Interesting Inflation News Links (February 5, 2009)

* On the Other Hand (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review)

In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our ec…

* Leading article: A risky cut in rates (The Independent Online)

There was more aggressive monetary easing from the Bank of England yesterday, with the base rate cut to a new low of 1 per cent. The Monetary Policy Committee has taken a view that the scale of the economic crisis affecting Britain demands such a drastic further injection of liquidity. The recent statistics showing collapsing demand, falling output and soaring unemployment certainly provide ade…

* Will latest borrowing cut ease the pain? (Ashley Seager, Guardian Unlimited)

The Bank of England yesterday cut interest rates to 1%, the lowest level in its 315-year history, as it sought to head off the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

* Bank poised for half-point rate cut (Norma Cohen, The Financial Times)

The Bank of Englands policy committee is expected on Thursday to cut its key rate by another half a percentage point, setting a new low for official interest rates in the Banks 315-year history.

* What’s So Scary About Deflation? Read On (Carla Fried, Wall Street Journal)

Lower prices may be manna to consumers, but they can cause economists to break out in cold sweats. Their fear: that one big D (deflation) will lead to another (depression).

* Market update – 5 February (Nikhil Kumar, The Independent Online)

The FTSE 100 was down 39.72 points at 4188.88 while the FTSE 250 eased to 6320.32, down 1.49 points, at around 12:45pm. All eyes were on the Bank of England, which reduced UK interest rates to a record low of 1 per cent at noon, a move which Charles Stanley chief economist Edward Menashy attributed to exasperation amongst members of the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee.

* This Dollar Needs to Drop (Wall Street Journal)

THE SINGAPORE DOLLAR, WHICH was on a sustained trend of appreciation from early 2002 to July 2008, seems set for a choppy ride this year, and probably next. Singapore, a high-beta economy — it’s more dependent on external demand than internal — is already in recession, and a bleak outlook for the next two years must be factored into any potential change in the currency.

* SOUTH AFRICA: Rand faces long-term structural decline (International Herald Tribune)

South Africa’s nominal effective exchange rate has been subject to a long-term depreciating trend. This might be expected of a middle-income developing country with a higher inflation rate than its main trading partners, and a high concentration of commodities and raw materials in its export profile. The rand has also suffered from a long-term ‘political discount’, encompassing concerns about b…

* Phila. refinery tax proposed (Jeff Shields, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Amid talk of cable contracts and plastic-bag bans at City Council’s meeting yesterday, Councilmen Frank DiCicco and Jim Kenney slipped in a whopper – a $20 million tax on oil refineries.

* House prices rose 1.9% in January (Mirror)

House prices rose by 1.9% during January – ending 10 consecutive months of price falls, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender said.


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