Daily Archives: February 21, 2013

Barack Obama might prefer to focus his energies on immigration, gun control and education. But it is the tax and spending wars that still paralyse Washington, and the US is on the verge of a dismal solution – the sequestration. Unless a new budget deal can be agreed within the next few days, almost all forms of so-called “discretionary” spending, departmental budgets that the US Congress sets each year, will be cut equally and indiscriminately – beginning next week. Read more

Today’s world of dysfunctional politics is one that pushes central banks further away from their comfort zone and excludes the best possible responses. The resulting inconsistencies can only be resolved through a more comprehensive policy approach that deals directly with the West’s challenges of too little growth, too much debt, and too polarised a political discourse. In the meantime, central banks will have no choice but to opt for what they perceive as the lesser of two evils – that of maintaining a visibly imperfect policy stance.  Read more

Brussels should request from Paris a serious plan for public spending cuts. The French 2013 budget adjustment was mostly based on tax increases. The government has announced that further consolidations would come from public spending cuts. This is however a rather weak commitment because President François Hollande has not spelt out precise priorities, let alone targets. It is not enough to say that some government spending will be cut. France must say which and when. Read more