Angela Merkel

Competence starts to replace charisma as a key factor in politics as the pandemic continues

The appalling tragedy in India reminds us that the Covid pandemic is very far from being solved. And more generally, the latest Ipsos ‘What worries the world’ global poll shows high levels of concern over unemployment, inequality, corruption and crime. Unsurprisingly, almost 2/3rds of people think their country is heading on the wrong track. One

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“Business as usual” the least likely outcome for Europe

Europe is heading in to the Great Unknown, as Monday’s post highlighted.  The UK, The Netherlands and France are not the only political uncertainties that we face.  Elections are also due in Italy and in Germany.    Italian elections. After premier Renzi’s referendum defeat last year, it seems like that Italy will hold elections this year, […]

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Greece introduces capital controls; IMF says it needs to default

This morning, Greece introduced capital controls.  People can only withdraw €60/day ($65) from their bank accounts.  The government has also called a referendum on Sunday, after Eurozone talks on a new bailout package collapsed. The key issue is that Greece will never be able to repay its debts.  These are currently estimated at €322bn ($365bn) […]

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Crimea referendum highlights growing geo-political risks

Markets have been remarkably calm ahead of Crimea’s planned Sunday referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia.  Yet as Associated Press has reported: “The Group of 7 world leaders say they won’t recognize results of a referendum for the Crimea region to split from Ukraine and join Russia.  A statement from the seven nations released from […]

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The banana skin risk

This week’s news provided more evidence to support the blog’s fear that the global economy is close to recession:

• The German economy, Europe’s motor, saw negative growth in Q4
• US retail sales grew just 0.1% in December, despite good auto sales…

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