Ageing populations create repayment risk for government bonds

Government bonds in the larger, wealthy countries of the West have traditionally been regarded as being “risk-free”.  Most countries have failed to pay their debts at some time in the past, but it hasn’t happened in the post-War period for the major economies, and so investors have forgotten this can happen. This situation may well change […]

“Disaster is still some way off” for Cyprus, as Germany prepares to vote

Back in April, the blog suggested that capital controls might remain for rather longer in Cyprus than the “few days or weeks” suggested by the central bank.  And a month later, the bank was still unrealistically claiming they would be lifted “as soon as possible”. Today, the blog’s own view that they could be in place “for […]

"A word means just what I choose it to mean"

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

This quotation from Lewis Carroll’s great novel ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ rather seems to sum up policymakers’ cur…