Economy Archive

The euro-zone economy: Losing the plot

AS IN a complex film script, at least two storylines have been in play for the euro zone this year. One is brightly lit, featuring the revival of both consumer and business confidence, the return of investors

Free exchange: Competition, hammered

PICKING the price at which to sell a public asset is a daunting task. The political stakes are high: this week Britain launched a review of such sales after claims that Royal Mail, the postal service, had

Buttonwood: Neither liquid nor solid

WILL liquidity be the cause of the next great financial crisis? Recent problems in the obscure-sounding, but highly important, repo market may hint at the trouble to come. A repo, or repurchase agreement, is a short-term loan.

BNP Paribas: Capital punishment

THE American guillotine has fallen. After lengthy negotiations, prosecutors and regulators announced on June 30th the penalties they planned to impose on BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, for evading American sanctions on doing business with Cuba, Iran

Free exchange: Wealth by degrees

IS A university degree a good investment? Many potential students are asking the question, especially in countries where the price of a degree is rising, as a result of falling government subsidies. Recent research suggests that the

Restructuring sovereign debt: Busted flush

GOVERNMENTS have a long history of borrowing abroad and not repaying their debts. The first recorded sovereign default was in the 4th century BC when ten Greek cities failed to honour loans from the temple of Delos.

Dubai’s stockmarket: Shifting sands

Striking the same place twice UP LIKE a rocket, down like a stick. Dubai’s stockmarket is living up to that old investing saw: having been one of the best performers in the world since the start of

Japan’s regional banks: Game of gnomes

JAPAN’S banks came through the financial crisis relatively unscathed, largely because they had steered clear of the sort of toxic assets that caused their American and European counterparts such trouble. But the Financial Services Agency (FSA), their

Free exchange: Zombie patents

IT IS hard to think of an industry in which competition is more important than pharmaceuticals. As health-care costs rocket, the price cuts—often of 85% or more—that generic drugs offer are one easy way to economise. Ibuprofen

Monetary policy and asset prices: A narrow path

UNTIL the global financial crisis, central banks treated bubbles with benign neglect: they were hard to detect and harder to deflate, so best left alone; the mess could be mopped up after they burst. No self-respecting central