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China Wants to Grow ‘Reasonably’

China (which grew by 7.7% in 4Q13) wants to pursue a very different strategy in 2014, setting “reasonable growth” as its macroeconomic goal, meaning by that a rate that will support the country’s economic restructuring and upgrading. But such a technical description fails to meet society’s real needs and achievements, and so new alternative models are booming.

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China, a new maturity stage

Keep in mind a new concept: Lionomics. An acronym that gives name to the ambitious process of economic reform the new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang must bring forward.

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Spain’s power utilities: 11pc more profits, 56pc drop in stock prices

By Luis A. Torralba, in Valencia | Electricity producers in Spain have managed to weather the crisis under the umbrella of extraordinary income from non-recurring profits. But the markets, in spite of historically high dividends, are letting the uncertainty over the pending energy sector reform drag stocks down with a vengeance. Some declarations bring little help. The minister for Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria recently gave away a warning:…


Spain badly needs a banking overhaul

MADRID | The conditions imposed on Spain upon access to rescue funds for its ailing financial system, point to the need to undertake a major overhaul both in banking supervision and restructuring. The Eurogroup urges a handover to the Bank of Spain of powers hitherto retained by the ministry of Economy. It also forces breakup and/or severe downsizing of troubled banks, plus a resolution scheme to transfer part of the burden…


Let’s escape the wreck and keep sailing

MADRID | “It is time to resort to the International Monetary Fund or the European rescue fund,” wrote in the January edition of Revista Consejeros Aristóbulo de Juan, former Bank of Spain's director general of inspection. Even Banco Santander's chairman Emilio Botín, who's always shown his antipathy to salvage competitors with his money or the taxpayers', acknowledged that the Spanish banking sector needed some €40 billion in European aid to…


Spain should seize the opportunity for reform, sovereignty is secondary

MADRID | You can fool someone for a long run. You may fool many people for a while. But you cannot pretend to fool everybody forever. Claims on Saturday that the deal only amounted to European lending for Spanish banks did not stand up to the week-end erosion. It was clear from the start that the money was to be channelled through a public body and fully covered by a…


Germany must let the ECB print euros as soon as possible, says Nordkapp

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | Pablo Diez, from the asset management department at Nordkapp, explained in a conversation with The Corner that Spain’s unemployment ratio distorts the image the market has about the country’s economy as a whole, and investors believe Spain is at higher risk of default than other euro peripheral countries. He also said that “Spain should be provided with an injection of money issued by the European Central…

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Bureaucracy, taxes and regulation keep Spanish companies too small

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | The average size of Spanish firms is smaller than that of other countries with a similar degree of development. According to the Central Company Directory, at 1 January 2011, out of the total 3.25 million firms in Spain, 99.9% were small and medium-sized enterprises; that is, they employed fewer than 250 salaried workers. Micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 salaried employees accounted for 95.2%…

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SVB’s Mantellán: “Cutting waste in the Spanish public sector will help growth”

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | The director of strategy and macroeconomics at Inverseguros SVB, Alberto Matellán, believes that austerity and growth are not only compatible but should be applied together. Mantellán thinks the European Central Bank could put again in use its monetary policy tools, such as the Securities Market Programme (SMP) or the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO). Should the ECB lower again interest rates for the euro zone? The…


China can no longer ignore its economic weaknesses

BEIJING | China’s belief that its model of development is legitimate is grounded on the fact that last decades’ rampant economic growth has been possible thanks to the very characteristics that define it. The leadership was convinced that, under such path, success was granted regardless of the fact that they were ignoring certain factors linked to aperture and development. They did not consider defining points as long as there was…