The Great Debate

The abyss and our last chance

By Carlo de Benedetti
December 1, 2011

By Carlo De Benedetti
The opinions expressed are his own.


In a magnificent book published a few years ago Cormac McCarthy imagines a man and a child, father and son, pushing a shopping cart containing what little they have left, along a back road somewhere in America. Ten years earlier the world was destroyed by a nameless catastrophe that turned it into a dark, cold place without life.

from James Saft:

Pension savers get the boot

November 30, 2010

From Dublin to Paris to Budapest to inside those brown UPS trucks delivering holiday packages, it has been a tough few weeks for savers and retirees.

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 corporates face sovereign risks

June 3, 2010

For European corporate borrowers, having their own houses in order may prove little help as sovereign credit-worthiness deteriorates.

Euro woes increase risk of trade wars

By J Saft
May 20, 2010

Europe won’t just be exporting deflation to the rest of the world, it will export serious trade tensions as well: first between the United States and China, and, possibly, eventually between Europe and the United States.

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.

Europe shambles as Greek fire spreads

By J Saft
April 29, 2010

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.

Be careful what you wish for on currencies

March 19, 2010

The rancorous argument about global payment imbalances and the yuan’s valuation is exposing a surprising and dangerous economic illiteracy among policymakers and commentators.

Embrace reality, not fight speculation

March 2, 2010

Stock up on canned goods, the authorities appear to be opening a new front in the War Against Speculation; this time taking aim at the people who might profit from Greece and its European partners’ woes.

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.