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    The world economy is experiencing a rare event: a deflationary expansion. This is a state where a positive supply shock in an environment of constant aggregate demand causes prices and/or inflation to fall and GDP to expand.
     
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    Does currency ranking by daily trading volume mirror countries’ sizes? The US dollar is far out in front: the currency of the largest global economy is indeed the most traded on currency markets. But the rest of the rankings have their share of surprises.
     
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    In our preceding issue, we dealt with potential problems linked to the bond market’s size and liquidity. Beyond that, our attention is primarily drawn to the Federal Reserve’s timing of key rate hikes on the one hand and the pace of the ECB’s balance sheet expansion on the other.
     
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    From the broadest possible perspective, monetary policies appear to diverge by country. Although 11 central banks raised key interest rates in 2014 (including in India and Brazil), 12 cut them (including the ECB). Actually, what matters most is the dichotomy between the policies of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England and those of the ECB and Bank of Japan.
     
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    Seven years have passed since the beginning of a global liquidity and real estate crisis that dragged the Spanish economy and real estate market down along with it.
     
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    The summer featured episodes of volatility mainly linked to geopolitical uncertainties. With monetary policy still highly accommodative, we are updating our target asset allocation, which we use to allocate the assets of two portfolios – one in euro, the other in US dollar – among the various asset classes.
     
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    The geopolitical upheavals of recent years partly reflect the lure of greater regional autonomy. At times, this has caused countries to fragment. At the very least, it has least made certain nation-states’ futures much less certain.
     
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    These days, the very small hobnob with the very large. Nanotechnologies cohabit with the astronomical distances of space explorations. Small soccer clubs challenge legendary teams. Local news goes global in a click. Small firms grow at a dizzying pace and steal the show from large old-line companies.
     
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    The markets are rebounding somewhat, in part in anticipation of the expected asset purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB). Here we will look at global liquidity, what assets the ECB can purchase, and what this is likely to do for the economy. We conclude that adding liquidity is better than nothing but no substitute for structural reform.
     
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    Virtual currencies are used by an increasing number of persons within various communities. Most of them are limited to on-line games for instance, but one has a much wider reach and that is Bitcoin. With this paper we seek to inform those curious about this phenomenon.
     
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    In Guangxi in southern China, two conifer species native to the region are in danger of extinction. The project, supported by the IUCN and run by Fauna & Flora International, seeks to boost the natural regeneration of the two species in their natural habitat.
     
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