Tag Archives: Financial Times

Who reads the British papers?

Klippet är hämtat här.

A summary and an update regarding the health care reform

For those who have not followed the American health care debate but are interested in a concise insight, CNN has published an article containing the highlights of President Barack Obama’s proposal:

“Obama’s proposal is a long way from becoming law. His proposal would need to be drafted into legislation, debated and passed by the House and Senate. As the past year has shown, health care is an emotional subject, and debate can drag on for months.Immediate reaction from Republicans suggests that this time around, it won’t be any easier.

‘Nearly one year ago, the president moderated a health care summit that kicked off a national debate that has led us to where we are today: a partisan bill devoid of support from the American people and a diminished faith in this government’s capacity to listen. Let’s not make the same mistake twice,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

House Minority Leader John Boehner revived the abortion debate, saying, ‘Republicans are also standing with the American people by calling for health care reform to protect human life and not use taxpayer money to fund abortion. … Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life — not end it — and the American people agree.'”

And in case somebody would like an update on what options Mr Obama faces, and what the opportunities and risks are, Clive Crook had an excellent column in Financial Times the other day:

“Republican opposition to the Senate bill has been cynical and unprincipled. It is a scandal that not one Republican has been willing to speak up for a reform that, in the end, was a centrist proposal – much like the one that Mitt Romney, the party’s front-runner for the presidential nomination in 2012, signed as governor of Massachusetts. Blocking the reform was bad policy but good politics, because the reformers have failed to persuade the public. More confused and exhausted than anything else, voters are fearful of this legislation. That is why pressing on is such a gamble.

/…/

For that huge gamble to succeed, and to have any hope of staving off disaster in November, Mr Obama and his squabbling, tone-deaf, self-wounding party would then have to turn to the country and explain their plan. Odd, you might think, to have left that so late. Some traditions die hard. Even when they are right, Democrats have a knack for getting it wrong.For that huge gamble to succeed, and to have any hope of staving off disaster in November, Mr Obama and his squabbling, tone-deaf, self-wounding party would then have to turn to the country and explain their plan. Odd, you might think, to have left that so late. Some traditions die hard. Even when they are right, Democrats have a knack for getting it wrong.”

Simon Hedlin Larsson

Obalans i världsekonomin

Martin Wolf skriver i en intressant kolumn för Financial Times om hur Tysklands enorma exportöverskott underminerar valutaunionen EMU, och i synnerhet dess svagare medlemmar:

“So long as the European Central Bank tolerates weak demand in the eurozone as a whole and core countries, above all Germany, continue to run vast trade surpluses, it will be nigh on impossible for weaker members to escape from their insolvency traps. Theirs is not a problem that can be resolved by fiscal austerity alone. They need a huge improvement in external demand for their output.”

Tysklands exportdrivna ekonomiska tillväxt är problematisk även av andra skäl. Stora obalanser gör att länder riskerar att bli för beroende av varandra. Om en alltför stor del av ekonomin i ett land bygger på export – vad händer ifall den utländska efterfrågan på landets produkter faller? Vad gör staten om den låga efterfrågan är låg utländsk efterfrågan? Ska man skapa stimulanspaket för världens mest belånade och importerande länder, eller? Inför ett sådant problem framstår staten som ganska maktlös.

Till saken hör också att Tyskland inte är ensamma med denna politiska fokusering vid export samt relativt konsumtionsovilliga kultur . The Economist skriver:

“Germany, like Japan, is bedevilled by chronically weak domestic demand. Consumers are reluctant to spend and, so far, buoyant export growth has not incited firms to invest, despite hopes to the contrary.”

Man bör vara väldigt försiktig med att ropa vargen kommer, men nog finns det stora risker med dagens obalanser i den internationella ekonomin. Länder som Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam och Tyskland har gigantiska handelsöverskott, medan USA har ett astronomiskt bytesbalansunderskott. Många av världens största ekonomier, som USA och Storbritannien, har dessutom omfattande budgetunderskott. Hela Eurozonen har enligt EU-kommissionen samlade skulder motsvarande 78,2 procent av BNP.

Lyckas man inte reda ut dessa obalanser inför nästa finanskris kan vi räkna med att få uppleva den värsta krisen i mänsklig historia.

Simon Hedlin Larsson