The Potential of QE

WEEKLY COMMENT 8-12-2016

By Barry Edwards

The Potential of QE

An article in the Financial Times caught my attention yesterday headed ‘Blackrock calls for QE boost to infrastructure’ which is summarised below;

“The European Central Bank should retool its asset-purchase programme to fund a wave of new infrastructure spending across the continent, according to one of the world’s most powerful bond managers. Rick Rieder, global chief investment officer of BlackRock’s $1.6tn fixed income business, says the ECB has the opportunity to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in new economic activity by shifting more of its purchases towards bonds issued by the various national and supranational organisations, such as the European Investment Bank, that fund infrastructure and provide trade finance.” read more

Looking Ahead to 2017

WEEKLY COMMENT 1-12-2016

By Barry Edwards

Looking Ahead to 2017

Big changes are about to happen in America and Europe in the way governments respond to the reactions of voters in the elections and referenda that have been held or about to be decided. There are many ideas and proposals out there from commentators and economists suggesting ways to proceed which may be considered by the new administrations that are about to control the affairs of government. There has not been a time of political turmoil for decades creating an atmosphere of expectation and foreboding at the same time. read more

Autumn Statement

WEEKLY COMMENT 24-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

Autumn Statement

 

Almost every detail in the autumn statement was previously announced or predicted accurately by the media. Consequently, there were no surprises and it was a mundane affair which did not generate much inspiration or excitement. The really interesting  plan in the statement is the revelation of the Industrial Strategy that will be published in a green paper early next year which will be the first time for ages that a British government has set out its long-term objectives to grow the economy. If you would like to read the full details of the autumn statement click on the link below; read more

The Trump Phenomenon

WEEKLY COMMENT 17-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

The Trump Phenomenon

Every article or comment about the world economy since the election of Donald Trump predicts a mixture of positive, negative and no change future for the USA and the world with the negative view just dominating the mix. Those who believe there will not be much change base their arguments on the fact that Congress will water down any proposals for big increases in expenditure that are presented to them and refuse to pass anything outrageous. Where the President has much more control over foreign policy and defence, they have confidence that the people who eventually advise and work closely with him will tame any exuberance. read more

BofE Inflation Report

WEEKLY COMMENT 3-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

BofE Inflation Report

The Bank of England (BofE) has published its quarterly inflation report which is less pessimistic in the short term than the earlier August report. The strength of the economy since the referendum has surprised most forecasters although the ultimate longer term view is that growth will recede once the UK actually leaves the EU. Inflation is expected to rise and reach 2.8% in 2019 according to the BofE but other forecasters predict that it will reach 4% mainly due to the fall in sterling since the vote. read more

CETA Reactions

WEEKLY COMMENT 27-10-2016

By Barry Edwards

CETA Reactions 

The big fuss about the Walloon government rejection of the Canadian trade deal CETA that we discussed last week has now been resolved although the exact terms of the deal that was made are not yet released, at least, I cannot find any reference to it. The whole saga has instigated an outpouring of debate about trade deals and the future of the EU. Jorgo Riss is director of Greenpeace’s European unit and he has written an article about the ramifications of the CETA deal from his perspective, if you click on the link below you read it (one page only); read more

EU Trade Agreements

WEEKLY COMMENT 20-10-2016

By Barry Edwards

EU Trade Agreements

 

The European summit which finishes today in Brussels was meant to finalise the trade agreement with Canada referred to as the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). The announcement that the Wallonian regional government have rejected the terms of CETA has thrown a spanner in the works for the EU Commission. They have been trying hard to rewrite the sections they object to but last night, 20th October, the Wallonian’s rejected the latest offer. read more

€20bn Brexit Bill

WEEKLY COMMENT 13-10-2016

By Barry Edwards

€20bn Brexit Bill

The big Brexit discussion this week has been about the cost of leaving the EU which is estimated to be around €20bn but could be much higher if all commitments and guarantees are taken into account. As usual, this is another aspect of leaving the EU that was never mentioned prior to the referendum and it will clearly have an enormous impact on the agreement that will decide the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU. In fact, it appears that instead of saving the current net cost of the contributions made into the EU budget it will probably exceed that amount for several years after the actual separation. read more

World Economic Outlook

WEEKLY COMMENT 6-10-2016

By Barry Edwards

World Economic Outlook

 

The IMF twice yearly World Economic Outlook, Subdued Demand, Symptoms and Remedies has been published this week coinciding with their annual gathering in New York. As usual, it is a very thorough and detailed document presenting the facts and solutions to the world economy. It is a very lengthy document but it is worth reading the executive summary which is 4 pages, if you click on the link below you can read that section and the rest of the report if you have the time; read more

EU-Repair and Prepare

WEEKLY COMMENT 29-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

EU-Repair and Prepare

With all the discussion about the EU and Brexit, it is nice to see a document that is suggesting positive solutions to move forward and improve on the reforms that have been made during the crisis to create a lasting and better future for the EU. Whatever anyone says about Brexit, the UK will be dependent on the economic success of the EU for business growth, security and climate improvement. The UK is deeply interconnected with Europe whether or not it is a member of the EU and it will always be necessary to maintain a very close relationship both diplomatically and economically. read more

Swiss Immigration

WEEKLY COMMENT 22-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Swiss Immigration

 

On the 9th of February 2014, the Swiss government held a referendum on mass immigration into the country which was supported by 50.33% of those who actually voted; the turnout was 56.57% of the electorate. Currently, the EU and Switzerland have around 100 bilateral agreements covering a wide range of activities but they do not allow passporting of financial services. However, the banks have subsidiary companies in London which does allow them access to the rest of the EU. read more

Brexit Negotiations

WEEKLY COMMENT 15-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Brexit Negotiations

Now some time has passed since the ‘Brexit’ decision, we can reflect on the reality of the implications of the negotiations to be conducted and the UK economy. Although we are still members of the EU, the UK is regarded as an estranged associate by all 27 countries and we are not invited to attend important meetings that will affect us directly until we leave the union. The surprise result shocked the whole world and the real consequences are yet to be analysed and the negotiations to actually implement the decision are untested and potentially precarious. read more