TThe FOMC April 28 meeting minutes provide some glimpse into the Federal Reserve’s early assessment of the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the outlook for the US economy over the coming months and quarters. Fed Chair Powell testimony on May 19 before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban affairs offers additional insights into the Fed’s current thinking and options to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and to speed-up the recovery of the US economy.
the main focus for observers of the Chinese economy n the coming months and quarters should not be on the overall size of the stimulus package but on the nitty gritty details pertaining to the allocation of government-backed funds across sectors and geographic areas. In the context of an intensifying trade and technological war, a significant part of the effort could be geared toward insuring that productivity gains will be preserved in the post-Covid era by investing in Industry 4.0 and high tech ventures. Another area of focus is the need to reduce social inequalities – a subject that has been taboo for years if not decades in the wake of China’s transition to a market based economy – and supporting the build-up of an ambitious and comprehensive social safety net – targeting the rural population and migrant workers – that could increase social cohesion and preserve political stability in the years to come.
There are at least two ways to read the decision rendered by the German Constitutional Court – BundesVerfassungsGericht or BVerfG – on May 5, 2020 (BVerfG, Urteil des Zweiten Senats vom 5. Mai 2020), in the case opposing the ECB to a group of complainants claiming that the Frankfurt-based monetary institution went beyond its legal mandate, when it decided in March 2015 to launch a large scale asset purchase programme (APP) targeting first and foremost government bonds. We can read it through the lenses of an Economic Policy or through the lenses of a Constitutional law and Politics. From both perspectives, the ruling contains useful insights that clarify some complicated institutional questions and shed light on economic policy options available to the ECB and to EU/Eurozone Member States. The fact that this ruling comes in the midst of an unprecedented global economic crisis, stemming from the radical measures enacted all over the world to combat the coronavirus pandemic, makes it even more critical for investors to understand its rationale and contending claims.
A Pandemic OMT – P-OMT – might well be the most appropriate solution in the current context – and perhaps the only one that is available, especially if discussions around a common Eurozone fiscal package fail to produce meaningful results – in order to support individual Eurozone member countries, while preserving the overall financial stability of the Eurozone and the autonomy and credibility of the ECB.
IEA Monthly Oil Market Report April 2020 : Key takeways and our comments
A temporary production reduction agreement under current conditions is not necessarily in the interest of all stakeholders in the global oil industry
This deal will not solve the huge oversupply that is currently still building-up
The oil war is not due to misunderstandings or ego plays but to the intrinsically different strategies and motives of the key players at hand.
For all these reasons, an OPEC ++ coalition cannot not be sustained over time and its impact on oil prices is likely to be marginal and disappointing.
Will a compromise between OPEC (KSA), Russia and the United States stabilise the oil market? Interview on RT.com and further analysis
Alexandre Kateb was interviewed on RT International about Saudi Arabia’s “oil put” strategy following the Kingdom’s decision to flood the market with cheap oil in order to squeeze the other major oil producers.
The International Energy Agency, which is the OECD’s Energy watchdog, has just released its Oil Report for March 2020. This release coincides with the worst fallout in oil prices in a single day in decades. This new monthly edition of the IEA’s flagship publication comes amid increasingly gloomy prospects for the world economy, amid a seemingly irrepressible spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
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