But investors hoping to see the benchmark lending rate begin to drop this week are almost certain to be disappointed. After preaching patience and leaving rates untouched since December, financial markets will be watching closely for a change of tone from the central bank and its chairman, Jerome Powell, and a sign the Fed is ready to step in to boost the economy. Policymakers will hold two days of deliberations starting Tuesday, and for now are expected to keep the key interest rate in a range of 2.25-2.5 percent. The Fed raised rates nine times in the last three years as the economy recovered and put millions of Americans back to work, and officials repeatedly said they expected the growth to continue. But Trump's aggressive tariff policies have shaken confidence, and some central bankers have begun to acknowledge a chill in the air. The consensus is that the Fed is poised to switch directions and begin cutting rates. The only question is when. James Bullard, president of the … [Read more...] about US Fed leans toward a cut; don’t expect one this week
Economist political bias
Oil prices were nicely on the downturn for over three weeks when two commercial tankers were apparently damaged by mines in the Gulf of Oman, just off the very tense Strait of Hormuz. The incident caused oil prices to take a U-turn. A significant portion of the world’s oil supplies passes through the Strait of Hormuz. Fortunately, none of the crewmembers of either ship was injured in the incident, although one tanker was so seriously damaged the crew had to abandon it. No one claimed responsibility for the apparent attack. This is the second time in the last two months that commercial vessels were attacked in the vicinity of the Strait. In both cases, mines or torpedoes appear to have been used. Tensions in the area have been simmering since the US escalated economic sanctions against Iran. A large US naval force was sent to the Straits of Hormuz to deter any hostile move by the Iranian naval forces, particularly the fast patrol boats controlled by the more radical Revolutionary … [Read more...] about Hormuz
I am distraught as I see the results of the senatorial elections. How can we, as a nation, choose ________, _______, _______ (fill in the blanks) over qualified candidates who understand law crafting, a job that’s highly cerebral and requires high moral integrity? I cannot seem to make sense out of this. Even if I immerse myself in the use of the principles of Behavioral Economics (fusion of traditional Economics and Psychology) and know that we use our limbic brain first, then rationalize later with our pre-frontal cortex, things still don’t add up. Then I remember this article written a couple of years ago that facts don’t change people’s minds. (Click link) The human mind is just way too stubborn that even hard cold facts won’t change what it believes. Remember confirmation bias that I’ve discussed in previous articles and FQwentuhans? It is a cognitive impartiality that favors information that confirms with our previously existing beliefs. … [Read more...] about Indeed: Facts don’t change people’s minds!
PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) didn’t realise the huge rot that had seeped into the whole administrative system under Barisan Nasional (BN), economist Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam (pix) said today. He said these were among the challenges faced by PH in its first year as the federal government. “They have done well under the trying circumstances, but they could have done much better,” Ramon said in an assessment of the first-year performance of the PH government. The corruption and decay that was rife from the top to bottom of government, and was sadly led by some of the top most leaders and officials themselves, the Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman said in a statement. Ramon pointed out that the bias and consequent professional weakening in the whole civil and public services were caused by about 60 years of dominant rule by one political party. “Blind loyalty had developed in many civil servants to serve party politics, rather than following the … [Read more...] about PH didn’t realise how deep the rot was, says Ramon
By Kathy English Public Editor Thu., May 2, 2019 Why does journalism matter? I asked. You answered. In anticipation of today’s World News Day, a time to recognize and celebrate the power of journalism to make a difference in people’s lives, I asked for your perspectives on why journalism matters to you. The responses, as always when I reach out to Star readers for your views were (for the most part) thoughtful and constructive, showing tremendous insight into the value of the public service mission of journalism and deep appreciation both for journalism’s purpose in our democracy and for the work of journalists who aspire to journalism’s highest ideals. Thank you to all who participated. Here is some of why you believe #NewsMatters: Good journalism speaks truth in the face of lies, without fear or prejudice. When the public is confused by those with powerful self-interest, then the duty of the journalist is to lay bare the facts as (s)he … [Read more...] about ‘Great journalism holds the mirror to our souls’