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巴曙松教授,博士,国务院发展研究中心金融研究所副所长,研究员,博士生导师,享受国务院特殊津贴。    巴曙松教授在银行、证券、基金、企业年金等领域有过10余年的实践工作经验,熟悉商业银行风险管理、基金与年金运作,参与中银香港海外重组上市项目,主持起草了《中银香港风险管理政策与流程》。目前的主要研究领域为金融机构风险管理与金融市场监管、企业融资问题与货币政策决策,出版了国内第一本系统研究巴塞尔新资本协议的《巴塞尔新资本协议研究》(中国金融出版社2003年版)

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2009-08-25 09:53:10|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Israel Central Bank Becomes First To Raise Rates
By WSJ Staff
By Paul Hannon
Israel’s central bank Monday raised its key interest rate to 0.75%from 0.5%, responding to signs the economy has started growing andto fears that the inflation rate may pick up quickly.
In doing so, the Bank of Israel became the first central bank toraise its key interest rate in response to indications that theglobal economy is emerging from its most severe downturn since theGreat Depression.
How Israel fares in the wake of a hike may affect the timing ofrate increases elsewhere, with a string of central banks includingthose of Australia, Norway, South Korea, India and the CzechRepublic poised to tighten monetary policy in the coming quarters.(WW: however, Asia rates lower at the open today, following therally in the USTs.)
The Bank of Israel has been as quick to respond to signs of arecovery as it was to respond to the threat of a deep recessionfollowing the intensification of the global financial crisis in thethird quarter of last year.
“The most recent data on real activity in Israel strengthen theassessment that there has been a turnaround, although there isgreat uncertainty regarding the expected rate of growth,” thecentral bank said.
According to figures released earlier this month, Israel’s grossdomestic product grew at an annualized rate of 1% in the threemonths from April to June, having contracted by 3.2% in the firstquarter of 2009 and by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The central bank said that, while other central banks were likelyto leave their key rates unchanged until the middle of 2010, theyweren’t faced with an inflation rate that was already high.
“In this situation, the Bank of Israel’s decision to increase theinterest rate for September by a quarter of a percentage pointstrikes a balance between the need to moderate inflation and theneed to continue to support the recent recovery in economicactivity,” the central bank said.
Partly as a consequence of the brevity and shallowness of itseconomic contraction, prices have been rising more rapidly than inmany developed economies, and now threaten the Bank of Israel’sinflation target.
The last several months have seen annual inflation rates above thegovernment’s target range of between 1% and 3%. In July, the annualrate of inflation was 3.5%.
The world’s major central banks are unlikely to follow the bank ofIsrael in hiking their key interest rates soon. “The Bank of Israel’s decision…will inevitably raise speculationthat other perhaps more important central banks will soon follow,”said Capital Economics in a note. “However, Israeli inflation ishigh…while the real economy is already recovering at a satisfactorypace. The financial system is also in relatively good shape andhousehold debt is low. The major economies are still a long wayfrom this position.”
The rate hike is the latest step in the central bank’snormalization of monetary policy.  From 4.25% inSeptember 2008, the Bank of Israel cut its key rate to an all-timelow of 0.5% in April 2009. It also opened less conventionalchannels for the provision of stimulus, buying government bonds and$100 million a day in foreign currency.
Beginning in late July, the central bank halted its unconventionalmeasures, first announcing it would no longer buy government bonds,then reverting to occasional interventions in the foreign-exchangemarket to prevent a sharp appreciation of the shekel.
Economists expect the Bank of Israel to hike again in comingmonths, with Goldman Sachs predicting that they key interest ratewill hit 3% by the third quarter of 2010.
The pace of tightening is likely to depend on the rapidity withwhich the global economy recovers, and the shekel’s performance onthe foreign-exchange markets. Too rapid an appreciation woulddamage exports, which are key to Israel’s prospects.
EARLIER:
Too Early to Declare Crisis Over, Bank of Israel’s FischerSays
New Topic for Bankers: Rate Increases
 
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