The sad fact is that no one outside officialdom (who are duty-bound to talk nonsense when sense is too embarrassing) seems to regard the recent privately held debt write-down and second Greek bailout as likely to offer an exit to Greece from its nightmare, even in the long run. The reason is simple: Greek competitiveness […]
Anders Åslund recently wrote a great deal of sense in RealTime (December 5) about a development that no longer looks impossible even if it is widely agreed that it would be unfortunate. I certainly agree that if a euro area breakup happens, it is better that it be done quickly, by all members simultaneously; that […]
The proposal for a financial transaction tax by the European Union has often been described as a “Tobin Tax.” What is being discussed is a tax rate of 0.1 percent on all financial transactions with the principal objective of raising revenue. Note the emphasis, because these details have created a misleading impression. When James Tobin […]
The dominant short-term economic problem today is the contrast between the prosperity of most emerging markets/developing countries and the excess capacity in most of the advanced economies (the principal exceptions being Australia and Sweden). No one begrudges the success of the poorer countries in starting to catch up, but they gain nothing (and lose a […]
Many times, since I first used the phrase in 1989, the “Washington Consensus” has been proclaimed dead, most recently by Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain at the press conference following the G-20 summit in London earlier this month. Yet most of the governments of the world seem to be determined to follow the precepts […]
Last week the UK government announced new measures intended to prevent the British economy from imploding as a result of difficulties in the banking sector. Additional steps are needed because the investments in the banks announced in October, though widely applauded at the time, failed to restart bank lending to the economy. Instead, confidence in […]
One may regard it as a mistake to convene a conference that is widely described as Bretton Woods II without the two years plus of preparation that preceded Bretton Woods I in 1944. But the die has now been cast, and the leaders of the G-20 countries are going to convene shortly in the first stage of what is widely described as Bretton Woods II. That being so, it behooves those of us interested in the topic to suggest the agenda that they should pursue.