Forward Guidance

By David Miles in

“Mensch tracht, und Gott lacht” is a Yiddish proverb – men plan and God laughs. Woody Allen puts the same thought this way: “If you want to make God laugh tell him about your plans”. Some people might see these words as a fitting epitaph for forward guidance on monetary policy. The Bank of England […]

Weighing History in China

By Kerry Brown in

The hand of history lies heavy in China. No one disputes that. For all the zealous modernisation of the whole narrative of “what it is to be Chinese” promoted by the current government in Beijing, from time to time voices, images and shocks about the past appear through the cracks. Very few Chinese leaders now […]

Marius Petipa: the Tsar of Ballet

By Valentina Bonelli in

Even in the one hundredth anniversary of his death. Marius Petipa still remains a partially unknown figure. For an anniversary that is so important for the history of ballet, it is surprising there have been no conferences, no publications and no festivals dedicated to his memory to fill in the gaps in his biography and […]

Newsletter October 2014

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard explains that before the 2008 crisis, the mainstream world view among US macroeconomists was that economic fluctuations were regular and essentially self-correcting. The crisis has made it clear that this view was wrong and that there is a need for a deep reassessment. […]

Hong Kong Central vs. China’s Centre

By François Godement in

While young Hong Kong demonstrators crowd out the financiers in the centre of the city and in full view of the world’s media, bloody actions and an even bloodier repression is striking Uyghurs in Xinjiang, far out of sight. Trouble on the periphery contrasts with the apparent quiet that has descended on China’s main political […]

Where Danger Lurks

By Olivier Blanchard in

Until the 2008 global financial crisis, mainstream US macroeconomics had taken an increasingly benign view of economic fluctuations in output and employment. The crisis has made it clear that this view was wrong and that there is a need for a deep reassessment. The benign view reflected both factors internal to economics and an external […]

Kojève’s Idea of the End of History

By Riccardo Paparusso in

In the present time of economic crisis European policy is supervised by banking and financial systems. The spread of 2008’s subprime loan crisis from the United States to Europe triggered a process of subordination of European democracy to the power, and to the weakness, of financial markets. Europe lies, in other words, in a state […]

A gloomy, rudderless France

By Patrice de Beer in

We, French, are an inveterate, self deprecating, navel gazing people. Whatever happens to us is always better, or worse than to the others but, anyway, different. This time, worse. No country in the world shares a more negative, pessimistic view of its present and future fate. And the present protracted crisis has all but exacerbated […]

Review: Zakhar Prilepin’s ‘Sankya’

By Maxim Edwards in

‘If we ask the elderly to draw’ asks Sankya, ‘will their drawings be as bright as those of children?’ This English translation of Zakhar Prilepin’s Sankya by Mariya Gusev and Jeff Parker has been long overdue; and in recent months disturbingly relevant. The novel gained a cult following on its 2006 release, and Prilepin was […]

Is the ECB doing QE?

By Charles Wyplosz in

The 4 September announcement by Chairman Mario Draghi has been greeted with enthusiasm by the markets and the media. It has been long awaited, and many believe that the ECB has finally delivered. This is not sure. The ECB intends to buy large amounts of securities backed by bank lending to households (mortgages) and to […]

Tackling Food and Fuel Subsidies

By Jeffrey Frankel in

In few policy areas does good economics conflict so dramatically with good politics as in the practice of subsidies to food and energy. Economics textbooks explain that these subsidies are lose-lose policies. In the political world, that can sound like an ivory tower abstraction. But the issue of unaffordable subsidies happens to be front and […]

China and Latin America – Shock and Ore

By David Hill in

China’s voracious appetite for minerals has been a key driver of Latin American growth, transforming it in less than two decades into a major player in the region. However, Chinese-run mines – combined with Chinese loans and ever-greater involvement of Chinese companies in other sectors such as infrastructure – are sparking fears about the social […]

Investing for Europe’s Future

By Mateusz Szczurek in

This speech was delivered by Mateusz Szczurek, Minister of Finance of Poland, at the 2014 annual Bruegel dinner. The Bruegel Institute is one of the most influential European think-tanks and the quality of its research is continuously increasing its impact on policymaking. It is therefore my honour and great privilege to be here and to […]

Brazil: Marina Silva’s chance

By Arthur Ituassu in

The airplane crash on 13 August 2014 that killed the Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos transformed the context of the election to be held 5 October (with a second round run-off, if needed, on 18 October). The sense of tragedy was accentuated by the fact that Campos, whose grandfather was Miguel Arraes, a major left-wing […]

Palestine and the ICC

By Victor Kattan in

The recent conflict in the Gaza Strip has once again brought to the fore debates on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the International Criminal Court (ICC), which have been simmering away ever since the Palestinian Authority (PA) lodged an ad-hoc declaration with the ICC five years ago in an attempt to give the court jurisdiction in […]

Newsletter – September 2014

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we have Daniel Levy, the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations,  previously an official negotiator for the Israeli government in peace talks with the Palestinians under Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak, and served as the lead Israeli drafter […]