Posts Tagged ‘debt

Confusion has consequences. The willful attempts by politicians of all parties to mislead the public on key economic indicators makes it hard to engage in a sensible debate. One of the key areas of muddle was subject to a surgical dissection in a new report by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). The conservative think […]

This is my latest comment from Fund Strategy. The idea of a debt default is becoming less of a taboo than it used to be. Many experts and pundits are refusing to rule it out while some openly advocate it. Unfortunately behind the bravado is a lack of a coherent strategy for the eurozone states, […]

My news analysis from this week’s Fund Strategy attempts to grapple with the debate on economic policy in the run-up to Britain’s general election. It is rare for so much fuss to be made over anything so small. Yet the announcement of a 0.1% rise in Britain’s GDP in the final quarter of 2009 got […]

I welcome the news, courtesy of Duncan Green’s Oxfam blog, that there is a backlash against microfinance. He cites several papers, written from various perspectives, arguing that microfinance does not work. Among the criticisms: it has failed to reduce poverty, it has never been included in a successful national development strategy, it ignores the role […]

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (6 July). Last week saw the publication of some of the scariest numbers so far in this recession. Britain suffered its worst quarterly fall in GDP since 1958: a year when Harold Macmillan was prime minister and the Soviet Union was launching Sputnik satellites […]

The following review by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (23 February). Attacks on greedy financiers are becoming so shrill it is worth revisiting some financial basics. Sadly, most financial “experts” are guilty of what could be called “one-dimensional thinking”. Take two key propositions that superficially seem true but on closer inspection are gross […]

Howard Davidowitz, a retail analyst, predicts a long term decline in living standards for the average American consumer. He says ‘the worst is yet to come” as a result of several factors. According to a report on Business Insider they include: * An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values. * A $10 […]

Margaret Atwood, a Canadian writer and activist, has had a non-fiction book published on debt. Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth is a collection of essays based on the annual Massey lectures she gave this year. From what I can gather it is against “greed” and pro-environmentalist. For an extract click here.

There follows my review of Fantasy Island by Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson (Constable & Robinson 2007) in the 10 September issue of Fund Strategy. Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson see Tony Blair as having turned Britain into a “fantasy island” during his decade in office. The two economics editors, Elliott at the Guardian and […]

It seems there is a crack in the near universal consensus in favour of microcredit (extending tiny loans to third world entrepreneurs). Newsweek reports that a backlash is growing: “Critics on the left charge that micro-finance privatizes social safety networks, while conservatives dismiss it as charity disguised as enterprise. Wonks weigh in with studies like […]