Every New Year starts with optimism about the global economy. But as Stanley Fischer, then vice chair of the US Federal Reserve, noted back in August 2014: “Year after year we have had to explain from mid-year on why the global growth rate has been lower than predicted as little as two quarters back.” Will […]
Tag Archives | US Federal Reserve
Global interest rates have fallen dramatically over the past 25 years, as the chart shows for government 10-year bonds: UK rates peaked at 9% in 1995 and are now down at 1%: US rates peaked at 8% and are now at 2% German rates peaked at 8% and are now down to 0%: […]
The Financial Times has kindly printed my letter below, wondering why the US Federal Reserve still fails to appreciate the impact of the ageing BabyBoomers on the economy Sir, It was surprising to read that the US Federal Reserve is still puzzled by today’s persistently low levels of inflation, given that the impact of the ageing […]
US GDP growth is slowing, again, as the chart of the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s “GDP Now” forecast shows: Forecast Q1 growth has slipped to just 0.6% from an initial 3.4% at the end of January Consensus economic forecasts are still much higher, but even they have fallen to 1.7% from 2.2% […]
Monetary policy used to be the main focus for running the economy. If demand and inflation rose too quickly, then interest rates would be raised to cool things down. When demand and inflation slowed, interest rates would be reduced to encourage “pent-up demand” to return. After the start of the Financial Crisis, central banks promised […]
The Financial Times has kindly printed my letter below, welcoming the Fed’s decision to address the impact of demographics, but arguing that it needs to focus on demand issues, given the impact of today’s ageing populations. Sir, It is good to see the US Federal Reserve is finally beginning to address the impact of demographics […]
Finally, one of the major Western central banks has agreed that the ageing of the BabyBoomers does indeed have an impact on the economy. John Fernald of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, wrote in a new paper this week: “Estimates suggest the new normal for U.S. GDP growth has dropped to between 1½ and […]
Markets have one main function in life – price discovery. If I want to buy, and you want to sell, the existence of a market allows us to discover the price at which the market will balance in terms of supply and demand. History, however, provides many examples of times when rulers decided they knew […]
The world’s 4 main central bankers love being in the media spotlight. After decades climbing the academic ladder, or earning millions with investment banks, they have the opportunity to rule the world’s economy – or so they think. But their background is rather strange preparation to take on this role – even if it was […]
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes“, Mark Twain Bob Farrell of Merrill Lynch was rightly considered one of the leading Wall Street analysts in his day. His 10 Rules are still an excellent guide for any investor. Equally helpful is the simple checklist he developed, echoing Mark Twain’s insight, to help investors avoid […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.