The Great Debate

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Time for a ‘melt-up’: The coming global boom

By Anatole Kaletsky
November 14, 2014

European Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi speaks at a news conference during the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington

Get ready for a “melt-up.”

Back in mid-October, as stock markets around the world plunged faster than at any time since 2011, many investors and economists feared a meltdown. But with the U.S. economy steadily expanding, monetary and fiscal policies becoming more stimulative in other parts of the world and the autumn season for financial crises now over, a melt-up seems far more likely.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Will the European economy’s summer squalls turn into an autumn tempest?

By Anatole Kaletsky
October 3, 2014

Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) answers reporter's questions during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt

Following the grim market response to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s latest monetary policy pronouncements, Europe is approaching another make-or-break moment comparable to the crisis of 2012. The summer quarter ended this week, and financial markets delivered their judgment on just how bad things are, pushing the euro down to its lowest level since September 2012. Europe’s quarterly stock market performance was the worst since the nadir of the euro crisis. The question is whether the miserable summer will give way to a milder autumn. Or whether the summer squalls will turn into a catastrophic tempest.

from Breakingviews:

Does Italian capitalism prove that Darwin was right?

July 10, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The year ahead in the euro zone: Lower risks, same problems

By Nouriel Roubini
January 14, 2013

Financial conditions in the euro zone have significantly improved since the summer, when euro zone risks peaked because of German policymakers’ open consideration of a Greek exit, and the sovereign spreads of Italy and Spain reached new heights. The day before European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s famous speech in London in which he announced that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro, bond yields in Spain and Italy were at 7.75 percent and 6.75 percent, respectively, and rising. When the ECB announced its outright monetary transactions (OMT) bond-buying program, the euro zone was at risk of a collapse.

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 Ian Bremmer:

Europe’s necessary creative destruction

By Ian Bremmer
November 11, 2011

By Ian Bremmer
The opinions expressed are his own.

What we’re seeing in Europe -- in rising Italian borrowing costs and the felling of two prime ministers -- is the growing impatience of the markets for a resolution to the euro zone crisis. To put a finer point on it, the hive mind of the markets has decided it is not going to give Europe enough time to get its act together. The big institutions that drive the world’s economies are sitting on huge amounts of cash -- enough to solve many of these problems overnight. But they have lost confidence in the ability of the European political system to deliver solutions that will work.

Italy’s fundamentals aren’t worse than usual

By Guest Contributor
November 10, 2011

By James Macdonald
The views expressed are his own.

The markets have come to the conclusion that Italy’s debts are unsustainable in the long term. They are therefore demanding a higher risk premium to compensate for the risk that they might not be repaid in full. So runs the conventional wisdom. However, the situation is not that simple.

The sun sets on sultan Berlusconi

By John Lloyd
August 23, 2011

By John Lloyd
The opinions expressed are his own.

The sultans, as shapers of history, have gone from the world: but they leave behind the memory of a style of rule in which the division between the private life and the public one, between sexual arrangements and high politics, between the settlement of personal debts, whether of money or honor, and the state treasury barely existed. That was true of kings and princes, Russian tsars and Chinese emperors too: but because the west began (with mixed success) to separate the private from the public some centuries ago, the Sultans of Turkey – who came to the gates of Vienna at the height of their imperial reach and who fascinated and terrified Europe for centuries – are still seen here as the epitome of luxury and power combined.

Italy pays its people to go on vacation

September 3, 2010

ITALY/

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The following article by Silvia Marchetti first appeared in GlobalPost.

ROME, Italy — “Exploit your holidays to discover your unique, magical Italy,” intones Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a new TV ad encouraging Italians to vacation at home this year.

Italy: land of the rich Russian

August 20, 2010

LEISURE ITALY ISLANDS

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The following article by Silvia Marchetti first appeared in GlobalPost.

ROME, Italy — Ischia and Capri, two tiny islands in the Gulf of Naples, are fighting over big money. That is, Russian money.