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The uncalm calm

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  • The IMF yesterday gave a very eloquent statement of the obvious about the Euro area economy (inflation is low in the Euro area, it seems). Markets no doubt appreciate the insight. Consumer confidence (some interest) and Ecofin (no interest, ever) are on the agenda.
  • The UK saw sterling move over $1.70 in the wake of the Bank of England sounding about as hawkish as expected in their minutes this week. There is the release of public sector borrowing numbers today, but these are never of that much interest at the best of times.
  • The US Republican Party have replaced Cantor as majority leader in the House with McCarthy. This was expected, but it may make control of the extremist fringe of the Republicans more difficult, and that could raise questions over fiscal policy in the future.
  • The Iraq crisis is likely to dominate headlines in the absence of other events, with fighting around Baiji, US President Obama sending "advisers" to Iraq (a Kennedy moment?) and Iraq's government asking for air strikes.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.