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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Political extremism in the interwar period and its economic roots

Russell Kincaid (Senior Member, St Antony's College, Oxford)

Lenin wrote, “No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses.” This statement was addressed by Professor Kevin O’Rourke (All Souls College) at PEFM’s penultimate Michelmas seminar on November 25, 2013. In a lively session chaired by Professor Paul Betts (St. Antony’s College), Professor O’Rourke presented empirical analysis on interwar voting patterns using economic and non-economic variables based his recent joint article in the Journal of Economic History. Dr. Othon Anastasakis (St. Antony’s College), as the discussant, asked probing questions and drew modern parallels.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Restructuring the Greek debt

Heraclitus writes:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...'  That pretty much captures the composite picture of the Greek debt restructuring, as it emerged from the PEFM seminar on November 11th. Jeromin Zettelmeyer of the EBRD presented; Jens Bastian of ELIAMEP (formerly on the EU Greek Task Force) discussed; and Russell Kincaid (St Antony's College, formerly IMF) guided the animated debate that followed.

Maybe you needed a shot of Mediterranean coffee to keep on top of all the issues: the contested valuations; the debt projections; the inter-creditor fights... But Jeromin Zettelmeyer shed fresh analytic light on all these facets, and in so doing he laid the foundations for some rather important new findings about the Greek debt restructuring and its implications for the future.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Restoring Euro Area confidence

Adam Bennett (Senior Member, St Antony's College, Oxford)

In the second session of PEFM’s Michaelmas seminar series, on Monday, October 21, the spotlight shifted from UK banking reform to the problems of the Euro Area. Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), gave a comprehensive presentation of how he saw progress towards restoring confidence in the Euro since the onset of the Euro Area crisis in 2009. Regling conceded that the various European authorities had perhaps not done the best job in reacting to the crisis—that many measures had been ad hoc and too late—but he insisted that there was and remains a coherent strategy. Moreover, he believed that this strategy was working.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Banking reform five years on

Adam Bennett (Senior Member, St Antony's College, Oxford)

On Monday, October 14, PEFM’s Michaelmas term seminar series got off to a flying start with an extremely interesting presentation by Professor Sir John Vickers, Warden of All Souls College and former Chairman of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB).  Professor Vickers summarized and explained some of the key findings of the ICB (which were published in September 2011), elements of which have since been incorporated into the Financial Service (Banking Reform) Bill currently progressing through Parliament, and outlined the features of ongoing deliberations. While his presentation can be followed on PEFM’s forthcoming Podcast of the seminar, what follows is an attempt to extract the essence of his message.