WHEN Latvia becomes the 18th country to adopt the euro, at the start of 2014, European leaders will celebrate the occasion as an endorsement of the battered single currency, even though the Baltic state has a population of just 2m.
The government may give them something to sing about ALREADY, confides a kimono-clad hostess at Maiko, one of the pricier nightclubs in Ginza, Tokyo’s entertainment district, the efforts to revive Japan’s economy by Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister, are having a positive effect.
AMERICANS never made up a large portion of Swiss private banks’ international client base, but the price to be paid for allowing some of them to evade tax is proving to be steep—and could be ruinous for some smaller wealth managers.
IT IS a common misconception that one barrel of oil is much like another. Crude varies by viscosity from watery to almost solid, by colour from fawn to deepest black and by sulphurousness from negligible to devilish.
IT WAS perhaps only appropriate that, as the culmination of 12 years’ haggling, the negotiations on global trade rules held on the island of Bali in Indonesia on December 3rd-6th ran over time.
THIRTY years ago this week, Australia took a big economic gamble. On December 12th 1983 Paul Keating, then treasurer (finance minister), decided to float the Australian dollar.
THE 37 words inserted into the 848-page Dodd-Frank law overhauling the regulation of America’s financial institutions seemed innocent enough.
IT ALL began with a white envelope. Inside, a letter from the provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered three young economists at MIT $100,000 to spend as they wanted (those were the days).
TALK of bubbles is in the air again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit an all-time high. A loss-making technology firm (Twitter) has floated its shares on a flood of investor demand.
FINANCIAL reform is coming to China. The country’s leadership has made clear through recent pronouncements that it intends to liberalise the country’s capital account and take other measures to increase the role of market forces in the financial system.
Nigeria moves at a different speed from its neighbours THE euro crisis has put most people off currency unions.
AFTER five years of crisis and a bail-out costing over €64 billion ($87 billion), Ireland’s banks appear to be on the mend.
THE drumbeat of investigations, lawsuits and settlements in the widening scandal over the fixing of benchmark interest rates such as LIBOR has been so steady as to be almost soporific, reducing their ability to shock.
EVEN before the financial crisis, there was a lurking suspicion that bubbles were the only way listless rich economies could keep growth up and unemployment down.
An industry in chains TO WHOM do pawnbrokers turn when money is tight? On December 2nd Albemarle & Bond (A&B), a British one, put itself up for sale in the hope of staving off bankruptcy.
IF SOMETHING has not worked for five years, most people would conclude that it was broken. Tell that to the geeks managing “quant” hedge funds, who craft elaborate algorithms to profit from market movements.
Where Plato would have applied for a mortgage BANKERS have a rough time of it in Hollywood on the whole.
Padded with subsidies NOT even the most ardent reformers around Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, believed that he would dare to scrap the policy, known as gentan, under which the government has paid farmers to reduce rice crops since 1971.
GRAIN silos, oil pipelines and copper smelters are not exactly glamorous. Yet for a glorious couple of years up until mid-2008, commodities were all the rage.