Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (CSI) studied periods of social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to attempt to explain the underlying causes of the riots that swept these areas in 2008 and 2011.
After traveling some, speaking with lots of people, reading, and digesting, I cannot escape the conclusion that things remain hopelessly off track. Whatever form of 'recovery' is being sought here simply will not arrive.
U.S. investors investing offshore for the first time often wonder why offshore banks won’t accept them as clients.
Famed Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in his seminal work, Human Action (originally published by the Yale University Press in 1949), that “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.
How does one go about comparing the financial crisis in one country to that of another? The International Monetary Fund tried to do just that, setting off a rather torrid debate in economic circles. And while we will look today at their analysis, the upshot is that the economic models used to guide monetary and fiscal policy may not be working as they did in the past.
Let me start with an anecdotal data point. In the year 2007, the US paid $200 billion in interest costs on its outstanding government debt. In 2012 the US will pay approximately $200 billion on its outstanding government debt.
Home sales are at depressed levels, financial institutions are still overloaded with hugely underwater properties, and prices have bounced a bit in some areas, by 5-10% bounces following 50-60% declines hardly constitutes an echo bubble.
The forward looking indications from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, UPS and FedEx are negative. I think this is due to the contraction in world demand caused by European austerity. However the results from financials, banks, brokers and real estate are more positive.
The idea of a “debt jubilee” — that is, a wide-spread forgiveness of debt as a way to reset the US financial system — has been bouncing around for a while. But it hasn’t gained mainstream traction because it seems, at first glance, to be too simplistic to be worth serious thought.
Rubin makes an excellent argument that demand for crude oil and energy in general continues to expand with China’s, India’s and Asia's rapid economic growth.