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Home > Macroeconomic Issues Viewpoints

Macroeconomic Issues Viewpoints


QFINANCE viewpoints provide you with the distilled thoughts of finance leaders and experts, outlining their current thinking on the crucial issues and challenges facing finance managers, entrepreneurs and business executives. The contributions are drawn from an array of practitioners and thinkers from the world of finance and business.

  • A Lesson in Austrian School Economics: The Real Cause of the Crash
    by Jesús Huerta de Soto
    Jesús Huerta de Soto holds a PhD in economic science and a PhD in law from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is also a mathematical actuary and holds a MBA from Stanford University. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Royal Economic Society (London), the American Economic Association, and the Spanish, Portuguese, and Swiss Associations of Actuaries. He has been awarded the King Juan Carlos International Prize for Economics...
  • A One-in-Fifty-Year Event
    by Leigh Skene
    People have compared recent problems to the 1930s, but they’re considerably smaller. The Great Depression was the biggest economic event in US history. Ameritrust has calculated the deviation from trend for the American economy since 1790. The Great Depression held the economy below trend for 10¾ consecutive years with a maximum deviation of 51% from trend. There is no danger of experiencing anything like the Great Depression in the United...
  • A Single Currency for Asia?
    by Amitendu Palit
    Asia’s efforts to move toward a common regional currency appear to have stalled. Although the Asian financial crisis of 1997 created the tempo for greater monetary policy and exchange rate coordination in the region, large heterogeneities in economic structures, policies, and institutions among regional economies have prevented decisive moves to a common currency. Asia lacks appropriate institutions for adopting common monetary policies and...
  • Austerity vs Stimulus in the Context of the EU Crisis
    by Patricia Gabaldón
    While most EU countries have opted for strong austerity measures to try to pull their way out of the economic crisis, the United States has followed the Keynesian logic in which large spending is vital in times of crisis to allow market stabilization. European leaders such as UK prime minister David Cameron, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and France’s ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy have lost considerable...
  • Bitcoin and the Authorities, Monetary, Political and Regulatory: Houston, We May Have a Problem
    by Anthony Harrington
    The global financial crash of 2008 and its consequences—namely the extraordinary measures taken by central banks in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan, plus of course, China, Russia, and dozens of other countries—did not do a great deal to further the cause of fiat money (currencies that a government has declared to be legal tender but which are not backed by a physical commodity). The surge in inflation that...
  • Capitalism no longer needs to defend itself with fairy stories
    by Steve Keen
    The global financial crisis of 2008 should have taught us that a sophisticated market economy is inherently unstable, and that it is therefore prone to serious crises which are almost always caused by its financial sector. Had we learned those lessons, economic theory would have evolved since the crisis to recognize that instability is the norm, and that the finance sector needs to be curtailed in order to prevent the excessive accumulation of...
  • Challenges in Global Energy and Their Potential Impact on the Cost of Energy
    by Pau Morilla-Giner
    Pau Morilla-Giner oversees alternative investments at London and Capital and is also the manager of London and Capital’s equities and commodities funds. He started his career at JP Morgan Asset Management in Madrid and New York. In 2001 he joined Omega Capital, a multibillion investment company, where he became head of traditional investments and senior hedge fund analyst. From 2005 he was investment manager and head of research at Pragma Wealth...
  • China and the Global Financial Crisis
    by Linda Yueh
    Dr Linda Yueh is an economist and commentator on global economic and business issues. She is a fellow in economics at the University of Oxford, a visiting professor at the London Business School, and an associate of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she worked as a corporate lawyer internationally, based in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing. Recent books include Macroeconomics...
  • China’s Financial System: Challenges and Opportunities
    by Fred Hu
    Dr Fred Hu is Chairman of Greater China at Goldman Sachs. He has advised the Chinese government on financial reform, pension reform andmacroeconomic policies, and has worked closely with China’s leading companies onbusiness strategy, capital raising, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.He is a member of the Strategic Development Committee for the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Advisery Committee for the Hong...
  • Coping with the Crisis: Risks, Options, and Priorities for Developing Countries
    by Justin Yifu Lin
    Justin Yifu Lin has been the World Bank’s chief economist since June 2008. He is the first person from an emerging market to hold this role since the World Bank was founded over 60 years ago.He was previously professor and founding director of the China Centre for Economic Research at Peking University. Lin, who received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986, has written 16 books including The China Miracle: Development...
  • Deleveraging, Deflation, and Rebalancing in the Global Economy
    by Paul Brain, Laurie Carroll
    Paul Brain is investment leader of the fixed-income team at Newton Investment Management. He joined Newton in 2004, and manages a range of global bond funds. He is also the lead manager of Newton’s global dynamic bond strategy. Paul is chairman of the bond/foreign exchange strategy group and is a member of the macro strategy group and the investment committee. He has held a number of senior fixed-income positions within the industry and has...
  • Difficult Challenges Ahead for China and India
    by Robert Cutler
    Robert M. Cutler is Senior Research Fellow, Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He covers Asian stock markets and economics for the Asia Times Online, has written on the eurozone crisis for ISN’s Security Watch, and has a strong online presence, especially in energy issues (see Educated at MIT (BSc, Political Science), Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies...
  • Disinflation and Low Growth versus Inflation and Reasonable Growth
    by Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen
    Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen is head of strategy for the strategy and tactical asset allocation group at ING Investment Management. He is responsible for formulating the firm’s macroeconomic outlook and fixed-income tactical asset allocation. Focused on tactical allocation between cash, fixed-income, equities, real estate, and commodities, and more particularly between specific fixed-income markets such as treasuries, intergovernmental credits,...
  • Energy Self-Sufficiency through Shale Gas Changes the Game for the United States
    by Angelos Damaskos
    Angelos Damaskos is founder and CEO of Sector Investment Managers (SIM), an FSA-authorized and regulated investment advisory company, and portfolio manager for SIM’s Junior Oils Trust. Junior Oils Trust, launched in October 2004, focuses its investments in smaller oil and gas equities and grew from a launch net asset value size of £3.7 million to in excess of £67 million by February 2011. In 2009 Damaskos and SIM launched Junior Gold, an...
  • Europe and the Euro: A Geopolitical View—An Implausible Currency but the Best Alternative to Naked Conflict?
    by Marko Papic
    Marko Papic is a Senior Eurasia Analyst at the geopolitical analysis house STRATFOR, in charge of assessing the geopolitical impact of breaking developments, shaping forecasts, and maintaining flows of intelligence from human and open sources. He also tailors special reports for clients around the world, keeping them apprised of events of vital interest to their businesses and organizations.Before joining STRATFOR in September 2007, Papic was...
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    by Oonagh McDonald
    It took just 13 years to wreck the American mortgage market. Politicians did not, of course, intend to create havoc in the financial markets. Nor was it immediately obvious to them that they would bring about the collapse of the housing market. The “affordable housing” ideology, which permeated every aspect of the market, meant that they and many other players failed to see the risks involved in jettisoning proper underwriting standards, despite...
  • Future Directions: The Global Economy After the Crash
    by Arun Motianey
    Arun Motianey is director of fixed-income strategy for Roubini Global Economics (RGE). Prior to joining RGE, he worked for two decades at Citigroup in a variety of roles, including head of macro research and strategy for global wealth management, head of investment research and cohead of asset allocation at Citigroup Private Bank Asset Management, and economist in the office of the chairman during the restructuring of Latin American sovereign...
  • Goldman Sachs, the Symbol and Essence of What Went Wrong with Western Capitalism
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson graduated with a BA in modern history from Oxford University and, after postgraduate study in Italy and Canada, he gained an MA in international affairs in 1982. He joined the independent Edinburgh-based fund management firm Baillie Gifford & Co in 1983, becoming a partner in 1987. He headed Baillie Gifford’s European investment team until 2003 when he became deputy chief investment officer and head of the global equities...
  • Governments of All Stripes Still Have Much to Learn from Keynes
    by Robert, Lord Skidelsky
    Robert, Lord Skidelsky is emeritus professor of political economy at the University of Warwick. He read history at Oxford University, and from 1961 to 1969 he was successively research student, senior student, and research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1970 he became an associate professor at the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University. In 1978 he was appointed professor of international studies at the...
  • How to Rescue the World Economy from Disaster
    by Roger Bootle
    One of the City of London’s most respected economists, Roger Bootle now runs his own consultancy, Capital Economics, which specializes in macroeconomics and the economics of the property market. He is also Economic Adviser to Deloitte & Touche, and a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee. He was formerly Group Chief Economist of the HSBC Group and, before the change of government, he was a member of the former...
  • In Praise of Decisive Action
    by Justin Fox
    Justin Fox is editorial director of the Harvard Business Review Group and author of The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street. He also writes a blog for and is a contributor to Time magazine. Before joining HBR Group in 2010, he wrote a weekly column for Time and created the Curious Capitalist blog for Previously, Fox spent more than a decade working as a writer and editor at...
  • Lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis—Part I: Banking Policy
    by Richard A. Werner
    On the surface, the events leading up to the financial crisis of 2007–2008 began with the widespread mis-selling of financial instruments, especially those related to bets on different parcels of US mortgage debt. Despite the very high ratings which these structured credit derivatives were given by credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, they were actually highly risky, and hence grossly mispriced and overvalued. As investors...
  • Lessons From the 2008 Financial Crisis—Part II: Central Banks and Monetary Reform
    by Richard A. Werner
    Part I of this contribution discussed the causes of the financial crisis of 2008, and how any country can quickly end banking crises and post-crisis recessions, as well as how one can avoid the recurring banking crises in the first place. As was seen, the prescriptions are not difficult to implement. This raises the question of why such policies have not been implemented in most countries. I also pointed out that banking crises are predictable,...
  • Lessons from the Current Crisis
    by Jagdish Bhagwati
    Jagdish Bhagwati is University Professor, Economics and Law, at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council of Foreign Relations. One of the world’s leading economists today, he writes frequently in the leading newspapers and magazines.
  • Letter from Yangon: Investment in Myanmar
    by William Selig
    This article was first published in Quantum magazine.Now that the political signals are favorable, the influx of international entrepreneurs is the key to what could be a glittering future for Myanmar and its commercial center, Yangon.
  • No Quick Fix for the Eurozone
    by Joseph Trevisani
    Joseph Trevisani has 20 years of experience in Forex trading and management and is the Chief Market Analyst at FX Solutions. He worked for 12 years as an interbank currency trader, trading desk manager, and proprietary trader at Credit Suisse in New York and Singapore, and at the Bank of Bermuda in Hamilton, Bermuda. He has appeared on CNBC and Fox Business News in New York and CNBC in London and Dubai as a currency analyst and is frequently...
  • Nothing but Painful Choices Ahead as the Global Debt Supercycle Ends
    by John Mauldin
    John Mauldin is president of Millennium Wave Investments and is a renowned financial expert, a many-times New York Times best-selling author, and an online commentator. His weekly e-newsletter, Thoughts from the Frontline, was one of the first publications to provide investors with free, unbiased information and guidance. Today it is one of the most widely distributed investment newsletters in the world, with a subscriber base of more than one...
  • Perspectives on the Global Financial Crisis
    by Sheila Dow
    It would have been reasonable to expect that there would be widespread soul-searching among economists in the light of the financial and economic crisis of 2007–2008. Much of economics in what is now the “mainstream” tradition had promoted the notion that markets would generally produce the outcome that was best for society, and that this included a tendency to correct any deviations from the long-run equilibrium path—i.e., there should be no...
  • Proceed with Caution: Chinese Economic Policy
    by David Smith
    This article was first published in Quantum magazine.Hopes that China may be prepared to countenance liberalization and the opening up of its financial sector are likely to be dashed, says David Smith. Risk aversion and caution will remain its watchwords as it defines its new global role.
  • Shale Gas: Could It Change the Global Energy Mix?
    by Emma Wild
    In terms of global energy supply, how much of a game changer does shale gas have the potential to be over the next decade or so?In recent years, shale gas has fast been transformed from a noncommercial resource to becoming a fundamental part of the global energy sector. With energy security remaining high on every government’s agenda, it is not surprising that many are trying to embrace it.As a resource, it promises to bring greater...
  • Stability Proves Testing for China
    by Matthew Gertken
    Matthew Gertken is a Geopolitical Analyst at STRATFOR. He is responsible for researching and writing analysis, shaping forecasts, and assessing the geopolitical implications of events on a wide range of topics and regions for STRATFOR readers and clients.Gertken joined STRATFOR in 2008 as an analyst covering east and southeast Asia. He has also researched and written analysis on topics in Europe and the former Soviet Union. Currently he is...
  • The Challenges to Slow Growth in the Advanced Economies Just Keep Coming
    by Stuart Thomson
    Stuart Thomson graduated from Edinburgh University in 1985 with an MA honors degree in economics. He began his career in 1985 as a junior economist with Britannia Asset Management and a year later joined Chase Manhattan Securities. In 1988 he took up the post of chief international economist at Nikko Europe Plc, and in 1997 moved to Credit Agricole Indosuez, where he worked as chief market strategist. In 1999 he joined Sutherlands Limited as a...
  • The Final Decoupling Is Going to Be a Painful Wake-Up Call for the West
    by Bruce Stout
    Bruce Stout has been fund manager of the 102-year-old Murray International Trust since 2004. Since then, he has reconfigured the trust’s £1 billion investment portfolio away from developed economies and towards high-yielding equities in emerging markets. Born in Dundee in 1958, Stout was educated at Carnoustie High School and the University of Strathclyde (BA hons in economics). He started his career in industry, working for British Telecom and...
  • The Role of the Global Property Markets Since the Crash
    by Hans Vrensen
    Hans Vrensen is global head of research at DTZ. He is responsible for leading DTZ research worldwide and has launched the company’s “Great wall of money” and “Global debt funding gap” reports and the DTZ Fair Value Index. Prior to joining DTZ, he was head of European securitization research at Barclays Capital, where he managed a team of analysts covering European asset-backed securities, and he has held several positions in the property sector....
  • The Tragedy of the Euro
    by Philipp Bagus
    Philipp Bagus is a professor of economics at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid. He is also assistant editor of the journal Procesos de Mercado: Revista Europea de Economía Política. His main research areas are monetary theory and business cycle theory. He has published articles in numerous academic journals and other scholarly outlets. Bagus is author of The Tragedy of the Euro and, with David Howden, of Deep Freeze: Iceland’s Economic...
  • Trust, Fear, and a Dead Economist
    by Todd Buchholz
    Trust is dead. President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed himself a proud “trust-buster.” But that was about cartels. Wall Street fraudsters like Bernie Madoff and the crooked Illinois Governor Blagojevich are busting the trust that people had in markets and in government.Therefore, the collapse of the world economy is not like the Great Depression. It’s more like the fall of South Vietnam. Or the Fall of Rome, with barbarians figuring out how to pick...
  • Understanding and Forecasting the Credit Cycle—Why the Mainstream Paradigm in Economics and Finance Collapsed
    by Richard A. Werner
    Professor Richard A. Werner, DPhil (Oxon), BSc (Economics, LSE), began his academic career as Marie Curie Fellow of the European Commission at the University of Oxford. From 1997 to 2004 he was Assistant Professor at Sophia University, Tokyo. Since 2004 he has been at the University of Southampton, School of Management, where he is Chair in International Banking and founding director of the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable...
  • Understanding the Implications of Japan’s “Two Lost Decades”: Lessons for Europe and the United States
    by John Vail
    John Vail is Nikko Asset Management’s head of global macro strategy and asset allocation and also chairs the group’s global investment committee. Before joining Nikko AM in 2006, he was chief Japanese equity strategist for JPMorgan Securities Japan from 2004 and chief strategist at Mizuho Securities USA from 2000. He also held various senior research and strategy positions at Fidelity from 1985 to 1992, based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, and...
  • What Krugman Is Saying Is Simply Untrue
    by Allan Meltzer
    Allan Meltzer is a distinguished monetary economist who believes that tax cuts would be more beneficial to the US economy than continued fiscal stimulus. He is professor of political economy and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, the Yugoslav Institute for Economic Research, the...
  • What Would a New Bretton Woods Mean for the IMF?
    by Augusto Lopez-Claros
    Augusto Lopez-Claros was the Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva until 2006.He has been the editor of the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and, in late 2006, he established himself as an international consultant based in Geneva, Switzerland, specializing in economic, financial and development issues.He has a degree in mathematical statistics from Cambridge University,...
  • Why Financial and Other Serious Risks Are Such Slippery Concepts to Get Hold Of
    by David Ropeik
    Many years ago, as a broadcast journalist in Boston, I noticed that in any situation in which a risk was involved, people were either more afraid of the risk than circumstances warranted, or were not afraid enough, based on what the experts said about the evidence. This led to the realization that any conversation about risk has to respect the fact that there is no single knowable, factual truth concerning risk. There is only the reality that...
  • Why the Thinking of the Austrian School of Economics Matters in Today’s Economy
    by Annette Godart-van der Kroon
    Annette Godart-van der Kroon is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Europe, having taken up the position in 2001. Since then the Institute has hosted a large number of events on various topics that influence politics in Brussels. Previously she worked as adjunct referendary at the Ministry of Defence in the Department of Judicial Affairs at the Hague and as a lawyer at the Court of Utrecht and in Roermond in the Netherlands, specializing...
  • Why the World Needs a Green New Deal
    by Achim Steiner, Pavan Sukhdev
    Achim Steiner has been executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) since June 2006. He was director-general of the World Conservation Union from 2001 to 2006. From 1998 to 2001, he was secretary-general of the World Commission on Dams, based in South Africa, where he managed a multi-stakeholder program to develop a global policy process on dams and development. Steiner has a BA from the University of Oxford and an MA in...
  • Why Turning Growth into Profit Is Challenging for Asian Economies
    by Peter Elston
    Peter Elston is head of Asia-Pacific Strategy and Asset Allocation, responsible for Aberdeen’s multi-asset business in the region as well as articulating and communicating investment strategy. He has lived in Asia since 1988, joined Aberdeen in 2008, and is based in Singapore. Peter began his career at UK pension fund manager Mercury Asset Management, where he spent 11 years. For most of this time he managed Asian equity funds from Tokyo, Hong...
  • Why We Must Break Up the Financial Herd
    by Avinash Persaud
    Memories are short. But those in finance are even shorter. Before the credit crunch began in 2007, policymakers in advanced economies were flirting with the idea that we should just accept that financial crises occur every seven years or so and plan accordingly, as seeking to avert or limit them would suffocate the financial system. At the time, greater financialization of the economy, which is when the financial sector accounts for an ever...

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