Connect with us

Business

Bank of England announces 0.5 percentage point rise in interest rates

Avatar

Published

on

The Bank of England has hiked interest rates to 2.25 percent for the seventh straight day, the highest level since 2008, in a bid to stem near-double-digit inflation.

The central bank’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted five to three for a second consecutive 0.5 percentage point hike. The MPC defied market expectations for a 0.75 percentage point tightening.

The move comes ahead of tomorrow’s tax-cut mini-budget, where Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, is set to announce a raft of measures to lower taxes and cut regulation to boost growth. The change in fiscal policy, which includes an emergency price cap on energy bills for households and businesses, should support growth and keep inflationary pressures on into next year.

Consumer price inflation in the UK fell to 9.9% in August from 10.1% on the back of falling oil prices, but rate setters have tightened policy after signs showed price increases were spreading across the economy and the cost of food and services have increased last month. The US Federal Reserve yesterday raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points for the third month in a row.

The MPC has raised borrowing costs at the fastest rate in 30 years to combat price growth, which is at its highest level since the 1980s. Most of UK inflation is due to rising global oil and gas prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Unemployment has also fallen to record lows, which has helped push up domestic prices and wages.

Money markets are forecasting that the bank will need to go much further in its tightening cycle, forcing rates to a peak of 4.5 percent next year to mitigate the impact of looser fiscal policy. Economists expect the emergency price cap for businesses and households will shorten the length of an energy-related recession this winter.

Sir John Gieve suggested the bank and government are pulling in different directions, with Kwarteng poised to announce mini-budget tax cuts worth more than £30billion as the government freezes corporate taxes, reverses social security increases and Cuts stamp duty.

Gieve said: “It complicates things. [The Bank] have to prepare to raise interest rates a little faster than planned. The Bank of England is worried about inflation, it’s a massive overrun. Demand in the economy exceeds supply.

“They are trying to slow down the economy. The rhetoric we’ve heard from the new government so far is that they want to speed it up by increasing borrowing.”

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said: “A further sharp rise in interest rates was widely expected against a backdrop of stubbornly high inflation.

“While the energy price cap freeze will reduce near-term peak inflation, price pressures will remain strong and the MPC will closely monitor the coming months.

“With signs of economic downturn, companies will pay attention to the financial report to boost confidence and encourage more companies to invest and grow.”

Commenting on the announcement, David Bharier, Head of Research at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates to 2.25% is further evidence that they are taking a hard line in tackling pursue inflation. Our research shows that relentless inflation, driven largely by rising energy costs, is by far the top concern for businesses right now.

“But the bank is faced with an increasingly difficult balancing act. The interest rate is a very blunt tool to control inflationary pressures, largely caused by skyrocketing energy costs and global supply chain disruptions. The bank’s decision to raise interest rates will increase risk for individuals and organizations faced with debt burdens and rising mortgage costs – dampening consumer confidence.

“Recent announcements of energy price caps will bring comfort to businesses and households alike and should put downward pressure on inflation.

“The Chancellor’s financial statement on Friday is now a critical moment. It has the unenviable task of supporting the economy while avoiding additional inflationary stimulus.

“The bank looking to dampen consumer demand and the government looking to boost growth could now be moving in opposite directions.

“What companies want to see is a plan to address the short-term drivers of inflation, as well as a long-term investment stimulus strategy that gives them confidence for the future and counteracts the recessionary pull of rising interest rates.”

Adding his comments on the announcement, Giles Coghlan (Chief Market Analyst, HYCM) said: “Today’s decision by the Bank of England (BoE) to raise interest rates by 50 basis points was a disappointment for STIR markets, which presented an opportunity 93% saw a 75bps hike. This prompted an immediate GBP sell-off following the BoE release. With inflation at its highest level since the early 1980s, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) must act decisively to try to address problematic inflation.

“However, by being too aggressive on inflation, the BoE risks stagnating UK growth, which may be why the BoE has taken a more conservative approach today. Since they last met, Liz Truss has unveiled her emergency energy package, which is expected to cost around £100billion. According to Governor Bailey, the UK energy price guarantee will significantly limit further inflation and support demand compared to August forecasts. After last night’s Fed hiked its base level by 75 basis points for the third consecutive day and lifted the terminal rate to 4.6% from the previous terminal rate of 3.8%, the BoE may have resisted the urge to follow suit to be more aware of the coming UK recession.

“With sterling already on its knees, there is a risk that the BoE decision will create a stagflationary environment in the UK by raising rates as growth slows. With this in mind, the performance of the GBP should be closely monitored by all investors following today’s decision as there is still a stronger sell bias for the GBP going forward. All eyes are now on the mini-budget tomorrow.”

Business

Al Gore really doesn’t like World Bank President David Malpass

Avatar

Published

on

If former US Vice President and Nobel laureate Al Gore pulled the strings, he would fire World Bank President David Malpass.

Malpass, who worked as Bear Stearns’ chief economist before becoming undersecretary of the United States Treasury Department for international affairs under the Trump administration, was named President of the World Bank in 2019. At the helm of the world’s $7.9 billion humanitarian finance institution in the capital, he keeps a low profile on climate change while funding sustainability-focused projects around the world.

“It’s ridiculous to have a climate denier appointed by the previous president — also a climate denier — in charge of America’s premier institution and helping deal with the dimensions of this global capital allocation problem,” Gore said wealth‘s Global Sustainability Forum on Thursday. “Therefore it must be replaced immediately.”

Unlike Malpass, Gore made his post-presidency career on climate activism. Since his time as Vice President of former President Bill Clinton and a failed presidential candidacy in 2000, Gore has been committed to climate protection. ACentre County Reporter the release of his 2006 Oscar-winning climate documentary An uncomfortable truth, Gore received the 2007 Nobel Prize for his activism. He has since been a vegan, climate-focused partner at blue-chip venture capital firm Klein Perkins and founder of the Climate Reality Project and Generation Investment Management. He has recently expressed optimism for the climate with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Australia’s Climate Change Bill and dismay at Malpass.

Led by Malpass, the World Bank recently committed $300 million to Cameroon, $512 million to Turkey and $335 million to Tanzania to fund climate-resilient infrastructure projects, among other initiatives.

The drama between the two politicians unfolds to the soundtrack of climate catastrophes: Hurricane Ian has devastated southwest Florida, floods in Pakistan have been more than suppressed 33 million peopleand researchers found that flaring — the practice of burning methane that warms the planet — is far less effective than everyone thought. These events are just examples of fires, floods, hurricanes, etc. that characterize the effects of climate change.

As answer to wealthIn asking Malpass to respond to Gore’s comments at the Global Sustainability Forum, a World Bank official referred to Malpass’s September 28 remarks at Stanford University, where he said, “Developing countries are being hit more frequently and severely by climate-related disasters. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change, which in turn has tragic development implications in a variety of ways.”

When Gore called Malpass a “climate denier,” a New York Times Event last week, Malpass called Gore’s attack “very strange” though declined an answer Questions about whether he accepted climate science.

“It’s really, really bad,” the former vice president said Thursday when speaking to Molly Wood, a journalist-turned-climate venture capitalist. “Under his leadership, he has mandated continued fossil fuel funding, which is ridiculous.”

In addition to his comments on Malpass, Gore also made distinctions between capitalism and climate catastrophe wealth Forum. He said that capitalism is not “the problem or the cause” of the climate crisis. Rather, he said he believes in some sort of multi-stakeholder capitalism to mitigate the climate crisis and provide developing countries with sustainable energy, food and production mechanisms that can slow devastation.

Sign up for the Fortune Features Email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews and investigations.

Continue Reading

Business

Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks of Genesis sell rights to Concord in $300m deal

Avatar

Published

on

unity reacquired.

This time the company has secured the publishing and recording catalogs of Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, as well as the publishing and recording catalog from their years in the band Genesis.

Citing “persons familiar with the transaction”, That Wall Street Journal reports that the “megadeal” is “worth over $300 million.”

The news follows a series of Concord’s recent M&A activities, including: to buy of wealth from HitCo entertainment and its eight-figure purchase by the Australian and New Zealand based music publisher Native Tongue.

unity spent an estimated $1 billion on acquisitions in the first 14 years in business. It then spent two nine-figure sums to acquire a controlling stake in Pulse music group in 2020 and then the Imagine the Dragons publishing catalog acquire Downtown‘s copyright portfolio for $400 million in 2021.

MBW also understands that Concord is in the race for purchasing the Pink Floyd catalogue.

Concord says that the “combined music catalogs of Genesis and these three artists are among the most commercially successful of all time”.

Genesis have released 15 original studio albums. Tony Banks has released six solo albums, Phil Collins eight and Mike Rutherford two, plus nine as Mike + The Mechanics.

Concord notes that combined record sales, including additional live albums, film soundtracks, and box sets, total more than 250 million copies worldwide and include songs The lamb lies down on Broadway, susudo, Against all odds, All I need is a miracle in the air tonight I can not dance, That’s all, the land of confusion The Living Years, invisible touch and some other hits.

Not included in the acquisition are Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett’s contributions to the early Genesis albums.

Concord was advised on this transaction by Shot Tower Capital, Reed Smith LLP and DLA Piper. The sellers (Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford) were advised by Hit & Run Music Ltd and Sheridans.

“This is a music catalog that we are all very proud of and means a lot to many fans.”

Tony Smith, TSPM

Tony Smith, Founder of TSPM and longtime manager of Genesis, Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Mike + The Mechanics said: “This is a catalog of music that we are all very proud of and means a lot to a lot of fans .

“Concord is one of the world’s leading music providers, with whom we have been working for many years on the publishing side, which we are expanding together with the publisher to the entire recording catalogue.

“We have been impressed by their good judgment and sensitivity to artists’ desires and we are confident that is the case alongside their respective ongoing record label relationships Warner Music and BMGwe leave the future possession of the catalog in their competent hands, safe in the knowledge that the legacy will be protected.”

“Tony, Phil and Mike’s songs were the soundtrack to the most important moments in many people’s lives.”

Bob Valentine, Eintracht

Concord President Bob Valentine said, “Tony, Phil and Mike’s songs have been the soundtrack to the most important moments in many people’s lives.

“Everyone at Concord feels the weight of the cultural significance of this remarkable collection of works, and we will strive to ensure that current and future generations of music listeners continue to hear and enjoy them.”


MBW recently interviewed Concord CEO, Scott Pascucciand president, Bob Valentinethe company’s return to the music industry M&A marketplace; and the company’s decision to reject a $5 billion takeover bid.music business worldwide

Continue Reading

Business

The challenge of monetary tightening

Avatar

Published

on

When it was announced on September 13 that the consumer price index – a key measure of inflation – had risen more than expected in the United States in August in August, stock prices plummeted and the US dollar appreciated sharply. Markets knew that this would spur the US Federal Reserve to announce another significant rate hike. And that’s exactly what it is

happened. But the pain of monetary tightening is just beginning.

The Fed isn’t the only one raising interest rates. Soaring inflation – which has reached double digits in the European Union and the UK – has prompted the European Central Bank and Bank of England to do the same, although many economists still accuse all three monetary authorities of being behind the curve.


Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand also raised interest rates by 25 basis points in August and the Philippine central bank by 50 basis points. Inflation for the same month was 7.9 percent in Thailand, 6.3 percent in the Philippines, 5.7 percent in South Korea and 4.7 percent in Indonesia. One Asian economy that is not struggling with skyrocketing prices is China. With inflation at 2.5 percent, the central bank cut interest rates last month. For China, the bigger challenge – and the main reason inflation hasn’t spiked – is the collapse in economic growth, largely due to the government’s zero-Covid policy. The slowdown is putting severe pressure on the heavily indebted real estate market.

Then there is Japan. After years of below-target inflation and even deflation, rising energy and food prices pushed core consumer inflation to 2.8 percent in August – the fastest annual rise in eight years. However, excluding fresh food and energy, the inflation rate was just 1.6 percent in August, still below the 2 percent target. This explains why the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has not yet abandoned negative interest rates or yield curve control (10-year bond cap at 0.25 percent). As the interest rate differential between Japan and the US has widened, the yen-dollar exchange rate has also moved sharply towards yen depreciation. With the yen depreciating nearly 30 percent in the last 12 months, the dollar is now around 144 yen – a level last seen in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.

Japan cannot relax forever. In fact, it should already be preparing for dressing. And raising interest rates isn’t the only way to achieve that goal. They may also shrink their balance sheets, which have expanded significantly since the 2008 global financial crisis, when monetary authorities began buying huge amounts of long-dated bonds as part of their quantitative easing (QE) programs. One way to do this is to roll maturing bonds off balance sheets rather than reinvest them.

There is a risk here. Before a central bank cleans its balance sheet of enough long-dated bonds, rapidly rising interest rates will reduce the bonds’ mark-to-market values, even if the liability value remains unchanged. This could drive a central bank into “technical insolvency”, with the mark-to-market liability value exceeding the mark-to-market asset value by more than the sum of capital and any buffer (cumulative retained earnings). Japan may be particularly vulnerable on this front, having maintained a near-zero long-term interest rate for a long time. The average maturity of the bonds on the asset side of the BoJ balance sheet is estimated at 6.5 years and their average yield is extremely low. But in reality, a technical insolvency would not be an event. Unrealized losses are not an issue for a central bank, which almost always holds bonds to maturity.

but might face another problem if they raise interest rates. A central bank earns its income from the interest on its assets (mainly government bills and bonds) and pays interest on interest-bearing reserves. Due to its balance sheet expansion, the Fed began paying interest on excess reserves in October 2008; the BOJ followed the next month. This was not a problem at the time, since the interest paid on reserves was essentially the same as the federal funds rate, which was close to zero, while interest rates on Treasury bills and bonds (or Japanese government bonds) were positive, albeit trending downwards. The interest rate difference between the assets and liabilities brought in high profits for the central banks – so-called seigniorage – which are paid to the state. Large and rapid rate hikes eat into those gains as the interest paid on the liability side rises in line with policy rates, but most Treasuries have fixed rates. If policymakers aren’t careful, interest payments can exceed revenue and even eat up any central bank buffers. The result is so-called negative seigniorage, where the government has to provide subsidies to the central bank – which could pose a political problem.

In order for the BOJ to avoid negative seigniorage, it must not rush the roll-off process. In addition, it must allow the long-term interest rate to rise by raising the 10-year bond ceiling before (slowly) raising the federal funds rate. The question is whether economic and financial developments will allow this approach in the coming years. When central banks introduced QE, the risks of technical insolvency and negative seigniorage were widely acknowledged. But the governments stood behind the monetary authorities. The Fed’s balance sheet should be backed by an implicit government guarantee. The British government’s guarantee was clearer. And the Japanese government allowed the BOJ to accumulate retained earnings. However, as monetary tightening progresses, these commitments could be put to the test. Crucially, when negative seigniorage occurs, governments must refrain from making it a political issue.



The author, former deputy finance minister of Japan, is a professor in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. ©Project Syndicate, 2022

Continue Reading

featured