Relaunching the EU

WEEKLY COMMENT 9-11-2017

By Barry Edwards

Relaunching the EU

 

The Centre for European Reform (CER) published earlier this week a report entitled ‘Relaunching the EU’. It has been written by the directors and research fellows at the CER and is a document that examines and analyses the problems of the EU and proposes solutions to reform how the EU functions without any treaty changes initially. It is well written and is comprehensive in its explanations causing the document to be 60 pages long. If you click on the link below you can read the report. I would recommend reading the introduction and conclusion about 8 pages; read more

BofE Inflation Report

WEEKLY COMMENT 2-11-2017

By Barry Edwards

BofE Inflation Report

The rise in bank rate to 0.5% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England (BofE) came as no surprise to anyone and the statement to gradually raise rates further to manage inflation was also expected. It is clear from the inflation report that the MPC are forecasting that inflation will fall back to the 2% target during the course of next year but they expect domestic inflationary pressures will gradually pick up as spare capacity is absorbed and wage growth recovers. If you click on the link below you read the full report; read more

New Chinese Leadership

WEEKLY COMMENT 26-10-2017

By Barry Edwards

New Chinese Leadership

 

The main event this week was the party congress in China that decided the direction of policy and the new leadership for the next five years. Most of us are not well informed about China so I have put together comment from the specialists which in this case are The Brookings Institute and David Dollar. Below are the details of the people who will now govern China and some information about them followed by David Dollar’s comments; read more

The Inflation Enigma

WEEKLY COMMENT 12-10-2017

By Barry Edwards

The Inflation Enigma

 

There has been a lot of discussion recently by economists and commentators about inflation and why it is not reacting as the current economic models predict. As the IMF gather in Washington for their annual meeting, this subject has become the main topic for finance ministers and central bankers who usually attend this event. The economic theory that has been the basis for managing an economy is about 30 years old and since the financial crisis in 2007/8 it has not performed according to the model making it difficult to predict how an economy will react in the next year or so. read more

Alternative Party Policies

WEEKLY COMMENT 5-10-2017

By Barry Edwards

Alternative Party Policies

The party political conferences finished this week with the Conservatives setting out their agenda for the country which was not especially exciting. The main themes for all the parties seem to be infrastructure investment, tuition fees, social housing and social care with the proposal to nationalise all utilities from Labour. All of them claim that their policies are fully costed within the national budget and the nationalisation will be funded by issuing government bonds. Most commentators were unimpressed and believe that the funding will not materialise from tax revenue leaving most of the policies unimplemented or possibly only partially achieved. read more

EU Problems Ahead

WEEKLY COMMENT 28-09-2017

By Barry Edwards

EU Problems Ahead

An interesting short paper was posted by the Cobden centre entitled ‘The forthcoming global crisis`. It is about the likelihood of a recession happening in the next eighteen months and it explains why they believe it could be caused by the sudden rise of interest rates in the Eurozone. The Cobden Centre is a British independent educational charity founded formally to undertake research into economic and political science and to disseminate the results thereof and to advance the education of the public in economic and political science. If you click on the link below you can read the paper, it is about 7-8 pages;

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/09/the-forthcoming-global-crisis/?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjc18y&refsrc=email&iid=b122b1720f2540d2aa7b0ddd10ef9776&uid=733109551&nid=244+272699400 read more

Eurozone Integration

WEEKLY COMMENT 14-09-2017

By Barry Edwards

Eurozone Integration

This week we have had the ‘State of the Union’ speech from Jean-Claude Juncker and a statement from the French finance minister Bruno Le Maire at the gathering of finance ministers in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, that Paris and Berlin would push through an overhaul of the Eurozone.

The Juncker speech was a typical federalist approach with some solid suggestions that were well received but most reactions were that most of it would not happen. It comes as no surprise to anyone that the real power lies firmly in the hands of France and Germany with the main thrust for now coming from President Macron. Angela Merkel has made it known that she is willing to go along with some of the French plans but while the German election is still pending the commitment is to be confirmed after the 24th of September. read more

New Writer for BEA

 New Writer for BEA

 

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a new writer to Barry Edwards and Associates (BEA) this week. His name is Rob Thomas and he has many years of experience in the field of mortgages and property funding and you can read his profile under the ‘About Us’ menu at the top of the page which explains his business activities in more detail. During his early career Rob spent some time as an economist at the Bank of England which gave him the experience to write a report about central banks entitled ‘Unconventional monetary policy explored-The case for replacing QE with a sovereign wealth fund’. read more

National Equity

WEEKLY COMMENT 31-08-2017

By Barry Edwards

National Equity

A new concept has been put forward by Richard Murphy of the Tax Research blog about establishing equity capital for countries to be invested in infrastructure and other important requirements to develop and support the nation as a whole. The basis of the idea is that the central bank creates money similar to the quantitative easing policy but instead of issuing bonds which the central bank buys, an equity fund is established and is used on behalf of the nation as described above. read more

A European Future

WEEKLY COMMENT 24-08-2017

By Barry Edwards

A European Future

The European Union’s web based network EUROACTIV reported this week that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is working on a proposal that would allow southern Eurozone countries to tap into the single currency bloc’s bailout fund to boost investments during recessions. The plan would mark a major change of policy for Schäuble who had until recently always opposed transfers from richer Eurozone countries to poorer members like Greece. read more

Government Stimulus

WEEKLY COMMENT 17-08-2017

By Barry Edwards

Government Stimulus

The fog is slowly beginning to lift on the process of Brexit as the British government is gradually releasing papers explaining the approach they would like to take. It appears that a transition period is now generally accepted as a necessity to manage the trading relationship that will eventually transpire. Companies throughout Europe are starting to influence the politicians to accept that it is in their interests and the EU economy to prevent sudden disruption when the UK officially leaves the EU. read more

Financing Investment

WEEKLY COMMENT 10-08-2017

By Barry Edwards

Financing Investment

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Commission on Economic Justice has recently published a discussion paper entitled ‘Financing Investment, Reforming finance markets for the long-term’.  The IPPR is a landmark initiative to rethink economic policy for post-Brexit Britain. Launched in November 2016, the Commission brings together leading figures from across society – from business and trade unions, civil society organisations and academia – to examine the challenges facing the UK economy and make practical recommendations for reform. If you click on the link below you can read the paper, it is 35 pages of script and it is well worth reading; read more