The Real Estate Exposure of the Bank of England Questions its Independence as Rate Setter
We analysed in May the extent to which ECB & Eurosystem funding, combined with new EU programmes such as the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme and the Next Generation EU Fund, are increasingly crowding out markets and becoming by far the dominant source of funding for both banks and member states.
Morocco is one of the most dynamic economies in the African continent. It has a remarkable reputation in the region for opening its economy, privatization, and increasing the role of the private sector. However, Moroccan governments have consistently neglected to reform the tax system and thus encourage risk-taking, investment and entrepreneurship.
Similar to the developing countries with little or no energy resources, taxation is the main contributor to the Moroccan state budget. The Moroccan tax system is affected by a set of imbalances and problems that regard both the structure and the burden of taxation. Despite some reforms in the 1990s, the tax system is still characterized by heavy pressure and inefficient bureaucracy, even compared to other developing countries. In 1999, 2013, and 2019 the government organized three National Conferences with a view to modernizing and simplifying the tax system. Nothing came out of them.
As Europe emerges from the Covid economic slump and seeks to rebuild by deploying the multiple sources of liquidity we considered here, the main finance industry lobbying body for the UK and Europe is seizing the moment to push hard for reform of securitisation regulations. The Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) seeks to water down Article 46 of the EU’s Capital Markets Directive such that banks and insurers investing in tranches of securitised bonds are required to allocate less capital than at present, thus facilitating greater leverage. This argument implicitly states that the Basel Rules for banks, and their sister Solvency 2 rules for insurers, are overly conservative and must be softened to enable this transformative, green, and sustainable recovery to take place.
“Pensions are safe”, former German labour secretary Norbert Blüm promised during the 1986 electoral campaign. Thirty-five years later, the future of Germany’s public pension scheme plays an important role in political campaigns once again. This article considers what today’s main political parties are now offering to the German electorate.
Vaccination is among the most successful public health measures available to society. In addition to preventing diseases, it dramatically reduces healthcare costs. In the case of the Covid-19 pandemics these costs can be quite significant. According to Fair Health – an independent non-profit organization that manages the US largest database of privately billed health insurance claims – the average cost of hospital care for COVID-19 patients varies from $51,389 for patients aged between 21 and 40 to $78,569 for patients between 41 and 60. In Europe, these costs are typically covered by the National Health Systems (NHS), but even in the USA the costs borne by the government are substantial.
In early 2011, an unprecedented wave of political uprisings swept the Arab world. It was the so-called Arab Spring. Protesters in several Arab countries took to the street and demanded changes in governments, freedom, bread, and dignity. The main slogan was “the people want to bring the regimes to an end.” The reasons that inflamed the uprisings across the region included excessive levels of corruption, police brutality, lack of political freedoms, low levels of income along with high income inequality, high levels of youth unemployment and, last but not least, dictatorial regimes.
A four-day workweek or Universal Basic Income (UBI) straight away? Demands for shorter labour time, preferably complemented with compensatory wage increases, are a must-have for any electoral campaign. But do we really work more, at the expense of time spent with the family or leisurely activities? Do we really need new regulation to cut our working hours? While some workers do work long hours, generalisations are dangerous, as documented by the statistics on how we spend our time. Germany offers an interesting case study.
Much of the socio-economic damage linked to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from poor regulation: the coronavirus would certainly have caused much less damage in contexts more respectful of the principle of individual responsibility. Unfortunately, poorly conceived regulation continues to lead to more and more state intervention, in a spiral that produces unsatisfactory results and constrains individual freedoms.