The Week In Numbers: How Low Can It Go?

Just when you though it couldn’t get any worse for sterling, it did. The pound tumbled to a 30-year low against the US dollar after Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that financial services would get no favour in EU exit talks. Then, at the end of the week, it plunged further to US$1.1841 against the greenback. It seems that algorithmic trading was to blame. Is it a computer glitch or rats deserting a sinking ship?

There’s good news for homebuyers. The three-month key Singapore interbank offered rate, otherwise known as SIPBOR, fell to a three-year low of 0.87067. It is now possible to borrow money for a three-year fixed rate of 1.68% at DBS Group (SGX: D05). That could open the floodgates for cheaper loans from other banks.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that global debt has reached 225% of world Gross Domestic Product. Around US$100 trillion or two-thirds of the debt consists of private-sector liabilities. The IMF said deleveraging can make matters worse. But high debt levels can also slow the pace of recovery. Heads I win, tails you lose.

The European Central Bank has told bankers that low interest rates are here to stay. The bank said that the benchmark refinancing rate, which stands at 0%, will remain until the rate of inflation reaches its target of 2%. It said it will continue to buy 80 billion euros of debt every month. How long is a piece of string?

And finally, 3 British scientists have won the Nobel Prize in physics for revealing the secret of exotic matter. To explain the concept of topology, one of the professors, Thors Hans Hansson, used a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a Swedish pretzel. I wonder which goes best with a cup of tea?

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