The Great Debate

Finance throws sand in wheels of trade

By J Saft
December 12, 2008

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

Trade finance, a basic lubricant for the global economy, is becoming much more expensive and tougher to get, accelerating an already harrowing downturn.

“Risk free” rate going way of free lunch

By J Saft
December 10, 2008

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

One of the many comfortable but unreliable certainties now coming unglued is the idea that U.S. Treasury interest rates are the paramount benchmark, a measure of “risk free” investment, an idea at the heart of finance.

Banking spins destruction myth: Hoocoodanode?

By J Saft
December 5, 2008

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

Just as every society has a creation myth, banking is now busily writing a destruction myth that seeks to explain and soothe in a world torn to its foundations.

Credit cards unkindest cut for U.S. consumers

By J Saft
December 3, 2008

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

Government intervention or not, banks will be cutting up America’s credit cards at an unprecedented rate, with grave implications for the economy and company profits.

Even UK guarantee can’t stop housing crash

By J Saft
November 28, 2008

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

Britain needs to reflate its mortgage markets to save its economy and its banks. Problem is, few want to borrow and there is precious little money to lend.

Slouching towards nationalization

By J Saft
November 26, 2008

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

The Citigroup bailout is sure to succeed, but only if you count avoiding making unpleasant but needed decisions as success.

Fighting deflation globally ain’t easy

By J Saft
November 21, 2008

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

With the U.S., Japan and Britain — nearly 40 percent of the global economy — facing the threat of deflation, it’s going to be just too easy for one, two or all three of them to get the policy response horribly wrong.

Petrodollar drought another blow to banks

By J Saft
November 19, 2008

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

Banks in Europe and Britain, and their unfortunate would-be borrowers, face another blow as plunging oil prices tighten the spigot of petrodollar deposits.

A long, shaky bridge to recovery

By J Saft
November 14, 2008

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

The lessons of Japan’s stumbling path out of deflation and recession suggest that government spending can help stave off an extended recession, but it may take years not months and require an unlikely combination of political will and consensus.

New President, same inadequate economic tools

By J Saft
November 5, 2008

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

By James Saft

LONDON (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama will have to confront the same intractable economic problems with the same inadequate tools.