The whispering campaigns of global central banks reflect widespread uncertainty and a degree of apprehension. All central banks have new captains at the wheel since the GFC.
While all believe tightening monetary policy is desirable, after eight long years of stimulus, committees are yet to establish a decisive strategy or at least communicate one.
Procrastination reigns supreme and volatility has returned to currency markets. Investment banks’ trading desks cheer.
Paul Volcker, the chair of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, said “tightening is the hard part,” and today’s central bankers are finding out just what he meant.
Janet Yellen has not been convincing. After raising the federal funds rate in March and June, the possibility of a third increase is on the backburner. December is the uneasy market favourite.
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John Goodlad owns shares in many of the companies mentioned in this report.
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