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Review: Some of what is wrong with economics

By Edward Chancellor
April 17, 2015

Meghnad Desai mocks his fellow economists for not seeing trouble ahead during the early 2000s credit bubble. The retired professor wisely calls for more study of history and a less narrow perspective, but he is still too conventional. He ignores the crucial financial cycle.

ECB, Syriza have broken euro zone’s German spell

January 27, 2015

The European Central Bank’s easing and the Greek anti-austerity party’s electoral victory show the euro zone is breaking free of German dominance. With loose monetary policy and banking union, it seems ready for growth-friendly policies that don’t ignore economic reality.

Asia can give the West a bubble-popping lecture

May 16, 2014

Regulators in Asia have been developing tools to smooth economic cycles for years. Yet the debate over “macroprudential” policy in the U.S. and Europe largely ignores this experience. Western regulators haven’t overcome the intellectual myopia that led them into the crisis.

Hong Kong can’t build away high house prices

January 16, 2014

The government is freeing up land and loosening planning laws to boost supply and make housing more affordable. But new construction will struggle to keep up with demand. Until interest rates rise or capital flows from China ease, Hong Kong property prices will remain stretched.

UK’s politicians race to the bottom on policies

September 30, 2013

The 2015 election looms. Which party can come up with the worst proposals? The competition is fierce. Labour made an excellent start with a self-destructive cap on energy prices. The government has hit back with mortgage subsidies and bashing the unemployed. The UK lacks leadership.

UK house prices needs less rigging – not more

September 13, 2013

Britain’s home valuers are rightly worried about a bubble, and suggest that annual growth of 5 pct should trigger a policy response. But if there’s a problem, the answer is to remove the props that are artificially inflating prices, not to set thresholds for applying the brakes.

Review: A blunt-edged hatchet job of free markets

September 13, 2013

Bryan Gould, a moderate socialist, was prominent in the UK’s 1980s Labour Party. His new critique of modern market economies identifies truly culpable targets. But his solutions are hard to square. They also illustrate the Left’s disappointing response to the financial crisis.

China’s financial paradox: rescue or reform?

September 13, 2013

The government sets deposit rates, controls capital flows and stands behind both banks and large borrowers. Financial reform requires that the authorities relax their grip. But doing so raises the risk of precipitating the debt crisis China has so far managed to avoid.

Indonesia imitates India’s costly growth obsession

August 16, 2013

The central bank has missed an opportunity to raise interest rates. The authorities risk a weaker currency, runaway inflation and financial instability if they chase growth while a stubborn current account deficit lingers. Jakarta is at risk of emulating New Delhi’s folly.

India’s rupee rescue is more prayer than plan

August 8, 2013

The defence of the falling currency is three-pronged: reluctantly shore up interest rates, squeeze gold imports and score some quick export gains. But officials are clutching at straws. There is no easy way to finance India’s large trade gap, nor a painless way to lower it.