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Abstract

INSIDE TRACK FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY IMAGE1 Even Lorenz writes: "The monetary policy stance should be further eased in many economies," the OECD pleads in the new edition of its Economic Outlook. "Additional easing is required in the euro area, Japan and some emerging market economies, including China and India." The report concludes with a tip of the hat to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on QE3. Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, too, may earn a vote of official thanks. The Bank of Japan has stepped up the rate at which it prints new yen (see box to the right) and may, indeed, crank harder. Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and likely next premier, vows that, if elected next month, he will consider revising the law that guarantees the Bank of Japan's independence. Mr. Market is listening. According to a Nov. 26 Bloomberg report, puts on the iShare MSCI Japan Index fell to the cheapest level in seven years on Nov. 16. But, seemingly, not every copy of the Economic Outlook has reached its central bank destination. The European Central Bank has shrunk its balance sheet at a 5.8% annual rate over the past three months. The Bank of England, while still printing at a torrid 41.2% annual rate over the past three months, is slowing from a 53.8% year-over-year rate. The gnomes in Zurich also appear to have lost some nerve or regained prudence (Grant's, Nov. 16). But the world's first- and second-largest economies seem to be gearing up ...

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