The Great Debate UK
from Anooja Debnath:
If it were about age, 40-somethings would cringe. But it seems a dead certainty that 40 now means 50 -- or even higher -- when it comes to predicting the chances of a recession taking place.
Going by past Reuters polls of economists, every time the probability hits 40 percent, the recession's already started or is perilously close to doing so.
After the brief recovery period from the Great Recession, Reuters once again started surveying economists several months ago on the chances of developed economies stumbling back into the muck.
As the data get nastier and euro zone politicians wrangle over the sovereign debt mess, the probability goes higher. Just not high enough or fast enough.
from The Great Debate:
Not a day goes by without a flood of comments on Greece and its debt problems. They seem to come from everywhere. Some are later denied while others are left to stand, accompanied by a continuous string of worrisome data. In the process, even greater disorder is gaining hold of the country’s debt markets, with credit spreads exploding in an ever more alarming fashion.
Gary Smith, head of central banks, supranational institutions and sovereign wealth funds at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, has written a special guest blog for Macroscope in which he argues that central banks should consider ways to hedge their FX reserves against the crisis.
"After the 2008 crisis, a mathematical approach to measure the adequate level of foreign exchange reserves – import cover or an equation relating to short-term debt – no longer has much credibility. In the absence of sensible guidelines on adequacy of reserves there is now a general desire to have plenty of reserves.
As political leaders wrangle over how best to deal with warring factions in hot spots around the world, enclaves of humanitarian aid workers grapple with how best to help innocent victims of violence.
Author and journalist Linda Polman proposes in “War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times” that since the end of the Cold War, there is much more at stake than the simple distribution of billions of dollars in aid money each year to fix crisis situations. Aid agencies relegated in the past to the peripheries of war zones and refugee camps now play a very different role.
– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –
Crisis, what crisis? That could be motto for the election manifestos published by Britain’s main political parties this week. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives addressed the country’s fiscal crisis head-on.
from Global News Journal:
The 16 countries that share the euro single currency have agreed they will help Greece out if it needs. So far so good. But only now is the nitty-gritty of how member states will go about paying for their contributions being hammered out. And suddenly things are getting a little complicated.
Italy announced on Tuesday it would have to issue government bonds -- known as BTPs -- to raise funds for its part in any Greek assistance.
from The Great Debate:
-- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --
As odd as it sounds, concerns about the effects of a euro zone sovereign crisis on Europe's still poorly capitalized banks may prove to be the tipping point that leads to a swifter bailout of Greece.
While discussion of contagion may seem very 2008, the problems with Greece, which faces a huge fiscal deficit, are becoming tougher for euro zone authorities to leave uninsured.
- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -
If the financial crisis were a theatre production of Hamlet, we would now be at the end of Act III.
The title of this post is taken from two sources. One was a headline in British tabloid, The Sun, in January 1979, when then-prime minister James Callaghan denied that strike-torn Britain was in chaos. The second was the title of a 1975 album by prog rock band Supertramp that famously showed someone sunbathing amidst the grey awfulness of the declining industrial landscape.
Are we now getting blasé about the latest crisis? Not so long ago, perfectly respectable economists and financial analysts were talking about a new Great Depression. The world was on the brink, it was said. Now, though, consensus appears to be that it is all over bar the shouting. The world is safe.
The discrediting of the efficient markets theory in the aftermath of the financial crisis appears to have been accompanied with growing support for the view that rather than efficient in nature, financial markets are predisposed towards the formation of bubbles.