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UsernameSlightly Optimistic
Joined04 Feb '06  18:48
First Post04 Feb '06  20:22
Last Post18 Apr '14  17:15
Total Posts7168
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Last 10 posts

18 Apr '14  17:15
Finance and Investment
It is intriguing to see that the enlargement of the EU - a political enterprise - might now turn into the enlargement of Russia with the Kremlin determining standards for the whole territory. See posting below.

18 Apr '14  13:18
Finance and Investment
From 29 Jan '14 20:14:

The NYT article recalled Eisenhower's warning if unbridled capitalism conquered democracy: “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear from that party again in our political history.”

18 Apr '14  09:04
Site Comments
The minority is always right?

The 1 percent? After all we are trapped in an unregulated global economy.

Some statistics:

The world population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 7.157 billion. By 2040 the forecast is 9bn.

The population of the UK is just over 62m, and of the US 310m.
17 Apr '14  19:39
Finance and Investment
Reminds me of comments in the Obama forum in 26 Feb '13 09:05:

There are many reasons why nations can fail. The complacent worship of a dysfunctional political system could be one of them.

Yes, but generalities aside, why is the chair of the G8 failing to give political leadership? Vital checks and balances on finance have long been discouraged in the UK.

Last year, the FT's Edward Luce was interviewed about his book: 'Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent'. "One reviewer said my book should be renamed Time to Start Drinking. If I was asked to write one on Britain I might call it Time to Start Sniffing Glue."

17 Apr '14  14:12
Finance and Investment
The book has obtained many reviews, each with interesting points, little c.

There is some agreement that the political reaction to the trend in western economies is unknown. Anyway, will dealing with unrest be a priority? The western economies are likely to grow less important as the years pass - the numbers of people and their location in the global economy will probably mean the West has low priority. Despite the book's warnings we apparently want to remain trapped in a relatively unregulated global economy.

And regardless of what international political rules can be introduced, there is little sign they'll be adequately policed. We know the UK's record on finance. Perhaps the enormous theft of public funds, as we saw in Ukraine is simply to be tolerated?

It is intriguing to see that the enlargement of the EU - a political enterprise - might now turn into the enlargement of Russia with the Kremlin determining standards for the whole territory. The opposite of what the EU intended.

Guest post: What if Putin had bought Crimea?
15 Apr '14  09:38
European Political Economy
The reliability of international Bank stress tests is queried by the independence debate in Scotland.

"The UK Treasury has already made clear that, in the event of independence, it will remain legally liable for the entirety of UK national debt."

Think-tank forecast for iScotland: no debt is double value of oil, but borrowing would soar

This suggests that any political secession from a sovereign state, such as Ukraine, means escape from the debt built up by the state.
14 Apr '14  20:16
Finance and Investment
Financial globalisation presupposes a stable and benign international environment

The theme of a new publication. Financial globalisation is inevitable if the correct environment is provided, argues the book "The Road to Global Prosperity" by Michael Mandelbaum - a professor at John Hopkins University in the US. The market economy has done more to lift more people out of grinding poverty than any competing economic system, pointed out one reviewer.

But who should provide the necessary environment for financial globalisation?

Mandelbaum says the guarantor should continue to be the US. One of many reviews said Mandelbaum thinks the US must continue to serve "as the world’s sheriff, providing security to protect the sea lanes, air corridors, and communications and transportation infrastructure that are essential to the international economic system".

Another cautioned:
Mr. Mandelbaum is aware that the guarantor of those conditions is principally American power. Yet the durability of this arrangement is uncertain because of the rise of other powers alongside the relative decline of the U.S. Mr. Mandelbaum writes: "It is reasonable to expect that the United States will do less global policing in the future than it has in the past. . . . A weaker, poorer, less internationally active United States could have an indirect effect on cross-border economic activity by making the world a politically and militarily more turbulent place."

In today's FT, Gideon Rachman wrote a review.
Ukraine and the China seas are showing some of the difficulties the US has in continuing to behave as the world's sheriff.
12 Apr '14  21:55
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
Extract from link below:

The G20, which is careful to focus on economics and not politics, said it was monitoring the crisis in Ukraine for any risks to economic and financial stability.

So much for the essential 'political economy'. That's where the G20 is going wrong.
12 Apr '14  19:57
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
G20 gives U.S. year-end deadline for IMF reforms
Finance chiefs from around the globe on Friday gave the United States until year-end to ratify long-delayed reforms to the International Monetary Fund and threatened to move forward without it if it fails to do so.

But see Financial Markets forum 20 Mar '14 09:40
frustration within the G20 with the Obama administration's inability to win the needed congressional support . . .the G20 generally agreed to give the United States until the April meetings of the IMF and World Bank

Rather than give the US an ultimatum, the very purposes of the UN's premier finance organisation [IMF] should surely be rethought by the G20.

They are essentially at present the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to stop cheating by, for example, competitive exchange depreciation.

This not happening.

The G20's deadline is getting longer - hopefully the group is having second thoughts.
11 Apr '14  15:30
European Political Economy
How should the global political economy be organised, in a time of global capital. A couple of suggestions in the news this week:


The Bruegel research paper recommends the fundamental reform of the G7 [mainly membership] as a prelude to rewriting UN economic rules at the IMF and World Bank. Under the proposals the EU collective would have one seat, and the UK, France, Germany and Italy would lose their's.

Second from the group of twenty recommending better G20 leadership: International economic cooperation – Is it at risk?

We are told there is a vital need for economic cooperation and collaboration between countries. In the near future, resource wars seem especially likely.
However as we see in the British forum, what use are international/global financial rules when London doesn't even comply with the UK's.

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