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Ah, popularisation of technical content, one of my favourite topics. And now you have sort of asked for advice.

What you write always depend on audience but for a casual but interested reader, the following are problems:

* The conclusion. A clearly stated and important conclusion will help the reader in getting the big picture when the details are hard.

A critique of the ECB's liquidity policies

In its deflationary zeal, the ECB is draining an increasing amount of cash - in the form of one-week deposits - from the money markets to offset its modest purchases of sovereign Euro bonds.

A critique of the ECB's liquidity policies

The ECB treats the Euro as it were on the gold standard and not a fiat currency.

It is good that you state it early and return to it in the end, but it is to convulated and you fail to state why it is important.

The ECB is depressing the economy by treating the euro as gold coins instead of the fiat currency it is. (Or strangling in an even more casual setting.)

* Stumbling blocs. Having several terms that cause a bit of thinking in the same, dense sentence gives the reader a sentence that is hard to pass. The reader easily thinks that he or she is not the audience and moves on.

A critique of the ECB's liquidity policies

A consequence of this policy is the steady rise in interbank rates to a point that the Euribor 1-year is now touching 1.75 per cent, which is the rate of the MLF

Interbank rates, Euribor 1-year, MLF (a Phillipino guerilla? No, wait it says something in the beginning) and a number that might be relevant. Now this sentence might be perfectly adapted to an audience that uses these terms on a daily basis, but it easily becomes a stumbling bloc for those that do not.

With easy terminology it would go something like this A consequence of this policy is the steady rise in the rates when banks borrow from banks, to a point where it now touches the rate at which ECB borrows unlimited funds to banks.

But then again, that might be to easy for a banking audience.

* Over-information in graphs. For the knowledgable, the more information the better, but for the casual reader it is confusing. Correct me if I am wrong, but you only use ECB deposit, ECB MLF and Euribor 1-year for the argument, so the rest could be cut. And should be if you wanat easy understanding.

If studied, I would guess that most readers are stumbled by the paragraph above and then halts at the graph, upon which they mentally give up understanding it, even if reading the rest.

* Expanding the argument.

A critique of the ECB's liquidity policies

Since May the ECB has failed to fully sterilise its bond purchases on two occasions, first at the end of June and then from December to February. It does appear that this past week the ECB succeeded in draining €76.5bn of liquidity to match its Security Market Programme holdings. Each failure to sterilise worried the inflation hawks. This is one of the reasons why the ECB wants the European Financial Stability Facility to do the bond buying.

But the hawks are wrong.

You have already shown that ECB is strangling the economy:

In countries where variable-rate mortgages are indexed to the 1-year Euribor, such a rise in interbank interest rates near the bottom of the recession could spell trouble.

Now you are arguing about why. To be easy to follow, it should be founded in the conclusion (both before and after the main body of arguments) and marked upon commencing.

So what you want to show is:
The ECB is depressing the economy by treating the euro as gold coins instead of the fiat currency it is. This is done based on faulty ideas of public debt always being inflationary.

And then when the second part starts mark it by something like "if we look at why this is happening" and then dive into the murky world of inflation hawk ideas.

Being taken serious often depends of marking your belonging in the serious group by being hard to read for people outside your area, so it is a trade-off.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 25th, 2011 at 07:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
excellent advice.

it would actually be fun to see two versions side by side, the wonky and the lay, just to see how wide the freaking gap is.

that gap... that yawning gap, into which fall trillions, (never to be seen again?).

to enable the masses to crack the code, that's the challenge, so the masters of the universe know what they do is in the sunshine.

down with obfuscatory jargon (and the proverbial multitude of sins it covers), on with the rosetta stone tactics.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 25th, 2011 at 08:40:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, of course.

I evidently wrote my column for what an economist audience, but I did try to assume less knowledge in the audience, which made the thing longer and at times more convoluted. Münchau cut that down significantly.

I'm reminded of The Onion classic Manmohan Singh - The First Sikh Prime Minister Of...Okay, Here's What A Sikh Is

As the first Sikh elected to India's highest office, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has helped change the face of... okay, just so we don't get too ahead of ourselves here, we should probably explain what a Sikh is.


Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 25th, 2011 at 10:50:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:

It is good that you state it early and return to it in the end, but it is to convulated and you fail to state why it is important.

The ECB is depressing the economy by treating the euro as gold coins instead of the fiat currency it is. (Or strangling in an even more casual setting.)

How about this?

Migeru:

(basically, the ECB likes to pretend that issuing fiat Euros is as difficult as shitting gold ingots).


Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 25th, 2011 at 10:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The pain would have to be balanced against the utility. :-)

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 25th, 2011 at 04:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Works perfectly for me.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Feb 26th, 2011 at 03:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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