FIRST POWELL, NOW LAGARDE: CENTRAL BANKS SAY GOODBYE TO SUPERWONKS

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Christine Lagarde’s first task as the new European Central Bank president may be to prove she has the know-how for the job despite lacking an education in monetary policy. “She may not be a technical economist, but what’s even more important in a central bank decision-maker is judgment,” says Adam Tooze, professor of history at Columbia University and director of the European Institute. “She has shown that she has that judgement.” Whether Europe’s central banks will get in line behind her is the question, he says.

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Former IMF chief economist expects downward revision to 2020 forecast
The International Monetary Fund sees global growth picking up to 3.4 percent in 2020, thanks largely to a better economic performance from developing countries including Brazil, India and Russia. That forecast looks too rosy to Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF’s former chief economist who is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He questions the strength of an emerging market bounce-back next year.

First Powell, now Lagarde: Central banks say goodbye to superwonks
Christine Lagarde’s first task as the new European Central Bank president may be to prove she has the know-how for the job despite lacking an education in monetary policy. “She may not be a technical economist, but what’s even more important in a central bank decision-maker is judgment,” says Adam Tooze, professor of history at Columbia University and director of the European Institute. “She has shown that she has that judgement.” Whether Europe’s central banks will get in line behind her is the question, he says.

Hammond: UK relationship with Switzerland will strengthen post-Brexit
British relations with Switzerland will be more important than ever after its departure from the European Union, the UK’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond tells CNNMoney Switzerland. Speaking at the SIFF conference in Zurich, he said the UK had learned a thing or two about negotiation from the Swiss in the past.

Finding the right equation in clean energy transition
Combining renewables with battery power offers a more viable solution than nuclear in the transition away from fossil fuels, argues Alastair Bishop, portfolio Manager, sustainable energy fund at BlackRock. The cost of new nuclear facilities, he adds, “are not competitive with building renewable energy alternatives.”

China stock market on course for stellar year
The China stock market is on track to be one of the best performers this year despite concerns over the trade war and a recent run of weak economic data. Pruksa Iamthongthong, Asian equities investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said this is being driven by renewed investor confidence and a “return to fundamentals” when it comes to valuating stocks.

Barry Callebaut CEO: Cocoa premiums “no concern whatsoever”
Cocoa prices have shot up in the months since Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s largest growers of the chocolate ingredient, introduced a surcharge on exports to ease poverty among farmers. While Barry Callebaut’s CEO, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, expects prices to continue to rise this year, he says the extra charge will be good for the market in the long run.

EU set to adopt rules on responsible investing
New laws would require financial firms to back up claims that they really do factor social and environmental considerations into their investment decisions. Cyril Demaria, head of private markets at Wellershoff & Partners, says these rules will bring much-needed clarity to the booming but largely unregulated sector of responsible investing.

SMI investors cash in on spectacular run
SMI investors cashed in on a record run Tuesday, a day after trade optimism propelled stock markets across the globe to giddy heights. Peter Romanzina, head of brokerage at Vontobel Investment Banking, discusses whether there is too much short-term euphoria.

Eight facts about Novartis
In our new SMI series, we give you the facts about Switzerland’s biggest companies. First up is Novartis, the world’s fourth largest pharma company by revenue.

Is there a rally ahead for global markets?
The hope of a trade deal between the U.S. and China are causing global stock markets to rally. But how much higher can markets go? Thomas Wille, head of research and strategy at LGT, points out that we’re entering the best part of the year for equities and there’s still a lot of cash waiting on the sideline. Thus, he says, don’t rule out another possible gain of 3 to 5 percent.

Why the OECD is pushing for a higher retirement age in Switzerland
The latest OECD Economic Survey of Switzerland warns that retiring baby boomers and rising life expectancy is growing at a faster rate than in most other OECD countries. Álvaro Pereira, director of country studies at the OECD economics department, says that an update of the pension system is urgently needed.

3 habits of highly effective active investors
Discover the 3 habits of highly effective investors. Capital at Risk. | Prof clients only.

Why equity markets may soon stop caring about U.S.-China talks
As the U.S. china trade conflict drags on, investors may soon stop caring about every twist and turn, says Carsten Menke, head of next generation research at Julius Baer: “Financial markets tend to lose interest in themes that are lingering and don’t have a clear move in one direction or another.’’

Peugeot-Fiat merger a threat to competition in Switzerland
A merger between Peugeot-owner PSA and Fiat Chrysler could greatly reduce competition in Switzerland, according to Marco Venturini, managing partner of MSS Holdings’ car rental business. The mega-merger comes after the recent takeover of PSA’s Swiss subsidiary by Emil Frey, making it the country’s second largest importer.