Today Japan PM Abe suffers setback as two ministers quit (Reuters)
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Europe economy

Europe: Calling a spade a spade

In Europe

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | Tim Worstall comes out and calls a “spade a spade” in “Europe Doesn’t Have A Debt Crisis, Europe Has A Monetary Crisis”: The stock markets plunge over concerns about the eurozone; there’s a flight from lower quality sovereign bonds; Greek, Spanish and other periphery bond yields spike. It looks like the eurozone debt crisis is back. But this time around we really should get to grips with the fact that what we’ve got here is really not a debt crisis.

World economy

Homelessness: No shelter from the storm

BERKELEY (CA) | By Jacob Straus at Fair ObserverHomelessness continues to plague societies the world over, with legal frameworks needed to tackle it still largely lacking.

In Europe

Europe’s energy drama: import dependency is high –and rising

MADRID | The Corner | Winter’s coming and Europe finds itself in a complicated position. The (declining) production of the continent’s energy import has traditionally fallen short of (growing) consumption . In 2012, 53.7% ofEurope’s energy consumption was based on imports – up from in 44% in 1996, according to UBS. Brussels admits the share of imported energy is likely to rise to 100% in oil and above 80% in gas by 2030. 

EU energy import dependency
World economy

US companies: When having too much money is a bad sign (I)

WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | In the 1Q14, companies at Standard and Poor’s 500 spent more money to repurchase shares in comparison to the profits they had made during that period. And  third quarter data point in the same direction. Large American firms do this for several reasons, such as inflating their share price –because, the fewer number of shares, the more profits per share they’ll have, which in turn benefits  managers, who receive financial compensation in the form of company shares.

World economy

Yellen likely to focus on jobs today; markets get comfort from Bullard: nothing changes

MADRID | The Corner | Markets expect more dovish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve’s chairwoman Janet Yellen, who is addressing a Boston Fed conference on income inequality today. The fact that she has put the issue into the mainstream has earned support from working class communities. Visiting an under-privileged neighborhood on Thursday, she eschewed the chance to talk about monetary policy, but instead listened to stories about layoffs and lost savings.  Wall Street took some comfort from the St. Louis Fed President, James Bullard, who said that the Federal Reserve should consider delaying the end of bond purchases, given declining inflation expectations.

Janet Yellen
World economy

China’s Challenge: Growing the Market, Limiting the State

BEIJING | By James A. Dorn via Caixin | In his new book Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China, Nicholas R. Lardy, one of the world’s leading China experts and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, makes a strong case that the market, not the state, has been the key factor in the country’s remarkable rise. In 1978, Beijing began to loosen its grip on economic life and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping recognized the failure of central planning as a development model. Today China is the world’s second-largest economy, and the range of choices open to consumers has greatly expanded under economic liberalization and trade.

World economy

Are global growth fears over-stated?

MADRID | The Corner | Gloomy inflation data in the eurozone prompted a debate about recovery losing momentum. But while tackling disinflation should be a priority, we shouldn’t be too worried about growth.  ”Leading indicators of growth are not – at present – consistent with any major slowdown in the world economy. Indicators of financial and monetary conditions and many industrial metal prices are relaying a similar message,”analysts at UBS commented on Thursday.