Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (R) on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suing some states over certifying their election results, the Supreme Court and media coverage of the 2020 election.
Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (R) on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suing some states over certifying their election results, the Supreme Court and media coverage of the 2020 election.
(Bloomberg) -- The aggressive rebound in global economic growth still isn’t enough for most of the world’s central banks to pull back on their emergency stimulus.In Bloomberg’s quarterly review of monetary policy covering 90% of the world economy, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan are among the 16 institutions set to hold interest rates this year.The outlook suggests officials still want to guarantee the recovery from last year’s coronavirus recession by maintaining ultra-low borrowing costs and asset-buying programs. That may require them to accept any accompanying bounce in inflation.Six central banks, most of them in emerging markets, are still predicted to hike, including Brazil, Russia and Nigeria. Turkey is the only one of those monitored which is forecast to cut borrowing costs this year.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“For advanced economies, continued virus uncertainty, deep labor market scars, and a recognition that past decisions erred on the side of deflationary preemption will conspire to keep policy looser for longer. In many emerging markets, currency stress means central banks don’t have that luxury.”--Tom Orlik, chief economistHere is Bloomberg’ quarterly guide to 23 of the world’s top central banks:GROUP OF SEVENU.S. Federal ReserveCurrent federal funds rate (upper bound): 0.25%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.25%A key question for Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues is when to start talking about scaling back their massive bond purchases if the economy continues to recover as they expect.Officials have vowed to keep buying $120 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed bonds every month until they see “substantial further progress” on inflation and employment. That test could be met sooner than anticipated if the U.S. labor market continues to perform as it did in March, when a better-than-expected 916,000 new jobs were added.Powell has so far avoided putting any time frame around when he thinks it’ll be appropriate to slow bond buying, but promises to give investors plenty of advance warning. The Fed has also signaled it expects to keep rates near zero through 2023.Officials at their meeting in March maintained that dovish message, according to a record of their discussion released on April 7, while Powell continues to stress the recovery remains incomplete and uneven.Part of its hesitancy to talk publicly about bond purchases stems from harsh experience: The Fed wants to avoid a repeat of the 2013 taper tantrum, when unexpected news that it was thinking about slowing bond buying roiled financial markets and hurt the economy.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The U.S. economy may be launching into the fastest growth since 1983, but the Fed is firmly resolved to not only maintain the current stance of policy accommodation deeper into the recovery, but also to retract it more gradually under their new outcome-based framework for achieving its dual mandate. While Fed officials previously talked of seeing the ‘whites of the eyes’ of inflation before responding through policy tightening, the new framework is more akin to waiting to see inflation’s coattails -- as the central bank is prepared to endure a ‘transitory’ overshoot of their 2% inflation target.”--Carl RiccadonnaEuropean Central BankCurrent deposit rate: -0.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: -0.5%The ECB has pledged to keep financing conditions for governments, companies and households “favorable” until the coronavirus crisis phase is over, using its 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program to keep bond yields low, and dishing out ultra-cheap loans to banks.PEPP is due to run until at least the end of March 2022 and while policy makers say they won’t spend the full amount unless needed, most economists expect them to do so. The euro-area recovery has been delayed by a slow vaccination rollout, and ECB President Christine Lagarde has repeatedly warned of the dangers of ending support too early.The scene is set for a vibrant debate toward the end of the year on when and how to scale back emergency aid and what should replace it. In the meantime, the ECB is urging governments to hurry up with their 800 billion-euro joint recovery fund.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The ECB will continue buying bonds through its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program throughout 2021. We expect acquisitions to be front-loaded in 2Q to tackle the rise in government borrowing costs before reverting to a slower pace for the remainder of the year.”--David PowellBank of JapanCurrent policy-rate balance: -0.1%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: -0.1%The Bank of Japan is likely to be keep its main policy settings on cruise control after its biggest policy review since 2016 in March. The review gave the BOJ more scope to reduce its asset buying after a fine-tuning it characterized as a shoring up of its stimulus framework for the longer term.Despite fears of inflation elsewhere in the world, a quarterly outlook report in April is expected to show that the BOJ doesn’t see price growth reaching a stable 2% before Governor Haruhiko Kuroda steps down in April 2023. That will help back up the institution’s argument that it had to take a more flexible approach to policy.Investors and economists will closely scrutinize how the changes will affect the BOJ’s market operations including its pace of bond and ETF buying, and how quickly it will step in to stop any jumps in 10-year yields after clarifying that its target range reaches up to around 0.25%.BOJ watchers will also be looking to see if the bank extends its special pandemic funding measures from the current September expiry date. With bankruptcies falling and bank lending growing, there appears little reason to add to the measures supporting businesses. Still, with only about 1% of the population vaccinated in early April, uncertainties for the economy remain with virus cases ticking up again in some major cities.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The BOJ is preparing to shift from emergency pandemic support back to its long-elusive goal of 2% inflation. Adjustments to its yield curve control and ETF purchases add flexibility and endurance. It will be a protracted fight -- even the BOJ sees inflation falling short of target over its three-year forecast horizon. It’s set to stay on hold for the time being -- though it may need to accommodate more JGB issuance if the government steps up fiscal stimulus this summer.”--Yuki MasujimaBank of EnglandCurrent bank rate: 0.1%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.1%Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey is firmly on the fence about whether his next move is to administer another dose of stimulus or monetary tightening to the U.K. economy. Financial markets already have priced out the prospect of negative rates, moving gilt yields and the pound higher than they were a year ago.After the worst recession in three centuries, the U.K. is headed for a sharp rebound after one of the world’s most successful coronavirus vaccination programs. Debate at the central bank is about whether the recovery will absorb all the workers left out of a job during the crisis and push up inflation, or leave scars that require further care.While the latest data including a boom in house prices suggest upside risks, companies are increasingly concerned that Britain’s exit from the European Union has choked back trade, leaving the prospect of a painful restructuring of the economy after the pandemic clears. At the institution’s next decision on May 6, policy makers will weigh whether to ease the pace of bond-buying, which at 4.4 billion pounds ($6 billion) a week would, unless adjusted, deliver more than the target for 150 billion pounds of stimulus this year.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The year started with speculation rife that the BOE could take the historic step of reducing rates below zero. While the central bank looks like it will formally adopt negative rates as a tool in 3Q, a rapid rollout of the vaccine and a fiscal boost in the budget have greatly reduced the chances of them being used. We expect the BOE to stay on hold for the remainder of the year, emphasizing its higher-than-usual bar for tightening policy.”--Dan HansonBank of CanadaCurrent overnight lending rate: 0.25%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.25%The Bank of Canada is signaling it will be one of the first Group of Seven central banks to start paring back monetary policy support as the nation’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis accelerates.Analysts anticipate next steps to pare bond purchases will come as early as a policy decision on April 21, while a so-called taper in the U.S. isn’t expected until next year.Canada’s central bank has been buying a minimum of C$4 billion ($3.2 billion) in government bonds each week, accumulating more than C$250 billion of the securities over the past year. That pace is likely no longer warranted with an outlook that appears to improving dramatically by the week, helped by a recovery in commodity prices and a robust housing market.The central bank, however, has sought to ease any worries of an imminent change to its benchmark overnight rate -- currently at 0.25%. Officials have pledged to keep it there until economic slack has been fully absorbed -- expected well after the quantitative easing program ends.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“A positive reassessment of the growth outlook will drive only a limited shift in BoC communications in April. The labor market is still a long way from full recovery, a factor that will increasingly dominate thinking about the inflation mandate. In turn, a near-term pickup in prices will be treated as transitory. Nonetheless, an announcement to reduce QE purchases at the April meeting would be consistent with prior communications, even if a rate hike is still more likely to be an early-2023 event, in our view.”--Andrew HusbyBank of Canada DashboardBRICS CENTRAL BANKSPeople’s Bank of ChinaCurrent 1-year best lending rate: 3.85%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 3.85%The PBOC cut lending rates and deployed various quantitative tools to inject liquidity into the pandemic-hit economy last year, on top of asking banks to increase loans. That helped to shore up growth but also pushed debt levels to a record high, fueling concerns of property bubbles and financial risks. With the economy’s recovery now well on track, the central bank is seeking to rein in its stimulus without derailing that rebound.The PBOC is likely to normalize policy by moderating credit expansion rather than hiking rates, economists say. Officials have said they want to match the growth in money supply and credit with the expansion in nominal GDP this year, and stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio. The PBOC recently asked banks to curtail loan growth for the rest of 2021 to keep new advances at roughly the same level as last year.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Robust growth, yet with pockets of weakness, suggest little need to the central bank to move the rate either way in 2021. In the meantime, the central bank will continue to tamp down on credit growth in a gradual taper to head off financial risks. It’s also likely to keep up targeted support for small private companies -- an area of persistent weakness in the recovery.”--Chang Shu and David QuReserve Bank of IndiaCurrent RBI repurchase rate: 4%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 4%India’s central bank formally embarked on the path of QE in early April, pledging to buy an assured amount of sovereign bonds this quarter as it fights to keep borrowing costs low and support a recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy. While the RBI already had been buying government securities in the secondary market, April’s meeting marked the first time the central bank committed upfront to buy a specified amount.Hamstrung by underlying price pressures that could gather pace in coming months, Governor Shaktikanta Das and five other members of the monetary policy committee voted to keep the repo rate unchanged at 4%. However, Das pledged to maintain a dovish stance if economic conditions deteriorate as a number of provinces including Maharashtra, home to the financial capital of Mumbai, grapple with lockdowns amid a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The RBI is likely to look through above-target inflation in the near term, with its primary focus on securing a durable recovery in growth. We see it holding the repo rate at 4% through the fiscal year ending March 2022. Sovereign bond purchases in its new QE program will be its main easing tool in the quarters ahead and should help tamp down longer-term yields to keep borrowing costs low to support the economy.”--Abhishek GuptaCentral Bank of BrazilCurrent Selic target rate: 2.75%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 5.5%Brazil’s central bank has begun paring back monetary stimulus as inflation surges despite a new wave of the pandemic that threatens the economic recovery. Policy makers raised the benchmark Selic rate by 75 basis points in March, the most in a decade, and signaled that a second move of the same magnitude is on the way at their next decision in May.Despite the institution’s assurances that price shocks are temporary, futures traders are betting even bigger hikes are in the pipeline. Driven by higher fuel costs, annual inflation blew past the upper limit of the central bank’s target range in March, hitting a four-year high.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Recent actions and communications suggest the BCB will try to right the fiscal wrong with monetary policy. Fiscal uncertainties were an important driver of the currency meltdown in the first quarter; their likely persistence suggests that the real may remain misaligned with Brazil’s robust external fundamentals. In the meantime, the BCB is set to continue to raise the policy rate, fearful of the inflationary impacts of the weaker currency, and regardless of economic slack. The real may close the year at 5.30 per U.S. dollar, and the Selic at 5.5% -- still below the neutral rate (estimated to be 6% to 7%).”--Adriana DupitaBank of RussiaCurrent key rate: 4.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 5.5%The Bank of Russia surprised markets by starting its rate-hiking cycle earlier than expected. The inflation spike proved to be more prominent than policy makers thought before, Governor Elvira Nabiullina said after the board raised the key rate by 25 basis points in March and signaled more increases. The central bank will start publishing forecasts for the key-rate range starting their next meeting on April 23.The ruble dropped in value after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian sovereign ruble bonds at the primary market. It recovered some of the losses but the risk of additional steps is weighing on the currency. The U.S. has also warned of “consequences” if jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny dies. These heightened geopolitical tensions are providing another argument for a bigger rate hike this week.Inflation peaked in March at the level last seen in late 2016, fueled by food prices and the weaker ruble. President Vladimir Putin made the cost of living a political issue when he told the government in December to put caps on prices of certain goods. Since then, Russia increased export duty on grain and negotiated with producers to set limits on some food staples. All administrative steps to curb prices are distorting the market signals and Russia needs to move away from that, Nabiullina said recently.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Spiking inflation and a swift rebound in demand caught the Bank of Russia by surprise. Higher yields and fresh sanctions are layering on risk. Policy makers have turned hawkish, signaling significant tightening in 2021. We expect a steady pace of quarter-point hikes in the near term, which will give the central bank some room to maneuver in the second half of the year.”--Scott JohnsonSouth African Reserve BankCurrent repo average rate: 3.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 3.5%The South African central bank’s next move will be to tighten as it projects inflation will tick up to around the 4.5% mid-point of its target range. Still, the timing of the first hike is uncertain.The implied policy rate path of the MPC’s quarterly projection model in March indicated two increases of 25 basis points in the second and fourth quarters of 2021. Last week, Governor Lesetja Kganyago said the central bank is in no rush to take the benchmark back to where it was before the pandemic and that it would likely maintain an accommodative monetary policy stance to support the economy as long as the inflation outlook gives it room to do so.Forward-rate agreements, used to speculate borrowing costs are pricing in only one 25 basis point increase by year-end. Most economists are less hawkish and see the rate remaining at its record low until the end of 2021.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The coronavirus is likely to keep spreading until there’s a significant ramp up in the governments vaccination program. As such, the economy is will remain fragile and highly unpredictable this year. This, together with the benign inflation outlook should keep rates on hold this year.”--Boingotlo GasealahweMINT CENTRAL BANKSBanco de MexicoCurrent overnight rate: 4%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 4%Mexico’s central bank held its benchmark rate at 4% in March, amid an inflation surge that is leading many economists to predict its monetary easing cycle has drawn to a close. Led by rising fuel costs, consumer prices rose 4.67% last month from a year earlier, jumping above the ceiling of the institution’s target.Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon still didn’t close the door to additional rate cuts, saying that officials will continue taking a data-dependent approach to monetary policy. Consumer prices, he said, have been pressured by supply shocks, a weaker peso, and a shift in demand for goods instead of services, but the Mexican economy is likely to have a negative output gap “for some time.”Banxico, as the bank is known, expects annual inflation to peak during the second quarter, before slowing toward the end of the year.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“We expect Banxico to hold its benchmark rate at 4% in 2021. The rate remains high relative to peers and previous economic downturns, but resilient high inflation due to lingering shocks offset disinflationary pressure from ample economic slack and limit room for more accommodation.”--Felipe HernandezBank IndonesiaCurrent 7-day reverse repo rate: 3.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 3.75%Rising global bond yields have all but shut Bank Indonesia’s window for further easing this year. Governor Perry Warjiyo is turning his attention to preserving the country’s interest-rate differential from the U.S. to stem foreign outflows and protect the battered rupiah, which he considers “very undervalued.” Targeted macroprudential measures, such as the recent relaxation of home and auto loan rules, will likely be Warjiyo’s main lever to revive bank lending and aid growth.The central bank insists it won’t unwind monetary support for the economy anytime soon, with demand and inflation still weak. The institution also has signaled that when it is time to tighten, it could focus on restricting liquidity before raising rates.That will be one less thing for investors to worry about as they keep an eye on growing political pressure for BI to work more closely with the government. President Joko Widodo has called for the central bank’s mandate to be expanded to include employment and economic growth, even as he pledged to respect BI’s autonomy.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Bank Indonesia appears limited in its ability to cut rates further this year, even though still-sluggish domestic demand is likely to justify more easing. Instead, heavy capital outflows -- linked to U.S. reflation and concerns about new constraints put on BI’s independence -- may require rate hikes to support the rupiah, instead of more concerted FX intervention that depletes reserves. Other measures would likely be deployed to counter the drag on domestic demand.”--Tamara HendersonCentral Bank of TurkeyCurrent 1-week repo rate: 19%Forecast for end of 2021: 16%Installed after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly fired his market-friendly predecessor following a bigger-than-expected rate increase, new Governor Sahap Kavcioglu is under pressure to reduce borrowing costs to boost growth.Turkey’s central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged in Kavcioglu’s first monetary policy meeting. While the decision matched market expectations, the institution omitted an earlier pledge to keep monetary policy tight and even deliver additional hikes if needed. Although Kavcigolu has said he would not rush to loosen the stance he inherited, the changes in the rates statement prompted further speculation that cuts might be imminent.Meantime, Erdogan, who holds the unorthodox view that high rates cause inflation, continues to express his determination to both reduce price growth and reduce borrowing costs to single digits.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The recent firing of the central bank governor sends a clear message about the direction of policy: growth at all costs will be pursued. But rising U.S. yields, higher oil prices and lira depreciation will prevent rate cuts in the short term. If global conditions warrant tightening, it’ll be delivered through the backdoor.”--Ziad DaoudCentral Bank of NigeriaCurrent central bank rate: 11.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 13%The Nigerian central bank is inching closer to hiking its benchmark rate for the first time since July 2016. In March, three of nine MPC members who attended the policy-setting meeting voted to tighten by at least 50 basis points, a shift from January when the panel was unanimous in its decision to hold.Governor Godwin Emefiele said at the time the central bank can only effectively shift to taming inflation that’s at a four-year high once the recovery of Africa’s largest economy from last year’s recession has reached a comfortable level. Since then the International Monetary Fund has increased its projection for the country’s 2021 output growth to 2.5% from 1.5%. That would be the fastest expansion since 2015.A rebound in oil prices could improve the prospects for growth further, giving the central bank room to focus on taming inflation, even if it’s only from the second half of the year. Higher rates will also help support the naira, which was devalued twice in 2020.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Nigeria’s inflation rate continues to surge, and has been stuck above the central bank target range for the past five years. However, the Central Bank of Nigeria has overlooked the recent uptick, choosing instead to support the economy with a 200 basis point rate cut. We expect it to hike rates again this year, when the recovery has gathered pace and the policy focus shifts back to inflation.”--Boingotlo GasealahweOTHER G-20 CENTRAL BANKSBank of KoreaCurrent base rate: 0.5%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.5%The Bank of Korea is expected to maintain a long hold as its optimism over the economy is tempered by continued uncertainty over the outlook and a slow vaccine rollout. The central bank sees faster-than-previously expected growth in the mid-3% range as exports surge on global tech demand and recoveries in China and the U.S. But Governor Lee Ju-yeol has played down talk that a tightening of policy is anywhere near the horizon.Keeping the BOK cautious is a renewed uptick in domestic virus cases. The resurgence is pushing the government to consider ramping up public restrictions on activity. A shortage of vaccines is also making it increasingly unlikely that the country will achieve its goal of herd immunity by year-end. If things take a turn for the worse, the central bank doesn’t have much room to go the other way and reduce its benchmark rate further after 75 basis points of cuts last year. Rising household debt poses a risk to the country’s financial stability and Lee has said the rate is already near its lower bound.For the time being, standing pat appears the institution’s best option for safeguarding the recovery while ensuring financial imbalances don’t accumulate further. The majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg see the BOK holding its policy rate at the current level until the third quarter of next year.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The Bank of Korea has likely reached the end of its easing cycle. While uncertainties surrounding the pandemic remain high, South Korea’s economy is poised to rebound in 2021 and the central bank remains concerned about growing financial risks. The BOK has cautioned that the government’s large borrowing plans could lead to bond market imbalances, but it will continue using ad-hoc bond purchases to contain yields rather than shift to QE.”--Justin JimenezReserve Bank of AustraliaCurrent cash rate target: 0.1%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.1%With the RBA targeting unemployment in the low 4% range and pledging rates won’t rise until inflation has sustainably returned to the 2-3% target, monetary stimulus will be in play for some time.The central bank has reinforced the economy’s rapid recovery by holding down borrowing costs through a firm defense of three-year debt -- its variant of yield curve control. That has also helped weaken the currency a touch in combination with QE that targets 5-10 year securities outside the YCC framework.Key decisions over whether to roll over the yield target to the November 2024 maturity, and whether to extend QE when the current round expires in September/October will likely be influenced by the economy’s resilience to a withdrawal of government stimulus.While the RBA has also said it will “carefully” monitor surging home prices, any action to stem gains is likely to come from tighter bank lending rules, not monetary tightening.The RBA has learned from its experience in 2009, when it led the world in raising rates. This time round it will wait for other major economies to move first to avoid renewed currency strength choking off the expansion.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“Last year was a consequential one for the RBA -- it ventured into yield curve control and QE. This year it will be less active, focused more on fine tuning. A pressing task will be to curb appreciation in the local currency. Another, working with other regulators to reinstate macro prudential policy restraints to restrain a resurgent housing market. Labor market slack is set to damp inflation, and keep the cash rate unchanged, for several years yet.”--James McIntyreCentral Bank of ArgentinaCurrent rate floor: 38%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 38%Argentina has relied on a mix of orthodox and unconventional policies to maintain its currency market relatively calm. While largely refraining so far this year from the mass money printing of 2020, policy makers have amplified price controls and slowed a crawling peg depreciation in a bid to cool inflation, currently around 40% a year. In order to absorb liquidity, the central bank has allowed financial institutions to pile into its short-term debt, with the amount of outstanding repo notes rising to over 1.5 trillion pesos ($16.2 billion) from 125 billion pesos a year ago.Monetary policy in the medium term remains clouded by the uncertainty surrounding negotiations with the IMF. The government has indicated a deal is unlikely to happen before mid-term elections in October, and Central Bank President Miguel Pesce has stayed on the sidelines of talks. While foreign reserves have slightly rebounded this year, they hover near a four-year low. The government’s strict currency controls, once labeled temporary measures, have no expiration date in sight.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The IMF will probably require Argentina to adjust its policies in exchange for an Extended Fund Facility deal. Until then, however, we expect the BCRA to stay put. The policy rate will likely be on hold at 38% even as inflation accelerates, and the peso will likely depreciate at a pace slightly below inflation. Once a deal is struck -- likely after the October mid-term legislative elections -- the BCRA will probably bring real rates to positive territory and to reduce the currency misalignment.”--Adriana DupitaG-10 CURRENCIES AND EAST EUROPE ECONOMIESSwiss National BankCurrent policy rate: -0.75%Median economist forecast for end of 2021: -0.75%The SNB’s monetary policy consists of negative rates and currency-market interventions.In light of the small local bond market, the strategy is the most effective, SNB President Thomas Jordan has said. Data also indicate the intensity of interventions has diminished in recent months, as the franc dropped versus the euro.Having slumped the most in decades due to the pandemic, the Swiss economy is due to return to its pre-crisis level in the latter half of this year. Still, inflation also remains weak.Sveriges RiksbankCurrent repo rate: 0%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0%Sweden’s central bank remains focused on bond purchases to keep rates low and stabilize markets. Still, Some policy makers are highlighting the option of a rate cut to stimulate demand and restore confidence in the Riksbank’s 2% inflation target.The central bank kept rates unchanged at its last meeting, and maintained its QE program at 700 billion kronor ($82 billion). Policy makers agreed that it was too soon to discuss withdrawing monetary support despite signs of economic stabilization and an uptick in consumer prices.Governor Stefan Ingves has signaled he prefers QE to rate cuts, and said last month he sees no risk of above-target inflation “in the foreseeable future.” Meanwhile, the property market soaring to record price levels is an increasing worry for Ingves, who said Sweden’s high level of household debt “will become problematic sooner or later.”What Bloomberg Economics Says:“A rebound in global trade is benefiting export-oriented Sweden and the economy has recouped more of the pandemic loss than expected by Riksbank. Short-term risks from new virus measures and a weak outlook for inflation due to modest wage growth still means policy makers won’t be in any hurry to withdraw support. The Riksbank has extended its bond-buying scheme until end-2021. We expect Ingves to stay on hold as the recovery takes shape.”--Johanna JeanssonNorges BankCurrent deposit rate: 0%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.25%Norway’s central bank is expected to be the first among wealthy western nations to tighten policy after its economy took a smaller hit than most in 2020. Its March forecast implies that the likelihood of a rate increase is split 50/50 between September and December.While soaring house prices signal financial imbalances are building up, Governor Oystein Olsen has said substantial uncertainty still remains regarding the recovery.Norway’s economic resilience has been boosted in part by an effective lockdown strategy and billions of dollars in government support backed by the country’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund. Still, restrictions to fight the spread of the more contagious strains of Covid-19 this year have hampered the recovery, with a deeper contraction in the first two months than the central bank had forecast.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“A quick rebound from the pandemic slump, sharply rising house prices and above target inflation during the past year give the central bank reason to think about leaving zero rates behind. But not yet. We expect extended virus restrictions to weigh on domestic demand until late in the second quarter. Norges Bank will likely wait until 4Q before lifting off.”--Johanna JeanssonReserve Bank of New ZealandCurrent cash rate: 0.25%Bloomberg Economics forecast for end of 2021: 0.25%New Zealand’s red-hot housing market has been driving the outlook for monetary policy this year after the government changed the RBNZ’s remit, forcing it to take house prices into account. After an initial flurry of bets that the central bank could start raising rates in 2022, the emerging consensus is that the cash rate will stay at its record low for longer. That’s partly because a raft of new government measures to cool the property market have taken the pressure off the RBNZ to act.While New Zealand’s successful handling of the pandemic initially enabled its economy to stage a V-shaped recovery, it now faces the possibility of a double-dip recession as its closed border hurts its tourism sector. The opening of a long-awaited travel bubble with Australia in April may help alleviate the pain, but support for the economy is still needed to ensure the recovery stays on track this time. Governor Adrian Orr has also made clear he wants to see a sustained inflation pickup before he considers removing stimulus.What Bloomberg Economics Says:“The RBNZ looks set to keep rates on hold this year. It’s likely to use other tools -- the Funding for Lending program and asset purchases -- if needed to add more support or to sustain maximum downward pressure on the currency. Its immediate attention is likely to remain on surging house prices, which have elevated financial stability risks. It’s already taken macro prudential policy steps, alongside government measures to rein in investor demand. The risks lie with further macro prudential tightening over 2021.”--James McIntyreNational Bank of PolandCurrent cash rate: 0.1%Median economist forecast for end of 2021: 0.1%Poland’s central bank intends to keep its benchmark rate at a record low until at least early next year, when the term of the Monetary Policy Council ends.The economy shrank for the first time in nearly three decades in 2020, and offficials responded by introducing a QE program and reducing the key rate from 1.5% in three steps between March and May.The EU’s biggest eastern economy is set to rebound this year, though the outlook has recently become more uncertain on the third wave of the pandemic.Even as neighboring central banks in the Czech Republic and Hungary are seen taking a less accommodative approach, their policies “play no role whatsoever” in monetary policy in Poland, according to Governor Adam Glapinski.Czech National BankCurrent cash rate: 0.25%Median economist forecast for end of 2021: 0.5%The Czech central bank has been telegraphing monetary tightening for over half a year but the prolonged coronavirus crisis is set to delay the first rate increase until the third quarter.Government programs to protect jobs are driving wages up and deferred consumption is set to fuel inflation once shops and services reopen after one of the world’s deadliest Covid-19 outbreaks. Still, policy makers agreed in March that a “longer-lasting pandemic-induced downturn” will probably mean a slower pace of monetary tightening than outlined in the institution’s forecast, which assumed three rate hikes for this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A deal between the asset manager and the crypto custodian is close to being finalized, sources tell CoinDesk.
(Bloomberg) -- Dollar bears are making a comeback as falling Treasury yields handcuff the reserve currency. Technical indicators suggest the decline may extend.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.1% Tuesday after falling for the previous six sessions in its longest losing streak since June. The index was pressured lower after Treasury 10-year yields dropped almost 15 basis points since the end of March. Leveraged traders have slashed bullish positions, according to the latest data from Commodity Futures Trading Commission.“The U.S. dollar is breaking down through important levels,” John Hardy, head of FX strategy at Saxo Bank, wrote in a note. “As long as the U.S. Treasuries threat remains neutralized, we could be set for a significant move lower here in the U.S. dollar.”Should a correlation between U.S. yields, bond volatility and the dollar extend, it could mean more weakness for the currency, according to an analysis by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. A recent break in a key technical formation known as a double top also appears bearish, the firm’s analysts said. Meanwhile risk reversals -- a measure of sentiment and positioning -- are pointing to more losses.The shift comes after an inflation-fear-induced surge in Treasury yields forced funds to abandon their dollar short bets last month. Recent solid U.S. economic data have, however, failed to push yields higher, eroding one of the greenback’s biggest appeals.Here’s a look at why the dollar’s drop may not be over as yet:Risk ReversalsOne-month risk reversals for the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index on Tuesday day touched the lowest since early January, pointing toward more downside risks. The gauge reflects demand for greenback exposure and is heading toward its year-to-date low. A drop below that could mean more losses.Double TopThe Bloomberg dollar gauge completed a major double-top formation by breaking below a key trendline. That move opens the door to the February 2021 low of 1119, and if that is broken through, the decline may extend to the pivotal range of 1110-1112, Citigroup’s Lauren Jung said Monday. That includes the lows from 2018 and January 2021.The BBDXY index has tracked U.S. yields this year, which also has been moving in tandem with lower bond volatility as seen in the ICE BofA MOVE Index. A continuation of that move should mean more pressure for the greenback.Dollar bull Trevor Greetham, head of multi asset at Royal London Asset Management, said U.S. stimulus will once again push Treasury yields higher after a pause, but for now, he’s “open-minded to a period of dollar weakness” amid the global economic recovery.Speculators ShiftLeveraged traders pulled back on their bullish position last week, after flipping from a bearish stance in March, according to the latest data from Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They cut holdings back to 1,145 contracts, after it surged to as high as 23,067 contracts last month.(Updates levels throughout.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Crypto and gold aren't in zero-sum competition for investors' attention, says Russell Starr, CEO of Trillium Gold Mines.
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG’s prime-brokerage co-heads are leaving the bank in the wake of its $4.7 billion loss from the implosion of Archegos Capital Management, according to a company memo.John Dabbs and Ryan Nelson will step down immediately while assisting Credit Suisse through mid-May on an orderly transition, the bank said in the memo. Roger Anerella was appointed interim head of prime services, while Doug Crofton was made head of Americas cash with responsibility for execution and advisory sales and Stuart McGuire put in a similar role for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Credit Suisse representatives declined to comment.The Wall Street Journal reported the departures earlier.The Swiss lender took a 4.4 billion franc ($4.7 billion) writedown and has since parted ways with several top executives over its dealings with Archegos, weeks after the collapse of Greensill Capital. Dividends have been cut and share buybacks suspended. Analysts see further losses and potential fines. Credit Suisse’s market value has dropped by about 20% since it first raised issues with Archegos.Credit Suisse is grappling with how much its leadership team knew and controlled client risks. It was sued by a small pension fund that alleges the bank misled investors and let “high-risk clients” including Greensill and Archegos take on too much leverage, in one of the first lawsuits since the twin debacles.Credit Suisse emerged as the big loser in global investment banks’ race to exit trading positions as Archegos collapsed, pushing it into a 900 million-franc ($975 million) pretax loss for the first quarter. The bank, which is also dealing with the collapse of a group of supply chain finance funds, has already said that top management won’t get a bonus for last year.In the aftermath of the Archegos loss, the bank said chief risk officer Lara Warner would leave the bank, as well as investment banking head Brian Chin. The head of equities sales and trading Paul Galietto, also stepped down, though will stay through April to assist in the transition, according to a staff memo earlier this month.The lender also announced three additional exits. Ryan Atkinson, head of credit risk for the investment bank; Ilana Ash, head of counterparty credit risk management for that unit and Manish Mehta, head of counterparty hedge fund risk, according to the memo.(Adds other senior departures in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
It is possible that bond yields have stabilized as traders accept the Fed’s reiteration that the rise in inflation will be short-term.
(Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp. shares tumbled after the Japanese company said a potential buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners has stalled.Toshiba revealed a preliminary approach from CVC in early April, which sent its stock soaring. Just days later, the company’s board urged caution over the discussions, warning the proposal may not lead to a transaction.In the latest chapter of the convoluted drama, Toshiba revealed it had received a letter from CVC on Monday, but it included “no specific and detailed information capable of detailed evaluation.”“It merely stated that CVC would step aside to await our guidance as to whether a privatization of Toshiba would suit management’s and the Board of Directors’ strategic objectives,” the statement said.“As this preliminary proposal lacks the required information the Board has concluded it is not possible to evaluate it,” it said.Toshiba shares fell as much as 6%.The disclosure is yet another setback for any potential buyout of the Japanese company, which also saw the resignation of its chief executive officer earlier this month. Nobuaki Kurumatani, who had previously worked at CVC, stepped down after he suffered a sharp drop in support from Toshiba employees and executives.It’s not clear whether other reported bidders will proceed after CVC. After the firm’s initial approach, private equity firm KKR & Co. and Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management Inc. began exploring potential offers, Bloomberg News reported.Satoshi Tsunakawa, who took over as CEO this month, offered reassurances that Toshiba would remain a strong Japanese company and invest in research and development. His comments appeared aimed at reassuring employees and business partners in the wake of the CVC offer.(Updates with shares from the first paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management for a second time sweetened their proposal to buy Hertz out of bankruptcy as the rental car company’s board meets to review bids, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The latest plan, which was submitted Tuesday afternoon, would hand shareholders more value -- specifically a 40% stake in the reorganized company through a combination of direct investment and a more than $1 billion equity rights offering, the people said.Representatives for Knighthead and Certares declined to comment. A representative for Hertz didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Hertz shares reversed earlier losses to close up 5.6% at $1.90 after Bloomberg reported on the new plan.The battle over ownership of Hertz has been heating up. The company earlier this month picked a plan from Centerbridge Partners, Warburg Pincus and Dundon Capital Partners that outbid an earlier Knighthead deal.Last week, Knighthead and Certares responded with a plan that assigned Hertz an enterprise value of around $6.2 billion, paid senior lenders and unsecured bondholders in full, and offered existing equity holders a shot at recovery. The deal was backed by investors including Apollo Global Management Inc.The Centerbridge-led proposal would swap unsecured funded debt claims for 48.2% of the equity in the reorganized company and the right to purchase an additional $1.6 billion of equity. Holders of general unsecured claims would recover around 75 cents on the dollar while existing equity holders would be wiped out.In a court hearing last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath delayed approval of a creditor vote on the Centerbridge-backed reorganization to give Hertz time to consider both proposals.Any bankruptcy plan Hertz selects is subject to creditor and court approval. A virtual hearing to approve voting on a plan is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Delaware.The case is Hertz Corp. 20-11218, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington). To view the docket on Bloomberg Law, click here.(Updates Certares comment in third paragraph, hearing in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Wall Street's main indexes dipped on Monday although the S&P 500 and the Dow were still near record levels, as investors anticipated first-quarter earnings season for any hints that corporate America was rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The market is waiting to see if blowout earnings in banks will continue to other sectors," said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital. A recent pullback in the benchmark 10-year bond yield from 14-month highs has renewed interest in richly valued technology stocks, while a string of strong economic data has also helped push the S&P 500 and the Dow to record levels.
Japan logged a trade surplus of 663.7 billion Yen (about $6.1 billion) in March as exports also posted the most robust surge in over three years.
German automaker BMW is aiming for a quarter of its sales in China to be pure battery electric vehicles by 2025, its China chief Jochen Goller said on Monday. Around 4% of BMW China sales were electric vehicles last year.
Silver declined below the support at $25.85 and tested the next support at $25.65.
(Bloomberg) -- Dyal Capital Partners and Owl Rock Capital Corp. can proceed with their $12 billion merger after a judge found a 2017 agreement didn’t give Sixth Street Partners the right to put the deal on hold.Delaware Chancery Court Judge Morgan Zurn on Tuesday said Sixth Street couldn’t temporarily halt the combination while the funds develop their arguments over the reach of the 2017 pact, under which Dyal bought a 10% stake in Sixth Street. Dyal is a subsidiary of Neuberger Berman.Sixth Street wanted Zurn to forbid Dyal from transferring its interests, including confidential information and consent rights obtained in the 2017 deal, to Owl Rock. Earlier this month, a judge in New York rejected a similar request for delaying the deal made by Golub Capital, another fund manager in which Dyal had acquired a minority stake.“The record indicates that this litigation and the parallel action in New York were part and parcel of a calculated effort to ‘muck up’ the transaction to force a buyback,” Zurn said in the opinion. “After admitting the transaction was not concerning, Sixth Street saw opportunity in it.”Sixth Street is “disappointed Dyal’s and Neuberger’s unreliable narrative was the basis of today’s decision, and we will consider appropriate options,” Sixth Street spokesman Patrick Clifford said. “We entered into our agreement with the understanding that Dyal would be our partner and not our competitor.”Dyal and Owl Rock announced last year they’d join forces in a complex merger designed to let the funds go public with $45 billion in assets through a special-purpose acquisition company, better known as a SPAC. It’s the convergence of Wall Street’s hottest fads -- a firm buying minority stakes, ebullience in direct-lending markets and utilization of a blank-check company. The SPAC will go by the name Blue Owl.Direct-Lending MarketDyal takes stakes in firms, some of which compete for the same business as Owl Rock, which has fast grown into a dominant player in the direct-lending market. In court filings, Dyal had previously said Sixth Street is misinterpreting the pact and seeking to create leverage “for its own financial gain.”“We’re pleased with this resounding victory,” said Josh Clarkson, a spokesman for Dyal.At a hearing last month, Dyal’s lawyers produced internal Sixth Street files showing officials saying they weren’t concerned about the loss of confidential information when the rival funds made their combination public in December.However, according to Zorn, Sixth Street executives sought to turn the deal to their advantage a month later by demanding Dyal sell back its 10% stake for the $417 million it originally paid in 2017. Dyal officials rejected that low-ball price, saying the stake was worth at least $700 million based on Sixth Street’s financial performance, the judge wrote in a 27-page ruling. “Sixth Street declined to negotiate,” Zurn said.Sixth Street then sought to derail the deal by filing antitrust complaints to the U.S. Justice Department and suing in Delaware, according to Zurn’s opinion. The investment fund then pushed the judge to recognize its consent rights and temporarily block the deal, which it said would leave it in an “unhappy marriage.”After reviewing the evidence, Zurn concluded “Sixth Street has failed to make a clear showing of imminent irreparable harm to support” its request to temporary halt the deal.The case is Sixth Street Partners Management Co. v. Dyal Capital Partners, 2021-0127, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).(Updates with details from ruling starting in ninth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Cathie Wood, the founder of ARK Invest, is taking Wall Street by storm with her unconventional thematic investing. Namely, she follows an innovative fund style to find hyper-growth stocks with game-changing technology. Certainly, her unique method is working. To be sure, five out of six ARK ETFs posted more than 100% returns in last year alone. Result? Her funds saw a massive inflow of $20.6 billion, according to data from Morningstar, Portfolio Insider, and Nasdaq. Recently, Wall Street saw a heavy rotation into value stocks. But don’t count Cathie Wood as one of them. Instead, she is doubling down her bets on these innovative companies. “The benchmarks are filling up with value traps” due to the pace of innovation in fields including artificial intelligence and robotics, Wood said. “We think the big risk is in the benchmarks, not what we’re doing.” Billionaire Cathie Wood's predictions are must-follow because of her historic returns in the last three years -- with her picks soaring many times above their original share prices. Case in point: Last year, Ms. Wood’s ARK Genomic Revolution ETF, ARK Innovation ETF, and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF reaped returns of 159%, 203%, and 157%, respectively. Now, here are four technology stocks with huge potential that Cathie Wood has bought for her funds: 1. Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) Surely, Cathie Wood is bullish on cryptocurrency. She has been buying hand over fist in the largest cryptocurrency exchange and digital wallet service provider Coinbase. On the day when Coinbase made its public debut, ARK Invest scooped up 749,205 shares. A few days later, it added another 340,273 shares (worth nearly $112,970,000 million) to its position. Never shy from making bold predictions, Wood believes that digital wallets can develop into the most valuable technology of this era, pointing out its unprecedented speed of organic growth. "Digital wallets could become the most valuable technology developments per user of almost anything. We're pretty excited about that. If you were to draw a graph as we did in our big ideas showing how JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) got to these levels, it was one acquisition after the other, whereas Cash App and Venmo, because they are viral in nature, have gotten there organically," Cathie Wood said. Recent reports have supported Wood’s prediction. The digital wallet payments have surpassed the physical card for usage at contactless in-store payments and at the point-of-sale (POS) in 2020, according to the Global Payments Report. Plus, in-store cash payments fell by at least 50% in 2020 in advanced economies. 2. Unity Software (NYSE: U) A real-time 3D development platform Unity Software is trading at a bargain-basement price, in Cathie Wood’s view. She has been boosting her Unity Software stake over the last two months as the stock fell by 34% year to date. Despite the recent selloff, the company’s future fundamentals look strong based on revenue growth projections. Unity Software expects 2021 revenue in the range of $950 million to $970 million, in line with the company’s plan of sustaining 30% revenue growth in the long run. Unity CEO John Riccitiello said: “As the leader in creating and operating tools for the world of real-time 3D content, we continue to invest with the intent to capture what we believe is a substantial opportunity ahead in 2021 and years beyond.” 3. Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) Wood believes that Shopify can be as big as online retail giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) someday. As a result, Cathie Wood saw the dip in Shopify stock as a buying opportunity. Her firm added to its existing stake in e-commerce platform last week, according to Portfolio Insider. "We're trying to figure out how Amazon is going to deal with this notion of individuals seeing something on Instagram or elsewhere on Facebook or on Twitter, or on Snap and just buying there," Wood said. "That's a Shopify-enabled commerce opportunity and we think it's going to be big." Recently, Shopify’s stock price pulled back slightly from its recent all-time high of $1,500 that it had hit early in February. Regardless of the short-term price movements, SHOP’s stock price upside is likely to be tightly wounded to its growth trends. So far, so good: Shopify’s fourth-quarter revenue jumped 94% while 2020 revenue surged 86%. 4. Sea Limited (NYSE: SE) Cathie Wood has also been on a shopping spree with Sea Limited this year. The biggest lure of Sea Limited is how they can integrate dozens of their businesses into each other. Sea Limited has tentacles in eSports, mobile gaming, e-commerce, digital payments, and food delivery services. And the company is aggressively expanding its market penetration outside its home country in China, especially in Latin America and Southeast Asia. These segments have generated triple-digit revenue growth for Sea Limited. As a result, its consolidated revenue grew more than 100% in 2020, and it expects to extend that momentum into 2021. Cathie Wood first initiated a position in Sea Limited during the final quarter of 2019, and she has only continued to add her stake over time. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from Benzinga84% Of Warren Buffett's Portfolio In 2021 Is In These 3 Categories© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
The student debt burden among older Americans is growing at an alarming rate.
The DOGE frenzy appears to have spread to decentralized finance, where several imitator tokens have chalked up staggering single-day gains.
Overstock CEO Jonathan “JJ” Johnson says he's hoping that one day tZero, a much smaller trading platform that offers some services similar to Coinbase, will be a legitimate rival to the crypto behemoth that just listed on the Nasdaq Inc. last Wednesday with a valuation that briefly hit around $100 billion.
China will suspend the ability of foreign investors to trade if they cause serious market volatility through massive capital flows in a short period of time, a senior Chinese regulatory official has said. "Many people are asking whether foreign ownership will affect the stability of our stock market," said Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, at the Boao Forum for Asia on Monday. "What if massive amounts of foreign capital come in and go out? I can tell you that we will take precautionary measures." Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, says regulators are wary about the potential for market disruption by foreign hedge funds. Photo: Simon Song alt=Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, says regulators are wary about the potential for market disruption by foreign hedge funds. Photo: Simon Song> "We had a provision when we designed the Stock Connect that if a foreign investor comes in and causes significant volatility in the stock market, we can temporarily stop it from trading," he said. Stock Connect has a daily quota restricting the maximum net value of cross-boundary trading flows, with daily "northbound" flows into China limited to 52 billion yuan (US$7.9 billion) and "southbound" flows to Hong Kong capped at 42 billion yuan. Besides Stock Connect, foreigners can also invest in China A-shares via the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor and RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor programmes. Fang's comments come as foreign investors have increased their purchases of Chinese stocks, encouraged by liberalised rules last year that gave more leeway to overseas funds to repatriate their dividends and capital gains from the world's second-largest stock market. Following the easing of rules last year, a survey by Standard Chartered released last month showed 59 per cent of respondents would increase their allocations of Chinese assets in the coming 12 months. Foreign investors bought a net 16.3 billion yuan worth of Chinese A-shares via Stock Connect on Monday, the second highest net purchases this year, after having bought a net 24.7 billion yuan last week, exceeding the 18.7 billion for the month of March as a whole, according to the official Securities Daily. Driven by declining short-term interest rates and upbeat corporate earnings, the A-share market is expected to "continue to rebound", said Southwestern Securities in a note. But if capital was to start flowing out on a massive scale, there is a risk the Chinese currency would depreciate and trigger further capital outflows. This happened on a modest scale in February and March, with the yuan's exchange rate against the US dollar dropping more than 1 per cent as a result. Last month, FTSE Russell, the global index, data and analytics provider, added China A-Shares to the FTSE MPF Index Series, the core equity benchmarks used by the Mandatory Provident Fund industry. China's domestic equities had already joined MSCI's benchmark indexes in 2017. At the end of last month, foreigners owned 5 per cent of Chinese A-shares, still a "relatively low" level, said Fang. "With more foreign capital coming in recent years, our stock market has been running much smoother, as foreign capital is playing a more important role in market pricing ... We will continue to create conditions to lure more foreign investments," said Fang. Chinese authorities have a "clear view" about the priorities of foreign investors and are not worried about individual investors, whose proportion of overall stock ownership is very small and will not affect the financial stability, Fang said. The country also welcomes foreign mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies, which have the highest proportion of A-shares among foreign investors. But Chinese regulators are wary about the potential for market disruption by foreign hedge funds and so their operations will be watched closely, said Fang. "Once massive volatility is caused by some investors, their trading will be suspended to prevent further volatility," he said. This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who’s known as “Crypto Dad” for his early embrace of digital assets, joined the board of cryptocurrency lender BlockFi.Giancarlo, 61, headed the CFTC when the Chicago Board Options Exchange and CME Group Inc. first offered Bitcoin futures contracts. He gained tens of thousands of followers on Twitter after his February 2018 congressional testimony in which he advocated for a “do no harm” regulatory stance toward blockchain products, the comments that earned him his nickname.“It’s been fascinating to see how the whole ecosystem around crypto is morphing so fast,” Giancarlo said in an interview. There’s a healthy combination of retail and institutional interest in the market for digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether, he said. Yet the banks have been slow to embrace the new asset class.“The opportunity for the BlockFis of the world is the traditional lenders haven’t showed up yet, and yet there’s incredible demand” for dollars and other fiat currency to be used to buy crypto, he said. “The future of money and things of value is digital.”Giancarlo joins a range of former regulators and Wall Street executives who have jumped to industry roles, including Ben Lawsky, the former head of the New York State Department of Financial Services who’s on the board of Ripple Labs Inc. Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., serves on the board of blockchain startup Spring Labs.Read More: Crypto Shadow Banking Explained and Why 12% Yields Are CommonSome of the largest non-bank firms in cryptocurrency, including BitGo, BlockFi, Galaxy Digital and Genesis, are stepping up to meet investor demand for dollars amid a longstanding wariness by banks to lend to individuals or companies associated with Bitcoin and other digital assets. They’re lending to hedge funds that need cash to buy Bitcoin for a trade with minimal risk that has been paying out annualized returns that have recently hit 20% to 40%.BlockFi is a akin to a bank for the virtual-currency realm, paying interest on crypto deposits and making cash loans using those holdings as collateral. It also offers a credit card with Bitcoin rewards, as well as a Bitcoin Trust that gives investors exposure without requiring actual purchases of the digital currency.Giancarlo recalled his time at the CFTC when Cboe and CME Group self-certified the first U.S. Bitcoin futures contracts.“It was not without its controversy,” he said, adding that Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers, placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal decrying the move and saying words to the effect of, “Don’t let Bitcoin futures come about or the western world will end.” Even Wall Street’s futures group, the Futures Industry Association, was against the idea, he said.While Cboe dropped its Bitcoin contract, CME Group’s has been a success, and the exchange recently added Ether futures.Giancarlo also serves as senior counsel to law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, is on the advisory board of the Chamber of Digital Commerce and acts as an independent director of the American Financial Exchange. He was recently nominated to the board of Nomura Holdings Inc. and is a co-founder of the Digital Dollar Project.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Just last Friday, the S&P 500 had closed at a record high. This week, the index can’t seem to find its footing.