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Financial Times – Michael J. Parks
Jan 042017
 
Living dangerously

The global economy is likely to grow at between 3% and 4% in 2017 adjusted for inflation and differences in exchange rates. Emerging economies, led by Asia, are likely again to outgrow advanced economies (the U.S., Europe, Japan). That’s the word from one of the world’s most respected and widely followed [continue reading . . . ]

Feb 112016
 

I can’t help but think what’s going on in global markets seems like a re-run of what happened in the fall of 2008, when Lehman Brothers failed, banks had to be bailed out and the worst recession since the Great Depression ensued. AP business writer Alex Veiga neatly sums up [continue reading . . . ]

Jan 202016
 

Who would have guessed that incomes are more unequal in Communist China than in the United States? Not me. A new report from Peking University, cited in the Financial Times, says the richest 1% of China’s households own a third of the country’s wealth. The poorest 25% own just 1%. [continue reading . . . ]

Aug 262015
 
What's the matter with China?

One of the main problems with China’s economy is that it is geared too heavily to exports and infrastructure spending, too little to domestic consumption. You can see the contrast with the U.S. in the chart. American consumers are in the driver’s seat in the U.S. Household consumption in 2014 [continue reading . . . ]

Mar 182015
 
Managed depression

Why are interest rates so low? The best answer, says Martin Wolf, principal economics columnist of the Financial Times, is that the globe’s advanced economies remain in a “managed depression.” This is the phenomenon that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has in mind when he writes and speaks about [continue reading . . . ]

May 162014
 

Worried about China’s property bubble collapsing and cratering the global economy? Relax. “China’s boom is over; but Beijing will avoid a bust.” Or so reads a headline on the back page of the May 13, 2014, issue of my favorite newspaper, the Financial Times. The column by Jay Pelosky of [continue reading . . . ]

Jul 232013
 

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are both spending heavily gearing up for shipping-container volumes vastly beyond anything they’ve handled to date. They both may be chasing pipe dreams that will prove costly to their taxpayers. Data from the Pacific Maritime Association shows that container “handle” at Tacoma peaked eight [continue reading . . . ]

Jul 152013
 

I was a newspaperman before I became, in order, a newsletter editor-publisher, then a self-trained economist and professional speaker. I still love newspapers. And not just the on-line versions. I still savor dead trees. Four newspapers thud on to my front porch on weekdays, five on Saturdays, two on Sundays. [continue reading . . . ]

The Great Unwind

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Jun 222013
 

We have not seen this movie before. We do not know how it ends. Unwinding the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programs and central banks’ near-zero interest policies (N-ZIRP), now in Year 5, were never going to be easy. But these have to be done eventually. The repression of interest rates [continue reading . . . ]

Mar 272013
 

A correspondent who heard my comments on Cyprus on KUOW’s Weekday program today asks: I am puzzled by some of your comments this morning. As I understand it, when a bank in the U.S. fails, the FDIC moves in and closes it. The accounts are protected by insurance up to [continue reading . . . ]

Jan 022013
 
Questions for 2013

Three questions that we’ll know the answers to before 2013 is over: 1. Will Steve Ballmer remain in the driver’s seat at Microsoft? He’s been responsible for day-to-day operations for more than 14 years and CEO for a nice round dozen years. During his tenure, Microsoft has missed the boat [continue reading . . . ]