Spain: a question of control

The role of the controller within Spanish government has recently been enhanced by new legislation. Hopes are high that this will improve accountability and independence at municipal level, leading to more rigorous financial and budgetary control Read more

Tags: | | | | | Comment

Banks, bonuses and balance sheets

IMF research shows the high level of subsidies paid to banks deemed too important to fail. Until the political will to take on the industry is found, we will effectively each continue to fund bankers’ bonuses Read more

Tags: | | | | | | | | | Comment

Breaking the tapering news

The ‘tapering’ of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy has had a significant effect on emerging markets. But the precise impact depends a lot on the underlying strengths and weaknesses of emerging economies – and who is delivering the tapering news Read more

Tags: | | | | 1 comment

US economics by other means

A decision on party funding by the US Supreme Court reflects a strangehold on politics by corporate interests. It is holding back progress in tackling the country’s huge economic problems Read more

Tags: | | | | | Comment

US financial reporting taken to task

Paul Volcker and Dick Ravitch’s State Budget Crisis Task Force has suggested ways to improve US government financial reporting. Let’s hope these two savvy political players can make a difference to a problem that has been obvious for many years Read more

Tags: | | | | | | Comment

End of the American dream?

The chair of the Federal Reserve wants to restore normality to the US economy by tapering its quantitative easing programme and raising interest rates. This is the right policy objective, but there are huge risks Read more

Tags: | | | | | | | | | Comment

How US bonds could help the eurozone

The eurozone needs a dose of QE to help periphery countries avoid painful deflation. The best way the ECB can do this is by buying US treasury securities Read more

Tags: | | | | | | Comment

The true cost of pre-election promises

Pre-election costing of the policies of political parties can produce a more informed public debate. Evidence from Ireland, Australia and the Netherlands shows the benefits both to citizens and politicians Read more

Tags: | | | | | | | Comment

Transatlantic trade trouble

Opposition is mounting to special provisions within the EU/USA transatlantic trade deal. Many are concerned that protecting commercial interests could prevent governments doing what their electorates want Read more

Tags: | | | | | Comment

US pay: because you’re worth it?

The huge inequalities in US pay levels are often justified on the grounds that people are ‘paid what they’re worth’. This is seriously misleading because it ignores power, overlooks institutions, and disregards politics Read more

Tags: | | | | | | | Comment