Is it possible to have inflation and deflation at once, and for an extended period? Yes, it is. Since 2009 there has been a period of a secular credit deflation in the eurozone. At the same time, the ECB has pumped money into the financial system to avoid a protracted slump. Has it helped a lot?
There is no force in the whole universe which that could stop a credit deflation once it begins. Yet the inflationary policy of the ECB may have had some effect. It may be observed in the prices of stocks and property. Without the monetary inflation, both stocks and property in the eurozone would be much cheaper now.
Perhaps Yanis Varoufakis is not always perfect, but I think he is right about China. The world's most populous country has just invested too much for too long:
Source: Yanis Varoufakis
Now what happens when an economy has invested way too much?
"[Austrian economic school believes that] systemic malinvestments occur because of unnecessary and counterproductive intervention in the free market, distorting price signals and misleading investors and entrepreneurs."
This is China (and Korea) now:
That was Asia then:
Source: OECD, Asian Development Bank
A conclusion? Draw your own.
This has just captured my attention:
In my opinion, Britain has basically two options:
(a) Stay free with the complete lack of influence;
(b) Become fully subordinated with even more complete lack of influence.
Make your choice.
Thinking of Calais, that is the success of Britain's domestic welfare policy, by the way.
Two major waves of debt boosted the Greek economy from 1981 to 2008. For almost three decades, the credit growth created the pretence of prosperity.
Then the financial crisis stroke in 2008. Suddenly it turned out there was no more room for both government and private credit growth. The rest is the most recent history of failure and helplessness.
Source: World Bank
While the 1980's government debt spree is a relatively well known phenomenon (though I suspect that most Greeks and Paul Krugman conveniently forget that part of modern history), the 1998-2008 bank credit boom has been largely neglected.
Did I forget something important? Oh, yes. The huge inflow of financial transfers that formed the culture of dependency in Greece. If there's something more destructive than tanks or carpet bombing, financial transfers come to mind.
Nothing can beat thought consistency:
Have you ever been a member of a swarm? Journalists apparently can:
The more I know about people, the better I like bees, ants, and perhaps even locusts.
Meet Col. Georgios Papadopoulos, the head of the Greek military junta, which ruled Greece from 1967 to 1973.
This is the economic scorecard of the awful dictatorship:
The tyranny was followed by a democracy. What is democracy, however? According to the famous Greek classical author:
"Ultimate democracy, like unmixed and final oligarchy, is really a tyranny divided among a multitude of persons"
Yes, it is a noble idea to help immigrants from poor countries to find a better life in Europe. However, there are some difficulties with that.
First, like it or not, immigration is correlated with crime rate. There was virtually no immigration in Sweden in 1950. Now, there are lots of immigrants. And, regrettably, it shows.
Source: Brottsförebyggande rådet (Brå)
Secondly, immigrants have worse school performance than natives. In a particularly detailed study from Copenhagen, immigrant children perform significantly worse than ethnic Danes. Worse yet, second-generation immigrants (descendants) are just a tad better than the generation of their parents.
Source: Northern Lights on PISA 2003: A Reflection from the Nordic Countries (By Nordisk Ministerråd)
Thirdly, there is a notoriously high level of unemployment among immigrants. The following figures are from France. (In France, it is illegal for authorities to collect data about ethnicity, but there is an academic study available.) You may observe that there is a 35 per cent unemployment rate among African immigrants in France while "only" 16 per cent among the French with no immigrants roots.
Also note that South-East Asian immigrants perform better than French natives in terms of education.
The conclusion? There's none. Everybody knows that Europe has unlimited space and inexhaustible financial resources to support unconstrained immigration.
By far the best cartoon on Greece:
Source: Samizdata.net - do read the whole thing.
By far the best comment on Greece:
...But pleaaaaase stop calling less state spending of other people’s money “austerity”. Taxing you less and borrowing less money that you and your children are underwriting is not “austere”.
Every time you get the urge to write “austerity”, remember that is it a term the other side want you to use. Might I suggest substituting “less profligacy” or some such for an equally ideologically loaded term that they would not like you to use. (Perry de Havilland, London)
Shout it from the rooftops.
By the way, Greece does have a very expensive welfare state in case you had some doubts.
A white male with some professional experience in finance and investing.