10 August 2009 12:00 AM
20 July 2009 12:00 AM
On either side of the Atlantic, housing markets are no longer in free-fall. On Friday, we discovered that US housing starts had unexpectedly risen in June, posting the highest number in seven months. Building permits, which indicate future homebuilding activity, also picked up smartly.
13 July 2009 12:00 AM
06 July 2009 12:00 AM
High hopes dashed. No, not Andy Murray's unsuccessful quest to win Wimbledon this year. I'm thinking of last Thursday's US employment report for June. It was hardly the best news ahead of the July 4th Independence Day celebrations.
29 June 2009 12:00 AM
Mervyn isn't happy with Alistair because Alistair's housekeeping doesn't quite add up. Adair isn't happy with Mervyn because Mervyn wants to play with Adair's regulatory toys. Alistair doesn't trust Mervyn because he suspects Mervyn is sneaking off to tell George all of Alistair's secrets. Mervyn is irritated because Alistair refuses to show Mervyn his new White Paper. But George is full of cheer because he thinks Mervyn is his new best friend. That, I think, is the human aspect of the rumpus that's unfolded over the past few days. Personalities aside, the row reveals obvious tensions in the UK's monetary, fiscal and regulatory framework.
22 June 2009 12:00 AM
15 June 2009 12:00 AM
01 June 2009 12:00 AM
18 May 2009 12:00 AM
05 May 2009 12:00 AM
27 April 2009 12:00 AM
20 April 2009 12:00 AM
30 March 2009 12:00 AM
How much will the financial crisis eventually cost? I'm not talking about the billions of pounds or the trillions of dollars being spent to rebuild the world's financial system. These numbers are now so big that, in thinking about them, I feel decidedly numb. Moreover, the asset purchase and insurance schemes launched by governments may not cost that much over the longer term: not all the assets being purchased or insured against will prove toxic and a recovery in economic activity would probably leave governments and taxpayers nursing only modest losses. Indeed, with any luck, they might even make money.
23 March 2009 12:00 AM
It is bad enough explaining to people what quantitative easing is, let alone what it actually does. Part of the problem lies with the different approaches adopted by central banks on either side of the Atlantic. The Bank of England deliberately intends to increase the supply of money, whereas the Federal Reserve has, so far, made no such commitment. Both central banks are, though, supposedly engaged in quantitative easing.
16 March 2009 12:00 AM
What, today, counts as economic policy success? The G20 finance ministers, pictured, promised over the weekend to "take whatever action is necessary until growth is restored." That, though, is a rather weak formulation. Even after the Great Depression, growth eventually made a welcome return. The bigger concerns surely relate to the length and depth of the current downswing and, importantly, the likely pace of growth once the world economy bottoms out. Merely promising a restoration of growth at some unspecified future point doesn't quite do the trick.
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