Davos is not as important an event on the calendars of central bankers as the IMF/World Bank meetings or the Bank for International Settlements Annual General Meeting. Neither the Bank of England nor the Federal Reserve will be bothering to send anyone, for instance.
But there are still plenty of Davos men (and one woman) among the senior ranks of the profession. Read more
The Bank of Israel – one of the first to raise rates following Lehman Brothers’ failure – on Monday became the latest to override domestic price pressures and cut on the back of concern over the global outlook.
Following the lead of the central banks of Turkey and Brazil before him, Stanley Fischer, the Bank’s governor and sole rate-setter, shaved a quarter point off Israel’s benchmark interest rate to leave it at 3 per cent, despite inflation rising by half a percentage point to 3.4 per cent last month, above the 3 per cent upper limit of the inflation target range.
Public outcry at high inflation – particularly food price pressures – has inspired Facebook groups that have attracted over 100,000 members. And rising house prices have prompted more than a quarter of a million Israelis to take to the streets. (The central bank maintains that its measures, along with more house building, will slow the pace of house-price inflation).
Growth – at 2.4 per cent in the second quarter (annualised) – is relatively high, and unemployment – at 5.5 per cent – low.
All of which has meant that analysts – the vast majority of which had forecast a rate hold – were taken aback.
So why has Mr Fischer cut rates? Read more
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A busy week is in store for Jean-Claude Trichet.
On Saturday, the ECB president will speak at Jackson Hole at 17:00 GMT. On Monday, Mr Trichet travels to Brussels, where he will field questions from the European parliament on how to restore market confidence (some suggestions from Ralph Atkins and Chris Giles).
The president will be joined by Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup president, Jacek Rostowski, Poland’s finance minister and Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs. The hearing takes place at 13.00 GMT.
On Thursday, ECB executive board member Jürgen Stark is a participant in a panel on Europe and global competition. Read more
Stanley Fischer’s mantelpiece must be full. He’s just won another central banker award, this time Central Bank Governor of the Year from euromoney magazine, which has been running the award for 30 years.
Just yesterday, Sunday, he was awarded best Middle East central bank governor from magazine Emerging Markets. Last month, he was one of only seven central bankers to be awarded an ‘A’ grade by Global Finance magazine. Read more