Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

Robin Harding

I got this one wrong last week by over-interpreting some comments by St Louis Fed president James Bullard. Mea culpa.

Today, the FRB has released two templates to show what its interest rate forecasts will look like when they are actually released next Wednesday. It will take the form of two charts, one showing the actual rate forecasts and one expectations for the year of the first rise, although it should be fairly easy to extract the numerical forecasts quickly from both of them. Read more

Claire Jones

Our week ahead email helps you track the most important events in central banking. To see all of our emails and alerts visit www.ft.com/nbe

FOMC meeting

The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to set monetary policy for the coming month and a half.

The meeting – to be followed by one of chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conferences – could see the FOMC announce an inflation target. This from the FT’s US economics editor Robin Harding: Read more

Federal Reserve. Getty Images

Getty Images

In 1951, an epic struggle between a US president who stood on the verge of a nuclear war, and a central bank that was seeking to establish its right to set an independent monetary policy, resulted in an improbable victory for the central bank. President Harry Truman, at war in Korea, failed in a brutal attempt to force the Federal Reserve to maintain a 2.5 per cent limit on treasury yields, thus implicitly financing the war effort through monetisation. This victory over fiscal dominance is often seen as the moment when the modern, independent Fed came into existence.

The idea that the central bank should place a cap on the level of bond yields is firmly back on the agenda, at least in the eurozone. This week, Italian prime minister Mario Monti said that he was increasingly optimistic that his country’s bond yields might soon be capped. Although he stopped short of saying that this would be done by the European Central Bank, there really are no other viable candidates to achieve this. Furthermore, many economists are arguing that this is the right policy, since Italy is now following a sustainable budgetary policy which deserves to be rewarded by ECB action in the bond market.

 Read more

Ralph Atkins

The battle hots up. Luxembourg has challenged Spain’s self-proclaimed right to a place in the European Central Bank’s top management team. The Grand Duchy on Friday announced it would nominate Yves Mersch, the country’s central bank governor, for the upcoming vacancy on the ECB’s six-man executive board.

As Money Supply reported earlier this week, Madrid has already nominated Antonio Sáinz de Vicuña, a Spanish ECB veteran who heads its legal department, to replace José Manuel González-Páramo, his compatriot , whose eight-year term on the executive board ends in May.

The contest may prove an unwelcome distraction as eurozone leaders seek to combat the region’s debt crisis. But this could be a battle fought at the highest level. Read more