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News And Commentary

Italy headed for 'vicious' debt crisis

After a brief recovery, Italy has succumbed to its third recession in a decade. Its government is unlikely to revive flagging investor confidence. Ahead of the European elections, it will probably not undertake those economic reforms that might jumpstart the moribund economy, writes Desmond Lachman.

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Questions over Fed dovishness

The Federal Reserve's decision to pause rate rises was long telegraphed and widely expected. But the dovish messaging in its statement and Chair Jerome Powell's press conference surprised markets. The reasoning for the sharp shift in rhetoric between December and January remains elusive, writes Mark Sobel.

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Venezuela's death spiral

Under President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has fallen ever further into an economic death spiral, writes Steve Hanke. While Washington declared economic war, Caracas announced it was going to devalue the bolívar to allow its value to align with that in the black market, with significant implications.

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Powell pivots to patience

Jerome Powell wanted to make sure everyone understood that the Fed has changed its stance and that patience is the new byword. Not gradual rises in interest rates, not balanced risks, but patience, writes Darrell Delamaide. Other policy-makers made similar remarks, with the FOMC sounding like an echo chamber.

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Central banks take on climate change

As 1,500 private jets flew into Davos to discuss climate change, the Central Banks' and Supervisors' Network for Greening the Financial System met in Mexico. The network believes climate change not only threatens the environment; it also jeopardises the world's financial system, writes Danae Kyriakopoulou.

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Election muddies India's outlook

India's general election is scheduled for May, and conditions will become more murky as polling day approaches. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity is falling, and the losses of his Bharatiya Janata Party in state assembly and other by-elections have dimmed prospects for a clear win, writes Prakash Sakpal.

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Assessing global financial stability

A global recession is not around the corner, but the risk of a decline in growth has increased. This was the key message of a speech by Tobias Adrian, director of the International Monetary Fund's monetary and capital markets department. He was speaking at an OMFIF meeting in New York.

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'Policy mix wrong for US,' says Sobel

Speaking to CNBC about the Federal Reserve and US economy, Mark Sobel, OMFIF's US chairman, said now 'is not the time to add substantial stimulus or increase in the deficit,' adding that recent decisions have put 'substantial pressure on financial markets, and I think this is the wrong policy mix for America.'

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings

Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

The 2018 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index launched in Bali alongside the IMF-World Bank Group meetings. In its second year, the index is a premier indicator of the attractiveness of Africa’s capital markets, for use by investors and asset managers around the world.

Investment Clock – A pivotal October

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock – A pivotal October

Stock market volatility tends to reach its peak in October, underlined by famous crashes in 1929, 1987 and 2008. Cross-currents in the world economy make this October particularly pivotal, especially in the light of the tug of war between good news out of the US and bad news out of China.

Threat of staglation

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Threat of stagflation

Global growth and inflation figures, in addition to rising commodity prices and interest rates, point to the risk of staglation over the summer months. The geopolitical backdrop, and the threat of a US-China trade war, also has a whiff of stagflation about it.

Bull market has further to run

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Bull market has further to run

The world is experiencing one of the longest economic expansions since records began and there's no end in sight, with muted inflationary pressures keeping interest rates low. Stock markets like this not too hot, not too cold 'Goldilocks' backdrop.

Global infrastructure finance falls

OMFIF Chart

Global infrastructure finance falls

Global infrastructure financing has fallen short of its potential.Private sector investment and institutional investor capital are often raised as possible solutions for filling the infrastructure funding gap.

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Trade war still likely to deepen, despite truce

Advisory Board

Trade war still likely to deepen, despite truce

This month’s poll focuses on the prospect of further trade antagonism between the US and China. Participants were asked: ‘Will China and US trade tensions alleviate or escalate in 2019?’