Europe & the Euro Archives - Emile Woolf writes

“Understanding Economics in an hour”

UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS IN ONE HOUR 1 – Overview Looking about us, what we see is the passing show. Despite every appearance of reality, it is ephemeral, ever-changing. It is Prospero’s “insubstantial pageant”. What we see is a “result” of something else, always a manifestation rather than a “cause”. It is difficult to discern the real […]

Read More…

European Union – what membership entails

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 28 EUROPEAN UNION – WHAT MEMBERSHIP ENTAILS The responses to my last essay in this series prompts me to develop and clarify some of the questions it raised. It addressed the way in which important Brexit issues have been clouded by uncertainty, exacerbated by predictably negative forecasting by supposedly neutral authorities, generating […]

Read More…

Economic Perspectives – 24 “PROTECTIONISM IS SIMPLY “PATRONAGE” IN A MODERN GUISE

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 24 [Early-November 2017] PROTECTIONISM IS SIMPLY “PATRONAGE” IN A MODERN GUISE Protectionist policies are by no means confined to trade deals. Yet, in every one of their guises they appeal for popular support from local commercial interests, pleading fairness, justice and equity to justify their anti-competitive political demands. Rational economic principles take […]

Read More…

Government knows what it is doing? Dream on

SEPTEMBER 2012 King Canute was neither vain nor foolish. He ordered the tide to recede only to demonstrate to his court that even his awesome powers had limits. Vain and foolish politicians, however, aspire to preserve the myth of Euroland and still believe that, by hook or (especially) by crook, they might actually make it […]

Read More…

Economic perspectives 14 – unilateral free trade is natural

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. But, […]

Read More…

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 8 -‘The dollar is not forever’

Economic Perspectives – 8 THE DOLLAR IS NOT FOREVER [This follows on from my previous essay in this series, and explores alternatives to dollar hegemony, and possible outcomes, in a little more detail. I am again indebted to Professor Patrick Barron for the insights expressed in his March 2016 ‘podcasts’ that inspired these two essays […]

Read More…

Economic Perspectives – 5 – The true interest rate story

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 5 “Death by 1,000 cuts” This was the name given to the ancient Chinese method of torture and execution. It survives today as the role model for central bankers whose insidious cuts – in interest rates – are relentlessly destroying the life-blood of savings throughout the world. Collateral damage caused by this folly […]

Read More…

Economic Perspectives 4 – The Inflation Conundrum

The inflation conundrum As an economic term, “inflation” is shorthand for “inflation of the money supply”. The general public, however, usually takes it to mean “rising prices” which is not surprising since one of the common effects of an increase in the money supply is higher prices. However, supporters of government policy often say, “If […]

Read More…

Economic Perspectives 3: Interest Rate Suppression

The importance of interest rates I have written many times of the persistent but forlorn attempts by central bankers to “stimulate” growth in their countries’ flagging economies by applying the twin practices of quantitative easing (QE) and lowering interest rates. It has been clear for years that these policies simply do not work. The only […]

Read More…