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News And Commentary

UK and German debt management lessons

Britain and Germany can draw similar lessons, from the macroeconomic and financial viewpoints, from two decades of running debt management offices. That was the message from an OMFIF discussion between Robert Stheeman and Tammo Diemer, heads of the UK and German debt management offices.

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German fight over Schäuble largesse

Talks in Germany on renewing the CDU/CSU-SPD coalition will determine more than Angela Merkel's future, writes David Marsh. While cautious about setbacks, the SPD is tempted by a chance to spread across Europe an estimated €60bn of budgetary largesse amassed at the finance ministry under Wolfgang Schäuble.

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Japan-China financial co-operation

Enhanced co-operation between China and Japan is likely to be one of the prime trends to follow this year, write Adam Cotter and David Marsh. For President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Donald Trump's shift towards unilateralism is an incentive to identify shared interests and improve regional ties.

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Austerity fails to eliminate UK deficit

Seven years of austerity have failed to eliminate Britain's budget deficit. Growth has suffered. Real incomes have shrunk. History warns against going for growth, but it may be worth the risk. Austerity depresses demand, but increased demand could raise prices more than production, writes Brian Reading.

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The end of Greek bail-outs

After almost eight years under European Union and International Monetary Fund bail-out programmes, there is reason for optimism in Athens, writes Joergen Oerstroem Moeller. At the end of December Greek legislators approved the country's first 'normal' budget since the onset of the European debt crisis.

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German industry must influence Brussels

On Tuesday the UK's Philip Hammond and David Davis wrote a newspaper article aimed at German industry, writes Hans-Olaf Henkel. Berlin has delegated the Brexit strategy to Michel Barnier, who does not represent the business community's interests. Germany should urge Brussels to support UK demands.

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Coalition doubts in Berlin

The German economy has been effectively decoupled from political confusion in Berlin – but doubts are rising on how long this will last, writes David Marsh. Firm policy action to increase Germany's underlying growth rate is likely to be lacking unless a new and economically resolute government is formed soon.

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Switzerland collateral victim of Brexit

Brussels has said Switzerland's practice of trading EU company shares on its Zurich and Bern bourses will be acceptable to the EU only for a further 12 months, writes Denis MacShane. Swiss MPs argue Brussels does not want to see any concessions made to Bern that can be cited as precedent in later Brexit talks.

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Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

The launch of the Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index in Ghana. Panellists included George Asante, head of markets at Barclays Africa Group, and Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist at OMFIF.

Global infrastructure finance falls

OMFIF Chart

Global infrastructure finance falls

Global infrastructure financing has fallen short of its potential.Private sector investment and institutional investor capital are often raised as possible solutions for filling the infrastructure funding gap.

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

OMFIF Chart

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

Productivity and economic growth continue to disappoint in most countries. Although analysts show a great deal of concern for the so-called 'productivity puzzle', little attention is paid to the real solution: freer markets and increased competition.

Bull markets don't die of old age

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Bull markets don't die of old age

Stock prices have been rising for more than eight years, but bull markets don't die of old age. There are few signs of the excessive growth, valuation or financial leverage that usually signal the approach of a bear market. With interest rates below inflation, it is unsurprising that money continues to flow into markets.

Euro area strength and the future of QE

OMFIF Chart

Euro area strength and the future of QE

The ECB's QE programme has played an important role in supporting economic recovery in the euro area. GDP across the currency union grew by 2.2% year-on-year according to the latest data for the second quarter of 2017, unemployment is down, and the threat of deflation has receded.

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Race for survival between western leaders

Advisory Board

Race for survival between western leaders

This month's advisers network poll focuses on the future leadership of Germany, UK and US. Members of the network were asked: 'Who will stay in office longer — Theresa May, Donald Trump or Angela Merkel?' Those who responded to the poll are split 50% between Merkel and Trump, though unfortunately for May not a single member voted for her.