A+ A A-

Toma nota.../Take note...

A dangerous gap: US Financial markets have got out of whack with the Economy

The Economist looks at the dangerous gap between America’s stockmarket and the economy. In the past few weeks a gut-wrenching sell-off in shares has been followed by a delirious rally. Between February 19th and March 23rd, the S&P 500 index lost a third of its value. With barely a pause it has since rocketed, recovering more than half its loss. At one level, this makes good sense. Asset managers have to put money to work as best they can. But there is something wrong with how far stock prices have moved. American shares are now higher than they were in August, suggesting that the economy can get back to business as usual. There are countless threats to such a prospect, starting with how far the rosy view on Wall Street is from life on Main Street, where people are out of work, small businesses are struggling to get cash and there is the ever-present threat of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Markets vs the real Economy  

May 7.– Stockmarket history is packed with drama: the 1929 crash; Black Monday in 1987, when share prices lost 20% in a day; the dotcom mania in 1999. With such precedents, nothing should come as a surprise, but the past eight weeks have been remarkable, nonetheless. A gut-wrenching sell-off in shares has been followed by a delirious rally in America. Between February 19th and March 23rd, the s&p 500 index lost a third of its value. With barely a pause it has since rocketed, recovering more than half its loss. The catalyst was news that the Federal Reserve would buy corporate bonds, helping big firms finance their debts. Investors shifted from panic to optimism without missing a beat.

This rosy view from Wall Street should make you uneasy (see article). It contrasts with markets elsewhere. 

Add a comment Leer más...

The compelling obligation to accept our environmental and planetary responsibilities

Many do not pay heed to global warming. They even deny that there is such global warming - "Look at the great snowfall! Look at how cold it is!", they say in winter. Others flaunt their scientific wisdom and proclaim that warming is natural as part of the planet's climate cycles. Indeed, there are climatic cycles and there always have been: ice ages and heat ages (that we may call in our times the "greenhouse age"); and it is even known that there have been mini cycles in the midst of the respective ages.

Natural climatic cycles take many thousands of years to develop and mini cycles take many hundreds of years to develop. What we are experiencing is a global warming that is taking decades and not centuries or millennia. Our civilization cannot cope with such an accelerated change.

And we are responsible for the tremendous acceleration of the natural cycle due to the acute mistreatment to our environment promoted by the abuse and neglect of human beings who are also causing progressive deforestation and the resulting desertification that is swallowing huge territories.

On the left we have a map that shows (in white) more than half the Earth's surface covered by deserts or whole regions that are experiencing increasing aridity to become deserts. And this image is from 8 years ago. It is much worse now. In dark green we see some small sectors where reforestation efforts were being made, but they are not constant to at least partially recover some forests. The places where forests are being destroyed are highlighted in red.

Add a comment Leer más...

EU finance ministers take urgent action to face the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic

The situation is urgent and a full economic depression is looming in the horizon. EU finance ministers advanced their April 23 projected meeting and met this Thursday to agree on a rescue plan for Europe's hardest-hit nations. Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank, said it was "vital" that ministers hatch a plan big enough to meet the challenge.

EU ministers make breakthrough on coronavirus economic response 

  • Finance ministers of eurozone countries reached an "excellent accord" on fighting the pandemic-triggered recession. Europe has proven itself to be "a match" for the crisis, said French representative Bruno La Maire.

April 10.– After hours of talks on Thursday, representatives of 19 eurozone countries agreed to make €500 billion ($547 billion) available “immediately” to stimulate the EU economy as it struggles with the economic fallout of the ongoing pandemic.

Add a comment Leer más...

Corruption effects on the Economy

The World Economic Forum reported in 2015 on the dire effects of corruption on the Economy of developing countries, but of industrialized countries as well. It reasserted the fact that corruption is considered a strong constraint on growth and development. In fact, the WEF clasified corruption as "the hidden tax on global growth" and defined corruption in a much broader scope than is recognized by most people. They concluded that "rather than merely being a transaction between two parties, as one panelist put it, corruption can be viewed as «the privatization of public policy.» Powerful elites in business and politics collude to control public institutions, capture the policy-making process, and monopolize government contracting and procurement."

That is precisely what Ukraine is trying to solve.

 Success in Ukraine Energy Company: Less State Intervention and Zero Tolerance for Corruption

Kiev, March 20.– Since 2014 when Andriy Kobolyev was appointed as CEO of state-owned Ukrainian oil and natural gas company Naftogaz, the company turned around annual losses of $6.5 billion to annual profits of $8.5 billion, accounting for 8 percent of the country’s revenue.

Kobolyev explained during an interview at the Atlantic Council on March 3 that this success can be attributed to a new business model that the new management team under his leadership implemented. First, the company broke its dependency on Russian gas that was sold at prices higher than the fair market price.

Add a comment Leer más...

Covid-19 y la crisis catastrófica que se cierne sobre el Estado español

El gobierno socialista español no parece estar asumiendo su tradicional papel populista de largueza presupuestaria "a favor del pueblo" en estos momentos de crisis exacerbada por una peligrosa epidemia que amenaza dislocar la economía, caer en una violenta recesión y llevar a amplios sectores del país a la miseria. Algunas medidas encaminadas a paliar la catástrofe han comenzado a aplicarse desde el 12 de marzo, pero son tardías y todavía insuficientes.

Las medidas tributarias frente a la crisis: inefectivas y totalmente insuficientes

Madrid, Marzo 20.– Desde el día 7 de marzo el Gobierno ha aprobado cuatro normas Reunión de emergencia–dos con rango de Real Decreto y otras dos con rango de Decreto-ley– en las que se adoptan distintas medidas para responder al impacto económico de la crisis causada por el COVID-19.

A pesar de esta avalancha legislativa, expresión de un Gobierno desbordado y desnortado, que va muy por detrás de una crisis de consecuencias incalculables, llama poderosamente la atención la resistencia del Ejecutivo a adoptar las medidas tributarias que la situación exige.

Add a comment Leer más...

Market Overview