Europe & the Euro Archives - Emile Woolf writes

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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Economic Perspectives 2 – Perverse Labour Laws

Blindness of French labour laws When I was recently on holiday in the South of France the socialist government of Francois Hollande was obliged to take the unusual step of by-passing democratic means of getting his labour reform measures into law. He resorted to the rarely invoked “executive power”, to force through changes in labour […]

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Clueless Experts

Subject: Re: Martin Wolf on interest rates and QE http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07krycg [This runs for 42 minutes.] Martin Wolf is the chief economics editor of the Financial Times, a position which should command some respect. The broadcast is an assemblage of comments from bankers, economists and writers, all addressing the complete uselessness of the monetary tricks that central […]

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Economic Perspectives 1 – The Deficit Myth

Surpluses & deficits are hotly debated – but what about the currency? Much has been made of Britain’s current account deficit, which is the amount by which our imports of goods and services exceed our exports. It is a situation that protectionists would love to “do something about”, such as resorting to tariffs in order […]

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