May 13, 2019

Central banks come to the market

A monitor on the NYSE floor displays Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Central bank guidance is increasingly falling on deaf ears in the market as more investors position for looser monetary policy no matter what policymakers say. And as the year has progressed, central banks all over the world have moved towards those dovish expectations.

Why it matters: The idea behind forward guidance is it allows central banks to influence market expectations without taking action. But the market has lost faith in the forward guidance of the Fed, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and central banks from Mexico to Sweden.

  • This is a major problem given that credibility is a foundational bedrock of central banks' ability to execute their primary function — maintaining price stability.

What to watch: Not a single major central bank has raised interest rates so far this year and the Reserve Banks of India and New Zealand have cut rates by 25 basis points, notes Capital Economics Head of Global Economics Service Jennifer McKeown.

  • "We still believe that central banks in the advanced economies will need to do more than make pledges if they are to stand any chance of reinvigorating their economies and hitting their inflation targets."

Go deeper: The Fed is sounding the alarm on leveraged loans

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,513,358 — Total deaths: 88,415 — Total recoveries: 329,329Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 430,376 — Total deaths: 14,739 — Total recoveries: 23,707Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York tops previous day's record death toll

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in the state in 24 hours. The state has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health