Monthly Archives: April 2010

By Michael Pomerleano

Developing and developed countries alike are inextricably connected in the international financial system. Yet this system is heading into strong headwinds and a dangerous period in which vulnerabilities will increase in the international financial system. Read more

By Kevin P. Gallagher

Clear and consistent proposals toward crisis recovery and prevention are needed at the International Monetary Fund upcoming annual meetings. Unfortunately, the IMF has been sending mixed messages over the past two months on the subject of capital controls. Read more

From Martin Wolf’s Exchange

One of the most interesting set of questions to arise out of the Greek crisis in the eurozone is whether – and, if so, what – institutional changes are needed to make it easier to manage disarray of this kind.

Some would argue that there is really no problem. When countries within the eurozone get into difficulty, they are supposed to look after themselves. The European Central Bank should continue to look at the performance of the economy as a whole. Meanwhile, given the “no bail-out” provisions of the treaty, each country must be on its own. If a country cannot raise the money it needs to finance its government, it has no choice but to raise taxes, cut spending and, in extremis, restructure its debt. The latter is likely to mean a deep recession, not least because the private sector is likely to be badly affected by a sovereign default. This would be particularly true for the financial sector. Read more

An open letter from Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University to Lord Turner, chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority

Dear Adair,

I listened to your terrific talk at the Soros conference. I could focus on the eloquence, fantastic delivery and numerous deep insights, but let me make a couple of comments that may be of actual value at the margin.  Take them from where they emanate – real friendship and respect.

It seems that you are questioning yourself. On the one hand, you are saying it’s critical to consider radical solutions. On the other hand, you are saying, “Too radical, too fast, is too dangerous. If we move to real safely, we may need to take decades.” Read more

Keynes biographer Lord Skidelsky says the famed economist would be disappointed by his profession and deplore its maths focus.

Lord Skidelsky was interviewed at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference, sponsored by George Soros, at King’s College, Cambridge. Read more

Leading academic critic warns of leaving too much discretion to regulators and calls for new economic thinking.

Joseph Stiglitz was interviewed at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference, sponsored by George Soros, at King’s College, Cambridge. Read more

The financier’s new think tank encourages post-crisis alternative theories including his own on the ‘alchemy of finance’.

George Soros was interviewed at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference, sponsored by his foundation, at King’s College, Cambridge. Read more

By Roger E. A Farmer

Anyone who thinks that the 2008 financial crisis is a new and unusual event on the world stage should read Walter Bagehot’s book, Lombard Street, written in 1873. Bagehot was editor-in-chief of The Economist magazine and the son-in-law of its founder James Wilson. He literally wrote the book on central banking.  Read more

Shankar Acharya

The pre-budget Economic Survey of the government, published at the end February, exudes optimism on economic growth: “Indian gross domestic product can be expected to grow at 8.5 +/- 0.25 per cent (in fiscal year 2010/11), with a full recovery breaching the 9 per cent mark 2011/12.” Read more

From now on comments on my columns will be appended to the columns themselves. My columns will no longer appear on the Economists’ Forum. We will however continue to publish articles on the Economists’ Forum from other contributors and this week you will be able to read entries on India and on the financial crisis.

I have a new site on — Martin Wolf’s Exchange — in which I will open discussion on a topic that I am thinking about. My aim will be to elicit views of readers. I will give my own response to the question I have raised, before posting the next issue for discussion. The first post is on Austrian economics, and you can read it here.

By Michael Pomerleano

What are the broader implications of the report on Lehman Brothers issued by the bankruptcy examiner?

The report details the effort to conceal Lehman’s true debt levels through the so-called “Repo 105” structure. It finds “credible evidence” to back a claim that the failure of Dick Fuld, Lehman chief executive, to disclose the transactions was “grossly negligent”. Read more