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Europe needs a German fiscal stimulus package but won’t get it

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…

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The M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey – Q3 2013

Despite high unemployment rates, excess capacity and a sanguine inflation outlook from the major central banks, it is important to keep an eye on any potential inflation surprises that may be coming down the line. For instance, we only need to look at ultra easy monetary policy; low interest rates and improving economic growth to see that the risk of an unwelcome inflation shock is higher than …

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A roadmap for Europe after the German elections

August is usually a dull month in German politics. It’s holiday season, and national parliamentary politics takes a break at the same time. However, this year German politicians don’t have time to put their feet up. The period of parliamentary recess marks the peak of the electoral campaign in Germany before the general elections take place on 22 September. Many people seem to expect that not o…

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Germany implements restrictions on financial markets. Is this a policy error?

At this stage the details are very limited but it appears that the German supervisory body BaFin has banned the “naked” short selling of Eurozone sovereign bonds, their credit default swaps, and the shares of ten leading German financial institutions. The ban was effective as of midnight last night.

This move by the German authorities has had the effect of spooking already fragile markets. As w…

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