Podcast: Eco Waves
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Elevated uncertainty slows growth despite lower rates 9/6/2019
Business surveys in the US paint a diverging picture: manufacturing is worsening significantly but services have picked up nicely. Taking a broader perspective, evidence is building of a slowing economy. Less dynamic growth can be observed in engines of growth of the world economy: China and India, although reasons differ. In Europe, Germany is probably already in a technical recession whereas France is resilient. Central banks are back in easing mode but the effectiveness will be hampered by elevated uncertainty, despite the announcement of a new round of trade negotiations between the US and China.
Monetary easing at full employment: how effective? 7/12/2019
Fed Chairman Powell, in his address to Congress this week, has confirmed that easing is coming. In June, ECB President Draghi provided similar hints. This comes on the back of growing concerns regarding global growth and ultimately facing too low a level of inflation. Risks may be mounting, but, on the other hand, the unemployment rate is close to the natural rate. There are reasons to assume that monetary easing under full employment would be less effective than when the economy is marred in recession. Monetary easing could also raise concerns about financial stability, which, if unaddressed, could weigh on the ability of monetary policy to successfully boost inflation.
Growth concerns on the rise 7/10/2019
A sigh of relief followed the publication of first quarter GDP data. However since, growth concerns have picked up again on the back of a collection of new economic data but also — and perhaps more importantly — due to continued high uncertainty. The latter stems from concerns over the extent of the slowdown and its consequences in terms of economic risks. It also emanates from escalating tensions between the US and China over trade. The effects of this confrontation already show up in the Chinese data while in the US, mounting anecdotal evidence also point to its detrimental impact on business and the agricultural sector. The Federal Reserve has turned a corner and indicated that rate cuts are coming, much to the joy of the equity market. The ECB has also changed its message: with risks tilted to the downside and inflation going nowhere, it considers more easing is necessary.
Exogenous versus endogenous uncertainty and monetary policy 7/5/2019
 A high level of uncertainty can act as a drag on growth. Whether monetary easing will succeed in boosting growth will depend on the nature of uncertainty. Endogenous uncertainty follows from the normal development of the business cycle and rate cuts should succeed in reducing this uncertainty by boosting confidence of economic agents. Exogenous uncertainty is not driven by the business cycle but is triggered by other factors, such as, in the current environment, ongoing trade disputes. In this case, monetary policy effectiveness suffers and, despite rate cuts, the growth slowdown should continue until its root cause (exogenous uncertainty) is addressed.  
Uncertainty: persistently high 7/5/2019
High levels of uncertainty can have a profound impact on economic activity and financial markets. Our Pulse presents different metrics.
Climate change puts balance sheets at risk 6/28/2019
Climate change puts at risk the balance sheets of numerous actors, such as households, companies and the public sector. The first episode of this series of podcasts sets the general framework, William De Vijlder is going to remind us what a balance sheet is and how climate change can impact it. The second episode will focus on households and the third one on companies. In the fourth and last episode William De Vijlder will explain how climate change is impacting the balance sheet of the public sector.
Climate change: household balance sheets 6/28/2019
How does climate change impact the household balance sheet? Households’ assets and liabilities may be subject to climatic hazards. In many countries, this lesson was learned the hard way. That is why households should be aware of the environmental impact of the companies they choose to invest in or work for. In this second podcast’s episode, William De Vijlder emphasizes the particular importance of climate change in household finances.
Climate change and the governance of non-financial companies 6/28/2019
Climate change can impact business in many ways. We all know the effects of natural disasters, for example. But today, the views of users and consumers should be taken into account. So, climate change can not only affect infrastructure, production or sales but as well the very value of a company. Indeed, its valuation could drop because of climate risk exposure. That is why, William De Vijlder, in this third episode, recommends companies to include climate risk into their balance sheet management.
Climate change: public sector 6/28/2019
This last episode focuses on the impact of climate risk on the public sector balance sheet. How will states address the challenge of climate change? How will they manage the climate debt? Will they be able to implement the appropriate investment policies in a context of pressure on tax revenues? William De Vijlder exposes in this podcast the tremendous challenge faced by the public sector and the answers it is starting to provide.

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