A note on the Feasibility ECB Quantitative Easing

Recent comments from the ECB about potential attempts to mitigate a decrease in inflation through QE have led to an increased interest in the articles posted on this website about the SMP and the CBPP. However, such interventions were pursued for different purposes and as such may offer only partial insight into what the ECB may do. I take this opportunity to briefly review some of the alternatives available to the ECB. I also offer a belated apology and explanation for the decreased posting over the last six months, for those interested.

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Posted in Current Events, ECB, Euro-zone Update, Inflation, Sovereign debt Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Income Inequality Leads to and Supports Political Capture

As can be seen in posts pondering the past, present and or future nature of the Chinese, Brazilian or Ancient Roman political economy, capture is inevitably a recurring theme in my analyses. More specifically, I have recently found myself leaning towards reviewing income inequality as an intermediary step between macroeconomic and institutional variables. However I’ve long struggled to explain the logical steps behind this otherwise instinctively true fact. This post hopes to address that shortcoming.

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Posted in Aides Memoire, Political Concepts, Risk Scenario Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic – Citizenship, Expansion, Income Inequality and Empire

This post is not supposed to offer a formal and authoritative or complete account, description or thesis of the rise and fall of the Roman Republic. Instead, it rather quickly and incompletely summarises what small and insignificant information I gathered in a relatively informal manner for the simple purpose of explaining it to myself. The degree of complexity is completely arbitrary and set to satisfy my heterogenous and idiosyncratic intellectual criteria. This post does not claim to be a rigorous work of history, geography, economics, politics or any other mix thereof of a standard to be published. However, it does make use of all of them, if only as sources and as a buffer between what strikes me as relevant and that which does not.

The success of the Roman Republic, as I understand it, was the result of a number of features that made that polity more adaptable than many of its neighbours and opponents, be it politically, legally or militarily. Checks and balances created competition for leadership that was not necessarily adversarial, conquest and a degree of economic flexibility created the necessary income inequality to eliminate collective action problems, the abuses from which were mitigated by increasing legal equality of opportunity that extended the political franchise. Supported by what strikes me as a fortuitous order of conquest, which allowed it to build momentum at a manageable pace, this seems to me to be the reason of Rome’s success. However, the burden of conquest eventually became too much to bear and led to the Marian reforms, which although successful at guaranteeing military success undermined the Republic’s checks and balances, exacerbated the agency of the few against the collective action problems of the many whose state was eventually captured and reformed into the Roman Empire.

The post is divided into three sections. The first focuses on the Republic’s military adaptability. The second considers some secondary features of the Roman state and its expansion that supported its rise, such as its

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Posted in European History, History, Political Concepts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

German Elections – Voter Intention Polls and FDP Blunders

This post reviews the recent voter intention polls in Germany,  the trends over the last 4 years,  the loss of popularity of the FDP and the pyrrhic success of the Greens.

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Posted in Current Events, European National Politics, Sovereign debt Crisis, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Will Europe’s Crisis End? And When?

This post is based on a report I wrote some time ago about the future of the Euro-Zone crisis. It is divided in four parts: The first offers a recap of the crisis until May 2013. No details as to recent localised crisis are given. Information on this issue is periodically updated in the “Chronology of Euro-Zone Crisis” section of this website. The second part, discusses the options available for the future and makes a cautious and qualified argument in favour of fiscal federalism. The third part describes and uses a simple and tractable scenario analysis approach (mentioned in earlier posts) to map some of the potential future paths ahead. It argues that the single most likely path ahead is “stealth mutualisation”, a number of policies that would not require the paradigm shift constitutional reforms of a new and formal stage of fiscal integration while providing relief to bailout peripheral countries. Finally, the last part concludes with an overview of the future implications for financial markets both directionally and positionally.

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Posted in European Integration, Finance, Risk Scenario Analysis, Sovereign debt Crisis, Uncategorized, Visions of the Political Future of Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming up: A story about a little bit of History…

So… In case you are a regular reader of this blog and are disappointed at the scarcity of posts since May, or even since before that, I must apologise for the fact and excuse the inexistent posting by the fact that my job’s been taking all my time. But to leave it at that is rather incomplete, so let me elaborate a little.

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Posted in European History, European Integration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment