Overseas Headlines – February 04, 2021

United States:

Biden Wants a Foreign Policy That Puts Middle-Class America First

“Joe Biden has followed the path of many American presidents in bringing his own foreign policy brand into office. His “foreign policy for the middle class” is less pithy than Donald Trump’s “America First.” But for a world trying to gauge the U.S.’s new leadership—and an electorate with an uneasy relationship with globalization and other disruptive economic forces—it may be just as consequential. Biden’s promise to the world is reengagement, whether on issues from which the U.S. has been absent, such as climate change, or in multilateral institutions his predecessor sought to blow up, such as the World Health Organization. But national security adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior aides are also making it clear that doesn’t portend a return to a pre-Trump model.”



BOE Tells Banks to Get Ready for Negative Rates If Needed

The Bank of England told banks to start preparing for negative interest rates, while saying that message shouldn’t be taken as a signal that the policy is imminent. The BOE also said it will start its own work on a tiered rate system that could be used if it cuts below zero. Officials have been reviewing the case for negative rates for almost a year as they examine their options to help to pull the U.K. out of its worst slump in three centuries. Consultations with banks found that implementing negative rates within six months would pose increased operational risks.”



India’s Huge Borrowing Binge Puts RBI in Focus: Decision Guide

“Most economists expect India’s central bank will hold interest rates for a fourth straight meeting this week as attention turns to how it’ll react to an expansionary budget and a massive government debt plan. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s annual budget on Feb. 1 emphasized spending to revive growth in an economy hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. That would give some comfort to the Reserve Bank of India, which did most of the heavy lifting in the past year through 115 basis points of interest-rate cuts and ensuring liquidity in the financial system.”




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