In recent years, central banks have made a large policy wager. They bet that the protracted use of unconventional and experimental measures would provide an effective bridge to more comprehensive measures that would generate high inclusive growth and minimise the risk of financial instability. But central banks have repeatedly had to double down, in the process becoming increasingly aware of the growing risks to their credibility, effectiveness, and political autonomy. Ironically, central bankers may now get a response from other policymaking entities, which, instead of helping to normalize their operations, would make their task a lot tougher. Let’s start with the US Federal Reserve, the world’s most powerful central bank, whose actions strongly influence other central banks. Having succeeded after 2008 in stabilising a dysfunctional financial system that had threatened to tip the world into a multiyear depression, the Fed was hoping to begin normalising its policy stance … [Read more...] about Are central banks losing their big bet?
For years, Russia has been the world’s biggest sovereign gold bug: even while gold prices were in the doldrums, it doggedly kept increasing its reserves. Now that gold is at the highest level since 2013, the tactic appears to be paying off. The U.S. dollar’s dominance as a global reserve currency is commonly thought to result from the dearth of safe assets. Russia, however, recently has provided an example of how a sizable economy with the world’s fifth biggest international reserves can minimize dollar assets ad still do well. So far, it doesn’t have many followers, but gold buying by central banks is going up. Since being hit by sanctions for its aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Russia has had good reasons to rethink the composition of its international reserve. While the European Union hasn’t toughened its sanctions for almost five years, the U.S. has been doing it all the time. The Kremlin and the Bank of Russia consider the risk of … [Read more...] about Putin’s Big Bet on Gold Is Paying Off
Mr Walsh's message was that relationships matter, both between individuals and companies. Now, with Boeing in crisis after its all-important 737 Max model was grounded in the wake of two deadly crashes, the company was able to call on the robustness of that partnership. In a stunning move at this week's Paris Air Show, Mr Walsh ordered 200 of the Max, a huge commercial bet on a plane whose return to service remains undecided, and a resounding endorsement at a time when Boeing needs all the support it can get. While he no doubt secured a healthy discount on the $24bn (€21bn) list price, it wasn't commercial opportunism alone that drove the executive. Mr Walsh had long lamented that the airline group he oversees - including flag carrier British Airways, Iberia and Vueling from Spain, as well as Ireland's Aer Lingus - risked becoming too dependent on Airbus SE, whose A320 model almost entirely makes up its short-haul fleet. As he looked to refresh the Vueling and Level discount … [Read more...] about Big bet on 737 Max a sign of Willie Walsh’s loyalty
The first half of a demanding Easter double-header sees Hull City travel to fourth-placed West Brom needing a victory at the Hawthorns if they are to retain any belief in a top-six finish. Philip Buckingham’s prediction: Expect goals as the Tigers hunt three points against a free-scoring host If Hull City miss out on the Championship play-offs, something that now feels highly probable, it will be down to a multitude of factors. The sluggish opening quarter of the season and a sketchy away record have done little to help strengthen claims on a top-six finish but nor have City’s results up against promotion rivals. In the 13 games against the eight clubs currently above the Tigers in the Championship table, Nigel Adkins’ side have found only two wins. Both were superb – away to Leeds and at home to West Brom – but too often it has been those meetings against the best teams where City were left frustrated in their attempts to make a statement. Losing to … [Read more...] about West Brom v Hull City prediction, opinion, team news, key battle and betting
IN 1900 ONE in three cars on American roads ran on volts. Then oil began gushing out of Texas. Cheaper than batteries, and easier to top up, petrol fuelled the rise of mass-produced automobiles. Cost and worries about limited range have kept electric vehicles (EVs) in a niche ever since. Tesla, which has made battery power sexy again in the past decade, produced just 250,000 units last year, a fraction of what Volkswagen or Toyota churn out annually. For every one of the 2m or so pure EVs and plug-in hybrids, which combine batteries and internal-combustion engines (ICEs), sold in 2018, the world’s carmakers shifted 50 petrol or diesel cars. EV sales are, however, accelerating as quickly as electric motors themselves. Some industry-watchers reckon that they will account for nearly 15% of the global total by 2025. By then, one in five new cars in China will run on batteries, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a consultancy. The chief reason such … [Read more...] about Big carmakers are placing vast bets on electric vehicles