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Saturday, January 12

13th Jan - Weekender: The World

US debt ceiling & the platinum coin solution, Japan's macropolitical turnaround. Europe seems a strange case of muddle through: bailout of Cyprus, Italian elections, Spain's bailout - they're all still ahead - but somehow markets are thinking that "the tide has turned". Based on what? 

Previously on MoreLiver’s:                  

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Brussels blog round-up for 5 – 11 January europp / LSE
Czechs go to the polls, France’s changing foreign policy, and is Romania a democratic inspiration?
Is Shinzo Abe the Great Keynesian Hope?

Awww, Mario, You Don’t Say …View / BB
The message coming from the ECB seems to be that the debt crisis has passed and the time for austerity is finally over. It’s not at all evident that this was ever the right approach.

The Euro-model scare tacticsFatasmihov
Regularly The Wall Street Journal writes an opinion article about the failure of the European economic model.

Confidence in European Banks Is ReturningSpiegel
There is cause for hope in Southern Europe. New numbers indicate that trust is returning to banks located in countries that have been hit hardest by the euro crisis. But even as discrepencies in the Continent's Target2 payment system shrink, danger still lurks.

Cyprus Bailout Could Fail in German ParliamentSpiegel
The urgently needed bailout of the Cypriot banking industry is in danger of being vetoed by the German parliament. The opposition Social Democrats say they are leaning towards voting no, according to a media report. With Chancellor Merkel unable to rely on her own majority, that could be bad news for Cyprus and for the euro.

Awww, Mario, You Don’t Say …View / BB
The message coming from the ECB seems to be that the debt crisis has passed and the time for austerity is finally over. It’s not at all evident that this was ever the right approach.

German Foreign Minister Urges Britain to Stay in EUSpiegel
European politicians are nervously awaiting a speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron that they hope will clarify his stance on the country's position in the European Union. Germany's foreign minister is already warning against efforts by the euroskeptic wing of his party to make an exit.

Inequality and adjustment in Europebruegel

Poverty gap widens between member stateseuobserver
The economic crisis is contributing to a widening poverty gap between member states, the European Commission has said.

Establishing a genuine single market for services could generate significant growth across the EUeuropp / LSE

EU-funds: Spending still hard to controlDe Standaard / presseurop
Despite all the promises of transparency, European funds are still being used improperly by companies and member states, while fraud and misuse remain difficult to detect and rarely punished.

Banking union for non-EA countriesbruegel

European separatism is not a 2013 riskThe A-list / FT
As the redesign of Europe churns along in 2013, some still fear that one or more eurozone states will take its leave. Others warn that individual European states will soon crack from within, as less familiar flags appear in places such as Catalonia, Scotland and Flanders. There are separatist pressures building within Spain and the UK, and Belgium’s unity remains fragile as well. But, at least for 2013, there is less to these warning signs than meets the eye. In fact, European separatism is one of 2013’s most important red herrings.

Portugal: Rethinking the State—Selected Expenditure Reform OptionsIMF

Goldman On The Debt Ceiling: "It's Different This Time"ZH

The platinum-coin optionThe Economist
A crackpot idea to circumvent America’s debt ceiling gains currency

How the platinum coin could work (or backfire)CNNMoney
Mohamed El-Erian: The unusual move of minting a large platinum coin might shock politicians
into cleaning up the fiscal mess. But the rest of the world may see it as inflationary.

On The Disruptiveness of the Platinum CoinTim Duy’s Fed Watch
The platinum coin idea was ultimately doomed to failure because neither the Federal Reserve nor the Treasury could allow for even the remote possibility it might be successful.  Its success would not just alter the political dynamic by removing thedebt ceiling as a threat.  The success of a platinum coin would fundamentally alter the conventional wisdom about the proper separation of fiscal and monetary policy and the need to control the debt immediately. 

CredibilityKrugman / NYT
Ah. Charles Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed is against the platinum coin, which he says “doesn’t solve any real problem” and would hurt our credibility.

Meet the Genius Behind the Trillion-Dollar Coin and the Plot to Breach the Debt CeilingWired
 It was a December 2009 Wall Street Journal article that ultimately inspired the Georgia lawyer known online as “Beowulf” to invent the trillion-dollar coin.

Fed Officials Present Dueling Views of PolicyWSJ
Two regional central bank presidents offered dueling views about whether the Federal Reserve is doing too little or too much.

Fed’s Plosser: Platinum Coin Not Worth Risk to CredibilityWSJ
The “mint the coin” gang doesn’t have a friend in Philadelphia Fed chief Charles Plosser.

Question #1 for 2013: US Fiscal PolicyCalculated Risk
If we just stay on the current path - and the "debt ceiling" is raised, and a reasonable agreement is reached on the "sequester", and the “continuing resolution" is passed - I think the deficit will decline faster than most people expect over the next few years.

Japan’s economyThe Economist
Can a fiscal and monetary splurge reboot Japan’s recessionary economy?

Worthwhile Japanese InitiativeKrugman / NYT
Shinzo Abe has taken Japan off in a surprisingly Keynesian direction. Noah Smith points out, again, that he’s probably doing it for disreputable reasons, mainly old-fashioned LDP pork-barrel (katsu barrel? tofu barrel?) politics. But this may not matter.

Is Japan the Country of the Future Again?Krugman / NYT

China's economic improvement is becoming visible in global marketsSober Look