-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. -
The Great Debate
Fear of lending to banks is rising again in Europe, as even a 750 billion euro zone rescue package proves not enough to stem fears that the banking system will prove the weak link when southern European nations can’t meet their obligations.
Europe desperately needs to get out in front of its solvency problem, Greek edition; not because it is right, not even because it will work in the long term, but to stem rapid and costly contagion through financial markets to other weak links in the euro zone, not least to banks.
Goldman Sachs has a lot to be thankful for – huge bonuses, massive taxpayer subsidies, unrivalled political influence – but in Greece they have finally found nirvana: a highly profitable business partner who can also credibly serve as the villain in the piece.
In these days of renewed gloom about the future of Europe, a quick test is in order. Who has the world’s biggest economy? A) The United States B) China/Asia C) Europe? Who has the most Fortune 500 companies? A) The United States B) China C) Europe. Who attracts most U.S. investment? A) Europe B) China C) Asia.
PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) – The European Union’s antitrust czar is struggling to stop governments bending EU rules on state aid to business when they rescue banks with taxpayers’ money.
The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has left hundreds of thousands of Europeans shivering in the winter cold is bound to accelerate plodding European Union efforts to build a common energy policy.
The European Union is entering a lame duck year just as new challenges are mounting from Israel’s assault on Gaza, Russia’s gas cut-off to Ukraine and the impending inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama.