The global economy looks poised to display better growth performance in 2014. Leading indicators are pointing upward -- or at least to stability -- in major growth poles. However, for this to translate into reality policymakers will need to be nimble enough to calibrate responses to idiosyncratic challenges.
Ben Bernanke has been saying that the economy's getting a bit better, so interest rates are going up. And at some point, sooner than later, he and his buds at the Federal Reserve are going to start adding a bit less juice to the punch bowl. I don't really know what to make of the markets and I suspect they're just going to be volatile for a while. But it's the real economy I'm worried about, and I used to have a friend in Bernanke when it came to that. Now, I'm not so sure. Fed policy always has costs and benefits and deep monetary stimulus is no free lunch. But as long as the broader economy remains in the residual gravitational pull of the great recession, the benefits of the Fed's aggressive actions outweigh the costs. I get that they're planning their pivot, which isn't the same as pivoting. But they're doing so too soon.