Europe & the Euro Archives - Emile Woolf writes

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 – 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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New EU Audit Regulations – rising to the challenge

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE ‘ACCOUNTANCY’ [JULY 2016] During the 2008 financial crisis several banks and other lending and deposit-taking institutions collapsed without a hint of warning from their auditors. Since that time pressure to improve the quality of annual audits has been building up, and by the time you read this, new EU Audit Regulations […]

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Punishment where it belongs

After six months the fall-out from Tesco’s £263 million half-year profit overstatement still reverberates. The FRC now expects companies to give full and fair disclosure of how they account for income in the areas that brought Tesco into disrepute. Ocado is the first to report under the new regime, yet its accounts give no figures […]

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