“If we analyse the data from the last 25 years, there is very little inflation. Underlying inflation in the US has never really fallen below 1% which means that the secular dynamism in the labour market is reducing inflation, via technology and globalisation,” explains Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JP Morgan.
Julián García Valverde founded Imathia and Consultrans, engineering, consultancy and construction companies. They form part of the consortium of 12 Spanish firms which won the contract for Mecca-Medina AVE high-speed train line. On December 31, it crossed for the first time the 453 kms that separate both cities at 300 km/hour in some parts.
“Competition is especially important for innovation and some of the big (US) companies also have a lot of power in the market…but it’s difficult to keep innovating.”
“The MAB doesn’t function in Spain at the moment and it needs to. If not, Spain will be left behind. I don’t know whether we should join forces with other markets, or if the ICO should distribute part of its investment to venture capital funds specialised in these kind of companies, or whether the adminstrative procedures should be cheaper and simpler.”
“Having board members who have experience of different environments, geographical or business, help the board to function better. On the boards in Spain where I am a member there is this international presence and there are members of different nationalities. But on a board of directors more importance shoud be placed on expertise than on nationality.”
“Very few people really know what REE does, expect that, erroneously, it “belongs to the State”(…) Our foreign investors now account for 75% of the total (…) The system works very well. The price of our electricity may be a little higher than in Europe but we have some determining factors such as very complicated physical conditions.” Who speaks is Socorro Fernández Larrea, Red Eléctrica de España Board member.
European centralism fuels suspicion when Brussels and the poorer States join forces against the wealthier countries to demand more resources. And this is what has happened in Spain, according to many Catalans.
Probably the fact they came from Euskadi and were based there is what saved the former Basque cajas (savings banks) from the worst vices which destroyed hundreds of lenders throughout Spain, according to Xabier Sagredo, executive chairman of BBK.
Emmanuelle Auriol, member of the board of the European Economic Association at the University of Toulouse, is well-known in France for her polemic proposals. She believes, and this is very important for France, for its identity and the social consensus we have established, “that we need to protect the workers, not the jobs. Because if we try to protect the jobs, prohibit lay-offs, what happens is that there is more unemployment in the end.”
Mohamed El-Erian, currently chief economist with German insurance group Allianz, and touted as a possible sucessor to Stanley Fischer, believes that monetary policy cannot do any more. And that the governments of the democratic countries have not been capable of coordinating economic policies which solve the problems created by the last crisis.