Thursday, 19 February 2009

Blogs : 19th February

The EU Bonds Story Rumbles On. Edward Hugh, A Fistfull of Euros (en)
" ... we are faced with is innocence and inability to react, and frankly I am not sure which is worst. I say “innocence” because it is by now abundantly clear that they simply haven’t yet grasped the severity of the problems we face (in countries like Spain, or even Germany itself, let alone in the East), and I say inability to react, since they are always and forever moving too little and too late. The initial response to the banking crisis last October was one example (where we saw a landshift-style volte face in the space of only one week) and the way we are now confronting the need to live up to the promises then made about guaranteeing the banking sector, and in particular the “systemic” banks, would be another ...
... The problem is that it is not just one or two quarters of negative growth we are talking about here, we are talking of deep depressions, and ones during which deep structural damage can be inflicted on the economies of those states who are hardest hit. “When push comes to shove Germany, France, the larger players will bail out those smaller peripheral players,” said Alex Allen, chief investment officer of Eddington Capital Management. “You can’t let one part of the system fail because it leads to failure of the whole system.” European deficits have evidently surged enormously this year as governments are faced with the need to provide funding for the heavily strained banking system and provide some kind of stimulus to their rapidly contracting economies. EU member states have already committed more than 1.2 trillion euros in an attempt to save the banking systems from collapse, and it is evident that a second and possibly larger wave of bailouts may now be imminent ..."

Ukraine GDP Down 20% In January. Edward Hugh, A Fistfull of Euros (en)
" ... Well, Paul Krugman certainly got it right on this one, the Great Depression may now reasonably be considered to have arrived in Ukraine. Ukraine’s GDP declined 20 percent in January year-on-year, according to Valeriy Lytvytsky chief advisor to the chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine. “The decline in GDP in January was about 20 percent according to my reckoning. It’s the biggest drop ever. It’s a bad start,” he said. According to Lytvytsky the construction and industry sectors have been the hardest hit by the economic crisis ..."

Staring into the Abyss? Alpha Sources (en)
" ... With respect to the data, I am not sure whether to laugh or cry (although I am pretty sure it is the latter at the IMF and in Latvia). Actually, my first reaction when I saw two research snippets, sent around by some friends, on Latvia was to laugh. This is Mickey Mouse numbers folks! An expected 20% contraction here and 10% there. The actual numbers confirm this. Q4 GDP fell a healthy 10.5% in Latvia and 9.4% (yoy) in Estonia. This means that 2008 saw a contraction, in Latvia, of 3.6% which follows a 6.3% expansion in 2007. Now, how long was it that we had the discussion about a soft v hard landing in the Baltics? Ah well, I will refrain from commenting ... "

World´s Largest Trade Bloc. Florian Pantazi, (en)
" ... While fears of protectionism are sweeping the EU and the US, China is preparing the launch, in 2010, of a regional trade bloc which will extend the benefits of free trade to the ASEAN countries (Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos). The move will create the world´s largest trade bloc, covering 1.7 billion people, with a combined GDP of around 1.5 trillion euros. Initially, the economic bloc will include the original six founders of the ASEAN group, with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar to join them by 2015. Nor is that all. As a consequence of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, its member countries are also contemplating the adoption of an Asian Currency Unit (ACU), emulating the example of the euro´s predecessor, the ECU. Most, if not all, of these countries´economies are dominated by expatriate Chinese business elites, popularly known as the “maritime Chinese”. Since China´s inauguration of the “open doors” policy, they have been doing brisk business with the mainland and have contributed with large amounts of money to developing the Chinese economy ... "

A farewell post. Certain Ideas of Europe, 15th December (en)
" ... In that time we have also developed new ways to cover the region online—see our multimedia features, Europe.view column, and correspondents' diaries—which have made this blog somewhat redundant. So as of today we will stop blogging in this space in order to focus our efforts elsewhere. Readers interested in continuing the conversations started here are encouraged to visit our Europe home-page ..."

1 comment:

selina said...

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