Daily Archives: August 3, 2011

Robin Harding

Here’s a what a rise in the debt limit after a six month impasse looks like in accounting terms:

Debt subject to the limit rose by $238bn yesterday as the Treasury replenished all of the trust funds it has been borrowing from for the last few months. That leaves it with $162bn of headroom. Read more

Claire Jones

The Swiss franc has gone a little bonkers in the past few weeks.

The franc was already at record highs as a result of the eurozone crisis. But the shambles in the US  and recent suggestions Japan will intervene to stem the yen’s gains  have accelerated the pace of the Swiss currency’s gains.

Concerned that this will only add the woe of the country’s exporters, the Swiss National Bank today took action. But in such uncertain times, even saying you will cut rates “as close to zero as possible”, and pledging to intervene if appreciation continues, counts for little. This from the FT’s Peter GarnhamRead more

Ralph Atkins

Events in Italy and Spain mean there is even more to talk about at Thursday’s European Central Bank governing council meeting than at the start of the week. An obvious question for Jean-Claude Trichet, president, is whether the ECB might reactivate its bond purchasing programme. It has lain dormant since March but remains available as a weapon.

Governing council members, however, would be loathe to take such a step. Read more

Claire Jones

The Swiss central bank on Wednesday unexpectedly cut interest rates and said it will increase the supply of francs to money markets in order to stem the rapid appreciation of the Swiss currency.

The SNB said in a statement that the franc was “massively overvalued”, prompting speculation the central bank would intervene by selling Swiss francs and buying euros and dollars to weaken the currency. Read more