Americas: heroes and villains

Author: John Crabb | Published: 5 Mar 2018

You'd be forgiven for mistaking some of the news from the last month as a script for a cheap spy novel. Thirteen Russians and three companies were indicted for collusion in the 2016 US election, Tesla's Elon Musk sent a convertible sportster into orbit and there were claims that the VIX volatility index had been tampered with to manipulate the explosive stock markets.

Setting a standard

It was an eventful first day at the office for the new chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, which coincided with the 1175 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average – the largest in history. The market crash coincided with a four-year high in interest rates and a 0.5% rise in the consumer price index, a key indicator of a possible return to inflation.

There was further drama at the...