A tightening world

Michael Roberts Blog

It’s been a big week for the major central banks. First, the European Central Bank (ECB) called an emergency meeting because government bond yields were rising sharply in the more indebted Eurozone economies like Italy and Spain. That threatens to deliver a new sovereign debt crisis as happened after the Great Recession from 2010-2014, leading to the Greek nightmare.

The ECB is now looking for ways to fund the weaker Eurozone governments by buying more of their debt and ‘printing’ money to do it. Ironically, having just announced that it had ended quantitative easing (QE) and looked to raise interest rates in July in order to control accelerating inflation, the ECB now had to revert back to QE for the likes of Italy.

Then the US Federal Reserve announced a hike in its policy rate (the Fed Funds rate) by an extra-large 75bp, with more to come, as it…

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