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News And Commentary

Lessons on a 'fair-weather currency'

André Szász, the former international director of the Dutch central bank who died on 2 January, used to say that the euro was a ‘fair-weather currency’. He continued to believe in the desirability of a European currency, but was worried about derailment, remembers Roel Janssen.

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Economic psychoanalyst

André Szász was perpetually aware of the importance of geopolitics in European monetary integration: he was in many ways the psychoanalyst of French and German thinking. His views on the abiding gulf between Germany and France do not make for comforting reading.

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German 'encirclement' fears

Donald Trump’s broadside against Angela Merkel's refugee policies and BMW’s Mexican car plans will intensify German fears of 'encirclement' by fluctuating friends, argues David Marsh. These are perhaps the most belligerent remarks by an American leader since the second world war.

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America's global vulnerability

In promoting an ‘America First’ economic policy, Donald Trump appears to be blinding himself to the tenuous position of the global economy, writes Desmond Lachman. Trump would be irresponsible if he framed domestic policy in total disregard of the rest of the world.

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Champion political and economic helmsman

Sir Douglas Wass, one of Britain's most outstanding civil servants, died on 4 January. He navigated the stormy waters of the mid-1970s, remembers William Keegan, dealing with the onset of the oil crisis and collapse of international confidence in the UK economy.

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Consequences of group-think

Computer screens have replaced crystal balls and tea leaves, but something is clearly wrong with economic forecasting, writes Brian Reading. There is an unwillingness to stand out from the crowd. Being alone and wrong is a sin: being together and wrong is excused.

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Theresa May's answerless answers

In the conundrums over Britain’s EU withdrawal, there are parallels between Elizabeth I and Theresa May, writes Thomas Kielinger. Britain’s Tudor queen and the prime minister both make contradictory statements on nagging questions. Elizabeth’s ‘answerless answers’ are back in vogue.

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Europe enters a pivotal year

Europe is entering a volatile 12-month period which will see elections in several major economies, not to mention unsolved challenges of the euro area, Russian adventurism, pressures from mass migrations, and terrorism. This is a cocktail of considerable uncertainty, writes John Nugée.

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings

Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

OMFIF presented Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the Bank of Thailand, for a City Lecture. The lecture focused on regional and global macroeconomic trends, monetary policy, as well as the strengths and challenges of the Thai economy.

Investment clock: Trump vote could strengthen overheat phase

OMFIF Chart

Investment clock: Trump vote could strengthen overheat phase

The markets had another surprise in November with the election of Donald Trump. His victory has been taken badly by the bond market as it marks a transition from monetary ease towards fiscal ease. This is a positive backdrop for stocks.

Investment clock: Brexit boosts multi-asset returns

OMFIF Chart

Investment clock: Brexit boosts multi-asset returns

Multi-asset performance has been very strong since the UK referendum, rewarding sterling-based investors with exceptional returns for the year to date. Bonds surged globally, while stocks benefited from an increase in the value of overseas earnings in sterling terms.

Investment clock

OMFIF Chart

'Investment clock' shows gains for equities

The pick-up in global growth against a low inflation backdrop puts the investment cycle still in an equity-friendly ‘recovery’ phase, according to the Investment Clock, a model-based framework linking asset returns to different phases of the global business cycle.

UK's external financing needs

OMFIF Chart

UK's external financing needs

One way of measuring economic vulnerability, says Moritz Kraemer of S&P Global in an OMFIF Commentary, is to analyse an economy’s annual gross external financing needs. The UK score is 755%, the highest among all 131 sovereigns rated by S&P Global Ratings.

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Trump's policies not as radical as voters hoped

Advisory Board

Trump's policies not as radical as voters hoped

In answer to the question, ‘How far will Trump’s policies veer away from his election promises on key issues?’ the OMFIF Advisory Board expects the greatest discrepancy to be seen in areas related to the Fed and immigration.