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Basic guide to Quantitative Easing

This is an article that I could have written a few months ago, when the Bank of England stated its intention to begin ‘queasing’. But it has become rather more relevant now that one of the pronouncements of the G20 summit is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will itself begin to ‘print’ additional SDRs (Special Drawing Rights, effectively the IMF’s own currency) which its contributor countries can draw down in the shape of dollars, euros, etc. Note my use of the word ‘print’ in the above paragraph. The days when first world countries used the printing press to increase the volume of money in circulation have long gone, assigned to eras such as Weimar Germany. Paper and...

posted on: Apr 4, 2009 | author: Alex

The physics of economics

Put two economists in a room together and you’ll get three different opinions on the state and future direction of the economy. Surely economics, the dismal ’science’, could learn something from one of the true sciences, such as physics? Certainly there have been efforts to do so, particularly among large investment banks and hedge funds, who have used quantitative analysis tools running on powerful computer systems to try to tease out the signals from the noise of price movements, taking into account thousands of different influences from interest rates to tax variations, asset prices to currency exchange rates and much more, all on the basis that there is some underlying predictability, some ‘law’ that governs price movement. Which...

posted on: Mar 11, 2008 | author: Alex