealth occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin appears to have learned the lessons of both the U.S. in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Related: Russia Is in No Economic Shape to Fight a War
Petersen Institute
Last Friday evening, the Russian Security Council met. In attendance were 12 men-almost all of whom are around 60 years old and who once worked in the KGB in St. Petersburg-and one woman. Many have speculated that they might have agreed on a plan to invade eastern and southern Ukraine ...
 
U.S. Wants To Help Ukraine Develop Shale Gas
Charles Kennedy / Oil Price
The U.S. Department of Energy plans to work with private U.S. companies to help Ukraine develop its shale gas resources. In an April 22 interview with the Christian Science Monitor, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz said, "[Ukrainians] do have a lot of gas potential that they are not developing, both conventional ...
Related: Ukraine gas cut risks damaging Gazprom
FT
Putin knows cutting off supplies could hurt the Russian state and inject new vigour into EU attempts to reduce dependence on the country's pipelines
Related: US vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine
Hurriyet
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that Washington would impose more sanctions on Russia if tensions did not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine
 
Russia, India Planning $30 Billion Oil Pipeline Through Xinjiang
John Daly / Oil Price
Russia is changing its energy export policy vector as strong demand for hydrocarbons in both in China and in India continues to grow. The recent unease in both the U.S. and Europe over Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 17 annexation of Crimea has only added to Moscow's efforts to diversify ...
Related: RBI panel moots centralised bill payment system
Financial Express
An RBI panel today made a case for centralised bill payment system catering to different financial instruments, like cheques, debit cards and mobile banking.
Related: Getting India Back on Track: An Action Agenda for Reform
Carnegie Endowment
A playbook for how Indian policymakers can return the country to a path of high and sustained economic growth.
 
Is Sweden headed the Japan way?
Amol Agrawal / Mostly Economics
Things are getting more and more complex. Countries which had recovered post-crisis are slipping. Sweden is the latest entrant to the list. The last reading was at -0.6% fueling debates over deflation in Sweden. Krugman always on red alert to these developments started the debate - one and two . ...
Related: Sweden lambasts Krugman over Japan-style deflation warning
Reuters
STOCKHOLM/HALMSTAD, Sweden (Reuters) - Swedish policymakers hit out on Wednesday at suggestions by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman that the Nordics' biggest economy was in a Japanese-style deflationary...
 
Is David Einhorn Right About the Tech Bust?
Leonid Bershidsky / Bloomberg Views
Activist investor David Einhorn is betting that the "tech bubble" will burst. He is not, however, a perfect judge of timing.
Related: Tech sector sell-off is 'healthy'
Telegraph
Technology sell-offs are a positive, argues JPMorgan Asset Management's Andrew Goldberg
 
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Euro-Zone Business Activity Accelerates
WSJ Economy
Obama's Goal in Asia: Reassure Nervous Allies
National Interest
Catalonia to forge ahead with referendum
FT
The Economic Monster Called Deflation
Bloomberg Views
Is David Einhorn Right About the Tech Bust?
Bloomberg Views
Is Sweden headed the Japan way?
Mostly Economics
The Bond Market Disagrees With The Fed: So What's New About That?
HuffingtonPost
Obama considers bankers for Fed board
CNBC
Russia, India Planning $30 Billion Oil Pipeline Through Xinjiang
Oil Price
U.S. Wants To Help Ukraine Develop Shale Gas
Oil Price
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Last Updated: 15:07 GMT     Wednesday, 24 Apr. 2014 Archive About FAQ Home