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Breakingviews - Fed’s market fixes leave biggest problem unsolved

Mar 16 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has pulled out all the stops to halt emerging signs of stress in financial markets. However, even his best efforts will only mitigate such tensions, not eliminate them.

Breakingviews - ECB’s stealth easing enlists banks in virus fight

Mar 12 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Christine Lagarde is hoping the banking sector will be her new best friend. Less than four months after taking office, the European Central Bank boss has taken a stealth approach to monetary easing that relies on lenders to help combat the damage the coronavirus risks wreaking on the euro zone economy.

Breakingviews - Virus gives UK cover for “jam every day” giveaway

Mar 11 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s Conservative government has a new fiscal strategy: promise jam every day. Rishi Sunak, the country’s new finance minister, on Wednesday announced 30 billion pounds of new spending in the coming year, with almost a quarter of that dedicated to helping the public and the economy cope with the coronavirus. The robust response to the health crisis – a few hours after the Bank of England slashed interest rates – is welcome. But it leaves Prime Minister Boris Johnson little wiggle room.

Breakingviews - Mark Carney’s joined-up thinking does what it can

Mar 11 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mark Carney is doing nearly all he can to keep the UK economy afloat. The outgoing Bank of England boss unexpectedly eased monetary policy on Wednesday, hours before finance minister Rishi Sunak was due to unveil measures to prop up a fragile economy facing coronavirus-related disruptions. It’s rare for an independent central bank to act so openly in tandem with government, but now is not the time to stand on ceremony.

Breakingviews - Oil shock gives central banks excuse to be bold

Mar 09 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The oil market has handed European Central Bank boss Christine Lagarde and her global peers the perfect excuse to act decisively. Crude prices plunged on Monday, just days before the ECB holds its policy meeting. While rate-setters are supposed to look beyond one-off jolts, they can’t ignore the slump in inflation expectations that energy ructions are triggering in a market already gripped by virus fears.

Breakingviews - Fed easing shocks more than it awes

Mar 03 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jerome Powell has been criticized by President Donald Trump for doing less than euro zone peers to stimulate the economy. Spurred by the rapid spread of coronavirus, the U.S. central bank chief is taking the initiative. He could have used some help from the other side of the Atlantic.

Breakingviews - UK is lab rat for ill-timed migrant experiment

Feb 19 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain is turning itself into a giant petri dish for an experiment in pay and productivity. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government late on Tuesday unveiled details of a new immigration system that will from next year prioritise high-skilled workers. Ideally this would boost wages. But there are potential drawbacks which will matter a lot if trade talks with the European Union turn sour.

Carney sees silver lining after Brexit hit to UK economy

Feb 15 2020

LONDON For years, Bank of England boss Mark Carney warned of the economic risks of Britain leaving the European Union. Now that it has happened, he says there could be a silver lining in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plans to boost growth. | Video

Breakingviews - Mark Carney’s green push needs disclosure stick

Feb 14 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mark Carney, the outgoing boss of the Bank of England, wants companies around the world to spell out how they plan to cut carbon emissions. More reliable and comparable information on climate-related financial risks facing each business would certainly help investors to hold chief executives to account, but right now such disclosure is decidedly optional. The question is whether Carney will use his forthcoming role as United Nations climate envoy – and the UK’s hosting of November’s global climate summit – to push for it to become mandatory.

Breakingviews - Revolving Treasury door may crush UK budget rigour

Feb 13 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The revolving door at Britain’s Treasury may crush any semblance of budget discipline. Sajid Javid on Thursday unexpectedly quit as finance minister only two months after the UK’s general election, to be replaced by his deputy Rishi Sunak. The latter may be a Goldman Sachs alumnus, but his political instincts will trump his financial ones.

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