Category Archives: Views

Brexit is like Bitcoin: it is bound to disappoint

Brexit and Bitcoin both start with the letter “b”. Does the similarity stop here? As it turns out, no. Both these words refer to concepts that are quite alike. Of the two, Bitcoin is probably the least toxic.

Continue reading

The great Fed unwind could cause market turmoil

A recent working paper published by the International Monetary Fund looks at the impact of unconventional monetary policy on an open economy, taking Canada’s case as an example.

The paper’s main finding is that unconventional monetary policy by the Canadian central bank has had expansionary effects on the Canadian economy. Continue reading

The ‘Brexit divorce bill’ will be the easiest to agree upon

As we are about to hear again that there has been insufficient progress in the talks between Britain and the European Union, it becomes clearer that there never can be enough progress. The Brexit that Britain seeks simply does not exist.

Tolstoy’s famous quote about unhappy families offers a very good explanation as to why: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Continue reading

Policymakers could have lifted inflation, if they wanted

Central banks are still worried about the danger of deflation, even though they have timidly started to lift interest rates. How else would they explain real negative rates almost everywhere in the developed economies?

Continue reading

UK pensions are a time bomb; Brexit might help detonate it early

As if we didn’t know already, last week we got another reminder of the economic disaster that Brexit is shaping up to be: Retail sales weakened in the UK, as price rises eat into consumers’ purchasing power.

Continue reading

Time to stop painting the Europeans as the enemy

Britain’s relationship with the European Union is becoming so fraught that even one of the most moderate members of government finds it hard nowadays to use the right words when talking about it.

Continue reading

Euphoria grips the markets, but can it last?

Last week was a feast of records for Wall Street: the S&P 500 recorded six consecutive highs, something not seen for two decades. The streak only ended after a jobs report that showed the first negative reading in seven years, skewed by the hurricanes that hit the U.S. in September.

Continue reading

Spain’s Catalonia issue turns into a test for the EU

The scenes in Catalonia, where local authorities say more than 400 people were hurt by police, are reminiscent of violent scenes in Eastern Europe that have tested, time and again, the European Union.

Continue reading

Theresa May’s Florence Brexit speech is a disappointment

The excitement that had been building up before the Florence speech of UK Prime Minister Theresa May is quickly turning into disappointment. Many had expected the Prime Minister to find a way to unblock the stalled negotiations over Brexit, but the speech, as delivered, was far from achieving that.

Continue reading

Brexit vote dramatically lowers Britain’s attractiveness

I know I have said it before, but at the time it was just a hunch: the price to pay for an “un-cool Britannia” after Brexit will be steep. Evidence for this is beginning to show. A survey released recently shows how fast Britain is losing attractiveness in the eyes of the world.

Continue reading