Is Brexit Inevitable?
Signs are accumulating that the preliminary divorce agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is starting to unravel, and that a year from now, on March 29/30, 2019, we could witness a “hard Brexit” with no transition arrangements and chaos in areas hitherto regulated by the EU. The damage to both sides’ economies would be substantial, and time for softening the blow is running out.
Irrational tax and regulatory systems
The true story of the Paradise Papers is less about shady business deals than about the byzantine regulatory and tax structures of developed countries. It is a lesson that politicians like French President Emmanuel Macron are studiously trying to ignore.
Italy after the referendum
Italy's political establishment is hanging tough after the failed constitutional referendum. But buying time and tinkering with the election law will be of no avail unless the economy improves. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s caretaker government appears to lack the political clout to cut spending and fix the banks. That will only strengthen the appeal of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement.
The MPS bailout and the future of EU banking
Italian authorities failed to save the historic bank using the European Union’s bail-in rules, so they applied to bail it out. The EU allowed the move, even though it was clear there was no real systemic risk. The turnaround stems from protectionist and anti-competitive attitudes. These will prevail in the near future, to the detriment of taxpayers.
Central banks and corporate bonds
The latest scheme to have the European Central Bank buy corporate bonds is unlikely to turn quantitative easing into an effective stimulus policy. But there may other motivations at work. As a camouflaged bailout for big European banks and a bureaucratic carrot to slow corporate flight, expanded debt purchases make sense to policy makers in Brussels and Frankfurt.
Market economies, regulation and crony capitalism
The global economic crisis arose in the world's most highly regulated sector – the financial industry. That is certainly no coincidence. When government intervention and easy money meet big banks, the result is cronyism – the furthest thing from genuinely free markets.
Europe weighs its options to deal with troubled banks
European banks are in bad shape, and shareholders and bondholders are feeling the heat. With governments and regulators still groping for a solution, various options have bubbled to the surface. Summary <i>Three main responses have been proposed to Europe’s banking crisis: 1) more stringent regulation and ...
Fed-engineered recession may speed dollar bloc’s collapse
The year has not started well for global financial markets. Undoubtedly, one reason that stocks have slumped is that the United States Federal Reserve under Janet Yellen has started to raise interest rates and signaled that more hikes are coming. The hawkish stance of Ms. Yellen’s Fed not only risks derailing the U.S. eco...
With India ready for takeoff, Modi pauses over launch button
After his first 18 months in office, during which India’s economic prospects have brightened considerably, 2016 gives Prime Minister Narendra Modi a last window of opportunity for radical new policy initiatives. If he decides on a bold course, it would depart from the incremental approach that has characterized Mr. Modi’s term thus far. ...
Global trends: terror and transition in sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is poised for another year of fast economic growth in 2016. But countries of the region must contend with falling commodity prices, an upsurge in terrorism and a widening gulf between aging leaders and newly assertive urban voters. <i>This report is part of GIS’s “Global Trends” series, which aims...