Richard Baldwin, 01 January 2009

No one knows exactly how to stop the global economic crisis, but all agree that fiscal stimulus has a key role to play. By reducing the length and depth of the recession, it should reduce bankruptcies, foreclosures, and further asset-price drops. This column presents the main logic in a recent IMF paper authored by one of the world’s leading macroeconomists, Oliver Blanchard, and others.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 13 December 2008

Announcement that the WTO talks will not be put back on track this year – despite the G20’s November 15th commitment to do so – is the first concrete demonstration of the G20’s ineffectiveness. This column argues that the G20 should undertake a “Plan B” on world trade to restore G20 creditability and shore-up support for the WTO.

John Muellbauer, 27 November 2008

This column explains the logic behind a radically new form of monetary policy – a new central-bank tool for stabilising the credit cycle. By buying bank stocks and credit instruments at the bottom of the cycle and selling at the top, the new policy could moderate the boom-and-bust credit cycle independently of interest rate policy. The Fed action on 25 November is a good step in this direction.

Alberto Giovannini, 22 November 2008

Simplicity and transparency, two major causalities of recent financial market changes, are essential to restoring trust in financial markets. This column suggests that distinguishing two types of financial intermediaries – client servicers and capital managers – would be a big step in the right direction. Today’s lack of distinction means one set of regulations is applied to the two very different functions.

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