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Around $2 billion was received by the five best-paid individuals, who were also central to creating the highly risky asset structures that brought the financial system to the edge of the abyss.

Unfortunately, political disunity in the face of financial pressure always ends up being far more damaging to democracy and the economy than instinctive patriotism.

A better system to rebalance the world economy is as necessary as it is unlikely. All we can look forward to is the next G-20 communiqué.

Reconciling growth and fighting inflation is not impossible, but it does require that the government overcome its deep-seated suspicion of opening China's markets to imports.

Damming Capital

[2011-04-20]

The new IMF framework is welcome, but countries will need the freedom to manage their capital account more than ever in the years ahead.

Global economy is caught in a duel between healing and disruptive influences, in which it can ill afford any further intensification of the latter.

By providing an honest, rigorous assessment of the major reform proposals, the Independent Banking Commission has performed an invaluable service, and deserves recognition for a job elegantly done.

One thing is certain: at all but extremely low doses – perhaps only slightly higher than background levels – radiation causes cancer.

One is that they intervene directly in markets, both domestic and across borders, to reduce competition and volatility while they rebuild their buffering capacity. Another is that they muzzle democracy to suppress public anger. A third is that they find scapegoats.

EMU 2.0?

[2011-04-08]

The new emphasis on national budgetary rules is a welcome development – but it is only a first step.

There have been indications of a gradual thaw. Senior officials from the ministries of commerce, defense, and foreign affairs will meet in the next two months followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers.

What is needed is a root and branch transformation of the way that economic activity is carried out in all Arab nations.

The G-20 should adopt a modest proposal this year: a limited expansion of the International Monetary Fund’s current system of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

If democracy is to take hold and flourish in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere in the Arab world, the new reform-minded governments must make the youth unemployment crisis their highest priority.

What may cause even greater dissension is a renewed clash of national interests as inflation rates within the eurozone diverge.

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