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May 21, 2015

China
Are China’s RMB Swap Lines an Empty Vessel?

As our recent CFR interactive shows, central bank currency swaps have spread like wildfire since the financial crisis.  In 2006, the Fed had only two open swap lines outstanding, with Canada and M…

Are China’s RMB Swap Lines an Empty Vessel?

May 7, 2015

Europe and Eurasia
Which Countries Stand to Lose Big from a Greek Default?

The IMF has turned up the heat on Greece’s Eurozone neighbors, calling on them to write off “significant amounts” of Greek sovereign debt.  Writing off debt, however, doesn’t make the pain disappe…

Which Countries Stand to Lose Big from a Greek Default?

April 20, 2015

China
Should the United States Encourage Japan to Join the AIIB?

On April 15, China’s finance ministry revealed the 57 “prospective founding members” of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, of which China is the architect.   The likely founders include…

Should the United States Encourage Japan to Join the AIIB?

April 8, 2015

China
Are China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Really Falling?

Bloomberg and other media outlets have been highlighting the apparent significant recent fall in China’s foreign exchange reserves, suggesting that the development had important implications. In …

Are China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Really Falling?

April 2, 2015

Monetary Policy
Is the Fed Gonna Tighten Like It’s 1994? Or 2004?

How will the Fed raise rates once it starts?  Gradually, in small steps?  Faster, with larger steps? In 2012, before becoming Fed chair, Janet Yellen argued for a later first rate-hike than would…

Is the Fed Gonna Tighten Like It’s 1994? Or 2004?

March 12, 2015

Brazil
Why Is Walmart Raising Wages?

On February 19, Walmart announced that it was raising its minimum starting wage to $9 an hour.  Since Walmart is famous for its ruthless cost management, this appeared to be a significant sign of …

Why Is Walmart Raising Wages?

March 4, 2015

United States
Psychology and the Oil Market

In his recent book, Market Madness: A Century of Oil Panics, Crises, and Crashes, our colleague Blake Clayton explains the role of market psychology in contributing to the wild price swings that h…

Psychology and the Oil Market

February 25, 2015

China
Move Over Big Mac: The Law of One Price Is Lovin’ Our Little Mac Index

The “law of one price” holds that identical goods should trade for the same price in an efficient market. To what extent does it hold internationally? The Economist magazine’s famous Big Mac Inde…

February 11, 2015

China
Will China Bail Out Russia?

Russia’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen by nearly 1/3 since October 2013; they’ve fallen 20% just since September 2014.  Whereas the country still has over $300 billion in reserves, about $…

Will China Bail Out Russia?

February 2, 2015

Monetary Policy
Employment Data Suggest Fed Could Be "Patient" Until 2016—or Later

In its last two statements, the FOMC has said that it “expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term”—2 percent being its target rate. What would it take to move it the…

Employment Data Suggest Fed Could Be "Patient" Until 2016—or Later