Year: 2019

If only we were all Japanese!

December 12, 2019 0

  The economists and bankers of my generation have had the habit of entertaining themselves by dividing the world into four types of economies: developed, emerging, Argentina and Japan. It is worth, however, updating this somewhat simplistic and caricatural joke by removing Japan from the list of economic aberrations. Albeit highly unlikely, the Japanese property…

By Michel Santi

The Gospel according to Saint Money

November 30, 2019 0

  It’s a history condemned to repeat itself forever because, since the dawn of time, the enrichment of some has basically always been to the detriment of others. Inequality has often been described by the upper class as an inevitable side effect, systemic almost, of the prosperity and innovation that is however meant to benefit…

By Michel Santi

Lebanon: a new race of leaders

November 20, 2019 0

    To understand the events in Lebanon that have taken place over the last month, it is vital to have an idea of the country’s debt structure. In other words: the analysis of Lebanon’s public and private debt allows us to better understand this socioeconomic crisis. In fact, Lebanon is renowned for distinguishing itself…

By Michel Santi

Negative rates: an economic curse?

November 6, 2019 0

  Companies that don’t pay interests on their debt are a like these students who never sit an exam: they somehow scrape by without any notable successes or accomplishments. The current level of rates should be encouraging investment because companies’ margins are much higher than the cost of capital, that is itself negligible. Even the…

By Michel Santi

Economists: can we trust them?

October 28, 2019 0

Chile is the only Latin American country that is a member of the OECD, and not long ago it was still being cited as an example to follow because of its success and economic recovery. It is, however, just the latest victim to date of a neoliberalism whose ravages have now become universal. Chile’s fall…

By Michel Santi

Inflation of prices, deflation of policies

October 10, 2019 0

So you think you understand inflation? Allow me to correct you because it is in no way the result of an unreasonable expansion of the money supply that translates into a rise in prices. This clichéd term of “inflation”, used unscrupulously by the detractors of central banks, by the prophets of misfortune whose commercial stock…

By Michel Santi

The People against the Economists

September 9, 2019 0

  In his time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt dismissed John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential and brilliant economists of the 20th century, who was labelled an “unorthodox mathematician” by this president. In his farewell address, Eisenhower had warned his citizens against the technocrats in power, the same who were recently described by Emmanuel Macron…

By Michel Santi

Central banker: extinction of the species

July 9, 2019 0

  “Of course our central bank is independent”, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pretty much just declared, just before dismissing by presidential decree (on 7th July) the boss of Turkey’s central bank, Murat Cetinkaya, stating that “a central bank cannot ignore the signals sent by the President”. It was in the last century and…

By Michel Santi

Have populists become conservatives ?

June 29, 2019 0

  There was a time when “populism” was synonymous with governmental financial mismanagement and irresponsibility. Far exceeding budget constraints, the leaders of these groups and realms of thought would empty the public treasury, use up reserves and bring about monetary crises, inflation, capital outflows, recession and even payment defaults. In short, the reigning populists’ disdain…

By Michel Santi

Back to the deutschemark ?

May 28, 2019 0

  Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist, wrote premonitorily in 1997 that the euro’s introduction “would exacerbate economic cycles by worsening unemployment in certain member states. Such economic woes would contribute to a crisis of confidence in the Union”. In fact, those who were convinced that the Union’s crisis since 2009 would only be a one-off…

By Michel Santi

The trade war won’t happen!

May 21, 2019 0

  China is not a bellicose nation. For it, war is a matter of developing excessive trading relationships. Put another way, for China,the defence of its economic interests is an extension of war. As for its nuclear option in the context of this trade war with the USA, it would be to shed itself of…

By Michel Santi

Europe’s disgust

May 15, 2019 0

  Brexit could have been a simple divorce between the UK and Europe, but the mounting tension between the British Parliament and the European Union is about to turn this separation into a much more deeply profound event. This is because Brexit won’t just have major geopolitical ramifications in modern history. In fact, after France’s…

By Michel Santi

The zombies of capitalism

May 9, 2019 0

The policy of zero interest rates was crucial in avoiding total financial collapse following the subprime crisis, the credit crunch, and Europe’s sovereign debt psychodrama, just as it will play a major role over the next few episodes of stock market crashes and exacerbated volatility that hurts the real economy. On the other side of…

By Michel Santi

The Rome syndrome

April 11, 2019 0

  The Italians were, for centuries, Europe’s bankers. The Medici’s, for their part, lent extensively to the British and French crowns. Let us not forgetthe marriage – of convenience – between Henry IV and Marie de Medicis, who was also known as “the fat banker’s daughter”. What happened in the second half of the 20th…

By Michel Santi

Debt, money, sin

March 20, 2019 0

  The word for ‘debt’ in German – to owe money – is ‘Schuld’, and it also means ‘sin’ in this language. This dual meaning also existed in Akkadian in Babylon. In fact, it’s a Babylonian sovereign, Hammurabi, who in 1792 BC was the first to set up a veritable system of debt-renouncement that entailed…

By Michel Santi

The future of Europe is going through a rehabilitation of its experts

March 4, 2019 0

Growth since 2009: China +139%, India +96%, the US +34%, Europe –2%. These figures tell the story of the European Union’s spiralling macroeconomic decline. The lack of reactivity of our public policies, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, led to a reduction in imports, with the most hard-hit eurozone countries seeing their balance of…

By Michel Santi

BOB = Bored of Brexit

January 22, 2019 0

As“Brexit fatigue”takes hold of us, let’s look back over the terminology relating to it. While “soft Brexit” means the UK staying in the single market according to the “Norway model”, “hard Brexit” means exiting the EU with no agreement in place but then signing a trade deal, known as the “Canada model”. However, it’s only…

By Michel Santi

The US: a rate cut to come ?

January 5, 2019 0

The US Federal Reserve, as we know, is in the process of “normalising” its monetary policy stance. That means it’s committed to gradually raising its guideline rates, after the extreme efforts during the finance crisis that led to quantitative easing. After increasing its rates four times in 2018, it has just announced two or three…

By Michel Santi