Global Growth: The Slow Recovery Continues

By Olivier Blanchard: The recovery continues, but it remains weak, indeed a bit weaker than we forecast in April. We have revised our forecast for world growth in 2014 from 3.7 percent in April to 3.4 percent today. This headline number makes things look worse than they really are. To a large extent, it reflects something that has […]

The Decline of Southern Europe

“Europe is back!” is the new, though cautious, market mantra. Certainly, Europe will ultimately recover, but it will be a different Europe. Current hopes are inflated, as evidenced by the erosion of Southern Europe. The second quarter GDP figures for the euro-area economies indicated growth, for the first time in 18 months. Some fund managers […]

Spain – The Recession May Be Ending But The Crisis Continues

What follows is an interview I did over the summer with the Madrid based publication The Local. Let’s start with the basics: what are Spain’s current economic problems? Spain’s economic problems are a knock-on effect of the end of Spain’s property boom. The collapse of the property market led to a drop in incomes, depressed […]

UK’s July Trade Data Disappoint

Britain’s trade lurched sharply into wider deficit in July, in a way that suggests some erratic factors came into play. The overall trade deficit widened from £1.3 billion in June to £3.1 billion in July, including a £9.9 billion deficit in goods. According to the ONS: “In July 2013, exports of goods to countries outside […]

Overt Money Financing and Public Debt

Purpose and Concepts The purposes of this brief note are two-fold: first, to establish, by country, the extent to which public sector borrowing contributed to the rise in public debt over the period since 2008; and, second, to draw some policy inferences. The two indicative fiscal parameters used in this analysis are: Borrowing = general […]

Fiddling at the Fire

Financial markets have rallied since July on the hope that the global economic and geopolitical outlook will not worsen, or, if it does, that central banks stand ready to backstop economies and markets with additional rounds of liquidity provision and quantitative easing. So, not only has good – or better-than-expected – economic news boosted the […]

When Does ‘It Will Hurt the Poor’ Outweigh ‘It’s Good for the Environment?’

“Nearly every environmental policy hurts the poor the most,” say Iain Murray and David Bier of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Writing recently in the Washington Examiner, they don’t limit their criticism to absurdities like federal tax credits for the $100,000 plug-in Fisker Karma (“a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury.”) The two analysts have it […]

William K. Black: ‘Enforce the Laws for the 99’

This segment of yesterday’s Dylan Ratigan show features William K. Black and David DeGraw of AmpedStatus.com.  Black argues that we need, “fire Geithner, fire Holder, and demand Bernanke’s resignation, and … replace them with people who will actually enforce the laws for the 99[%].” This meets with David DeGraw’s approval, who then enlists our favorite […]

The Coming Weather Blow to the Global Economy

Summary:  With all the power our mastery of the physical sciences has given us, we often forget that we remain subject to the whims of nature.  Earthquakes, volcanoes, asteroids — and weather.  Our recent obsession with climate change has blinded us to the ferocious impact of rare but normal weather patterns.  Such as the second year […]

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