Quantitative Easing

President Barack Obama’s nominee for Federal Reserve chair appeared before the Senate banking committee on Thursday. She mounted a vigorous defence of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy as she faced lawmakers in her first big test of political and communications skills.

Gina Chon and Shannon Bond reported from New York with James Politi in Washington.

 

John Paul Rathbone

For many years Latin America complained the United States never paid it much attention. Worse, when it did, it never cared for long. Instead, Latin America suffered the respect usually devoted to a “back yard”; at best, benign neglect.

Today the boot is on the other foot. Latin America, which over the past decade has enjoyed its best economic performance in a generation, no longer seems to care much about the US. When Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s travelled to Washington to meet US president Barack Obama this week, the tone of her remarks were cordial but aloof.

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James Wilson, in our Frankfurt office, has compiled a guide to the European Central Bank’s bond-buying programme as policymakers struggle to contain the contagion in eurozone debt markets.

What is the ECB doing?

The ECB has reopened what had become a dormant programme of buying the debt of various eurozone countries in the secondary market. It’s a fire-fighting measure to try to calm markets. Having bought Greek, Irish and Portuguese bonds, they are for the first time this week now buying Italian and Spanish debt.

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