The central bank of Australia has raised the cash rate from 3.75 to 4 per cent, as expected. A rate rise had been expected last month, but concerns for the global recovery and domestic credit caused a surprise stay of execution.
The increase is effective tomorrow. Normalisation is how the bank sees it. “The Board judges that with growth likely to be close to trend and inflation close to target over the coming year, it is appropriate for interest rates to be closer to average. Today’s decision is a further step in that process.”
Germans love a trade exhibition, or Messe, but the giant Cebit information technology fair in Hanover, has long had a special place in their hearts.
Travelling to the north German city in the late 1990s, I was bewildered (horrified?) by the sheer scale of the enterprise – the biggest IT exhibition in the world. More than 7,000 exhibitors filled the equivalent of 90 football pitches, and built upwards as well: some stands were four storeys high and including their own restaurants. Even if you understood German, the tech-speak was impossible to follow.
Cebit said a lot about the German economic thinking at that time. The idea then was that somehow the country could keep pace with the US.
If you can exercise rights by owning just one share of a stock, imagine what you could do with $440bn.
Europe’s largest stock investor – already following quite strict ethical guidelines – is to become more proactive in its pursuit of good. For example, where the Government Pension Fund might previously have excluded a company from its investment universe, it might now use the stock-holding to effect some change. “Active ownership or observation might reduce the risk of continued violations of norms,” says the Finance Ministry statement.
By Tom Braithwaite
The Federal Reserve would receive additional consumer protection responsibilities as part of a proposal circulated on Monday by Chris Dodd, the Senate banking committee chairman, in a surprising reversal of the central bank’s political fortunes.
By Jude Webber in Argentina
After more than two months of legal and congressional battling, Argentine President Cristina Fernández on Monday unveiled a new bid to tap central bank reserves to pay off debts.