Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

European Daily Catch: Know Your Consumers

by Rebecca Wilder European Daily Catch: Know Your Consumers Today’s European Daily Catch compares the aggregate implications of the reported January 1-point rise in French household confidence to the reported January stabilization of Italian consumer confidence. Specifically, French consumers could be ‘happier’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re spending more, while Italian household confidence translates rather […]

Japan’s Lopsided Financial Balances

by Rebecca Wilder Japan’s Lopsided Financial Balances Tim Duy and Paul Krugman discuss the merits and failures of Japanese policy. The sectoral snapshot of the economic financial balances shows that Japanese policy was indeed a success but also a failure. First, policy was a success, given the private sector was recuperating from the bursting of […]

Ratings Matter for the Euro Area

As you all have heard, Friday was (again) S&P’s day in the limelight. The rating agency downgraded over half of the 16 Euro area countries put on credit watch negative in December 2011. A quick look at my feed shows several takes on S&P’s action: the Economist’s Free Exchange comments on the now soft-core country, […]

What is a safe asset?

by Rebecca Wilder What is a safe asset? Last month, David Beckworth at Macro and Other Market Musings had some interesting thoughts on the global shortage of safe assets. His essay got me thinking about what is a safe asset? Beckworth alludes to three definitions of ‘safe’: (1) a credit being AAA-rated, (2) satisfying a […]

European Daily Catch: Unemployment and Retail

by Rebecca Wilder European Daily Catch: Unemployment and Retail Global labor reports prevailed today, but the US employment report took center stage. I’ll not comment on that report, so as to keep with my generally all things European theme here at The Wilder View. However, a quick sift through my feed reveals rather cynical takes: […]

Fractional Money Multipliers

by Rebecca Wilder Fractional Money Multipliers Money multipliers – the stock of money divided by a measure of base money (generally reserves plus currency in circulation) – are dwindling to fractions of what they used to be. FT Alphaville draws our attention to this fact on the Euro area (EA) using SocGen’s analysis. The money […]

Merry Christmas!

by Rebecca Wilder Merry Christmas! Here’s a nice little model I discussed in 2007: The Economics of Christmas! Hope that you enjoy; I do. (This commentary was written in my more ‘academic days’ when I was inundated with models of theoretical macro.  As you have no doubt noticed, I’ve gone the applied financial route since […]

The Broad Sovereign Downgrade

by Rebecca Wilder The Broad Sovereign Downgrade Recently I’ve spent time thinking about global bond investors, especially those conservative investors that stick with the high-quality sovereigns. I’ve got news for them: the share of high-quality investment grade sovereigns – BBB- and above is investment grade – is shrinking. Some bullet points comparing ratings in December 2007 […]

EA Infernal Devaluation Progressing

by Rebecca Wilder EA Infernal Devaluation Progressing The EU answer to rebalancing portfolio and trade flows within the Euro area (EA) without currency devaluation is recession and deflation. They call this ‘internal devaluation’ – shifting relative prices by reducing domestic demand in the debtor countries, thereby shifting the terms of trade. Marshall Auerback calls it ‘infernaldevaluation’. […]

EA Spreads: Why Should the Trend Change?

By Rebecca Wilder  EA Spreads: Why Should the Trend Change? They changed the title; but originally the NY Times reported “Euro Zone Agrees to Reinforce Maastricht Rules“.  That’s exactly what EA policy makers agreed to last week – not much to bring home. The real shift in policy came from the ECB. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard highlights […]