Watching the news flow on the global economy is dispiriting. Ask an economist what springs to mind when they hear the word “Europe”. They will probably reply with thoughts about negative interest rates, deflation and debt concerns. It isn’t much better when you bring up the economic outlook for the US (“the upcoming election is a concern”), Japan (“the BoJ is at the limits of monetary policy”),…Read the article
In 2013 I blogged about how financing conditions had tightened aggressively for small and medium sized corporates (SMEs) in peripheral Europe. Three years later, we’ve seen the introduction of targeted longer-term refinancing operations, QE, negative deposit rates and other efforts towards creating a financially united, cohesive, European banking union. Now feels like a good time to revisit thi…Read the article
Recently Claudia and I were in Lima for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Unsurprisingly (given the host nation and history of the meetings) the majority of sessions were on the developing world, in particular Latin America. Claudia will shortly be posting a series of more detailed blogs on the LATAM countries she visited, so I’ll focus more globally.
In aggregate, the IMF is predi…Read the article
How did the UK go from a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1950s, to economic destitution in the 1970s? Is the history of post-war UK economics one of policy mistake after policy mistake? And are Britain’s political and financial institutions better placed today to make good, long term decisions than they were in the past? In the latest of our series of interviews with authors of new economic …Read the article
In 1714, an Englishman called Bernard Mandeville published his poem entitled “The Fable of the Bees: or Private Vices, Public Benefits”. The satire was about a hive of prosperous bees that were living a life of luxury. One day, some of the bees began to grumble that their lifestyle lacked virtue and the bees subsequently turn away from greed and extravagance. This leads to a rapid loss of prosp…Read the article
One of my favourite economic reads of 2014 was Diane Coyle’s book about an economic statistic – GDP. Whilst monarchs had been trying to take inventories of the national wealth since the Doomsday Book and earlier (so they could tax it!), the idea that you should rigorously measure economic activity is under one hundred years old. But the concept of Gross Domestic Product has now become central …Read the article
The German government can theoretically borrow at negative yields if it were to issue short maturity debt today. Longer maturity debt is also yielding a record low amount. Could the collapse in yields be a blessing for Germany and Europe? Two economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seem to think so. Indeed, the German government’s narrow-minded pursuit of the “black zero” (a balance…Read the article
The following 15 people correctly answered that President Richard Nixon effectively ended the Bretton Woods era in 1971 by suspending the convertibility of the US dollar into gold. Thanks everyone for entering – we will contact the winners by email to arrange delivery of the book. If you didn’t win, why not try the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz
- Frank Markey – Wells Fargo
- Doug Brodie – Maste…
It has been a while since we talked about QE, but we covered this substantially in the past (see for example ‘Sub Zero?’, ‘QE – quite extraordinary‘ and ‘Quantitative easing – walking on custard‘). It now appears, at least for the time being, to be a part of monetary history in the UK, and more recently the US. However, it is being reapplied in Japan and about to do a grand tour of Europe. Our…Read the article
Last week, Sky’s Ed Conway came in to talk about his brilliant book “The Summit”, the story behind the Bretton Woods conference that tried to organise the structure of the global economy in the aftermath of the Second World War, and enshrined the dominance of the US dollar as the world’s currency.
The conference took place as the war was still raging, both in Europe in the weeks after D-Day, a…Read the article