This category contains 60 posts

Nine European nations suffer credit downgrade as power of rating agencies raises fresh questions

Are credit rating agencies doing more harm than good? That’s the question in the air tonight after S&P downgraded Austria, France, Malta, Solvenia, Slovakia by one notch each, and Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain by two. The decision means that the eurozone crisis, already a serious problem for the continent, will now be more difficult … Continue reading

Shock as Jon Corzine’s MF Global files for bankruptcy protection

MF Global, one of the world’s largest and best-known traders in commodities and derivatives, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The firm, led by former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, lists JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank as its largest creditors. It had previously been reported that MF Global had until Monday to find a … Continue reading

Eurozone deal: 50% of Greek debt cut

Europe’s leaders are hailing a new eurozone rescue package that sees Greek debt cut by 50%. And while we’ve been here before, there’s a sense of optimism that the Greek crisis will now be contained and will not cause the widespread economic damage that had been anticipated. The deal, which had seemed doubtful until the … Continue reading

Vatican calls for ‘global political authority’ to manage economy

The Vatican has called on world leaders to create a ‘global political authority’ that can regulate the world’s economy. The call comes as the Vatican seeks to find a voice in the ongoing debate over the developing (re-developing?) financial crisis, which many economists fear will get worse in 2011 and 2012 before there’s any hope … Continue reading

Does Herman Cain’s 999 tax plan add up?

Herman Cain has been gaining a lot of attention over the past week for his proposed 999 tax plan, which he says is based on the principle that production rather than spending should drive the economy. He says the plan is simple and fair, and that it taxes everything once and nothing twice. Sounds good, … Continue reading

Standard and Poor’s lowers Spain’s credit rating from AA to AA-

Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&) has lowered Spain‘s rating from AA to AA-, sparking fresh concern about the health of the Eurozone and raising more questions about the damage done by credit rating agencies in the current economic climate. The yield on 10-year Spanish government debt hit a high of 6.52% earlier this … Continue reading

UK on brink of recession? Jobless totals hit 17-year high

The UK looks to be poised on the brink of another recession after jobless totals rose to a 17-year high. 2.57m people are currently out of work in the UK, with nearly 1m of those being under the age of 25. At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) today, David Cameron accepted that the figures are disappointing … Continue reading

Nobel prize 2011: Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims win for Economics

The 2011 Nobel prize for Economics has gone to two Americans, Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims (pdf). They were given the award for their work on cause and effect in the context of macroeconomics. As is often the case with the various Nobel prizes, the award recognises work done many years ago. Thomas Sargent and … Continue reading

Yes Men insist Alessio Rastani is nothing to do with them

The Yes Men have insisted that trader Alessio Rastani, whose appearance on the BBC earlier this week sparked controversy, is nothing to do with them. It had previously been suggested that Rastani, who spoke candidly about the economic crisis, might have been part of an elaborate Yes Men prank. But that isn’t the case at … Continue reading

Is trader Alessio Rastani of BBC fame real, or is he actually a member of the Yes Men group?

There were shocked reactions on Monday when a trader appeared on BBC News and made some startlingly candid comments about the financial crisis. But today there are suggestions that ‘Alessio Rastani‘ might in fact be an impersonator from the Yes Men group. There are two reasons why suspicions have been raised. The first is the … Continue reading