In the IMF blog there is a brief view of how well the year has gone and the promises for the future which we can extract from this good performance. For me it’s proof of an excess confidence which in the past was a trap into which the markets systematically fell. But the IMF has to accept the rationalistic view that the markets don’t get it wrong, while I maintain they quite often make mistakes.
Articles by Miguel Navascués
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For the time being, Spain’s economy is maintaining its cruising speed and GDP will grow 3.1% this year, according to estimates. But Catalonia’s progress is visibly slowing, with figures continually being downgraded.
Europe has been seriously hit by the outcome of the German elections. And it’s difficult for it not to suffer the consequences of being led by Germany. What is in doubt is whether in the next crisis, which could be fuelled by any of the underlying threats (Russia, immigrants, separatism etc) there will be sufficient common resources to deal with them.
Donald Trump’s tax plan, which is now being debated in the Senate, states very seriously that its effect will be to multiply investment and jobs. That’s up for discussion, given that the US has probably reached its maximum potential, namely in terms of GDP without inflation and the jobless rate is at 4%.
A simple article about the internal balances of payments in the US written by Cullen Roche helps us understand why the Catalan separatists’ famous slogan “Spain is robbing us” is a fallacy. That said, the only thing Catalan secession supporters want is to save on the transfer which they should make as a wealthier region.
Could the yuan substitute the dollar and become the predominant currency? I would ask the following question: if you had some dollars, would you change them for yuan? No you wouldn’t, would you? We would like to demonstrate that the yuan is in no way a substitute for the dollar.
With regard to Spain’s debt, there has been a Keynesian policy in place, of ECB monetary expansion and the expansion of government debt, call it what you like. And this policy has allowed Spain to grow at an annual rate of 3% in three years.
There is a huge increase in income and wealth for the richest 1%, and a continued decline in income and assets for the poorest 10%. Politically speaking, this is a bombshell.
Markets’ indicators are showing a lack of any estimation of risk. To begin with, they are at record highs, although some observers say there is still upside potential. Investors’ perception of risk is very slight or zero and, as a result, the risks are very high for them.
The central banks are still powerful. They can make the financial markets rise or plunge them into the doldrums. But the CBs need to scrutinise the financial system and its systemic risks more closely.