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Nonetheless, with the crisis now becoming systemic, the ECB must take up the fiscal-transfer baton that eurozone leaders have so unceremoniously fumbled.

The Fear Factor

[2011-09-19]

We need not tolerate 9% unemployment as the new normal. Confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we can, and should, manage it by direct intervention in asset markets.

To resolve Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, it is now imperative to prepare for the possibility of default and defection from the eurozone by Greece, Portugal, and perhaps Ireland.

One main objective should be to transform Afghanistan’s vast underground economy, which has thrived, by creating profitable opportunities for Taliban and other groups involved in the fighting.

An active competition policy will be needed. But the degree to which the authorities will be able to push for more competition in banking will depend crucially on the regulatory framework.

As the proposals become more innovative and exotic, we must examine them carefully to ensure that they wouldn’t end up making matters worse.

With retrenchment and balance-sheet repair only in its early stages, the zombie-like behavior of American consumers should persist.

Divided We Fall

[2011-09-06]

For the first time in 150 years, the West (America and the European Union) was out-manufactured, out-produced, out-exported, out-traded, and out-invested by the rest of the world.

While most accounts say that Bohr won the debate, my view is that Einstein, as usual, was seeking an explanation of reality, while his rivals were advocating nonsense.

Investment managers have a moral and professional responsibility to play their role in bringing some discipline into the banking system.

The earthquake and tsunami have confronted Japan with a profound crisis – but also with a rare opportunity to undertake the comprehensive reforms that the country has postponed for far too long.

China’s rise is a fact; the enduring peacefulness of that rise must be a priority for China, its neighbors, the West, and, most importantly, the US.

To be sure, we should support economic growth and development, but only in a broader context: one that promotes environmental sustainability and the values of compassion and honesty that are required for social trust

Eurobonds would numb the distressed countries’ current pain, but, by failing to treat the underlying disease, they – and the eurozone as a whole – would end up far sicker than before.

Banking will become more like other industries that have benefited themselves and their customers by evolving into truly global networks.

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