The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the representation of US economic might on the global stage and the de facto currency unit for the overwhelming majority of financial assets.
US Federal Reserve
Landlocked Bolivia is viewed as South America’s poorest country, but its fortunes may be turning for the better. The government plans to nearly double its coca production but also further develop what is purported to be the earth’s single-largest reserve of lithium, a light metal used in batteries, which is experiencing skyrocketing demand. Bolivia could be on the cusp of a rags-to-riches rebirth.
The battle between the globalists and the populists has captivated people around the world, including investors, who are today inclined to place political news ahead of the more tried-and-true economic indicators in making decisions. Despite the turmoil in politics, though, many leading economies, especially that of the US, are doing rather well, with no major storms on the visible horizon.
During his campaign, US President Donald Trump was short on praise for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. But since taking office in January, he has softened his public remarks about her low interest-rate policies, and there is even the possibility that he might re-nominate her in 2018. Would the reappointment of an avowed monetary-policy dove work for or against his economic plans in the future?
Trying times can inspire groundbreaking reform, and today’s economic climate may demand a radical strategy. Approaches such as universal basic income, deposit accounts held at central banks, and monetary policy through direct transfers may be what is needed to effectively address stubborn conditions that could turn perilous in the days ahead.
At the beginning of 2017, the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that it will keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 0 percent and its deposit rate at -0.4 percent. To sustain European economies, the ECB will also continue its bond-buying program with 80 billion euros (US$85 billion) per month until the end of March.
United States President Donald J. Trump received an unexpected valentine last week from Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The higher interest rates President Trump pledged through jawboning the Federal Reserve are coming.
If it seems as if the world has changed, it is because it has. Economic growth, for example, lags behind the levels reached before the 2007/2008 financial crisis even in developed countries. The need for governments to step in with proactive fiscal policies to kick start their economies has never been greater.
Anemic economic growth in advanced economies has led central banks to prescribe loose monetary policy that has not produced the cure. The problem may lie more on the supply than demand side; digital innovation in industrial operations if properly implemented could lead to the transformative revolution that will boost productivity and revive economic performance.
The developed world’s economy has decelerated since the great financial crisis (GFC) of 2008, and despite the efforts of governments and central banks, growth rates have stagnated while inflation remains well below target.