The Great Depression is on people's minds as the US weighs the risk of premature policy tightening.
Reversing QE has begun and the challenge now is for the Fed's new chairperson to keep it in check.
Part of the US Federal Reserve chair's legacy is a country in recovery, but it's not yet back to banking business as usual as Bernanke steps down.
Further tapering of monetary stimulus, announced by the US Federal Reserve, has seen the dollar climb while other currencies feel the pressure.
South African Reserve Bank and US Federal Reserve policy meetings is foreseen to dominate the week, although neither is expected to change rates.
Strong demand from the East is expected to boost the precious metal, following a 28% slump in prices in 2013.
The metal had experienced a 28% slump in 2013, but the Fed's decision to taper is offering some temporary support at the start of the new year.
The dollar has gained after US Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke announced plans to taper monthly bond purchases.
Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus believes that while adjustments to tapering will be trying, it is ultimately good news.
Speculation over whether the US Fed will begin tapering sees the rand drop ahead of a decision.
Libyan rebels have decided to keep oil export terminals shut following the government's rejection of their demands to share revenues.
The Reserve Bank seeks to diversify its currency exposure to help protect reserves from a potential rise in US Treasury yields.
The Federal Reserve's decision to hold on tapering plans will see happy days for emerging markets once again as JPMorgan upgrades its equities.
Gold has risen to the highest weekly gain since October 2011 after US Federal Reserve chairperson Ben Bernanke called for maintaining stimulus.
The United States Federal Reserve's final policy meeting of the year and a European Union summit will dominate the economic week ahead.
If governments take on private-sector debt created during the subprime crisis, the poor will be hardest hit, economist Iraj Abedian said in Cape Town on Tuesday. "Heaven help us if it happens in developing countries," he told a discussion on the global economic meltdown.
Oil prices were steady on Thursday after retreating from levels just cents below the record trading high established in the previous session on an unexpected drop in United States crude inventories. By afternoon in Europe, the contract was up 25 cents, fetching $111,12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The United States mortgage crisis has spiralled into "the largest financial shock since the Great Depression" and there is a one-in-four chance that it will cause a full-blown global recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.
South African stocks were weaker at noon on Wednesday with miners under pressure on retreating metal prices, but the session was quiet as most traders are still away on a long weekend break. At noon, the JSE's broader all-share index was down 0,46%, with the gold and platinum mining indices down 1,47% and 1,65% respectively.