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Are Central Banks Now Emasculated?

Why Read: Because Mohamed El-Erian is, on the face of things, a very smart and experienced money manager who from my perspective writes in a quite balanced and timely way.

Commentary: You may recall that last week I said in so many words when discussing Fed Chairman Bernanke's remarks made last Wednesday at the close of a two day Federal Reserve Board meeting that it seemed to me he was 'keeping his powder dry' pending subsequent economic development in both the Eurozone and the United States.

You might want to read a short article written by Mohamed El-Erian, Pacific Investment Management Co.'s chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer, and the author of the book 'When Markets Collide'. Mr. El-Erian makes three important observations, saying:

  • "Central bankers more than anyone are being careful to keep dry whatever ammunition they still have";

  • "policy makers and their political bosses need to address issues of competitiveness, fiscal reform, and the retooling and retraining of the labor force. The longer the delay, the more likely these problems will get embedded in the structure of the economies'"; and,

  • "none of this will happen until political leaders abandon their tactical, incremental and partial approaches for issues that require strategic, coordinated and comprehensive responses. Unfortunately, in today's polarized world, the prospects of this are far from reassuring".

To put Mr. El-Erian's comments in proper context, I suggest you read the short referenced article.

Topical Reference: Central banks can't save the world this time: Mohamed El-Erian, from The Financial Post, from Bloomberg News, Mohamed El-Erian, August 6, 2012 - reading time 2 minutes.


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