Mind reading

A selection of recent articles, comments, books, news or upcoming events on capitalism, economics and economies, society and sociology, politics, trends, crises... on www.mikeconomics.net. To give a broader and independent perspective, spark discussions, spot some trends, and carry on the debate launched in many places, including Mike Guillaume’s book “The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism” (2nd edition 2012). Although many articles and comments are picked because of their connection with the book, Mike does not necessarily endorse all the ones published, but found them worthy of attention. The debate goes on!
More minds, reads, ideas in the LinkedIn group and on Mike's Twitter account.
Headlines appear in their original wording. Some words or figures may be highlighted or underlined.
The related sin (capital or venial) as addressed in Mike’s book book (1st and 2nd expanded edition) is referred to below each piece (in orange fonts).


Can the world economy survive without fossil fuels?

The past three centuries of progress have been powered by coal, oil and gas. Burning much of what’s left will lead to environmental and economic catastrophe. Here’s how to save the earth without giving up on growth. By Larry Elliott in the Guardian (April 8, 2015). http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/08/can-world-economy-survive-without-fossil-fuels

Too Much. Alternatives.


Brexit: KISS (before it’s too late)

The “KISS principle” is a design rule which states that systems perform best when they have simple -and “stupid” (i.e. intelligible)- designs rather than complex ones. The principle seems to have been completely forgotten in all negotiation rounds that have taken place since the UK vote on June 23, 2016.
By Mike Guillaume on www.mikeconomics.net (September 2018).



New thinking for the British economy

Edited by Laurie Macfarlane. Published by Open Democracy (September 2018).
Political economic paradigms do not last forever. In the past century, Western political economy has experienced two major shifts from one paradigm to another: firstly from laissez-faire to the post-war consensus after the Great Depression of the 1930s, and secondly from the post-war consensus to neoliberalism in the 1980s. The evident failings of our present economic system, and the growing political mobilisation for change, suggest that we may be on the cusp of another major shift in economic thinking and policy. At this critical juncture, new ideas about the kind of society we want to live in, and the future we want to see, are needed more than ever.



The Latest Incarnation of Capitalism

Financialization isn’t a perversion of an otherwise well-functioning system. It’s just capitalism’s latest survival mechanism. By Grace Blakeley in Jacobin (September 5, 2018).

Too Short. Too Far. Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


Ten years after the 2008 crash, the growth of the leveraged loan market

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


What contributed most to the financial crisis?

"There’s a bevy of plausible culprits, and plenty of blame to go around", writes Jeff Cockrell (October 20, 2017).

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


Five ways to transform our economies

We live in a world that’s facing many destructive and entwined crises including growing inequality, climate change, poverty, pollution and human rights violations. Our current economic system is perpetuating and exacerbating these crises. By Sam Cossar-Gilbert (Open Democracy, 12 February 2018).

Too Wild. Alternatives.


Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist

Economics matters enormously for the future, but its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date. By Kate Raworth, Open Democracy, 5 April 2017.



Why the problem is economics, not economists

Image: Marco Verch, CC BY 2.0

By Cahal Moran, Open Democracy, 19 April 2018.

Too Sort. Too Much.


Why revolution is no longer possible

Now, system-preserving power no longer works through repression, but through seduction — that is, it leads us astray. It is no longer visible, as was the case under the regime of discipline. Now, there is no longer a concrete opponent, no enemy suppressing freedom that one might resist. The subjugated subject is not even aware of its subjugation.
Korean-born German philosopher Byung-Chul Han teaches philosophy and cultural studies at Berlin's University of the Arts (UdK). (Open Democracy, 23 October 2015).

Too Much.


Where have all the big political ideas gone?

Cartoon from The New Yorker

Our economic model has reached its natural limits – it will never get better. Instead of managing the status quo it is time for centrists to overhaul the system, writes Phil McDuff in the Guardian (May 8, 2017).

Too Much. Alternatives.


We have the right to have that basic thing –it’s water

Water is life, and it belongs to all of us. It’s time to start acting that way. By Javan Briggs on Open Democracy (August 19, 2015). https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/javan-briggs/we-have-right-to-have-that-basic-thing%E2%80%94it%E2%80%99s-water

Too Much. Alternatives.


Think our governments can no longer control capitalism? You’ve been duped

By Larry Elliott, in The Guardian (December 14, 2017)

Too Much. Alternatives.


Can a protectionist approach ever be in the national interest?

Michael Lind, a senior fellow at New America and Tom Follett, policy and projects officer at ResPublica, discuss whether protectionism can ever be in the national interest.

Too Far. Alternatives.


The End of Identity Liberalism

Should (...) diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing. By Mark Lilla, in The New York Times (Nov. 18, 2016)

Too Much. Alternatives.


Blame the identity apostles – they led us down this path to populism

With its over-defensive advocacy of minorities, the left has jeopardised half a century of liberalism. Writes Simon Jenkins in The Guardian (December 1, 2016).

Too Much.


Diversity can distract us from economic inequality

Donald Trump got elected because the liberal elite didn’t care enough about the gap between rich and poor. Neoliberal capitalism may produce winner-take-all winners and lose-it-all losers, but it is nevertheless an economic system that is indifferent to colour, gender or creed. Writes Giles Fraser in The Guardian (November 17, 2016)

Too Wild.


Why the modern world is bad for your brain

In an era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter, we’re all required to do several things at once. But this constant multitasking is taking its toll. Neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin explains how our addiction to technology is making us less efficient, in The Guardian (January 18, 2015). http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/18/modern-world-bad-for-brain-daniel-j-levitin-organized-mind-information-overload

Too Much. Overexposed.


The dark side of free markets

Curiously, while economists understand each and every such instance where people are tempted to buy things that are not good for them, they fail to appreciate that this occurs because of a general principle of economics. They fail to understand that free markets, as bountiful as they may be, will not only provide us with what we want, as long as we can pay for it; they will also tempt us into buying things that are bad for us, whatever the costs. By George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller in “The Conversation”: http://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-free-markets-48862

Too Much. Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


What’s wrong with finance

Both financiers and economists still get the blame for the 2007-2009 financial crisis: the first group for causing it and the second for not predicting it. As it turns out, the two issues are connected. The economists failed to understand the importance of finance and financiers put too much faith in the models produced by economists. Thoughtful piece in The Economist (May 1, 2015).

Too Greedy. Too Much. Too Big. Crazy Rational. Overexposed.


How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash

How the financial sector got back to business as usual after the 2008-20.. meltdown. By Joris Luyendijk in the Guardian.

Too Big. Too Far. Too Greedy. Too Much. Too Big. Crazy Rational. Overexposed.


Robert Reich: The Political Roots of Widening Inequality

For the past quarter-century I’ve offered in articles, books, and lectures an explanation for why average working people in advanced nations like the United States have failed to gain ground and are under increasing economic stress: Put simply, globalization and technological change have made most of us less competitive. The tasks we used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.

My solution—and I’m hardly alone in suggesting this—has been an activist government that raises taxes on the wealthy, invests the proceeds in excellent schools and other means people need to become more productive, and redistributes to the needy. These recommendations have been vigorously opposed by those who believe the economy will function better for everyone if government is smaller and if taxes and redistributions are curtailed.
Read Robert Reich’s analysis in his blog: http://robertreich.org/post/.

Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Too Wild.


Maps that explain the global economy

EuroCommerce knits the modern world together in a way that nothing else quite does. Almost anything you own these days is the result of a complicated web of global interactions. And there's no better way to depict those interactions and the social and political circumstances that give rise to them than with a map or two. Watch the maps at http://www.vox.com/2014/8/26/6063749/38-maps-that-explain-the-global-economy

Too Big. Too Much. Too Wild. Etc.


No negotiation between liberal democracy and totalitarian theocracy

Perhaps we should stop kidding ourselves, admit we don’t care enough about free speech to defend the values of the Enlightenment. There are loud voices who urge us to do this. In the name of cultural sensitivity they call on us to abandon Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume and Paine and cave in to coordinated efforts by evangelical Christians, nationalist Buddhists and Islamists to prevent the “defamation of religion” (the UN came close to enabling this). By Mike Harris in The Independent, after the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/charlie-hebdo-there-can-be-no-negotiation-between-liberal-democracy-and-totalitarian-theocracy-9963334.html

Too Much.


'Respect' for religion is often simply tyranny backed by violence

The monotheistic religions have a rich history of slaughter and butchery, writes Jeremy Fox in Open Democracy (28 January 2015). https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/jeremy-fox/%27respect%27-for-religion-is-often-simply-tyranny-backed-by-violence

Too Much.


The Chinese Century

Without fanfare—indeed, with some misgivings about its new status—China has just overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy. This is, and should be, a wake-up call—but not the kind most Americans might imagine. By Joseph Stiglitz, in Vanity Fair (January 2015). http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2015/01/china-worlds-largest-economy

Too Big. Too Much. Too Wild. Etc.


The American Dream

63 percent of Americans don't have enough money saved to cover an unexpected $500 expense. In 1950 the financial services industry captured roughly 10 percent of all aftertax corporate profits in America. Today it captures 40 percent.
Read Ashby Monk’s column on Institutional Investor (November 10, 2016).

Too Short. American Debit.


Are Asian Economies Converging Towards American Capitalism?

Should East Asia’s economic takeoff and the new hegemony of capitalism in that region be interpreted as parts of a convergence towards a global model based on Anglosphere economic liberalism, or should we see them rather as the onset of a process by which a new form of capitalism is being constructed, based on the region’s economic integration? By Bernard Thomann on http://www.booksandideas.net/Are-Asian-Economies-Converging.html

Too Much. Too Short. Too Wild. Overexposed.


Capitalism and Inequality –What the Right and the Left Get Wrong

Inequality is indeed increasing almost everywhere in the postindustrial capitalist world. But despite what many on the left think, this is not the result of politics, nor is politics likely to reverse it, for the problem is more deeply rooted and intractable than generally recognized. Inequality is an inevitable product of capitalist activity, and expanding equality of opportunity only increases it -- because some individuals and communities are simply better able than others to exploit the opportunities for development and advancement that capitalism affords. Despite what many on the right think, however, this is a problem for everybody, not just those who are doing poorly or those who are ideologically committed to egalitarianism -- because if left unaddressed, rising inequality and economic insecurity can erode social order and generate a populist backlash against the capitalist system at large. By Jerry Z. Muller in Foreign Affairs: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138844/jerry-z-muller/capitalism-and-inequality.

Too Wild. Too Much.


Break up the EU... before Europe breaks down completely

European flagOne thing is for sure, the countdown to the end of Europe as we know it has begun. Whatever top Eurocrats may say, the EU is spiralling downward and there’s no way to stop this trend, either by holding the nth Franco-German summit or by signing or amending another treaty. By Mike Guillaume (October 2015). Read the article here.

Too Much. Alternatives.


The Case for Brexit

Most commentators, backed by international elite opinion, write as if leaving the EU would constitute a momentous, historical step for the UK. They’re wrong. Normal self-government would simply be resumed -and it is normal for nations to run their own affairs. By LSE Professor Alan Sked. In The National Interest (October 21, 2015) http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-case-brexit-14109

Too Much. Alternatives.

By sheer coincidence and thus not one trace of plagiarism, the two above articles, written by authors (Mike Guillaume and Alan Sked) who don’t know each other, were published on the same week. Bar a few differences, it’s worth noting the often striking similarity of ideas, wording and tone of both pieces.


The left must put Britain's EU withdrawal on the agenda

Progressives should be appalled by European Union’s ruination of Greece. It’s time to reclaim the Eurosceptic cause. By Owen Jones, in The Guardian (July 14, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/14/left-reject-eu-greece-eurosceptic



Phillip Blond: “We’re looking at a complete collapse of standard left and right ideologies”

Traditional political and economic models have been challenged by their inability to predict the financial crisis and their failure to bring about a return to prosperity. In an interview with EUROPP’s Managing Editor Stuart Brown, Phillip Blond discusses the collapse of left-wing and right-wing ideologies, the new majorities that may take their place... http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/04/30/five-minutes-with-phillip-blond-were-looking-at-a-complete-collapse-of-standard-left-and-right-ideologies



Why centrism doesn’t work for minor parties

Centrism can work as a strategy, but usually only for major parties. A centrist position can work as a short term electoral strategy for the main parties of the left and right, but for most minor parties, it doesn’t work at all. By Paul Pettinger on



The winds are changing: a new left populism for Europe

A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of populism. This time it is not the far right populism of Haider, Le Pen and Farage, but a new left populism challenging not just the parties of the right but also the social-democratic parties and the traditional parties on the left.
While the victory of Syriza has turned everybody’s attention to Greece these days, the new radical populist left is on the rise elsewhere as well, above all in Spain with local and national elections coming up in 2015. Even beyond the radical left, social-democrats have started to be more outspoken against European austerity and neoliberal policies. By Marina Prentoulis and Lasse Thomassen, on OpenDemocracy site (27 January 2015). https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/marina-prentoulis-lasse-thomassen/winds-are-changing-new-left-populism-for-europe



The crucifixion of Greece is killing the European project

This attempt to turn Athens into a debt colony will fail – and open the way to the breakup of the eurozone. Writes The Guardian columnist Seumas Milne (July 16, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/16/crucifixion-greece-killing-european-project-debt-colony-breakup-eurozone

Too Big. Too Wild. Too Much. Too Short.


Populism and liberal democracy: is Greece the exception or the future of Europe?

Cas Mudde: I don’t think that the current social democratic parties can rejuvenate themselves, because the vast majority of the current leadership has been socialised under the Third Way. They are not fundamentally social democrats, they are, fundamentally, liberals. I believe that in many countries, existing social democratic parties are dying; the Netherlands is the best example. The reform will not come from them.
So, what we need are truly new, social democratic parties. Social democracy has to be reinvented, but solidarity should be a key value in it. Solidarity is a key term for social democracy. You can’t have social democracy without it. State control of parts of the economy is fundamental, as is redistribution. If you don’t have these things, you don’t have social democracy.

On Open Democracy site (29 April 2015): https://opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/antonis-galanopoulos/interview-with-cas-mudde-populism-and-liberal-democracy-is-greece-exception-or-



Jeffrey Sachs: “The old economic models don’t apply in the 21st century”

For a long time the debate between free-market and Keynesian economics has raged. But in the 21st century, we need a whole new way of considering the economy. By Jeffrey Sachs on http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2014/12/03/4140646.htm.



Catherine Audard: “Le ‘nouveau’ libéralisme »

Le libéralisme survivra-t-il à la crise économique et financière ? Les pronostics se multiplient mais il est difficile de percevoir les réalignements idéologiques en cours. Au début du XXe siècle déjà, une autre crise du capitalisme donna naissance à un courant intellectuel et politique, le « nouveau » libéralisme, dont Keynes fut l’un des héritiers. La philosophe Catherine Audard retrace l’histoire de cette refondation. Dans http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Le-nouveau-liberalisme.html.



Une idéologie à la source de nos problèmes : le néolibéralisme

Des économistes du FMI se demandaient récemment si le néolibéralisme n'avait pas été surestimé (voir leur texte ici). Leur texte était - évidemment - plein de précautions. Celui traduit ci-dessous n'en comporte aucune. Il est assez saisissant de se dire qu'il provient du Guardian britannique. L'intérêt du texte, mais plus encore la liberté du ton méritait une mise à disposition en français. Texte de George Monbiot traduit par Monique Plaza sur L’Arène Nue, blog de Coralie Delaume (16 juin 2016).

Too Wild. Too Big. Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Too Much.


Sweden : From Welfare State to Failed State ? From Social Democracy to “Consensual Dictatorship”?

A clean slate
Sweden's "December Agreement" may be fairly described as a soft coup d'état; it has paved the way for Sweden's demise. Six of the eight political parties in parliament have simply decided to exclude from the parliamentary process the only party to oppose mass immigration and defend Swedish culture. The new system may also be described as a consensual dictatorship. Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5108/sweden-failed-state.

Too Much. Alternatives.


Are banks too large?

Large banks have grown and become more involved in market-based activities since the late 1990s. This column presents evidence that large banks receive too-big-to-fail subsidies and create systemic risk, whereas economies of scale in banking are modest. Hence, some large banks may be ‘too large’ from a social perspective. Since the optimal bank size is unknown, the best policies are capital surcharges and better bank resolution and governance. By Lev Ratnovski, Luc Laeven, Hui Tong on Vox –Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. http://www.voxeu.org/article/are-banks-too-large

Too Big. Too Short.


How much capital should banks have?

After much negotiation, Basel III regulations set capital requirements to be between 8% and 12%. This column suggests this may not be enough. It looks at how much capital banks would need to fully absorb asset shocks of the size seen in OECD countries over the last 50 years. The answer is 18% risk-weighted capital, corresponding to 9% leverage. This benchmark is highly conservative, so the true 'optimal' bank capital may be lower. By Lev Ratnovski on Vox –Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. http://www.voxeu.org/article/how-much-capital-should-banks-have

Too Big. Too Short.


The sharing economy: a short introduction to its political evolution

Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the world’s converging crises? Not unless sharing is promoted in relation to human rights, democracy and social justice, writes Adam Parsons on Open Democracy’s website. http://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/adam-parsons/sharing-economy-short-introduction-to-its-political-evolution



In search of capitalism 2.0

A clean slate
A stimulating essay by Michael Townsend and Brad Zarnett.
The financial crisis has lifted the veil on capitalism, exposing its inherent frailties, but there is cause for hope. There is much good work going on, with people and organisations exploring new posibilities, in search of better forms of capitalism or a new economy - towards a fairer and more sustainable world. It is also possible to see the pieces of a very interesting jigsaw coming together, bringing into focus an attractive picture of a new operating system - and so we invite you to join is, on our journey in search of Capitalism 2.0.



The revolution is already happening

Capitalism is at the crossroads. Since the onset of the worst financial crisis in living memory, capitalism is suffering a crisis of liquidity, reliability, and confidence. It is facing accusations of failing to create shared wealth, of neglecting the planet, of generating an ever-widening gap in our societies, and even in failing its primary allies - the shareholders. We do not have to be constrained by our current dysfunctional system of capitalism, argues Michael Townsend on Ecologist (November 28, 2013). People are already finding and implementing more attractive alternatives. A quiet revolution is under way. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2177708/the_revolution_is_already_happening.html!

Too Much. Alternatives.


Is Social Conservatism Conservative?

At first sight and on primordial prejudice, social conservatism is coded as a right-wing, sectarian position focused obsessively on marriage, the nuclear family, and abortion. It is held to be contrary to human freedom, liberalism, and all the other goods we take to be self-evident. By Phillip Blond on http://www.respublica.org.uk/disraeli-room-post/2015/01/05/social-conservatism-conservative/.

Too Much. Alternatives.


Economists overvalue stock markets

The latest Nobel prize rewarded researchers who have pondered whether investors can outperform the market. The game may be fun, but too much attention has been paid to the economically pointless effort to gain an elusive and basically unethical edge. By Edward Hadas on Reuters (October 31, 2013).http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2013/10/31/economists-overvalue-stock-markets/.

Crazy Rational.


IKEA’s unauthentic concept of sustainability

The Risk-Monger aka David Zaruk lives about one kilometre from one of those monster yellow and blue box warehouses famous for tempting large populations with the pleasures of cheap, disposable furniture. While he understands and appreciates the great marketing and finance expertise (not to mention controlling a more than efficient supply chain), he has issues with the IKEA PR machine that pretends that the behemoth legitimately commits to sustainability. http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2014/02/10/ikeas-unauthentic-concept-of-sustainability/ or https://www.facebook.com/riskmonger
A clean slate



Nebraska’s Community-Owned Electricity System

In the U.S., there is only one state, where every single resident and business receives electricity from a community-owned institution rather than a for-profit corporation. It is not a famously liberal state like Vermont or Massachusetts. Rather, it is conservative Nebraska, where 121 publicly-owned utilities, 10 cooperatives, and 30 public power districts provide electricity to a population of around 1.8 million people. http://community-wealth.org/content/nebraska-s-community-owned-electricity-system



Revealed –the capitalist network that runs the world

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable. New Scientist (October 24, 2011): http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

Too Big. Too Far. Exposed.


Failing elites threaten our future

Leaders richly rewarded for mediocrity cannot be relied upon when things go wrong, writes Martin Wolf in the Financial Times (January 14, 2014).

Too Far. Too Selfish. Too Much.


The sharing economy spooking big business

A plethora of businesses are buying into the collaborative consumption model. It’s an economic model based on access rather than ownership. http://theconversation.com/the-sharing-economy-spooking-big-business-19541!



How Finance Gutted Manufacturing

Since the 1980s, financial market pressures have driven companies to hive off activities that sustained manufacturing. By Suzanne Berger et al. In the Boston Review (April 1, 2014). http://www.bostonreview.net/forum/suzanne-berger-how-finance-gutted-manufacturing

Too Short. Crazy Rational.


Youth unemployment in the global context

This report by The Work Foundation (Lancaster University) looks at youth unemployment internationally, placing a spotlight on Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia, all of which have maintained consistently low levels of youth unemployment despite the economic downturn. The full report (published in January 2013) can be downloaded at http://www.theworkfoundation.com/Reports/329/International-Lessons-youth-unemployment-in-the-global-context.

Too Wild.

quinn.anya - Flickr CC


Europe: A crisis of the centre

Unemployment, austerity, depressed communities and the failing narrative of the liberal centre in European politics is not some endless stasis to which the continent is condemned. It is producing political instability. An interesting perspective by Paul Mason, Economics editor on BBC News. Read on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17828278.

Too Much. Alternatives.


Why Europe is floundering

The greatest danger facing Europe today is the inflexible determination of European elites to save the euro. While it is still possible that Greece will exit with unpredictable consequences, fears that the currency could collapse have retreated since the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, committed himself in July to doing “whatever it takes” to shore up the rickety structure. Writes John Gray in The Guardian (October 17, 2012). http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/17/europe-sinister-currency-elites-eurozone?


Spain keeps hawkish eye on Greece as southern solidarity crumbles

Viewed from Madrid, the political faultline in the eurozone runs not between a prosperous north and a crisis-ridden south, but between countries that have done their economic homework and those that have not. By Tobias Buck in Financial Times (February 3, 2015). Worthwhile readers’ comments too.

Too Wild. Overexposed.

L’Union européenne est née d’une idée généreuse mais vague : faire advenir « la Paix ». Ceci ne suffit pas à constituer un projet politique. Paradoxalement, le défaut de projet n’a pas empêché la multiplication des institutions technocrates chargées de le mettre en œuvre. On a fabriqué des outils avant d’en déterminer l’usage. Fortes d’un désengagement complice des Etats européens, ces institutions se sont désormais affranchies. Leur principale raison d’être est à présent de créer de la contrainte voire de la coercition. Ce faisant, elles contribuent à vider progressivement de leur substance les Etats membres de l’Union... Partout ailleurs, la démission du politique est devenue la règle. Elle s’accompagne le plus souvent d’une crise économique effroyable. Une situation que les peuples acceptent de plus en plus mal, sentant bien qu’au nom de « la Paix », on leur demande d’entériner tout à la fois leur appauvrissement, et l’abandon de leur souveraineté. Epuisés par la rigueur économique, de plus en plus défiants vis-à-vis de la construction européenne, ceux-ci ne comptent plus sur leurs dirigeants pour tâcher d’en infléchir le cours. C’est ce qu’écrit Coralie Delaume. http://l-arene-nue.blogspot.fr/

Too Far. Too Much. Overexposed. Crazy Rational. Lies.


The work of J.S. Mill shows the danger in eliminating the differences between European nations

Simon Glendinning writes on the English philosopher John Stuart Mill’s views on Europe. He notes that Mill saw Britain as being very much a part of Europe, but that he also recognised important differences between European nations. Far from seeing these differences as a weakness, however, Mill viewed them as part of Europe’s strength. While some academics have called for greater integration and the creation of a federal European state, Mill’s work suggests that Europe would be stronger as an ‘enduring multiplicity’ of sovereign nations. On London School of Economics Europpblog: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/09/30/the-work-of-j-s-mill-shows-the-danger-in-eliminating-the-differences-between-european-nations/

Lies. Alternatives.


'België is mislukt, dus Europa zal niet slagen'

Cultuurhistoricus Thomas von der Dunk ziet met lede ogen aan hoe de hoge heren in Brussel de realiteit uit het oog verliezen. 'Waarop baseren de heren het waandenkbeeld dat wat in twee eeuwen niet is gelukt in België, met twee volken die behalve de moedertaal vrijwel alles met elkaar gemeen hebben, wel in pakweg twee jaar zou kunnen met dertig volkeren die heel wat meer van elkaar verschillen?' http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/6178/Thomas-von-der-Dunk/article/detail/3334874/2012/10/20/Belgie-is-mislukt-dus-Europa-zal-niet-slagen.dhtml

Too Far. Too Much. Overexposed.

En finier avec l'Europe

«La première tentative raisonnée de ce que l’on appelle la « gauche de la gauche » de s’attaquer au mythe européen ». C'est ainsi que l'économiste Jacques Sapir qualifie l'ouvrage collectif par Cédric Durand, En finir avec l'Europe (La Fabrique, mai 2013). On est moins prompt, à la « gauche de la gauche », à critiquer l'idée européenne. La tradition internationaliste rend la chose difficile. La contestation, qui se révèle souvent vague et générale, se focalise sur le caractère « néolibéral »de l’Union européenne, et demeure en retrait quant aux les ruptures préconisées. Sur « L’arène nue », blog de Coralie Delaume sur http://www.marianne.net/l-arene-nue/Faut-il-En-finir-avec-l-Europe_a117.html.



Krugman’s ideas to escape the financial crisis

The American economist has a plan to escape the financial crisis, and it doesn't involve austerity measures or deregulating the banks. But will policy-makers, including our coalition government, heed his advice? A very good article by Decca Aitkenhead in The Guardian (June 3, 2012): http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/03/paul-krugman-cassandra-economist-crisis


Krugman’s book cover


How Keynes would solve the eurozone crisis

As opposed to the German (bank)'s view, "Keynes held that both creditors and debtors should share the task of getting economies out of holes they had jointly dug."
By Marcus Miller and Robert Skidelsky. On http://www.ft.com (May 15, 2012).



The overstated inflation danger

By Martin Wolf, in the Financial Times (July 11, 2013).

Crazy Rational.


The ultimate Davos debate: Marx takes on Keynes, Friedman and Schumacher

If you could construct the best panel at a World Economic Forum debate, this would be it. But what would they say about present problems? Read on in The Guardian Economics Blog by Larry Elliott. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2013/jan/27/ultimate-davos-debate-marx-keynes



Come Home, America

Realists contend that if we quit defending access to the world’s natural resources — read, oil — nobody else would. Really?... But America was prosperous long before it was a superpower; by 1890, decades before the two world wars, it was already the world’s largest and richest economy. We do not need a large military to be rich. Quite the opposite: it drains our resources. Op-Ed by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, a professor of American foreign relations at San Diego State University and author of “American Umpire”. In the New York Times (March 5, 2013).

Too Wild.


The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and the Role of Government

Richard Murphy book
In The Courageous State, Richard Murphy argues that neoliberalism has bred weak governments led by weak politicians who believe implicitly in the supremacy of the market. It has created a cowardly state: a state that sees responsibility and then runs away from it. Worse, the weak politicians who run our cowardly state want power solely to ensure that as much tax revenue as possible is used to benefit the private sector that they idolise. The Courageous State argues powerfully for a new economic model. That model is based on a very different idea of what the role of the state is. More at: http://www.searchingfinance.com/products/soon-to-be-published/the-courageous-state-rethinking-economics-society-and-the-role-of-government.html



Forget Europe – the markets hold the real unaccountable power

An unholy matrimony between finance and politics has undermined democracy, writes Mark Serwotka in The Guardian (‘January 24, 2013). http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/24/forget-europe-markets-power-finance-democracy

Too Far. Too Much. Too Selfish. Overexposed.


What we fail to teach our kids about money

teach kids money
By Andy Golding, with special contributions from Dr.Trevor Lee, @CoffeeCurls and Paul LucraftAndy
Golding can't make you a millionaire, but this is what he can do:

  • To get you thinking about money, your choices and options.
  • To help you develop an early warning system for your financial problems.
  • To get past some of the myths about money and to give an insight into the thinking at your bank.



The callous cruelty of the EU is destroying Greece

The turning point may have come this week with the latest intervention by Brussels: bureaucrats are threatening to bankrupt an entire country unless opposition parties promise to support the EU-backed austerity plan. By Peter Osborne in the Daily Telegraph (February 15, 2012).

Too Wild. Too Much.


Europe’s Crisis: Beyond Finance

Everyone is wondering about the next disaster to befall Europe. The financial crisis has several outcomes, all bad. The European crisis is one of sovereignty, cultural identity and the legitimacy of the elite. A perceptive analysis by George Friedman on STRATFOR. Read more: Europe's Crisis: Beyond Finance | STRATFOR

Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


Research suggests ways to avoid financial crises

Officials should have the power to limit mortgages, apply tougher liquidity rules and cap banks’ leverage in order to prevent financial crises. By Claire Jones and Brooke Masters, in the Financial Times (December 20, 2011).



Democracy put to the test – La democracia puesta a prueba

In what looks like a new phase of the crisis, the tensions generated by the euro crisis are starting to destabilise European democracies. Almost two years of doubts and divisions, of a lack of the courage and political vision needed to adopt a European solution, are fuelling popular disaffection – as much towards national democracies as towards the European project itself. By José Ignacio Torreblanca on Open Democracy. Article first published in El Pais (November 13, 2011). Read the full article in English on: http://www.opendemocracy.net/jos%C3%A9-ignacio-torreblanca/democracy-put-to-test or in Spanish on http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/democracia/puesta/prueba/elpepiint/20111113elpepiint_9/Tes.

Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Interdependence. Lies.


Europeans migrate south as continent drifts deeper into crisis

Tens of thousands of Irish, Greek and Portuguese people leave in search of a new life as the eurozone's woes worsen. The Guardian (December 21, 2011). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/21/europe-migrants-crisis-irish-portuguese

Too Wild. Too Much.


How Freedom Became Tyranny

Rightwing libertarians have turned “freedom” into an excuse for greed and exploitation, writes George Monbiot: http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/19/how-freedom-became-tyranny/.

Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Too Much.


Does the EU bailout deal stand up to scrutiny?

Guardian’s Economics Blog (October 27, 2011): Any deal was better than no deal last night; but in the cold light of day, the question of why China would want to get involved in bankrolling the eurozone's unmanageable debts was just one of the questions emerging. Read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2011/oct/27/eu-bailout-deal-scrutiny-critics.

Too Big. Too Short. Interdependence. Lies. Alternatives.


The end of the euro?

More broadly, and more worryingly, recent developments significantly raise the (long-term) risk of a euro break-up, in our view. That’s what some Morgan Stanley analysts declared. From http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/04/15/.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


The cold, hard truth: the Euro is finished

By Frances Coppola on http://coppolacomment.blogspot.com/2011/10/cold-hard-truth.html. A summary version was also published on Liberal Conspiracy at http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/10/25/the-cold-hard-truth-the-euro-is-finished/#comment-325040, generating a heated discussion on the days before and after the October 27 EU deal.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


The futile attempt to save the eurozone

By Samuel Brittan in the Financial Times (November 4, 2010). Read on http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/def42cae-e84b-11df-8995-00144feab49a.html#axzz14OWNbezW.

Too Far. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


The Eurozone Heads for Break Up

The eurozone was glued together by the convergence of low real interest rates sustaining growth, the hope that reforms could maintain convergence; and the prospect of eventual fiscal and political union. But now convergence is gone, reform is stalled, while fiscal and political union is a distant dream. Writes Nouriel Roubini: http://www.economonitor.com/nouriel/2011/06/13/the-eurozone-heads-for-break-up/.

Too Far. Too Big. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


The Hole in Europe’s Bucket

By Paul Krugman in the New York Times (October 23, 2011). Krugman writes: For as one rescue plan after another falls flat, Europe’s Very Serious People… just keep looking more and more ridiculous… the European elite, in its arrogance, locked the Continent into a monetary system that recreated the rigidities of the gold standard, and — like the gold standard in the 1930s — has turned into a deadly trap.

Too Far. Too Big. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


The graphs that show why Europe is on the verge of collapse

For anyone who thinks that crushing the Greeks with even more debt and even more austerity will somehow ‘save’ europe’s insolvent banks here from Reuters is why it won’t.
This isn’t the fabled public debt wracked up by countless lazy, feckless layabouts doing nothing and expecting to be given flat screen televisions and hospital care they don’t deserve. This is debt created by, agreed to and marketed by private bankers throughout Europe – for which they received massive bonuses.
Read more from David Malone on Liberal Conspiracy and watch the charts from Reuters (links in article). http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/09/19/the-graphs-that-show-why-europe-is-on-the-verge-of-collapse/

Too Far. Too Big. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


Henkel: “Der Euro war ein Fehler

Hans-Olaf Henkel war selbst "enthusiastischer Befürworter" des Euro. Nun attestiert der Ex-BDI-Chef der Währungsgemeinschaft schwere Konstruktionsfehler, warnt vor dem europäischen Zentralstaat und rechnet mit den ehemaligen Weggefährten in der Politik ab. 15 Juni 2011.; http://www.euractiv.de/finanzen-und-wachstum/artikel/henkel-die-euro-zone-war-ein-fehler-004957


A sceptic’s solution – a breakaway currency

Former Henkel’s chairman writes: Having been an early supporter of the euro, I now consider my engagement to be the biggest professional mistake I ever made. But I do have a solution to the escalating crisis. In Financial Times, August 29, 2011.

Too Far. Too Big. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Alternatives..


Can the EU survive?

Just for once, this is not a question best left to the Poli Sci. Because the main forces will be money/macro. For nearly two years now, I've been worried that one or more of the Eurozone countries might do an Argentina. I've been asking whether the Eurozone could survive.. I think it's time to change the question. Can the EU survive? A Canadian perspective from Nick Rowe (November 26, 2010). Read it at http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2010/11/can-the-eu-survive.html#more.

Too Short. Too Big. Lies. Crazy Rational.


(Why) could Scotland (not) be independent?

Blueprint for Scottish independence launched (November 26, 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/26/scottish-indpendence-fairer-prosperous-alex-salmond

Too Big. Overexposed.


The Scottish Side of History

The world is moving towards more, smaller states. That's a good thing: the Scottish referendum as seen from Tuscany, half a century after Scottish theorist Tom Nairn's visit to Pisa. Mauro Vaiani writes in http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/mauro-vaiani/scottish-side-of-history.

Overexposed. Alternatives.


The European dream is in danger: prepare for another rude awakening

Today the political elites of Europe stand in danger once again of destroying a dream. They have convinced themselves the single currency and the European Union are the same project, and that the collapse of either would be the end of the world they know. Therefore it cannot end. This fallacy is now about to be tested, writes Paul Mason in the Guardian (May 24, 2011). Read on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/24/european-dream-single-currency.

Too Big. Crazy Rational. Interdependence. Lies.


Hasn’t time come to consider a eurozone break-up?

Asks Mike Guillaume in the Economists Professional Network group on LinkedIn. “Have your thought about the costs?” replies Silvia Holgado Gomez. Read the heated discussion on http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=2048967&type=member&item=53349007&qid=839ce558-e6ab-4884-9c9f-358eefeed4fd&goback=%2Egmp_2048967.

Too Big. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Why the eurozone will survive

By Martin Wolf, in the Financial Times (March 9, 2011).

Too Big. Crazy Rational. Alternatives.


Q&A: How did the euro zone get into its debt mess?

By Robin Emmott on Reuters (Sep. 20, 2011): http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/20/us-imf-eurozone-origins-idUSTRE78J3M620110920.

Too Big. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.

Europe debt


Zone euro: le remède va-t-il tuer le malade?

L'équation, de plus en plus insoluble, incite à réfléchir à un changement de cap. La zone euro a-t-elle choisi la bonne stratégie? Interroge Adrien de Tricornot dans “Le Monde” (4 avril 2011). Lire: http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2011/04/04/zone-euro-le-remede-va-t-il-tuer-le-malade_1502573_3234.html#ens_id=1090253.

Too Big. Lies. Crazy Rational. Alternatives.


Pourquoi faut-il que les Etats payent 600 fois plus que les banques ?

Bloomberg montre que la Réserve fédérale a secrètement prêté aux banques en difficulté la somme de 1 200 milliards au taux incroyablement bas de 0,01 %. Au même moment, dans de nombreux pays, les peuples souffrent des plans d'austérité imposés par des gouvernements auxquels les marchés financiers n'acceptent plus de prêter quelques milliards à des taux d'intérêt inférieurs à 6, 7 ou 9 % ! Il faut en finir avec le deux poids, deux mesures : en nous inspirant de ce qu'a fait la banque centrale américaine pour sauver le système financier, nous proposons que la "vieille dette" de nos Etats puisse être refinancée à des taux proches de 0 %. Par Michel Rocard, ancien premier ministre français, et Pierre Larrouturou, économiste, dans Le Monde (2 janv. 2012): http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2012/01/02/pourquoi-faut-il-que-les-etats-payent-600-fois-plus-que-les-banques_1624815_3232.html

Too Big. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational. Alternatives.


Sortir de l’euro: un chiffrage pour la France (Leaving the eurozone : a cost estimate for France)

Le chiffrage de l’impact de la sortie de la zone Euro est extrêmement fragile. Le chiffrage correspond à une estimation de l’impact économique de la mesure proposée. Les effets sur les finances publiques du choc économique occasionné sont, à terme, beaucoup plus importants que l’impact budgétaire direct. Par l’Institut Montaigne : http://www.chiffrages-dechiffrages2012.fr/blog/2011/12/12/proposition-sortir-de-l%e2%80%99euro/.


Sortir de l’euro ou mourir à petit feu (Alain Cotta)

Alain Cotta, professeur d’économie à HEC, qui avait déjà fait part de son scepticisme sur le traité de Maastricht, dès 1992. Il revient à la charge avec un ouvrage, où il est question du sort de l’euro. Une monnaie unique qui ne fait plus l’unanimité et qu’il faut quitter, pour revenir à une monnaie commune ou au franc. Résumé sur: http://fortune.fdesouche.com/21139-alain-cotta-il-faut-sortir-de-leuro-et-vite.

Too Big. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational. Alternatives.


The Eurozone Endgame: Four Scenarios

Ultimately, there will be a eurozone will greater shared fiscal authority, a common cross-border resolution authority for failed banks, and likely greater economic integration. But there are four scenarios regarding who ends up in that eurozone – and how we get there. By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson in http://baselinescenario.com/2010/11/28/the-eurozone-endgame-four-scenarios/.

Too Wild. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Alternatives.


The road to self-destruction of the eurozone

At recent European Council meeting, the member countries of the eurozone have agreed to introduce a sovereign debt default mechanism. They even seem to be willing to codify this into a new treaty. This is a bad decision that will make the eurozone more fragile by making financial crises an endemic feature of the eurozone, very much like the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) that existed in the EU prior to the start of the eurozone. By Paul De Grauwe, on http://www.eurointelligence.com/
(November 18, 2010).

Too Short. Crazy Rational.

A Money Too Far


A Money Too Far

By Paul Krugman, in the New York Times (May 6, 2010).

Too Big. Interdependence. Lies.


Zone euro: de la convergence à l’éclatement?

Les premières années del’euro pouvaient laisser penser que les règles prévues par les traits suffiraient à assurer la convergence des economies sans nouveaux abandons de souveraineté nationale. La crise de 2008 a fait voler en éclats cet optimisme. Dans Alternatives Economiques (Octobre 2010).

Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


The benefits of a eurozone breakup

So that is why we are saying if you could just break up this sort of corset that is holding the whole thing in, we would have more growth all around. Everybody would better off, states Christopher Smallwood, economist at Capital Economics (http://www.capitaleconomics.com/). Read the interview on Bloomberg on http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/analyst-wire/mi_8077/is_20100712/christopher-smallwood-economist-capital-economics/ai_n54421867/.

Too Far. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Don’t blame the euro

With all the turbulence rocking the financial markets and the sharp drop in the euro’s exchange rate, you could almost forget that the single European currency has been quite a success, says Heleen Mees on http://www.eurointelligence.com/.

Too Far. Too Short Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


This is a crisis of the banking system, not the euro

The problem is partly that the causes of the crisis are misdiagnosed. This is primarily a crisis not of the euro, but of the global financial system. Not long ago, market fears focused on the dollar and the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing. And the key issue in Europe now is not the merits of the single currency but the parlous state of its banking system. States Philippe Legrain on http://www.eurointelligence.com/article/article/this-is-a-crisis-of-the-banking-system-not-the-euro.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=901&cHash=bd460ba1ff3d57300c4aefb17a30435b.

Too Big. Too Short Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Faut-il sauver notre très cher euro?

le sauvetage de la monnaie unique coûte bien trop cher à l'Europe, et s'en affranchir pourrait nous éviter la catastrophe, écrit le Blogueur Associé sur http://www.marianne2.fr/ (12 mai 2010).

Too Far. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Fixing the Flaws in the Eurozone

With news that Ireland has applied for a bailout worth tens of billions or euros, the dark predictions for the future of the Eurozone grow ever bleaker. This column argues that the problems in the Eurozone’s periphery expose a flaw in its design. It proposes that the ECB set different interest rates for different member countries to help make matters better before they get any worse. By Stanley W Black (November 23, 2010). ON http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/5838.

Too Far. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Befrieren Sie den Euro

Seit Tagen präsentiert sich die EU als Retter: Wir helfen Irland! Doch hinter den Kulissen wird hart gerungen, die Gemeinschaftswährung schwebt längst wieder in Lebensgefahr. Und der alte Kontinent hat keinen Plan, wie er sie retten soll. Von Peter Ehrlich und Claus Hecking (November 18, 2010): http://www.ftd.de/politik/europa/:agenda-befreien-sie-den-euro/50195693.html

Too Short. Too Big. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


The Making of a Euromess

The real story behind Europe's troubles lies not in the deficit but in the policy elites who pushed the Continent into adopting a single currency before it was ready. By Paul Krugman in the New York Times (February 14, 2010). Read the Op-Ed on http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/opinion/15krugman.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Eurozone meltdown

Eight scenarios how the unthinkable might happen. In this briefing note we are asking whether the euro area could ever break up. We think not. But we are not as certain as we used to be. A download of this very interesting paper (published in April 2009) may be done from http://www.eurointelligence.com/.

Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Germany's Merkel: She's Got the Whole Euro in Her Hands

As head of Europe's biggest economy and the country that has ladled out billions to support the European Union, she has emerged as the key player in the drive to save Greece from default. Good analysis in BusinessWeek (February 17, 2010) on http://www.businessweek.com/.


Angela Merkel has the whip hand in an orgy of austerity

The notion that economic pain is the only route to pleasure was once the preserve of the British public school-educated elite, now it's European economic policy. By Larry Elliott, economics editor in the Guardian (January 8, 2012): http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2012/jan/08/eurozone-crisis-angela-merkel-whip-hand?CMP=twt_fd


Germany's choice

Germany faces two alternatives: Relax the terms of the EU rescue packages or to allow crisis countries to write down their heavy debt, with losses for German banks and elsewhere. By Barry Eichengreen on http://www.eurointelligence.com/article/article/germanys-choice.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=901&cHash=af3031639a3b431f7d237567c3dd066d.


Work more, play less, Merkel tells southern Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has responded to voter anger about eurozone bailouts by saying that people in southern Europe should retire later and take fewer holidays, press reports said on Wednesday (http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/finance-economy.a17, May 18, 2011).


Deutschland über Europa

Up to recently, the German policy, whatever the government, could be summed up as: “What’s good for Europe is good for Germany.” The shift of these last weeks is increasingly regarded as a move in a more self-centred direction. Or : “What’s good for Germany should be good for Europe.” By Mike Guillaume. For the PDF click here.

Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence.

How Germany could come to kill the euroHow Germany could come to kill the euro


How Germany could come to kill the euro

By Gideon Rachman, in the Financial Times (November 22, 2010).

Too Big. Too Short. Too Selfish. Too Far. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Germany: Looking for Bismarck

The current crisis is providing Germany with one of the best opportunities to make its control over the eurozone explicit, before its own demographic problems catch up with it. Germany essentially has a limited window of opportunity in the next 10 years to make or break its leadership of the European Union and therefore its claim to global relevancy. Wrote Stratfor e-mail news (March 26, 2010). More on http://www.stratfor.com

Too Wild. Too Far. Interdependence.


Why Germany cannot be a model for the eurozone

By Martin Wolf, in the Financial Times (March 30, 2010). On http://www.ft.com.

Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence.


Pour sauver la zone euro, il faut que l’Allemagne la quitte

L'Allemagne profite de l'euro pour acheter pas cher à l'extérieur, et revendre cher dans la zone euro. Cela représente 45% de ses exportations et pénalise les autres pays, dont la France. Comment faire? Par Bernard Maris, économiste, sur http://www.marianne2.fr/.

Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Serait-ce la catastrophe annoncée si la France sortait de la Zone Euro ?

Philippe Murer, professeur vacataire de Finance à la Sorbonne, président de l’association Manifeste pour un débat sur le Libre Echange, essaye d’examiner la question froidement, de façon technique. http://www.marianne2.fr/Serait-ce-la-catastrophe-annoncee-si-la-France-sortait-de-la-Zone-Euro_a213023.html



Les piig’s ou l’Europe des Untermenschen

Roland Hureaux s'inquiète du succès de l'expression «piig's», qui stigmatise les pays qui ne peuvent adopter le modèle de l'Europe du Nord. Il explique pourquoi il fallait s'en tenir à la monnaie commune et comment, en imposant l'euro, l'Union européenne a reproduit les erreurs du modèle soviétique. Lire: http://www.marianne2.fr/Les-piig-s-ou-l-Europe-des-untermenschen_a205492.html.

Too Wild. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.

Italy Debt


Scenarios of an Italian default

Among those countries exposed to liquidity crisis, Italy is the one under stronger pressures with a debt to maturity in 2012 for over €300 billion (plus, emissions of new debt). Most of it should be raised by March (more than €115 bn). By Diego Valiante on Eurointelligence (December 14, 2011): http://www.eurointelligence.com/eurointelligence-news/home/singleview/article/scenario-of-an-italian-default.html.



The challenge to German liberalism

Thilo Sarrazin… has just written what is probably the bestselling political book in postwar Europe (1m copies in hardback and counting). Everyone in Germany knows at least a simplified version of what Germany Abolishes Itself says. An in-depth review of the book, its origins and its impact by David Goodhart in Prospect Magazine (November 17, 2010): http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/11/thilo-sarrazin-germany-immigration-multiculturalism-review/.

Too Much.


La crisis del euro: El deudor reticente

La presión de sus socios (ahora acreedores) de la eurozona, temerosos del contagio hacia otros periféricos que sí tienen necesidad de financiarse ahora, ha terminado convenciendo al deudor. En http://www.elpais.com/articulo/economia/deudor/reticente/elpepieco/20101123elpepieco_2/Tes.

Too Far. Too Short. Too Much. Interdependence.

Is Ireland solvent?
dpa/picture-alliance/Karl-Josef Hildenbrand


Is Ireland solvent?

Whether or not Ireland is solvent depends on future growth and tax revenues to service the debts. We are looking at various scenarios, and assess the implications. By Wolfgang Münchau und Raphael Cottin (November 24, 2010) on http://www.eurointelligence.com/.


S&P warns of unsure future for Irish debt

By John Murray Brown, in the Financial Times (February 2, 2011).


Ireland left with nowhere to go, damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t

Consequently, it has nowhere to go. If it tightens fiscal policy to reduce the deficit, output growth will be even weaker in the short-term, pushing the deficit back up again. And if it cuts taxes or increases spending to boost economic activity, the deficit will also increase. Read on http://www.leftfootforward.org/category/sustainable-economy/.


In keeping with Halloween, here's a scary one

The Irish Government has taken a three-month holiday from borrowing, instead running down reserves of cash borrowed earlier in the year... This debate is one that we cannot join, unfortunately... We cannot do that, nor can we devalue our exchange rate, since we do not have one..., says Irish economics professor Colm McCarthy in the Irish Independent (October 31, 2010). http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/in-keeping-with-halloween-heres-a-scary-one-2401299.html.

Too Short. Too Far. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Ireland: more than half of all jobs for young men have disappeared

In total about 55% of jobs for young men have disappeared in the last three years. In some parts of the country, up to two-thirds of young men are now signing on. By Ronan Lyons on www.ronanlyons.com.

Too Far. Too Wild. Too Much. Interdependence.


An Irish default is unavoidable: the debt burden is too great

There's been an enormous national reluctance to assess whether Ireland can get through its present economic crisis without having to default and, if not, what form that default might take and the effects it would have. More on www.feasta.org.

Too Short. Too Wild. Too Much. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


Greece and Portugal should both go gracefully

By Simon Tilford in the Financial Times (May 12, 2011).


Bankers Gone Wild in Ireland... and Germany

German banks are owed $139 billion, which is 4.2 percent of German G.D.P. Where were the German regulators?... Not only has the Irish crisis blown apart the myth of the virtues of fiscal austerity during rapidly declining economic activity, but it has also illustrated that Germany’s bankers were every bit as culpable as their Irish counterparts in helping to stoke the credit bubble. By Marshall Auerback, a hedge fund manager and portfolio strategist who writes for www.newdeal20.org on Naked Capitalism (November 29, 2010): http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/11/marshall-auerback-bankers-gone-wild-in-ireland-and-germany.html.

Too Short. Too Big. Interdeoendence. Lies. Debit.


Is Italy Europe's Bigger Problem?

Nobel-winning Columbia professor Robert Mundell, considered the "father of the euro," said in an interview this week that Greece isn't Europe's biggest problem these days. He believes that honor goes to Italy. By Daniel Costello on Planet Money Blog: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/02/is_italy_europes_bigger_proble.html.

Too Far. Too Short. Interdependence.


Cinq petits cochons (Five little pigs)

Ce n'est plus seulement le titre d'un roman, c'est désormais la plus dangereuse crise de l'union européenne depuis le passage à l'euro. Les pays européens qualifiés élégamment de PIIGS (Portugal, Italie, Irlande, Grèce, Espagne) font l'objet depuis une semaine d'attaques spéculatives, marquées... surtout par des tensions sur les marchés obligataires, et une montée du cours des credit default swaps (CDS) sur les obligations publiques. Le principal pays en ligne de mire est actuellement la Grèce mais d'autres pays sont sous pression: les autres PIIGS, mais aussi la Belgique ou L'Autriche. Sur le blog d'éconoclaste: http://econoclaste.org.free.fr/dotclear/index.php/?2010/02/08/1698-cinq-petits-cochons

Too Short. Too Far. Too Wild. Interdependence.


Athens Finanzmisere bedroht europäische Banken

Für das krisengeplagte Griechenland scheint Hilfe nah. Hinter der geplanten Rettungaktion stehen auch Sorgen um den Bankensektor: Institute aus Europa sind wichtige Gläubiger des Staats und seiner Bürger, vor allem jene aus der Schweiz und Frankreich, von Christine Mai, in FT Deutschland: http://www.ftd.de/finanzen/maerkte/anleihen-devisen/:risiko-athens-finanzmisere-bedroht-europaeische-banken/50072251.html

Too Far. Interdependence.


A Greek bailout: is it legally possible and what will it cost EU taxpayers?

Open Europe argues that an EU-led bailout will come with huge economic and political risks, and will for the first time make Europe's taxpayers fully liable for an individual country's debts, while centralising new economic powers at the EU-level. Read on http://www.openeurope.org.uk/.

Too Far. Interdependence.


How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

Greek banking Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou speaking at a conference in January (www.spiegel.de) by Beat Balzli in Spiegel Online (February 8, 2010): http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/.

Too Big. Too Short. Too Far. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Crazy Rational.


Mario Draghi and Goldman Sachs, Again

The Bank of Italy pointed out that Mario Draghi (its current governor) did not join the management of Goldman Sachs until 2002 – hence he was not there when the controversial Greek “debt swaps” were arranged. We agree that he joined Goldman only in January 2002 (this was in our original post). But the latest revelations regarding the Goldman-Greece relationship (on the Senate floor, no less) clearly indicate that Goldman was a lead manager of Greek debt issues in spring 2002, i.e., when Mr. Draghi was on board. More on http://baselinescenario.com/2010/03/17/mario-draghi-and-goldman-sachs-again/.

Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Lies.


A Greek Tragedy or a European Farce? Time to Re-Write the Script

In the official account of the unfolding Greek tragedy the villain is readily identified, the plot is clear, and the dénouement inevitable, tragic, but ultimately both just and morally uplifting. The villain of the piece is Greece itself… Other leading roles in the drama are played by gullible European policymakers who admitted the country, under false pretenses, into the euro club. Cassandra is played by the European Central Bank, warning of the perils of transgressing against the iron laws of actually existing monetary union. Bondholders, 'the markets', and fiscally prudent countries have heroic roles as fearless tellers of truth to power. By Andrew Watt, on http://www.social-europe.eu/2010/02/.

Too Far. Interdependence.


Athens dinner that led to political indigestion

By Sam Jones, hedge fund correspondent, in the Financial Times (March 4, 2010).

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Lies. Crazy Rational.


What Greece Thinks About Globalization

Greece, a European country in the Mediterranean, known for its ancient culture, beautiful landscapes, and delicious food, provides a rather complex case study on globalization. A detailed review on http://www.globalization101.org/.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Too Wild. Growth Nonsense. Interdependence.


A Greek crisis is coming to America

It began in Athens. It is spreading to Lisbon and Madrid. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding will remain confined to the weaker eurozone economies. By Niail Ferguson, in the Financial Times (February 10, 2010). On http://www.ft.com/.

Too Short. Too Far. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


Grèce et déficits: la revanche des marchés sur les Etats

La gestion de la crise grecque témoigne d'un phénomène en plein essort selon l'économiste Gabriel Colletis : la défense des activités de spéculation par les financiers. Les marchés s'attaquent pour cela à une nouvelle cible : les Etats. Avec, en ligne de mire, la réduction des dépenses et du déficit public. Par Gabriel Colletis, professeur déconomie à Toulouse 1. Article: http://www.marianne2.fr/Deficit-la-revanche-des-marches-sur-les-Etats-2-2_a189579.html. Blog: http://www.mediapart.fr/club/blog/Gabriel%20Colletis.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Too Much. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


A Greek bail-out at last but no real solution. Greece will default, but not this year

By Wolfgang Munchau, in the Financial Times (April 4 and 11, 2010). On http://www.ft.com

Too Far. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Greek contagion

By Aline van Duyn, in the Financial Times (Short View) (April 7, 2010). On http://www.ft.com.

Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Greece wouldn’t find it easy to leave the Euro

The crisis threatening to spread out from Greece to the other vulnerable members of the single currency has exposed a problem. Europe has copious and precise rules for countries wishing to join the monetary union. There are no contingencies for a country that wants to leave. By Larry Elliott, Economics editor, the Guardian, on http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/29/greece-euro-debt-crisis.



The Greek crisis and the future of the eurozone

The crisis that started in Greece culminated into a crisis of the Eurozone as a whole. There is no doubt that the major responsibility rests with the Greek authorities who mismanaged their economy and deceived everybody about the true nature of their budgetary problems... This being said, there is more than one villain in the play. The financial markets and the eurozone authorities also bear part of the responsibility for letting this crisis degenerate into a systemic crisis of the eurozone. The destabilizing role of financial markets has been illustrated dramatically again... Financial markets are first blinded and see no risks, until the wake-up call and then they overreact making the resolution of the problem more difficult. By Paul De Grauwe on http://www.eurointelligence.com/article.581+M56693ac617c.0.html.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Another Greek tragedy? Time for Europhiles to admit the dream is over

It seems that from the Greek crisis, only three scenarios might occur. And all of them qualify as “worst case”. An extended version of Mike Guillaume’s article published in Lib Dem Voice (http://www.libdemvoice.org/ for the Op-Ed and the comments). For the PDF click here.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Greece and Portugal Debt Crisis, Euro An Anchor of Stability?

The world’s attention is on the fiscal malaise in Greece and Portugal. In our assessment, what we see unfolding is a sign of greater instability to come. That said, writing off the euro may be premature; as global dynamics play out, we believe the euro may yet prove to be an anchor of stability. That’s what Axel Merk thinks. Read his full article on http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article17091.html.


EU warns Portugal and says bloc needs permanent crisis fund

By Andrew Willis, on http://euobserver.com/9/29861 (April 14, 2010)

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Das Hellas-Komplott

Monatelang haben Politiker und Notenbanker um Hilfen für Griechenland gerungen. Sie waren Getriebene: Während sie kämpften und stritten, spekulierten Hedge-Fonds und Banken gnadenlos gegen den Pleitekandidaten und den Euro. Chronik eines europäischen Dramas. In http://www.ftd.de/politik/europa/ (April 26, 2010).

Too Short. Too Far. Interdependence. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Three years on –and the markets are masters again

Families are paying the bankers’ bills through rising taxes, shabbier public services and higher unemployment, comments Philip Stephens in the Financial Times (July 30, 2010).

Too Short. Too Greedy. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Bank’s riskier activities were economically useless

Adair Turner, chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority (in a speech at Oxford Cass Business School, on March 17, 2010)

Too Much. Too Short. Lies.


Il faut définanciariser l’économie

Il faut considérer que les prix financiers ne fournissent pas de bons signaux aux acteurs économiques. C'est cette inadéquation des prix financiers qui est à l'origine des déséquilibres que nous connaissons, y compris macroéconomiques. Si ce diagnostic est exact, alors le capitalisme financiarisé, qui a pour trait distinctif de faire jouer un rôle central aux prix financiers dans sa régulation, doit être abandonné. Par André Orléan, directeur d'études à l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), dans « Le Monde » (06/12/2011).

Too Short. Crazy Rational.

A New Middle East?A New Middle East?


A New Middle East?

Long characterized as region run by autocratic leaders, the Middle East is on the dawn of a new era. Is or was? Read more at http://www.globalization101.org/news1/Middle_East (The Levin Institute, The State University of New York).

Too Much. Too Wild. Alternatives.


Arab Spring, Islamist Summer … Feminist Fall?

Nine months after the overthrow of the former president, Tunisia has voted in the first open and fair election in the region. In part one of a three part article Kristine Goulding asks: Is a Tunisian feminist fall, driven by local, national and international support, possible? Or will countervailing forces of politics, social pressure and religion prevail? See e.g.: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kristine-goulding/tunisia-womens-winter-of-discontent and http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,800447,00.html.


Twitter sells major stake to Murdoch-linked Saudi prince

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Arab world's richest man, sinks £300m into site, acquiring 37.5% of Twitter shares. More at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-19/prince-alwaleed-kingdom-pay-300-million-for-strategic-stake-in-twitter.html and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/20/twitter-shareholder-rupert-murdoch

American Debit.


Arab spring will not see an economic bloom

By Arvind Subramanian, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in the Financial Times (February 22, 2011)).

Too Selfish. Too Greedy.


Arab Spring, American Fall

In the Arab Spring, popular movements seized the day. In America, it will in all probability take a major collapse of the financial system itself, brought about not by protest but by internal contradictions, for any meaningful change to occur. By Jim Garrison, on The Huffington Post (November 30, 2011): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-garrison/arab-spring-american-fall_b_1120902.html

Too Much. American Debit.


How much oil does Saudi Arabia actually have?

Is it 260bn or 550bn barrels? Should we believe the Americans or the Saudis? The answer may lie in the provenance of the information. By John Vidal, in Environment Blog on http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/feb/15/oil-saudi-arabia-reserves.

Too Much. Lies. Growth Nonsense.


We won't trouble Saudi's tyrants with calls to reform while we crave their oil

Did we miss it, or do they believe that change is less necessary in Saudi Arabia than it is in Libya? If so, on what grounds? The democracy index published by the Economist Intelligence Unit places Libya 158th out of 167, and Saudi Arabia 160th. At least in Libya, for all the cruelties of that regime, women are not officially treated as lepers were in medieval Europe. By George Monbiot, in The Guardian (March 15, 2011): http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/15/no-call-for-reform-saudi-oil?commentpage=last#end-of-comments.

Too Much. Lies. Growth Nonsense.

CO2 emissions since 1820
Source: National Geographic.


CO2 emissions since 1820

Watch the graph on http://www.gapminder.org.

Too Much. Too Wild. Growth Nonsense.


The Moral Case for Nuclear Power

Abandoning nuclear at a time of escalating emissions is far more dangerous than maintaining it, states George Monbiot in the Guardian (August 8, 2011). Read a short version on http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/aug/08/greens-renewables-climate-change and the full article at http://www.monbiot.com/2011/08/08/the-moral-case-for-nuclear-power/.

Growth Nonsense. Alternatives.


Global carbon emissions to rise 43 percent by 2035, says US report

Global emissions of carbon dioxide will grow by 43 per cent by 2035 if current patterns of energy usage continue and no global restrictions are applied, according to the latest figures from the US Energy Information Administration.
The emissions rise will be driven by a 49 per cent increase in the world’s energy consumption over the same period. Developing Asia will account for 35 per cent of the increase. From: http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2263703/global-carbon-emissions-rise.

Too Much. Too Selfish.


The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused by just 90 companies

Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/20/90-companies-man-made-global-warming-emissions-climate-change!

Bad Growth.


Climate Change and Peak Oil are Intimately Related and Require Urgent Action

Due to continued government inaction around the world, climate change and peak oil (oil depletion) are now fast looming as two of the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity. By Greg Grochola on http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/2010/11/climate-change-and-peak-oil-are.html.

Too Much. Too Selfish. Growth Nonsense.


Climate Skeptic Refutes Self, Confirms Antartica Warming

If the ice on Antarctica melts, the oceans will rise several meters, inundating low islands and coastal regions. There is a controversy about the rate at which Antarctica is warming. Read at: http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/.

Too Much. Too Wild. Too Selfish. Growth Nonsense.


Not only governments are to blame for exploding government debts

Although, governments certainly bear responsibility for the crisis, this is only part of the story. It fails to take into account the fact that the financial crisis erupted because of unsustainable increases in private debt (of households and financial institutions) forcing many governments to pick up the pieces. In addition, blaming national governments for the macroeconomic divergences within the Eurozone fails to take into account that the origin of these divergences has little to do with what governments did or did not do, writes Paul De Grauwe on EuroIntelligence (November 4, 2010): http://www.eurointelligence.com/index.php?id=581&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2944&tx_ttnews[backPid]=901&cHash=b7b4955ac6.

Too Short. Too Much. Interdeoendence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


La dette n’est pas soluble dans l’eau

Par François Leclerc, sur le Blog de Paul Jorion (22/11/2010). Le cas de l’Irlande est un cas d’école. Deux raisons concourent à son sauvetage européen, lui-même justifié par la nécessité de protéger la zone euro. Et deux vecteurs possibles de contagion au sein de celle-ci ont été clairement mis en évidence. Le premier est l’interconnexion de l’endettement bancaire, le second celui du financement de la dette des Etats par les banques. Sur : http://www.pauljorion.com/blog/?p=18663#more-18663

Too Short. Too Big. Interdeoendence. Lies. Debit.


Assets matter just as much as cutting debt

By Martin Wolf, in the Financial Times (November 26, 2010). www.ft.com.

Too Short. Debit.


Les prix (du thé etc.) sont determinés par l’offre et la demande, épisode XLII

En me baladant sur rue 89, je tombe sur la question-réponse suivante : pourquoi le thé coûte-t-il aussi cher dans les cafés et restaurants? La réponse montre à quel point les gens sont éloignés du raisonnement économique le plus basique. La réponse apportée, en effet, se contente d'essayer d'établir un prix de revient du thé servi dans un bistrot, en le comparant avec celui d'un café, pour constater que le prix de vente est hors de proportion avec le prix de revient, ce qui signifie, bien entendu, que les cafetiers se font des appendices reproducteurs en or sur le dos des clients. Par Alexandre Delaigne sur le blog d’éconoclaste. http://econoclaste.org.free.fr/dotclear/index.php/?2011/02/08/1766-l-offre-et-la-demande-nom-d-une-pipe.

Crazy Rational.


How India’s growth will outpace China’s

Despite all the mess and chaos of India, the country’s business is booming. This will change the world. Briefing in The Economist (October 2, 2010).

Too Much. Interdependence.


India jumps on CSR legislation bandwagon

By Andrew Newton on http://www.apesphere.com/ (September 13, 2010).

Growth Nonsense. Alternatives.


It is time to plan for the post-Keynesian era

By Jeffrey Sachs, Financial Times (June 8, 2010).



Keynes vs. Alesina. Alesina Who?

Alberto Alesina is a new favorite of fiscal hawks like former President George W. Bush's chief economic adviser, N. Gregory Mankiw. A professor of economics at Harvard University, the 53-year-old Italian disputes the need for more government spending to prop up growth and advocates spending cuts instead. Read more in BusinessWeek article by Peter Croy (June 30, 2010). http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_28/b4186012969951.htm?chan=rss_topStories_ssi_5.

Too Much. Too Short. Lies. Crazy Rational. Alternatives.


National societies become less flat

Domestically’, globalisation implies that especially by labour migration, national societies become more global, more diverse, more ’strange’, more fragmented and heterogeneous. So we witness a dialectics of more ’familiarity’ and more ’strangeness’ at the same time, caused by the same factors that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman diagnosed in his visionary book “The World is Flat”. To sum up: the dialectics of globalisation is one of the root causes for the European Revolt of Populism. Writes Rene Cuperus in Social Europe Journal (November 2010): http://www.social-europe.eu/2010/11/national-societies-become-less-flat/.

Too Much. Too Wild.


Politicians beware, the squeezed middle is here to stay

More pressure on the middle classes.
By Max Hastings, Financial Times (October 17, 2010).

Too Greedy. Too Wild.


Cable-nomics: a reader

Business lobby groups and the righ-wing press have got their teeth into Vince Cable today for his remarks about capitalism. Conservative Home have even dubbed him “Red Vince“. But the Business Secretary is just conveying cutting edge thinking on models of capitalism and vested business interests are right to be worried. The view is less controversial than the howl of anguish from the CBI would suggest. A series of books in recent years have set out the thesis behind Cable-nomics. None of the authors can remotely be described as “reds”. These books include “The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism” by Mike Guillaume. Read more on http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/09/cable-nomics-a-reader/.



When financial markets force too much austerity

This time financial markets do exactly the opposite of what they did prior to the eruption of the crisis. They now judge an increasing number of government bonds to be highly risky, leading investors to sell these bonds and precipitating a debt crisis in the Eurozone. But if financial markets and rating agencies were so spectacularly wrong prior to the crisis, when they underestimated risks, why would they be right now? Questions Paul De Grauwe on www.eurointelligence.com.

Too Short. Too Far. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.

The new pioneers


The New Pioneers

Sustainable business success through social innovation and social entrepreneurship. A handbook for business unusual in the new economic world order, written by Tania Ellis. The book is a practical guide for capitalists and idealists on how to navigate in the new economic world order. More on www.thenewpioneers.biz.



The $1 trillion question about the Greek “rescue”

What would have been the cost of adjustment measures (a) had the Greek crisis been resolved quicker; (b) had the eurozone not been in place (devaluation measures, etc.)? The question is asked by Mike Guillaume in the Economist of the World discussion group on www.linkedin.com.

Too Short. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


A marathon to sprint

David Gardner and Kerin Hope about the chances of a solution to the Greek crisis, in the Financial Times (July 30, 2010).

Too Short. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. Lies.


Now It’s a European Banking Crisis

While the EU hesitated on a remedy for Greece's debt woes, a virus spread As it spread, markets started to pummel European banks and insurers for their exposure to what could prove to be one of the worst sovereign debt disasters ever. A bank crisis and a debt crisis rolled into one. On www.businessweek.com (April 29, 2010).

Too Big. Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Banking needs more robust stress tests than these

By John Kay, in the Financial Times (July 28, 2010).


Cash calls expected as Europe’s banks face tests

By Patrick Jenkins and Daniel Schäfer in the Financial Times (July 1, 2010).


German banks expected to call on rescue fund

By Gerrit Wiesmann, Patrick Jenkins and David Oakley in the Financial Times (June 30, 2010).

Too Big. Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Far. Lies. Crazy Rational.


Economics may be dismal, but it is not a science

By John Kay, in the Financial Times (April 14, 2010).

Too Much. Crazy Rational.


Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996

By Robert Reich, (November 1, 2010) on http://robertreich.org/post/1457186913.

Too Short. Too Selfish. Too Greedy. American Debit.


Two Fat Tails: Inflation and Deflation. We Simply Do Not Know

So here we are, stuck, like Buridan’s ass, between the two fat tails of inflation and deflation, writes Dan Aronoff on http://scepticalmarketobserver.blogspot.com/.

Too Much. Crazy Rational.


The Origins and Development of the Economic Crisis

As the banking crisis emerged upon a startled world, I became increasingly horrified at the actions of governments in response to the crisis. I argued strongly that the response to the crisis would eventually backfire on sovereign states, and we are watching this process now unfolding. My analysis of the situation... is that the banking crisis was a symptom of an economic crisis, not the cause of an economic crisis. That’s how Cynicus Economicus introduces his very interesting perspective on http://cynicuseconomicus.blogspot.com/ (May 23, 2010).

Too Short. Too Much. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


A credo for a revived capitalism

At some stage it will be necessary to look beyond bail-outs and emergency packages and ask what kind of capitalism should emerge after the present crisis, writes Samuel Brittan in a well-inspired column in the Financial Times (May 6, 2010).


Capitalism in the Future: Lessening old Hazards, Regaining Former Strengths

Levin Institute President, Garrick Utley interview Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times, and Edmund Phelps McVickar Professor of Political Economy, Columbia University on http:/www.globalization101.org/experts/capitalism_strengths.



Spanish Crisis Raises Bailout Fears

In The Independent and BusinessWeek (june 17, 2010).

Too Far. Too Short. Too Big. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Warum die spanischen Sparkassen ein Risiko für den Euro sind

Erst Griechenland, jetzt die Iberer? Der Kapitalmarkt sorgt sich um den Bankensektor des Spaniens. In Financial Times Deutschland (May 26, 2010). On www.ftd.de.

Too Big. Too Short. Too Far. Too Selfish. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Figures that surprise –or don’t?

In the US… in cash terms, national income has risen $200 billion since the depths of the recession in March 2009. But corporate profits have risen by $280 billion over that period, while wages are down by $90 billion. One would have to go back to the 1950s to find profits outperforming wages in absolute (cash) terms… In Britain, national income rose $27 billion in the last two quarters of last year. Profits were up £24 billion and wages just £2 billion. From Buttonwood on http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2010/03/
Giles Wilkes’s comment on http://freethinkingeconomist.com/: This has not been a bad recession for capitalists.

Too Wild. Too Selfish.


The post-crisis outlook. Banks in crisis: 1929 and 2007

The 1929 banking crisis that launched the Great Depression was caused by stressed banks whose highly leveraged retail borrowers were unable to meet margin calls on their stock market losses, resulting in bank runs from panicky depositors unprotected by government insurance. In the 1920s, there were very few traders other than professional technical types. By contrast, the 1990s and 2000s were the decades of the day trader and big-time institutions. By Henry C K Liu, in Asia Times. Read more on http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/LD14Dj03.html.

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Big. Lies. American Debit. Crazy Rational.


Time to take Wall Street out of Washington

By Robert Reich, former U.S. labor secretary and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In the Financial Times (April 26, 2010).

Too Short. Too Much. Too Selfish. Too Greedy. American Debit.


Time to get personal about the financial crisis

Those statistics are always worth repeating:

But all this talk of aggregates repeats part of the problem that got us into this mess in the first place. Aggregates create emotional distance. They enable us to forget that the crisis both impacts and was brought about by individuals. By Andrew and Angela Newton on Apesphere. Read more on http://www.apesphere.com/.

Too Much. Too Wild.


Crise: le système est au bord du gouffre? Faisons un pas en avant!

Pourquoi s'évertuer à vouloir sauver un système financier qu'on devrait plutôt remettre en cause et refonder? Le blogueur Laurent Pinsolle retranscrit les propositions d'intellectuels venus de tous bords pour concevoir la finance d'une autre façon. En lui donnant des règles. Sur: http://www.marianne2.fr/Crise-le-systeme-est-au-bord-du-gouffre-Faisons-un-pas-en-avant!_a192234.html.



El riesgo espanol se dispara

La desconexión total entre los discursos de los políticos y las acciones de los inversores se hizo patente ayer. En http://www.elpais.com/articulo/economia/riesgo/espanol/dispara/elpepieco/20100506elpepieco_1/Tes/.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


Rating bias

The rating agencies have also failed to learn the lessons... Or maybe they are simply turning a blind eye on the likely impact of the recession and dollops of bailout packages on government finances. Since Greece is passé, Spain and Ireland still enjoy very high rating despite their economy being in shambles. By Kunal Kumar Kundu on Kunal's thoughts: http://kunalsthoughts.weebly.com/1/archives/12-2009/1.html.

Too Short. Crazy Rational. Lies. Interdependence.


Ratings agencies’ Nixon moment

Conflict of interest concerns raised. Agencies ‘acted in favour of banks’ in the Financial Times (April 25, 2010). Read also internal e-mail leaks. Astonishing, isn’t it¿ Or is it?

Too Short. Crazy Rational. Lies. Interdependence. Buy What.


Should financial markets dictate budgetary policies in the eurozone?

The crisis that started in Greece culminated into a crisis of the eurozone as a whole. It may find a temporary resolution... The crisis has made clear that the financial markets... will continue to dictate the speed with which the eurozone governments are reducing their budget deficits and debt levels. By Paul De Grauwe in the Economists’ Forum (Financial Times, March 15, 2010, on http://blogs.ft.com/economistsforum/).

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


ECB must re-examine its dependence on rating agencies

By Erik Nielsen, Chief European Economist at... Goldman Sachs, in the Financial Times Insight column (March 25, 2010).

Too Short. Lies. Crazy Rational.


China and Germany unite to impose global deflation

By Martin Wolf, in the Financial Times (March 16, 2010). On http://www.ft.com.

Too Wild.


Can the US Escape Another Lost Decade?

A greater possibility of a double dip? By Kunal Kumar Kundu on http://kunalsthoughts.weebly.com/.

Too Wild. American Debit.


Greenspan: 'I was right 70% of the time'

In testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Greenspan said the recent financial meltdown was possibly "the most severe in history." He admitted that regulators failed to grasp the severity of the crisis, but he maintained that his policies and predictions were correct most of the time. Story on http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/07/news/economy/Greenspan.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Much. Interdependence. Crazy Rational.


A.I.G., Greece, and Who's Next?

As Greece has tottered on the brink of fiscal chaos, threatening to drag much of Europe down with it, Wall Street's role in the fiasco has drawn well-deserved scorn. New York Times Editorial (March 4, 2010), on http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/opinion/05fri1.html?hp.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


Why do Finland's schools get the best results?

In 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. In the OECD's exams for 15 year-olds, known as PISA, they also came second in maths, beaten only by teenagers in South Korea. This isn't a one-off: in previous PISA tests Finland also came out top. On http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm.



The Uneducated American

Until now, the results of educational neglect have been gradual — a slow-motion erosion of America's relative position. But things are about to get much worse, as the economic crisis … deals a severe blow to education across the board. By Paul Krugman, in his Op-Ed Column in the New York Times. Read the full column on: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/opinion/09krugman.html

Too Much. American Debit.


Upper Mismanagement Why can't Americans make things? Two words: business school.

By Noam Scheiber. In The New Republic (December 18, 2009). http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/wagoner-henderson

Too Short. Too Selfish. Standard Things. American Debit.


California and Kazakhstan –just who is the underdog?

The real Kazakhstan, although not problem-free, looks fairly solid compared to California and many other states, writes Spencer Jakab in the FT (April 3, 2010).

Too Short. Too Selfish. Too Much. American Debit.


Financial Reform Endgame

... all momentum for serious banking reform has been lost, wrote Paul Krugman in the New York Times (March 1, 2010).

Too Short. Too Far. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


Time to outlaw credit default swaps

I generally do not like to propose bans. But I cannot understand why we are still allowing the trade in credit default swaps without ownership of the underlying securities. Especially in the eurozone, currently subject to a series of speculative attacks, a generalised ban on so-called naked CDSs should be a no-brainer. By Wolfgang Munchau in the Financial Times (February 28, 2010).

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Interdependence. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


10 innovations that will reshape business

From blue-sky computing to less greed (really?) to smater energy sources. By FT writers on http://www.ft.com (February 26, 2010).



The green debate goes tribal

Climate change believers and sceptics are two sides of the same coin – it is logical that one will always hate the other. By Giles Wilkes in The Guardian (February 4, 2010) on http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/feb/04/climate-change-denial.

Too Much. Growth Nonsense.


Bankers' bonuses (again)

Bankers bonuses
Cartoon by Kipper Williams on http://freethinkingeconomist.com/.

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Too Wild. Lies.


The banks get away with it again

By Philip Stephens, in Financial Times (April 12, 2011)

Too Big. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Lies.


Gordon Gekko Lives: New Evidence That Greed is Rampant on Wall Street

One in four bankers would cheat to make $10 million. This is one of many unsettling findings in a new survey of Wall Streeters. In Time magazine (July 17, 2013): http://business.time.com/2013/07/17/gordon-gekko-lives-new-evidence-that-greed-is-rampant-on-wall-street/!

Too Greedy.


La finance est devenue une pensée de la vie

Aujourd’hui, la tendance est à l’homogénéisation, à l’unification de toutes les sphères avec, au centre du système, la finance, l’évaluation financière, les droits financiers… Tous les aspects de notre vie d’aujourd’hui, sont plus ou moins liés à ces questions financières. Cela modifie profondément le système car il n’y a plus vraiment de contre-pouvoir face à l’omniprésence de la finance. Par André Orléan, sur www.marianne2.fr (20 mars 2010).

Too Short. Too Much. Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Lies.


Bernard Madoff, the financiers’ fall guy

The disgraced Ponzi schemer provides convenient cover for the bankers who defrauded us all – yet are still collecting bonuses. By Paul Harris in The Guardian on http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/mar/02/bernard-madoff-banking.

Too Greedy.


Wall Street Euro Scams

Lobbyists are quietly working to ensure the secret derivatives deals behind the euro crisis stay secret, reported Michael Hirsch in a Newsweek Web Exclusive article (February 16, 2010). Read on http://www.newsweek.com/.

Too Short. Too Far. Too Greedy. Lies.


What's next for the dollar?

Can the dollar rise while the Fed pauses and other market observers believe the Fed will toughen its stance and mop up the liquidity, even if housing is crushed in the process? By Axel Merk, in Asia Times Online (February 5, 2010). Merk is manager of the Merk Hard and Asian currency fund. On http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/.

Too Short. Interdependence. American Debit.


The UK as Catalyst for Crisis

The flashpoints for a savage deepening of the crisis are multiplying. The UK is moving closer to the brink, and we now have to wait and see whether those reliant on the state, those bribed by the state, might stand back and make a hard choice, writes Cynicus Economicus on his blog (March 17, 2010). Read on http://cynicuseconomicus.blogspot.com/.

Too Much. Too Wild.

Britain flag


Needed: Britain's economic reinvention

Britain's economy is not only going down, but is not up to what it used to be. Economic reinvention should top the agenda. This is neither about betting again on the invisible hand of the market (with a little help from the City) nor counting on the heavy hand of the State. A shorter version of this article by Mike Guillaume was posted on Liberal Democrat Voice (see: http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-from-shipyards-to-wind-turbines-britain-needs-bets-17942.html). For an extended version, click here.

Too Far. Too Short. Interdependence. Alternatives.


A plan for Britain's banking sector

A collapse has been averted, but there is still a lending crisis. Splitting up the banks should be on the agenda to remove large-scale systemic risks. A more varied banking ecology... Among the many points developed by Vince Cable at a Thomoson Reuters event (February 23, 2010). Full text on: http://www.libdemvoice.org/vince-the-lib-dems-plan-for-the-banking-sector-18055.html.

Too Big. Too Short. Alternatives.


What EU regulation has cost the UK

Open Europe finds that regulation has cost the UK economy £176 billion since 1998 and, of this amount, £124 billion, or 71%, had its origin in EU legislation. The report finds that, on average, it is two-and-a-half times more cost-effective to regulate at the national than the EU level. Full report downloadable from http://www.openeurope.org.uk/.

Too Big. Too Far. Too Much.


The left must call the right's bluff – and challenge the EU

Why is it only Tory Eurosceptics that are highlighting Europe's lack of democracy? It's time to back people, not the City. It is a travesty that highlighting the EU's palpable lack of democracy has become a rightwing issue. By Owen Jones in the Guardian (December 13, 2011): http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/13/left-right-challenge-eu?INTCMP=SRCH



Credit where it's due: the hidden cost of quantitative easing

Quantitative easing was needed to prevent financial collapse but it has made the rich richer – and taxpayers will foot the bill for growing inequality. By Giles Wilkes in The Guardian (March 2, 2010), excerpted from a carefully thought paper written for UK's Centre Forum think tank. Downloadable from http://www.centreforum.org/publications/credit-where-its-due.html.

Too Short. Alternatives.


The Next Financial Crisis. It's coming-and we just made it worse

By Peter Boone (chairman of Effective Intervention, a Britain-based charity, and a research associate at the London School of Economics) and Simon Johnson (professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management) They write for The Baseline Scenario, a blog on economics. This very interesting paper can be read in The New Republic: http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/the-next-financial-crisis?

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Interdependence.


The banking crisis – A rational interpretation

This leads us directly into a discussion of 'cures'. What can be meant by 'cure' when the crisis is inevitable (even though unpredictable)? We mean measures that can either reduce the chances of a banking crisis or reduce the fall-out from it. By Patrick Minford, professor at Cardiff University and member of the CEPR. On http://www.eurointelligence.com.

Too Short. Too Big. Interdependence.


Wealth & Health of Nations

A graph on http://www.gapminder.org/world/ shows how long people live and how much money they earn.

Too Much. Too Selfish.


Eyes are starting to open and see the world as it is

One of the long running themes of this blog is that people have chosen an illusionary vision of the world rather than confronting reality. Read the full story on http://cynicuseconomicus.blogspot.com/

Too Much. Growth Nonsense. Lies. Buy What.


Economic growth no longer possible for rich countries

This new report tests a thesis in detail in the context of climate change and energy. It argues that indefinite global economic growth is unsustainable. Just as the laws of thermodynamics constrain the maximum efficiency of a heat engine, economic growth is constrained by the finite nature of our planet's natural resources. A paper published by the New Economics Foundation (http://www.neweconomics.org/publications).

Too Much. Too Selfish. Growth Nonsense. Alternatives.


Cameron’s Happiness Index is welcome news for progressives

Prosperity lost? In conventional wisdom, economic growth and higher incomes mean richer lives and improved quality of life. But, as the Happy Planet Index shows, true prosperity goes beyond material pleasures. It resides in the health and happiness of our families, in the strength of our relationships and our trust in the community. By Jules Peck, a founding partner of Abundancy Partners; a trustee of the think-tank the new economics foundation and a fellow of ResPublica. In Left Foot Forward: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/11/david-cameron-happiness-index/.

Too Much. Too Selfish. Growth Nonsense. Buying What. Alternatives.


China May Succeed Where the West Failed –In Africa

Deborah Brautigan doesn't argue with critics who call China's interest in Africa self-serving. But she may be one of the first American academics to declare that China's deeds will be good for Africa, too. On http://www.globalenvision.org/ (March 1, 2010).


Africa: unprecedented Chinese investments

China is the largest investor in Africa while bilateral trade has just past US$100bn annually. Read more on http://scepticalmarketobserver.blogspot.com/.

Too Far. Too Much. Too Selfish. Alternatives.


Growth is good, isn't it? El desarollo medido en bienestar en vez de PIB

Expansion has progressed so far that key resource boundaries have been broken: we're teetering on the edge of an ecological cliff. By Andrew Simms, in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jan/25/uk-growth-energy-resources-boundaries. Or by Marcus Hurst in http://www.yorokobu.es/2010/01/27/el-desarrollo-medido-en-bienestar-en-vez-de-pib/

Growth Nonsense.


The price of environmental destruction? There is none

World's top firms cause $2.2 trillion of environmental damage, report warns. Putting a price on nature becomes meaningless if we treat the ecosystems upon which we depend as mere commodities with a price for trading. By Andrew Simms, in The Guardian (February 18, 2010): http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/18/price-of-environmental-destruction.

Too Much. Growth Nonsense.


In a Renewable Energy World, Is There an Alternative to Growth?

Human-caused climate change (if you accept it as a real phenomenon) presents a new problem: even if enough resources exist to continuing rapid growth, it's the growth itself that is introducing weaknesses. Controversial: http://industry.bnet.com/energy/10002854/in-a-renewable-energy-world-is-there-an-alternative-to-growth/

Too Much. Growth Nonsense. Lies.


How to make buildings more energy efficient

Simple and effective measures to save energy and money, By Duncan Graham-Rowe for Guardian Professional Network on www.guardian.co.uk (December 16, 2010).



Sustainability will not be delivered without Equality

I would suggest that reclaiming and proclaiming equality as the core of progressive politics is the way forward. In other words we must concentrate, above all, on massively reducing the gap between rich and poor and persuading people that it has to be done, writes Bill Kerry on http://www.social-europe.eu/2010/04/.

Too Much. Too Wild. Growth Nonsense


Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain

We must not be distracted from science's urgent message: we are fuelling dangerous changes in Earth's climate. By Jeffrey Sachs in The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science.

Too Much. Growth Nonsense. Lies.


GDP Growth, Debt and Current Accounts

Is this economic growth coming back? Or something else? According to Cynicus Economicus watching both U.S. and U.K. “growth”, this is instead a steady process of national impoverishment. It is the feel good of consuming more than you produce, and the hell with the consequences in the future. It is a road to ruination. Read the full and much charted story on http://cynicuseconomicus.blogspot.com/

Growth Nonsense.


The “GDP Fraud”

If GDP is telling us that the US economy is steadily improving, how come so many folks on Main Street feel so bad? Don't they read the papers? Don't they know the GDP is improving? The short answer to these questions is that the GDP calculation is a fraud…or perhaps it's a fraud wrapped in a deception. Writes the Australian-born Joel Bowman, managing editor of The Daily Reckoning, in BusinessWeek. More on: http://bx.businessweek.com/causes-of-the-financial-crisis/view?url

Growth Nonsense.


Why We Need a New Macroeconomics

By Richard Alford, a former economist at the New York Fed. Economic and financial policymakers became prisoners of an ideology. I do not doubt that ideology has affected the evolution of economics and policy. However, I believe that (one) has underestimated the importance that macro economists attached to the elegance of their models and their failure to continuously verify the models’ accuracy and usefulness. On http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/.



Capitalizing on the Environment?

Can capitalism and environmentalism coexist not only peacefully but also profitably? Can the big corporations and the green movement work together? By Dr. Robert Muller (January 31, 2010) on http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/

Growth Nonsense.


Innovators Creating Cash from Carbon Challenges

As it becomes more likely that companies in the U.S. will have to start paying for their carbon emissions, many of those companies will pass the cost onto their customers. There are three core areas where they could instead create stakeholder value by innovating their way to carbon reduction. By Thera N. Kalmijn and R. Paul Herman on http://sustainablelifemedia.com/content/column/strategy/innovators_create_cash_from_carbon_challenges.

Too Selfish. Too Much. Alternatives.


Growth and Greenhouse Gases

On one side, there are those who insist that greening the economy is win-win: more jobs, more growth, as well as less carbon. On the other, those who insist that you can only be serious about protecting the planet if you admit that we have to give up on economic growth. By Paul Krugman on http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ (April 13, 2010).

Too Much. Growth Nonsense. Alternatives.


Reframing the Question: From Growth to Reallocation

Is the purpose of the economy to expand the power and privilege of a ruling elite? Or is it to secure and enhance the well-being of all the people who depend on it for their livelihood? Asked author David C. Korten on http://davidkorten.org/Reallocation. Read also his book: “The Post-Corporate World: Life after Capitalism”.



US financial crisis far from over

"The crisis is just beginning." "Have bankers won? In the short-term, absolutely. The immediate opportunity for change has already been missed." More plus links in the India Times. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/US-financial-crisis-far-from-over-Economists/articleshow/5410915.cms

Too Big. Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Too Much. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


With caution, Americans still want a house

Nearly two-thirds of Americans would still prefer to own a home (April 6, 2010). On http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/06/real_estate/.

American Debit. Buy What.


Global Markets Could Soon Crash

The global markets are at risk of crashing when the dollar rebounds, says economist Nouriel Roubini. Roubini, a professor at NYU, is credited with long predicting the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008. Read on MoneyNews.Com: http://moneynews.newsmax.com/streettalk/roubini_global_crash/2009/10/28/

Too Short. Interdependence.


Economic theory and the crisis

How will economic theory emerge from the global crisis? The column written by Alan Kirman (professor at Paul Cézanne University of Aix-en-Provence) says that representative agent models and the efficient markets hypothesis are assumptions that have persisted too long in the face of empirical evidence. It argues that economic theory is due for an overhaul but fears that economists will resist such change. Full column on http://www.voxeu.org/

Too Short. Crazy Rational. Too Much.


Why Are Tariffs Preferable to Quotas?

By Mike Mofatt, on http://economics.about.com/cs/taxpolicy/a/tariffs_quotas.htm

Too Far. Interdependence.


A balancing act: fair solutions to a modern debt crisis

A… balanced paper written by Giles Wilkes for the Centre Forum. Full report downloadable from http://www.centreforum.org/publications/a-balancing-act.html



Small Change: Why Business Won't Save the World

Why doesn't business fix itself instead of meddling with others where it has no comparative advantage? By Michael Edwards on http://www.apesphere.com.

Too Much.


Too interconnected to fail = too big to fail. What's in a leverage ratio?

This Commentary by CEPS Director Daniel Gros argues that being 'too interconnected' is a factor, and that US accounting standards should recognise exposure of gross derivatives on the balance sheet to make this interconnectedness, and the resulting exposure, clear. Read and download on http://www.ceps.eu/book/.

Too Far. Too Short. Interdependence. American Debit.


How Reagan ruined conservatism

By Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times (http://www.ft.com, March 2, 2010).


He took advantage (Blues for Ronald Reagan)

Song written by Glenn L. Frey and Jack Tempchin, from the album “Strange Weather” (MCA, 1992). Lyrics available from: http://lyrics.filestube.com/song/04248d987d0a924d03e9,He-Took-Advantage-Blues-for-Ronald-Reagan.html.
Strange Weather

Lies. American Debit.


The Future of Conservatism

What is conservatism? Various derogatory claims are often propagated. Firstly some claim that it is a mere pragmatism. Others say the Tories are the party of vested interest – they represent the status quo, they will always defend the rich against the poor, the strong against the weak and the haves against the have-nots. Others still say that conservatism is best expressed by a pure libertarianism, that extreme individualism, the glorification of self-interest… That again captures much, but not modern conservatism. Phillip Bond's speech to launch UK's ResPublica on http://www.respublica.org.uk/

Too Much. Lies. Alternatives.


David Cameron has lost his chance to redefine the Tories

I liked David Cameron; when he became Conservative party leader in 2005 he recognised that something was badly wrong with the right, and a new radical conservatism was desperately needed. I proposed a red Toryism – a commitment to the progressive merits of tradition and social conservatism and the need to build ethos-driven institutions, and a new Tory economics that distributed property, market access and educational excellence to all. In 2009 I argued for a new one-nation approach to Britain's problems, and Cameron appeared to agree. The principles of re-localising the economy, re-capitalising the poor and re-moralising the market were echoed in Cameron's speeches and policy ideas. By Phillip Blond, in The Guardian (October 4, 2012). http://www.respublica.org.uk/item/David-Cameron-has-lost-his-chance-to-redefine-the-Tories



The Future of Social Democracy

The Future of Social Democracy by Dr Jon Cruddas MP in association with Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Labour Party. A viable political alternative to market capitalism will require creative open thinking, new kinds of alliances and inventive forms of political organisation. Jon's lectures invite us to look once again at Labour's traditions and to collectively debate how we might renew and develop them. Full text downloadable from http://www.compassonline.org.uk/index.asp.



Mutualism: social democratic policy in an age of austerity

The challenge for Labour is to develop a clear vision of what mutualism means for the Left and how it can be used to drive forward the social democratic project. In this series, prominent thinkers, politicians and strategists will reflect on mutualism's relationship to social democratic values and objectives and aim to generate concrete policy solutions to give Labour the tools to constructively challenge the "big society". More on Policy Network: http://www.policy-network.net/content.aspx?CategoryID=375&ArticleID=3454&fp=1.



Quatre voies de sortie pour une science en crise

Les économistes bousculés par la crise. Le débat est ouvert sur la meilleure façon de redonner de la crédibilité aux economists… les partisans d’un changement radical s’organisent. Dans Alternatives Economiques (Janvier 2010) sur www.alternatives-économiques.fr.



Copenhagen, Carbon, Consumer Goods Supply Chains

A guest post about the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen from Peter Lacy of Accenture. The good news—at least on logistics—is that around 60% of potential carbon abatement opportunity is within the transport and logistics industry's direct control, and a few other interesting facts and figures. On BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/careers/managementiq/archives/2009/12/copenhagen_carb.html



Manufacturing Framework and Intellectual Capital

Athena Alliance is releasing a Policy Brief--Intellectual Capital and Revitalizing Manufacturing--which expands the Framework to explicitly incorporate intellectual capital. The paper's recommendations are summed up by Ken Jarboe on http://www.athenaalliance.org/weblog/archives/2010/02/manufacturing_framework_and_ic.html



There is no integration without work

The increase in migration collides with an economic crisis that affects especially the poorest classes, making cohabitation of natives and immigrants even more difficult. But it is important to remember that the economic integration of immigrants is essential for a complete social integration and for the peace of all society. By Emanuela Scridel on http://www.resetdoc.org/EN/Migrations-europe-work.php.

Too Wild. Alternatives.


If you want to know who's to blame for Copenhagen, look to the US Senate

As a result the political cost of the failure at Copenhagen is zero. Where are you. By George Monbiot, in The Guardian (December 21, 2009). Read on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-us-senate-vested-interests

Too Short. Too Much. Interdependence. Growth Nonsense.


Ben Bernanke as public intellectual? Are you serious?

Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Ben Bernanke, is heralded as the savior of the US economy. But the Fed chairman is actually the real villain of the piece. By Dean Baker, in Prospect Magazine (December 16, 2009): http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2009/12/ben-bernanke-as-public-intellectual-are-you-serious/

Too Short. Crazy Rational. Interdependence. American Debit.


How to escape currency volatility and contagion in the globalized world of finance

By Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns. The question I ask is this: now that finance is global and capital can move in and out of markets and countries on a dime, how can any country protect itself against the volatility of currency markets? Read the full viewpoint on http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

Too Far. Too Short. Too Wild. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


Dubai World: A great precedent

Comment by Felix Salmon on http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/11/26/ who refers to the chart of the debt structure published on the same day on http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/11/26/85571/csi-dubai/ (see also reference below). It goes as: Dubai World: A great precedent

Too Far. Too Short. Crazy Rational. Interdependence. Lies.


The dark side of Dubai

Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging. Johann Hari reported about that in The Independent six months before the burst of the Dubai mirage. His analysis still makes a compelling read. On: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html.

Too Big. Too Much. Too Short. Crazy Rational. Interdependence. Lies. Growth Nonsense.


I'm a celebrity, get me out of Dubai!

Posted by Izabella Kaminska on ft.com/alphaville blog (http://ftalphaville.ft.com November 26, 2009), who reminds us that investors as smart (sorry, just famous) as Beckham, Michael Jackson, Naomi Campbell and Brad Pitt followed the crowd of investors as famous (sorry, not even smart) as HSBC, RBS, Lloyds, Citi, and more to be disclosed (?). Read the comment made by Benz Sudta, from Thailand, who really makes a good point: Dubai tried to copy the Singapore's model of development. They tried to be the hub of the region in service sector particularly finance and logistics. But they lacked 3 vital element of development.
1. The most important is the lack of well-established education. In stead of investing heavily in human capital, they chose to flood money into foreign financial asset and domestic infrastructure and real estate. Moreover, they must depend own external pool of talent people. They must import expats.
2. They lack their own source of capital. Unlike GIC and Temasek, those super and complicated Sovereign Wealth Funds were built mostly from external financing. Therefore, creating debt burden to this city.
3. Dubai ruler lacks sharp and long vision in assessing global trend and shaping long-term policy. Dubai ruler is not absolutely equal to Lee Kuan Yew in term of vision.

Too Far. Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


The Risk Management of Islamic Finance

No joke. The course was held in Abu Dhabi (December 6-8, 2009) in the aftermath of the Dubai rescue plan. Want to avoid being a sinner? More on http://www.islamicfinancetraining.com/.

Crazy Rational. Interdependence.


Bankers Blow $20 Billion Faster Than Gamblers

Two years ago, sovereign wealth funds were heralded as saviors of world markets. That was when Lehman Brothers seemed too big to fail. It was a quainter time, when Iceland was a country, not a failed hedge fund, and American- style capitalism still had some appeal. The thinking then was that the trillions of dollars that governments were pouring into markets… By William Pesek in BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-03/bankers-blow-20-billion-faster-than-gamblers-william-pesek.html

Too Short. Too Greedy. Lies. American Debit.


The bosses who break their banks – The men who earned too much

In an extract from a new book, John Cassidy reveals why huge salaries commanded by Wall Street bosses created a culture that help trigger the financial crash. Extract in The Guardian (November 25, 2009) and book published by Allen Lane (How Markets Fall: The Logic of Economic Calamities).

Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


Reaching into Bank Executives' (Deep) Pocketbooks Motivates Action

Daniel Gross says the threat of restrictions on how much executives can be paid has motivated banks subject to the limits to "get their houses in order". Read more on: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/12/reaching-into-bank-executives-deep-pocketbooks-motivates-action.html

Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish.


2009 Nobel Economics Prize: What does it mean?

The common theme of Ostrom and Williamson's work is economic governance – basically, how economic agents cooperate and coordinate their actions without the presence of the market and market prices. By Ari A. Perdana, in The Jakarta Post (October 19, 2009). On: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/19/2009-nobel-economics-prize-what-does-it-mean.html

Too Far. Too Selfish. Too Much. Alternatives.


How to tame global finance

A group of leading financial analysts quiz Britain's top regulator on what went wrong, while experts including Robert Kuttner and Oliver Kamm offer their responses. The Prospect interview panel: John Gieve is chairman of financial transaction specialists VocaLink and formerly deputy governor of the Bank of England Jonathan Ford is commentary editor of Reuters and an associate editor of Prospect Gillian Tett is an assistant editor of the Financial Times, specialising in global financial markets Paul Woolley is a senior fellow at LSE, where he founded a centre for the study of capital markets Read the debate on Prospect: www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2009/08/how-to-tame-global-finance/

Too Big. Too Far. Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Too Selfish. Too Much. Etc.


Goldman Sachs, the lords of time

Just for the moment, let's pretend that James Cameron's 1984 The Terminator was being made for the first time today, and, instead of the evil robots emerging from the fatally misguided foundries of Cyberdyne Systems, they came from the dark laboratories of Goldman Sachs. By Julian Delasantellis, consultant, private investor and educator in the state of Washington, on Asia Times Online (August 5, 2009): http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/.

Too Big. Too short. Too Greedy. Crazy Rational. American Debit.


Implementation of Alternate Energy - The Role of the Government

.. all homes that are under construction or being remodeled must use alternative energy sources. Ultimately a time would come when all homes as well as corporate buildings would use alternate energies for 100% of their energy needs. The other important mandate that is expected from the government is that all new vehicles built in must be hybrid and be powered by hydrogen fuel cells by the year 2020. By Ron Harene on http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/2009/11/alternative-energy-implementation-of.html

Too Much. Alternatives.


Climate change: the challenge for social democracy

Politically, the climate change agenda has so far been presented as a major opportunity for progressive policymakers… (But) the principles of localism and mutualism of the “green” movement do not always sit easily alongside those of positive freedom and collective prosperity in social democracy. On Policy Network: http://www.policy-network.net/content/356/Climate-Change-The-Challenge-for-Social-Democracy.



Nouriel Roubini calls for radical reforms to fix the broken financial system

The crucial challenge is to design a better system of regulation. There is no doubt that the previous model has failed miserably (Financial Times – The Future of Finance. November 2, 2009).

Too Big. Too Short. Too Greedy. Too Selfish. Alternatives.


Take the lead on regulation to call the bankers' bluff

Tony Jackson, in The Financial Times (November 2, 2009)

Too Big. Too Short. Too Greedy Too Wild. Too Selfish. Alternatives.


Time to say hard cheese to Swiss banks

A comment by David Prosser read in The Independent (August 20, 2009). Related article: UBS to disclose details of 4,450 accounts in US tax evasion case, by James Thompson

Too Greedy. Lies. American Debit.


Painful death of the American economic dream

This crisis has been a long time in coming, and history suggests that the period of upheaval will be long and painful, just as it was between 1914 and 1945. By Larry Elliott, in The Guardian (November 2, 2009).

American Debit.


Fiat faces heavy burden with U.S. waistline

As an American with a longish tenure in Europe, I never fail to be impressed on trips home by the ever-expanding frontier of the American waistline. It was, therefore, that I read of Francesco Guerrera's sincere hope that the restyled and relaunched Fiat “Cinquecento” finds as warm an embrace in the US today as it did in Italy in the 1960s. However, as the US ranks first in obesity among 28 OECD countries and Italy 25th, one wonders whether this hope can ever be fulfilled. But it may. After all, they are not being asked to ride Vespas.
A letter from Paul Hennemeyer to the Financial Times (November 14, 2009). Edited.

Too Much. American Debit.


A Quick Comparison of Capitalism, Socialism and the “Just Third Way”

By the Center for Economic and Social Justice (Washington, D.C.). The table can be read on: http://www.cesj.org/thirdway/comparison3rdway.htm



New AIG chief to receive $7m pay

By Francesco Guerrera in the Financial Times (August 17, 2009).

Too Greedy.


Rating agencies under scrutiny by lawmakers

Credit rating agencies came under renewed fire as lawmakers examined their role in the financial crisis and discussed new legislation that could make the agencies liable for each other's mistakes. Read the full article in the Financial Times (October 1, 2009).

Crazy Rational.


Going Solar – Frequently Asked Questions

As with any sizable financial investment, it's best to go into the world of solar energy with your eyes wide open and with as many facts under your belt as possible so you can make an informed decision. FAQs on http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/ (April 6, 2010).



Green Living: Greensizing for Productivity

We all want to do our part to help the environment. But if you can give the Earth a break and increase your productivity at the same time, that's a real no-brainer!... Give your PC a rest… Drive smart… Travel less… When you get down to it, greensizing is just a matter of paying a little more attention to the habits that you wouldn't usually give a second thought. By Laura Stack on http://thezeitgeistischanging.blogspot.com/2009/10/green-living-greensizing-for.html



Green Consumer Awareness vs Reality

A viewpoint by Louise König, based on a study of New Scientist magazine. On http://www.sustainable-perspectives.com/.

Too Much. Buy What. Alternatives.


12 Tips for Ethical Marketing to the New Consumer

Chris Arnold's new book Ethical Marketing and the New Consumer discusses how marketing must change to reach today's consumers. If you are interested in any aspect of ethical marketing – Arnold covers product development and design, messaging, positioning and more – this is a recommended read. Summary on http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/01/12-tips-for-ethical-marketing-to-the-new-consumer-book-review/



Iceland's Recovery: Can the Lessons Be Applied Elsewhere?

As the first country to experience the full force of the global economic crisis, Iceland is now held up as an example by some of how to overcome deep economic dislocation without undoing the social fabric. A survey by the IMF (October 24, 2011): http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2011/SurveyartF.htm.

Too Far. Interdependence. Alternatives.


Island genießt die Krise (How Iceland Is Coping With a Broken Economy)

Ein Land am Abgrund: Vor einem Jahr brachen auf Island erst die Banken und dann die Staatsfinanzen zusammen. Bis heute hat sich die Wirtschaft davon nicht erholt. Doch das Inselvölkchen arrangierte sich mit dem Crash. Es lebt wieder bescheidener - und ist überraschend zufrieden. Von Niels Reise in Der Spiegel (08.10.2009). On http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/.

Too Far. Too Short. Too Wild. Interdependence. Growth Nonsense.


Iceland Wants in, but Unity Diminishing in the EU

Iceland, prior to the government's collapse, had a very high standard of living. Iceland needs to question if the decision to join the European Union is the right one. Although they may receive additional bailout funds from the union, it is questionable if there are even enough funds to bailout current members. More on: http://www.globalization101.org/news1/Iceland_Financial_Crisis.

Too Far. Too Short. Too Wild. Interdependence.


Chinese Company Buys Hummer from GM

Seen on: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/blog/eyeonasia/. Mikeconomics liked very much the comment of a reader named Steve: I'm not sure I would call Hummer an "iconic" brand. Corvette is iconic. Hummer is damaged goods. I would like to think that the Chinese just purchased a toxic asset and freed G.M. to produce cars people actually want to drive, not fantasize about.


The DownFall of General Motors and the 2009 Hummer

Today on the highways or in town you still can pull up to a stop light and look out your window to see a rubber tire and a fender. Above your head if you look up high enough you may see a massive vehicle that has monstrous wheels driven by only one person. The vehicle is an SUV. On Green Earth Way: http://greenearthway.blogspot.com/2009/07/downfall-of-general-motors-and-2009.html

Too Big. Bad Growth.


The era of global oil giants is over

A new model is emerging in which smaller national and larger international oil companies must work in new partnerships,” states Nick Butler, former group vice-president for strategy at... BP, in the Financial Times (July 28, 2010)

Too Big.


Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show (The Guardian, November 20, 2013) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/20/90-companies-man-made-global-warming-emissions-climate-change

Too Big. Too Much. Bad Growth.


After subverting bank insolvency, our leaders are now about to make a mess of liquidity

Unless there is a major change of direction among global economic and financial officialdom, we are at risk of ending up with a world in which liquidity provision is privatised and insolvency risk for banks is socialized. Writes Willem Buiter in the Financial Times (October 6, 2009). Read the full article at: http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2009/10/

Too Short.


A financial revolution with profound political implications

The Independent's commentator Robert Fisk on the plan to de-dollarise the oil market, discussed both in public and in secret for at least two years and widely denied yesterday by the usual suspects – Saudi Arabia being, as expected, the first among them – reflects a growing resentment in the Middle East, Europe and in China at America's decades-long political as well as economic world dominance. On http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-a-financial-revolution-with-profound-political-implications.

Too Much. American Debit.


Failures of Small Banks Grow

A year after Washington rescued the banks considered too big to fail, the ones deemed too small to save are approaching a grim milestone: the 100th bank failure of 2009… In all, bank failures have cost the FDIC $26.6 billion in 2009. Read the article by Eric Dash and check out the graph in the New York Times (October 10, 2009). On http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/business/economy/.

Too Big.


The Transmission of the Financial Crisis to Emerging Markets

In 2008 there was a lot of talk about emerging market economies being able to decouple from the US recession and financial crisis. But, in spite of these arguments, first financial re-coupling and then real economic re-coupling took place once the advanced economies' financial tsunami became global after the summer and fall of 2008. A paper by Nouriel Roubini, on October 9, 2009, available from http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini

Too Wild. Interdependence.


Four myths about the Great War of 1914-1918

The Great War offers lessons for today. But this column argues from recent research that many so-called lessons are misunderstood. Secretive, authoritarian regimes become dangerous when they fear the future. Deterrence matters. Other aspects also demand re-evaluation. By Mark Harrison on Vox –Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. http://www.voxeu.org/article/four-myths-about-great-war-1914-1918

Too Wild. Overexposed.


Jobs, industry and opportunity: Growth strategies after the crisis

This is the challenge that the progressive centre-left has to take on. Not through backward looking debates or ideological introspection, but by mobilising the political and intellectual capital of the entire progressive community within and beyond our countries. This selection of short articles, written by leading experts in the field, attempts to guide, inspire and, in particular, challenge some of the key issues at stake. More on http://www.policy-network.net/publications/publications.aspx?id=3606.

Growth Nonsense. Alternatives.

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?


How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?

Few economists saw our current crisis coming, but this predictive failure was the least of the field’s problems. More important was the profession’s blindness to the very possibility of catastrophic failures in a market economy. During the golden years, financial economists came to believe that markets were inherently stable — indeed, that stocks and other assets were always priced just right. There was nothing in the prevailing models suggesting the possibility of the kind of collapse that happened last year. Meanwhile, macroeconomists were divided in their views. But the main division was between those who insisted that free-market economies never go astray and those who believed that economies may stray now and then but that any major deviations from the path of prosperity could and would be corrected by the all-powerful Fed. Neither side was prepared to cope with an economy that went off the rails... By Paul Krugman in The New York Times (September 2, 2009).

Too Much. Crazy Rational. American Debit. Lies. Growth Nonsense.

Too Big. Too Far. Too Short. Too Selfish. Too Greedy. Too Wild. Too Much.
And other (not so) venial sins in:

The seven deadly sins of capitalism