Why China is doing better than its headline GDP figure
Economic growth of 7.4% in the first quarter is in line with China's 2014 annual year-on-year target of about 7.5% growth.
The slowdown from the 7.7% GDP growth registered in the past two years is due to the government rebalancing the economy, shifting away from credit-fuelled investment and towards more consumption supported by income.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says that the growth figures are largely what was expected and what is more important than GDP is the growth in incomes. Rural incomes are up 10.1% from a year ago, while urban incomes have increased by 7.2%.
The NBS points out that this is better than last year, which is more important than the slowdown in overall GDP growth, which looks more worrying at 1.4% when computed on an annualised quarter-on-quarter basis.
In other words, if the entire year grew at the pace of the first three months, then China will be far below its growth target of 7.5%.
Will quantitative easing in the eurozone continue the era of cheap money?
European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has opened the door to large-scale cash injections in the eurozone.
Quantitative easing (QE) had always been thought as beyond the ECB's mandate.
China’s new mini-stimulus offers signs of worry and progress
China has just announced more government spending to boost the economy.
If growth was on course to hit its target of 7.5% this year, then China wouldn't be undertaking borrowing to spend.
Is there a tech bubble? Revisiting irrational exuberance
US stocks are soaring to new heights.
The S&P 500 has hit yet another record high, pushed up by consumer and technology stocks. It is continuing a trend from last year when it seemed that new records were being set nearly every month.
Is Shenzhen the new Silicon Valley?
Three of the five largest mobile handset companies in the world are from one country and it's not the US.
Shenzhen-based Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE are Chinese companies that rank alongside Ericsson and Samsung.
The impact of economic sanctions on Russia
The US and EU have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The Russian stock market and rouble have fallen and two of the major ratings companies have downgraded Russia's credit outlook and growth forecasts for the year.
Yellen's Fed and the end of cheap cash
In her first meeting, the new Fed chair Janet Yellen continued the trimming of cash injections or quantitative easing (QE) that started under her predecessor Ben Bernanke but made her own mark in other ways. Namely, it's clearer than before when the era of cheap cash is likely to end (this year at this pace), when interest rates will rise (about six months after the end of QE) and that the new normal interest rate for the US will be lower than before (projected at 4%).
Firstly, the Fed's cash injections will be cut back at the same pace by another $10bn, taking the total to $55bn in the third trim down from the initial $85bn. This was widely expected as Yellen probably didn't want to surprise markets if economic conditions were not markedly different than when she was Bernanke's deputy when the policy of the so-called tapering was proposed last May and begun last December.
Fragility and Turkey
As the Fed prepares to meet for the first time under new chair Janet Yellen, how will emerging economies fare? Developing countries such as Turkey have held emergency meetings and raised key interest rates to retain and attract money as the US central bank continues to cut back its cash injections.
UK Chancellor George Osborne says that it's wrong for emerging economies to lay the blame for their woes on Western monetary policy. However, in an exclusive interview Turkey's Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told me: "Speaking up and saying that emerging markets are themselves to blame…. such comments [are] of course not really helpful, that's all I can say; it wasn't so when developed markets were in trouble."
'China's Twitter' Weibo goes global
One dollar for every user is what China's version of Twitter, Weibo, seeks to raise in financing.
Weibo has just announced plans to offer shares to the public for the first time in the US and seeks to raise $500m (£300m), which works out to be one buck for each of its users.