News & Commentary:

November 2001 Archives


BIS Quarterly Review   Recommended!
BIS Sep/Nov 2001
International banking and financial market developments.

Bretton Woods Update   Recommended!
Bretton Woods Project Oct/Nov 2001
After 11 September: Towards a new multilateralism?; Anti-globalisation campaigners carry on; Bank private sector strategy opposed; More WTO-World Bank-IMF cooperation on trade; New briefing on IMF reform proposals; Macro policy and poverty reduction reviewed; Poverty reduction progress assessed; New report on Global Public Goods; WDR 2002 advocates market-friendly institutions; IFIs must respect human rights.

J.P. Morgan's fixer
The Economist Nov 1, 2001
As the economy worsens, the banker of the moment is a corporate repairman.

Yam fears renewed trade barriers unless Beijing, Tokyo unite
SCMP Nov 1, 2001
A lack of co-operation between China and Japan on economic policy could lead to smaller Asian countries retreating behind trade barriers to reduce volatility, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong has warned.

Economic Impasse Is Paralyzing Europe
IHT Nov 1, 2001
With the United States reeling from the terrorist attacks and Japan mired in a decade-long slump, Europe was supposed to steer the global economy through the storm. Instead it is stalling, too - held back, economists say, by a high-stakes game of brinksmanship among European policymakers.

Brunei's Costly Hangover
FEER Nov 1, 2001
Prince Jefri Bolkiah's extravagant lifestyle might have dented his country's cash reserves. But the foot-dragging over the claims of his legion of creditors is damaging the sultanate's credibility.

Defining Europe's New Common Ground   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
David Howell (WSJE) Nov 1, 2001
State of the Union: The existing model has run its course. Where does the EU go from here?

Crisis Prevention: Time for Japan to Act
Yusuke Horiguchi (IMF) Nov 1, 2001
A Commentary by the Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF.

Argentina's debt proposal underlines fears of default
FT Nov 1, 2001
Fernando de la Rúa, Argentina's president, has outlined plans to restructure his country's $132bn external debt, raising investor fears that the proposals amount to a default.

The winding path to an economic crisis
FT Nov 1, 2001
As Argentina’s financial crisis enters a decisive stage, Richard Lapper and Thomas Catán explain how it happened and what the next step might mean.

Farming fairly in Europe
FT Nov 1, 2001
The European Union wants to see a broad-based trade liberalisation round at Doha. We are willing to open up our agricultural markets further, dismantle import tariffs, reduce the trade-distorting elements of our agricultural subsidies and give special treatment to developing countries.

Editorial comment: The new politics of development
FT Nov 1, 2001
The events of September 11 have triggered new thinking about aid for developing countries.

War Transforms the Anti-Globalization Crowd
Nov 2, 2001
After its sudden rise, anti-globalization activism has been stunned into a phase of relative quiet by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The economic dimension
AT Nov 2, 2001
While most eyes are fixed on developments in Afghanistan, US President George W Bush is putting the economy on a war footing appropriate to the new type of battle being fought against terrorism. Uwe Parpart writes that this involves legislation that will enhance US energy independence, an agenda for business recovery, and open markets. At the same time, Bush is pursuing a strategic economic program on the international stage that will lay the foundations for sustained global recovery.

Global: Bond Rally Over
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Nov 2, 2001
The bull case for bonds that I laid out a scant two weeks ago has now come to pass (see my 17 October dispatch, "The Bull Case for Bonds"). While there’s always the possibility of an overshoot in these momentum-driven markets, it’s hard for me to envision the circumstances that would take long-term interest rates appreciably below current levels. Of obvious importance to the economic outlook is whether this rally will be the spark that rejuvenates a sagging global economy.

Currencies: Stairway to Heaven
Joachim Fels (MSDW) Nov 2, 2001
I still see the euro on a stairway to heaven. My definition of heaven for the euro is a level between 0.95 and parity against the US dollar. Within this range, the euro would be neither too weak nor too strong, as judged by our fair value model. As before (see "EUR/USD: Sideways for Now, Higher Next Year" FX Pulse 27 September 2001), I expect the euro to bump sideways between now and year-end before making its next big move up.

Investors shun Argentina's escape plan
FT Nov 2, 2001
Investors reacted negatively to Argentina's latest plan to escape its economic crisis, saying it raised more questions than it answered. The country's bonds again plunged, pushing the yields over US Treasuries up to 25 per cent.

Annan urges trade round to aid poorer nations
FT Nov 2, 2001
Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary-general, called for a global response to rebuild confidence in the international economic system after the September 11 attacks, including the launch of new world trade talks to benefit poorer countries.

Launch of coins 'will underline euro benefits'
FT Nov 2, 2001
The benefits of the euro will become "very evident" to sceptical British voters after the launch of notes and coins in January, Britain's minister for Europe said. Stepping up the government's pro-euro rhetoric, Peter Hain said the new year would be a "propitious" time for the government to push the argument for membership.

Doubts over way Italy qualified for euro
FT Nov 4, 2001
The government of a European Union country - understood to be Italy - used the derivatives market to camouflage the true size of its budget deficit so that it could be admitted to the European single currency, according to a report.

Chancellor pours cold water on euro hopes
FT Nov 4, 2001
Gordon Brown has poured cold water on expectations that the UK government was leaning towards holding a referendum on joining the European single currency during the current parliament.

Liberalisation of world trade 'damaging to child health'
FT Nov 4, 2001
Trade liberalisation, particularly in health services, is damaging children's health and should be halted and reviewed, the Save the Children charity said on Sunday.

The centre-left needs a global vision   Recommended!
FT Nov 4, 2001
Social democrats must respond to anti-globalisation with reforms that promote worldwide justice and prosperity, says John Lloyd.

Specter of Global Recession Gathers Form
Nov 5, 2001
What already was a global economic slowdown has been gathering momentum since Sept. 11, dashing hopes for a quick U.S. economic turnaround and raising the specter of worldwide recession.

Global: Thinking About Thinking About Investment (Part I)
Robert Alan Feldman (MSDW) Nov 6, 2001
Research analysts are frequently torn between different worlds of investors. My colleagues in research and I have worked extensively for many years with investors on several continents in several languages, and we have noticed that the ways of communicating to this diverse client base are many and varied. Some clients want stories; some want statistics; some want facts; and some want frameworks to analyze facts. The bad news is that these needs keep us harried and scrambling. The good news is that this breadth of demands has allowed us to understand better how differently we, and our clients, think about the investment process.

Central Banks Poised for a New Round of Rate Cuts
IHT Nov 6, 2001
As the world's largest economies appear headed into a simultaneous recession, central bankers stand poised this week to deliver a new round of interest-rate relief.

Opec warns of further cut in crude output
SCMP Nov 6, 2001
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries may cut oil production by a million barrels per day (bpd) to boost prices.

Asian leaders back free trade area with China
FT Nov 6, 2001
South-east Asian leaders endorsed a proposal to create a free-trade area (FTA) with China over the next 10 years in what would be the first step towards a larger east Asia trading zone.

Argentine debt swap 'constitutes default'
FT Nov 6, 2001
Fitch, the international ratings agency, said that Argentina's debt restructuring constituted a default. Other ratings agencies were still waiting for more facts before deciding whether Argentina's latest bond swap constituted a default.

Ministerial Texts Make Their Way To Doha, But Great Disparities Remain
BRIDGES Weekly Nov 6, 2001
The 31 October-1 November General Council session provided delegations an opportunity to offer comments on the 27 October draft Ministerial texts released by General Council Chairperson Stuart Harbinson. Complaints from both developed and developing country Members, who felt these texts still did not meet their needs sufficiently, marked the session. While the EC detailed its perception of deficiencies, it was a number of developing countries that expressed their discontent most vehemently - both on substantive and procedural grounds.

Advice for a Recovery: Tax Cuts and Layoff Relief   Recommended!
IHT Nov 7, 2001
With the world slipping toward a dangerous global recession, a panel of economists and trade leaders has proposed a series of innovative measures aimed at stimulating growth and lifting employment around the world. The proposals were made at an economic roundtable organized here Friday by the International Labor Organization and the International Herald Tribune.

Rich and Poor Divided
IHT Nov 7, 2001
The threat of terrorism will be hanging in the air when ministers from the World Trade Organization's 142 member countries gather this week in the Gulf sheikhdom of Qatar. So will the threat of another failure.

Medicine debate threatens to poison WTO talks
AT Nov 8, 2001
The World Trade Organization acknowledged last week that without an agreement to settle the conflict between patent rights and access to low-cost medications in developing countries there will be no ministerial declaration, the final objective of the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference that opens in Qatar on Friday. Several countries are threatening to boycott future trade negotiations because of the dispute.

For China, it's new kind of economic crisis
AT Nov 8, 2001
During the Asian financial crisis, the Chinese economy had room to move and thus cushion the blow. But the impact of the simultaneous slowdown of the world's three major economies - the US, Europe and Japan - will be a different story, according to this analysis from China's Xinhua Information Center.

Seoul cool on north-east Asian trade zone plan
FT Nov 7, 2001
South Korea has poured cold water on the idea of a North-East Asian free trade zone including China and Japan, arguing that differences between the three nations might be too great.

WTO access faces challenges from local authorities
SCMP Nov 8, 2001
China's entry to the World Trade Organisation will do little to stop local governments protecting their firms by excluding foreign goods, according to economists.

World Slump Strains Faith in Tools of Policymakers
IHT Nov 8, 2001
Is this downturn so different from others that traditional policy tools may prove ineffective in bringing about a timely recovery?

The Record Shows It's the Open Traders Who Get Ahead
Robert B. Zoellick (IHT) Nov 8, 2001
The United States will meet with 141 nations in Doha, Qatar, starting this Friday to launch new global trade negotiations. The aim is to lower barriers to trade and raise hopes for economic recovery, development, growth and openness.

Decision Time in Doha   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
AWSJ Nov 8, 2001
If you think the last WTO meeting was exciting, just wait.

The Basel perplex
Economist Nov 8, 2001
New bank rules get more complex and unwieldy by the day.

Argentina's debt   Economist Subscription Required!
Economist Nov 8, 2001
A default, by any other name.

Globalism Under Siege
John Micklethwaite and Adrian Wooldrige (WSJ) Nov 9, 2001
After Sept. 11, is the new world order doomed?

Russia Seeks a Full Role in World Economy
IHT Nov 14, 2001
As the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday began three days of meetings with President George W. Bush, more than missile defense was on the bargaining table.

WTO ministers make final push
SCMP Nov 14, 2001
Trade ministers mounted a final push to seal a deal on world trade last night, but a long-standing United States-European Union row over farm subsidies and disputes on other key issues threatened to wreck their chances.

Weak currencies face deepening erosion
SCMP Nov 14, 2001
Mainland entry into the World Trade Organisation will further split Asian currencies, with the yuan, like the Taiwan and Hong Kong dollars, likely to benefit, while most South and Southeast Asian currencies could lose out, according to analysts.

The great paradox of globalisation
FT Nov 14, 2001
Business leaders applaud it, protesters demonstrate against it, Thomas Friedman writes a column about it and politicians tell us it is inevitable. As the World Trade Organisation celebrates it in the comparative peace of Qatar, it is time to ask what exactly we mean by globalisation.

Enlargement at a stretch
FT Nov 14, 2001
It is exactly what Warsaw, Prague and Budapest and the other capitals of central and eastern Europe wanted to hear. By the end of next year - just 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall - up to eight of the former Communist states, plus Malta and Cyprus, could be ready to join he European Union.

The Middle Kingdom Embraces Globalization
Fred Hu (AWSJ) Nov 15, 2001
WTO accession will pave the way for China's population of 1.3 billion to achieve unprecedented prosperity and freedom.

Conference ends with agreement on new programme
Nov 14, 2001
Ministers from WTO member governments approved a work programme — which they called “broad and balanced” — that includes negotiations on a range of subjects and other tasks for the coming years.

WTO Sets Fresh Talks To Promote Free Trade
IHT Nov 15, 2001
World trade ministers agreed Wednesday on a broad framework to expand free trade, sacrificing entrenched positions in a final flurry of compromise to work out an accord they hope will spark the global economy.

Oil Prices Drop as OPEC Defers Production Cuts
IHT Nov 15, 2001
Oil prices plunged Wednesday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned that the global oil market could face a debilitating price war unless rival producers, led by Russia and Mexico, showed greater cooperation in curtailing output to help shore up sagging prices.

Poor nations remain skeptical of WTO promises
AT Nov 15, 2001
After six days of haggling at the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Doha, none of the more than 140 WTO member states stood in the way of consensus on the agenda for a new round of global trade talks. But poor nations remain skeptical about promises that their concerns won't be ignored this time.

No end in sight for OPEC's pricing woes
AT Nov 15, 2001
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided against cutting output in a bid to shore up sagging oil prices unless non-member exporters follow suit, and there is little enthusiasm for that idea. A cutback is the wrong thing to do when the cartel should be greasing the wheels of the global economy, a former OPEC president says.

Comprehensive Trade Round Broadens Scope Of Discussions In The WTO
BRIDGES Weekly Nov 15, 2001
After a final marathon of round-the-clock negotiations and almost 20 hours past their deadline, the WTO's 142 Members adopted a Ministerial Declaration on 14 November, launching a new round of trade negotiations -- the ninth in the WTO's history -- set to conclude by 2005. The eagerness of many Members to start a new round in order to infuse life back into the organisation following the failure of its last Ministerial, in Seattle in 1999, provided the political impetus to arrive at a Declaration that all could live with. Taken as a whole, the documents broaden the scope and depth of issues under negotiation by WTO countries.

TRIPs-Public Health Accord Seen As Bright Spot By Civil Society
BRIDGES Weekly Nov 15, 2001
One of the most hard-fought battles pitting NGOs and developing countries against some of the richer WTO Members -- that of access to medicines and public health in relation to the Agreement on Trade- related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) -- has passed a major milestone with the adoption of the Declaration on TRIPs and Public Health at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference. Whether the Declaration will actually improve access to medicines, however, will depend on the extent to which developing countries make use of the flexibilities in the TRIPs Agreement, and on the yet to be tested legal strength of the Declaration.

Seeds sown for future growth   Recommended!
Economist Nov 15, 2001
Despite their reservations, the launch of a new multilateral trade round this week is a boost for poor countries

In Transition, IMF Loosens the Reins
Thomas C. Dawson (IMF) Nov 16, 2001
A Letter to the Editor by the Director, External Relations Deparmtment, IMF.

Will the WTO Back True Free Trade?
Jeffrey Tucker (Mises Daily) Nov 16, 2001
For free traders, the advent of the World Trade Organization was always a two-edged sword. On one side was the possibility that the bureaucracy might deter arbitrary acts of protectionist folly, if only by its ability to draw attention to them and debate them in a forum attended by political elites around the world. To some extent, it may have done that (though counterfactual history is tricky business).

Editorial comment: Blair, Brown and the euro
FT Nov 20, 2001
Tony Blair's cabinet is in fractious mood. The prime minister is frustrated by Gordon Brown's refusal to sound more enthusiastic about the euro. The chancellor's cabinet colleagues question the Treasury's plans to spend large amounts of public money on tax credits. Mr Brown, anxious to succeed Mr Blair, is scornful of the abilities of others around the cabinet table. This is not a recipe for good government.

The generosity of capitalism
Lawrence Lindsey (FT) Nov 22, 2001
The US is the world's biggest giver because its ethos of individualism encourages humanitarianism.

Resurrecting PPP for (Very) Long-Term Forecasting
Joachim Fels and Fatih Yilmaz (MSDW) Nov 22, 2001
One of the most seasoned tools in currency analysis and valuation is the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) approach. Put simply, the PPP approach states that the exchange rate between two national currencies should move to equate the prices of an identical bundle of goods produced in the two countries. If the current exchange rate deviates from its PPP value, so the reasoning goes, there is an opportunity for arbitrage in the goods markets, which would tend to drive the exchange rate toward its PPP.

Hot Growth in China Brings Chill to Japan
IHT Nov 22, 2001
With China, a new member of the World Trade Organization, flexing its economic muscles, many Japanese fear they are becoming a flabby middle-aged power with a gridlocked political system unable to meet China's challenge.

Gearing up for the euro   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Nov 22, 2001
The run-up to the new notes and coins is going fairly smoothly—so far.

In a rush to join the WTO   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Nov 22, 2001
Russia wants to join the WTO, but bending the rules for it would be self-defeating.

Another bout of flu   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Nov 22, 2001
Most of the world is in, or is heading for, recession. Yet the depth of the slump in parts of Asia is hard to beat.

Weakening the yen
FT Nov 22, 2001
It is, on the face of it, a remarkable turnround at an unusual time. With the US fighting its own recession and its manufacturing industry facing its longest period of contraction since the Great Depression, a senior US official suggests that the US would be willing to tolerate a weakening of the yen.

World food issue hampered by GM
CheckBiotech Nov 23, 2001
The controversy over the acceptability of genetically modified varieties of food is a divisive issue percolating near the surface of the international campaign against world hunger. It was on display in early November as agriculture ministers, food bureaucrats and activists gathered for a week of meetings hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which is organizing the anti-hunger campaign.

Currencies: On Competitive Devaluation of the Japanese Yen
Stephen L. Jen (MSDW) Nov 23, 2001
An article in the Financial Times reports that the Bush Administration has signalled that it would welcome the BOJ expanding its monetary base through purchases of US bonds. If this report is true, USD/JPY should trade higher, because this would be tantamount to the US endorsing a competitive devaluation policy for Japan. However, there are many reasons why I am sceptical about how literally we should interpret this report and, even if true, whether Japan will actually push USD/JPY up given its concerns for the repercussions.

The World's Economies Slide Together Into Recession
NYT Nov 25, 2001
Many economists now agree that the world is suffering its first recession in two decades and that recovery may come more slowly than once expected.

Global: Watch the Aftershocks
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Nov 26, 2001
The initial shock effects of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the US economy now appear to be subsiding. At least that's the message to take from the recent downtrend in new jobless claims and an apparent bottoming in consumer confidence. This should not be surprising. Time -- and the absence of further shocks -- is usually the great enabler of healing. And it's no different this time. The onset of psychological healing and its attendant economic impacts are going pretty much according to the script we first embraced in the aftermath of this devastating blow (see my 13 September essay in Investment Perspectives, "The Macro of Tragedy and Healing"). There can be no greater testament to the inherent resilience of the US economy.Asia Pacific: Yen vs. Yuan?

Andy Xie (MSDW) Nov 26, 2001
Japanese policymakers complain that the Chinese yuan (renminbi) is undervalued because Chinese wages are 3% of Japan's. The implicit message is that either the yuan should be revalued or the Japanese yen should be devalued. But between 1990-2000 Japan ran $1,047 billion in trade surplus, thirteen and half times what China and Hong Kong had. Isn't the yen undervalued against yuan?

IDC Research: Content networking market set for growth
Nua Nov 26, 2001
According to IDC, worldwide spending on content networking will reach USD8 billion by 2005, up from USD1.6 billion this year. This represents a CAGR of 49 percent over four years.

Scientists succeed in cloning human embryo
FT Nov 26, 2001
A human embryo has been cloned for the first time, US scientists have announced. Their achievement is a step toward 'therapeutic cloning' - creating cells and tissues for transplantion without the risk of immune rejection..

10 Years of Good Times End in a U.S. Recession
IHT Nov 27, 2001
The 10-year economic expansion, the longest in U.S. history, ended in March, putting the country in recession, the economists responsible for monitoring economic growth announced Monday.

UK economy closer to eurozone, says OECD
FT Nov 27, 2001
Britain's economy has become more closely aligned with the eurozone than many countries that are already members, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Paris-based rich countries' think-tank. For next year it has forecast growth of 1.7 per cent for Britain and 1.4 per cent for the eurozone, well within the usual margins of forecasting error. .

The Multilateral Trading System and Global Governance after Doha
Pascal Lamy (EU DGT) Nov 27, 2001
Speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Global Policy without Democracy?
Pascal Lamy (EU DGT) Nov 27, 2001
Speech at the Conference on the Participation and Interface of Parliamentarians and Civil Societies for Global Policy, Berlin.

IMF in support of bankruptcy plan
FT Nov 27, 2001
The International Monetary Fund's management has thrown its weight behind a radical plan for an international bankruptcy procedure, allowing indebted governments to seek legal protection from their private sector creditors.

Faster liberalisation urged for European economy
FT Nov 27, 2001
José María Aznar, the Spanish prime minister, warned of a return to "eurosclerosis" and issued a new call to European leaders to step up efforts to liberalise the European economy.

Evaluating the people's currency
AT Nov 28, 2001
For the first time since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, calls for the yuan to be revalued upward are drowning out calls for its devaluation as the black market exchange rate is now reportedly lower than the official rate. But the appreciation-vs-devaluation argument may be academic until China's exchange rate system is revamped.

Negotiations In Holding Pattern As Countries Await Trade Negotiations Committee
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 40 Nov 28, 2001
WTO Members have yet to begin significant negotiations on areas mandated by the Ministerial Declaration agreed to in Doha on 14 November at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference. Instead, staff from trade missions in Geneva and ministries in capitals remain in a study phase with regard to the text, trade sources say, and are using the interval between the end of the Ministerial and the end of January 2002 to further refine their negotiating positions and engage in exploratory informal talks.

Regional Trade Developments in the Wake of Doha
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 40 Nov 28, 2001
On 27 November, Chile and the US began their ninth round of talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries with intellectual property, government procurement and the services sector on the agenda. According to the US, the contentious issues of labour and environment, as well as dispute settlement mechanisms will not be discussed at this meeting, but will instead be postponed until the US Congress approves Trade Promotion Authority (TPA; formerly "fast-track"). Congress will vote on TPA -- which would allow the Congress to only approve or reject trade agreements negotiated by the US President, but not amend them -- on 6 December, two days after the end of the US-Chile meeting.

A Reversal of Roles in Asia
IHT Nov 29, 2001
The global recession wears two distinct faces in Asia. The high-tech exporting countries of Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong are stagnating as orders from the United States and Europe dry up. But other countries such as South Korea are riding out the downturn, in part on buoyant consumer spending, notably among the rich.

Free-trade zone mulled for Greater China minus Taiwan
SCMP Nov 29, 2001
The mainland government is seriously considering setting up a free-trade zone between China, Hong Kong and Macau to enhance the economic relationship between them, according to China's chief trade negotiator, Long Yongtu.

CyberPort project inaugurated
SCMP Nov 29, 2001
The controversial Cyberport project was inaugurated yesterday by Financial Secretary Antony Leung and Pacific Century CyberWorks chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai.

Congress Should Put Trade On the Fast Track   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Henry M. Paulson Jr. (WSJ) Nov 29, 2001
In this war we need a economic as well as a military coalition.

IMF has Evolved as Membership has Grown
Thomas C. Dawson (IMF) Nov 29, 2001
A Letter to the Editor by the Director, External Relations Department, IMF.

Asian economies detect upturn in fortunes
FT Nov 29, 2001
After a steady downpour of economic figures in Asia that bordered on the catastrophic for a region accustomed to high growth, there has recently been a trickle of good news.

Emerging World Comes of Age at Doha   Recommended!
IHT Nov 30, 2001
The successful meeting of the World Trade Organization in Doha this month marked a significant shift in the political power balance among developed and developing nations - in favor of the poorer countries.

United Kingdom: EMU Power Struggle
Mark Miller (MSDW) Nov 30, 2001
UK politics can move markets, especially when it comes to potential EMU entry. We argue the Prime Minister, rather than the Chancellor, has the upper hand. Over the past ten days or so, the media spotlight has focused on alleged strains in the relationship between Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown. One source of tension is likely to be the timing of any UK entry into EMU. Since Labour's landslide victory in June's General Election, both men have made two important references or speeches on this subject. Throughout, official government policy towards the euro has not changed. We await an assessment of the five economic 'tests' promised by mid-2003. But this has certainly not curtailed market speculation over UK entry. In this piece, we use an analysis of forward interest rate swap spreads for the UK minus the euro area to show that (a relatively pro-euro) Mr. Blair has so far had a greater impact relative to Mr. Brown in moving markets.

Global: Recession Verdict
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Nov 30, 2001
The verdict, itself, was hardly a surprise. By the time the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) convened its formal deliberations in late November, few would doubt that America was in recession. But the verdict came with an important twist. The academics also determined that this contraction began a full six months before the terrorist attacks of 11 September. There’s great significance to this finding. It underscores the unique character of this recession, as well the unusual dynamics that will shape its eventual recovery.

Risk versus benefit
CheckBiotech Nov 30, 2001
A lot of damage has been done by the polarisation of the GM issue. Hard-line positions have played into the hands of those who claim that the US wants to force-feed GM food to European citizens, without any consideration for their ethical concerns or consumer rights. Both industry and politicians now have to face the consequences of that.

Beijing's new economic blueprint
AT Nov 30, 2001
As this communist country becomes more deeply involved in the global economy, it must not lose sight of the need to keep its people employed, improve their living standards, and control the gap between rich and poor, senior party officials maintained as they wrapped up their two-day Central Economic Working Conference. The meeting concluded with a wide-ranging prospectus of China's economic goals.

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