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Oxfam: Up to 25 million more Europeans at risk of poverty by 2025 if austerity drags on

by Melanchthon Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 10:11:58 AM EST

A Cautionary Tale - The true cost of austerity and inequality in Europe

It could take up to 25 years to regain living standards prior to the economic crisis

If left unchecked, austerity policies could put between 15 and 25 million more Europeans at risk of poverty by 2025 - nearing the population of the Netherlands and Austria combined. This would bring the number of people at risk of poverty in Europe up to 146 million, over a quarter of the population, warns international agency Oxfam as EU Finance Ministers meet in Vilnius tomorrow.

Oxfam's new report, A Cautionary Tale Full report(pdf), Executive summary (pdf), finds that austerity measures introduced to balance the books following the €4.5 trillion bank bail-out are instead causing more poverty and inequality that could last for the next two decades.

Meanwhile, austerity is failing to cut debt ratios, as it was supposed to, or trigger inclusive economic growth.

Read more... (2 comments, 263 words in story)

LQD: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

by Melanchthon Wed Apr 17th, 2013 at 02:20:08 AM EST

See comments for discussion of Reinhart/Rogoff [ed comment by afew]

An old, but interesting paper:

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False - Public Library of Science (PLOS)  Medicine

Summary

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

front-paged by afew

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LQD: Unsustainable irrigation

by Melanchthon Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 05:39:10 AM EST

Irrigated Agriculture: What countries are in danger?

Hat tip: Agriculture irriguée : quels pays sont en danger ? Libération {sciences²}

Agriculture requires water, and irrigation is growing. But where is this technique unsustainable because it uses non-renewable [water] stocks? This is the question answered by a long article published in the journal Water Resources Research .

A disturbing answer, because it shows that regions - even entire countries - important in terms of agricultural production have increasingly recourse to unsustainable irrigation. The impact of an agricultural water crisis due to the unsustainable use could extend beyond these regions and could have effects at global level, say the authors of this study.

front-paged by afew

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Ed Miliband's victory: will it bring about change we can believe in?

by Melanchthon Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:12:34 PM EST

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Ed Miliband wins Labour leadership by wafer-thin margin

Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour party, after he rode a wave of support from trade union members to beat his brother, David, by the tightest of margins.

In front of a packed hall in Manchester, Ed Miliband struggled with his emotions as he pronounced his love for his elder brother, and said: "Today the work of the new generation begins."

Ed Miliband's victory was secured in the fourth round of a leadership contest after the elimination of Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls. To gasps in the hall, he ended with 50.65 per cent of the vote, with David Miliband winning 49.35.

So, what change in the Labour policy proposals and strategy can we expect? Will the fact that he owes his victory to the unions lead to a Labour party more equality and social justice-oriented?

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LQD: The new European Commission's team

by Melanchthon Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 04:29:06 AM EST

EUROPA - Press Releases - President Barroso unveils his new team

President Barroso unveils his new team

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, today announced the portfolios responsibilities for the next Commission...
...
The new College will have 7 Vice-Presidents, including Vice-President Baroness Catherine Ashton who will, at the same time, be the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December next. Three of the Vice-Presidents will be women. The new College will have 27 members, including President Barroso, one from each Member State. It includes 9 women. The members of the College come from different political families, notably the European People's Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S & D), and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). 14 members, including the President, were already members of the outgoing College.

President Barroso has given a new look to the College of his second mandate. He has announced a number of new portfolios: Climate Action; Home Affairs; Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. He has reconfigured a number of other portfolios: Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Health and Consumer Policy; Industry and Entrepreneurship; Research and Innovation; International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. There will be a new emphasis on inclusion in the Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion portfolio, and a renewed focus with the Digital Agenda portfolio.

Front-paged by afew

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American Military Occupation. The Rules of the Game Part I.I

by Melanchthon Thu Sep 17th, 2009 at 07:09:48 AM EST

On DailyKos, LaFeminista posted the first installment of what I think will be a very interesting series of diaries about the US and international law regarding military occupation. I asked her permission to cross-post it on ET, and here it is:

Military Occupation. The Rules of the Game Part I.I

I intend to write a series of diaries since this is a subject that fascinates me, and is of course of national interest at the moment. I will try and keep the series as dry [hmmm~LF] and as factual as possible

When is an occupation not and occupation, when does it begin and when does it end?

So to start it must be: The rules of the Game Part I.I.

We are/are not engaged in such activity as the US has over 730 military bases around the world.

Diary Rescue by Migeru

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VLQD: Saving the World's Women

by Melanchthon Fri Aug 21st, 2009 at 06:50:23 AM EST

The Women's Crusade - NYTimes.com

In the 19th century, the paramount moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th century, it was totalitarianism. In this century, it is the brutality inflicted on so many women and girls around the globe: sex trafficking, acid attacks, bride burnings and mass rape.

Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. "Women hold up half the sky," in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that's mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it's not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos.

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LQD: The Deleveraging US Consumer

by Melanchthon Fri Aug 21st, 2009 at 03:16:37 AM EST

A lot has been said about the coupling or decoupling of the US and global economies. While the US has indeed been the locomotive of the global economic train until a few years ago, the current situation is, in my view, more like a "limited-slip coupling" (once a mechanic...) and I think the current crisis will probably contribute to further de-coupling. But whatever one thinks about it, it is clear that the future of the global economy and the balance of global economic and geopolitical power will be significantly impacted by the evolution of the US economy in the decade to come.  While I don't agree with those who think that US consumption is the only driver that will get us out of the current crisis, the fact that consumption represented more than 75% of the US GDP growth in the years 2000 to 2007 means its evolution will play a critical role in shaping the future of our economies. So, it's worth having a look at an interesting paper on Zero Hedge:

A Detailed Look At The Stratified U.S. Consumer

When analyzing the recovery prospects before the U.S. economy, no analysis is complete without a detailed look at the capacity of the U.S. consumer, that dynamo that has always managed to pull the economy out of whatever hole it managed to find itself over the past 80 years. However, permanent structural changes to the economy and the first credit-based recession in decades, could mean the proverbial "this time it may be different" is applicable.

promoted/bumped by whataboutbob

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LQD: Securitisation Redux

by Melanchthon Mon Jul 6th, 2009 at 11:17:56 AM EST

Well, it looks like they are at it again:

FT.com / Companies / Banks - Securitisation reinvented to cut costs

Investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, are inventing schemes to reduce the capital cost of risky assets on banks' balance sheets, in the latest sign that financial market innovation is far from dead.

The schemes, which Goldman insiders refer to as "insurance" and BarCap calls "smart securitisation", use different mechanisms to achieve the same goal: cutting capital costs by up to half in some cases, at the same time as regulators are threatening to force banks to increase their capital requirements.

...

These new mechanisms are in some respects similar to the discredited structured products, which were widely blamed for fuelling the financial crisis.

...

However, some regulators may be wary of the invention of new pooled asset derivatives, especially if they are perceived as a way to avoid regulatory capital requirements.

Some rival bankers also view the schemes with scepticism. "This is a system of capital arbitrage," said one senior banker at another investment bank. "The need for capital just miraculously disappears."

Update [2009-7-6 11:20:46 by Colman]: From the comments: "I remember when "financial engineering" was a term of abuse"

Comments >> (8 comments)

FT: Is GDP the wrong indicator?

by Melanchthon Wed Jan 28th, 2009 at 08:15:15 AM EST

The Financial Times published today a column about the lack of relevance of using GDP as an indicator:

FT.com / Comment / Analysis - A measure remodelled

Across the world, standard measures of economic performance are suddenly producing terrible results. Maybe it is time to change them. Most experts agree that the commonly used indicator, gross domestic product, is an imperfect yardstick of economic activity. The trouble is, no one has yet invented a better one.

Well, it's nothing new for ET readers. We've discussed this many times before ...

Promoted by Colman

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LQD : Shoot the bankers, nationalise the banks

by Melanchthon Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 04:22:45 AM EST

The nationalization idea is gaining momentum. Along with the already mentioned papers from Paul Krugman and Willem Buiter, other voices promote it as an unavoidable policy:

FT.com / Philip Stephens - Shoot the bankers, nationalise the banks

For once, Gordon Brown is guilty of understatement. The other day the prime minister remarked on the rising public anger at the behaviour of Britain's banks. Unbridled rage would have been a more accurate description of the national mood.

On a recent visit to Washington I heard several people say that when the reckoning is finally made some big Wall Street figures are going to end up in jail. My impression is that many on this side of the Atlantic would like to see one or two British bankers join them.
...
Dissembling, I have concluded, is hard-wired into the banks' DNA. Mr Brown seems to have encountered the same lack of candour in his discussions about rather larger sums than my now-reduced overdraft.

The prime minister has no option but to pay up. To say that taxpayers are appalled is not to conclude that the banks could be left to tighten the noose on the nation's economy.
...
Mr Brown is at pains to say that all this does not amount to a blank cheque for the banks. Alistair Darling, the chancellor, insists that the price of the insurance scheme will be a "lending responsibility agreement" with precise targets for new credit for individuals and small businesses.

Now it has gone this far I cannot understand why the government did not take the next logical step of assuming majority stakes in all those institutions now dependent on public money
...
For the moment, though, I cannot think of a more popular policy than shooting the bankers and nationalising the banks. It might even win Mr Brown an election. Come to think of it, it could also be the way to get us out of this mess.


Even The Economist chimes in! (read on...)

front-paged with edit by afew

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LQD: Olivier Blanchard, IMF's Chief Economist

by Melanchthon Tue Dec 23rd, 2008 at 12:08:06 PM EST

"Il faut éviter que la récession ne se transforme en Grande Dépression" - L'économie en crise - Le Monde.fr"We must prevent the recession from turning into a Great Depression" - Economy in crisis - Le Monde.fr
Les mois qui viennent vont être très mauvais. Il est impératif de juguler cette perte de confiance, de relancer et, si nécessaire, de remplacer la demande privée, si l'on veut éviter que la récession ne se transforme en Grande Dépression. Bien sûr, en temps normal, nous aurions recommandé à l'Europe de diminuer ces déficits. Mais nous ne sommes pas en temps normal.The coming months will be very tough. It is imperative to curb the loss of confidence, to stimulate and, if necessary to replace private demand, if we want to avoid that the recession turns into a great depression. Fore sure, under normal circumstances, we would recommand to Europe to reduce these deficits. But we are not in normal times.
Y a-t-il d'autres mesures à prendre ? Are there any other measures which should be taken?
A ce stade, deux types de mesure sont nécessaires. D'abord les mesures dont on vient de parler pour rétablir la confiance, et relancer la demande. Cela implique d'utiliser les outils monétaires et budgétaires. Mais aussi, des mesures destinées à réparer le système financier. Les banques continuent à réduire leurs crédits aux particuliers comme aux entreprises ou aux pays émergents. Il n'y aura pas de redémarrage de la croissance sans que ce problème soit résorbé.At this stage, two types of measures are needed. First the measures mentioned above to really establish trust and boost demand. This means using monetary and budgetary tools. But also, measures aimed at repairing the financial system. Banks continue to reduce credit to individuals and businesses or emerging countries. If this problem is not solved, growth will not resume.
Que faire en matière financière ?

Il faut que les institutions financières reconnaissent leurs pertes et clarifient leurs bilans. Elles le font certes, mais trop lentement, ce qui introduit de l'incertitude et continue d'inquiéter les investisseurs. Les Etats doivent aider au processus, en incitant ou en forçant les banques à se séparer de leurs actifs douteux. Quand ceci sera fait, beaucoup de ces institutions seront clairement sous-capitalisées. Il faudra injecter de l'argent frais. Si les investisseurs privés ne le font pas, les Etats doivent le faire. Pas à fonds perdus, mais en prenant une participation, sous forme d'actions. Si réparer le marché du crédit privé prend trop de temps, il faut que les Etats soient prêts à se substituer, au moins partiellement et temporairement, au crédit privé. Par exemple, en rachetant du papier commercial comme le fait la Réserve fédérale américaine.
What should be done re: finance?
We need the financial institutions to acknowledge their losses and clarify their balance sheets. They are doing it, but too slowly, which introduces uncertainty and continues to worry investors. States must assist in the process, encouraging or forcing banks to get rid of their bad assets. When this is done, many of these institutions will be clearly under-capitalized. It will be necessary to inject new money. If private investors don't, states must do it. Not without strings attached, but by taking shares. If fixing the credit market takes too long, it is necessary that the states be ready to replace, at least partially and temporarily creates the private lending. For example, by buying commercial paper as the American Federal Reserve is doing.
On en voit mal les effets. Pourquoi ? It is hard to see the effects. Why?
Le principe de ces mesures a, en effet, été accepté par tous les pays depuis la réunion du G20 à Washington et le sommet européen de l'Elysée qui ont eu lieu à la mi-octobre. Malheureusement, elles sont mises en oeuvre trop lentement. Le comportement des autorités américaines a manqué de cohérence et de clarté. En Europe, les bilans des banques sont encore partiellement fictifs et le rachat d'actifs porte sur des quantités négligeables.The principle of these measures has indeed been accepted by all countries since the meeting of the G20 in Washington and the European Communities summit held at the Elysée in mid-October . Unfortunately, they are being implemented too slowly. The behavior of the US authorities lacked consistency and clarity. In Europe, the balance sheets of banks are still partly fictitious and the purchase of assets involves negligeable quantities.
Le résultat est que les banques continuent à liquider leurs positions. Non seulement chez elles, mais aussi à l'étranger. Elles rapatrient dans des proportions considérables les capitaux qu'elles avaient placés à l'étranger. On estime que leurs créances sur les pays émergents atteignaient 4000 milliards de dollars [2872milliards d'euros]. Mille milliards de dollars auraient quitté ces pays dans les derniers mois.The result is that banks continue to liquidate their positions. Not only at home but also abroad. They are repatriating capital they had invested abroad in considerable proportions. It is estimated that their financial claims on emerging countries reach 4000 billions of dollars [2872 billions euros] . A thousand billions of dollars could have left these countries in the last months.
Le FMI a parlé de la nécessité de consacrer 2 % du produit brut mondial à ces plans. Cela sera-t-il suffisant ?The IMF mentioned the necessity to devote 2% of the world's gross domestic product to these plans. Will this be enough?
Il faut que les gouvernements et les banques centrales indiquent clairement qu'ils sont prêts à tout faire pour éviter une nouvelle Grande Dépression. Pour le moment, une expansion budgétaire de 2 % paraît suffisante. Mais, si les circonstances l'exigent, il faut que les Etats soient prêts à faire plus, 3 % ou plus si nécessaire. Il faut y réfléchir dès maintenant, car ce n'est pas facile de dépenser efficacement de telles masses d'argent !It is necessary for the governments and central banks to indicate that they are clearly ready to do everything to avoid a new Great Depression. For now, a 2% budgetary expansion seems to be enough. But if circumstances require it, the states must be ready to do more, 3% or more if necessary. They must think about it right now, because it is not easy to spend effectively such amounts of money!
Quelles formes doit prendre cette relance budgétaire ? What forms must take this budgetary stimulus?
Il vaut mieux que la relance intervienne par l'augmentation des dépenses publiques que par la diminution des recettes publiques. Autrement dit, les constructions de ponts ou les rénovations d'écoles risquent d'avoir plus d'effets sur la demande que des réductions d'impôts que les ménages sont tentés de transformer en épargne de précaution.It is better that the stimulus intervene through increasing government spending than by declining revenues. In other words, the construction of bridges or modernisation of schools may have a bigger effect on demand that tax cuts that households are tempted to convert into savings.

Si on diminue les impôts ou si on augmente les transferts, il vaut mieux cibler les populations victimes du chômage ou surendettées. Elles en ont plus besoin et elles le dépenseront aussitôt, contribuant à la reprise de l'activité économique. La baisse temporaire de la TVA, mesure adoptée en Grande-Bretagne, ne me paraît pas une bonne idée ; 2% de moins ne sont pas perçus par les consommateurs comme une réelle incitation à dépenser. En revanche, la prime à l'automobile décidée en France donne de fortes incitations et me paraît une bonne idée.
If taxes are lowered or if the transfers are increased, it is better to target the populations who are victims of unemployment or overindebted. They need it more and they will spend it immediately, thus contributing to the resumption of economic activity. To me, TVA reduction, which has been adopted by Great- Britain soesn't seem to be a good idea; prices reduced by 2% are not perceived by consumers as an incentive to spend. On the other hand, the car purchase bonus implemented by France provides a good incentive and seems to be a good idea.
Malgré le caractère éphémère de ses effets ?
L'important, c'est de soutenir l'activité et de relancer la confiance maintenant. Les six mois qui viennent sont capitaux. Si l'Allemagne ne participait pas suffisamment à cette relance, beaucoup d'autres pays hésiteraient aussi à le faire et ce serait désastreux pour l'Europe.
In spite of the temporary nature of its effects?
The important thing is to support the economic activity and to boost confidence now. The six months ahead are crucial. If Germany was not involved enough in this revival, many other countries would also hesitate to do so and that what would be disastrous for Europe.
Les pays émergents doivent-ils faire de même ?Must emerging countries adopt the same policies?
Face à la baisse de leurs exportations, ils y ont tout intérêt. La Chine a annoncé un plan dont on connaît mal la réalité, mais on peut penser qu'elle fera plus si nécessaire. L'Inde, qui a une moins grande marge de manoeuvre budgétaire, s'y met aussi.Faced with declining exports, it is in their interest. China announced a plan we do not know the actual content very well, but one can expect that it will do more if necessary. India, which has less budgetary room for maneuver, is also moving.
Beaucoup de pays émergents font face au danger supplémentaire que le retrait des capitaux étrangers amène à une crise de change et une fuite générale des capitaux. Dans beaucoup de pays, la taille potentielle d'une telle fuite de capitaux peut représenter la moitié du produit intérieur brut... Ceci représente beaucoup d'argent. Multiplié par le nombre de pays potentiellement exposés, on parle de milliers de milliards de dollars, un montant bien supérieur à ce que le Fonds peut avancer. Il faut d'urgence réfléchir et mettre en place les moyens de mobiliser les liquidités nécessaires, si besoin était.Many emerging countries have to face the added danger presented by the withdrawal of foreign capital, i.e. an exchange crisis and a general capital flight. In many countries, the potential size of such capital flight may represent half of the gross domestic product. This represents a lot of money. Multiplied by the number of potentially exposed countries, we are talking about thousands of billions of dollars, an amount well above what the Fund can provide. It is urgent to think about it and find ways to raise the required cash, if necessary.

Comments >> (10 comments)

VLQD: Krugman wins Nobel Prize for Economics

by Melanchthon Mon Oct 13th, 2008 at 07:37:01 AM EST

Krugman Wins Nobel Prize for Economics - NYTimes.com

The American economist Paul Krugman won the 2008 Nobel prize for economics for bringing together analysis of trade patterns and where economic activity takes place, the prize committee said on Monday.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the prestigious 10 million crown ($1.4 million) prize recognized Mr. Krugman's formulation of a new theory to answer questions driving world-wide urbanization.

"He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography," the committee said in its statement.

Comments >> (2 comments)

LQD: Roubini alert on global financial meltdown

by Melanchthon Fri Oct 10th, 2008 at 02:02:57 AM EST

From RoubiniGlobal Economics newsletter:

RGE - The world is at severe risk of a global systemic financial meltdown and a severe global depression

The US and advanced economies' financial system is now headed towards a near-term systemic financial meltdown as day after day stock markets are in free fall, money markets have shut down while their spreads are skyrocketing, and credit spreads are surging through the roof. There is now the beginning of a generalized run on the banking system of these economies; a collapse of the shadow banking system, i.e. those non-banks (broker dealers, non-bank mortgage lenders, SIV and conduits, hedge funds, money market funds, private equity firms) that, like banks, borrow short and liquid, are highly leveraged and lend and invest long and illiquid and are thus at risk of a run on their short-term liabilities; and now a roll-off of the short term liabilities of the corporate sectors that may lead to widespread bankruptcies of solvent but illiquid financial and non-financial firms.

Thursday midnite update: A few hours after I had written this note the market crash that I warned about is underway in Asia: the Nikkei index in Japan is down 11% and all other Asian markets are sharply down. This reinforces the urgency of credible and rapid policy actions by the G7 financial officials who are meeting in a few hours in Washington and the need to also involve in such global policy coordination the systemically important emergent market economies.

Read more... (28 comments, 776 words in story)

LQD: Roubini predicts the worst financial crisis

by Melanchthon Fri Jul 18th, 2008 at 06:51:53 AM EST

Just received this from the Roubini Global Economics Monitor Newsletter:

RGE Monitor MEDIA ALERT:   Nouriel Roubini predicts the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the worst U.S. Recession in the last few decades.

New York, July 15, 2008- In a series of recent writings on the RGE Monitor Nouriel Roubini - Chairman of  RGE Monitor and Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business - has argued that the U.S. is experiencing its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and will undergo its worst recession in the last few decades. His analysis leads to the following conclusions:

Promoted by afew

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LQD: "How to stop the next bubble?"

by Melanchthon Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 10:26:31 AM EST

In the Prospect Magazine July 2008 issue,there is an interesting debate abou how to stop the next bubble. It involves Mark Hannam, who has worked for the Bank of England, Citibank and Barclays, Jonathan Ford (chair), deputy editor of Prospect, John Gieve, deputy governor for financial stability of the Bank of England, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, Anatole Kaletsky, economic commentator and associate editor of the Times and George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management. Here are some excerpts:

Read more... (14 comments, 928 words in story)

LQD - A missed opportunity?

by Melanchthon Tue May 6th, 2008 at 04:16:42 AM EST

Success Breeds Failure - Paul Krugman - New York Times

Cross your fingers, knock on wood: it's possible, though by no means certain, that the worst of the financial crisis is over. That's the good news.

The bad news is that as markets stabilize, chances for fundamental financial reform may be slipping away. As a result, the next crisis will probably be worse than this one.

Let's look at the story so far.

After the financial crisis that ushered in the Great Depression, New Deal reformers regulated the banking system, with the goal of protecting the economy from future crises. The new system worked well for half a century.

Eventually, however, Wall Street did an end run around regulation, using complex financial arrangements to put most of the business of banking outside the regulators' reach.

(snip)

We now know that things that aren't called banks can nonetheless generate banking crises, and that the Fed needs to carry out bank-type rescues on their behalf. It follows that hedge funds, special investment vehicles and so on need bank-type regulation. In particular, they need to be required to have adequate capital.

(snip)

And now that the financial clouds have lifted a bit, the pushback against sensible regulation is in full swing. Even the Fed's very modest proposal to curb abusive mortgage lending with new standards is under fire, and there are worrying signs that the Fed may back down.

(snip)

And if we don't fix the system now, there's every reason to believe that the next crisis will be bigger still -- and that the Fed won't have enough duct tape to hold things together.

The Anglo Disease pandemy has not ended yet...

Comments >> (22 comments)

Genesis of a self-organised collaborative European petition

by Melanchthon Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 at 10:41:32 AM EST

This diary has been written based on a discussion with UnEstranAvecVueSurMer, Afew and Redstar.

It is meant to present and discuss the genesis of the petition, the collective work that led to it, the self-organised process that took place and some lessons we can draw from it,

First, let's remind the timeline of the petition's genesis and set up:

Everything starts with the first rumours about a possible Blair candidacy for the post of President of the Council of the EU.

Read more... (19 comments, 1849 words in story)

Anglo Disease LQD : Stiglitz on Financial Hypocrisy

by Melanchthon Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 01:13:48 PM EST

In "Financial Hypocrisy", a recent article published in "The Economists' Voice", Joseph Stiglitz  compares the current financial crisis with the East-Asia crisis which occurred ten years ago (see his book "Globalization and Its Discontents") and shows that the main actors (in that case IMF and the US Treasury) are promoting totally different policies. Have they learned from the East Asia crisis, or are they hypocritical?

Read more... (21 comments, 513 words in story)

The Financial Doomsday Machine: towards an economy meltdown.

by Melanchthon Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 at 01:22:34 PM EST

On February 20, in the Financial Times, Martin Wolf finally acknowledged the situation of the American economy and the seriousness of the threats it is facing: America's economy risks mother of all meltdowns.

Quoting extensively Nouriel Roubini's February 5 publication The Rising Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: The Twelve Steps to Financial Disaster, he paints a very scary picture of America's economic future.

Nouriel Roubini is a Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business and is also the co-founder and Chairman of RGE Monitor (access to the blog is possible through free registration). He was one of the few economists who predicted an American recession as soon as 2006. At the time, he has been dismissed as a bear and excessively pessimistic. What follows will not sound new to ET readers who followed Jérôme's diaries: in fact, Nouriel Roubini has been quoted several times on ET. It is however telling that the key FT columnist (and a few prominent economists - see his forum's comments) now think that the bleak scenario he was forecasting is very likely to happen.

Let's read Martin Wolf:

Read more... (20 comments, 1875 words in story)
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