March 1, 2024

Economix Blog: Weekend Business Podcast: On the Fed, Christine Lagarde and China

The Federal Reserve started Operation Twist, but the stock market was unimpressed.

Although the markets stabilized on Friday, global stock prices fell sharply after the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would shift its bond portfolio toward longer-term maturities, in a reprise of a 1960s maneuver known as Operation Twist. In a conversation on the new Weekend Business podcast, Floyd Norris says that the Fed’s initiative was overshadowed by concern over the Greek debt crisis and its threat to banks in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

The International Monetary Fund has been playing a prominent role in the crisis, with Christine Lagarde, the agency’s new director, openly urging European governments to be much bolder. David Gillen talks to Liz Alderman in Paris about the former French finance minister’s surprisingly independent stand in her first weeks as I.M.F. chief.

The rapid growth of China’s economy has been one of the major developments of the last few decades. David Barboza, a reporter based in Shanghai, says that while China is likely to continue growing at a rate that many other countries would envy, the chances of a major setback appear to be growing as well.

And in a separate conversation in the podcast, Christina Romer, the Berkeley economist and former Obama economic adviser, says that the president’s current jobs plan is sound, though she says it should, perhaps, be even more ambitious.

You can find specific segments of the podcast at these junctures: Floyd Norris on the Fed (36:43); news summary (28:22); Liz Alderman on Christine Lagarde (24:56); David Barboza on China (17:41); Christina Romer on the jobs plan (9:11); the week ahead (1:42).

As articles discussed in the podcast are published during the weekend, links will be added to this post.

You can download the program by subscribing from The New York Times’s podcast page or directly from iTunes.

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