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Jan 2015: Search for guidance



In this issue:

A year after Janet Yellen took over at the Federal Reserve, OMFIF surveys the progress of women in central banking. Two females now sit on the 25-strong European Central Bank council, whereas 12 months ago there were none. The OMFIF Index of Female Central Bankers shows that gender equality has increased over the past year.

Policy-makers are plotting their way through the world economic maze. Bronwyn Curtis’s New Year predictions make sobering reading. The euro area will suffer from the Russian recession; the dire state of the Russian economy may push Putin to show his strength in the Baltics; China's credit bubble could burst; and the US, the main factor behind world growth, is likely to suffer from the strength of the dollar. The US remains Trevor Greetham's favourite equity market. He expects relatively loose monetary policy to support a continuing bull market. Darrell Delamaide delves into the Federal Reserve’s code system and divines that interest rates are due to go up in mid-year.

In Europe, Denis MacShane surveys a bevy of European electoral contests. Meghnad Desai says the snap Greek poll on 25 January adds up to the referendum on euro membership he advocated in July 2011. Harald Benink, Wim Boonstra and David Marsh investigate easing options for the European Central Bank, where Mario Draghi remains committed to aggressive balance sheet expansion, opposed by Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank present.

In emerging markets, David Smith analyses the fortunes of Latin America, where the falling oil price has created fall-out across the economic and political landscape. A new chapter is beginning with the normalisation of US-Cuba relations.