Overseas Headlines – March 17, 2022

United States:

Fed Ramps Up Inflation Fight in Economy Tough Enough to Cope

“The Federal Reserve kicked off a campaign of interest rate hikes that’s set to be the most aggressive since the mid-2000s, as Chair Jerome Powell assured Americans that the fight against inflation won’t tip the U.S. economy into recession. After raising rates by a quarter point for the first time since 2018 and signaling six more increases this year, Powell told reporters that inflation is too high, the labor market is over-heated and price stability is a “pre-condition” for the central bank as it tackles the hottest price pressures in 40 years.”



Russia’s Bond Payment Is in Limbo as Countdown to Default Begins

“Russia’s Finance Ministry said that it has sent payment orders for the interest on its dollar bonds to its correspondent bank, giving incremental details on a debt settlement that has come to exemplify how Moscow plans to handle its future relations with creditors. It sent the order for a $117 million coupon payment on March 14 to a correspondent bank that it didn’t identify, adding that it would issue a separate comment if the paying agent, Citibank’s London branch, has received the payment, according to an emailed statement.”



Hong Kong Raises Benchmark Interest Rate After Fed Tightens

“The Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, after the U.S. Federal Reserve did the same, saying it wants to maintain stability in the financial system amid heightened market volatility. The base rate was increased to 0.75% from 0.5%, the HKMA said in a statement on its website. The rate moves in lockstep with the Fed’s rate since the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. currency.”




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