The European Court of Justice may have rescued Italy’s banks

July 19, 2016

  Italy has been trying, with no success, to get the ECB and European banking authorities to allow it to rescue its banks with a bail out package that may be as big as €40 billion of public money. Unlike banks in most other European countries, Italy’s got sick the old fashioned way by lending […]

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The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble

July 13, 2016
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Understanding the jargon of Brexit

July 13, 2016

This chart explains the various zones, pacts and treaties aound which the Brexit negotiations will pivot. Click it to see a larger version.

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The wider implications of the Italian banking crisis

July 12, 2016

  The Italian banking system is in trouble and there are big economic and poltical implications for the eurozone. Italian banks are facing the same sort of problems that’ some American banks faced in 2008. They made a lot of loans to people who aren’t paying them back — a situation that’s been made worse […]

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Devil’s advocate

July 9, 2016

  I am going to be the devil’s advocate here. The Brexit vote has produced a paroxysm of horror amongst Remainers and has resulted in a tidal wave of news stories about how the sky is falling and we are all doomed. It is however possible to look at the immediate consequences of the pro […]

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The Italian banking crisis is escalating

July 8, 2016

  The Italian banking crisis, and the emergency political manoeuvres to avoid a financial crisis, have escalated in the last few days. There is a lot at stake. Two days ago Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Chairman of Societe Generale SA the French multinational banking and financial services company, said Italy’s banking crisis could spread to the […]

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Wynne Godley was right

July 7, 2016

In 1992 the great British economist Wynne Godley who died in 2010 (his Guardian obituary written by William Keegan is here) wrote a short article in the London Review of Books entitled “Maastricht and All That”. The article is an astonishingly prescient critique of the deep design flaws in the plans for European Monetary Union […]

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Perspectives on the Chinese economic adjustment

July 7, 2016

  What is going to happen to the Chinese economy? That’s perhaps the biggest question, and largest unknown, regarding the global economy. Some observers, such as George Soros, think that a ‘hard landing’ is going to happen. He believes that the build up of bad debt within the Chinese financial system is now so great […]

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The Japanese economy is in uncharted territory

July 4, 2016

While Brexit has taken all our attention across the globe Japan continues to stumble into uncharted territory. In many ways Japan is the pioneer for the rest of the global economy, its on the same journey just much further along. Now Japan is having to cope with an influx of hot money fleeing post Brexit […]

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Pro EU parties could face big losses in the next election

July 3, 2016

There is an interesting and detailed analysis at Buzzfeed on how the referendum votes map against parliamentary constituencies. Its worth a look with plenty of interactive maps to play with. Although the referendum result was close nationally, Remain piled up many of its votes in a relatively small number of constituencies (London and Scotland being […]

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Brexit aftershocks and the roadmap for negotiations

July 3, 2016

  The immensely complex Brexit negotiations will intersect with the internal tensions in the UK and inside the EU. Here is some thinking about this complex historical episode that has only just started to unfold.

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Italy’s weird bank rescue deal

July 1, 2016

  The Italian banks reportedly have €360 billion of non-performing loans. Some analysis claim that many Italian banks are technically balance-sheet insolvent already. Earlier this week, Italy’s €40-billion bailout proposal was blocked Germany on the grounds that it contravened Europe’s new bail-in rules. The great fear is an Italian banking crisis, or even bank run, […]

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Article 50 road map infographic

June 30, 2016

I added the red arrow and comment

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Are we there yet?

June 30, 2016

  Following the referendum result there were a predictable spasm of calls from the good and the great of the EU for the UK to leave as quickly as possible and for the immediate triggering of the formal two year exit procedure of Article 50. These calls for urgent resolution have also been accompanied by […]

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This is the end – or is it?

June 28, 2016

Although the Brexit vote has been met with a wave of despair and panic what will actually happen is still very unclear and will remain unclear for several months, and possibly years. The referendum vote was an advisory vote. All that has happened is that the the electorate has by a small but clear majority […]

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The other vote wasn’t good either

June 28, 2016

In the Spanish election Podemos did not overtake the socialist party (PSOE) and instead the conservative Partido Popular (PP) marginally increased their share of the vote, although once again no party is in a position to form a government. Exit polls, which had suggested that the radical left Unidos Podemos coalition was on course to […]

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The only place Scotland can go is over a cliff

June 26, 2016

  In the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union the Scottish First Minister has engaged with the broadcast and press media to threaten to take Scotland into a referendum to allow the nation to leave the United Kingdom and join the EU. This is an empty gesture, just posturing by the […]

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Brexit – what does it mean?

June 25, 2016

  Here are some thoughts from various people about what the Brexit vote means. Anthony Barnet has written an interesting analysis of the Brexit win called “Blimey, it is Brexit!” “What led the English to decide to try and take the whole of the United Kingdom out of Europe? A striking victory for what I […]

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A note on the post referendum legal and diplomatic situation

June 25, 2016

  The EU referendum, by itself, has no legal impact. It was an advisory not mandatory referendum. In a strictly legal sense It would be perfectly legal for the government to ignore it. All UK law – including that drawn from the EU – remains in place after the referendum as it did before the […]

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How will Brexit effect the way the EU works?

June 24, 2016

  When the UK leaves the EU, the Union will face a new kind of challenge: the departure of one of its largest and most important member states. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and the second largest in the EU. Its net contribution to the EU budget was just under […]

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