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12 months

UK Financial Services: Opportunities and Threats Post Brexit

A Brexit deal is still no closer, but trade will not cease even if the March deadline passes. In the short-term, UK and EU economic growth will suffer. Medium-term new arrangements will hold back capital investment. Long-term, there are a host of opportunities, in time they will eclipse the threats.

12 months

Brazil Faces Significant Challenges

Uncontrolled spending and ruinous results … Brazil has been a prime example of the policy of “more is less”. Under Lula and Rousseff the country felt invincible and believed that entering into massive trade and fiscal deficits while spending on ruinous government publicity projects and subsidies would work.

12 months

Portability of Occupational Licenses?

About 25-30% of all US workers are in a job that requires an occupational license; for comparison, 10.7% of US wage and salary workers are in a union. The usual justification given for occupational licenses is that they are needed to protect the health and safety of the public. But economists going all the way back to Adam Smith in 1776 (who focused on the issue of how overly long apprenticeships limit labor market competition in Book I, Chapter 10 of the Wealth of Nations) have harbored the suspicion that they also might serve to reduce competition in the labor market and thus help those who have the license achieve higher pay.

12 months

Is The Oil Burden A Rising Problem?

While markets are becoming increasingly bullish, oil prices are close to a “warning zone” where the barrel could be one -if not the only- catalyst of a major slowdown.

12 months

Rumination: Why Not a Military War on Trade?

As President Donald Trump's trade war continues to escalate, it's perhaps worth remembering his tweet from back in March:

12 months

Corporate Debt and Leveraged Loans: Financial Snags Ahead?

It was 10 years ago in September 2008 that the worst of the financial panic crashed through the US economy. Where might the next financial crash be lurking? In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard pointed to some possible candidates. She said:

1 year

International Car Production and Ownership: Some Snapshots

Motor vehicle production and ownership is one window for looking at differences and changes in the world economy. Here are some snapshots from the Transportation Energy Data Book, produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the US Department of Energy, updated August 2018. (For the record, the book includes many more figures about energy, motor vehicles, and other types of transportation, with a primarily US focus.)