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UK interest rate dissenter signals policy divergence may be coming to an end

As expected, the Bank of England left rates unchanged at a record low 0.25% in today’s Monetary Policy Committee decision. There was a dissent, however, with soon to be departing MPC member Kristin Forbes wanting a quarter-point rise.

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The Fed will continue to raises rates, even amid uneven economic data

The Fed will continue to raises rates, even amid uneven economic data

Today the Federal Reserve raised the base USFed Funds interest rate a quarter percentage point to the range between 0.75% and 1.00%. There was only one dissent from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. And because this move was anticipated by everyone, the real question now goes to what comes next.

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The most important chart to see before the Dutch election

The most important chart to see before the Dutch election

The present Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, is the first Prime Minister from a party other than the two traditional centrist parties, PdVA and the CDA, and their predecessor parties since the Dutch constitution and voting system was fundamentally changed in 1917. Clearly, we are seeing a change in voting patterns

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The shale oil bubble

The shale oil bubble

Was the shale oil capital expenditure explosion simply a bubble? What trendline does this chart follow going forward and what does it mean for price? These are some fundamental questions that need to be answered.

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Hedging against rising global political uncertainty

Hedging against rising global political uncertainty

Starting in 2007, global markets were buffeted by a series of financial and economic crises that created the greatest deflationary scare since the Great Depression. We have left out-and-out crisis mode. But the challenges are still considerable, especially politically.

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More on the oil oversupply and OPEC’s lost swing production dominance

More on the oil oversupply and OPEC’s lost swing production dominance

Bloomberg oil analyst Javier Blas reported earlier today that Saudi Arabia has told OPEC that it lifted oil production in February, despite the ongoing OPEC production cut agreement with Russia.

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US credit growth is decelerating across a variety of areas

US credit growth is decelerating across a variety of areas

This week all eyes will be on the Fed because of its expected interest rate hike and the messaging that will accompany its policy decision. But credit markets should also be focused elsewhere, because credit growth has been decelerating across a wide array of markets for months now. And this trend has not let up in recent months.

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US jobs numbers come in high enough to prompt Fed rate hike

The BLS released the latest employment numbers for the US, the last piece of major economic data before the Fed meets next week to decide on whether to raise interest rates. The numbers were good enough, and now a rate hike is all but certain.

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Tomorrow’s jobs number would have to terrible to prevent a Fed hike

Tomorrow’s jobs number would have to terrible to prevent a Fed hike

Tomorrow, the BLS will release the February jobs numbers for the US economy. This is the last piece of major US economic data before the Fed meets next week to decide on US monetary policy. All indications are that the number will be good. The ADP employment report released yesterday showed 298,000 private sector jobs added to the economy, the best showing in some 11 years. And January’s report showed non-farm payrolls rising by 227,000.

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Oil drops below $50 a barrel on oversupply

Oil drops below $50 a barrel on oversupply

For the first time in 3 months, oil dropped below $50 a barrel after crude inventories were shown rising by 8.2 million barrels last week. Inventory levels are now at their highest levels since the US government began recording data in 1982.

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Some thoughts on systematic central bank policy errors

A recent post by Matthew Klein on central banks over at FT Alphaville that dovetails with some of the themes I have been writing about here at Credit Writedowns for the past decades is what preciputated this post. Let me summarize my thesis and tell you why it matters. Here are the bullet points – focused here mostly on the US.

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Great risk to Turkey as relations with Germany sour

Turkey is in the middle of a major political row with Germany. In the wake of the attempted coup d’tat last year, Turkish President Erdogan wants to change its constitution to give the President more power. And because the likely vote will be close and so many Turks live in Germany and the Netherlands, Erdogan’s allies want to campaign in those countries.

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