Conflict update: February 9 2017

Just by way of an update, there’s a pretty good chance this place will be quiet tomorrow. I’m traveling again and, well, I might just feel like crashing afterwards. That’s also why this is posting a few hours earlier than I usually post these updates. #ThanksTrump As the Trump administration decides how to proceed now… Continue reading Conflict update: February 9 2017

A funny thing happened on the way to Grexit

I kind of dropped the Greece bailout story a couple of weeks ago, because to be perfectly honest I think I can only deal with one major global agreement at a time around this place. But as we got right up to the brink of a Grexit, it turned out that, well, nobody, least of… Continue reading A funny thing happened on the way to Grexit

Whatever else Syriza is, it’s first and foremost a political party

With time running out to keep Greece nominally solvent and still in the Eurozone, the Greek government submitted a new proposal to its major creditors (the “Troika”) yesterday that…well, actually seems to have been pretty well-received: A top eurozone official says Greece has submitted “thorough” proposals aimed at getting a vital third bailout and averting… Continue reading Whatever else Syriza is, it’s first and foremost a political party

What are we all on about then?

I am no economist, but from my purely layman’s perch it seems to me that the nub of the Greece issue comes down to one empirically demonstrated fact: austerity doesn’t work. Chasing a budget surplus, the kind of thing you need to really start paying creditors, by cutting government spending and raising taxes on the… Continue reading What are we all on about then?

Looks like this might be an interesting week

It’s only Monday, so who knows what could happen, but at the moment this is looking like a pretty consequential week, isn’t it? First there’s the Iran deal deadline, which is theoretically tomorrow but really Thursday, the last day a deal can be submitted to Congress before its “review period” under the Corker bill goes… Continue reading Looks like this might be an interesting week

Europe needs to decide what it wants to be

I agree with Vox’s Dylan Matthews: If European lenders really cared about the European project, they’d be trying to persuade their countrymen to move closer to European super-statehood, big transfer to Greece and all, rather than punishing Greece. And the more spending and tax policy Europe takes on as a whole, the less it has… Continue reading Europe needs to decide what it wants to be

Grexit: is the prescription worth the side effects?

Usually when major events reach the level of media-driven frenzy that they get their own names, we slap together something so silly that it can actually take away from the seriousness of the situation. Here in the US, ever since the Watergate Scandal, we like to slap the suffix “-gate” onto major political scandals for… Continue reading Grexit: is the prescription worth the side effects?