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Archive for 16. Dezember 2011

The European Union in disarray: A comedy of euros

Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2011

Date: 15-12-2011
Source: The Economist

Britain had a bad summit, but the euro zone had a worse one

AS YOU read this, lawyers are busily drafting a European fiscal “compact” designed to restore discipline to the euro zone’s economies. In the new year all but one of the European Union’s 27 members are to start thrashing out this treaty’s details. Meanwhile the British government, having fallen out with all its 26 partners, is promising that it will remain a central part of the union—and that London will remain Europe’s financial capital. All is well.

Except that it isn’t. Merely to set out these purported achievements of the latest EU summit in Brussels is to show how hollow they are. Once again Europe’s leaders have failed to solve the euro crisis. The new treaty could easily be killed by the markets or by its rejection in one or more euro-zone country. The EU has suffered plenty of disappointing summits without the sky falling in—a good many of them in the past year. But unlike the marathon dispute over a new constitution, the euro is in a race against time because markets are pushing countries to insolvency. As investors and voters lose faith, the task of saving the single currency grows harder. Sooner or later, the euro will be beyond saving. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Rising Storm Over World Trade: China’s 10 Year Anniversary in the WTO

Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2011

Author: Dan Steinbock · December 13th, 2011 · RGE EconoMonitor
After 10 years of China’s entry to WTO, rising trade protectionism may spell trouble. Trade globalization is at risk.
As WTO meets, world trade growth is halved
In 2010, world trade recorded its largest annual increase as merchandise exports surged 14.5 percent, supported by a 3.6 percent recovery in global output as measured by GDP.
China made a particularly strong contribution to the recovery of world trade, with its exports increasing by a massive 28 percent in terms of volume and its imports rising by more than 22 percent.
The rebound was strong enough for world exports to recover its peak level of 2008, but not strong enough to return to the previous growth path. The debt crises in major developed nations, especially the European Union and the United States, continue to reduce global demand.
As trade ministers are about to meet at the WTO ministerial conference from December 15-17 in Geneva, world trade is expected to grow in 2011 by 6.5 percent and rising trade protectionism spells trouble. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The European Union and the euro: Game, set and mismatch

Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2011

Date: 15-12-2011
Source: The Economist

What do you get when you mix political differences and inept diplomacy? Britain’s bust-up with the rest of the EU

IN DECEMBER 1991, after a European Union summit in Maastricht that laid the foundations for a single currency, Britain’s prime minister, John Major, returned home saying he had won “game, set and match for Britain” by securing an opt-out. Two decades on (almost to the day), with the euro close to collapse, another Tory prime minister, David Cameron, returned from an all-night summit to be hailed as a conquering hero by his supporters. Mr Cameron had stood alone against 26 leaders in vetoing a revision of the European Union treaties, on the ground that it failed to offer safeguards for Britain’s vital financial-services industry.

For all the praise showered on Mr Cameron for his “British bulldog” spirit, the leader who could most boast of winning this time round was Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president. He advanced his quest for an “economic government” for the euro zone—code for the creation of an inner core run mainly by leaders rather than supranational institutions like the European Commission. The summit, Mr Sarkozy said, showed that “a new Europe is being born”. It was split into two camps: “one that wants more solidarity and regulation among its members; the other that follows only the logic of the single market.” By implication the second, British, camp was a loser. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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