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News And Commentary

Pension funds divest from fossil fuels

Public pension funds are tasked with safeguarding the financial futures of their members, which requires making the best possible investment choices. Policy-makers and fund managers must address how pension funds and other public investment institutions are contributing to global warming, says Kat Usita.

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Orchestrator of Maastricht

Ruud Lubbers, the Netherlands' longest-serving prime minister and a member of OMFIF's advisory board, who died on 14 February, mixed firm credentials on European integration with a sense of pragmatism, writes David Marsh. Lubbers helped orchestrate the 1991 Maastricht summit that laid out the road to the euro.

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Brexit will damage UK services exports

Distance and economy size are the most important factors determining the level of trade between two countries. The EU is a rich, large market on the UK's doorstep. The idea that globalisation has become unmoored from geography is wishful thinking, say John Springford and Sam Lowe.

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Vicious Italian campaign, many scenarios

Vicious campaigning has been a feature of the Italian election on 4 March. A centre-right coalition around Berlusconi's Forza Italia and a centre-left coalition around Renzi's Democratic party face public disenchantment with their attempts to prevent success for the Five Star populists, writes Antonio Armellini.

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Ringfencing cryptocurrency risk

There are financial stability risks connected to cryptocurrencies, but regulators must not ignore the technology's potential. As the ECB's Yves Mersch said at an OMFIF City Lecture last week, 'Just because the initial euphoria and hype subsequently fade, it does not mean that the innovation is without virtue.'

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Building on Zhou's legacy

Governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the People's Bank of China is likely to step down from his post by March after 15 years in charge of the central bank. Details are beginning to emerge about the future leadership of the PBoC, and the government will probably anoint a new governor in a matter of weeks, writes Adam Cotter.

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Difficult first week for new Fed chair

The spike in US long-term interest rates is alerting Jay Powell, the new Fed chair, to the inflation risk from an overheated US economy. Volatile stock markets highlight the possibility that a rapid increase in US interest rates could lead to the disorderly bursting of the global asset bubble, warns Desmond Lachman.

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Virtual currencies are 'will-o-the-wisp'

Comprehensive global regulation of 'will-o-the-wisp' virtual currencies was urged by Yves Mersch, executive board member of the European Central Bank, at a joint OMFIF-LSE City Lecture in London. This was the first time the ECB has spelt out its anxiety about virtual currencies' potentially disruptive effects.

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings

Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

A lunch discussion with Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor of the Swedish central bank and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s working group, global future council on the future of financial and monetary systems. The discussion examined the different contextual reasons for potentially issuing central bank digital currencies.

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.

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

OMFIF Chart

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

Productivity and economic growth continue to disappoint in most countries. Although analysts show a great deal of concern for the so-called 'productivity puzzle', little attention is paid to the real solution: freer markets and increased competition.

Bull markets don't die of old age

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Bull markets don't die of old age

Stock prices have been rising for more than eight years, but bull markets don't die of old age. There are few signs of the excessive growth, valuation or financial leverage that usually signal the approach of a bear market. With interest rates below inflation, it is unsurprising that money continues to flow into markets.

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Bitcoin market crash inevitable

Advisory Board

Bitcoin market crash 'inevitable'

The poll for this month focuses on the future of bitcoin. Participants were asked: ‘Will the bitcoin market crash exponentially and if so, when?’