Sterling and gilt yields have risen as traders put the best possible gloss on recent economic snapshots and bet on an early 2015 rate rise. Market optimism could well persist, pushing the pound even higher. But there are good reasons for the Bank of England to be less sanguine.
David Walker always envisaged he would step down in August 2015. The current lack of clarity over who will be running the board wouldn’t matter if things were going well. But with Barclays at a strategic crossroads, it needs solid and sustained leadership as soon as possible.
European leaders blame Russia for the takeover of Ukrainian cities by armed separatists. Yet they’re refraining from further sanctions because it’s not a full-blown invasion. The wavering and waiting will only increase the final price to be paid for Vladimir Putin’s actions.
Central bankers want better bulwarks to protect emerging economies from sharp capital shifts - and to shrink the huge war chests of hard currency. The sentiments are worthy, but it looks like the high watermark of global cooperation in monetary policy passed a few years ago.
Dayo Olopade’s “The Bright Continent” describes “kanju,” the hustling, striving and rule-breaking that make modern Africa work. The canny invisible hand can outwit the dead hand of corrupt bureaucracy. Sadly kanju makes the continent a tough place to do fully organized business.
The $100 bln German software group is the latest big tech firm to disappoint investors. Shares fell after currency moves hit Q1 results. Yet the investment case is improving. The stock has cheapened this year, and SAP’s shift to cloud-based databases seems to be working.
Central bankers, from the ECB’s Mario Draghi to the Bank of England’s Andy Haldane, want to revive securitisation - a change from regulators trying to kill it. That is a worthy goal when banks are shrinking, but it is tricky to achieve. And there is still a way to go.