Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Could England be headed for a “sudden stop?”

November 21, 2009

From Landon Thomas at NYT: In Britain, visions of Japan's decade of stagnation

Britain may finally be emerging from recession, but many analysts warn that it is a false dawn. In fact, they argue, the economy here is so ravaged by growing debts and ruined banks that it could well be following in the steps of Japan’s lost decade of the 1990s.

Should he stay or should he go? Miliband ponders

By Paul Taylor
November 9, 2009

OUKTP-UK-IRAN-NUCLEAR-BRITAINShould he stay or should he go?

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband could be Europe’s first foreign minister in all but name, with one of the most influential jobs in shaping the place of the 27-nation bloc on the world stage, if he is willing to risk leaving British politics for the next five years. That’s a big if.

Lower Opel costs to help government aid

November 6, 2009

General Motors’ decision to scrap the sale of Opel rests on the carmaker’s calculation that the hole in its European unit’s finances is not as deep as previously feared.

SPD debacle shows agony of European centre-left

By Paul Taylor
September 28, 2009

sozisIt was a black night for Germany’s Social Democrats. Their catastrophic general election score of just 23 percent was by far the worst since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949. It was more than 11 points worse than their result in 2005, and nearly 6 points worse than their poorest post-war showing in 1953.(Picture shows party activists at SPD headquarters watching first exit polls on television)

West raises stakes over Iran nuclear programme

By Paul Taylor
September 25, 2009

big-3President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain have deliberately raised the stakes in the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme by dramatising the disclosure that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant. Their shoulder-to-shoulder statements of resolve, less than a week before Iran opens talks with six major powers in Geneva, raised more questions than they answer.

Germany will have to change Opel deal after election

By Paul Taylor
September 24, 2009

opelanerIt looks increasingly clear that Germany will have to change its deal to aid carmaker Opel once Sunday’s general election is out of the way.

“Tobin tax” gaining ground in Europe

By Paul Taylor
September 21, 2009

No longer just a hopeless cause for anti-capitalist activists, the idea of a global tax on financial transactions is gaining ground in Europe.

Steinmeier’s recipe deceptively seductive

By Paul Taylor
September 14, 2009

merkel-steinmeierIt was about as scintillating as a discussion among accountants, but Social Democratic challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier outshone conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s only general election television debate.

Time for Britain to close the GAPS

August 4, 2009

Britain’s asset protection scheme, invented to protect the banking system, is morphing into a bureaucratic monster. It’s time to kill it off. Though state support is still needed, there are simpler ways for the government to prop up its ailing lenders.

GM dumps Chinese in Opel race, standoff looms

By Paul Taylor
July 23, 2009

Two things Opel junkies need to know in today’s news.

1) General Motors has dumped Chinese state-owned carmaker BAIC’s long-shot bid to take over GM’s main European arm. That leaves a two-horse race between Canadian-Austrian car parts maker Magna and Belgium-based financial investor RHJ, loosely associated with U.S. private equity firm Ripplewood.