Overseas Headlines – November 16, 2020

United States:

The American Consumer Is Flush With Cash After Paying Down Debt

“Eight months into the pandemic, Americans’ household finances are in the best shape in decades. It’s a seemingly incongruous thought, what with the widespread business lockdowns earlier in the year and coinciding surge in unemployment — and it certainly doesn’t apply to all families equally. But it points to just how strong the U.S. economy was going into the virus outbreak, and how powerful the combined monetary and fiscal response was from the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Trump administration.”



BOE’s Worst Policy Leak of 21st Century Tests Regime of Secrecy

“The Bank of England’s worst leak in almost a quarter of a century of monetary policy independence has cast doubt on its ability to keep a secret. The Sun newspaper’s Nov. 5 scoop on the BOE’s plans for a bigger-then-expected expansion of quantitative easing that day, headlined with the exact outcome that transpired, shines an uncomfortable light on the institution’s practice of taking such decisions and then sleeping on them before they’re announced.”



China’s Luxury Thirst Keeps Eastern Europe Cranking Out Cars

“Chinese appetite for high-end cars is proving a boon for eastern European economies that had earlier fretted about an over-reliance on auto plants. Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which make the most cars in the world per capita, have closed shops and bars to tame the second wave of Covid-19 infections engulfing Europe. Their factories, however, continue to churn out luxury vehicles including Porsche Cayenne SUVs for Asia and the U.S., as well as an array of lower-cost models from the likes of Peugeot and Skoda for customers closer to home on tighter budgets amid the pandemic.”




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