South African Reserve Bank

Claire Jones

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

BoE minutes

The Bank of England’s latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting minutes are out on Wednesday morning at 9.30am UK time (8.30am GMT).

Now that Adam Posen has stepped down from the committee, the most likely candidate for dissent is David Miles. However, most think Mr Miles will have resisted calling for further easing at this month’s meeting and that all of the MPC will have backed the decision to hold policy firm. This from Nomura’s Philip Rush: 

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  

Claire Jones

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

Rate votes

The key event in next week’s calendar is the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy meeting, which Ben Bernanke announced at Jackson Hole would be a longer-than-usual two-day affair. 

Claire Jones

Gill Marcus

Gill Marcus. Image by Getty.

Central bankers tend to pull their punches when it comes to criticising their political masters. In public, at least.

Not so Gill Marcus, the governor of the South African Reserve Bank. In one of the most gloomy – and forthright – speeches I’ve read from a central banker, Ms Marcus attacked politicians for “a lack of strong, unified and credible leadership”, which she said was leading to a loss of confidence and trust in officials and, potentially, the system as a whole.

Linking the unrest in London and Athens with a lack of such leadership, the governor said that in such a climate, “those presenting easy answers to what are very complex and difficult issues can readily gain support”.

The debt-ceiling debacle in the US showed some political factions “were willing to take the country, and indeed the world, over the brink.”

Eurozone leaders’ failure to deal “decisively” with difficult decisions on burden-sharing had “undermined support not only for their leadership but for the whole eurozone project”. She then implied that Greece was insolvent: 

Claire Jones

Events in the eurozone and the US are at the forefront of central bankers’ thoughts, in some cases eclipsing domestic factors in setting policy rates.

So it proved in South Africa today, as the central bank opted to hold rates at a 30-year low of 5.5 per cent, as expected.

The South African Reserve Bank appeared unconcerned about striking fuel workers’ calls for a 13 per cent pay rise, or the recent spike in inflation to 5 per cent from 4.6 per cent in May, arguing that expectations remained well anchored within its 3-6 per cent target range. Instead, its policy statement focused on the global outlook.