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Archive for 16. September 2017

Berlin and Paris Dance Carefully Around Deepening the Eurozone

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2017

Date: 15-09-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Germany wants to appear open to Macron’s ambitious plans, but officials harbor big doubts

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

BERLIN—Behind renewed professions of love between France and Germany, differences brewing over the euro’s future could spoil the romance.

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for the most ambitious deepening of ties among European countries since the Maastricht Treaty that put the continent on the road to the common currency. Germany thinks the euro isn’t broken and doesn’t need much fixing.

As Germany heads toward its elections on Sept. 24, Mr. Macron has stepped up his calls for deeper political union among the 19 members of the eurozone. “A currency zone cannot function durably without a common budget that can cope with economic shocks and encourage convergence between our economies by supporting investment projects in those countries that need them most,” Mr. Macron told Greek newspaper Kathimerini during a visit to Athens last week. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tony Blair has a plan to exit from Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2017

Date: 15-09-2017
Source: The Economist

But even the former prime minister’s talent for fudging may not be enough

BRITAIN’S eventual exit deal with the European Union will not only have to be signed off by the bloc’s 27 increasingly irritated member states. It must also satisfy a home audience split between those with sky-high expectations of Brexit and those who oppose it in any form. There is a growing sense that the government—which announced this week that the next round of talks in Brussels would be delayed by seven days, until after the prime minister has made a big speech on Europe in Florence—lacks the political skill to forge such a delicate compromise.

On September 9th Tony Blair, whose knack for fiddles and fudges helped to sell peace to Northern Ireland and capitalism to the Labour Party, piped up with a plan. In a report published by one of his several foundations, Mr Blair proposed a deal that he said would occupy “the space between Brexit At Any Cost and simple reversal of the referendum”. He suggested that the EU might weaken its rules on the free movement of people—the biggest driver of the Leave vote—in order to persuade Brexit-backing Britons to switch to the Remain camp, or at least to accept free movement and thus keep Britain eligible for membership of the single market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Donald Trump should reappoint Janet Yellen

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2017

Date: 15-09-2017
Source: The Economist

Gaps at the Fed are becoming a real concern

ONE of the many fears about President Donald Trump was that he would pack the Federal Reserve with loyalists. That concern has been replaced by another: the central bank’s top echelons are unpacked with anyone. On September 6th Stanley Fischer, a seasoned policymaker and crisis-fighter, announced that for personal reasons he was retiring early as vice-chairman. That means a fourth vacancy has opened up on the Fed’s board; as a consequence, four of the 12 seats on the Fed’s interest-rate-setting committee are also up for grabs. That number could rise to five in February, when Janet Yellen’s term as Fed chair is due to end.

Mr Trump has been slow to make senior appointments of any kind. But an underpowered Fed is a particular concern. Its policies help determine everything from the health of the American economy to the price of credit in emerging markets. The best way for the president to start dealing with the backlog is to reappoint Ms Yellen head of the Fed. That might clash with his instincts. Mr Trump values loyalty above competence. Ms Yellen, first appointed by Barack Obama, is a Democrat who has pushed back against proposals from the Treasury that would weaken financial regulation. But a second term for her would provide clarity about the Fed’s future direction and independence, and make the other posts easier to fill. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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