Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller emphasized the U.S. dollar will remain the world's reserve currency, despite speculation about its potential decline. In his address at a conference, Waller acknowledged various factors that could threaten the dollar's status, including sanctions against Russia, U.S. political challenges, the emergence of digital assets, and China's promotion of the renminbi. However, he argued that these issues have not significantly impacted the dollar's prominent role in global economics.
This week saw a significant increase in mortgage rates, pushing past the 7% threshold and dampening the enthusiasm of potential homebuyers. The rise in rates comes amid persistent high inflation, challenging the previously held optimism for a Federal Reserve rate cut in time for the spring buying season. Specifically, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage climbed from 6.97% to a peak of 7.13% on February 13, as per Mortgage News Daily, before settling at 7.03%. This upward trend in mortgage rates is making entering the housing market harder than ever.
Boston is facing a significant challenge as the city anticipates a tax revenue shortfall exceeding $1 billion in the next five years due to the depreciating office real estate market. This forecast stems from a collaborative analysis by Tufts University’s Center for State Policy Analysis and the Boston Policy Institute, drawing on a McKinsey & Co. projection of a potential 30% reduction in office property values by the decade's end. The city's heavy reliance on commercial property taxes exacerbates the situation.
The cryptocurrency market has seen a significant resurgence, with its total value surging back above the $2 trillion mark. This rally was led by Bitcoin, which is currently trading around $52,000, and Ether, which has recovered to its value prior to the TerraUSD stablecoin collapse nearly two years ago. Bitcoin's impressive year-to-date gain of almost 25% has been a major factor in elevating the digital asset market's capitalization to this milestone level for the first time since April 2022, according to data from CoinGecko.
the Central Bank of Ireland notably doubled its gold reserves in 2022, expanding its holdings from six to twelve metric tonnes. This strategic decision, articulated by then Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe, was aimed at diversifying the bank's long-term investment approach to enhance the resilience of its balance sheet. This move underscores the role of gold as a key component in safeguarding financial stability amidst the volatility of modern investment avenues.