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.
Russia’s short-term resilience comes at a price
Just how badly have the oil slump and sanctions hurt Russia’s economy? On the evidence, not nearly as much as Western policymakers had hoped. Vladimir Putin has the resources to wait out Europe and the next U.S. president on sanctions, at least until he runs for reelection in 2018. But the long-term cost could be high.
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 ...
IMF puts itself in a fix as it bends rules to bail out Ukraine
On December 18, 2015, the government of Ukraine announced it had no intention of honoring a $3 billion Eurobond loan owed to Russia that would mature on December 20. Given the cross-default clause written into that bond, under British law, this was a momentous decision. It gave the Kremlin the right to have Ukraine declared in sovereign default, which would have pr...
Global trends: India’s all-out push for economic growth
The government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going into 2016 with two principal policy objectives. One will be implementing the economic reforms that he has promised to foreign investors. Such reforms are considered crucial to industrialization and further accelerating India’s growth, which currently clocks in at a respectable 7 percent rate. The other...