Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


John Butler

Articles by this author (23) :

January’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

January'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterCentral Banking – The Bank for International Settlements again Questions Prevailing Central Bank Policies.
The BIS has recently published two reports. In one, appearing to embrace the Austrian School of economic thought, it attributes the weakness of the present advanced economy recoveries to (...)

December’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

December'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterProblems executing QE cause market confidence in the ECB to dip. What policy changes should we expect from the ECB in 2016?
Reports from the European Banking Authority and Bank of England claim that banks are healthy, but weak measures of capital are (...)

November’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

November'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterUS regulations blamed for banks turning away deposits. Will this add further impetus to non-banking deposit and payment businesses?
Even More Bad news from Deutsche Bank. Can the Bank be Turned Around?

October’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

October'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterDespite abundant and increasing evidence of loose monetary policies being the cause of emerging market economies moving from boom to bust, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
Central Bankers want to abolish cash in order to be able to set substantially negative interest (...)

September’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Special focus: Chinese devaluation

September'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterChina devalued its currency by 3%. Financial markets responded disproportionately, but we explain that it is quite understandable, given government policies in the rich countries.
We then investigate the devaluation’s effect on the US and EU financial markets as well as on the currencies of (...)

Jul-Aug’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
BIS report | Bank Stress Tests

Jul-Aug'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterUltra Low Interest Rates have destabilized the global Economy whose capital markets now show signs of Illiquidity.
Stress testing of banks by central banking authorities has come to prominence as reliance on the traditional accounting standards has waned. Europe’s banking system was (...)

June’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
UK & ECB | Criminal convictions for banks

June'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterAs the US vs European recovery story swings our way, what lessons can Europe learn from the strong swing to the centre right in Britain’s elections? Is there a possibility of Brexit?
Banks have been hit with more fines, but more importantly, also with Criminal Convictions. Is this banking out (...)

May’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Secondary US Bonds Market | Unique Bulgarian Banking Crisis

May'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterMost media optimism, both in the US and Europe, continues to focus on the dizzy levels of stock and bond markets, but in our view these index levels have been driven up by professionals front-running QE in the US and Europe.
In the past month, a Bulgarian court appointed two experts to (...)

April’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Easing and Volatility | More woes in Carinthia

April'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterBank for International Settlements has labelled the impact of recent European quantitative easing as “unprecedented”. Worrying effects are not only the negative interest rates, but also very high price volatilities of asset. This development may soon hit not only economic, but also legal and even (...)

March’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Greece has Plan B | US Stress Tests

March'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterThe ECB’s deal with Greece still leaves it exposed. Despite the rhetoric that countries must get their own finances in order, the ECB’s sister agency has started work on a new programme of $319 bn of mutualised debt.
US banks all pass their stress tests. However, that is not necessarily (...)

February’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
ECB vs. Syriza | Banking regulations

February'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterIs the standoff between the ECB and Greece in any sense subtle, or simply a car crash waiting to happen? We explain why being the first to defect may in fact
benefit Greece. With low sympathy for formal (fiscal) debt forgiveness, we expect pressure to increase further on the ECB.
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Deutsche (...)

January’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
ECB QE? Will banks avoid Russia?

January'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterOnly two countries remain opposed to QE, although even they realise that measures about to be implemented are QE in all aspects but the name. Meanwhile, ground is being prepared for ECB to shift blame if “unconventional stimulus” ends up not working.
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Russian sanctions work. Or so we are led to (...)

December’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Rancour at ECB Board

December'14 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterDespite the attention offered by the media to Russian banking and foreign exchange markets, tensions are growing in the ECB. Some ECB Board members are unconvinced of the stance the ECB President is taking, doubting that the introduced policy would be effective, let alone constitutional. We (...)

November’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
2014 Bank Stress Tests

November'14 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterThe Asset Quality Review (Stress Test) results confirm system wide solvency. Yet, regulators announce the rewriting of bank risk models and the ECB plans large scale asset purchases.

October ’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Special Issue on Scotland and Catalonia

October '14 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterAlthough Scotland voted in September to remain in the United Kingdom, both sides hailed the high voter turnout as recognition of democratic engagement and growing European dissatisfaction with over-centralised, bureaucratic, seemingly unaccountable government. The effect has been to raise (...)

September’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

September'14 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterLow interest rates contribute to weak labour markets
A new measure of Unemployment and Labour Market Conditions gains support at the Annual Jackson Hole Conference. Doubts continue about European QE as near-zero interest rates may actually be preventing employment from picking up.
Concerns (...)

July’14 Financial and Fiscal Features Newsletter

July'14 Financial and Fiscal Features Newsletter BIS has doubts about monetary policy in the Euro area
Latest BIS Report says that present monetary policies risk permanently destabilizing the global economy. It calls for A New Policy Compass, focussing on the ‘Financial Cycle’, not the Business Cycle.
Banks remain fragile and imbalances (...)

June ’14 Newsletter

June '14 NewsletterCentral Banking
Confidence in the ECB wobbles as commentators on all sides question the effectiveness of supposedly growth stimulating new policies.
Markets and Investment
At least two big takeover deals are being negotiated in Europe now, both with heavy government involvement. The strategies (...)

May’14 Newsletter: Three clear questions with unclear answers

May'14 Newsletter: Three clear questions with unclear answersThree fundamental questions have emerged, but clear answers still have not:
Free floating for the hryvnia?
New bureaucrats in Brussels?
New rules for high-frequency trading?

April ’14 Newsletter: Is the Recovery Sustainable?

April '14 Newsletter: Is the Recovery Sustainable?Recovery has started, according to some data. Is it sustainable? Or is it based on asset prices inflated by easy monetary policies? Inside this newsletter:
* Bond markets and the real economy * Central Banking – The Illusion of Tapering * The Return of (...)

March’14 Newsletter: A Questionable Recovery

March'14 Newsletter: A Questionable RecoveryThe quality of the recovery remains questionable. In the meanwhile, banks must deal with new regulation and investors look for higher yields.

February’14 Newsletter: A Weak Recovery Turns Monetary Policy Into A Gamble

February'14 Newsletter: A Weak Recovery Turns Monetary Policy Into A GambleEuropean growth stutters along as fear of deflation exerts pressure on the ECB to loosen monetary policy further.

July’13 Newsletter: Asset Bubbles Become Policy Bubbles

Leaders, institutions and markets are all looking for guidance to get out of the present crisis. Government confidence is at stake, institutions’ credibility is jeopardized and banking is close to fraud and collusion.

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