Christine Lagarde: Postcards From Asia

By Christine Lagarde—Managing Director, IMF: Cambodia: Moving Beyond the Frontier Cambodia is the first leg of my Asia trip. This is a country that has already grown by leaps and bounds, and now stands at the frontier of becoming an emerging market economy in the heart of the most dynamic hub of the global economy. […]

Brazil, Korea: Two Tales of Macroprudential Regulation

The pervasiveness and relevance of asset price booms and busts in modern economies has now been fully acknowledged. So has the case for combining prudential regulation and monetary policy in the complementary pursuit of financial and macroeconomic stability. This is a key issue particularly for policy makers in emerging markets, where the interaction of real […]

Japan, South Korea Face Higher LNG Costs to Meet Power Shortfall

In recent weeks the LNG market in Asia has grown tighter as a confluence of events has conspired to drive up spot prices. In an October 29 column, Clyde Russell of Reuters details three trends currently squeezing LNG supplies. First, in September Japan shut down the last of its remaining nuclear reactors for maintenance, meaning Japan is […]

Emerging Markets: What’s Changed

(from my colleagues Dr. Win Thin and Ilan Solot) 1) The US government shutdown and its impact on the economy and economic releases have pushed out Fed tapering expectations into 2014 2) There are growing signs that Korean officials may start to step up resistance against further won gains 3) The Brazilian swaps intervention program […]

Emerging Markets: What Has Changed?

This is what has changed in the EM space, in our view: 1) Brazil is hiking, but reluctantly 2) Turkey is cutting, and resolutely 3) China will further relax the FX trading band 4) Philippines will further relax FX trading limits 5) Korea announces a big stimulus package 6) Colombia announces a medium stimulus package […]

What Has Changed in Emerging Markets?

(from my colleague Ilan Solot ) 1) The Bank of Korea is becoming more independent 2) We expect the Brazilian Central Bank to start hiking by 25 bp in May 3) Israel intervened to weaken the shekel for the first time since July 2011 4) Chile is stepping up its FX intervention rhetoric 5) Mexico suspends […]

Central Banks: Contrasts in Asia-Pacific

Reserve Bank of Australia: surprise inaction Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised us by leaving the overnight cash rate (the official cash rate) unchanged at 4.25%. Most of us had anticipated a rate cut and, in fact, thought it was a shoo-in, given weak trends in retail sales, building approvals and employment. In […]

The Korean Shocker

This blog post should have been made on Monday morning. Since then, Indonesia released its 2011 and 4Q2011 GDP growth figures. In an eerie similarity to Chinese data and analysts’ ability to get the numbers down to the second decimal place, Indonesian GDP growth figures matched analysts’ expectations with a remarkable degree of precision.  Other […]