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The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders

On a day when billions in profits and losses would be determined by split-second trades, the salaried professionals of Japan’s financial markets were glued to their news terminals. Another group was staring at the feed of an anonymous Twitter account. It was shortly after noon on Jan. 29, 2016, and people with money at stake were waiting for the Bank of Japan to announce its monetary policy. While the decision’s date is set in advance, nobody knows its timing. “It’s a negative interest rate bazooka!” gushed in reply. “The profits I…

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Asia Stocks Rise as Earnings Awaited, Won Weakens: Markets Wrap

Asian equities edged higher ahead of the start of the region’s earnings season this week, with investors betting that the outlook for economic growth and profits is strong enough to support record-high stock prices. The Korean won fell. Shares from Sydney to Seoul climbed with markets in Tokyo closed Monday for a holiday. Samsung Electronics Co. and a slew of Japanese retailers and manufacturers are among companies giving profit updates this week. South Korea’s currency reversed gains as authorities said they would take action to stem one-sided moves in the won. Oil…

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Singapore’s Economy Grows Faster Than Estimated

Singapore’s economy finished 2017 on a solid footing, allowing more room for policy makers as they consider raising taxes and tightening monetary policy this year. Growth was higher taxes when the government releases its budget on Feb. 19, with one option being an increase in the goods and services tax. The Monetary Authority of Singapore may also shift to a tightening stance after government and the central bank forecast GDP growth of 1.5 to 3.5 percent this year. A stabilizing labor market and recharged property market is setting up a…

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Heres What the World’s Central Banks Really Think About Bitcoin

Eight years since the birth of bitcoin, central banks around the world are increasingly recognizing the potential upsides and downsides of digital currencies. The guardians of the global economy have two sets of issues to address. First is what to do, if anything, about emergence and growth of the private cryptocurrencies that are grabbing more and more attention — with bitcoin now surging toward $10,000. The second question is whether to issue official versions. Following is an overview of how the world’s largest central banks (and some smaller ones) are approaching…

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Taylor Has Complex History to Overcome If Picked as Fed Chair

John Taylor has a complicated history with the U.S. Federal Reserve that could force him into a hard pivot if he’s selected as its next leader. The Stanford University economist, who is on President Donald Trump’s short list to lead the central bank, wrote the monetary policy rule that Fed officials use as a constant reference, and many of the institution’s own economists are schooled in his ideas. On the other hand, he’s been a vocal critic of recent Fed policy, arguing that the institution should hew closer to the…

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Mnuchin Says Its Very Hard Not to Give Tax Cuts to the Wealthy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview published Wednesday that the Republican tax plan will include breaks for the wealthy, a rhetorical reversal that contradicts President told CNBC that Trump wanted “no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” which prompted Democrats to label that promise the “Mnuchin Rule.” In the ensuing months, Mnuchin softened that promise in public remarks — in June, he

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Yellen Calls Inflation the ‘Biggest Surprise’ in the Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the U.S. central bank expects to continue to raise interest rates gradually as solid growth, a strong labor market and a healthy global economy lift prices even as she recognized that inflation has been surprisingly low.  “My best guess is that these soft readings will not persist, and with the ongoing strengthening of labor markets, I expect inflation to move higher next year,” Yellen said Sunday at the Group of Thirty’s Annual International Banking Seminar in Washington. Yellen’s term expires in February and…

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