This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Sometimes important questions can be buried in nerdy technical discussions. This is certainly the case with the arcane debate about the eurozone’s Target2 imbalances. If those who proclaim their importance are right they reveal a new dimension to the financial challenges facing the currency [...]
It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing public humiliation. Two Harvard economics professors, one a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, made a basic spreadsheet error in a hugely influential paper. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s 2010 work, Growth in a Time of Debt, helped provide the economic underpinning for the case [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Whatever happened to the march of the makers? Back in March 2011, Chancellor George Osborne proclaimed in a parliamentary speech that an industrial renaissance was central to the Government’s plan for growth: “We want the words: ‘Made in Britain’; ‘Created in Britain’; ‘Designed in [...]
Margaret Thatcher’s admirers and her critics are both overestimating the extent to which the former prime minister transformed the British economy and financial markets. Although she made some important changes an awful lot remained intact. Let’s get the genuine shifts out the way first. Perhaps the most dramatic was winning acceptance for the idea that [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. When is a euro not a euro? The question might sound philosophical but the Cyprus crisis has posed it in brutally practical terms. Recall that the eurozone is meant to be a currency bloc. Therefore, at least in theory, a euro in, say, Germany [...]
This week’s Perspective column looks at the Cyprus deal. Although the article was submitted last Monday, with a lot happening in the interim, in some respects (such as the principle of taxing bank depositors) things have moved full circle since then. Depositors with less than €100,000 in savings will no longer be subject to the [...]
Let’s take a hypothetical example to illustrate the hopeless character of much financial punditry on recent elections. A recently formed populist party has done well in the general election in a large European country. It has won a large number of votes although not enough to form a majority government. A financial expert appears on [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. It has become widely accepted that the world is trapped in a peculiar “balance sheet recession” in which companies are preoccupied with paying down debt. A good reason to treat a critique of the idea seriously. The critical appraisal comes from Andrew Smithers, one [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. Given the importance of China in the global economy it is becoming vital to understand mainland Chinese perspectives on key topics. This is not to contend that the Chinese are right on every matter. On the contrary, no doubt their comments are often one-sided. [...]
This is my Perspective column from this week’s Fund Strategy magazine. An event on economics has seldom shocked me so much. The public launch of the “Manifesto for Growth” at the London School of Economics (LSE) came across as blatantly disdainful of the public and the democratic process. My reading of the report’s central argument [...]
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