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Global Economy

David Malpass | 2012-11-14

Our September pieces focused on three crunch points that were pointing to a slowdown and a market top:  the U.S. year-end tax increase, likely disappointing news from Europe and overdone expectations regarding Fed and ECB powers (see Sept 29 WSJ Economic Signals Point to a 2013 Recession and Sept 4 piece Slow Growth, More Debt, Market Top.)

e21 contributors and staff including Charles Blahous, Stephen Goldsmith, David Malpass, James C. Capretta and Jennifer Pollom | 2012-10-02

In preparation for the first in a series of Presidential and Vice Presidential debates beginning on October 3, e21 contributors and staff offer the following potential debate questions to both President Obama and Governor Romney in order to educate the electorate on substantive pressing issues and to help voters formulate more informed opinions. Below you’ll find a short guide to what a voter should consider in the coming election.

e21 Staff Editorial | 2012-08-02

Here we go again. Over the weekend, the President once more blamed “headwinds” from Europe for the United States economy’s poor recent performance. The President’s insistence on using Europe as a scapegoat is particularly frustrating because it breeds misunderstanding of both the European dilemma and the nature of our own challenges.

e21 Staff Editorial | 2012-07-13

Explanations for the global financial crisis tend to focus on two themes: (1) subprime mortgages; and (2) global imbalances. More sophisticated explanations generally link these two themes directly. But, recent research suggests that the savings glut narrative may have cause and effect backwards. This new twist could present an important near term lesson because it suggests both the housing bubble and current account deficit were the natural consequence of excessive low interest rates.

e21 Team | 2012-07-10

It is common for free-market commentators to lament our country’s descent into European-style socialism. The most astute of them note instead that we’re in truth already there. In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, AEI President Arthur Brooks makes that point in a column with the provocative title “America Already is Europe.”

e21 Staff Editorial | 2012-07-09

The plight of the United Kingdom’s economy is a useful rejoinder to those who believe the fixed exchange rate is the main driver of the economic problems in the euro zone. The U.K. responded to the financial crisis by running large fiscal deficits, cutting interest rates to zero, and “printing money” through several rounds of quantitative easing. Over this period, the result has been worse macroeconomic performance in the U.K. than in Spain, a country “trapped” in the euro straightjacket. This outcome is fundamentally inconsistent with the Keynesian view that the key to recovery in peripheral Europe is devaluation and monetary-financed deficit spending.

David Malpass | 2012-06-26

Late this week Europe is again faced with an EU-wide 27-country summit with no clear direction. The more positive tone of early June -- when Europe focused briefly on constructive ways to use the new ESM to add capital to Spain's banks – has faded. The euro-zone isn't making progress on creating a mechanism to share some of the periphery's huge legacy debt built up during euro-wide violations of the Maastricht deficit guidelines, and the periphery isn't taking the much-needed steps to downsize governments and government controls to allow private sector growth.

David Malpass | 2012-05-21

Greece’s political impasse and the risk of contagion to euro deposits in Spain pushed markets down last week. We think those developments are serious but not necessarily fatal to the euro-zone. The downward pressure from the Facebook IPO and the disclosure of big, vulnerable JP Morgan long positions on corporate credit should fade, leaving U.S. and Chinese growth as key variables along with Greece and euro developments. We don’t think the June 30 wind down of the Fed’s operation twist (which was ineffective) or the fiscal cliff (open to compromise) are as important.

e21 Team | 2012-03-26

For almost three decades the British Banking Association has determined the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the benchmark rate for much of the global financial world and over $350 trillion in securities. However, the BBA’s days of polling the rates at which large banks lend to each other and then taking the mean of the middle 50% could be numbered.

e21 Team | 2012-03-09

With the undertaking of its second long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) the ECB now holds roughly 25% more assets on its balance sheet than the Fed. LTRO2 added another €530 billion to the central bank’s holdings, which now registers a record €3.02 trillion ($3.96 trillion) much larger than the Fed’s $2.9 trillion in assets.

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