Ranked: The Megaregions Driving the Global Economy

If you’ve ever flown cross-country in a window seat, chances are, the bright lights at night have caught your eye. From above, the world tells its own story—as concentrated pockets of bright light keep the world’s economy thriving. Today’s visualization relies on data compiled by CityLab researchers to identify the world’s largest megaregions. The team defines megaregions as: Areas of continuous light, based on the latest night satellite imagery Capturing metro areas or networks of metro areas, with a combined population of 5 million or higher Generating economic output (GDP) of over $300 billion, on a PPP basis The satellite imagery comes…

Stock Prices Are Plunging, and Many Fear This Could Be Another “Black October” for the Stock Market

Today, we are facing a global economic slowdown, an impeachment crisis in Washington and a rapidly escalating trade war simultaneously, and it seems like almost everyone on Wall Street is suddenly talking about “the coming recession”.  In such an environment, any piece of bad news is going to push stocks lower, and that is certainly what happened on Wednesday…

No Recession, but Big Policy Task

The economic ghouls may be disappointed that this week’s real GDP read-out for the quarter came without a minus sign. There is no hint of recession. The ‘fiscal stimulus for dummies’ book can go back on the shelf.  But one doesn’t need to be a ghoul to find plenty to worry about in the national accounts details. Although real GDP is still growing, it is not growing enough to match population growth — so real GDP per capita declined slightly in the year to the June quarter. That is another way of saying real living standards are stagnant — which…

A Brexit Britain Can Help Avert a Global Trade War

Post-Brexit the UK can lead a global move to free trade. A UK/US FTA will markedly reduce UK consumer prices and business costs, and incentivise the EU to negotiate a trade deal with the UK free of legal subjugation and annual payments. A clear Free Trade strategy from a newly elected majority government will be needed to achieve this.

Why Does the EU Go On About the ‘Integrity’ of the Single Market When It Has Been Such a Failure?

If you believed the rhetoric, you would accept that the Single Market was a great success. But the truth is that is has failed to deliver on each of the four freedoms. The European Single Market (SM) is the jewel in the crown of the ‘European Project’ with its four freedoms of movement – of goods, services, workers and capital – or so we are told.  Within the SM, all goods and services produced are supposed to satisfy a common set of regulatory standards. This ought to make it easier to export to other member states of the European Union.…

MPs Fears about the Economic Impact of ‘No Deal’ Make No Sense

Those MPs supporting Parliamentary efforts to prevent a ‘No deal’ Brexit largely avoid talking about democracy, independence, and sovereignty, where they are on weak ground. Instead they focus on the “catastrophic” economic damage they expect the UK to suffer if it leaves without a deal. But here too all the evidence suggests they are on equally weak ground Firstly, we need to stress that the very phrase ‘No Deal’ is a complete misnomer. There are already a series of mini deals in place – on issues such as trade facilitation, air travel, citizen’s rights, students, transport, security, – that would…

Brexit, Tariffs, and GATT’s Original Intent: Why a Forgotten MFN Exemption Merits a Closer Look

Exit from the EU on GATT/WTO terms is assumed to mean that the UK will find itself between a Scylla and Charybdis of either eliminating all tariffs on all countries or snapping into place tariffs on the remaining EU Member States at the same levels that the EU currently applies to the rest of the world. The most-favoured nation rule—MFN—is indeed an important tool of the world trade system, and if the UK and EU were complete strangers (and all else being equal) there is no doubt MFN would apply in that way between them, and between both of them…

Six Ways We Can Be Sure Boris Is Serious

It seems increasingly likely that the next leader of the Conservatives, and UK Prime Minister, will be Boris Johnson. On the face of it, this looks like good news for supporters of Brexit given Johnson’s record on this issue and his recent statement that the UK will leave the EU by October 31 ‘do or die’. Yet given the history of the last two years, during which the genuine Brexit envisaged at Lancaster House was watered down to the Brexit in-name-only of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement (WA), Brexit supporters should avoid euphoria and be very cautious. There were key moments…

Germany Slides towards Instability

At first blush the results in Germany for the EU elections looked like nothing of significance had happened. The media trumpeted the regression of the right. Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) 11% after polling as high as 18% in 2018 made it look like Angela Merkel had weathered the storm against her chancellorship from the right. But, in doing so, she opened herself up to attack from the Left. The combined results for the ruling coalition in Germany was only 45% with the Social Democrats (SPD) under-performing even their recent bad polling data, garnering just 15.8% of the vote. It was…

“Voices of Business”: Whose Voices, whose Businesses?

Caroline Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, recently attempted to dictate policy to the future government in the name of British business. If we were to believe the so-called voices of business, the world would be flat and the UK about to fall off the edge on Brexit day. This recent manifestation of “Project Fear” Mark III, a blatant attempt to stop Brexit by organisations and businesses which have openly declared their opposition to it, is a shocking, anti-democratic act. Some simple facts should be noted when weighing the narrow self-interest on which these interventions are based. Only 8% of UK…

Just Leave!

Through the treachery of the government and MPs, Britain is in political and economic limbo. Instead of being free to taking back control, they have handed the future of the country over to the EU… Delay, and more delay. Britain is now going to be denied independence for up to 6 months longer, a total of three-and-a-half years after voting for it. The delay could be even longer, should the EU decide. Brexit could be revoked. This political paralysis is bad for Britain. Thanks to the independence saboteurs in parliament the country cannot move forward on any of the matters…

Why Sovereignty Matters

The evolution of sovereign states around the world has been an uneven process. Some were founded on shared nationhood, language and culture. Some on lines drawn by colonial rulers. Others out of the chaos of war. But sovereign states have this in common: they are all that now stands between the peoples of the world and utter domination by the transnational monopolies that think the world is rightfully theirs to exploit. The needs of monopolies are simple. They want to be able to shift goods, factories, people and investment anywhere in the world, and they want all countries in the…

Brexit, Accountability and Reform

David Landsman asks how Brexit can help manage the challenges of globalisation and automation in a liberal way. He argues that continued EU membership could result in changes due to globalization being bulldozed through national parliaments without proper and necessary popular consideration. One of the more depressing features of the Brexit debate, especially since the referendum, is the near absence of effort to find arguments which might persuade opponents that they should reconsider their position. Much Remain rhetoric paints Leavers as xenophobes and either idiots or shameless manipulators of idiots; the other way round, Remainers are presented as arrogant elites…

A Voter’s Grand Remonstrance

How on earth, we bewildered and disenchanted voters are entitled to ask, as the futile May 23 elections take place, can the Government and Parliament have contrived to make such a mess of implementing the verdict of the Referendum of June 23 2016? And how is that the Commentariat – scribes, pundits, opinion formers and soothsayers, the cerebral elite of Newsnight – have so signally failed to analyse in the depth required how and why things have gone so wrong? The root cause of the Brexit fiasco The answer is twofold: first, in spite of formal pledges with overwhelming majorities…

Trump’s Attack on Huawei Could Shatter US Monopoly on Operating Systems

Everyone loves the Free Market until it starts working against them. In a globalized world said economic philosophy stands in the way of “Making America Great Again” as a free market pits heavily taxed American firms using expensive labour against the cost-cutting Chinese. However, the results of Protectionist moves especially Trump’s attack on Huawei could backfire. So in this battle between Free Market principles and American Greatness, US President Donald Trump has chosen the latter putting Chinese telecommunications/consumer electronics giant Huawei on a black list of “of foreign firms barred from receiving components from US exporters without a license”. This…

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