From the FT:
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This post for the Financial Times looks at proposed reforms to financial regulation in the EU and in the US. Read more
Wondering about the global economic outlook for 2010? Keen to ask about fiscal deterioration in the UK? Or interested to know just how worried we should be about China’s exchange rate regime? Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator, is answering readers’ questions. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Question for Martin Wolf” in the subject line and Martin will answer a selection, starting from the week of December 21, here on the Economists’ Forum.
“As the last of the official Q3 data came in, the UK found itself in the unenviable position of being the only economy in the [Group of 20 leading economies] to remain in recession”. Thus did Consensus Forecasts summarise the UK’s plight. With the third-largest economic decline, after Japan and Italy, the most indebted households, the biggest fiscal deterioration and the greatest dependency on the financial sector among the Group of Seven leading high-income countries, the UK has suffered a huge economic shock.
Fortunately, the UK also possesses assets. Among these are: a government with the capacity to act; the ability to borrow in its own currency; a flexible exchange rate; a credible monetary regime; a modest initial level of public indebtedness; privileged access to the European market, the world’s biggest; a greater number of top-class universities than any country, apart from the US; and an economy that has shed its most vulnerable manufacturing activities. Read more
The UK is poorer than it thought it was. This is the most important fact about the crisis. The struggle over the distribution of the losses is going to be brutal. It will be made more so by the second most important fact about the crisis: it has had a huge effect on the public finances. The deficits are unmatched in peacetime.
Happily, the general election would appear to offer a golden opportunity for a debate. Is that not the discussion the country ought to have? Yes. Is it the discussion it is going to have? No. What the government would do if re-elected remains, even after the pre-Budget report, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”, as Churchill said of Stalin’s Russia. Read more
This post by Richard Werner for Martin Wolf’s Economists’ Forum looks at the Bank of Japan and its use of quantitative easing. Read more
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