The rumour making the rounds today is that these two paragraphs in a recent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard piece in the Telegraph are what were the final straw for Syriza that cost Yanis Varoufakis his job. I don’t know whether there is any basis to these rumours. However, I do know that Syriza want Greece to remain in the eurozone and that recent decisions by the ECB make it difficult for Greece. So the questions of government IOUs have to asked.
The situation in Greece is not about Greece at all. It is about enforcing an economic framework onto all Eurozone countries. And because the policy goal is primarily about enforcing this economic framework everywhere in the eurozone, there is less policy space available for compromise. It is this fact that makes the Greece government debt bailout negotiations so difficult.
Tiger 5 – Grexit is inevitable
Remember that the rest of the world has so far accepted the experiment that is Abenomics not only because Japan has been running a current account deficit (thus making it more reasonable for Japan to weaken its currency), but also because the depreciation has so far been orderly. With a growing negative current account, the wheels are now set in motion for a decidedly disorderly depreciation of the JPY and one that could ultimately be life threatening for the Japanese economy.
Over the past couple of years it has gradually become the consensus view that QE has failed because it hasn’t created the economic growth that everyone was hoping for. I find that view overly simplistic and naïve in equal measures. QE – or broadly similar monetary policy initiatives – has saved the world from a nasty and potentially very damaging financial meltdown not once, but twice – following the Lehman bankruptcy in the autumn of 2008 and during the depths of the Eurozone crisis in the second half of 2011.
By Edward Hugh According to the Economist’s Buttonwood, “desperate times require desperate measures”. I am sure this is right, times in Spain are certainly getting desperate and many of the measures being implemented in Brussels, far from representing radical and innovative solutions look much more like continually closing the barn […]
Spain had an estimated 350 billion euros of debt that it needed to roll over in the three years from 2011 according to analysts at Brockhouse Capital. Add in the likely need to fund regional government deficits and rollovers as well as the need to recapitalise banks as the housing market continues to decline and you see the fundamental problem for Spain.
Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly piece is out now and the important topic is the lack of growth in the US. The way that Grantham paints the picture – and I believe this is an accurate depiction – the US is not just suffering from a cyclical growth slowdown but faces a […]
I was reading through an article at Reuters on the problem that public pension plans are having with shortfalls that can only be made up via increased tax revenue, increased investment returns, or decreased benefits. The Reuters article says a recent study shows a shortfall of $1.2 trillion in public […]
According to a questionnaire given by the leftist German party “Die Linke”, German pensioners have seen a significant erosion of their purchasing power over the last twelve years. Average pension payments this year after deducting all social safety net contributions were 1062 euros in the former West and 1047 in […]
I note that several of the policy mistakes listed above date back to the same period, namely the late 1990s. Not only does it demonstrate the gung-ho approach of the time, but it also goes to show that policy mistakes do not necessarily rear their ugly heads immediately and, by the time they do, the damage has been done.
The US pension bailout fund PBGC is already stretched and may require more taxpayer money. Now it would be taking over pensions that will be even more underfunded, with asset values way below the present value of the liabilities. And more of taxpayers’ money will be used to fund the benefit payments.