Category Archives: Macroeconomic policy

A Parallel Currency for Greece: Part II

Yves here. I’m quite interested in reader reactions to this scheme. My big reservation is that the amount of the scrip devised by the authors, the TCC, has to be limited to the an amount of discount of future tax payments that is deemed to be credible. Given that Bill Mitchell has estimated that Greece […]

Read more...

UK Elections Today: Unpredictable, But Depressingly Little Room Between the Parties on Austerity

By David Dayen, a lapsed blogger. Follow him on Twitter @ddayen While in this country somebody’s probably writing up an early analysis of the 2024 elections, for UK elections they do quick-strike campaigns only lasting a handful of weeks. And today voters cast their ballots in an election most observers agree will really get interesting […]

Read more...

Alicia García-Herrero: Additional Monetary Easing for China?

As many other central banks in the Asian region, the People Bank of China (PBoC) has been on an easing mode for a few months now and more seems to be in the store. The once relatively polarized debate on what the PBoC monetary policy stance should be has increasingly leaned towards additional easing. Some analysts are even proposing full-fledged quantitative easing (QE), in the form of US Treasury sales to raise funds for assets locally, such as local government bonds and other hardly–performing assets. There is no doubt that the PBoC could, thereby, bring another big stimulus into the already heavily massaged Chinese economy as it would help debt-saddled local governments to clean their balance sheets and, at the same time, allow banks’ to lend further. As if this were not enough, any additional easing – capital controls permitting- would also push the RMB to a more depreciated level, bringing thereby an additional push to external demand.

Read more...

An Assessment of the State of the World Economy

Complex forces are shaping macroeconomic evolutions around the world. In this column, IMF’s Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard describes some of these forces and provides an overview of the state of the world economy. Putting the forces together, the baseline forecasts are that advanced countries will do better this year than last, and emerging countries will slow down. Overall, the global growth will be roughly the same as last year, with the macroeconomic risks having slightly decreased.

Read more...

Explaining the Dearth of Private Investment

Business investment in advanced economies contracted sharply during the global crisis and has recovered little since. This column argues that the main factor holding back investment is overall economomic weakness. In some countries other contributing factors include financial constraints and policy uncertainty. Fixing the investment dearth will require fixing the general weakness in economic activity.

Read more...

Should We Be Spooked by Deflation? A Look at the Historical Record

Concerns about deflation – falling prices of goods and services – are rooted in the view that it is very costly. This column tests the historical link between output growth and deflation in a sample covering 140 years for up to 38 economies. The evidence suggests that this link is weak and derives largely from the Great Depression. The authors find a stronger link between output growth and asset price deflations, particularly during postwar property price deflations. There is no evidence that high debt has so far raised the cost of goods and services price deflations, in so-called debt deflations. The most damaging interaction appears to be between property price deflations and private debt.

Read more...