August Bumps

By Isaac Cohen*

This end of summer lull was upset by a rapid succession of scares in several fronts. It all started with the daily plunge in Chinese stock markets, which became a worldwide rout, with the US stock market falling 10 percent in a week. Additionally, a slight devaluation of the Chinese yuan deepened the weakness in commodity markets, with oil prices falling under $40 per barrel.

By the end of August, calm returned to world stock markets and oil prices jumped back 17 percent in two days, to more than $45 a barrel. However, in the background lingered the question how the August turmoil will influence the foretold decision by the Federal Reserve of starting the interest rate liftoff.

There are two divergent positions on this question. On the right, Martin Feldstein, Harvard Professor and former economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, together with the influential head of the Heritage Foundation, former Senator Jim De Mint, Heritage Foundationsay the central bank should not wait any longer. On the left, the International Monetary Fund, Harvard Professor and former economic advisor to President Barack Obama Lawrence Summers, and Columbia University Professor and Nobel Price winner Joseph Stiglitz, say the central bank should wait.

The answer will be announced at the end of the next Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, in Washington on September 17.

*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.

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About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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