February 2013: Array of tasks

OMFIF has opened 2013, the Year of the Luso-Economy and Renminbi Focus, in some style. A landmark symposium in Beijing in mid-January with Chinese financial think-tank CF40 produced new insights into cooperation and competition between China and Europe. Ideas and initiatives linking the Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe, Asia and Africa will be a feature of the year ahead. This wide-ranging February 2013 issue takes a searching look at the issues behind relative sanguinity on financial markets. They have opened the year on a positive note, but it’s impossible to overlook a sombre undertone. Trevor Greetham draws comfort from central banks’ unwillingness to slam on the monetary brakes. In an excellent survey of historical patterns, Gabriel Stein sees interest rates rising, eventually, by 2 to 3 percentage points. Stefan Bielmeier comments dourly that financial markets are living in a make-believe word – but leaves open the timing of when they may wake up. Shumpei Takemori surveys the signals indicating that Kazumasa Iwata will be the Bank of Japan’s next governor, part of the go-for-growth strategy of new prime minister Shinzo Abe. William Keegan delivers his latest round-up of changes at the Bank of England
under the shifting eye of UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne.

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