News & Commentary:

February 2014 Archives


Bello: Relearning old lessons Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 1, 2014
Our new Latin America column on enduring need for the rule of law, education and openness.

Emerging markets: Don't panic Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 1, 2014
There is no reason for a broad emerging-market crisis. But nervous investors could yet cause one.

Emerging markets: Locus of extremity Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 1, 2014
Developing economies struggle to cope with a new world.

Currency crisis at Chinese banks 'could trigger global meltdown’
Harry Wilson (Telegraph) Feb 1, 2014
A rise in foreign funding at China's banks poses a threat for international lenders.

South Korea’s Japanese Mirror
Danny Leipziger (Project Syndicate) Feb 2, 2014
The economic and demographic challenges currently facing South Korea closely resemble those that have been diminishing Japan's prospects for more than two decades. The difference is that South Korea may still have time to address these challenges and avoid a Japanese-style quagmire of slow growth and long-term decline.

EZ business-cycle syncing
Sunghyun Henry Kim & Ayako Saiki (VoxEU) Feb 2, 2014
Before the introduction of the euro, it was hoped that by promoting increased intra-regional trade it would increase business-cycle synchronisation within the Eurozone, and thus help it to fulfil the criteria for an optimum currency area. This column presents recent research that compares the evolution of business-cycle synchronisation in the Eurozone and east Asia. While the euro has had some impact on business-cycle synchronisation in the Eurozone, it has done so not through increased intra-regional trade intensity, but rather through some other channel – most likely financial integration.

Independence debate: Yes, Scotland? Financial Times Subscription Required
Mure Dickie and Keith Fray (FT) Feb 2, 2014
Even pro-unionists accept that the country has all the ingredients to be a viable nation.

Obama’s trade agenda hangs on a thin Reid Financial Times Subscription Required
Edward Luce (FT) Feb 2, 2014
The Senate Democratic majority leader from Nevada never met a trade deal he liked. He thinks the voters don’t like them either.

Europe will feel pain of emerging markets Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Munchau (FT) Feb 2, 2014
A single large shock may be all that is needed. What is happening in Turkey and Argentina may be such a shock.

Why a U.S.-European Trade Deal Is a Win-Win
Joe Kaeser (WSJ) Feb 2, 2014
Changing business trends mean we're locating plants closer to markets.

Equatorial Guinea: Squandered riches Financial Times Subscription Required
Javier Blas (FT) Feb 3, 2014
The tiny oil-rich African nation is plagued by rampant corruption, repression and poverty, making it perhaps the world’s best example of the resource curse.

Future belongs to the emerging markets Financial Times Subscription Required
Gideon Rachman (FT) Feb 3, 2014
Just as the west has emerged from crisis before, the newcomer economies will tend to their wounds and return to the business of growth.

Eurozone bond is no freeloaders’ charter Financial Times Subscription Required
Peter Bofinger (FT) Feb 3, 2014
A debt instrument designed without joint liability could go a long way to reassuring some states that they will not pick up the tab for others.

Central banks must co-ordinate policy Financial Times Subscription Required
William Rhodes (FT) Feb 3, 2014
Making matters worse is the rising fragmentation of the international bank regulatory system, which creates increasing opportunities for regulatory arbitrage.

U.S. Productivity Growth Has Taken a Dive Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Edward C. Prescott and Lee Ohanian (WSJ) Feb 3, 2014
It has averaged about 1.1% since 2011, less than half the historical rate since 1948. Here's how to increase it.

Pardon the protectionists
Charles Lane (WP) Feb 3, 2014
U.S. benefits from free trade — never mind the hype.

Beyond Economic Integration: European Lessons for Asia Pacific?
Valerie Engammare and Jean-Pierre Lehmann (Globalist) Feb 3, 2014
Economic integration alone does not suffice to keep a dependable peace.

China and Emerging Markets: Riding Wild Horses
Otaviano Canuto (Huffpo) Feb 3, 2014
One month ago, I discussed some major risks to a slight upturn in the global economic scenario for 2014. Among those risks, concerns with the growth slowdown and challenges with shadow banking in China have already come to the fore as the Chinese Year of the Horse approached its inauguration last Friday.

A Happier Ending for IMF Reform?
Mohamed A. El-Erian (Project Syndicate) Feb 3, 2014
Despite an elegant solution that involved no new commitments of resources, the US Congress last month refused to take up a long-delayed funding proposal for the IMF. But there is also a silver lining here, because disappointment can be turned into renewed opportunity.

Capital controls or cooperation?
Frances Coppola (Pieria) Feb 3, 2014
Central banks should coordinate monetary policy on a global basis. "Our currency, your problem" is no longer appropriate in a globalised financial world.

Tax evasion and austerity-plan failure
Francesco Pappadà & Yanos Zylberberg (VoxEU) Feb 3, 2014
Greece’s austerity package included an unprecedented increase in the VAT rate, but the resulting increase in revenue was much lower than expected. This column links this disappointing result to the ‘transparency response’ of firms to higher tax rates. In countries like Greece with poor tax monitoring, firms face a tradeoff when deciding whether to declare their activity. Transparency is a necessary condition for accessing external finance, but it also means having to pay tax. Improving credit conditions for small and medium-size Greek firms might shift this tradeoff in favour of transparency.

Job Uncertainty and Chinese Household Savings
Zheng Liu (FRBSF Letter) Feb 3, 2014
China’s household saving rate has risen substantially during the past two decades. Research suggests that increased job uncertainty following reforms and massive layoffs in state-owned enterprises during the late 1990s contributed significantly to the increase. Facing higher unemployment risks after the reforms, workers in state-owned enterprises have tended to save more as a precaution. A recent study estimates that precautionary saving driven by the reforms explains about a third of Chinese urban household wealth accumulation from 1995 to 2002.

A New Multilateralism for the 21st Century: the Richard Dimbleby Lecture
Christine Lagarde (IMF) Feb 3, 2014
I would like to talk about the future of the world economy.

If robots divide us, they will conquer Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Feb 4, 2014
The untold benefits promised by the rapid advance of intelligent technologies will cost us dear unless we understand the attendant dangers.

No crime for traders to be in the know Financial Times Subscription Required
John Kay (FT) Feb 4, 2014
A trader risks jail if he roots out and uses inside information. But you can buy the opportunity to trade on information a few milliseconds earlier than others.

Fed’s bad manners risk offence abroad Financial Times Subscription Required
Willem Buiter (FT) Feb 4, 2014
The central bank should at least take account of the external impact of its actions to the extent that these feed back into the US economy.

ICBC deal echoes moves in China’s past Financial Times Subscription Required
Henny Sender (FT) Feb 4, 2014
Possibility of defaults on the one hand and bubbles on the other could threaten social stability, Beijing’s biggest recurring nightmare.

Bad news barrage sinks new year consensus Financial Times Subscription Required
John Plender (FT) Feb 4, 2014
Nervous emerging market money will soon find a home in developed market stocks as Treasury havens fail to offer yield sought by investors.

Eurozone bond is no freeloaders’ charter Financial Times Subscription Required
Peter Bofinger (FT) Feb 4, 2014
A debt instrument designed without joint liability could go a long way to reassuring some states that they will not pick up the tab for others.

What Happens When the Robots Take Over?
Martin Hutchinson (Globalist) Feb 4, 2014
Will a robotized world create more problems than it solves?

Robots Are Not the Problem
Robert D. Atkinson (Globalist) Feb 4, 2014
Less "rise of the machines" — and more "rise of the incomes."

America's False Dawn
Stephen S. Roach (Globalist) Feb 4, 2014
Is a classic cyclical revival finally at hand for the United States?

A Healthier, Wealthier Africa
Joseph Jimenez (Project Syndicate) Feb 4, 2014
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have long been the focus of emerging-market investors. But it is in Africa, the world’s second-fastest growing region, where the next big business opportunities lie.

Daring Europe to Innovate
Kurt Bock (Project Syndicate) Feb 4, 2014
It has become a truism to say that innovation plays a crucial role in creating sustainable economic growth. Yet, policymakers, particularly in the EU, continue to place obstacles in the way of those best positioned to invent new products, services, or ways of doing business.

History versus Europe
Harold James (Project Syndicate) Feb 4, 2014
History can mean eternal clashes that are shaped by profound geopolitical forces, or it can suggest a need to find ways to escape from ancient predicaments and outdated prejudices. It is this contrast that defines the intellectual battle now taking place in and about Europe.

The Global Economy Without Steroids
Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Project Syndicate) Feb 4, 2014
While the fact that the advanced economies are bouncing back is good news for everyone, it raises an important question for emerging economies: Is business-as-usual good enough to compete in this new environment? The short answer is no.

The I.M.F. Needs a Reset New York Times Subscription Required
Robert H. Wade and Jakob Westergaard (NYT) Feb 4, 2014
The fund is in a crisis of governance, with big developing nations frustrated with the West's grip on power.

India Needs More Than a Good Central Bank
Bloomberg View Feb 4, 2014
Investors pulling back from emerging markets have lately thought India a relatively safe bet. That’s partly because they’ve been impressed with Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India. If the global financial turbulence persists, confidence in the central bank’s new boss may not be enough.

Trading Places
Caroline Freund (FP/PIIE) Feb 4, 2014
Last week, something rare and heartening happened in the Middle East: a peaceful transition of power. Tunisia's Islamist al-Nahda party resigned following parliament's approval of the country's new constitution, handing authority to a technocratic government that will pave the way for elections later this year. Meanwhile, the news out of Egypt could not be more different. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was promoted to field marshal, and the military leadership endorsed his run for the presidency—steps widely seen as a prelude to Sisi assuming the country's top office.

India: Narendra Modi’s market model Financial Times Subscription Required
Victor Mallet (FT) Feb 5, 2014
Gujarat’s chief minister is credited with transforming the state but his critics question whether he would be able to replicate that success across the country.

Bitcoin is more than a speculators’ currency Financial Times Subscription Required
John Gapper (FT) Feb 5, 2014
Swapping in and out of Bitcoin sounds complex but is less so than a typical foreign exchange transaction via a bank, which goes through several platforms.

India may have its inflation-slayer Financial Times Subscription Required
David Pilling (FT) Feb 5, 2014
The central bank governor seems to be capable of tackling the longstanding issue of consumer prices rising at close to 10 per cent a year.

The ECB should buy equities Financial Times Subscription Required
Nikhil Srinivasan (FT) Feb 5, 2014
The effects on the wider economy would be widely felt – business would find it easier to raise capital, stimulating investment.

Haven appeal of Swiss franc will fade Financial Times Subscription Required
Mansoor Mohi-uddin (FT) Feb 5, 2014
The currency is set to weaken in 2014 and risk-averse investors should favour the US dollar and Treasury bonds when seeking to hedge portfolios.

Don’t Rush to Blame the Fed New York Times Subscription Required
Kristin J. Forbes (NYT) Feb 5, 2014
U.S. interest rates aren’t the big reason for volatile currencies and falling stock prices.

What Might Ignite Global Contagion? Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Ian Tally (WSJ) Feb 5, 2014
While painful, the current sell-off in emerging markets and darkening investor mood in advanced economies hasn’t turned into a global cascade of financial contagion. But what could trigger widespread selling that routs the long hoped-for global recovery?

Turkey's Tribulations Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 5, 2014
Erdogan's reaction to a corruption scandal has spooked investors.

Why Some Emerging Markets Are Heading for a Bust
Frank Shostak (Mises Daily) Feb 5, 2014
In countries such as Turkey and Argentina a tighter stance implemented by central banks has set in motion an economic bust. In Turkey the central bank has raised the one week repo rate to 10 percent from 4.5 percent while in Argentina the 3-month Treasury bill rate climbed to 25.89 percent from 16 percent in early January. In Argentina an increase in rates took place once the central bank aggressively curbed its monetary pumping, while in Turkey the central bank raised its policy rate.

Understanding emerging-market turmoil
Kristin Forbes (VoxEU) Feb 5, 2014
The Federal Reserve’s ‘taper talk’ in spring 2013 has been blamed for outflows of capital from emerging markets. This column argues that global growth prospects and uncertainty are more important drivers of emerging-market capital flows than US monetary policy. Although crises can affect very different countries simultaneously, over time investors begin to discriminate between countries according to their fundamentals. Domestic investors play an increasingly important – and potentially stabilising – role. During a financial crisis, ‘retrenchment’ by domestic investors can offset foreign investors’ withdrawals of capital.

Democracy inhibits ethnic favouritism
Ameet Morjaria (VoxEU) Feb 5, 2014
Ethnic favouritism is a longstanding problem in Africa. This column presents new evidence of this phenomenon and how democracy affects it. Data on road building in Kenya confirms strong ethnic favouritism that disappears during periods of democracy.

Smart Development Foreign Affairs Subscription Required
Eduardo J. Gómez (FA) Feb 5, 2014
How Colombia, Mexico, and Singapore beat the BRICS.

The Year of Validation: Emerging Market Vulnerabilities Coming to the Fore
IIF Feb 5, 2014
The key theme highlighted in our January CMM—dependence on asset values—has come into focus during the recent gyrations in financial markets. The liquidity-supported increase in asset values in recent years has strengthened consumer confidence and spending, and could potentially create a virtuous cycle to sustain economic recovery going forward. However, the foundation of such a liquidity, asset value and growth nexus is not solid. The vulnerabilities of some emerging market countries have been crystalized into selloffs—triggered by the combination of ongoing Fed tapering and a surprise fall in China's January flash manufacturing PMI to below 50, exacerbated by early-February signals of weaker U.S. and UK manufacturing activity. Adding to these broad macro concerns have been disappointing Q4 2013 earnings reports from a number of major U.S. firms including Apple, Chevron, Amazon and General Electric. Concern about corporate revenue growth in Europe is already evident in forward earnings estimates, and is likely to become more pronounced given the relatively high exposure of many European firms to emerging market countries. In the period ahead, another key soft spot to watch is whether recent substantial increases in mature equity market prices will be validated by an acceleration in earnings growth.

Norway: Cruise control Financial Times Subscription Required
Richard Milne (FT) Feb 6, 2014
While long praised for avoiding the resource curse, there are fears that the country’s reliance on oil wealth is threatening growth prospects.

Why the dollar stays steady Financial Times Subscription Required
Gillian Tett (FT) Feb 6, 2014
While common sense would say that the economic woes of the US should have sparked a crisis of its currency, precisely the opposite has occurred.

Reforming labour markets key for Europe Financial Times Subscription Required
Sarah Gordon (FT) Feb 6, 2014
Businesses face structural challenges to increasing employment in the form of taxes, rigid labour laws and inflexible labour contracts.

How 2014 turned into a scary thriller Financial Times Subscription Required
Ralph Atkins (FT) Feb 6, 2014
Market strategists rue their failure, with hindsight, to spot the dangerous degree of consensus at the start of the year about how 2014 would unfold.

Ominous Signs for the Global Recovery Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Jay Pelosky (WSJ) Feb 6, 2014
U.S. growth may be ready to cool, Europe faces a serious deflation risk, and emerging markets are in disarray.

How Politics May Sink Trade Deals
Kimberley Strassel (WSJ) Feb 6, 2014
Obama may want Trade Promotion Authority, but Harry Reid's priority is the midterm elections.

WTO Ag Negotiators Begin Charting Post-Bali Course
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 4 Feb 6, 2014
Two months after the WTO's ninth ministerial conference in Bali, Indonesia, talks on the organisation's farm trade agenda remain shrouded in uncertainty, officials say. Key questions, negotiators told Bridges, include which issues the membership should tackle next, and what is the best approach to take.

"Fast Track" Trade Debate Ramps Up in Washington
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 4 Feb 6, 2014
The fight over whether to grant the White House “fast track” trade powers is growing increasingly acrimonious in Washington, leaving the fate of the legislation unclear. The rule, which lapsed in 2007, is essential for advancing both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), once those respective negotiations are completed.

US Senate Approves Farm Bill
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 4 Feb 6, 2014
The US Farm Bill cleared its penultimate hurdle on Tuesday, passing the Senate by a 68-32 margin just days after the House had approved the compromise legislation.

U.S.-Brazil: The Battle Over Cotton Subsidies
Mark S. Langevin (Globalist) Feb 6, 2014
It's time for the U.S. to rethink its inflexible stance in the trade game with Brazil.

Why Political Risk Will Dominate Markets in 2014
Scott MacDonald (Globalist) Feb 6, 2014
The headlines are filled with bad political news and that means bad news for markets.

Why you ought to pay attention to the recent comments of a famous short-seller
Andrew Lyddon (Pieria) Feb 6, 2014
As developed equity markets continue their broadly upward trend, is Jim Chanos right in thinking that the market is 'primed for short-sellers'?

How Fragile are Emerging Markets?
Kenneth Rogoff (Project Syndicate) Feb 6, 2014
Emerging-market equities and exchange rates are again under severe downward pressure, but are the underlying economies really as fragile as global traders seem to fear? The short answer, for a few, is probably “yes,” but, for most, “not quite yet.”

Stagnation by Design
Joseph E. Stiglitz (Project Syndicate) Feb 6, 2014
The difficulties that many rich countries now face are not the result of the inexorable laws of economics, to which people simply must adjust, as they would to a natural disaster. On the contrary, the decline in most households' income over the past three decades, particularly in the US, is the result of flawed policies.

Why looser ECB policy would make a stronger economy
Agnès Benassy-Quéré, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Philippe Martin and Guillaume Plantin (VoxEU) Feb 6, 2014
The euro has appreciated sharply since July 2012. This column introduces a CEPR Policy Insight which argues that the strong euro is not the result of a ‘currency war’. The Eurozone suffers from an overly restrictive monetary policy. The sooner the ECB adopts a more aggressive monetary stance, the sooner the recovery will take hold. Easier Eurozone monetary conditions will lead to a temporarily depreciated euro, which will support aggregate economic activity and help inflation stay close to 2%.

A call for liquidity stress testing
Clemens Bonner (VoxEU) Feb 6, 2014
Liquidity risks can be a primary source of bank failures. As such, there are arguments not to rely on a single metric for providing supervision. This column describes research on detailed cases of failed and near-failed institutions, which helps highlight gaps in current practices of liquidity stress testing. It also gives guidance on how to design liquidity stress tests. Deposit insurance coverage, the heterogeneity of lending commitments, distinction between different types of repos, committed facilities, and derivative transactions should receive increased attention when designing liquidity stress tests.

Causes of Eurozone external imbalances
Jose Luis Diaz Sanchez and Aristomene Varoudakis (VoxEU) Feb 6, 2014
External imbalances within the Eurozone grew substantially between the introduction of the euro in 1999 and the global financial crisis of 2008–09. Using new empirical evidence, this column argues that imbalances in the Eurozone periphery were mainly driven by a domestic demand boom, triggered by greater financial integration, with changes in the periphery’s competitiveness playing only a minor role. Internal devaluation may thus have been of limited effectiveness in restoring external balances, although better external competitiveness may eventually boost medium-term growth.

Growing pains
Diane Coyle (Aeon) Feb 6, 2014
Measure a country purely in terms of its GDP and you neglect the wellbeing of its people. Yet can that be measured?

Bumpy landing need not become a crash Financial Times Subscription Required
Gavyn Davies (FT) Feb 7, 2014
Worries about the Fed and its taper have given investors bad dreams but events in China could be the stuff of nightmares.

Emerging Markets’ Submerging Currencies
Michael Heise (Project Syndicate) Feb 7, 2014
For many emerging markets, 2014 has gotten off to a grim start, with concern over the Chinese economy’s marked slowdown and the Argentine peso’s steep slide against the US dollar triggering heavy selling pressure on an array of currencies. But differentiation is needed, and that is what financial markets are now doing.

Bangladesh at a Crossroads
Charles Tannock (Project Syndicate) Feb 7, 2014
In the course of just a few weeks, Bangladesh’s fragile democracy – which had made substantial social and economic progress in recent years – has deteriorated dramatically. Reversing the current trend toward political disorder and violence will require addressing divisions that have defined the country since independence in 1971.

Poland’s Eurozone Tests
Marek Belka (Project Syndicate) Feb 7, 2014
The timing of Polish accession to the eurozone has been the subject of serious – often heated – debate. Before adopting the single currency, Polish policymakers must identify the necessary conditions that would allow the country to sustain its recent economic success.

Reviving China’s Rebalancing
Yu Yongding (Project Syndicate) Feb 7, 2014
After running massive surpluses for two decades, China’s foreign-exchange reserves are poised to break $4 trillion, with the marginal cost of every dollar accumulated vastly surpassing its benefits. It is clearly in China’s interest to reduce its economic imbalances; the question is whether it has the policy space to do so.

Europe’s Ungainly Banking Revolution
Daniel Gros (Project Syndicate) Feb 7, 2014
Late last year, eurozone finance ministers reached a compromise on the basic elements of the Single Resolution Mechanism – that is, how to deal with banks in difficulty. The deal looks ugly, but it also appears likely to work.

How Germany Just Undercut the Euro
Megan Greene (Bloomberg) Feb 7, 2014
Germany's Constitutional Court has weakened Mario Draghi's most potent weapon in the battle to save the euro.

Give the ECB the Power to Save Europe's Economy
Bloomberg View Feb 7, 2014
Without delay, the European Court of Justice should take a wide, pragmatic view of the European Central Bank's powers.

The day after tomorrow
Frances Coppola (Pieria) Feb 7, 2014
The world is undergoing three "perfect economic storms". Do they signal a fundamental economic realignment? And what is the principal driver of that change?

Can democracy help with inequality?
Daron Acemoglu, Suresh Naidu, Pascual Restrepo and James A Robinson (VoxEU) Feb 7, 2014
Inequality is currently a prominent topic of debate in Western democracies. In democratic countries, we might expect rising inequality to be partially offset by an increase in political support for redistribution. This column argues that the relationship between democracy, redistribution, and inequality is more complicated than that. Elites in newly democratised countries may hold on to power in other ways, the liberalisation of occupational choice may increase inequality among previously excluded groups, and the middle classes may redistribute income away from the poor as well as the rich.

Why don’t African firms create more jobs?
Leonardo Iacovone and Vijaya Ramachandran (VoxEU) Feb 7, 2014
There is an urgent need for job creation in Africa yet something seems to be stunting firm growth. This column shows that African firms are about 20% smaller than their counterparts in other locations. It suggests small firms put the brake on growth as the burden of dealing with government and labour costs may increase with size, or perhaps as they start facing trust issues between managers and workers.

Why Emerging Markets Should Look Within New York Times Subscription Required
Tyler Cowen (NYT) Feb 8, 2014
Self-inflicted political wounds, more than global economic tides, appear to be shaking nations like Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine and Thailand.

The Greater the Turmoil, the Stronger the Dollar. Again.
Jeff Sommer (NYT) Feb 8, 2014
A familiar pattern is back in currency markets, even if U.S. policy is fueling some of the world's financial problems.

The global economy: The worldwide wobble Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 8, 2014
The world economy will have a bumpy 2014. But the recovery is not, yet, at risk.

Job polarisation and the decline of middle-class workers’ wages
Michael Boehm (VoxEU) Feb 8, 2014
Employment in traditional middle-class jobs has fallen sharply over the last few decades. At the same time, middle-class wages have been stagnant. This column reviews recent research on job polarisation and presents a new study that explicitly links job polarisation with the changes in workers' wages. Job polarisation has a substantial negative effect on middle-skill workers.

The Fed’s waning magic in Yellen’s era Financial Times Subscription Required
Edward Luce (FT) Feb 9, 2014
A widely forecast year of US take-off is once again in danger of faltering but the central bank has run out of ammunition.

German ruling strengthens eurosceptics Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Munchau (FT) Feb 9, 2014
To read the Karlsruhe ruling, it seems that little short of a military coup would breach as many constitutional principles as the OMT.

Computing’s future is and is not quantum Financial Times Subscription Required
Anjana Ahuja (FT) Feb 9, 2014
As the world demands ever more powerful computers, early investors hope that Schrödinger’s cat can be turned into a cash cow.

India’s quick-fix regulation will not do Financial Times Subscription Required
Amy Kazmin (FT) Feb 9, 2014
India needs to urgently tackle regulatory problems, but it may require a significant shift in mindset among the ruling elite towards safety and quality.

Brazil Tries to Borrow Its Way to Prosperity Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary O'Grady (WSJ) Feb 9, 2014
A five-year credit spree by state banks threatens the country's competitiveness.

A renewed alliance
Barack Obama and François Hollande (WP) Feb 9, 2014
France and the United States are working together for a better world.

The End of Erdogan-omics Foreign Affairs Subscription Required
Piotr Zalewski (FA) Feb 9, 2014
Turkey's prime minister loses the battle for cheap credit.

Obama on Free Trade: Doing It Wrong
Ramesh Ponnuru (Bloomberg) Feb 10, 2014
Barack Obama actually agrees with Republicans about one thing: how to promote free trade. Unfortunately, they're both wrong.

How U.S. Spying Is Killing Free Trade
Bloomberg View Feb 9, 2014
All around the world, governments are devising creative ways to torment American technology companies. It started last year after leaks revealed that the U.S. government basically uses services like Google and Facebook as arms of the surveillance state. In response, some countries - - including Germany, Brazil and now France -- have toyed with the idea of forcing Internet companies to route traffic or store data locally.

Outright Monetary Infractions
Hans-Werner Sinn (Project Syndicate) Feb 9, 2014
The German Constitutional Court has delivered its long-awaited decision on the ECB’s “outright monetary transactions” program. The ruling fully endorses the plaintiffs’ arguments, finding that the ECB's scheme to purchase potentially unlimited volumes of eurozone governments' bonds does indeed violate EU law.

Abenomics has benefits far beyond Japan Financial Times Subscription Required
Peter Tasker (FT) Feb 10, 2014
Far from launching an export drive, Japan saw its trade deficit well-nigh double last year. Even the current account recorded a few sizeable monthly deficits.

Trade: Pacts of strife Financial Times Subscription Required
James Politi and Shawn Donnan (FT) Feb 10, 2014
Two proposed global deals depend on the outcome of yet another bitter Washington battle – this time between Barack Obama and his own party.

The threat of another euro crisis Financial Times Subscription Required
Gideon Rachman (FT) Feb 10, 2014
Two of Germany’s most respected institutions have now registered profound objections to the policies underpinning the euro.

We need a Bismarck to tame the machines Financial Times Subscription Required
Michael Ignatieff (FT) Feb 10, 2014
Modern democrats should not resist the forces of change but they need to hold in check the power of the barons enriched by the new technologies.

A Leading Chinese Economist Warns of a Difficult Year and 'Dead' Companies New York Times Subscription Required
Michael Forsythe (NYT) Feb 10, 2014
Wu Jinglian is warning that China’s economy will face a “difficult” year as it contends with state-owned companies with high debt levels that depend on subsidies to survive.

The First Step on a Long Path Toward Normalization
David J. Stockton (Intereconomics/PIIE) Feb 10, 2014
With the economic recovery incomplete and with inflation falling well short of target, the US Federal Reserve should be biased toward maintaining its support of the economy. The United States has been well served by the Fed's aggressive actions, and it should not back down now.

Death by Finance
Dani Rodrik (Project Syndicate) Feb 10, 2014
While emerging economies have been hit hard in recent weeks by a severe mood swing in global financial markets, the only surprise is that we are surprised. Economists, in particular, should have learned a few fundamental lessons long ago.

Germany’s Pyrrhic Victory
Marcel Fratzscher (Project Syndicate) Feb 10, 2014
The German Constitutional Court has ruled against the ECB’s pledge to buy potentially unlimited quantities of distressed eurozone countries’ government bonds. As a result, the ECB’s ability to act as a credible financial-market backstop has been weakened, while European governments remain unwilling to fill the void.

Remittances and vulnerability in developing countries
Giulia Bettin, Andrea F Presbitero and Nikola Spatafora (VoxEU) Feb 10, 2014
Remittances are one of the most important financial flows to developing countries – more than three times the level of official development assistance. This column presents recent research on remittance flows from Italy. Their limited volatility and countercyclical behaviour with respect to macroeconomic conditions in the recipient country help mitigate developing countries’ vulnerability to external shocks. Better access to financial services for migrants can foster remittance flows.

Investment: South Africa rising Financial Times Subscription Required
Andrew England and Javier Blas (FT) Feb 11, 2014
South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation is making its presence felt, but critics claim economic concerns are trumped by political considerations.

Enslave the robots and free the poor Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Feb 11, 2014
An opportunity to enable human beings to live far better lives depends on how the gains are produced and distributed.

Europe will dismiss Swiss fears at its peril Financial Times Subscription Required
Philipp Hildebrand (FT) Feb 11, 2014
Various dimensions of integration no longer enjoy broad support. The project needs reform lest it lose its democratic legitimacy.

Big data lets us see a little further Financial Times Subscription Required
John Kay (FT) Feb 11, 2014
Small changes in initial conditions can lead to increasingly bigger changes in outcomes. And then there is the human factor.

China squeeze is hampering Asian growth Financial Times Subscription Required
Henny Sender (FT) Feb 11, 2014
The withdrawal of stimulus by the US Federal Reserve has increased the importance of China as a provider of liquidity in the Asia-Pacific region.

A World Unprepared, Again, for Rising Interest Rates New York Times Subscription Required
Eduardo Porter (NYT) Feb 11, 2014
The pullout of capital from emerging markets eerily resembles the financial wave that emerged from Asia and swept across the globe in the late 1990s.

The Markets Love Yellen---for Now Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Judy Shelton (WSJ) Feb 11, 2014
The new head of the Federal Reserve says monetary policy won't change, unless it does.

When to Ignore the Investment Experts
Barry Ritholtz (Bloomberg) Feb 11, 2014
When all the experts are in agreement on financial market developments,sometimes it pays to head in the other direction.

Europe Can't Let Greece Drown in Debt
Bloomberg View Feb 11, 2014
Europe keeps making the same mistake in dealing with Greece and its debt. To get on track for recovery, the country needs debt forgiveness.

Asia’s Democratic Drama
Jean-Pierre Lehmann (Project Syndicate) Feb 11, 2014
In South and East Asia, democracies outnumber dictatorships by 17 to six. But they are facing turbulent times, and the old charge that Asia is ill-suited for Western-style democracy is being leveled again.

Market Failure and Political Failure
Jeffrey Frankel (Project Syndicate) Feb 11, 2014
In areas like air pollution, traffic congestion, spectrum allocation, and cigarette consumption, market mechanisms have often proved to be the best way for governments to address market failures. So why are such mechanisms now in retreat almost everywhere?

The ECB’s Bridge Too Far
Ashoka Mody (Project Syndicate) Feb 11, 2014
The German Constitutional Court’s recent decision to refer the complaint against the ECB’s so-called “outright monetary transactions” to the European Court of Justice leaves the program’s fate uncertain. What is clear is that the economics behind OMT is flawed – and so is the politics.

Post-Growth Growth Models
Simon Zadek (Project Syndicate) Feb 11, 2014
Policymakers worldwide have long relied on reactive, symptom-oriented tactics to boost economic growth, instead of adopting a systemic approach that moves beyond output to account for environmental and social outcomes. This may be about to change.

China's economic reform plan will probably fail
Derek M. Scissors (AEI) Feb 11, 2014
Reactions to the Chinese Communist Party’s announcement of major economic reforms in November have ranged from unbridled optimism to skepticism about the party’s ability to implement sweeping change. In fact, the reforms themselves are flawed in multiple ways—most are inauthentic, uncredible, or nonviable. However, the areas of land and finance offer more limited prospects for true reform. The primary means of judging reform progress should be progress in reducing excess capacity. The most likely outcome is that the party will claim success but the economy will slowly stagnate, harming China’s partners.

Yellen, tapering and a moribund G20 Financial Times Subscription Required
Philip Stephens (FT) Feb 12, 2014
The facts of economic interdependence cannot be wished away. At some point turbulence in the rising world may well exact a toll on the US.

The Fed is not to blame for EM turmoil Financial Times Subscription Required
Eswar Prasad (FT) Feb 12, 2014
The whingeing should stop. Governments need to work with their central banks to frame a consistent policy that will achieve their economic objectives.

EMs are paying the price of ETF liquidity Financial Times Subscription Required
John Authers (FT) Feb 12, 2014
Volatility in emerging markets has been inflamed by the ability of exchange traded funds to exit quickly from large, liquid assets.

Chances are high of mass exodus from EM Financial Times Subscription Required
Gene Frieda (FT) Feb 12, 2014
Investors’ exposure to local currency risks and a liquidity mismatch due to banks’ withdrawal from market-making pose systemic challenges.

Ex-Leader Says Brazil Won’t Follow China’s Low-Wage Model New York Times Subscription Required
Rick Gladstone (NYT) Feb 12, 2014
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who presided over major economic growth in Brazil, said the country wants to promote a technologically skilled work force.

AIDS’s global lessons
Paul Farmer (WP) Feb 12, 2014
How the world combatted the virus could help for the fight against hepatitis C.

China's Wonky Trade Data Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Feb 12, 2014
Erratic economic policy leads to jumps in export numbers.

Africa’s Search for Law
Mo Ibrahim (Project Syndicate) Feb 12, 2014
Acknowledging that we must all be equal in the eyes and practice of the law is a first-order requirement of strengthening the social contract between the state and its citizens. Without greater fidelity to the rule of law, too many African citizens will continue to see their futures blighted and their countries’ resources wasted.

Europe’s Educational Evolution
Mary McAleese (Project Syndicate) Feb 12, 2014
Facing economic crisis, high unemployment, shifting demographics, and rising competition from developing economies, Europe must adjust to technological advances and new modes of working. That means focusing on education to nurture people’s talents and potential – and thus to spur economic and social recovery.

Firm age, investment opportunities, and job creation
Manuel Adelino, Song Ma & David Robinson (VoxEU) Feb 12, 2014
There is a strong link between entrepreneurship and growth – young firms were responsible for almost all net job creation in the US economy over the last 30 years. This column presents new research into the responsiveness of firms of different ages to investment opportunities. Firms aged 0–23 months create about twice the total number of new jobs in response to local income shocks than firms that are more than six years old.

Maastricht and the Crisis in Europe: Where We’ve Been and What We’ve Learned
Reza Moghadam (IMF) Feb 12, 2014
Everywhere, but especially in Europe, the crisis has exposed gaps in our belief systems and institutions. This symposium on Maastricht and the road ahead is an opportunity to take stock of the presuppositions about what it takes to deliver financial stability and an enduring EMU.

Titans of finance are no longer bankers Financial Times Subscription Required
Gillian Tett (FT) Feb 13, 2014
So-called ‘alternative asset managers’ are more entrepreneurial and swashbuckling than bankers these days and they appear to be having more fun.

Karlsruhe fallout highlights power of ECB Financial Times Subscription Required
Ralph Atkins (FT) Feb 13, 2014
The European Court of Justice is expected to give OMTs its blessing, making German opposition harder, and investors are still not betting against ECB.

A dose of humility from the central banks Financial Times Subscription Required
Gavyn Davies (FT) Feb 13, 2014
Over the past week it has become a little easier to generalise about what central bankers are really thinking.

China: Funds on the edge Financial Times Subscription Required
Paul J Davies and Simon Rabinovitch (FT) Feb 13, 2014
The country’s hedge funds are producing spectacular returns but foreign investors remain wary of a sector whose regulation remains nascent.

Korea's Lesson for Japan Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 13, 2014
Seoul's domestic reforms are leading to growth without devaluation.

Obama and the IMF Are Unhappy With Congress? Good Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
John Taylor (WSJ) Feb 13, 2014
The International Monetary Fund needs to get its house in order before Washington green-lights more money.

US Launches New WTO Challenge Against India Solar Incentives
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 5 Feb 13, 2014
The US lodged its second WTO challenge against India's domestic content requirements for solar cells and solar modules on Monday, in a move expected to worsen the two sides' already-strained trade relationship. The decision, announced by US Trade Representative Michael Froman, also brings back to the fore a long-standing debate over how countries should best foster the development of renewable energy.

West Africa, EU Reach Trade Deal
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 5 Feb 13, 2014
The EU and West Africa have reached a compromise on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), following over a decade of negotiations. The trade pact is meant to provide 16 West African countries with long-term access to the European market, without being subjected to tariffs or quotas.

WTO Members Begin Eyeing Options for Doha Work Programme
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 5 Feb 13, 2014
With the Bali ministerial now behind them, the process to develop a Doha "work programme" by year's end is beginning to gear up in Geneva, with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urging members last week to use 2014 to get the struggling negotiations "back on track."

Pacific Alliance Announces Tariff Elimination Deal
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 5 Feb 13, 2014
Leaders from the Pacific Alliance announced a major regional trade pact on Monday. Meeting in the Colombian city of Cartagena, members agreed to slash tariffs on 92 percent of products, with the remaining eight percent – including sensitive products such as bananas and coffee – to be phased out over a longer period.

Myths and Lessons of the Argentine “Currency Crisis”
Joseph T. Salerno (Mises Daily) Feb 13, 2014
The crash of the Argentine peso last month brings to a close yet another foredoomed experiment in South American left-wing populism. The precipitous “devaluation” of the peso by 15 percent against the U.S. dollar in January represents its steepest decline since the devaluation of 2001 when Argentina defaulted on its foreign debt. From January 21 to the close of trading on January 23 the peso dropped from 6.88 per dollar to 8.00 on the official market. On the black market the peso fell by 6 percent on January 23 to 13 to the dollar. Over the past year the peso has declined by 35 percent.

France and the United States: A Reality Check
Stephan Richter (Globalist) Feb 13, 2014
The recent presidential love fest notwithstanding, France and the United States are united in the wrong priorities.

Mastering Our Urban Future
Noeleen Heyzer (Project Syndicate) Feb 13, 2014
By the end of this century, ten billion people will inhabit our planet, with 8.5 billion living in cities. This could be the stuff of nightmares; but, with sufficient political will, vision, and creativity – along with some simple, practical policy changes – we may be able to create cities of dreams.

The Dollar and the Damage Done
Barry Eichengreen (Project Syndicate) Feb 13, 2014
The Federal Reserve is being widely blamed for the eruption of volatility in emerging markets in recent weeks. While the Fed has to some extent become a convenient whipping boy for the global economy's problems, three recent developments suggest that it should not be absolved of all guilt.

Searching for sources of inequality
Davide Furceri & Prakash Loungani (VoxEU) Feb 13, 2014
Income inequality has been growing in many economies over the past two decades, and it is currently historically high. This column adds two new contributors to the popular explanations of increased inequality. Fiscal consolidations, especially those following the recent crisis, can increase inequality, mostly by affecting the long-term unemployment. A second source that leads to a persistent increase in inequality is capital account liberalisation. Therefore, the effects of these policies on inequality should be taken into account when deciding upon policy designs.

Colonialism's Enduring Dividends Foreign Affairs Subscription Required
Bhaskar Chakravorti, Jianwei Dong and Kate Fedosova (FA) Feb 13, 2014
Why European companies have an advantage in emerging markets.

Prospects for the world economy
Jonathan Portes (Pieria) Feb 13, 2014
Growth prospects have improved in advanced economies, particularly in the US, but have deteriorated in a number of emerging market economies.

Why Bitcoins lack currency to be 'money'
Reuven Brenner (AT) Feb 14, 2014
Bitcoin cannot become "money" - something even cigarettes can achieve - even assuming the technology geeks succeed in locking their software vaults against mischief-making hackers. It may, however, speed up the search for solutions to the present utter mismanagement of monetary and fiscal and regulatory affairs.

Define irony...
Chan Akya (AT) Feb 14, 2014
Equity investors cheering every intervention by central banks seem unaware that while these keep asset prices artificially high, they fail to provide tangible benefits in employment generation or wage increases. Public outbursts from Singapore to the Arab world suggest anger over high asset prices won't just simmer forever.

China’s Risky Reforms
Ian Bremmer and David Gordon (Project Syndicate) Feb 14, 2014
China is on the brink of large, necessary, and dangerous transformations that promise to change the country for the better – or make everything, including regional stability, much worse. The entire world has a large stake in what happens next.

Which way do foreign branches sway?
Glenn Hoggarth, John Hooley & Yevgeniya Korniyenko (VoxEU) Feb 14, 2014
The recent crisis revealed that lending by foreign banks can be more cyclical than that by domestic banks. This column presents research showing that bank ownership structure mattered, at least in the case of the UK. Foreign bank branches cut their lending more sharply than did foreign subsidiaries, thus, amplifying the domestic credit cycle. This finding suggests policymakers should pay close attention to risks that stem from foreign bank branches when they are ‘alive’, not only when they are ‘dead’ and pose an even greater financial instability.

The Davos Apocalypse
Bjørn Lomborg (Project Syndicate) Feb , 2014
At the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos last month, leading participants called for a rapid shift to cleaner energy to tackle climate change. There was something unsettling about the global power elite jetting into an exclusive Swiss ski resort and telling the rest of the world to stop using fossil fuels.

The Case for Swapping Roles With China New York Times Subscription Required
Fred Andrews (NYT) Feb 15, 2014
A new book by Stephen Roach says it’s time for the United States to be more of a producer and for China to be more of a consumer.

Government: The parable of Argentina Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 15, 2014
There are lessons for many governments from one country’s 100 years of decline.

Forex in the spotlight Financial Times Subscription Required
FT Feb 16, 2014
Banks are braced for a potential barrage of multibillion-dollar fines and litigation from the probe into alleged collusion in the foreign exchange market.

To Russia with love: Obama’s energy lever Financial Times Subscription Required
Edward Luce (FT) Feb 16, 2014
The American energy revolution is a geopolitical windfall that will enable Washington to loosen Moscow’s grip on its neighbours.

Renzi needs more than reforms for Italy Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Münchau (FT) Feb 16, 2014
The immediate tasks will be to sort out the country’s banks and stand up to its European partners, a task that may have been left too late.

America courts Downton economics Financial Times Subscription Required
Lawrence Summers (FT) Feb 16, 2014
Sooner or later inequality will have to be addressed. Give free markets the chance to operate and then improve the result.

EM fads that change with the seasons Financial Times Subscription Required
Mohamed El-Erian (FT) Feb 16, 2014
Excessive enthusiasm for emerging markets is far from the only intellectual fad that I have seen come and go during the past 16 years.

Venezuela Turns Ugly Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 16, 2014
As shortages and protests grow, Maduro follows the Cuban model.

Bridging the Gender Gap
Bernard Wasow (Globalist) Feb 16, 2014
Does Islam really limit the opportunities and achievements of women?

Rich Countries’ Dirty Money
Erik Solheim (Project Syndicate) Feb 16, 2014
An estimated $1 trillion, almost one-third of Africa’s GDP, leaves developing countries annually, though the true size of hidden transfers is, by definition, almost impossible to ascertain. But one thing is clear: rich countries are also at fault for failing to do enough to track and prevent illicit financial flows.

Foreign intervention and the economic costs of conflict
Hannes Felix Mueller (VoxEU) Feb 16, 2014
A new literature is trying to understand the economic effects of violent conflict through micro studies. This column argues that cooperation between the cross-country literature and micro studies is needed to better assess the economic costs of conflicts and hence inform policymakers on the benefits of a military or diplomatic intervention.

Pipe dreams for banks become a reality Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Arnold (FT) Feb 17, 2014
With fewer people going into bank branches, lenders are adopting different formats but harnessing the power of the cloud is the obvious next step.

‘Fast track’ is slow route to trade deals Financial Times Subscription Required
Chip Roh and Ted Posner (FT) Feb 17, 2014
The quick legislative route has become so congested with conditions and bureaucracy that it now offers few benefits over the conventional process.

Japan proves better growth bet than EM Financial Times Subscription Required
Richard Bernstein (FT) Feb 17, 2014
Investors would benefit from accepting post-bubble realities and reassessing investments accordingly, with Japanese equities offering opportunities.

Storms reveal government impotence Financial Times Subscription Required
Janan Ganesh (FT) Feb 17, 2014
We have come to see the state as young children see their parents: omnipotent against all problems, and obliged to deal with them all.

An Up-and-Sideways German Move Against Europe's Central Bank Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Joseph Joffe (WSJ) Feb 17, 2014
The worry, as usual, concerns sovereignty and power of the purse. Now the hot potato has been tossed to an EU court.

A Disruptive Proposal by the IMF
Douglas A. Rediker and Angel Ubide (Bloomberg) Feb 17, 2014
The International Monetary Fund is quietly wading into one of the most sensitive issues in international finance.

China Digs Itself Deeper Into Dollar Trap
William Pesek (Bloomberg) Feb 17, 2014
In "The Dollar Trap," Cornell economist Eswar Prasad argues that the U.S. dollar's linchpin role is only strengthening. And China doesn't see it's the dupe in this giant pyramid scheme.

Europe May Be in the Calm Before the Storm
Andrew Cullen (Mises Daily) Feb 17, 2014
Austrian business cycle theory explains that the “bust” phase of that cycle is created by extension of the cheap and plentiful credit by a fractional reserve banking (FRB) system. A FRB system is inherently fragile during the bust phase as its leverage (lending as a percentage of its own capital) exposes the banks to the emerging tsunami of non-performing loans and impaired collateral that are the manifestations of malinvestment.

Tailspin or Turbulence?
Kemal Dervis (Project Syndicate) Feb 17, 2014
For emerging economies, this year began with a wave of financial turmoil, like that which followed the US Federal Reserve’s announcement last spring that it would “taper” its asset-buying program. But their real vulnerability is rooted in private-sector balance sheets, particularly given heavy foreign borrowing in some countries.

Intellectual Property and Economic Development
Rod Hunter (Project Syndicate) Feb 17, 2014
Trade pacts can spur virtuous circles of growth for developing countries, as long as they create strong institutional frameworks that include robust intellectual-property protections. But some developing-country officials get the relationship between intellectual-property rights and economic growth backwards.

From Moscow to Sochi
Jeffrey D. Sachs (Project Syndicate) Feb 17, 2014
Back in 1991, many thought that Russia could not end high inflation, adopt a market economy, or compete with the West. Two decades later, we know better: Russia has become a stable, high-income market economy, with strong prospects for a generation of rapid GDP growth if it pursues a sensible economic strategy.

India must tackle manufacturing malaise Financial Times Subscription Required
James Crabtree (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Weak industry is the greatest challenge facing India.

India must tackle manufacturing malaise Financial Times Subscription Required
James Crabtree (FT) Feb 18, 2014
In its auto industry, India has build world class facilities and won a greater share of global markets. But few other of its sectors have followed suit.

High price of ignoring risks of catastrophe Financial Times Subscription Required
Robin Harding (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Models of climate change all but assume it cannot have a huge effect on the economy, no matter how bad global warming becomes.

Scientists should reach for the sky Financial Times Subscription Required
John Kay (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Anthropology helps us understand the world, whether it be the internal contradictions of communism or the pathologies of financial crises.

Europe cannot give in to the separatists Financial Times Subscription Required
Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Secessionists hail the EU as a model of integration but work tirelessly to disintegrate one of its member states.

Mexico and Nafta at 20. Why it went wrong Financial Times Subscription Required
John Paul Rathbone (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Peña Nieto’s government is working on microeconomics to boost Mexican industry and productivity with the pay-off being higher incomes.

Minimise currency risk to find EM bargains Financial Times Subscription Required
John Plender (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Main risk for emerging markets is that everyone seeks to devalue in response to capital outflows and balance sheet pressures.

Give them some credit Financial Times Subscription Required
Sarah Gordon (FT) Feb 18, 2014
Despite signs of growth in the eurozone, smaller businesses still struggle to find affordable funding, raising concerns about recovery and employment.

Why Harry Reid Must Reconsider on Trade Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Myron Brilliant (WSJ) Feb 18, 2014
The president needs the authority to finish two vital trade agreements. Please give it to him.

China lending curbs lift shadow economy
Michael Lelyveld (AT/RFA) Feb 18, 2014
The Chinese government's crackdown on excess and outmoded production, backed by lending limits on state-owned banks, has added new uncertainty to economic growth data as more business is forced off the official books.

It's the private debt, stupid
Marcel Canoy & Robin Fransman (Pieria) Feb 18, 2014
Whilst there is overwhelming evidence that private debt is a much bigger issue than government debt, governments throughout Europe do precious little to address the problem.

How Are You, Asian Dream?
Sun Xi (Globalist) Feb 18, 2014
Is the vision of Asian unity just a mirage?

China Moves to End Its Codependency with US
Stephen S. Roach (YaleGlobal) Feb 18, 2014
Global analysts fret about the resilience of emerging markets, including China’s. Yet economic managers in China know what needs to be done, already taking steps to rebalance, shifting from dependence on manufacturing and exports towards more services and consumer spending. The world is not prepared for the necessary slowdown in growth from China as its leaders focus on domestic spending, explains Stephen S. Roach, author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China.

In Praise of Fragmentation
Adair Turner (Project Syndicate) Feb 18, 2014
Most cross-country studies have found no evidence that capital-account liberalization is good for growth. Indeed, the most successful development stories in economic history – Japan and South Korea – featured significant domestic financial repression and capital controls, which accompanied several decades of rapid growth.

More to do on measuring hunger
Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt, Jed Friedman & John Gibson (VoxEU) Feb 18, 2014
Whereas the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty by half was achieved by 2010, the global hunger rate has only fallen by a third since 1990. Differences in survey design may account for part of this discrepancy. This column presents the results of a recent experiment in which households were randomly assigned to different survey designs. These different designs yield vastly different hunger estimates, ranging from 19% to 68% of the population being hungry.

The GCC going East: Economic ties with developing Asia on the rise Adobe Acrobat Required
Kevin Körner and Oliver Masetti (DB Research) Feb 18, 2014
Substantial changes in global economic weights over the past decades, in particular the rise of China and India, combined with major shifts on the energy supply side – the US shale revolution – have increasingly shifted the Gulf countries’ economic focus towards the Asian continent. Asia is now the GCC’s most important trade partner, both in terms of its hydrocarbon exports as well as imports of machinery, manufactured goods and food. The growing trade ties have also been accompanied by intensified bilateral investment relations. The observed shift promises to give the GCC countries better access to rapidly growing Asian retail markets, not only in energy but also other sectors such as telecommunications and Islamic finance. This should help the GCC in its ambition to diversify its economies. Migrant workers from Asia contribute significantly to economic prosperity and development in the Gulf monarchies, although the socio-economic implications stemming from the rapidly growing expatriate communities in the region will pose some challenges.

Energy: Power down Financial Times Subscription Required
Guy Chazan (FT) Feb 19, 2014
Cheap US coal has made gas-fired electricity uneconomic and accelerated the UK’s looming shortage of generation capacity.

Russia reminded of what could have been Financial Times Subscription Required
Kathrin Hille (FT) Feb 19, 2014
For those who experienced the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the stormy 1990s, a quiet, safe life is more important than anything else.

Hedge fund investors look for liquidity Financial Times Subscription Required
Stephen Foley (FT) Feb 19, 2014
Redeeming money from hedge funds is not a straightforward process and investors increasingly want quicker access to their investments.

Private Capital for Public Works Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Felix Rohatyn and Rodney Slater (WSJ) Feb 19, 2014
A bipartisan move in Congress seeks investors for American roads, ports and bridges.

The Rise of the Machines and the HR Manager's Dilemma
Carlos A. Primo Braga (IMD) Feb 19, 2014
What is the future of labor in the information age?

Seven Steps to Surviving a Disaster
Jim Yong Kim (Bloomberg) Feb 19, 2014
As climate change and increasing urbanization make more people vulnerable to natural disasters, nations can take seven proven steps to prepare.

The Golden Mean of Export Promotion
Ana Fernandes and Aaditya Mattoo (Project Syndicate) Feb 19, 2014
Economists sometimes describe a country as having a “Goldilocks” economy, because it has achieved moderate, sustainable growth rates that are “neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.” They might also seek Goldilocks’s views on export-promotion policy.

The Third World’s Drinking Problem
Asit K. Biswas and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Project Syndicate) Feb 19, 2014
According to the World Economic Forum's ninth annual Global Risks report, four of the ten most serious risks that the world will face in the coming decade are water-related. While international organizations recognize the imperative of ensuring enough potable water, their approach to meeting it has been entirely wrong.

Europe has to stop hiding beneath the bedcovers Financial Times Subscription Required
Philip Stephens (FT) Feb 20, 2014
The continent must wake up to the costs of illegal migration, jihadi terrorism and global crime.

Growth must deliver or policy must change Financial Times Subscription Required
Jay Pelosky (FT) Feb 20, 2014
Countries with policy flexibility are the best bet for investors, given the economic and market backdrop, which points to non-US developed markets.

Emerging markets can learn from US tests Financial Times Subscription Required
Gillian Tett (FT) Feb 20, 2014
Investor sentiment has swung so dramatically in the past five years that it could swing back sooner in affected regions than many now foresee.

A Swift lesson in the principles of economics Financial Times Subscription Required
Samuel Brittan (FT) Feb 20, 2014
Science and technology influence living standards but government still has a role.

Migration: The drain from Spain Financial Times Subscription Required
Tobias Buck (FT) Feb 20, 2014
After years as one of Europe’s largest recipients of immigration, the recent exodus from the country threatens its economic recovery.

TTIP's Effects on the Global Economy
Valbona Zeneli (Globalist) Feb 20, 2014
In uncertain economic times, TTIP means stronger ties within the West — and with the rest.

Trade Officials: US-EU Talks "On Track," Though Hurdles Remain
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 6 Feb 20, 2014
Talks between the US and EU for a comprehensive trade and investment pact are set to kick into higher gear, following a highly-anticipated "political stocktaking" meeting between the two sides' top trade officials. Though the negotiations are said to be "on track," both sides cautioned that the biggest challenges are yet to come.

TPP Members Place High Hopes on Singapore Ministerial
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 6 Feb 20, 2014
Chief negotiators from the twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are meeting this week in Singapore, in a bid to give the talks a major push before ministers arrive this weekend. The upcoming ministerial gathering is expected to be a key indicator of whether the group can seal a deal in time for US President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this April.

World Leaders Pledge to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 6 Feb 20, 2014
Leaders from 46 countries pledged last week to act together to combat a growing illegal wildlife industry, following a high-level meeting convened by the UK government and the British royal family.

Azevêdo: Global Trade Outlook "Cautiously Positive" for 2014
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 6 Feb 20, 2014
The trade outlook for the upcoming year is "cautiously positive," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said last week, with global trade flows slated to increase between 4 and 4.5 percent this year. However, he warned, trade restrictions are also on the rise, which could put this growth in jeopardy.

India: Economy Stabilizes, but High Inflation, Slow Growth Key Concerns
IMF Survey Feb 20, 2014
India has restored macroeconomic and financial stability, but structural impediments to growth and persistently high inflation remain key concerns, the IMF says in its annual report on the state of the Indian economy.

Life, Death and Game Theory in South Africa
Stephen L. Carter (Bloomberg) Feb 20, 2014
Although I do not wish to minimize the potential human tragedy in the mining dispute, the afficionado of game theory cannot help but be fascinated by this real-world test.

Overshooting in Emerging Markets
Michael Spence (Project Syndicate) Feb 20, 2014
In the last few years, investors, policymakers, and businesses have been devoting considerable attention to the so-called “middle-income trap.” As a result, emerging markets' downside risks are increasingly shaping the consensus forecast – a poor basis for investment and policy decisions.

Germany Steps Up
Anne-Marie Slaughter (Project Syndicate) Feb 20, 2014
Since the start of his first administration, US President Barack Obama has repeated a simple mantra concerning other countries: “With power comes responsibility.” France has demonstrated repeatedly that it understands and accepts this responsibility; Germany may now be following suit.

When China's Economic Priorities Clash New York Times Subscription Required
Anatole Kaletsky (NYT/Reuters) Feb 21, 2014
If there is a serious conflict, maintaining an adequate growth rate will trump credit restraint and financial reform.

America's Global Retreat Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Niall Ferguson (WSJ) Feb 21, 2014
Never mind the Fed's taper, it's the U.S. geopolitical taper that is stirring world anxiety. From Ukraine to Syria to the Pacific, a hands-off foreign policy invites more trouble.

Poking the Eurozone Bear
Brigitte Granville (Project Syndicate) Feb 21, 2014
When confronted by a bear, the conventional wisdom is to lie motionless until it loses interest and leaves you alone; but there are distinctions among kinds of bears, with some more likely to respond to bold action. This scenario is helpful for thinking about the eurozone, as it confronts its next survival test.

Death to Machines?
Robert Skidelsky (Project Syndicate) Feb 21, 2014
At the start of the Industrial Revolution, textile workers in the Midlands and North of England, mainly weavers, staged a spontaneous revolt, smashing machinery and burning factories. The Luddites were wrong on many points; but perhaps they deserve more than a footnote in economic history.

What’s Holding Back Brazil?
Otaviano Canuto (Project Syndicate) Feb 21, 2014
One often hears that Brazil’s economy is stuck in the “middle-income trap,” having failed to revive the structural transformation and per capita income growth that it enjoyed before the debt crisis of the 1980's. But, with the right mix of policies, Brazil could finally change its fortunes.

European Banks Are Cooking Up a Nice Regulatory Arbitrage
Matt Levine (Bloomberg) Feb 21, 2014
This isn't as good as the Credit Suisse trade where they bought CDS on their CVA and then gave non-recourse funding to collateralize that CDS. Nothing will ever be that good. But this is good.

The deflation debate
Mickey Levy (VoxEU) Feb 21, 2014
A popular view among economic commentators is that rich countries face a serious risk of deflation, and should adopt aggressive macroeconomic stimulus policies to ward it off. This column argues that despite similar headline inflation rates, the US, Europe, and Japan in fact face very different macroeconomic conditions. In the US, much of the recent disinflation is attributable to positive supply-side developments. In Europe, an aggressive round of quantitative easing might encourage policymakers to delay the reforms that are necessary to avoid a prolonged Japanese-style malaise.

How to make the world $600 billion poorer Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 22, 2014
Barack Obama's unwillingness to fight for free trade is an expensive mistake.

The wolves of the web Economist Subscription Required
Economist Feb 22, 2014
Booming technology firms are now at the centre of worries about inequality.

Energy security: The price of diversity Financial Times Subscription Required
Christian Oliver and Jan Cienski (FT) Feb 23, 2014
Central European countries want supplies of liquefied natural gas to cut their dependence on Russia, but their choice carries costs.

Europe cannot afford to ignore its deflation problem Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolgang Munchau (FT) Feb 23, 2014
The ECB sees the evidence but its economic models ignore financial markets. They are better suited to an alien attack than a credit crunch.

Global GDP growth after the G20 summit Financial Times Subscription Required
Gavyn Davies (FT) Feb 23, 2014
The G20 Summit in Sydney ended on Sunday with a call to boost global growth by 0.5 per cent per annum from 2014-18, thus raising world output by over 2 per cent ($2.25 trillion) in the final year of the period.

Behind the Turmoil in Venezuela Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary O'Grady (WSJ) Feb 23, 2014
Cuba is worried about losing 100,000 barrels of oil per day if its man in Caracas falls.

The Meaning of Ukraine’s Big Weekend
Stephan Richter (Globalist) Feb 23, 2014
Poland’s Sikorski unstoppable for top Brussels post; U.S.’s Nuland now in a chorus with Putin.

The Warring States of Turkey
Mohammed Ayoob (Project Syndicate) Feb 23, 2014
A decade of stellar political and economic performance had convinced many analysts that Turkey could act as a model for the rest of the Muslim Middle East. But, over the last few months, the government’s efforts to counter the influence of the Gülen movement have jeopardized many of Turkey’s achievements.

Post-crisis equilibrium of European banks
Marco Onado (VoxEU) Feb 23, 2014
The financial crisis showed that European banks were much more fragile than expected. This column discusses some of the changes implemented by banks since the crisis. Overall, their responses have been minor. Currently, most banks remain highly leveraged, yet yielding low returns. Redressing this could require a reduction of non-core assets and/or a slashing of operating costs. Ultimately, something has to give. European banks have yet to reach a post-crisis equilibrium.

Brazil: Loss of faith Financial Times Subscription Required
Joe Leahy (FT) Feb 24, 2014
Hosting the World Cup should also be a celebration of the nation’s progress, but public unrest and economic worries threaten to spoil the party.

Banks strive to weather stress test storms Financial Times Subscription Required
Tom Braithwaite (FT) Feb 24, 2014
Four years after crisis, new rigorous way of testing lenders looks to be well established, and extending to ever more institutions in US and overseas.

US pensions buy bonds in race to de-risk Financial Times Subscription Required
Stephen Foley (FT) Feb 24, 2014
Many US pension funds are beginning the process of reducing their risk profile after a turbulent 15 years.

Time for central banks to step back Financial Times Subscription Required
George Magnus (FT) Feb 24, 2014
Unorthodox monetary policies have served their purpose but their legacy is increasingly one of politics, limitations and unintended consequences.

A different banking crisis Financial Times Subscription Required
John McDermott (FT) Feb 24, 2014
When it comes to the immediate reason why people are turning to food banks, more often than not, it has something to do with the benefits system.

Inside the Showdown Atop Pimco, the World's Biggest Bond Firm Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Gregory Zuckerman and Kirsten Grind (WSJ) Feb 24, 2014
After clashing with Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, CEO Mohamed El-Erian decided to leave the fund giant.

China crisis in the shadows
Doug Noland (AT) Feb 24, 2014
The latest data from China suggest to some analysts that the country can limit the scale of its economic slowdown. Yet the record monthly increase in system credit, well above estimates, combined with the opacity of Chinese data, leaves much to mull over - including the risk of a currency crisis.

That's Enough Yen Depreciation
Jim O'Neill (Bloomberg) Feb 24, 2014
If a weaker yen increases Japanese exports while the government tightens fiscal policy, that's not such a good deal for everybody else.

Reviving Ukraine’s Economy
Anders Åslund (Project Syndicate) Feb 24, 2014
In order to consolidate its authority, the new government will need to act fast and resolutely – and receive considerable international support – to overhaul the country’s crisis-ridden economy. Fortunately, with President Viktor Yanukovich out of the way, much of the problem – unprecedented embezzlement – has already been resolved.

The economic integration of forced migrants
Thomas Bauer, Sebastian Braun and Michael Kvasnicka (VoxEU) Feb 24, 2014
The economic literature has paid scarce attention to the tens of millions of people who are displaced by conflict or forcibly relocated. This column analyses outcomes for 12 million Germans relocated from central and eastern Europe following the second world war. Labour-market outcomes were generally negative, but positive for women relocated from rural areas. Interestingly, children of migrants made greater educational investments than their native counterparts.

The US manufacturing recovery
Oya Celasun, Gabriel Di Bella, Tim Mahedy and Chris Papageorgiou (VoxEU) Feb 24, 2014
The strong rebound of manufacturing production following the Great Recession of 2008–09 has generated renewed interest in the sector among analysts and policymakers. This column argues that a detailed look at the data suggests that claims of a US manufacturing renaissance are unwarranted. Yet, there remain factors that could support a greater contribution from the manufacturing sector to overall US growth in the years ahead.

Roma: Moving target Financial Times Subscription Required
James Fontanella-Khan and Kester Eddy (FT) Feb 25, 2014
Antipathy towards Europe’s most ostracised minority chimes with a divisive political debate that threatens the EU principle of free movement.

Ukraine must move fast to fix its economy Financial Times Subscription Required
Anders Aslund (FT) Feb 25, 2014
Yanukovich handed contracts to his family and cronies on ludicrously favourable terms. Competitive public procurement must be introduced.

Currency unknowns weigh on Scotland Financial Times Subscription Required
John Kay (FT) Feb 25, 2014
Whatever Alex Salmond might say about sterling, there has to be a plan B and that starts with a Scots pound.

Latin America steps away from populists Financial Times Subscription Required
Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez (FT) Feb 25, 2014
Brazil has taken over from Venezuela as the new model for left-leaning countries in Latin America.

Watch China’s exchange rate policy Financial Times Subscription Required
Gavyn Davies (FT) Feb 25, 2014
If the PBOC has decided to take its foot off the monetary brakes for the time being, it would make sense to allow the renminbi to fall.

China’s business culture bound with gifts Financial Times Subscription Required
Paul J Davies (FT) Feb 25, 2014
It is almost impossible to separate gifts, favours and relationships from any exchange, especially in Asia where it is a big part of the culture.

China's Dangerous Overvaluation Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Diana Choyleva (WSJ) Feb 25, 2014
Further yuan appreciation is much more likely to sink the economy than boost consumption.

Group's Action Plan for Growth Will Likely Disappoint
Edwin M. Truman (PIIE/Australian Financial Review) Feb 25, 2014
The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors announced in Sydney on Sunday an aim to boost their real gross domestic product in 2018 by 2 percentage points relative to current projections. They pledged to redesign their economic policies to achieve this worthy objective. Unfortunately, the November 16 Brisbane action plan is likely to disappoint.

Taming Europe’s Banks
Michel Rocard (Project Syndicate) Feb 25, 2014
In the month since the European Commission unveiled its blueprint for banking reform, significant resistance has emerged, with some warning that European banks’ competitiveness would suffer, and others demanding stronger mitigation of banking risk. Meanwhile, Europe’s capacity to avoid another financial meltdown hangs in the balance.

Globalizing the Fed
Ngaire Woods and Geoffrey Gertz (Project Syndicate) Feb 25, 2014
If the US wants to preserve an open, stable global financial order, it cannot afford to turn its back on the current turmoil in emerging markets. And yet that is exactly what the Federal Reserve is doing.

Turkey's Dirty Money Foreign Affairs Subscription Required
Tom Keatinge (FA) Feb 25, 2014
Why Ankara is still on FATF's gray list.

The Tragedy of Venezuela
Moisés Naím (Atlantic) Feb 25, 2014
The country is now the world's capital of inflation, homicide, and scarcity—but half the population is no longer willing to tolerate it.

Innovation, Technology and the 21st Century Global Economy
Christine Lagarde (IMF) Feb 25, 2014
I would like to share with you our views on the global economic situation.

Political connections in turbulent times
Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, Amir Kermani, James Kwak and Todd Mitton (VoxEU) Feb 25, 2014
Political connections affect economic outcomes in emerging markets. This column discusses new evidence showing that something similar goes on in the US. Over the ten trading days following the announcement of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, financial firms with a connection to Geithner experienced a cumulative abnormal return of about 12% relative to other financial sector firms. This reversed when his nomination ran into trouble due to unexpected tax issues.

Beware the lure of go-go growth stocks Financial Times Subscription Required
John Authers (FT) Feb 26, 2014
Growth investing will be a difficult way to make money, even if the market stages a repeat of 1999, as it requires predicting the future.

Confront imbalances to end market turmoil Financial Times Subscription Required
Alexander Friedman (FT) Feb 26, 2014
The primary cause of exploding imbalances is currency engineering, but countries can do more to smooth out massive surpluses and deficits.

Instability in central bank divergence Financial Times Subscription Required
Mohamed El-Erian (FT) Feb 26, 2014
The viability of varied monetary policies can only be ensured with a shift to more sustainable private sector-led growth.

China pollution: Trouble in the air Financial Times Subscription Required
Lucy Hornby (FT) Feb 26, 2014
Roused by public protests and air-quality tweets from the US embassy, China has vowed to challenge the growth-at-any-cost model.

What Ukraine Needs for Sustained Prosperity New York Times Subscription Required
Peter Boone and Simon Johnson (NYT) Feb 26, 2014
Ukraine must take strong steps to expose corruption and install an open government in order to flourish.

The Growth Revolutions Erupt Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Daniel Henninger (WSJ) Feb 26, 2014
Ukrainians want what we've got: The benefits of real economic growth.

The Asian Status Quo
Robert D. Kaplan (Stratfor) Feb 26, 2014
Arguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as "the maintenance of the distribution of power that exists at a particular moment in history." In other words, things shall stay as they are. But it is not quite that clear. For as Morgenthau also explains, "the concept of the 'status quo' derives from status quo ante bellum," which, in turn, implies a return to the distribution of power before a war. The war's aggressor shall give up his conquered territory, and everything will return to how it was.

Does Tackling Inequality Reduce Growth? No
John Cassidy (New Yorker) Feb 26, 2014
In the ongoing debate about rising income inequality, two questions are often raised: one from the left—Is rising inequality impeding economic growth? And the other from the right: Does tackling inequality, which usually involves some form of redistribution, reduce growth?

The Next Phase for Equities
Virginie Maisonneuve (PIMCO) Feb 26, 2014
On the future of global equity markets.

German Court decision: Legal authority and deep power implications
Katharina Pistor (VoxEU) Feb 26, 2014
Who wields supreme power over the ECB? This column analyses the recent ruling by the German Constitutional Court that the ECB cannot act as lender of last resort. Although seemingly couched by the referral of this decision to the European Court of Justice, this is a bid for power and the return to the pre-crisis paradigm of ‘ultra posse nemo obligatur’.

Ukraine: On the edge Financial Times Subscription Required
Neil Buckley and Roman Olearchyk (FT) Feb 27, 2014
The new leadership has limited time to reform the economy, strengthen the rule of law and curb corruption.

We cannot stand on the sidelines of trade Financial Times Subscription Required
Joe Biden (FT) Feb 27, 2014
America should seize the opportunity to shape the path of global commerce to spread our values and benefit our people.

A Standard response to a currency mess Financial Times Subscription Required
John McDermott (FT) Feb 27, 2014
Company interventions such as Thursday’s comments from Standard Life might change the currency issue in the debate over Scottish independence.

‘Tartan’ bond plan branded a ‘gimmick’ Financial Times Subscription Required
Ralph Atkins (FT) Feb 27, 2014
It is far from clear that Scottish fundraising powers will have anything other than curiosity value, in part because of the modest issuance volume.

The price of discrimination
Jim Yong Kim (WP) Feb 27, 2014
Economies suffer due to regressive policies.

World Bank accountability mechanisms: Any lessons learned yet?
Bretton Woods Bulletin Feb 27, 2014
The effectiveness of the Bank's accountability mechanisms relies on the extent their findings are accepted by Bank management. In three recent cases the Bank president has not responded seriously to their findings. The mechanisms must be made powerful and independent enough to hold the Bank to account.

World Bank’s mining treasure map
Bretton Woods Bulletin Feb 27, 2014
The World Bank is promoting a “billion dollar map” of minerals in Africa, and continues to invest in fossil fuel extraction. Controversy is tainting Bank-funded mines in Colombia and Haiti as locals resist the extractive projects.

IMF blames the victims as markets thow another taper tantrum
Bretton Woods Bulletin Feb 27, 2014
As emerging markets suffer renewed bout of financial volatility, risk of worse to come as IMF struggles to provide even-handed global policy coordination.

TPP Ministers Report Progress in Singapore, But No Agreement
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 7 Feb 27, 2014
The twelve countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement wrapped up an intensive series of talks on Tuesday, reporting progress but no final deal. Trade observers had been watching this month's Singapore ministerial closely to see if an agreement – or at least a new timeframe for one – might be announced, after participants missed last year's target for finishing the negotiations.

UN Group Chairs Outline Priorities for Sustainable Development Goals
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 7 Feb 27, 2014
The co-chairs of a UN group tasked with drafting a blueprint for sustainable development goals (SDGs) released a list of 19 focus areas on Friday, following a year of discussions. The effort is part of a broader process to develop a post-2015 development agenda that would replace the current Millennium Development Goals, which are soon set to expire.

TISA Members Hold First Review of Market Access Offers
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 7 Feb 27, 2014
Talks for a plurilateral agreement on services trade advanced in Geneva this week, sources confirmed to Bridges. The latest round, hosted by the EU mission over a period of eight days, was the first in which participants reviewed initial market access offers. .

G-20 Finance Chiefs Set Two Percent Growth Goal
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 18, Number 7 Feb 27, 2014
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major industrialised and emerging economies agreed to aim for a two percent – effectively US$2 trillion – increase in their collective GDP over the next five years, with the coalition's leaders set to release national plans for reaching this goal when they meet in Brisbane in November.

Getting Past "No" on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership
J.D. Bindenagel (Globalist) Feb 27, 2014
To make TTIP a success, negotiators should embrace public involvement.

China Must End Its GDP Worship
William Pesek (Bloomberg) Feb 27, 2014
There are at least three major challenges China will never be able to address if leaders feel obliged to keep growth above a specified level: local government finances, pollution and the shadow-banking system.

The New Growth Conundrum
Jean Pisani-Ferry (Project Syndicate) Feb 27, 2014
For most governments, the rate of economic growth that can reasonably be expected in the coming years is a key question. And, at least for the advanced economies, it has become a particularly puzzling one. If the past is a good predictor of the future, the outlook is bleak.

Truth from the Top
Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate) Feb 27, 2014
It is unusual for a senior government official to produce a short, clear analytical paper. It is even rarer when the official’s argument both cuts to the core of the issue and amounts to a devastating critique of the existing order.

The Dual Dragon
Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng (Project Syndicate) Feb 27, 2014
With China again facing the specter of an economic hard landing, the country's leaders must devise a reform strategy that improves credit allocation, without creating new systemic risks. They should begin by eliminating the two-tier credit system, which is generating serious risks.

China’s Growth Puzzle
Stephen S. Roach (Project Syndicate) Feb 27, 2014
Though China’s economy is now slowing, the significance of this is not well understood. The downturn has nothing to do with problems in other emerging economies; in fact, it is a welcome development.

GDP measurement: Accounts, surveys and lights
Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin (VoxEU) Feb 27, 2014
How many people are poor worldwide? This column explains that the answer depends on whether one uses survey of national-accounts data to anchor country distributions of income. It then argues that night-time lights suggest that national accounts offer a better estimate. Developing world poverty may be as low as 4.5% in 2010, much lower than the path constructed by surveys.

Market mechanisms in retreat
Jeffrey Frankel (VoxEU) Feb 27, 2014
Market-based mechanisms such as cap-and-trade can tackle externality problems more efficiently than command-and-control regulations. However, politicians in the US and Europe have retreated from cap-and-trade in recent years. This column draws a parallel between Republicans’ abandonment of market-based environmental regulation and their recent disavowal of mandatory health insurance. The author argues that in practice, the alternative to market-based regulation is not an absence of regulation, but rather the return of inefficient mandates and subsidies.

Ukraine: Emergency economic measures
Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gérard Roland (VoxEU) Feb 27, 2014
Ukraine’s ‘February Revolution’ is threatened by the nation’s dire economic straits. The column discusses short- and long-term changes that are necessary to get the nation through this crisis and back on the track to stability.

G-20 Plus Five Foreign Affairs Subscription Required
Karel Lannoo (FA) Feb 27, 2014
The economic forum's mixed record.

China's Latin Connection: Eclipsing the US?
Juan de Onis (World Affairs) Feb 27, 2014
Having emerged as Brazil’s top trading partner this year, China appears poised to displace the traditional political and economic influence of the US and Europe in Latin America.

Ukraine After Yanukovych
David R. Cameron (YaleGlobal) Feb 27, 2014
In November, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych rejected signing an Association Agreement with the European Union and later negotiated a bailout deal with Russia. Months of protests led to a week of violence and culminated in Yanukovych’s removal from office. The parliament moved swiftly to reorganize: demobilizing the police, firing most of the government ministers, and electing Oleksandr Turchynov as acting president. The country faces a multitude of challenges, explains David R. Cameron, political science professor and director of the Yale European studies program.

Slum Dwellers in Caracas Ask, What Protests? New York Times Subscription Required
William Neuman (NYT) Feb 28, 2014
While the middle and upper classes have dug in against President Nicolás Maduro’s government, the poor have in large part stayed away.

The African Paradox
Dominique Moisi (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
Africa has become a continent of hope in recent years. But the perpetuation of extreme violence contrasts starkly with Africa's favorable demographic profile, and its economic progress in recent years.

Venezuela’s Bad Angels
Ricardo Hausmann (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
For most of the 15 years since the start of Venezuela's "Bolivarian Revolution," skyrocketing insecurity, massive shortages, high inflation, and police brutality were simply facts of life with which individuals had to cope on their own. Now, however, a collective sense of outrage demands civil disobedience as the only moral stance.

Saving Retirement
Martin Feldstein (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
Because of continuing increases in life expectancy, the number of eligible retirees is rising more rapidly than the tax revenue available to finance public pension benefits. The best solution would be to enact legislation that keeps constant the average life expectancy at the age of eligibility for full benefits.

Emerging-Market Risk and Reward
Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
Industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of a middle-class consumer society were supposed to boost emerging-market countries' long-term economic and sociopolitical stability. But in many countries recently wracked by political unrest, it is the urban middle classes that have been manning the barricades.

Revisiting the Fed’s Crisis
J. Bradford DeLong (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
Reading through the just-released transcripts of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meetings in 2008, one is compelled to ask a single, overarching question: What accounted for the FOMC’s blinkered mindset as crisis erupted all around it?

One Hundred Days of Solitude
Andrés Velasco (Project Syndicate) Feb 28, 2014
Latin America’s regional institutions are weak – even weaker than Europe’s. But regional leaders' lame response to the crisis in Venezuela reveals something else: a morally crooked logic that mandates silence in the face of violent repression.

Liquidity Coverage Ratios: New evidence
Heiko Hesse & Stefan W Schmitz (VoxEU) Feb 28, 2014
Europe aims to implement Liquidity Coverage Ratio regulation by the end of 2014. This column discusses recent evidence on its impact. It finds that EU banks have not adjusted by reducing lending to the real economy, to SMEs, or to trade finance. Despite this adjustment, substantial liquidity risk exposure remains. Overall, the benefits of the LCR outweigh the costs by far.

No consistent safe-haven assets, but US remains special
Maurizio Michael Habib & Livio Stracca (VoxEU) Feb 28, 2014
At the peak of the Global Crisis, the US dollar appreciated and US Treasury yields fell, suggesting that foreign investors were purchasing US assets in general. Actually, they were fleeing only into short-term Treasury bills. This column discusses recent research showing that there are indeed no securities which are consistently a safe haven across different crisis episodes – not even US assets. However, a peculiarity of the US securities is that foreign investors do not necessarily ‘run for the exit’, even when a crisis has its epicentre in the US.

Debt-for-equity swaps offer Greece a better way
Peter Allen, Barry Eichengreen and Gary Evans (VoxEU) Feb 28, 2014
Greece needs debt reduction. This column argues that instead of offering another lengthening of maturities and reduction in interest rates, Eurozone leaders should seize the occasion and implement debt-for-equity swaps that would encourage foreign investment, speed privatisation and jumpstart the Greek economy.

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