Yellen’s Dollar, Central Bank Juggle, Banana Republic: Eco Day

Welcome to Wednesday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • Janet Yellen’s senate hearing suggested the Biden administration will adjust dollar policy, undertake no immediate shift on China strategy and put a new focus on climate change
  • Central banks across Asia are starting the year juggling policy reviews and political pressure to do more to support their economies
  • Markets are putting zero probability on the U.S. becoming a banana republic. Tom Orlik argues that’s too low
  • Donald Trump departs Washington with Americans more politically divided and more likely to be out of work than when he arrived. President-elect Joe Biden thus inherits a recovery that’s challenged by the raging pandemic and a still-suffering labor market
  • India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has described her upcoming budget as unlike anything seen in the last 100 years
  • Malaysia’s first interest-rate decision of the year is almost too close to call as surging virus cases and a lockdown threaten a recovery
  • In contrast, the Bank of Canada is expected to look past a downturn in early 2021 and refrain from adding new stimulus
  • Germany shouldn’t be afraid to bolster fiscal stimulus if the pandemic drags out the economic recovery, according to the IMF
  • The Bank of England’s chief economist said the government can afford to end its furlough plan before the U.K. recovery is complete
  • China is counting on its consumers to bolster the recovery, but households still seem reluctant to part with their savings
  • Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation into money laundering linked to possible embezzlement from Lebanon’s central bank
  • After political and economic instability saw unprecedented demands for reform of the Thai monarchy, King Maha Vajiralongkorn is seeking to burnish his image in what is shaping up as another year of tension

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