August usually delivers its fair share of news even as the
attention of the many is diverted by the summer’s seasonal delights and even in an unseasonably damp United Kingdom.
Financial markets have wrestled with an increasingly lopsided looking global economy, pricing adjustments reflecting, on the one hand, the “second coming” of the United States where, despite aggressive interest rate hikes, activity is proving more than resilient. On the other hand, a “fourth turning” of a stagnating Chinese economy the consequence of which has been record capital outflows, a slumping stock market and plunging currency.
Whilst the stock and bond markets of the UK and Europe have moved to reflect developments on the international stage, domestic economic conditions are, for now, holding steady in the centre ground. The truth, as Oscar
Wilde once quipped, is rarely pure and never simple, a fact not lost on the world’s most important central banks as they obsess over how best to position monetary policy in this far from-normal post-pandemic economic cycle.
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