Thursday, October 24, 2013

How To Spin With Statistics: Compare And Contrast

From Jesse Colombo to the Dallas Fed (excerpt):

Asia Recalls 1997 Crisis as Investors Await Fed Tapering

The 2007–09 global financial crisis triggered unprecedented central bank policy intervention in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Federal Reserve, after cutting short-term interest rates to near zero, embarked upon three rounds of unconventional monetary policy known as quantitative easing, or QE. These measures involve the purchase of long-term securities and aim to stimulate the economy by lowering long-term borrowing costs…

…China Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has cautioned that the Fed should pay close attention to the spillover effect on the global financial markets when exiting QE.[1] Lou’s concern is understandable; the painful memory of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which was caused by abrupt capital outflows and subsequent contagion effects, remains fresh. Moreover, the discussion of tapering QE comes as Asian economies are experiencing a slowdown that is expected to persist.

While the region’s policymakers need to be vigilant regarding economic vulnerabilities that have some parallels to the period before the 1997 crisis, Asian economies now appear better positioned to deal with adverse external financial shocks. They hold more foreign reserves and exhibit healthier current account balances (the difference in the value of goods and services bought and sold abroad plus net returns on investments abroad). Additionally, they should benefit from Fed forward guidance on U.S. monetary policy, reducing investor surprises and overall market shocks.

Balanced, covers all the bases, outlines the differences between 1997-98 and now, and adds policy recommendations. Which one would you prefer?

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