CAMBRIDGE – Nowadays, International Monetary Fund missions come and go in the Middle East without reaching agreement. Meanwhile, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen are becoming increasingly polarized along political, social, and sectarian lines, gravely threatening their democratic future. With the looming prospect of failed states in Iraq and Syria, the international community cannot afford to stay on the sidelines any longer.
Economia e Finanza
NEW DELHI – One of the most interesting aspects of the prolonged economic crisis in Europe, and of the even longer crisis in Japan, is the absence of serious social conflict – at least thus far. Yes, there have been strikes, marches, and growing anger at political leaders, but protests have been largely peaceful.
Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council decided at its meeting on 6 June to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. Incoming information has confirmed the assessment which led to the cut in interest rates in early May.
Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council decided at its meeting on 4 July to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged. Incoming information has confi rmed the previous assessment. Underlying price pressures in the euro area are expected to remain subdued over the medium term. In keeping with this picture, monetary and, in particular, credit dynamics remain subdued. Infl ation expectations for the euro area continue to be fi rmly anchored in line with the Governing Council’s aim of maintaining infl ation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. At the same time, recent confi dence indicators based on survey data have shown some further improvement from low levels.
In December 2012 we published a blog post reporting that German wage growth rates (year-over-year comparison) for 2012 had been higher than the Eurozone average, with at that time, 2.5 percent versus 1.7 percent. In the meantime the annual rates for nominal wage and salary growth have been published showing that the difference has increased; German wage growth of 3 % compared to a 1.8 percent increase of the euro area. France and Italy had wage and salary growth rates of 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.
Based on its regular economic and monetary analyses, the Governing Council decided at its meeting on 2 May to lower the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem by 25 basis points to 0.50% and the rate on the marginal lending facility by 50 basis points to 1.00%.
NEWPORT BEACH – After years of tweaks, Japan has now initiated a major shift in its policy paradigm, with reactions ranging from great optimism that the country may finally be lifted out of a quarter-century of economic stagnation, to concerns that the authorities’ dramatic change of course may in fact end up making things worse. But, while debate naturally focuses on Japan’s economic, financial, and political maneuvers, the tipping point could well lie abroad.
OXFORD – The wave of revolts that swept across the Arab world two years ago were fueled by demands for freedom, bread, and social justice. But, although the revolutions toppled dictators and transformed societies, these core objectives remain as distant as ever. In fact, the economic challenges facing the Arab Spring countries have become even more pressing, weighing heavily on these countries’ political prospects.
EDMONTON – Calm discussion of the environment nowadays is about as plausible as reasoned dialogue on witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. Consider the hyperbolic debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, which would funnel oil from Canada’s Athabasca tar sands in northeastern Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
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