The UK daily Telegraph last week carried coverage of Barclays Capital warning to "batten down the hatches" ahead of what the bank expects to be a nasty stretch of global financial turmoil as we head into summer:
Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero". "We're in a nasty environment," said Tim Bond, the bank's chief equity strategist. "There is an inflation shock underway. This is going to be very negative for financial assets. We are going into tortoise mood and are retreating into our shell. Investors will do well if they can preserve their wealth." ... Mr Bond said the emerging world is now on the cusp of a serious crisis. "Inflation is out of control in Asia. Vietnam has already blown up. The policy response is to shoot the messenger, like the developed central banks in the late 1960s and 1970s," he said. "They will have to slam on the brakes. There is going to be a deep global recession over the next three years as policy-makers try to get inflation back in the box."
Harsh words, to be certain. There's plenty of hemming and hawing right now over inflation and the confluence of monetary policy between central bankers, with European financiers doing plenty of finger pointing at Bernanke and the Fed -- we covered a similar warning from the Royal Bank of Scotland last week. If they're right, we won't be referring to March as the pinnacle of financial unrest in the current cycle for very long.