On April 10, General Electric, which for 123 years has been one of America's best known and most highly respected companies, announced a radical return to its basic industrial roots.
Over the past few decades while the economic power of the Chinese has grown exponentially, many observers have been surprised by the relative willingness of China to operate within the financial and economic framework established by the dominant Western order.
It is not just the level of the euro's fall, but also the speed of its fall which can prove to be so challenging. Even U.S. companies have been given little opportunity to hedge their euro-denominated revenues.
In the closing months of 2014, Germany faced a difficult dilemma. Although its own economy was holding up well, incoming data showed that the rest of the Eurozone was rapidly slipping into recession.
Like many of the important discussions in the economic world today, the negotiations between Greece and its European creditors has become increasingly absurd.
Lost in this discussion is that modern Greece, formed in 1830, has never really been required to stand on its own. Generations of support from abroad, typically given for strategic reasons, has created a false sense of prosperity in the country.
Most of the so-called developed world has followed the U.S./UK-led 'Anglosphere' in pursuit of Keynesian economics, focusing on consumption-based economic growth that can supposedly be stimulated by currency debasement.
Most of the so-called developed world has followed the U.S./UK-led 'Anglosphere' in pursuit of Keynesian economics. On the other hand, the Germans and the Swiss have long been seen as the champions of Austrian economics, which favored an economic growth based on savings, production and sound money.
Even if we estimate that real inflation is currently 3%, then our "normal" rate of interest should be around 5%. This is some 50 times the rate paid currently on most bank deposits. This gap is distorting the economy in untold ways.
Late last year, with the U.S. economy experiencing falling unemployment and seemingly low inflation, observers were extremely confident that the Federal Reserve would move judiciously in 2015 to restore 'normal' interest rates sooner rather than later.
Despite falling oil prices, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) voted on November 27th not to cut production in order to boost prices. The key to this decision appears to have been the attitude of Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the unelected European Commission demanded that the United Kingdom pay an additional $2.8 billion to fund the European Union.
On September 26th, the English Parliament voted to join the U.S.-led bombing of ISIL, at least in Iraq. The news was received with relief by most in the Anglosphere world and throughout Europe. However, very little regard has been paid to the relative benefits and costs.
Last weekend several polls emerged that shockingly forecast Scottish independence from Great Britain is within the realm of political possibilities.
The ramifications of Scottish independence go far beyond national pride and historical score settling. Watchers of the global economy should be aware of the potentially serious follow-on results.
Unlike Iraq, the Ukraine threatens major power conflict which could hurt badly the EU, the dollar, and the slowing global economy. Meanwhile, thin financial markets, fed by central banks with cheap easy money, continue to climb. Investors may ponder for how long.
In light of the increasing evidence that Keynesian monetary stimulation is failing to ignite meaningful improvement in the broad economy, central banks may be tempted to create even more synthetic money.
On August 28th while the geographical area formerly known as Iraq descended further into chaos, President Obama announced to the world "We don't have a strategy, yet." A few days later, another brave American journalist was brutally beheaded...
The current stock market is earning a deserved reputation as being coated in Teflon. Bad or disappointing news just doesn't appear to stick, and has done nothing to slow the market's upward trajectory.
The current situation in Iraq is a modern tragedy. But in more practical terms it is a very stark illustration of the folly of central planning and the limits of state power in the face of entrenched traditions and proven history.