Post Tagged with: "Politics"

Some brief thoughts on framing the war in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine moves to the center of global consciousness, I think it is important to remember the various actors’ positioning, constraints and likely agendas. As much as we would like to know ‘the truth’, the reality is always that beyond a core set of known facts, any situation is subject to interpretation based on positioning, constraints and agendas. And to the degree these factors make for focus on very different sets of data points, it makes it hard to reach common ground in a negotiated agreement.

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The political economy of the military conflict in Ukraine

The political economy of the military conflict in Ukraine

The geopolitical situation regarding the conflict in Ukraine has escalated considerably due to the downing of a passenger jet from the Netherlands to Malaysia. Given the visceral and gruesome nature of the events now unfolding, domestic political opinion throughout the West is now a major force in this conflict. However, given the political economy in Russia and the United States in particular, the potential for de-escalation is small. The potential for the conflict to now have wide-reaching economic impacts has grown. In the analysis below I explain how the political economy in the U.S. favours President Obama taking an increasingly hawkish position and how the political economy in Russia favours President Putin also maintaining an aggressive stance regarding Ukraine. In addition, the airline massacre also means that the EU will be galvanized into supporting tougher sanctions against Russia, with the potential of a tit-for-tat response.

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The euro crisis: Muddling through, or on the way to a more perfect euro union?

The euro crisis: Muddling through, or on the way to a more perfect euro union?

After a promising first decade, the Eurozone faced a severe crisis. This column looks at the Eurozone’s short history through the lens of an evolutionary approach to forming new institutions. German dominance has allowed the euro to achieve a number of design objectives, and this may continue if Germany does not shirk its responsibilities. Germany’s resilience and dominant size within the EU may explain its ‘muddling through’ approach to the Eurozone crisis. Greater mobility of labour and lower mobility of under-regulated capital may be the costly ‘second best’ adjustment until the arrival of more mature Eurozone institutions.

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The ECB easing decision could lead to a major break with Germans on policy

The ECB easing decision could lead to a major break with Germans on policy

Summary The ECB did the expected this morning and lowered interest rates enough to send bank deposit rates at the ECB into negative territory. The ECB also met market expectations with an additional easing measure by implementing an LTRO with lending to household and business strings attached. Though these actions were expected, they are unprecedented, and, for that reason, dramatic. […]

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On Tim Geithner and my US bailout post-mortem

On Tim Geithner and my US bailout post-mortem

Yesterday, I wrote up a piece at the New York Times’ Room for Debate forum about the legacy that Tim Geithner left behind, given his recent memoir “Stress Test”. The question was : “Did the government miss a historic opportunity to reshape the financial system — or was its moderate approach correct?” I recommend you read the other answers from […]

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Why the ECB will become more activist in June

Why the ECB will become more activist in June

I am skipping the news links today to go right to the daily commentary. I want to continue my thoughts on what’s happening in Europe and why I think the ECB will become more activist. There are a number of policy options on the table for the ECB including continuing to stand pat. But given both what ECB board members are saying and what the Lisbon Treaty defines as the ECB’s mandate, I believe we are about to see a big shift in policy toward greater activism. I’ll explain why below.

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Canadian housing, Russian economy, Twitter bubble, and bogus tax proposals

Canadian housing, Russian economy, Twitter bubble, and bogus tax proposals

The Canadian housing market is providing a pro-cyclical boost
Russia is now in a recession
Twitter’s share collapse is emblematic of broader trends
Corporations pay tax for a reason

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Thoughts on Greek bonds, Asian data and resource gamesmanship

Thoughts on Greek bonds, Asian data and resource gamesmanship

The Greek bond deal that in February I predicted would come to market was deemed a rousing success by the market. Initially Greece had planned a 2 billion euro offering for 5-year money. But there was heavy interest and Greece’s underwriters got bids for 20 billion euros, allowing Greece to increase the deal size to 3 billion. The deal came […]

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Some thoughts on Ukraine, part 1

Some thoughts on Ukraine, part 1

It is about time I did a long-form political economy piece because a lot of what is occurring in emerging markets is of that ilk. The political economy dominates the economics of the issues in a way that makes discussing markets and economics very much related to politics. Here I want to concentrate on Ukraine because I believe it has become an important point of conflict for the future geopolitical landscape.

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European, Japanese, and Ukrainian-Russian deflation

European, Japanese, and Ukrainian-Russian deflation

This isn’t a theme post. It is more like the posts I now do on Friday with a bunch of different ideas on important topics. But the underlying theme that interconnects the ideas is a deflationary-style slowdown. First, in Europe, the CPI is now at a 5-year low of 0.5% for Euroland. Everyone is talking about the prospects of deflation […]

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Economic and market themes: 2014-03-21

Economic and market themes: 2014-03-21

Sanctions because of the Crimean crisis have had less economic impact than private portfolio preference shifts. However, as Ukraine moves into the EU sphere, further actions against Ukraine could be more far-reaching. China has moved toward stimulus to avoid a hard landing Signs are abundant that risk assets are overpriced and that de-risking is in order Wage and job growth […]

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Grokking upside scenarios in Crimea

Grokking upside scenarios in Crimea

As Ukraine prepares to evacuate its military from Crimea, I believe we should look at upside scenarios in Ukraine. Most of my commentary to date has been focused on risk assessment. But the pullout of Ukraine from Crimea is the first major sign of de-escalation I have seen in a while, which warrants a look at future positive outcomes.

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