How United Is the European Union?

How United Is the European Union?

photo: Theophilos Papadopoulos The European Union is not very united today. The refugee crisis that has brought about restrictions on the movement of people among members is the immediate threat to unity. The Greek debt crisis and other issues related to the use of the Euro are a second fundamental economic threat to unity. The forthcoming UK […]

Brexit Risk for an Unbalanced & Overweight Financial Industry?

Brexit Risk for an Unbalanced & Overweight Financial Industry?

photo: Leon Yaakov Yesterday, in the wake of BoE Governor Mark Carney’s warning of a potential Brexit threat to British financial stability, we followed up on our analysis of BlackRock’s Brexit research report. The central premise of yesterday’s post was that the financial industry in Britain is enormous — in terms of its size relative to GDP and also […]

Eurozone in Deflation — Again

Eurozone in Deflation — Again

Photo courtesy of Metropolico.org. The Eurozone fell into deflation again today, according to early data from Eurostat, the official statistical agency of the European Union. All consumer prices in the eurozone fell 0.2% on an annual basis. Last month, the reading was positive, if very near to zero, at 0.3%. The key downward driver of all prices […]

What Can the U.S. Learn from Big Government in Sweden and Denmark?

What Can the U.S. Learn from Big Government in Sweden and Denmark?

photo: Artiom P Leaders of the Democratic Party in the United States have moved to the left of the political spectrum (Wall Street Journal). Bernie Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, has mounted a successful campaign against Hillary Clinton. He has identified Denmark and Sweden as examples of countries with larger government sectors that […]

Europe’s Third Challenge

Europe’s Third Challenge

ECB President Draghi made clear at yesterday’s press conference that new risks have materialized and the central bank’s job to reaching its mandate is far from over. Current efforts may not suffice to achieve its legal prescribed mandate. Monetary policy will be reviews and reassessed at the next meeting in March, when new staff forecasts […]

Six Questions for Europe

Six Questions for Europe

photo: Images Money Key takeaway – Europe is in decline. To avoid decay, it needs to bridge the gap between aspirations and reality. As practiced, democracy is failing citizens and needs rethinking. Below-replacement fertility rates put the welfare state at risk. Rigid social structures induce risk-aversion and stifle innovation. Immigration-without-integration erodes social cohesion. Without fresh thinking […]

The Europe Question in 2016

The Europe Question in 2016

Flickr NEW YORK – At the cusp of the new year, we face a world in which geopolitical and geo-economic risks are multiplying. Most of the Middle East is ablaze, stoking speculation that a long Sunni-Shia war (like Europe’s Thirty Years’ War between Catholics and Protestants) could be at hand. China’s rise is fueling a […]

Europe’s Fake Recovery

Europe’s Fake Recovery

photo: Chris Goldberg Investors were disappointed when they undid the wrapping on the European Central Bank’s (“ECB’s) early holiday present.  The package was not insignificant: a cut in deposit rates by 0.10% from negative 0.20% to 0.30%; an extension of the €60 billion per month bond purchase program by six months (additional €360 billion in liquidity); […]

Hunt for Alpha Succeeds if the Entrepreneur Attracts the Right Investors

Hunt for Alpha Succeeds if the Entrepreneur Attracts the Right Investors

From a speech given at the Olivetti day: “How to finance innovation and why it needs to be done.” Brescia, Italy, 16 October 2015 Italy is experiencing a period of extraordinary importance for its future. If current developments have positive outcomes, a virtuous circle could be created with the potential to launch a new and much […]