The deceptive calm of financial markets

Financial markets may appear tranquil, but the reality is that they are wildly distorted by low interest rates. The prospect of restrictive US monetary policy will throw Australian markets into uncharted territory.

Even as Australian politics reaches new frenzies of fiscal conflict, the financial markets are a sea of tranquility. Monetary policy, in stark contrast to fiscal policy, is becalmed. No one expects anything much to happen for a year, either here or where the real decisions are made in Washington.

But appearances can be deceiving: neither fiscal nor monetary policy is as it seems.

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