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February 2024
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Reuters (February 5)

2024/ 02/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Prolonged factory deflation is threatening the survival of smaller Chinese exporters who are locked in relentless price wars for shrinking business as higher interest rates abroad and rising trade protectionism squeeze demand.” Fifteen months of falling producer prices have crushed “profit margins to the point where industrial output and jobs are now at risk,” further “compounding China’s economic woes, which include a property crisis and debt crunch.”


Financial Times (February 1)

2024/ 02/ 02 by jd in Global News

“Mounting losses from banks in the US, Asia and Europe have rekindled concerns about weakness in the US commercial property market, a sector that has been under pressure from lower occupancy levels and higher interest rates.” This week New York Community Bancorp, Aozora Bank and Deutsche Bank each warned of related risks or recognized losses, which “mark the latest fallout from the… dual problems of fewer people working in offices since the pandemic and more expensive borrowing costs.”


Washington Post (January 25)

2024/ 01/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The nation’s economy was supposed to have sunk into recession by now, dragged down by the highest interest rates in two decades and a resulting slump in borrowing and spending. Instead, the U.S. economy has kept chugging along. Even more encouraging, inflation, which touched a four-decade high in 2022, has edged steadily lower without the painful layoffs that most economists had thought would be necessary to slow the acceleration of prices.”


Financial Times (January 9)

2024/ 01/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Unemployment in the eurozone fell back to a record low of 6.4 per cent in November, defying recent economic gloom after the number of jobless people fell almost 100,000 from a month earlier.” With the job market “proving more resilient than expected,” the ECB may worry more “about the timing of a potential cut in interest rates” as “rapid wage growth could keep price pressures elevated.”


Wall Street Journal (December 28)

2023/ 12/ 29 by jd in Global News

“The failure to anticipate how quickly the Fed would raise interest rates has upended banks big and small this year. Three bigger ones collapsed this spring, but it is community banks… that have been in a full-blown crisis. The losses on long-term bonds have unnerved depositors, investors and regulators who have questioned how bankers failed to properly protect themselves from interest-rate risks.”


Wall Street Journal (December 12)

2023/ 12/ 13 by jd in Global News

“Investors spent most of 2023 fretting about inflation and interest rates. Now they are snapping up everything from stocks and bonds to crypto and even gold.” Does the “simultaneous surge across assets” signal “the arrival of a lasting bull market” or is it “just a fleeting sugar high at the end of the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle?” Opinions are divided.


Wall Street Journal (November 13)

2023/ 11/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Foreclosures are surging in an opaque and risky corner of commercial real-estate finance, offering one of the starkest signs yet that turmoil in the property market is worsening.” Through just October, the Journal found notices for “mezzanine loans and other high-risk loans” had already more than doubled the number for all of 2022 and likely reached “the highest total ever for a single year, as higher interest rates and rising vacancies punish the property sector.”


Wall Street Journal (October 31)

2023/ 11/ 02 by jd in Global News

“Monetary policy officials are hinting to financial markets that the Federal Reserve will stop raising interest rates—even as the Fed signals that it is too early to declare victory over inflation. Wary investors can only speculate, while market analysts are happy to guess the Fed’s next move.”


Reuters (October 2)

2023/ 10/ 03 by jd in Global News

“Tensions between the West and China are rising, from tit-for-tat trade tariffs to tech rivalry and spying allegations. The ramifications for global markets are significant, with Washington and Beijing’s determination to loosen dependence on each other fraying long-established supply chains. That could help keep inflation and interest rates elevated. Still, there are gains for emerging nations and tech giants on the right side of the power battle.”


Bloomberg (September 21)

2023/ 09/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The value of the yen has slumped to the lowest on record, as measured against a broad basket of its peers and adjusted for inflation,” the Bank for International Settlements found based on data from 1970 onward. This serves to “underscore the pressure on the Bank of Japan to normalize its ultra-easy monetary regime, which continues to weigh down the nation’s interest rates and weaken the currency. The drop in the so-called real effective exchange rate means Japanese have to pay more for imported goods and services at a time when wage growth is failing to compensate for inflation.”


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