One Minute to Midnight for the Ratings Agencies

The credit rating agencies were clambouring over each other to downgrade Greece to ‘C’ during June, just one notch above default. Greece, they argued, was one-minute-from-midnight before going into default… But now that Greece has secured funding for the next two years, including a rollover commitment from their major private creditors, how likely does the […]

LDraghi Sets Out to Learn a Tough Lesson

Mario Draghi appears to have committed the ECB to a slew of open market purchases of European Sovereign debt. The argument is that if the ECB buys bonds, prices will rise thereby reducing the borrowing costs of the likes of Spain and Italy. The markets generally rejoiced at this prospect last week with global equity […]

Technocrats Rule, OK?

A technocracy is a system of government where experts are in control of decision making. Greece and Italy have just signed up for this novel experience but what are they to expect. Look no further than Singapore … the tiny island-state has been ruled by experts since foundation in 1965 and now boasts one of […]

A Helicopter Named Inflation

Helicopters are useful aircraft for commuters, warfare and search and rescue missions. A lesser known fact is that helicopters play an important role in monetary theory as the means for generating inflation. Like many economic paradigms, at first this seems absurd…take another look and the absurdity devolves to pure fantasy. In a previous blog, I […]

Fixing Greece: Sarkozy v Schaeble

Sabre rattling is a basic tool in politics but financial markets take fright at the thought of a fight. French President Sarkozy’s ‘softly-softly’ approach to the Greek debt crisis is to be commended, in contrast to German Finance Minister Schaeble’s blitz… The one thing that will fix the Greek debt problem is reducing their borrowing […]

The Yen and the Yuan

The striking feature of the recent crisis is how Asian currencies are perceived as safe havens. Despite Japan’s domestic difficulties, the JPY has powered along rising to 79.8 against the USD at one point yesterday. The CNY would have risen as well were it not heavily managed – instead, the Chinese authorities have to deal […]