Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - Doug_Wakefieldth
2.Tesco Meltdown Debt Default Risk Could Trigger a Financial Crisis in Early 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - Keith Fitz-Gerald
4.Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26Mike_Whitney
5.Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - Michael_Noonan
7.U.S. Economy Faltering Momentum, Debt and Asset Bubbles - Lacy Hunt
8.Bullish Silver Stealth Buying - Zeal_LLC
9.Euro, USD, Gold and Stocks According to Chartology - Rambus_Chartology
10.Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping U.S. Housing Market Bust Already Starting to Appear - EWI
Last 5 days
Pretium - Canadian Golden Elephant - 31st Oct 14
What USA Today Got Wrong About the Stock Market Fear Gauge - 31st Oct 14
Election Result - Labour Wins South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner - 31st Oct 14
Gold Price Falls, Stocks Record Highs as Japan Goes ‘Weimar’ - 31st Oct 14
EUR/USD - Double Bottom Or New Lows? - 31st Oct 14
More Downside Ahead for Gold and Silver - 31st Oct 14
QE Is Dead, Now You Tell Me What You Know - 31st Oct 14
Welcome to the World of Volatility - 31st Oct 14
Stocks Bear Market Crash Towards New All Time Highs as QE3 End Awaits QE4 Start - 31st Oct 14
US Mortgages, Risky Bisiness "Easy Money" - 30th Oct 14
Gold, Silver and Currency Wars - 30th Oct 14
How to Recognize a Stock Market “Bear Raid” on Wall Street - 30th Oct 14
U.S. Midterm Elections: Would a Republican Win Be Bullish for the Stock Market? - 30th Oct 14
Stock Market S&P Index MAP Wave Analysis Forecast - 30th Oct 14
Gold Price Declines Once Again As Expected - 30th Oct 14
Depression and the Economy of a Country - 30th Oct 14
Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years - 30th Oct 14
Apocalypse Now Or Nirvana Next Week? - 30th Oct 14
Understanding Gold's Massive Impact on Fed Maneuvering - 30th Oct 14
Europe: Building a Banking Union - 30th Oct 14
The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America's Grasp - 30th Oct 14
Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part VIII) - 29th Oct 14
Flock of Black Swans Points to Imminent Stock Market Crash - 29th Oct 14
Bank of America's Mortgage Headaches - 29th Oct 14
Risk Management - Why I Run “Ultimate Trailing Stops” on All My Investments - 29th Oct 14
As the Eurozone Economy Stalls, China Cuts the Red Tape - 29th Oct 14
Stock Market Bubble Goes Pop - 29th Oct 14
Gold's Obituary - 29th Oct 14
A Medical Breakthrough Creating Stock Profits - 29th Oct 14
Greenspan: Gold Price Will Rise - 29th Oct 14
The Most Important Stock Market Chart on the Planet - 29th Oct 14
Mysterious Death od CEO Who Went Against the Petrodollar - 29th Oct 14
Hillary Clinton Could Be One of the Best U.S. Presidents Ever - 29th Oct 14
The Worst Advice Wall Street Ever Gave - 29th Oct 14
Bitcoin Price Narrow Range, Might Not Be for Long - 29th Oct 14
UKIP South Yorkshire PCC Election Win is Just Not Going to Happen - 29th Oct 14
Evidence of New U.S. Housing Market Real Estate Bust Starting to Appear - 28th Oct 14
Principle, Rigor and Execution Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy - 28th Oct 14
This Little Piggy Bent The Market - 28th Oct 14
Global Housing Markets - Don’t Buy A Home, You’ll Get Burned! - 28th Oct 14
U.S. Economic Snapshot - Strong Dollar Eating into corporate Profits - 28th Oct 14
Oliver Gross Says Peak Gold Is Here to Stay - 28th Oct 14
The Hedge Fund Rich List Infographic - 28th Oct 14
Does Gold Price Always Respond to Real Interest Rates? - 28th Oct 14
When Will Central Bank Morons Ever Learn? asks Albert Edwards at Societe General - 28th Oct 14
Functional Economics - Getting Your House in Order - 28th Oct 14
Humanity Accelerating to What Exactly? - 27th Oct 14
A Scary Story for Emerging Markets - 27th Oct 14
Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - 27th Oct 14
Europe Redefines Bank Stress Tests - 27th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Underway - 27th Oct 14
Why Do Banks Want Our Deposits? Hint: It’s Not to Make Loans - 26th Oct 14
Obamacare Is Not a Revolution, It Is Mere Evolution - 26th Oct 14
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26th Oct 14
Has the FTSE Stock Market Index Put in a Major Top? - 26th Oct 14
Christmas In October – Desperate Measures - 26th Oct 14
Stock Market Primary IV Continues - 26th Oct 14
Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - 25th Oct 14
Ebola Has Nothing To Do With The Stock Market - 25th Oct 14
The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - 25th Oct 14
Japanese Style Deflation Coming? Where? Fed Falling Behind the Curve? Which Way? - 25th Oct 14
Gold Price Rebounds but Gold Miners Struggle - 25th Oct 14
Stock Market Buy the Dip or Sell the Rally - 25th Oct 14
Get Ready for “Stupid Cheap” Stock Prices - 25th Oct 14
The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - 25th Oct 14 - Keith Fitz-Gerald
Bitcoin Price Decline Stopped, Possibly Temporarily - 25th Oct 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stocks Epic Bear Market

Bank of England Interest Rate Policy Targets UK House Price Inflation

Interest-Rates / UK Interest Rates Feb 05, 2008 - 06:27 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Interest-Rates

Best Financial Markets Analysis Article"...Rising inflation in the cost of living didn't stop the Old Lady cutting interest rates in 2001, 2003 or 2005. Why change now...?"

WILL THE BANK of ENGLAND cut UK interest rates this Thursday?


Might Hillary and Barack have trouble getting together as running mates for November?

First up, the Bank of England's sole purpose in life is to target inflation. And annual inflation in United Kingdom real estate prices is now slowing far beneath the apparently magic 9% mark...

Whatever econometric model says 9% annual house-price growth is vital to the nation's well-being, the Old Lady has stuck to it since she gained "operational independence" back in May 1997.

And now falling inflation demands a rate cut...if by inflation you mean the decade-long bubble in real estate prices.

Check!

Next up, political pressure. The Bank of England is entirely independent of the elected government, of course, despite the policy team being appointed by the chancellor himself. And yet the Treasury has displayed an uncanny knack for second-guessing how the nine-member committee will vote.

"It has not gone unnoticed that the most successful forecaster of changes in [BoE] policy direction since 1997 has been Mr Ed Balls," as Stephen Lewis at Insinger de Beaufort wrote of the Treasury's chief economic advisor two years ago. "Before each of these events, he pops up on a public platform to approve the shift in advance. His insight into what is supposed to be an independent decision-making process is remarkable."

Fast forward to last month, and Ed Balls – now in charge of education – seems to have retained his magical powers of foresight, revealing live on breakfast TV that "our interest rates are low and are coming down."

Spooky, no?

"The Bank of England has got flexibility," Balls went on. "Inflation is low. We will see what happens in the next few months."

Won't we just! But not before the current chancellor, hapless Alistair Darling himself, sets the stage for a rate-cut, too.

"Because of the fact that we now have low unemployment," said the hopeless one at the end of January, "[and] we've got historically low inflation, low levels of interest rates and mortgage rates, the Monetary Policy Committee has room for maneuver."

Room for maneuver? Put another way – as the only US academic on the Old Lady's team did late last month – "worrying about inflation at this time seems like fiddling while Rome burns.

"The evidence from the housing market, and especially the commercial property market, is worrying," David Blanchflower gushed. "Consumer confidence is low in the UK . Interest rates are restrictive at their current levels and that is why I have been voting for cuts."

Poor Mervyn King! The Old Lady's chief pooh-bah stuck out like a sore thumb by refusing to slash rates when Northern Rock collapsed last summer. He's previously complained that "people in sensitive positions" shouldn't speak out on base-rate policy.

But then, people in sensitive positions are there because they like to decide what happens.

And everyone knows the Bank of England simply MUST cut interest rates...because its sole task is to defend "price stability".

"Mortgage approvals in December at 73,000 were below the lowest point in the 2004-5 housing pause and point to further housing weakness," writes David Smith in the Sunday Times. "Consumers are cautious and so is business. The CBI said January retail trading was the weakest for 15 months. Consumer confidence did not improve as much as it normally does between December and January, and remains weak."

Never mind that a new survey from Citigroup-YouGov says the Great British public now expects inflation to reach 3.3% from the last survey's 2.7% – "well above the 2% official target" as Smith admits.

Rising inflation in the cost of living didn't prevent the Bank of England from cutting interest rates in 2001, 2003 or 2005. Why should the Old Lady break the habit of her (independent) lifetime now?

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2008

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Adrian Ash Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Andy R
06 Feb 08, 21:20
Backed into a corner

Room to maneouver? I think not. Suppose we need a rise in interest rates to combat rising import prices - which, for a country with a trade deficit, is an important issue?

Could we don such a thing without invoking agonised screams from homeowners?

And why is inflation considered low? Because, for some perverse reason, house prices are excluded from the quoted value. This despite the fact that a roof to put over one's head is one of the more essential and widespread commodities in life.

The entire concept of the "boom" was misguided - it should have been labeled "the shortage", which it would have been if it had been oil rising rather than house prices


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014