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2019-10-22

Mervyn King's analysis of the “Great Stagnation”

Policymakers like to congratulate themselves on how they avoided the mistakes of the Great Depression during the Global Financial Crisis

We have not really addressed any of the fault lines at the heart of our economies and financial system. The low interest rate environment has given rise to a desperate search for yield, setting us up for renewed financial crisis.

Larry Summers resurrected the term “secular stagnation” six years ago

King’s big point is that there has been an intellectual failure at the heart of the policy response to low growth. We’ve seen it as just another Keynesian downturn, only worse, that can be treated using tried and tested, countercyclical fiscal and monetary means.

As so often with analysis of this sort, King is good at articulating what’s wrong with the global economy, not so good when it comes to solutions.

Jeremy Warner 22 October 2019

Secular Stagnation

Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy, by Mervyn King. 
Review by John Plender

Lord Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. 
His book is called The End of Alchemy.





2019-10-19

Four books on 1989 and its impact

1989. On June 4, the day when Poland’s patriotic trade union movement Solidarity swept to an overwhelming victory over the Communist party in semi-free elections

Tony Barber FT 17 October 2019



No. 303 (Polish) Fighter Squadron

2019-10-16

Low interest rates fuel financial risk-taking, IMF warns

“Accommodative monetary policy is supporting the economy in the near-term, but easy financial conditions are encouraging financial risk-taking and are fuelling a further build-up of vulnerabilities in some sectors and countries,” the IMF said.

FT 16 October 2019

IMF fears the world's financial system is even more destructive than in 2008

We will have to be very creative if any of the IMF’s dark fears come true.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 16 October 2019


IMF Global Financial Stability Report


2019-10-14

In the end, then, Mr Tsipras morphed into the kind of leader Brussels wanted him to be.

A harrowingly detailed tale of incompetence and intransigence in the Greek debt crisis

The Last Bluff, by Viktoria Dendrinou and Eleni Varvitsioti

FT 14 October 2019



2019-10-10

What the heck is happening in the Cayman Islands?

Almost 20 per cent of banks’ cross-border dollar funding is now supplied by entities based in the Cayman Islands

Gillian Tett 10 October 2019


Goldman Sachs alumnus Raoul Pal says the third biggest issue facing stocks involves the baby boomers, Americans born between the mid 1940s and mid 1960s.

They face an annual requirement to sell about 5% of their individual retirement accounts, loaded with stocks in some cases, as they reach 70.5 years old.

MarketWatch 10 October 2019


Babyboomgenerationen kan komma att hålla ned börskurserna i två decennier framåt. Det spås bli följden när en åldrande befolkning säljer sina aktieandelar för att finansiera pensionen.

Varningen kommer från Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco


In theory, eurozone member states, being monetary sub-sovereigns, should perform the fiscal stabilization function.

But in practice, they do not, either because they are restricted by the quasi-constitutional rules of the EU’s “fiscal compact,” or because their vulnerable public-sector finances leave them constrained by debt markets. 

Hans-Helmut Kotz, a former member of the executive board of Deutsche Bundesbank, Project Syndicate 10 October 2019

There is a whiff of the Brezhnev era about the long cautious reign of Angela Merkel.

“If you compare us with southern Europe or Italy we look fantastic. Compared to the Nordics we don’t look so good at all,”said Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin (DIW) and author of The Germany Illusion.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 9 October 2019



https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/10/09/as-brexit-talks-founder-yet-another-delay-looms


2019-10-09

Why do economists continue to get it so wrong? Lucas

Five years before the financial meltdown of 2008, Robert Lucas famously declared that “the central problem of depression-prevention has been solved . . . and it has been for many decades”.

Lucas, whose Chicago School housed the high priesthood of mathiness, won a Nobel Prize for his rational expectations theory. It demonstrated that the market was always right.

“Policymakers at the start of 2019 seem to be just as out of touch with what is going on outside the big cities as they were as the great recession was nearing,” writes Blanchflower.

The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society, by Binyamin Appelbaum

Not Working: Where Have all the Good Jobs Gone?, by David Blanchflower

Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, by Branko Milanovic

Edward Luce FT 9 October 2019

Former ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet appealed for calm

The memorandum raised alarm over the longer-term impact of negative interest rates and

alleged the institution is financing governments with its bond-buying program -- a move that’s forbidden by European Union law.

Bloomberg 9 October 2019





Buying 30-year German debt at a sub-zero yield looks like an odd trade at the best of times.

If you expect the ECB to get anywhere near its target over the next three decades, it looks downright foolish.

FT 8 October 2019

2019-10-08

The hardest job for the ECB’s incoming boss will be explaining to Germany why it should back monetary - and fiscal - stimulus.

In the 1990s, selling the Germans on the euro was hard. Even if they vaguely liked the idea of Europe’s “ever closer union,” they loved their D-Mark even more. That’s because they trusted Germany’s arch-conservative central bank.

As Jacques Delors, a Frenchman and former president of the European Commission, once put it: “Not all Germans believe in God, but they all believe in the Bundesbank.”

Bloomberg 8 October 2019

In Strasbourg on Dec. 9, 1989, after the Berlin Wall fell,
Germany agreed to monetary union in order to get President Mitterand to agree to German reunification



Central bank stimulus is distorting financial markets, BIS finds

the full consequences were unlikely to become clear until major central banks started to shrink their balance sheets.

FT 7 October 2019


BIS committees release two major reports on unconventional policy tools


2019-10-06

Negative rates also destroy the stability of pension and insurance funds.

If negative rates cause the next crisis by distorting capital allocation and encouraging unmanageable levels of debt, central bankers will discover that the real danger is to them personally. 

The whole idea that they are politically independent good guys will come tumbling down.

Merryn Somerset Webb FT 4 October 

The writer is editor in chief of MoneyWeek


2019-10-04

Former central bankers attack ECB’s monetary policy

“As former central bankers and as European citizens, we are witnessing the ECB’s ongoing crisis mode with growing concern,” said the memo that was signed by several German, Austrian, Dutch and French former central bankers including Jürgen Stark and Otmar Issing, who both worked as ECB chief economist.

FT 4 October 2019


The extraordinary salvo from six eminent European former central bank mandarins against the European Central Bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy earlier this month is too easily dismissed as the work of tired hawks protecting the interests of rich northern Europeans.

John Plender 15 October 2019




1989

Costa-Gavras film fails to thrill Greeks angry with Varoufakis

‘Adults in the Room’ is a rare attempt to make artistic sense of the financial crisis

FT 4 October 2019


2019-10-02

The greater fool theory is at work in the bond market

Both sovereign and corporate borrowers are raising money at negative rates of interest. 

Buy on the assumption that the central banks will play the role of the greater fool through their asset purchasing programmes, thereby providing a profitable exit from a profoundly unattractive investment.

John Plender FT  30 September 2019


2019-10-01

Svag krona? Stark dollar.

The primacy of fiscal policy is the new global orthodoxy in a deflationary world

The primacy of fiscal policy is the new global orthodoxy in a deflationary world where $17 trillion of debt is trading at negative yields and central banks are deemed – rightly or wrongly – to be exhausted.

The canonical case was spelled out in Olivier Blanchard’s prize lecture to the American Economic Association earlier this year.

“Put bluntly, public debt may have no fiscal cost,” he concluded.

Rarely has an academic paper of this kind gone viral so instantly

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph Newsletter 1 October 2019

Central banks push for action on Europe’s rising house prices

Frustration at governments’ reluctance to introduce mortgage safeguards

FT 1 October 2019

2019-09-30

Annie Lööf för och emot omskärelse av pojkar och EMU

Annie Lööf beklagade att Centerpartiets stämma fattade beslut om att verka för ett förbud mot omskärelse på pojkar. Tidigare har hon själv motionerat om ett förbud i riksdagen.

– Det är inga andra kroppsstympningar som i dag accepteras, så varför ska stympning av pojkars könsorgan accepteras?, skrev hon bland annat.

https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/samhalle/a/OpPL43/loof-kravde-forbud-mot-manlig-omskarelse

Annie Johansson (C) ångrar ett politiskt beslut: att hon röstade nej till att byta krona mot euro 2003.

https://englundmacro.blogspot.com/2011/06/annie-johansson-c-angrar-ett-politiskt.html

Hon intar varje gång den uppfattning som just då uppfattas som mest politiskt korrekt. 



Om IB hos regeringen

2019-09-29

En viktig men ofta bortglömd grundorsak till klimatkrisen är världens befolkningsökning.

I en tredje studie analyserar Hall med flera folkökning och klimatändring i Afrika, kontinenten med störst ökning: cirka 1,3 miljarder människor i dag, 2,5 miljarder år 2050, och 4,3 miljarder år 2100 enligt FN:s beräkningar. 

Då förutsätts ändå rejält minskande födelsetal i Afrika, vilket är ett osäkert antagande.


Frank Götmark och Malte Andersson





Are investors ready for the ‘Doomsday Dollar’ scenario?

If the thesis holds, the dollar is poised to fall against the euro and yen over the next few years, and by as much as 50 to 60 per cent.

Rana Foroohar FT 29 September 2019



US government debt is a safe haven the way Pearl Harbor was a safe haven in 1941.

Draghi backs calls for fiscal union to bolster eurozone

- To have a stronger EMU [economic and monetary union], we need a common eurozone budget. 

FT 29 September 2019


Mario Draghi declares victory in battle over the euro

 FT 30 September 2019


2019-09-27

The Narrow Corridor — the fine line between despotism and anarchy

Their analytical starting point is the Leviathan of the 17th-century English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson,

Martin Wolf FT 26  September 2019

2019-09-26

ECB’s German board member quits over loose monetary policy

Sabine Lautenschläger’s resignation points to deep divisions at central bank

Ms Lautenschläger is not the first German representative on the ECB board to quit after disagreeing with its dovish monetary policy. 

In 2011, Jürgen Stark quit in protest over the central bank’s purchases of government bonds in response to the eurozone debt crisis. 

Earlier that year, Axel Weber quit as head of Germany’s Bundesbank after fiercely opposing the ECB’s strategy.

FT 26 September 2019


2019-09-24

Befolkningsökningen

Den är inte så farlig så länge ett antal miljarder människor lever i yttersta fattigdom. 

Den blir ett problem om 10 miljarder människor skall ha det som vi har det nu. 

När de skall ha stål och betong, asfalt och när 10 miljarder människor i alla fall en gång i livet skall åka till Venedig och Paris.

Africa to propel world’s population towards 10bn by 2050



2019-09-23

BIS said the high-risk loans have climbed to $1.4 trillion and are increasingly being sliced and diced

The Bank for International Settlements said the high-risk loans have climbed to $1.4 trillion and are increasingly being sliced and diced much like subprime mortgage debt before 2007.

They are packaged into debt securities known as collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) and mostly sold to unknown funds.

Leveraged loans are a form of bank lending to heavily indebted companies with junk credit ratings.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 22 SEPTEMBER 2019  

BIS Report

Yes, There Is a Trade-Off Between Inflation and Unemployment


The Phillips curve “probably the single most important macroeconomic relationship.” 

This period is providing yet more evidence — though we didn’t really need it — that the Phillips curve is unstable and, therefore, an imperfect guide for policy.

But unstable does not mean nonexistent, and imperfect does not mean useless. As long as the tools of monetary policy influence both inflation and unemployment, monetary policymakers must be cognizant of the trade-off.

N. Gregory Mankiw, rofessor of Economics at Harvard University, NYT 9 August 2010

Death of the Phillips curve brings political foes together at the graveside




NAIRU

2019-09-21

Can Capitalist Democracy Survive?

For two generations after World War II, the constructive coexistence of capitalism and democracy was largely taken for granted in developed countries – including the former Axis powers. 

This deep-seated complacency was reinforced by the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

But the 2008 global financial crisis put an end to faith in the supposed inevitability of liberal economics and democratic politics.


WILLIAM H. JANEWAY Project Syndicate Sep 20, 2019 

The financial crisis persuaded voters that they were governed by aloof, incompetent, self-serving elites. 

Wall Street and the City of London were bailed out while ordinary people lost their jobs, their houses and their sons and daughters on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/08/29/the-corrupting-of-democracy






2019-09-20

Ingves upprepade sin varning om att utländska investerare kan tappa tålamodet med Sverige.

Och betonade att 81 procent av utlåningen från de svenska affärsbankerna har fastigheter och bostäder som säkerhet.

– Resten av världen vet att vi inte sköter den svenska bostadsmarknaden särskilt väl och då bör man vara försiktig, sa Ingves.

SvD 18 september 2019


Om utlänningar börjar bli nervösa över hur det står till i landet så kan bankerna få problem eftersom två tredjedelar av de pengar de lånar upp är utländsk valuta.

Birgitta Forsberg, SvD Näringsliv 30 april 2018

EU-centralism hotar EU:s framtid

Jag var engagerad i arbetet inför den svenska EU-folkomröstningen 1994 som ledde till vårt EU-medlemskap. 

Ett viktigt argument för medlemskapet var subsidiaritetsprincipen, dvs att beslut ska fattas på den lägsta ändamålsenliga nivån.

Det slog mig härom dagen att det var länge sedan jag hörde talas om denna viktiga princip som borde vara helt central i EU:s arbete.

Janerik Larsson SvD 20 september 2019



Glaringly obvious - Skriande uppenbart. Fiscal policy.

Germany waking up to the glaringly obvious need for productivity-enhancing, investment-based fiscal stimulus.

Jim O’Neill, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a former UK Treasury Minister, is Chair of Chatham House. 

Project Syndicate 18 September 2019


Jag tycker det är skriande uppenbart att räntan världen över är för låg och att en större del av stimulanserna borde ske via finanspolitiken.



The repo markets mystery reminds us that we are flying blind

Quantitative easing means there is a greater chance of the global financial machine misfiring

Gillian Tett FT 19 September 2019


Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, the former member of the ECB’s executive board: 


2019-09-19

TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) are designed to offer an investor a way to insulate their bond against inflation

He predicts that sometime in the next decade that TIPS will see a surge in demand as investors desperately try to hedge themselves,

MarketWatch 19 September 2019

Negative interest rates take investors into surreal territory Tett


The markets are vulnerable to potential nasty losses if rates suddenly shoot up



Collapse Of The Global Financial System, Part 1

There’s not going to be a deal, because the problem that Trump is focused on and obsessed with is that we bought $543 billion worth of stuff from China last year, and we sold $120 billion.

It’s not because of bad trade deals 

If you look at manufacturing, our average wage is over $30, which includes the cash wage plus the health benefits, retirement, and Social Security taxes, and all the rest of it.
And in China, it’s about $5. 

The QE experiment has failed entirely. We’ve had massive increases in the Fed’s balance sheet, which went from about $850 billion on the eve of the subprime crisis to a peak of $4.5 trillion. 

central banks of the world. Collectively, they have driven bond yields to rock bottom. I would say we’re now in the mother of all bond bubbles in history.

David Stockman. September 18th, 2019



Third series of so-called targeted longer-term refinancing operations, ECB LTRO

The European Central Bank gave the region’s lenders 3.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion) in free long-term loans as it revived a policy intended to boost economic growth and inflation.

Bloomberg 19 september 2019 



2019-09-18

- Jag är medveten om att dessa åtgärder påverkar min generations bostadstillgångar idag. Ingves.

”De större frågorna, som rör exempelvis hyresreglering, fastighetsskatt, ränteavdrag och beskattning av bostaden vid försäljning är politiska frågor, frågor som ingen politiker i grunden velat ta tag i” 

Riksbankschef Stefan Ingves 2019-09-18 


Mean Reversion

Currently CAPE is near 30, or close to double the average of the last 100 years. 

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/caution-mean-reversion-ahead

A bear market could come without warning or apparent reason, or with the next recession

Robert J. Schiller Project Syndicate 24 september 2018

https://www.internetional.se/shares.htm#rjs

Fed stands ready to inject another $75bn into the financial system

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced plans to inject another $75bn into the US financial system when trading resumes on Wednesday, a day after making its first such intervention in more than a decade to alleviate funding pressures in short-term lending markets.

FT 18 September 2019


Some old financial melodies from 2007-2008 are getting a replay.

It’s a rule of thumb that if you’re even talking about such geeky fare as long-short market-neutral strategies or overnight repurchase agreements, then something has already gone wrong.

John Authers Bloomberg 18 september 2019 


The US dollar bond pits alone will soon be shocked with $1.8 trillion of homeless government debt 
as the US Treasury issues $1.2 trillion of new paper and the Fed dumps $600 billion of old debt during the fiscal year that incepted three days ago.


David Stockman, October 4th, 2018



Martin Wolf: why rentier capitalism is damaging liberal democracy

Economies are not delivering for most citizens because of weak competition, feeble productivity growth and tax loopholes

So why is the economy not delivering? The answer lies, in large part, with the rise of rentier capitalism. In this case “rent” means rewards over and above those required to induce the desired supply of goods, services, land or labour.

“Rentier capitalism” means an economy in which market and political power allows privileged individuals and businesses to extract a great deal of such rent from everybody else.

Martin Wolf chief economics commentator at the Financial Times 18 September 2019




2019-09-17

The Middle East's 'Sarajevo moment' has caught markets in a complacent stupor

Iran has slapped the impulsive and autocratic Crown Prince Mohammed in the face. 

The Revolutionary Guard have shown that they can circumvent the Patriot and Hawk missile defences of the Saudi Arabia’s gold-plated military and strike Aramco’s nerve centre.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 17 September 2019

Stupor is the lack of critical mental function and a level of consciousness wherein an affected person is almost entirely unresponsive and only responds to intense stimuli such as pain. Wikipedia

Draghi Leaves It to Lagarde to Pick Up the Pieces

The incoming president of the European Central Bank will have to face down a revolt over her predecessor’s decision to restart quantitative easing.  

Ferdinando Giugliano Bloomberg 17 september 2019 

2019-09-16

Stora frågor som alltför få vågar ägna sig åt, säger Karolina Ekholm

– Hur fungerar egentligen finanspolitik och penningpolitik? Vad bestämmer växelkurser? Varför hamnar länder återkommande i kriser?

DN 16 September 2019


Is Christine Lagarde capable of the change necessary to save the eurozone?

Without knowing it, the EU has become a kind of Ancien Régime whose arrogant complacency risks its own destruction.

Jeremy Warner Telegraph 10 September 2019


Draghi Faced Unprecedented ECB Revolt as Core Europe Resisted QE


Economist Robert Shiller sounds a warning on the US housing market: ‘We’re in 2005 again’

Nobel prize-winning Shiller has always sought out the human side of the so-called dismal science.

His reputation has been built on sounding the alarm ahead of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s and the US housing crash in the run-up to the financial crisis.

Telegraph 16 September 2019


A bear market could come without warning or apparent reason, or with the next recession




2019-09-15

Macroeconomics was one of the casualties of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Conventional macroeconomic models failed to predict the calamity or to provide a coherent explanation for it, and thus were unable to offer guidance on how to repair the damage. 

Despite this, much of the profession remains in denial, hankering for a return to “normal” and in effect treating the crisis as just a rude interruption.

Mark Cliffe Project Syndicate 9 September 2019 


The Economists' New Clothes

With economists struggling to derive credible explanations of macroeconomic conditions from the prevailing models, those who have long criticized the discipline for its scientific pretensions are feeling vindicated.

The widespread belief that economic activity will follow a regular cycle around a stable growth trend is not very helpful beyond the very short term. 


Rather, the economic disruptions we are experiencing highlight an obvious fact, but one that prevailing models assume away: the future is fundamentally uncertain, and not all risks are quantifiable.

Project Syndicate September 2019


Economic theory discredited






2019-09-13

Draghi Faced Unprecedented ECB Revolt as Core Europe Resisted QE

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau joined more traditional hawks including his Dutch colleague Klaas Knot and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann

Other dissenters included, but weren’t limited, to their colleagues from Austria and Estonia, as well as members on the ECB’s Executive Board including Sabine Lautenschlaeger and the markets chief, Benoit Coeure

Bloomberg 12 September 2019


2019-09-12

2012 räddade Draghi euron med löftet att ”do whatever it takes”.

2015 slog han återigen till med vad som senare kommit att kallas Draghis ”bazooka”. Alltså så kallade kvantitativa lättnader med uppköp av obligationer på numera totalt 2 600 miljarder euro, hisnande 1,3 miljoner euro i minuten, under de senaste fyra åren.

Tomas Lundin SvD 12 September 2019


ECB will restart its quantitative easing (QE) programme, buying €20bn of bonds every month from November. 

It eased lending terms for eurozone banks and offered them tiered interest rates in a bid to ease the pressure on their lending margins.




Germany, it says, will never accept a “transfer union”. Target 2

In real life, of course, that horse has already bolted. 

The true choice is between the shadow transfer union represented by the mountain of national central bank liabilities that have built up at the ECB — so-called Target balances — and the creation of an economic union that admits the role of fiscal policy in managing economic demand.

Philip Stephens FT 12 September 2019


More about Target 2 at IntCom



In Strasbourg on Dec. 9, 1989, after the Berlin Wall fell, Germany agreed to monetary union in order to get President Mitterand to agree to German reunification

WSJ 23 Sept 2011





2019-09-10

Summer books of 2019: Economics Martin Wolf selects his mid-year reads

The Case For People’s Quantitative Easing by Frances Coppola

She is making the case for helicopter money – quantitative easing, but carried out by placing money directly into people’s accounts. 

My long-time colleague and mentor, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, commented

John Authers Bloomberg 10 september 2019 

Highly recommended



2019-09-06

The best book written on EMU woes is EuroTragedy: a Drama in Nine Acts by Princeton Professor Ashoka Mody, the International Monetary Fund’s former deputy director in Europe.

A report three years ago by a group of eminent economists for the Delors Institute warned that the eurozone will remain unworkable unless it embraces some form of fiscal union and debt pooling.

“At some point, Europe will be hit by a new economic crisis. We do not know whether this will be in six weeks, six months or six years. But in its current set-up the euro is unlikely to survive that coming crisis,” they said. Nothing was done. 

Bernard Connolly, the high priest of eurosceptic theory 

 Ambrose 4 September 2019


https://scholar.princeton.edu/amody/euro-tragedy

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/eurotragedy-drama-nine-acts





2019-09-04

Deutsche Bank CEO Says Negative Rates Ruin Financial System

More monetary easing by the European Central Bank, as widely expected next week, will have “grave side effects” for a region that has already lived with negative interest rates for half a decade.

Few economists believe another cut at this level would actually help the economy, and clients are telling the bank they won’t invest a single euro more just because rates go 10 basis points lower, Sewing said at a conference in Frankfurt. 

All it would achieve is to further divide society by lifting asset prices while punishing Europe’s savers who are already paying 160 billion euros ($176 billion) a year because of negative interest rates, he said.

Bloomberg 4 September 2019





Recession predictors have always had a terrible record

But in the past, stopped-clock doom-mongers only had to wait a few years for their moment of glory. 

Now redemption can take decades. 

At 122 months, the current US expansion is the longest on record, just ahead of the period from 1991 to 2001.

A hard to predict financial crisis is the most probable source of the next downturn

FT 3 September 2019



2019-08-31

Argentina begins to restructure $101bn of debts

Argentina has already defaulted on its debt eight times, twice since the turn of the millennium.

FT 30 August 2019


Argentina: how IMF’s biggest ever bailout crumbled 

FT 2 September 2019


Argentina is Christine Lagarde's latest disaster - next up Europe

Telegraph 30 August 2019

2019-08-29

Minusräntorna beror på försvaret av euron

Fedchefen Alan Greenspan stod i början av 2000-talet på toppen av sin glans. Den legendariske journalisten Bob Woodward  - han som tillsammans med Carl Bernstein avslöjade Watergate och tvingade Nixon att avgå - gav ut boken Maestro: Greenspan's Fed And The American Boom.

År 2002 fick han av Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom titeln honorary Knight of the British Empire för hans "contribution to global economic stability".

Sedan kom finanskrisen och Lehman Brothers gick i konkurs 2008. Katastrofen var nära och det råder nu så mycket konsensus som det kan bland ekonomer om att Greenspan var en av de skyldiga, genom att han hållit för låg ränta för länge.

Sedan kom eurokrisen.

Grekland låg sämst till, men det löstes akut genom att EU lånade ut pengar till Grekland så att Grekland kunde betala sin lån till bankerna.

- Den stora risken var att Grekland skulle utlösa en kris i italienska, franska och tyska banker. Nu finns i praktiken en EU-garanti för de utestående grekiska statsobligationerna, sade Anders Borg enligt TT den 22 februari 2012.

Men eurokrisen höll i sig. En vändpunkt kom när ECB-chefen Draghi 2014 höll en berömd presskonferens där han proklamerade att han skulle rädda euron, "whatever it takes", sänkte räntan till noll och sedan till under noll.

I mars 2015 inledde ECB Quantitative easing (QE) och hade i oktober 2018 köpt €2.5tn (1 tn = 1000 miljarder) av eurozonens värdepapper.

Därutöver infördes invecklade saker som Targeted long-term refinancing operation - TLTRO, Outright Monetary Transactions ("OMT") och Target2 European interbank payments system.

Draghi räddade euron, i alla fall tillsvidare, och har nu inför sin avgång samma stjärnglans som en gång Allan Greenspan.

Men ECBs minusräntor spred sig över världen, eldade på fastighets- obligations- och aktiekurser till en förfärande hög nivå.

Dessvärre verkar ingen veta hur man skall ta sig ur detta.

Hade Draghi inte behövt rädda euron "whatever it takes" hade vi inte haft dagens situation. 

Det hade varit bättre om euron inte hade funnits i dag. 
Det var dumt att införa den innan alla bitar var på plats, när det nu blir, om någonsin.


English version