Bank of Korea’s Base Rate Reduced 50 Basis points to 0.75%

March 16, 2020

The Bank of Korea’s base rate was reduced to new record low of 0.75%. Like the Fed, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and Monetary Authorities of Hong Kong and Macau, the BOK acted between scheduled policy meetings. Korea’s rate benchmark had been 1.25% since a pair of 25-basis point cuts in July and October of […] More

Next Week’s Menu: March 7-14, 2020

March 6, 2020

Central Banks: Monetary policies to be reviewed by the European Central Bank and in Peru, Ukraine, and Serbia. Lagarde holds a press conference after the ECB meeting, and DeBelle of the Reserve Bank of Australia speaks publicly. Special Events: United States and Canada move to daylight savings time on March 8th. Democratic Party primaries on […] More

Reserve Bank of Australia Official Cash Rate Cut to Record Low of 0.50%

March 3, 2020

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s official cash rate was sliced 25 basis points to a new record low of 0.50%, and commercial banks have been quick to pass on the easing with prime rate reductions. There have been ten OCR cuts of 25 basis points since May 2013. Today’s move follows three cuts last year […] More

Next Week’s Menu: February 29 – March 6, 2020

February 28, 2020

Central Banks: Monetary policies will be reviewed in Poland, Australia, Canada and Malaysia. The Fed Beige Book of U.S. regional conditions will be published, and Mester, Evans, Bullard and George are some of the Fed officials with public speaking engagements. Carney and Haldane of the Bank of England, Weidmann of the Bundesbank and ECB, and […] More

A Dismal Japanese GDP Report, Coronavirus Concerns, and Holidays in the U.S. and Canada

February 17, 2020

The Japanese economy again contracted sharply after a hike in the national sales tax. This is a phenomenon with lots of history. A 3% sales tax was introduced initially in April 1989. Back then, Japan was viewed like China is currently — an up-and-coming economic rival that could soon overtake the United States. The sales […] More

Beijing Promises Stimulus for Smaller Firms, and Investors Await Fed Chairman Powell’s Humphrey Hawkins Testimony

February 11, 2020

A pledge by China’s government to counteract any drag on growth from the coronavirus outbreak with fiscal support aimed at small and midsized companies boosted share prices in the Pacific Rim by 1.3% in Hong Kong and New Zealand, 1.0% in South Korea, 0.8% in Taiwan, 0.6% in India and 0.4% in Singapore and China. […] More

Next Week’s Menu: October 12-18

October 11, 2019

Central Banks: The Bank of Korea has a scheduled monetary policy review, and the Federal Reserve Beige Book and minutes from this month’s Reserve Bank of Australia Board meeting get published. Fed district presidents Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard and Evans are some of the U.S. central bank officials with public speaking opportunities during the week. Foreign […] More

FOMC Statement and Updated Forecasts

September 18, 2019

The federal funds target range as expected was lowered another 25 basis points to 1.75-2.0%. In the opening paragraph of the FOMC statement that describes economic conditions, investment and export demand were dowgraded to “have weakened,” while personal consumption was upgraded to a stronger pace. Similar to the statement at end-July when the initial easing was […] More

Rate Cut in Turkey

September 12, 2019

Policymakers at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey slashed the one-week repo rate by a greater-than-expected 325 basis points in follow-up to a 425-basis point cut in July from a peak of 24.0% that had prevailed since a 625-basis point increase in September of 2018. The rate now becomes 16.5%, which the monetary […] More

Peso Panic and Some Deescalation of the U.S.-Sino Trade dispute

August 13, 2019

Sunday’s primary election in Argentina served notice that populism is making a big comeback there and has generated a stampede out of the peso (down nearly 22%) and local stocks, whose share prices tumbled nearly 50% and by the second largest day-to-day slump in seven decades. Investors fear a return to protectionism and other state […] More