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    Europe

  • naked capitalism

    Tax Haven USA: The Vortex-Shaped Hole in Global Financial Transparency

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  • naked capitalism

    Snowstorm: New York Makes It Illegal to Be an Idiot

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  • The Irish Economy

    Yanis Varoufakis

    Yanis Varoufakis will be confirmed as the new Greek finance minister later today.  He “is no extremist.” http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/ https://twitter.com/yanisvaroufakis Here is a recent interview with him and ‘A modest proposal for resolving the eurozone crisis’ is here.  Back in September a document on ‘What the Syriza government will do’ was published. ...more

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  • naked capitalism

    U.S. Shale Boom May Come To Abrupt End

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  • Back-Of-The-Envelope Economics

    Tsipras vs Merkel: A Bargaining Approach

    The large victory of the Syriza party in Greece,  with Tsipras one or two seat below absolute majority (see graph below) raises  the questions :"What will happen now in the Eurozone? Is a Grexit scenario possible?"My take here is that not much is likely to happen, except some tough bargain between the new goverment and the Troika. Let's consider the following:No one, neither the new government of  Greece nor the Troika, can credibly threat to "overturn the table", abandon negotiations and let Greece exit the Euro. This outside option would be too costly for both parties. Greece has financing needs of about 28 billions in the next two years and has no access to capital markets. A disorderly default on official debt would cut off Greek banks from collateril...more

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  • The Irish Economy

    A moment of truth for the European project

    I thought that an appropriate way to celebrate Syriza’s victory was to do what I should have done a long time ago, and finally read Peter Mair’s Ruling the Void on the journey from Dublin to Oxford this morning. It’s a terrifically insightful (and readable, and short) book that had me nodding in agreement throughout, and you could base a whole series of blog posts on it. So let me just pick up, on the day that is in it, on one of the very last points made in the book: …we are afforded a right to participate at the European level…and we are afforded the right to be represented in Europe, even if it is sometimes difficult to work out when and how this representative link functions; but we are not afforded the right to organise opposition...more

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Cross-border financial linkages: Identifying and measuring vulnerabilities

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Race as a choice

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  • VoxEU.org: Recent Articles

    Cross-border financial linkages: Identifying and measuring vulnerabilities

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  • David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

    Near-zero rates and QE look to be here to stay

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    The Swiss franc appreciation and the sorry saga of FX lending

    Back in the 1980s Australians, many of them farmers, were offered low-interest loans, appealing in a high-interest environment. With changes in currency rates the loans in Swiss francs and Japanese yen quickly became much beyond the means of the borrowers to service with ensuing pain and suffering. Icelanders felt the pain of FX loans as the Icelandic króna depreciated in 2008 as did many Eastern-European countries. – The same story has played out in country after country with the obvious lesson reiterated: for people with income only in their domestic currency FX borrowing is far too risky. All these loans, often the result of predatory lending, follow the same pattern and it is no coincidence where they hit. There is now ample case for countries to take action: b...more

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  • Back-Of-The-Envelope Economics

    European Fiscal Policy in 3D

    I have discussed  here the "new" guidelines on the Stability and growth pact (SGP) issued on January 13 by the European Commission. As many economist, I really enjoy "seeing" things on a graph. So here is the "new" SGP in 3D . On the vertical axis I plot the fraction of GDP a country will be required to tighten in order to reach the so called "medium term objective"(MTO), as a function of the output gap, from left to right, and of the difference between the actual and the potential growth, the width of the box, from down upwards.To draw the box I made a few assumptions, for example I that the fiscal adjustment rises linearly between "normal" and "good times". I also assumed that growth is negative only when the output gap is below -4% so that I can ignore the condi...more

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  • The Irish Economy

    Opening Statement to Oireachtas Banking Inquiry

    My opening statement is here. The background papers are: Irish Banking Review 1997 Irish Banking Review 1998 Journal of Economic Perspectives 2006 Irish Crisis Paper 2010 NESC Background Paper 2010 Journal of Economic Perspectives 2012     ...more

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  • David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

    How to prevent good deflation turning bad

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Confusion in Frankfurt or Athens

    European Central Bank statement last October in reaction to a New York Times article about Emergency Liquidity Assistance management in Cyprus – The ECB neither provides nor approves emergency liquidity assistance. It is the national central bank, in this case the Central Bank of Cyprus, that provides ELA to an institution that it judges to be solvent at its own risks and under its own terms and conditions. The ECB can object on monetary policy grounds; in order to do so at least two thirds of the Governing Council must see the provision of emergency liquidity as interfering with the tasks and objectives of euro area monetary policy. Reuters story today based on Bank of Greece source – Greece’s central bank has moved to protect its banks from any fallo...more

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  • Back-Of-The-Envelope Economics

    The EU new fiscal flexibility guidelines: an assessment

    On January 13, the European Commission issued new  guidelines, to the European Parliament, the EU Council, the ECB, the EIB, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, for "making the best use of the flexibility within the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact" (SGP). The report underlines that the existing rules apply with no modifications, and that the guidelines aim at reducing the scope for discretion in their application, a complaint often made by smaller EU members.The guidelines were much awaited, for political and a technical reasons. From a political point of view, Prime Minister Renzi and President Hollande had much invested into promoting an exchange of "structural reforms" for "less austerity" and into promoting an act...more

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  • A Fistful Of Euros

    Swiss time was running out

    The reviews are in on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoning its CHF 1.2 per Euro minimum peg and they are unfavourable. It seems people are shocked that Switzerland might act in a unilateral fashion and without seeing the need to coordinate with other countries. Anyway, the departure point for many analyses seems to be an assumption that nothing was especially wrong with the peg. Sure, the SNB was committed to buying unlimited quantities of foreign currency, and thus unlimited growth in its balance sheet, but what exactly was the constraint on that? Well, for one thing, it was producing some economic outcomes that Swiss voters — remember those people? — didn’t seem to especially like, not least rapid growth in asset prices such as housing and questi...more

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  • David Smith's EconomicsUK.com

    Why politicians struggle to even trim the size of the state

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Håvard Halland Håvard Halland

PHåvard Halland is a natural resource economist at the World Bank, where he leads research and policy agendas in the fields of resource-backed infrastructure finance, sovereign wealth fund policy, extractive industries revenue management, and public financial management for the extractive industries sector. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a delegate and program manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge.