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UsernameSlightly Optimistic
Joined04 Feb '06  18:48
First Post04 Feb '06  20:22
Last Post31 Oct '14  20:59
Total Posts7608
Total Recommendations644

Last 10 posts


31 Oct '14  20:59
President Obama
What the international community needs to know about US foreign policy.
See Financial Markets forum 30 Oct '14 15:30.
31 Oct '14  18:58
President Obama
Sovereignty, territorial integrity and drone strikes?

Foreign Policy reports that a terrorist in Pakistan was killed in an American drone strike on Thursday. The drone strike occurred in Nargas village in South Wazirisitan. New reporting also suggests a higher death toll than initially reported, with the quoted intelligence official saying seven militants were killed in the strike. Pakistan condemned the strike on Thursday. Foreign ministry spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam, stated: "Pakistan has consistently maintained that such strikes are a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government of Pakistan is itself taking decisive action against terrorist elements and therefore believes that such strikes are unnecessary and need to be stopped". The strike was the 17th drone strike in Pakistan this year, according to data collected by New America
31 Oct '14  17:51
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
Russia hikes key rate to 9.5% on ruble drop
The Bank of Russia raised its key rate to 9.5 per cent per cent from 8 per cent . . .Governor Elvira Nabiullina has moved to tighten policy since the crisis in Ukraine flared in March, increasing borrowing costs to cool inflation expectations and halt the largest capital outflows since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008.

31 Oct '14  15:17
European Political Economy
Britain’s contribution to EU has risen by £2.7bn, quadrupling in five years
The net figures – which take into account the UK’s rebate – show the UK’s contribution to the EU was £2.7bn in 2008, rising to £3.8bn in 2009, £7.2bn in 2010, £7.5bn in 2011, £8.5bn in 2012 and £11.3bn in 2013.

Memories of a posting this month in the General Election forum:
Contribution on the BBC's DateLine London today questioned why EU members with less than strong economies are expected to pay more into the club. This can't continue forever. The EU rules must be changed.

31 Oct '14  12:43
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
The UK's budget dilemma was summarised today in the FT by Martin Wolf:
At present, the UK faces a particularly harsh choice, because the economy is roughly a sixth smaller than expected before the crisis. The question since then has been not just how to balance taxes against spending, as in normal times, but how to share out these unexpected (and huge) losses.

Borrowing to invest makes sense, particularly when long-term real interest rates are also low. . . extraordinary that they propose to cut taxes, too.

Because of the crisis, total spending rose to 47 per cent. This is forecast to fall to 42.5 per cent of GDP in 2014-15. By 2018-19, the government plans to reduce this further to 37.8 per cent of GDP, 2.8 percentage points lower than before the crisis, even though interest payments on public debt have jumped.

If the government’s plans are achieved, it can be by only one of two means: doing what it does today, but to a far lower standard; or by divesting itself of what are today considered essential obligations.

31 Oct '14  12:10
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
Reports are that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley say QE in the eurozone is neither imminent nor likely.

On this basis the other eurozone option is structural reform, which Japan was unable to deliver on. A new Bretton Woods?

See below:
Perhaps though the US is waiting first for political changes that provide global stability. Javier Solana wrote this week that "territorial disputes and nationalist claims remain a potent threat to regional – indeed global – stability." At present we have a valueless global economy that also allows costly examples of economic patriotism. It would be helpful if we knew in detail the conditions Washington wants met before it complies with the IMF/G20 etc.

31 Oct '14  11:40
Middle Eastern Political Economy
An increasingly popular theme. From Forbes:

The Colder War Has Begun
31 Oct '14  09:25
Middle Eastern Political Economy
Russia has EU over a barrel?
31 Oct '14  08:50
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
The extent of challenge to the world order - principally Bretton Woods - set up by the US after WW2 is the subject of an editorial in the FT.

the new institutions China is helping to establish have been born largely of frustration. The IMF in particular is disliked in much of the developing world, where its rigid adherence to market reforms is suspected of being an instrument to keep poor countries down, not lift them out of poverty.

existing multilateral organisations will have to change their spots to compete more effectively in an increasingly Sino-centric world

But the IMF's hands are tied - see below.
30 Oct '14  21:38
Finance and Investment
Early days. The presidential election is November 2016.

Split loyalties?


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