The Great Debate UK

Hypocrisy piled on humbug

February 6, 2012

The row over bankers‘ pay and honours has presented the depressing spectacle of British public life at its nadir, with hypocrisy piled on humbug.

The EU Summit was more farce than tragedy

December 21, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

We have now seen a series of French ministers and even the Governor of the Banque de France behaving like a footballer trying to bully the referee into booking his opposite number – impressive teamwork, but nul points for dignity.

The euro is on life support, and the on-off switch is in Frankfurt

November 30, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

The short term solution to the problem of how to manage the euro zone crisis may now be right there in front of us. The central issue, as far as Germany is concerned at least, is how to reconcile bailing out the other member countries with keeping up the pressure on them to put their fiscal house in order. Quietly, without any official recognition of the fact, the ECB has taken charge of the situation and is now effectively running fiscal policy for most of the euro zone by simply buying enough Greek, Italian, Spanish and maybe French bonds to keep yields from going too high, but not buying so many as to reduce yields to anything like comfortable levels.

Put the euro zone out of its misery

November 9, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.

Capitalism and democracy under threat from euro zone crisis

November 3, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.

A 6-1 defeat is not a draw

October 26, 2011

Michael Gove trying to laugh off Monday’s rebellion by 81 backbenchers sounds like a United supporter arguing that 6-1 was more or less a draw. For all the excuses, he can’t hide the fact that the government’s position is full of contradictions.

Salvation through inflation: The British way out

October 18, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Accusing policymakers of acting out of sheer desperation is a pretty standard jibe by critics trying to put them off their stride.

The euro zone marriage is over

October 10, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Under the Arc de Triomphe, tourists can gaze up at the engraved list of Napoleon’s great victories: Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram… Perhaps a similar triumphal arch should be built in Brussels to commemorate the string of victories won by a tiny band of heroic Eurocrats over the mass of their combined electorates: Rome, Maastricht, Lisbon, Wroclaw, and now Berlin, where, to nobody’s surprise, the integrationists in the Bundestag have easily seen off the opposition to their plan to bolster the EFSF. Cue the now-familiar backslapping in Europe after each of their knife-edge victories over the forces of democracy.

Geithner’s fudge won’t kill the euro zone debt Ouroboros

September 19, 2011
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (R) leaves after talks with Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski in Wroclaw, September 16, 2011. Geithner urged euro zone ministers to leverage their 440 billion euro bailout fund and free more resources to tackle the debt crisis during a meeting on Friday, a senior euro zone official said. REUTERS/Mieczyslaw Michalak/Agencja Gazeta

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (R) leaves after talks with Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski in Wroclaw, September 16, 2011. Geithner urged euro zone ministers to leverage their 440 billion euro bailout fund and free more resources to tackle the debt crisis. REUTERS/Mieczyslaw Michalak/Agencja Gazeta

Germany at the crossroads

August 30, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Baby-boomers like me, who grew up in the shadow of World War II, have to acknowledge with gratitude that the Germany which again dominates Europe is in most respects a model democracy – multiracial, prosperous and contented. However, there is one worrying aspect of the German mentality which seems to have survived intact from its unhappy history, and it is an aspect which is likely to be tested to the full in the coming weeks and months.