James Saft, Reuters Columnist
James Saft's columns feature twice weekly in the International Herald Tribune and widely elsewhere. Before beginning his column, he directed all global coverage of economics and financial markets for five years at Reuters. His column won a Best in Business award in 2008 from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Before that he was global investment editor and chief correspondent, London capital markets. He has covered mortgage banking for American Banker before the term "subprime" was coined and syndicated lending for Reuters LPC in both London and New York.
The neutral interest rate to keep the economy in balance, R-star, is in hot debate among economists and central bankers as secular stagnation seems to have driven it lower.
Wednesday brought a double gift for risk investors: the usual, as the Federal Reserve declined yet again to raise rates, and the exotic, as the Bank of Japan declined to carry on undercutting its financial sector.
Shareholders in acquiring companies should be thankful: mergers and acquisitions are down sharply this year.