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Does beige beat bubbles?

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • The Beige Book of the US Federal Reserve is due for release. As a survey (of anecdotes, no less), economists might be thought to recoil from it. Surveys are not filled in by normal people, as a rule. However, the Fed still commands some respect in the business community and anecdotes have their uses.
  • Investors will look for inflation pressures. Administered prices and non-market forces may have a reduced influence on consumer prices in the US this year, and corporate pricing power appears to be rising. The consequences of the Trump tax changes may also be considered.
  • The euro area is offering the December consumer price inflation number. This is data that has been robbed of its element of surprise by the practice of publishing flash estimates in advance, and investors are likely to overlook the figures.
  • The Bitcoin bubble appears to have a rather large puncture at least. The main economic consequence of any bubble bursting is that wealth is generally transferred from the many bubble buyers to the few bubble sellers. Whether the cryptocurrency reversal came early enough to limit economic damage in economies like South Korea, where the bubble was more mainstream, is also relevant.