OUTLOOK: The world may not be ready yet to walk without central bankers' help

 

So, it's finally happened. The Fed's decision to slice $10bn (£6.1bn) a month off its quantitative easing programme is the clearest signal yet that Ben Bernanke, and his successor Janet Yellen, smell a real, full-blown recovery on the wind.

Meanwhile, back home in the UK, the jobless rate fell dramatically – close to the levels where Britain's answer to Ben and Janet, Mark Carney, has said he will consider ending our super-low interest rate environment.

The markets took both announcements in their stride. But worries should remain. We saw the chaotic impact that mere talk of QE tapering had on America's export markets in Asia and Latin America. Funds flew back to the US in the hope that the days of low returns in the West were over. Emerging markets were left facing suddenly high and destabilising borrowing costs.

Last night, the Fed watered down the impact of the taper with soothing words that it wasn't yet minded to consider raising interest rates.

But, as Ford had highlighted hours earlier with a profit warning over slowing exports, it doesn't take much of a global wobble to put the American economy back on the skids all over again. So, Mr Bernanke, Ms Yellen, and for that matter Mr Carney: cut QE further at the peril of all of us.

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