The Great Debate

Greece an ideal Goldman client; profitable, culpable

February 16, 2010

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.

Greece should default and reschedule

February 15, 2010

The drama unfolding in Athens contains all the usual ingredients for a modern crisis. Poorly disclosed derivative transactions. Inadequate accounting for off-balance sheet liabilities. Investment banks eager to structure complex transactions in return for fat fees. And a furtive but gullible government that thought it could get something for nothing.

Watch banks for clues on Greece

February 9, 2010

– James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –

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.

from The Great Debate UK:

Greece loses a major incentive to stay within EMU

January 28, 2010

cr_mega_503_JaneFoley-150x150-Jane Foley is research director of Forex.com. The opinions expressed are her own.-

Icelandic, Greek sagas show sovereign risks

January 7, 2010

– James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –