The Great Debate

from Ian Bremmer:

Slaughtering the PIIGS

By Ian Bremmer
September 14, 2011

By Ian Bremmer
The opinions expressed are his own.

Nobody likes to be called PIIGS. For years, Europe’s so-called peripheral countries -- Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain -- have complained about this acronym, but the euro zone’s sovereign debt problems have only entrenched it further. Yet, it’s time to acknowledge that the PIIGS have a point. They don’t deserve to be lumped together. Their actions and their circumstances have sharply diverged over the past three years.

from James Saft:

Waiting for Europe’s QE to sail

By J Saft
December 2, 2010

The good news is that the European Central Bank will probably start a massive additional round of quantitative easing to fight the break-up of the euro zone.

from MacroScope:

Europe’s over-achievers and their fall from grace

November 24, 2010

Ireland's fall from grace has been rapid and far worse than that of its counterparts, even Greece. But life in the euro zone has still been one of profound growth, as it has for most of the other peripheral economies.

from MacroScope:

What are the risks to growth?

July 19, 2010

Mike Dicks, chief economist and blogger at Barclays Wealth, has identified what he sees as the three biggest problems facing the global economy, and conveniently found that they are linked with three separate regions.

Of banks and euro zone default taboo

June 15, 2010

If ever you doubted that the euro zone bailout was in fact a bailout of banks, French and German banks in particular, look no further than the latest report from the Bank for International Settlements.

Euro zone medicine not working on banks

May 18, 2010

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.

Government debt’s Minsky-ish moment

May 13, 2010

If government debt is the new subprime, it may just turn out that Greece is a Florida condo while the United States is a single-family house in a nice mid-Western suburb, the kind of place that fell 15 rather than 50 percent.

from MacroScope:

Political economy and the euro

February 8, 2010

The reality of  'political economy'  is something that irritates many economists -- the "purists", if you like. The political element is impossible to model;  it often flies in the face of  textbook economics;  and democratic decision-making and backroom horse trading can be notoriously difficult to predict and painfully slow.  And political economy is all pervasive in 2010 -- Barack Obama's proposals to rein in the banks is rooted in public outrage; reading China's monetary and currency policies is like Kremlinology; capital curbs being introduced in Brazil and elsewhere aim to prevent market overshoot; and British budgetary policies are becoming the political football ahead of this spring's UK election. The list is long, the outcomes uncertain, the market risk high.

Europe borrows from Peter to lend to Peter

July 28, 2009

jamessaft1(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Europe’s experiment in borrowing from Peter to pay Peter argues for a slow economic recovery with a low ceiling.