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Seven days: 9 February 2018

Seven days: 9 February 2018

Powell takes charge

It was far from an easy start in the new job for Jerome Powell, after he was sworn in as Federal Reserve chairman this week. While some overenthusiastic commentators drew parallels between the sell-off in global equities and the market crash that greeted former Fed boss Alan Greenspan in 1987 – otherwise known as ‘Black Monday’ – the former was much smaller. In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell 2.6 per cent, before rebounding 0.8 per cent at the time of writing. The focus for many investors has turned to the Vix volatility index – which shot to its highest level since the 2015 Chinese currency devaluation – and whether the era of unusual calm is over for good.

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