Oct 15, 2013

The dollar and the U.S. debt ceiling

Sane governments don't default by choice — especially when they're privileged with issuing the global currency. We are about to find out whether the U.S. still has a sane government.

Jun 19, 2013

Lessons of a Greek tragedy

Had Greece quickly written down its debt burden by two-thirds in the first half of 2010, it could have gotten its economy moving again in no more than a year.

Aug 23, 2012

A summer reading list for eurozone leaders

In August, Europeans head for the beach. The continent shuts down on the assumption that nothing of consequence will happen until everyone returns, suitably tanned, in September. Never mind the subprime crisis of August 2007 or, closer to home, the European monetary crisis of ...

May 16, 2012

Is Europe on a cross of gold?

Increasingly, one hears predictions that the euro will go the way of the gold standard in the 1930s. And, increasingly, the reasoning behind such forecasts seems persuasive. But does that mean that the euro doomsayers are right? Following the 1929 stock market crash, Europe ...

Apr 18, 2012

The ECB's lethal monetary inhibition

Europe’s financial system on the brink of disaster, the European Central Bank stunned the markets with an unprecedented intervention, offering banks across the eurozone essentially unlimited liquidity against any and all collateral for an exceptional period of three years. The ECB’s surprise liquidity operation ...

Mar 15, 2012

Europe's trust deficit undermines crisis resolution

There is no shortage of talk nowadays about Europe’s deficits and the need to correct them. Critics point to governments’ gaping budget deficits. They cite the southern European countries’ chronic external deficits. They highlight the eurozone’s institutional deficits — a single currency and a ...

Dec 14, 2011

2012: the year of muddling

Nowadays there is no shortage of pundits, economic or otherwise, warning of impending disaster. If right, they are hailed as seers; if wrong, chances are that no one will remember. So here’s a forecast: There will be no shortage of predictions that 2012 is ...

Aug 18, 2011

What can take the dollar's place?

For more than a half-century, the dollar has been not only America’s currency, but the world’s as well. It has been the dominant unit used in cross-border transactions and the principal asset held as reserves by central banks and governments. But, already before the ...