Juan Pedro Marín Arrese | Spain faces dire prospects according to most estimates, as its crucial tourist sector is taking a heavy toll. Up to now,the Government has struggled to mitigate the ensuing onslaught on employment by financing temporary layoffs and supporting low-income households. Yet, GDP will plunge in 2020 and will probably display a sluggish rcovery in the following couple of years. Lower income levels and a substantial surge in unemployment will sharply cut down demand and output.
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J.P. Marín Arrese | The Eurogroup painfully struck a middle of the road deal in its second meeting, once Italy and Holland agreed to compromise. At face value, the funding facilities amounting to half a trillion euros look rather impressive. Yet, a closer glance at them shows they lack the necessary ambition.
J.P.Marín Arrese | The Bank of England will provide direct cash to cover public expenses. Under the Ways and Means Facility, it already offers short-term liquidity to the Treasury. But, from now on, it will finance all budgetary commitments monetising the massive deficit the coronavirus crisis will bring about. Governor Andrew Bailey openly rejected this step a few days ago. Now, faced with the appalling evidence that a sharp increase in spending coupled with plummeting tax revenues will lead to substantial public imbalances, he has changed his mind.
J.P.Marín Arrese | Jerome Powell raises the stakes day by day by making bolder than ever decisions. He shatters the image of shyness, prudence and circumspection he offered when taking over the Fed chairmanship. His last daring move has left markets flabbergasted. No wonder. He has pledged 2.3 trillion to buy ungraded bonds and to set up a massive lending facility for Main Street companies, thus breaking the golden rule of including only high-rated paper in the Fed balance sheet.
J.P. Marín Arrese | The EU strategy for curbing the crisis stalled on Wednesday’s early hours as Holland and Italy bitterly clashed over the scope and conditions of the plans to support ailing partners. Minister Gualtieri rejected anything short of mutually guaranteed bond emissions. His Dutch counterpart flatly refused to envisage such a way out while insisting on demanding structural reforms from any beneficiary of the rescue fund. This row rests on wholly misleading assumptions.
JP Marin-Arrese |It seems obvious the current crisis will hammer public finances everywhere. As economic activity plummets, unemployment indemnities and a sharp and prolonged fall in revenues will shatter the Treasury coffers. All the more so should governments implement substantial spending plans and salvage operations. We are heading towards a towering deficit-laden aftermath
J.P. Marín Arrese | Budgets stand as the paramount evidence for any government that it commands enough legislative backing. Especially when the governments in question cling to a fragile minority in order to stay in power. The Spanish Cabinet ranks high in this category, its survival is balancing on the thin rope the pro-independence ERC party is ready to offer. The price of this offer is engaging an open-ended dialogue on self-rule for Catalonia, plus an amnesty for the sentenced leaders of the derailed coup attempt. Both sides acknowledge that negotiations will lead nowhere. None the less, this offers political ammunition to ERC for quelling resistance at home in providing a life-jacket to PM Sánchez.
JP Marín-Arrese | Those betting Brexit would take a heavy toll on Britain, discover much to their surprise that the EU stands as the first collateral casualty. The vacuum left in the budget by the UK departure has fuelled bitter acrimony between the Member States, especially in those receiving large amounts of Community money, like Spain. Its PM Sánchez has described the proposal tabled by the Council Chair as deeply disappointing.
J.P. Marín- Arrese | The Spanish government has tabled a proposal for a Google tax but will refrain from applying it till the year-end. They boasted not so long ago that nothing could deter it from taxing the tech companies. When confronted with the task of delivering its promise, courage seems to falter even if Washington has issued no explicit warning. Presumably, the French discomfiture conveyed a stern lesson of what happens to anyone defying the US.