Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

September 27th 2008

Monetary Policy: US versus EU

US political and economic officials are now operating in panic mode, as the credit crisis enters a new stage of direness. Politicians are hard at work trying to hammer out a bill that would funnel as much as $700 Billion into mortgage securities in a last-ditch effort to raise investor confidence. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Fed, has warned that failure to pass the bill could send the US economy into a prolonged recession and asset prices into a deflationary tailspin. Accordingly, the Fed may continue to act unilaterally if the US government can’t be persuaded to come on board.

Contrast this frenzy with the relative air of calm across the Atlantic: although the European Central Bank has toned down its hawkish rhetoric, its focus remains on inflation, instead than the state of the economy. Accordingly, a change in the current monetary environment (whether rate hikes or rate cuts) still seems somewhat unlikely. However, a moderation in inflation combined with an economic contraction could force them to re-think their strategy, especially if EU member states step up their rhetorical attacks. In short, as the Fed ponders yet another interest rate cut, it looks like the EU-US interest rate gap could conceivably widen before it narrows, reports the The Wall Street Journal:

Interest-rate futures suggest investors believe the Fed is likely to cut its key rate soon, perhaps even before its next meeting on Oct. 28 and 29.

Read More: ECB Leans Toward Keeping Rates Steady Despite Market Turmoil

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Central Banks, Euro, US Dollar | No Comments »

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