European Union Recovery – Surprise Economic Story of 2017

European Union Recovery – Surprise Economic Story of 2017

  Against all odds, and contrarily to a generalized gloomy scenario of the past years about the destiny of the European Union, the Euro area has surprisingly recorded a stronger than expected economic growth in the first semester of 2017 and a rather optimistic and reinvigorated political turnaround in favour of the EU. During this […]

The IMF’s Flexible Credit Line

The IMF’s Flexible Credit Line

The policy conditions attached to the disbursement of an IMF loan have long been the subject of controversy. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the IMF introduced a new lending program—the Flexible Credit Line—that allowed its members to apply for a loan before a crisis took place. If approved, the member can elect […]

Are Advanced Economies Ready for Recovery, Really? Or Global Reflation As China Begins Tightening

Are Advanced Economies Ready for Recovery, Really? Or Global Reflation As China Begins Tightening

Until recently, the conventional wisdom was that China’s contribution to global reflation would be increasingly accompanied by those of the US and Europe. Yet, the realities may look grimmer than anticipated. Usually, the term ‘reflation’ is used to describe the first phase of economic recovery after a period of contraction. More recently, ‘global reflation’ has […]

Politics and Budgets

Politics and Budgets

  photo: GotCredit Every year, parliaments in democratic countries discuss budget proposals for the following year to set the course for economic policy going forward. But the reality is that politics and budgets are deeply interwoven. This was recognized by Joseph Schumpeter who noted “the spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the […]

H2-2017: Where to invest?

H2-2017: Where to invest?

Key takeaway – The investment environment remains challenging. In their portfolios, investors should: i) privilege a multi-year horizon; ii) focus on capital preservation by adopting a defensive risk profile; and iii) accept lower expected returns in exchange for lower volatility. Wealth preservation requires conservative investment strategies, with a greater exposure to alternatives. The recommended strategic […]

Does Brazil’s Sector Structure Explain Its Productivity Anemia?

Does Brazil’s Sector Structure Explain Its Productivity Anemia?

Brazil’s labor and total-factor productivity (TFP) have featured anemic increases in the last decades (Canuto, 2016). As we illustrate here, contrary to common view, sector structures of the Brazilian GDP and employment cannot be singled out as major determinants of productivity performance. Horizontal, cross-sector factors hampering productivity increases seem to carry more weight. Brazil’s productivity […]

Negative Rates – Part 2: A Policy Too Far?

Negative Rates – Part 2: A Policy Too Far?

Negative Reality Debt can only be reduced by strong growth, inflation, currency devaluation (where the borrowing is from foreigners) or default. All the strategies other than growth involve some level of transfer of value from savers either by reduction in the nominal value returned or decreased purchasing power. Growth and inflation are low. Devaluation is […]

We Need More Europe. Which Europe? Hints from Strategic Games

We Need More Europe. Which Europe? Hints from Strategic Games

One of the “consensus views” drawn from the hard lessons of the global crisis exploded in 2008 is that in Europe, and in the Monetary Union (EMU) in particular, the crisis was exacerbated and prolonged by some deficiencies in the original design of the EMU as a supranational institution with the overarching purpose of generating […]

The Trump White House Under Siege 

The Trump White House Under Siege 

photo: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera   Washington is planning to extend sanctions against Russia, once again. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is getting ready to cope with a special counsel’s investigation which seems to focus as much on Trump as Russia. Last Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that Congress should not pass any legislation that would undercut “constructive […]

A Pilot for the Governance of the Euro Is Required Immediately

A Pilot for the Governance of the Euro Is Required Immediately

  photo: Christine und Hagen Graf After the Brexit, European leaders are faced with the strict obligation to make Europe credible, particularly by consolidating the weak pillar of the Euro, namely, economic governance. This must henceforth be piloted by a Finance Minister. This step, which is necessary for the survival of the Euro, must be taken […]

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