Tag Archives: debt

Financial markets turn from servant to master for the UK

Ever since the Brexit vote, financial markets have had an uneasy relationship with the UK. The pound fell sharply after the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, which surprised many in the City, and since then, UK financial markets have been volatile, trying to price in the consequences of this decision.

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Russian war on Ukraine hurts all emerging markets

Besides the immense human tragedy that it has caused, Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine has also thrown emerging markets back at least a decade in terms of attractivity for investors. It will be hard, if not impossible, for the asset class to bounce back.

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Watch commercial banks’ interest rates for clues on the future

While all eyes are on what central banks will do with interest rates, consumers and investors alike should really worry about what commercial banks will do.

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Three potentially positive effects of inflation

Inflation is here to stay, rather than transitory, no matter what central banks are telling us. But rising inflation could help make the global economy more efficient. Here are three potentially positive consequences of high inflation:

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Why the ECB is in no hurry to fight inflation

The euro has lost a lot of ground versus other major currencies as the European Central Bank (ECB) is taking a very dovish stance even compared to the usually dovish Bank of England.

As expected, a German has the difficult task of being a lone hawk amid doves: Isabel Schnabel, member of the ECB’s Governing Board, recently warned that the central bank has consistently been wrong in its inflation forecasts.  

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Come on, Europe: wir schaffen das

There are moments in politics and policy that change the course of history; when they can be summarised in three words, they are the best.

Mario Draghi’s statement back in 2012 that the European Central Bank will do “whatever it takes” to save the euro was such a moment: from then on, the speculators’ attack on weaker eurozone members’ sovereign debt stopped.

Another such moment came three years later, when in 2015 German chancellor Angela Merkel allowed one million refugees to enter Germany. “Wir schaffen das” (we can manage this), she said.

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Why inflation does not bother Boris Johnson too much

After Brexit, the UK seems to be jumping randomly from one crisis to the next, and the government seems strangely unperturbed by the general distress.

Partly, this can be attributed to the politicians’ own failure to learn. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proven again and again that he is prone to repeating past mistakes — the way he handled the multiple lockdowns in the Covid-19 crisis is the best example of this.

But what if at least part of it is deliberate? There could be a couple of reasons for which crises suit Johnson and his government very well, at least for a while.

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ECB pays lip service to worries about inflating a housing bubble

The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its inflation target last week, at the same time going to great lengths to try to persuade people that it did not.

In the process, the central bank also stated that it will find a way to deal with an issue that is increasingly pressing: that of runaway house price inflation.

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Italy tourism season is crucial for post-Covid recovery

The fact that Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic seems a distant memory. Will Italy now be the first in the European Union to stage a spectacular recovery?

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To fight inflation, wealth needs to be taxed more

Even though the vaccines have the potential to reduce the Covid-19 pandemic to manageable levels, the scars will be felt for years to come.

Beyond the tragedy of the loss of human life, deepening inequality is perhaps the worst consequence of the pandemic. Governments around the world will seek to take steps to reduce it, fearing civil unrest.

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