Musicals and politicians

Hilarious is probably not a term usually used to describe The Economist magazine. It is also entirely possible I also just have a weird sense of humor, but reading this article actually made me laugh out loud – and I’m also a huge fan of musicals in general.

It includes gems such as “Fagin, the pocket-picking villain from “Oliver!”, exerts a malign influence over François Hollande’s fiscal policy: “When I see someone rich/ Both my thumbs start to itch.” and “The same show (West Side Story) also has advice for Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s bellicose young despot: “Boy, boy, crazy boy/ Get cool, boy!/ Got a rocket in your pocket/ Keep coolly cool, boy!”.

Go read it if you find some time.

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The end of Quantitative Easing?

Over at Business Insider we find that Wall Street Journal reporter John Hilsenrath, who seems to be so well-connected to the Fed that it has earned him the nickname “Fed Wire”, has apparently been told that the Fed is discussing the end of its quantitative easing program. As he writes, the “focus is on managing unpredictable market expectations”. In his words, “officials say they plan to reduce the amount of bonds they buy in careful and potentially halting steps, varying their purchases as their confidence about the job market and inflation evolves. The timing on when to start is still being debated.”  None of that makes any sense at all. But first things first.

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Abenomics and the return of sane monetary policy

It’s been a while since the last post on this blog. 5 months and one day, to be exact. But we’re back! And it seems to be a good time to return. For anyone as interested in monetary economics as I am, we are probably experiencing the most fascinating real-world experiment in the field of monetary policy undertaken in recent history. It’s also all happening in one of the most unlikely places one might image:  “how did a lost decade turn into two” Japan. The timing of it all is fascinating in and of itself, with pundits like Paul Krugman coming up with interesting analogies and what seem to be pretty convincing theories – Japan seems to have discovered its “moral equivalent of space aliens”. Indeed, even if one believes the threats of a rising China (with its enormous stake in international trade and thus peace in the region) are overblown, there is good reason to argue that Japan was scared out of complacency and into action after losing their spot as second biggest economy in the world. Oh, and the Tsunami thing, of course. Let’s just say times have been rough.

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