Taking Psychometrics a Step Further

Taking Psychometrics a Step Further

Do the belief, attitudes, and personality of business owners or managers matter in determining the probability of business success and the creditworthiness of the enterprise? And if so, could this “psychological capital” be leveraged as a predictive tool not only for credit appraisal decisions, but also to provide broader support to small businesses? Pioneering work […]

Part 4: QE Forever?

Part 4: QE Forever?

photo: 401(K) 2012 Compounding the problems of ineffectiveness and toxic side effects, current policies cannot be reversed easily, if at all. Withdrawing fiscal stimulus would lead to sharp slowdowns in economic activity. Reduction in government services and higher taxes accelerates contraction in disposable incomes, especially in an environment of stagnant incomes and uncertain employment. In turn, […]

Oil Prices Up As Dollar Drops And Gasoline Draws

Oil Prices Up As Dollar Drops And Gasoline Draws

photo: arbyreed Twenty-three years to the day after Charlie Brown hit his first home run in the Peanuts comic strip, and crude prices are swinging for the fences ahead of the weekly inventory report, rallying strongly. The market appears to be focusing on an expected draw to gasoline stocks and a lesser build to crude than […]

Part 3: The Ineffectiveness of Economic Policy

Part 3: The Ineffectiveness of Economic Policy

photo: Nicolas Raymond While the central bank and government policies have stabilised conditions, they have not restored growth or created sufficient inflation to address the world’s debt problems. As Helmuth von Moltke, a 19th century head of the Prussian army, observed: “No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy”. Given that the bulk of […]

Part 2: Monetary Madness

Part 2: Monetary Madness

photo: againstcronycapitalism  Central banks have reduced official interest rates to historically lows, either near zero (known as ZIRP or Zero Interest Rate Policy). Long term bond rates are also at historically low levels. In some parts of the world, interest rates are now negative; that is, you get paid to borrow and punished if you save. […]

Part 1: Fiscal Failure

Part 1: Fiscal Failure

photo: Nicolas Raymond The stubborn refusal of the global economy to respond to policy initiatives is reminiscent of an obstreperous teenager. There is now renewed focus on using government spending on infrastructure to stimulate the global economy. It is not clear whether such a policy will work. Efficacy of stimulatory fiscal policy depends on a number […]

The Great Bipartisan War on Free Trade

The Great Bipartisan War on Free Trade

photo: Dirk Dallas Like most economists, I am strongly inclined toward free trade. I cringe to see the way free trade is under attack, from both parties, during this primary season. The two populist candidates are the worst offenders. Bernie Sanders, whom I support on many other issues [1] [2] [3], goes off the rails when it comes to […]

Low Inflation and Government Debt

Low Inflation and Government Debt

photo: Simon Cunningham Low Inflation and Government Debt  Government debt typically refers to nominal GDP, generally rising in postwar Oecd countries. Last crisis was an exception, firstly displaying in 2009 a nominal recession affecting 27 out of 34 countries. To understand reasons and implications, I evaluate in Table 2 for six Oecd countries (US, UK, Germany, […]

America’s 2016 Election Risk, China and Asia

America’s 2016 Election Risk, China and Asia

photo: Michael Vadon and Keith Kissel Whether Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or somebody else takes the White House, pragmatism is likely to be the eventual winner. Dan Steinbock looks ahead to how an American presidency led by either of the two leading contenders will deal with China and Asia, including on matters of trade and geopolitics. In the […]

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