Category Archives: Adolfo Laurenti

Mr. Draghi Delivers

In the end, Mario Draghi delivered. The much expected move into quantitative easing is now a reality, as announced by the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) today. The ECB will purchase government bonds, debt securities issued by European institutions and private sector bonds at the pace of 60 billion euros per month until September [...]

Europe: QE and Greece in the Balance

This is a crucial week. On Thursday, we expect the European Central Bank (ECB) to announce the much anticipated plan for asset purchases, aka quantitative easing. On Sunday, Greece will vote for a new parliament, where anti-European forces may win

Swiss Central Bank Rocks Currency Markets

Earlier today, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued efforts to hold the Swiss franc’s exchange rate with the euro at 1.20 francs. Since September 2011, Switzerland had capped the value of the franc, to contain intense pressure to appreciate against the European single currency and other major currencies. Switzerland is considered a financial safe haven

There Is More to a Flat CPI than Flat Prices

The index for consumer prices (CPI) was flat in October but 1.7% higher compared to one year ago. On the surface, today’s data suggest that inflationary pressures remain contained. Prices seem to have found a bottom, which may ease some of the worries about deflationary trends that have circulated in recent months; at the very [...]

Small Decline in Industrial Production Does not Derail Recovery

Industrial production slipped by 0.1% in October, mostly because of declines in mining and utilities output. After the strong gains in September, today’s decline does not come as a complete surprise because many expected a temporary payback; it is a partial disappointment. Compared to one year ago, manufacturing output grew by a solid 3.7%, a [...]

European Bank Stress Tests: Just One Step in the Right Direction

The European Central Bank (ECB)  has announced the results of the stress test exercise over the banking system. Out of 130 banks scrutinized 25 failed, revealing capital shortfalls for a total of about 25 billion euros. Out of these 25 banks, nine are Italian, three Greek and three Cypriot. In several cases, plans were already [...]

2014 Nobel Prize for Economics: Jean Tirole

This is the time of year when economists become self-referential, turn inward and assess the state of the discipline by celebrating the recipient of the highest honor in the profession: the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. (It is not one of the original prizes established by Alfred Nobel, but [...]

Five Themes to Start the Week

Economic developments abroad were not in short supply during the past weekend, nor will they be in the week ahead. 1.    The first round of the Brazilian presidential election was, as expected, inconclusive, but somewhat surprisingly the center-right candidate Aécio Neves placed second behind incumbent President Dilma Rousseff. Now he will vie for the presidency [...]

Five Themes for the Week

I’ve written on five key themes or developments of the week just past in the international economy: 1. According to several press reports, Chinese leaders are considering the replacement of the central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan. Mr. Zhou is broadly seen as a reformer, who has been insisting on more liberalization in Chinese financial markets. [...]

Five Themes of the Week

The disappointing employment report in the U.S. came at the end of an eventful week in the global economy. Central bankers met and took action in Europe, but held their ground in Japan. Political risks heightened in the United Kingdom, while they appeared to abate in Ukraine