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The return of the two amigos. (Off The News).

They'r-r-r-r-e Ba-a-a-a-a-ck! The year was 1995, and TIE, in an "Off The News" item, highlighted "The Three Amigos," the key U.S., German, and Japanese central bank officials who behind-the-scenes were instrumental in a successful series of concerted currency intervention moves on March 3-6, May 31st, and August 15th. Looking back, market historians cite that period as perhaps the last in which the central banks got it right. As one Londonbased economist noted at the time, "The intervention moves were backed up by interest rate and policy moves to an extent we've not seen since the Plaza Agreement of September 1985." And who were the three behind-the-scenes central bank technicians in charge of such cleverly timed market operations? The first was a young Peter Fisher, then of the New York Federal Reserve. The second: Akira Nagashima, the then-deputy governor for international relations at the Bank of Japan. And the third was a young Gerd Hausler, then a managing board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank, who went on to serve in a senior position at Dresdner Bank. This trio, always keeping the markets guessing, became the nemesis for a lot of foreign exchange speculators.

Fast forward to the fall of 2001. Peter Fisher is now Undersecretary for Domestic Policy at the U.S. Treasury. Even more interesting is the recent move by Gerd Hausler from Dresdner to the position of Counsellor and Director of the international capital markets department at the International Monetary Fund. Hausler, an expert at global financial architecture, will assume a new position intended to place the IMF more in the backfield of global financial markets. Both enjoy a close personal relationship with U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs John Taylor. And of course Hausler, as a former top Bundesbank strategist chosen by IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler, is not unfamiliar to the leadership of the European Central Bank.

True, recent predecessors to these officials also enjoyed successful efforts at times at policy coordination, particularly during periods of financial crisis. Yet this new team of policy strategists enjoys a keen sensitivity for the timing of markets perhaps not seen in a decade. Traders beware!
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Title Annotation:Peter Fisher, Gerd Hausler
Publication:The International Economy
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:0IMF
Date:Sep 1, 2001
Previous Article:The O'Neill problem. (Off The News).
Next Article:Taylor's star student.

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