Economy Archive

Free exchange: The benefits of Brentry

THIS week the Institute for Economic Affairs, a British think-tank, awarded a prize of €100,000 ($138,000) for the most compelling plan for a British withdrawal from the European Union. The winner, a British diplomat named Iain Mansfield,

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: The ugly twins of finance

YOU could argue that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two “government-sponsored enterprises” (GSEs) in the mortgage business which received the biggest bail-out of the financial crisis, have paid their debt to society. At any rate, the revenues

Greece’s return to the markets: The prodigal son

THE journey has been an epic one, but Greece has reached, if not the destination, at least a waymark. The last time that its government raised long-term funds was in March 2010, just weeks before the markets

Japan’s economy: Out of the zone

Transformation-ready FOR Izumi Yoshimura, an estate agent in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, the increase in the consumption tax on April 1st from 5% to 8% is a triple blow. It lifts her cost of living; she will

The euro-zone economy: Frost in spring

VIEWED from one perspective, the euro area is a minor miracle. Instead of collapsing in a heap, as seemed possible two years ago, the currency club is not just intact but has a new member, Latvia, which

Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sorry, no vacancies

A grain of hope AFRICAN businesses are reluctant employers. A given firm in Sub-Saharan Africa typically has 24% fewer people on its books than equivalent firms elsewhere, according to a recent paper from the Centre for Global

Swiss banks: Swissness is not enough

LIKE their country’s watchmakers, Swiss banks have enjoyed a reputation for quality, reliability and watertight discretion. But since 2008, spectacular coups by neighbouring countries’ tax authorities and investigations by America’s Department of Justice have torn at their

Anti-social media: Ashes of a coalfire

I’ve unfriended him, too SHEDDING his reputation as a carefree playboy took Nat Rothschild a decade of dealmaking. Gaining one for peppery imprudence took only a few hours. In a spectacular public spat, Mr Rothschild (part of

Copper: Broken contacts

THE copper price has long been held to signal the state of the global economy as reliably as the metal conducts electrons. But that reputation—never fully deserved—is now in tatters. Copper’s plunging price (see chart) says a

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Deconstruction delays

A RARE area of agreement about the financial crisis of 2008 is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the core of the meltdown and are in urgent need of reform. On March 16th the leading