The Great Debate UK

from Reuters Investigates:

An economic giant’s Achilles heel

A year ago, Nick Carey went on a road trip around America for a project called "Route to Recovery" that took him to places hit hardest by the recession. Nick went to Saginaw, Michigan, this time for a follow-up special report on the manufacturing sector and structural unemployment: "Is America the sick man of the globe?"

One of the characters he met was Olen Ham, a retired GM worker and UAW member who is among the last of those who took part in the historic "Sitdown Strike" in 1936 that he says helped create America's middle class. You can hear from Olen in this video:

Manufacturing has borne the brunt of the lay-offs in recent years, as this graphic shows:

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Here's another graph that shows how unemployment and manufacturing are closely linked.

from The Great Debate:

A painful holiday’s end for Europe

Europe's long summer holiday still has a week to run but this year's reentry will bring with it evidence that very little progress has been made on the issues that threaten to rend the currency union and upend the global economy.

Despite waving the stress-test magic wand over its banks in late July the same problems continue to grow unchecked: a euro zone periphery that can't compete, may not be able to pay its debts and so may bring down with them the very banks that have been pronounced healthy.

Weak UK recovery argues for consensus on cuts

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– Ian campbellCampbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

A first estimate of UK first-quarter growth is a chilly 0.2 percent.  Failure of government policy, the opposition will say. Shows the folly of proposed Conservative spending cuts and tax increases, Gordon Brown, the prime minister, will claim. But a colder financial look will see that enormous stimulus has so far produced the weakest of recoveries. Whatever the election outcome, the UK’s leaders are going to have to be grown-ups. In this emergency, cooperation – or coalition – is required.

Worst is over for U.S. job losses

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Kurt Karl-Kurt Karl is chief U.S. economist for Swiss Re. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Ongoing job losses pose a severe threat to the nascent U.S. recovery because they weaken consumers confidence and their ability to spend.

from MacroScope:

London-Basel express

Having wrapped up the two-day get-together in London, G20 central bankers moved down to the Swiss city of Basel (I counted central bank governors and officials from at least 9 countries onboard the same flight) to discuss more about the global economy for a two-day meeting.

The focus here again is the global economic recovery, which seems to be gathering momentum, and the timing of exit policy -- which is essential in the future to avoid inflationary pressure.

The economy: reasons to be miserable

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

Is the crisis over yet?

In the last 3 months, the Dow and the FTSE have each risen by about 25 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 by a third. House prices appear to be stabilising in the UK. Stress-tested and backed by seemingly unlimited government funding, the banks are lending again (if only to each other), so that 1-month libor is down to only 0.3 percent.

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