(March 18, 2016) Financial markets reacted to the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 16, as if what the Fed had revealed was highly dovish, that is, diminishing expectations regarding future interest rates.
Oil prices plummeted 43% during the course of 2014 – good news for oil-importing countries, but bad news for Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and other oil exporters. Some attribute the price drop to the US shale-energy boom. Others cite OPEC’s failure to agree on supply restrictions.
But that is not the whole story. The price of iron ore is down, too. So are gold, silver, and platinum prices. And the same is true of sugar, cotton, and soybean prices. In fact, most dollar commodity prices have fallen since the beginning of the year. Though a host of sector-specific factors affect the price of each commodity, the fact that the downswing is so broadly shared – as is often the case with big price swings – suggests that macroeconomic factors are at work.
I visited Korea earlier this summer and gave a talk on effects of U.S. Tapering on Emerging Markets. (This was also the subject of comments at an Istanbul conference sponsored by the NBER and the Central Bank of Turkey in June.)
An interview on the effects of policy at the Fed and other advanced-country central banks on East Asian EMs now appears in KRX magazine (in Korean), August. Here is the English version:
Special Interview with Jeffrey A. Frankel <KRX MAGAZINE> August
Q: On 10 June 2014, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said in a speech that the Fed’s “new” monetary policy tools, including forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases, were “essential” in ensuring the economic recovery in the United States. What do you think about the ‘ongoing’ U.S’s ‘Tapering’ policy? And what is your idea about appropriate “new” monetary policy?