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Debt

Radical solutions to world debt crisis

Having unsuccessfully followed textbook advice on dealing with the global financial crisis, it is high time to explore alternative ways of dealing with the root causes of the crisis. Whether politicians have the courage to touch Tanzi’s radical solutions is a different question. [...]

A radical exit from global financial crisis

Once it is finally realised that this economic crisis is not an ordinary recession, perhaps we will stop deploying Keynesian remedies and begin more fundamental reforms as advocated by Tanzi. But then again, it took several decades until communism’s apologists ran out of excuses – and some are still at it. [...]

German generosity will break Berlin

After last week’s decisive EU summit (the 20th of its kind), and after the German parliament’s support for the latest bailout plans, the euro is saved! Again. The usual sigh of relief was heard at bourses across the continent, and once more politicians congratulated themselves on their historic achievements. [...]

Government versus Markets – The Changing Economic Role of the State

Readers do not have to agree with every single prediction or assessment in Tanzi’s book, and may even miss a more clearly spelt out recipe of how to reduce government to the smaller size that the author deems sufficient to fulfil the functions of a modern state. But Tanzi’s well-written, thoughtful and thought-provoking book will leave readers better informed and better able to engage in debates about the future role of the state in the economy. [...]

Trans-Atlantic Fiscal Follies: The Sequel

In 2009, CIS Research Fellows Robert Carling and Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich predicted sovereign debt troubles on both sides of the Atlantic at a CIS event called ‘Trans-Atlantic Fiscal Follies.’ In August 2011, they were joined by CIS Research Fellow Adam Creighton to discuss the future for those countries buckling under their sovereign debt obligations. How much worse is it going to get? And does it have to get worse before it gets better? Will the dollar survive as the lead currency? Will the euro survive at all? Will gold continue to rise? And what’s the endgame of government debt? [...]

Europe’s social failure

Capital markets are not loquacious storytellers. They condense the world into simple numbers. For this reason, the surge in Greek, Italian and Spanish bond yields could be mistaken for a mere technicality, a simple recalibration between the forces of demand and supply that happens in markets every day. [...]

Occupy what?

The Occupy Wall Street movement has polarised public opinion: Either you regard the protestors as the new political avant-garde or as just plain silly. Either you believe they have a serious message or you think they are a bunch of nutters. But what if the truth is a bit more nuanced than that? Perhaps the nutters have a point? [...]

Unravelling the Greek basket case

After the turbulent monetary history of Greece, it was surprising (to say the least) how easily Greece managed to become part of the eurozone. Either Greece had fundamentally changed its whole economic system as grown over two centuries overnight or Greece’s European partners had not learned their lessons from history. [...]

Putting Greek lessons into practice

The social unrest in the streets of Athens palpably demonstrates the dangers of letting public debt problems come to the boil. The developed world should watch them carefully and wonder what it can do to avoid a replay of such scenes in New York, London or Tokyo. Though there are no pain free solutions to the world’s public debt problems, this should not stop us from creatively exploring the options. [...]

Britain’s debt time bomb is still ticking

It must have been a seminal event judging by the coverage it received in British newspapers. The tabloid The Sun dedicated seven pages to it. The Daily Telegraph provided 16 pages of reports and commentary, The Guardian 23 pages and The Financial Times, not to be outdone, a full 26 pages. Few occasions would ever justify such journalistic lengths. So had Her Majesty abdicated? Were Martians about to invade Scotland? Had the English soccer team finally won a penalty shoot-out against Germany? [...]