Unequal world: enormous gulf in incomes between countries and regions

Brilliant graphic from the OECD showing the disparity in disposable incomes between different regions. As you can see, disposable incomes in the richest region of Paris (Ile de France) are roughly in line with the lowest-paid region of the United States.
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Limited liability is the real issue with banks

Steve Cecchetti at the Bank for International Settlements hits the nail on the head in this speech on financial regulation [pdf]:

The fundamental problem is that the private interests of banks and bankers can diverge from those of society at large. This is especially true when it comes to the stability of the system and the direct or indirect burden on taxpayers. The source of this conflict is … Continue Reading ››

Did David Cameron just divulge tomorrow’s GDP figures?

The Prime Minister caused a bit of a stir earlier today by apparently hinting that tomorrow's GDP figures might be positive. In Prime Minister's Questions David Cameron said "the good news will keep on coming". Apparently some traders ended up making a turn on his comments. As you can see from this chart of the 10-year government bond rate, markets did firm up a bit in the wake of his … Continue Reading ››

Sir Mervyn’s smackdown for Lord Turner

An interesting speech from the Bank of England Governor tonight – including, for the first time in a long while, a suggestion that the economy might well be starting to bounce back. But what most stands out from Sir Mervyn King’s speech in Cardiff was a pretty direct slap-down to Lord Turner, the FSA chairman who is vying to replace him as Governor. Lord Turner, you might recall, made a … Continue Reading ››