Planning the economy
Politicianal interventions rather than markets are causing economic crises in the world. Misguided attempts to centrally plan and manage the complex transactions of millions of different players are bound to produce unexpected results. In 2007-2008, politically inspired intervention in the housing market in the United States caused an international financial crisis of epic proportions. These days, policies of abundant money supply and unrestricted debt promise trouble for the developed countries.
Think of the unthinkable
For nearly two decades, the EU’s common currency system has worked wonders for internal trade. The euro has strengthened Europe’s financial position in the world. However, many government and EU leaders, and the European Central Bank have colluded in circumventing the system’s key safeguards. Today, the unmanageable levels of sovereign debt threaten to tear up the eurozone and trigger state bankruptcies.
Opinion: The European Union and the true meaning of liberalism
The conservative-leaning EU governments in Central Europe have been bombarded with ideological accusations from “liberal” capitals farther west, but the Union’s truly dangerous division is between responsible and irresponsible approaches to governance and fiscal policies among the member states. A common finance ministry and money transfers would not fix this fundamental problem.
Parliaments worldwide neglect their duty to maintain fiscal discipline
The January 2018 government shutdown in Washington has been triggered for purely political aims by the U.S. Congress. Abuses of budgetary governance systems have become common in the West, facilitating dangerous overspending.
Crusade for total control
The campaign in many countries against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is part of a larger government quest for citizen control. Oversized transaction and compliance systems, ostensibly imposed on financial institutions to help fight the gray economy and terrorism, are in fact control tools, used both by democratic and authoritarian governments. At the end of this road is socialization of all property.
Cutting US defence spending raises stakes in world’s hotspots
Some argue America is spending too much on defence. Others say it is not enough. But US defence spending cuts mean its state of ‘readiness’ is compromised. This has meant US allies feel their security is threatened as the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Europe become geopolitical hotspots as America could be perceived to be over-stretched in its ability to contro...
Francois Hollande’s reforms fail to give French economy the kiss of life
French President Francois Hollande, the country’s most unpopular president in modern history, has introduced changes to cut red tape for business and workers. But while 100 changes have been made to the 400,000 ‘norms’ - the rules, regulations and directives – the vast majority remain, damaging entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity for economic growth. So is M...
Central bankers in world’s key economies face crucial choices
The performance of the economies of China, the United States and Europe, and their interaction over the coming months will define global scenarios for years to come. Prospects for both China and the US look brighter with faster growth as central bankers seem to have learned lessons. The European outlook, however, remains gloomy in the short and medium term. ...
The big economic challenges facing Japan’s new government in 2013
Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is keen not to make the mistakes of his previous premiership when he lost the Upper House election and survived in the job for only one year after being elected in 2006. With Upper House elections coming up again in around six months, he plans to concentrate on the economy in the hope that his proposed measures will produce r...
Economy plays key role in Italy’s election battle
As polling approaches in Italy on February 24 and 25, it is becoming clearer that the economy will play a key role in deciding the general election. All three major political blocks – headed by Pier Luigi Bersani, Silvio Berlusconi and Mario Monti – are trying to lure voters by promising sound economic policy and the end of austerity. Here is a critical account of ...