"The gradual improvement in credit conditions that was evident earlier in the year seems to have come to a halt in recent months. And financial markets more generally have been volatile. In part that is because continuing concerns about the ability of some countries to achieve necessary fiscal consolidation are affecting confidence in the ability of banks to repair their balance sheets. More fundamentally, the key underlying causes of the crisis – in terms of the imbalances in global demand – have still not been tackled. Those imbalances are likely to be larger this year than last, and will probably still be around three-quarters of their level at the peak immediately prior to the crisis. Until these underlying problems are resolved, uncertainty about the outlook for the world economy will remain."(FT Alphaville provides comment)
- Flooding in China pushes the Three Gorges dam ever closer to capacity
- Does happiness affect productivity? Yes. Quality? Not really.
- In praise of Dark Ages
- Catalonia bans bullfighting. Good. I attended a bullfight in Madrid recently - I arrived with what I had hoped was an open mind, willing to make an effort to appreciate this part of Spanish culture. I was left disgusted by what is, essentially, ritualized slaughter for the sake of entertainment. Don't get me wrong: I was impressed by the matadors themselves. Bullfighting clearly requires a great deal of skill and cajones. But so did being a gladiator in ancient Rome. The Italians gave up their bloodthirst many centuries ago. Maybe it's time Spain did the same.