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Tag Archives: ECB

Since the crisis, what has happened?

12 points: 1. Central bankers, who were by and large not responsible for supervision pre-crisis , immediately sought to pin the blame for it on regulators, diverting attention from monetary policies – stoking the credit boom, failing to sound the alarm for what they were responsible for, which often included a duty to monitor the…
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Let new model banks thrive

    In this week’s FT Money (25/26 January) , Merryn Somerset Webb, editor-in-chief, has some interesting remarks on banking. She points out that customers have new, and often better, ways to borrow than “via the traditional fleecing machines with their pricey real estate and unreliable IT systems”. There are new entrants to the market,…
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Eurozone makes progress

      The eurozone is widely viewed as a failure, held together only for political reasons. This, it is said, has been proved by the financial crisis and the failure to manage the debt problems of governments in southern Europe. At least, that is the dominant view among the Anglo-Saxons; one searches far and…
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The financial crisis was good for some

All the chest-beating about the financial crisis distracts attention from the fact that many parties gained from it. Governments – except for a few peripheral countries – obtained cheap financing. The US benefiited from a boost to international demand for the dollar, helping to put the euro in its place, just as a previous wave…
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Fred Bergsten calls for monetary reform

Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute is the “enfant terrible” of US international monetary and economic debate. Fending off the passing years, it is a role he has played with great panache for the best part of half a century. Always at the centre of things, always provocative, frequently infuriating, he has, as head of the…
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Lord Lawson aims at the wrong target

Governments’ failure to manage the global financial crisis is having profound political and geo-political consequences – all of them adverse. Fuelled by political desperation to boost demand, national monetary policies are becoming steadily more aggressive – not so much “beggar my neighbour” as “sauve qui peut”. Financial repression is ongoing. As we all know, once…
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Thatcher, Volcker, Keynes and the power of ideas

The death of Margaret Thatcher reminds us all of the power of ideas, when allied to guts and leadership, to change the world. She identified one area of national life after another where restrictions and old ways of doing things were holding back innovation and the spirit of enterprise that lay dormant in the British…
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Hypocritical protests at depositor bail-in proposal

Am I the only person to feel that the howls of moral outrage, protests and scathing editorials that greeted the first plan to “solve” the Cyprus banking crisis were somewhat overdone?. I myself joined in the criticism of the proposal to tax all deposits, and recommended the example of Iceland – while pointing out that Cyprus…
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The ECB should cap the euro

Governments of the Euro area and the ECB must not let the euro strengthen to the point where it threatens the euro area recovery. It should not rise above $1.40 – it is now at $1.31. When the euro strengthened sharply in 2009, it triggered weakness that led to the euro sovereign debt crisis. But…
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Is real reform within our grasp?

Not many central bankers or regulators are willing or able to think deeply about the nature of money and the implications of the collapse of trust in banking.  Two exceptions are Mervyn King and Peter Praet. This post is about them and other thinkers worth attending to.   King’s views are well known and he…
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