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Shaun Richards

Shaun Richards
Shaun Richards is an independent economist who studied at the London School of Economics. His specialty was (and remains) monetary economics. He worked in the City of London for several investment banks and then on his own account over a period of 15 years. After initially working in the government bond department at Phillips and Drew Ltd. Shaun moved on into the derivatives arena with options of all types being a specialty. With his specializations of monetary economics and knowledge of derivatives, Shaun has plenty of expertise to deploy on the financial and economic crisis which has unfolded in recent years.

Recent blog posts

  • Will Mario Draghi have to save the Euro one more time?
    The weekend that has just passed saw the annual central bank symposium at Jackson Hole Wyoming USA. It was not the present Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen who made a speech of significance this year, however. It was Mario Draghi the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) who on Friday evening moved a few economic goal posts.
  • What can we expect next from the economy of Russia?
    So far, 2014 has seen Russia dominate much of the news agenda. An already weak economic situation looks as though it is about to be given another downwards push.
  • What are the consequences of negative interest rates?
    This week has seen for the first time a major central bank dipping its toe into the world of negative interest rates. Instead of receiving interest on deposits, there will be a requirement to pay interest on them, which is quite a sea change.
  • Abenomics and the Japanese economy are both struggling
    The largest economics experiment of the credit crunch era is being carried out by the government of Shinzo Abe with the help of the Bank of Japan under the banner of what has become called Abenomics. Earlier this week, we received an update from the Bank of Japan on the monetary stimulus arrow.
  • What actually is money and how is it created?
    The credit crunch era has not only been hard on the world's economy; it has been hard on concepts of economics, and on economists' ideas too.
  • What next for Abenomics and the Bank of Japan?
    This week has been a significant one for those who are following the story of the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his efforts to pull Japan out of the economic malaise represented by the phrase "lost decades".
  • The UK public finances continue to disappoint us
    One of the features of the credit crunch era is the way in which statisticians have kow-towed to the so-called elite. For example, it was only last July that the US Bureau of Economic Analysis decided on a redefinition of US economic output that raised it by 3.5%. Much more of that, and the problems of the credit crunch will disappear! The main driver of this is a change in the accounting for research and development, which rather resembles double-counting in my opinion.
  • The Bank of England changes course on Funding for Lending
    Today has seen a change of tack by the Bank of England in its operation of UK monetary policy. During 2013 it has found itself operating in a rather hand in glove manner with the UK coalition government. This has been most evident in its approach to the housing market where it would have been hard to argue that there was any evidence of the claimed independence of its policy.
  • Whatever happened to the claims of "Grecovery" for Greece?
    The most regular feature of the economic and financial crisis which has so ravaged the economic landscape in Greece has been claims that a recovery is just around the corner. For example, even after allowing a few months for the "shock and awe" plan of May to bed in, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told us this in September 2010: "The authorities saw the risks to the growth outlook as being on the upside." Even a cursory glance at what followed shows this to have been a rose-tinted fantasy.
  • India feels the heat of a currency crisis
    The last few days have seen India sink into a full-blown currency crisis as the value of the rupee has plummeted to a succession of all-time lows versus the US dollar. As I type, this it has fallen by more than 3% today alone and is priced at 68 rupees to each single dollar. What has caused this? The Reserve Bank of India...
  • Is this a new beginning for Quantitative Easing in Japan or perhaps an endgame?
    The spring and summer of 2013 has seen quite a few changes in the perception of Quantitative Easing as an economic policy. On April 4th the Bank of Japan announced that it would expand its operations in this area as its part of what has become called Abenomics. For more details on what Abenomics means please see my blog post of the 22nd of May.
  • Cyprus faces an economic catastrophe even worse than that inflicted on Greece
    The last fortnight has seen some extraordinary developments in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. These have seen a small island become a problem for the euro project that is way out of kilter with its 0.2% share of its overall economic output. Also we see something that has developed relatively quickly as the Greek part of Cyprus only joined the euro on the 1st of January 2008. Oh how they must rue statements like this from back
  • The Reserve Bank of India is taking quite a gamble with India’s economic future
    The Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron has just completed a state visit to India with the objective of boosting links between his country and its former colony. He may well consider how things and times change as it is India with its current estimated 5.5% economic growth rate (which it considers to be low!) which is far exceeding the UK’s flat-lining economic growth performance. UK readers may well be saying "about time" as they read this as their leaders have spent so much effort on a sclerotic and arthritic Europe and much less on parts of the world which are booming. However my emphasis in this article is to look under the bonnet of the engine of the Indian economy as not everything is working in tune.
  • Is Japan and her economy moving forwards or towards an abyss?
    Back on the 6th of December 2012 I wrote an article for QFinance outlining the prospects for both Japan and Switzerland with respect to not only the reality of very expansionary monetary policies but in Japan's case the prospect of  "More, More, More" of this. I was concerned then about the prospect of interest rates going below zero into the world of negative interest rates. Since then there has been a considerable number of developments as the new Liberal Democratic Party government lead by Shinzo Abe has got to work.
  • To how many countries will negative interest rates spread?
    One of the subjects which has most exercised my mind over the past eighteen most has been the possible and then increasingly the probable spread of negative interest-rates. This has several different facets but they all involve savers and investors facing the prospect of having to pay to put their savings into either an institution or a bond.


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