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News And Commentary

Forgoing EU benefits 'act of self-harm'

I was a diplomat for nearly 40 years, writes David Warren, and spent much of that time promoting British trade and attracting FDI. Membership of the EU single market and customs union was a magnet for the latter, and no hindrance to the former. For the UK, dispensing with these benefits would be an act of self-harm.

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Delegating power to the governors

'Unelected Power', from Paul Tucker, former Bank of England deputy governor, ranges over the risks of untrammelled growth in central bank powers after the financial crisis and the need to constrain them in a series of agency agreements fully intertwined into the fabric of elected government, writes David Marsh.

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Flexibility in allocation strategy

Low bonds yields, declining oil prices, quantitative easing, low interest rates, slow productivity growth and aging populations have led to heated debate over which asset classes public investors should pursue, writes Ben Robinson. It has also helped the shift into alternatives such as property and infrastructure.

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Privacy is big business

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation becomes law on 25 May. No company collecting and processing EU individuals' data is exempt, warns Sarah Butler. Penalties for non-compliance are up to €20m, or 4% of annual turnover. OMFIF has redefined its data-processing activities to demonstrate best practice.

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Argentina's latest IMF trial

If ever there was a country in need of IMF aid, it is Argentina, writes Desmond Lachman. The peso is in free fall, and the government's credibility has been undermined by its attempts to curb the central bank's independence. The last thing Latin America needs is for Argentina to spiral out of control.

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Lowering the Fed balance sheet

With rising inflation and a tightened labour market putting upward pressure on wage growth, it is unsurprising that some analysts expect the Fed to lift rates four times this year. At the same time, the Fed's long-term plan to shrink its unprecedently large balance sheet is in its sixth month, writes Otaviano Canuto.

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Rebels take charge of Brexit

Because of a handful of British parliamentarians, the UK's Brexit process is now more convoluted than ever, only 10 months away from the formal date of departure. Local elections in England on 3 May, which broadly confirmed the political status quo, have if anything deepened the stalemate, writes Chris Ostrowski.

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Germany's important Target-2 debate

German economists are debating what would happen to Target-2 intra-euro area imbalances if a member country left Europe's economic and monetary union. They are suggesting a framework to transform these imbalances into a collectable debt or credit that would be settled by the departing state, says Marcello Minenna.

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An OMFIF symposium looked at the necessary institutional reinforcement of Europe’s economic and monetary union in the light of political changes in France and Germany over the past 12 months. Photos include Jacques de Larosière, former Managing Director of the IMF, Elisa Ferreira, Vice Governor of Banco de Portugal and Jean-Claude Trichet, former President, European Central Bank.

Bull market has further to run


Investment Clock: Bull market has further to run

The world is experiencing one of the longest economic expansions since records began and there's no end in sight, with muted inflationary pressures keeping interest rates low. Stock markets like this not too hot, not too cold 'Goldilocks' backdrop.

Global infrastructure finance falls


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


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


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.

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Bitcoin market crash inevitable

Advisory Board

Bitcoin market crash 'inevitable'

The poll for this month focuses on the future of bitcoin. Participants were asked: ‘Will the bitcoin market crash exponentially and if so, when?’