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UsernameSlightly Optimistic
Joined04 Feb '06  18:48
First Post04 Feb '06  20:22
Last Post09 Feb '16  13:24
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Last 10 posts

09 Feb '16  13:24
Finance and Investment
Japan's huge gamble is reminiscent of the one that banks made prior to the financial crisis in 2008 - both insured by national public finances. Independent audit wasn't allowed to stop the banks either. But will the Treasury Select Committee investigating HBoS be allowed to report this?

Maybe the proposed rethink of multilateral financial institutions - incorporating political economy - will see to this. Interestingly last year's chair of the G20 [Turkey] said after the Paris terrorist attack that there is a strong link between the economy and security; moreover, the economy is the main interest of the G20, but it can't be independent of political problems. Hopefully the new chair [China] will support Turkey's view and the vaunted IMF study.
08 Feb '16  14:53
International Trade
Further to 19 Jan '16 10:13: Nuts and bolts: WTO ruling helps China in EU dumping wars
What steps were being taken in EU at that time to safeguard its employment?

RPT-EU starts on tricky path towards relaxing China trade defence
A study by a group of 25 European manufacturing federations estimates the European Union could lose up to 3.5 million jobs if it removes its trade defences against China.

The Commission must take the initiative and all signs point to it accepting China as a market economy while seeking to keep trade defence measures for a transition period, which could appeal to sectors such as steel, chemicals or textile makers.

They seem divided, with free-traders like Britain, Nordic countries and the Netherlands likely to be in favour but with nations such as Italy, which compete with Chinese goods, and France being against granting market economy status. [*this status makes it harder to prove 'dumping']

Germany's position could sway the decision, which diplomats say is likely to need the support of all governments and not just a qualified majority. It is the EU's biggest exporter to China, but there is friction as China seeks to produce the kind of sophisticated products that compete directly with Germany.

Those who feel the time is right to relax trade defences against China say Russia's status as a market economy since 2001 has not harmed the EU's ability to impose dumping duties, such as a 29 percent levy on electrical steel from Russia last year.

Now? At an EU meeting of trade ministers it was agreed the European Union will hold public consultations in the coming months to gather the opinions of industry and trade unions on whether to relax trade barriers against China at the end of the year, as Beijing demands. []

Lately, on a fast moving topic see Financial Markets 07 Feb '16. Seven countries call for EU action to help steel industry This should tie in with the IMF's wish to rethink the key multilateral agencies in global finance - which will no doubt address political economy.
07 Feb '16  15:10
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
The MD of the IMF wants a re-thinking of key multilateral agencies in finance?

She might get support from an EU that is starting to unite. Seven countries call for EU action to help steel industry

See UK General Election forum 05 Feb '16 08:59:
Is the European Union the greatest political construct?

No, but it can be.

06 Feb '16  10:05
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
this would involve a complete re- thinking of key multilateral agencies in finance - the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank- and the orderly write off of the huge debts discussed at Davos.

The Economist paints a gloomy picture of British exports in the global economy under the WTO.

Exports continue to disappoint, even in sectors where Britain should do well
the country’s exports have remained fairly flat, and have been getting worse since 2012, certainly compared with those of the other big rich economies in the G7.

“It has been a disappointment, especially after the devaluation of sterling in 2008-09,” says John Van Reenen, head of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (LSE). . . Sterling fell by 15% against the euro and 24% against the dollar during the 2008 financial crisis, and this did help exports in the short term.

But since 2012 Britain has been struggling, even in the sectors it usually does well in. Thus the government’s hopes of recapturing some of Britain’s past trading glories and doubling exports in goods and services to £1 trillion ($1.5 trillion) by 2020 will remain exactly that. These trends also have ramifications for the argument raging over whether Britain should leave the European Union.

Exporters will get a short-term boost in the immediate future as sterling has weakened over the past weeks. But recent history suggests that in the longer term there are no shortcuts to boosting exports—it’s just more of the old slog of flogging a product that people want at the right price.

05 Feb '16  16:49
Finance and Investment
On the way to extreme demurrage?

Is The Fed "Seriously Considering" Negative Interest Rates?
Just this past Monday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer gave a talk to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in which he approvingly discussed negative interest rates in some detail:
[W]e believed that we could not get interest rates to go below zero. Well, it turns out that . . . four European and one Asian country have now done that. . . [*Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan]

when every other central bank has lost credibility, to paraphrase Hillary Clinton loosely, "what difference will it make" if the Fed joins the party on the central bank Titanic?
05 Feb '16  11:52
International Trade
TTIP investor court illegal, say German judges

The German magistrates also cast doubt on the independence of the judges in the new system as well as their appointment procedures.

See Financial Markets forum [04 Feb '16 17:03] for comments on IMF and WTO.
05 Feb '16  10:46
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
More developments from the IMF, in recognition of the trend in the global economy.

Lagarde urges overhaul of crisis response

The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy’s system for coping with financial shocks needs to be overhauled to prepare for looming crises in emerging economies. Christine Lagarde called on policymakers to bolster the existing “safety net” to prepare for crises in commodity-exporting emerging economies now coming “under severe stress”. The IMF would in the coming months work on new proposals to improve and expand that global safety net, she said, adding that this year’s G20 president, China, had also made it a priority.

Incidentally former Treasury Minister Danny Alexander has been confirmed as a senior executive at China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Financial Times says that the appointment makes him the leading British figure at the body. Chancellor George Osborne took a big political gamble by backing the AIIB project at an early stage.
05 Feb '16  08:59
The UK General Election
Is the European Union the greatest political construct?

No, but it can be.
04 Feb '16  17:03
Financial Markets, Subprime, & The Credit Crunch
Independence? A big question, c.

The need for independent controls in the global economy is the theme of this paper, issued yesterday.

Patchwork Regulation Threatens Global Growth and Stability

Some developments are taking place that might propel the IFAC principles.

First a watchdog committee in the UK parliament has urged a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the audit of one of the banks that were bailed out with £billions of public funds. Audit claimed in early official inquiries elsewhere that it was leaned on by government. But little official action was taken, strangely. Reports suggest this also happened in many other countries. Anyway, we have yet to see if there is the will in the UK to have such an in-depth investigation.

Secondly, the political appetite for stability in global finance will also be tested in the debate the UK is having on continued membership of the European Union. At present there is much opposition within the continent to effective cross-border regulation of national finances.

Finally the MD of the International Monetary Fund said recently she wants a stronger international monetary system. M Lagarde commented that she wants to see rebalancing at a reasonable pace to "normalisation". It is likely, however, this would involve a complete re- thinking of key multilateral agencies in finance - the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank- and the orderly write off of the huge debts discussed at Davos.
02 Feb '16  17:58
North American Political Economy
Government persecution? It's a pity the US has decided to weaponise finance, as part of its national foreign policy, with the EU especially in its sites. The penalties have been huge. In the absence of globally enforceable rules, even Singapore seems to be suffering now from the unilateralism [see Markets forum].

Little wonder the EU is retaliating by looking into the tax affairs of big American companies selling in Europe. China has gotten into the act too: Apple busted for not paying China taxes

On the other hand, if indiscipline in global finance continues, China will probably do the same plundering as the US in the future. The EU has no protection?

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