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African growth 'to outpace world'

African growth 'to outpace world' | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth is set to outpace the global average over the next three years, according to the World Bank.

Via Geoff Riley
Graham Watson's insight:

Excellent on developmental economic issues - many thanks to Geoff Riley for first scooping it. There's some excellent theory and analysis as well as fine evaluation here, hinting at factors that might constrain future SSA growth. I'm currently reading "A Good African Story" by Andrew Rugasira and he highlights the low level of intra-African trade as a major drag on African growth. However, what aspect of African growth are highlighted by the article?

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, April 15, 2013 12:33 PM

Great contextual update here - read through the article and find two causes of rapid growth and two evaluation points on the barriers to future growth and development. Read more by following this link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/04/15/as-africa-s-new-wealth-grows-poverty-must-come-down

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International Economics: Pre-U Economics
A collection of articles relating to the 'international' elements of Economics and relating to the Pre-U syllabus
Curated by Graham Watson
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'We can't just throw Greece of the euro' - Juncker warns ahead of crunch summit

'We can't just throw Greece of the euro' - Juncker warns ahead of crunch summit | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Late night talks yield no deal for Greece as Merkel calls for more "intense" work over bail-out terms
Graham Watson's insight:

The odd couple discuss their next date?

 

No. More on the absence of a Greek bailout. All this is getting vaguely reminiscent of a very irritating Ariston advert of the 1980s...

 

http://ow.ly/Nhua7

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▶ Rising inequality threatens social cohesion and growth - YouTube

Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent in the OECD, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, according to In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All.
Graham Watson's insight:

The issue of global inequality is highlighted in this OECD clip looking at rising levels of inequality. Echoing the findings of "The Spirit Level", the OECD argue that inequality is damaging to everyone, not just the poor and thus it might be argued that there are negative externalities associated inequality.

 

This clip is a good introduction to the issue and current inequality trends.

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Is deglobalisation on the way? - BBC News

Is deglobalisation on the way? - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Duncan Weldon assesses if "regionalisation" is set to become the new globalisation.
Graham Watson's insight:

From Newsnight the other night, and via Twitter with the esteemed John Tomsett retweeting an earlier post, this escaped my clutches - however, it's here now and a very pertinent piece it is too. The rise of free trade has seemed inexorable at times and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seems to be another move in this direction.

 

However, there's a school of thought that suggests that, far from being stepping stones to freer trade, regional trading blocs are designed to advance regional interests and impede global free trade.

 

Hence, there's a suggestion that the pace of global integration is slowing and its unlikely to pick up - certain the data bears the former out. However, the good economists among you might reflect that surely this is only to be expected: another example of the law of diminishing marginal returns, perhaps.

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Japan's economy grows faster than expected - BBC News

Japan's economy grows faster than expected - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Japan's economy grew faster than expected between January and March, boosting hopes that the economy is recovering from last year's recession.
Graham Watson's insight:

At last it appears that the three arrows of Abenomics have sparked the Japanese economy into life, as growth has picked up. However, there's still a way to go and a number of problems to tackle, such that further stimulus will still be needed.

 

Theoretically too, there's a nice aside concerning the inventory cycle and its significance in indicating a nation's economic health.

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Varoufakis refuses any bailout plan that would send Greece into ‘death spiral’

Varoufakis refuses any bailout plan that would send Greece into ‘death spiral’ | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it

Im Finance minister continues war of words with eurozone policymakers, saying he wished Greece still had the drachma and had not entered monetary union

Graham Watson's insight:

I'm not sure what I'm more scared of: Varoufakis's rhetoric,the prospect of Grexit or Christine Lagarde's description of Mario Draghi:

 

"You can call a spade a spade without putting any of your cards on the table,” she said. What on earth does that mean? She's well ahead in the mixed metaphor stakes...

 

 

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Bankrupt Greece raids emergency IMF funds to avoid unprecedented default

Bankrupt Greece raids emergency IMF funds to avoid unprecedented default | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Athens is forced to tap reserves at an IMF escrow account after reports suggest the Fund will not participate in a fresh Greek bail-out
Graham Watson's insight:

At some point, just when things get close to terminal, I'll try to feign interest in this story again...

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Schäuble's subplot – a Grexit, it seems, no longer worries Germany

Schäuble's subplot – a Grexit, it seems, no longer worries Germany | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Berlin is no longer worried if Greece has a referendum on bailout terms and possibly exits the euro - Germany just wants some closure
Graham Watson's insight:

Nils Pratley attempts to summarise the current German position on Greece, with the former holding all the cards, and the latter increasingly caught in the mother of all compromising positions. Either Greece agrees to make concessions (via referendum or otherwise) or they leave the Euro and will have brought the consequences upon themselves.

 

Of course, Herr Schaeuble could also be saying "When nine hundred years, you have lived...look so good you will not"

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Greece two weeks from cash crisis - Yanis Varoufakis - BBC News

Greece two weeks from cash crisis - Yanis Varoufakis - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Greece's finance minister says his country's financial situation is "terribly urgent" and the crisis could come to a head in a couple of weeks.
Graham Watson's insight:

I wonder if anyone involved in the Greek negotiations has read "The Boy That Cried Wolf". It might help them understand the current position.

 

Alternatively, I suggest the Papandreou and Karamanlis dynasties access their bank accounts; having governed Greece for so long between them, they're responsible in some ways...

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Eurozone pins hope on long-awaited economic rebound

Eurozone pins hope on long-awaited economic rebound | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Latest forecast of 0.5% quarterly growth would surpass both UK and US in much-anticipated boost for single currency bloc
Graham Watson's insight:

Good news for the Eurozone ahead, if forecasters are to be believed. A growth rate of 0.5% for the last quarter would best both the UK and the US and have positive implications for us, in particular.

 

A pleasing start to economic life for the new government.

 

 

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Greece could use 'parallel currency' as desperation grows

Greece could use 'parallel currency' as desperation grows | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
European Central Bank board member floats the idea of an "IOU" system to pay civil servants if country runs out of euros
Graham Watson's insight:

The descent into chaos continues...

 

I'm sure there are plenty of obvious classical parallels!

 

And there are some interesting angles on the functions and characteristics of money!

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Eurozone economic growth picking up, EU report says - BBC News

Eurozone economic growth picking up, EU report says - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Eurozone economic growth will be slightly stronger this year than previously forecast, according to the European Commission's latest quarterly forecast.
Graham Watson's insight:

However, despite recent worries about the sustainability of UK growth, the recovery of the Eurozone can only serve to help the UK, given that around 55% of UK trade is focused on it.

 

However, although the benefits of lower oil prices are being felt by many, notably Spain and Germany, there remain concerns over Greece. To my mind, the prediction relating to Greece signals that the European Commission believes that there's no easy solution to the Greek crisis and if that's the case...well, I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

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Greek talks stall over 'red lines' as country fights to remain in eurozone

Greek talks stall over 'red lines' as country fights to remain in eurozone | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Greek government says it is confident a deal can be struck, but creditors remain at loggerheads with Athens over labour market reforms
Graham Watson's insight:

More Grexit. Frankly, I'm getting bored of it. Either they're in or they're out. Sunk cost fallacy and all that...

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Defiant Greeks draw battle lines as Grexit crisis deepens

Defiant Greeks draw battle lines as Grexit crisis deepens | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Athens Leftist government risks "unprecedented economic contraction" as it insists it will not cross "red lines"
Graham Watson's insight:

The battle lines are being drawn. It seems as though at some point there is going to be an almighty conflagration, unless Greece and the EU can reach the sort of deal that has so far eluded them.

 

There is only so far that the can should be kicked along the road... 

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In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All - en - OECD

In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All - en - OECD | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it

Data and research on social and welfare issues including families and children, gender equality, GINI coefficient, well-being, poverty reduction, human capital and inequality., The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind.

Graham Watson's insight:

And here's a link direct to the OECD report "In It Together" which will be worth a read.

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Defiant Greeks force Europe to negotiating table as time-bomb ticks

Defiant Greeks force Europe to negotiating table as time-bomb ticks | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it

I EMU creditors have Greece's Alexis Tsipras by the scruff of the neck, but he has a knife to their throats

Graham Watson's insight:

I think that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has got this pretty much spot on: how much more can-kicking can the Eurozone actually take.

 

At some point there's going to need to be a resolution. And I suspect it might well be bloody.

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Is Greece close to Grexit? - BBC News

Is Greece close to Grexit? - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
If Greece fails to come to a deal with its eurozone partners, how likely is it to default on its loans and perhaps leave the euro?
Graham Watson's insight:

The BBC has started to do a nice line in straightforward, pared down reporting on economic affairs and in this case its the prospect of Grexit that gets the treatment.

 

Lots to get your teeth into: one note, I think the key sentence in the article is the following:

 

"Greece's future in the euro looked so shaky that UK bookmaker William Hill some time ago stopped taking bets on the chances of a Grexit."

 

Signal versus noise anyone?

 

 

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Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis - BBC News

Greek debt deal within next week, says Varoufakis - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says he expects to reach an agreement with the country's international creditors within the next week.
Graham Watson's insight:

And so it goes...

 

As Kurt Vonnegut might have said...

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OECD attacks 'aggressive tax plans' - BBC News

OECD attacks 'aggressive tax plans' - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Technology companies need to stop "extremely aggressive" tax planning, the man charged with reforming global tax rules has told the BBC.
Graham Watson's insight:

It's difficult to put this story on a particular board, it straddles a range of topics, but it is international in scope - so here it is.

 

The question of tax is a vexed one: when does profit maximisation shade into immorality via tax avoidance, if not illegality, via tax evasion. It is a difficult line to draw: companies have responsibilities to their shareholders and also to the countries where they do business, but sometimes that latter get forgotten all too easily, don't they Starbucks, Google et al?

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TTIP: Why the EU-US trade deal matters - BBC News

TTIP: Why the EU-US trade deal matters - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
What is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and why does it matter?
Graham Watson's insight:

Another excellent article from World Service correspondent, Andrew Walker, on the proposal for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The idea of reducing barriers to trade and FDI appears to be a no-brainer but some worry about the power that it might give multinational corporations (MNCs).

 

This straightforward article looks at the case for/against in an accessible way.

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Greece confirms repayment of €750m loan instalment to IMF

Greece confirms repayment of €750m loan instalment to IMF | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Move aims to banish fears of insolvency in Athens but little optimism exists about a breakthrough in bailout talks any time soon
Graham Watson's insight:

"I've crossed my fingers, so that any promises that we've both made are in no way binding"

 

Primary school playground negotiations and the situation in Greece aren't that dissimilar. Note the phrase "the acute lack of progress". And the other thing that strikes me is that, whilst it's all very well holding a referendum, they actually cost money to run and that's something that Greece doesn't have a lot of. There will be lots of rummaging down the back of the sofa going on in Athens.

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Greece's 'war cabinet' prepares to battle EU creditors as anger mounts

Greece's 'war cabinet' prepares to battle EU creditors as anger mounts | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The country's radical-Left leaders have concluded that there is little be gained from any further concessions to EMU creditors
Graham Watson's insight:

Grexit: the end is nigh. Again.

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EU referendum: Merkel will work with Cameron on EU – but will Tories let him?

EU referendum: Merkel will work with Cameron on EU – but will Tories let him? | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
German chancellor and some European leaders would like to undermine Brussels, too, up to a point, but the prime minister’s own party might not let him
Graham Watson's insight:

Wither Europe? Phillip Inman reflects that there might be a groundswell of support for some of the Prime Minister's initiatives to reclaim some of the powers that appear to have drifted in a Brussels-ward direction.

 

However, keeping his own backbenchers in line in the run-up to any future referendum might prove more taxing.

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Germany's record trade surplus is a bigger threat to euro than Greece

Germany's record trade surplus is a bigger threat to euro than Greece | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
If EU law were properly enforced, Germany would face fines for endangering eurozone stability and breaching the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure for the fifth year in a row
Graham Watson's insight:

I 'scoop' this because it runs counter to what a lot of people think about the current account position. In this case, the German trade surplus is a bad thing. How can that be?

 

In short, one nation's surplus is another's deficit - and in this case, the German surplus is one of the things holding back the Eurozone. As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes most percipiently: "Chronic surpluses are a way of stealing demand from elsewhere. They export unemployment to other countries. This matters in an era of "secular stagnation" and excess global savings. Societies are entitled to retaliate once this gets out of hand."

 

Indeed, Keynes advocated that the real need for Balance of Payment correction was from surplus nations - invariably they are better-off and thus better able to adjust that those economies running deficits.

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The BRIC nations' response to climate change is critical to the fate of the planet

The BRIC nations' response to climate change is critical to the fate of the planet | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The world’s four largest developing economies, Brazil, Russia, India and China, have a huge impact on global sustainability. In a new series, we’ll examine their sphere of influence, the innovations that result, and what it’s like to do business in their shadows
Graham Watson's insight:

Nice to see someone else working on a Bank Holiday!

 

Matthew Wheeland has been busy in putting together the Guardian's sustainable business section and this article is about the role that the BRICs have to play in tackling climate change. So no 'free rider' issues there then...

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Varoufakis has achieved one thing – uniting resentment from poorer nations

Varoufakis has achieved one thing – uniting resentment from poorer nations | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Countries such as Latvia and member states in eastern Europe have been some of Greece’s most trenchant critics, after having to take part in the world’s biggest ever bailout
Graham Watson's insight:

Another interesting perspective on the ongoing Greek drama - what do other, newer members of the EU think.

 

The answer is not a lot, actually. For all the grandstanding of Yanis Varoufakis and Syriza more generally, many of the new, former Soviet bloc members of the EU are aggrieved that they're having to pick up some of the tab for Greek profligacy, and they wonder what they're getting in return. 

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