maandag 30 november 2009

De Belgische politiek op z'n best......

UK: Skills for Growth

Read more about this national strategy for economic growth and individual prosperity here.

The Dubai crisis

The tragedy of the black hole in Dubai’s finances is that it has dealt a blow not only to its own reputation but to that of the United Arab Emirates — and beyond that to the Arab Gulf as a whole. One might even go so far as to say that it has dealt a painful blow to the entire Arab world. Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

The Jobs Imperative

If you’re looking for a job right now, your prospects are terrible. There are six times as many Americans seeking work as there are job openings, and the average duration of unemployment — the time the average job-seeker has spent looking for work — is more than six months, the highest level since the 1930s. Read Krugman's column in the NYTimes here.

Open Source as a Model for Business Is Elusive

In many ways, MySQL embodies the ideals of the populist software movement known as open source, in which a program’s creator releases it to the world free of charge, and legions of volunteers contribute improvements that are also freely shared. Read the complete article in the NYTimes here.

"Il faut un marché du carbone mondial"

L’accord qui pourrait aboutir à Copenhague risque d’être insatisfaisant. L’essentiel est qu’il jette les bases solides d’une politique écologique mondiale.
Lisez l'article complet dans LLB ici.

vrijdag 27 november 2009

We are all Belgians now

EUROPE, it is said, must resist the temptation to become a giant Switzerland: ie, a smug, rich, insular place. But judging by the antics of European leaders as they filled two top European Union jobs on November 19th, the club faces another danger altogether: becoming a giant Belgium. Read the complete column in The Economist here.

Taxing the Speculators

Should we use taxes to deter financial speculation? Yes, say top British officials, who oversee the City of London, one of the world’s two great banking centers. Other European governments agree — and they’re right. Read Krugman's column in The New York Times here.

How little we know: the challenges of financial reform

Read this article from R. Roberts here.

donderdag 26 november 2009

Global Warming With the Lid Off

So apparently wrote Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) and one of the world's leading climate scientists, in a 2005 email to "Mike." Judging by the email thread, this refers to Michael Mann, director of the Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center. We found this nugget among the more than 3,000 emails and documents released last week after CRU's servers were hacked and messages among some of the world's most influential climatologists were published on the Internet. Read the complete opinion article in the WSJ here.

"She figures 2009" _ Statistics and Indicators on Gender Equality in Science

Read this EC report here.

Progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training - Indicators and benchmarks 2009

Read this EC report here.

Where does energy R&D come from?

How will proposed increases in energy R&D funding affect other types of R&D spending? This column provides evidence that should dampen concerns about crowding out – increased R&D in response to policies designed to enhance clean-energy innovation most likely comes at the expense of R&D in dirty-energy technologies.
Read this article from D. Popp on here.

dinsdag 24 november 2009

Merci d'avance, Yves!

FRANSTALIG BELGIE VERWELKOMT DE NIEUWE LETERME — Is er dan echt geen alternatief voor een terugkeer als premier van Yves Leterme? Natuurlijk wel, CHRISTOPHE DEBORSU kan er zo twee noemen. Maar het valt hem ook op dat geen enkele Waalse partij een veto uitsprak tegen Leterme. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Christophe de Borsu hier.

Payback time The European Union lashes out at hedge funds and private equity

WHEN a fight breaks out in a bar, you don’t hit the man who started it. You clobber the person you don’t like instead.” That is the cynical verdict of a fund-management executive on the European Union’s proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive. Even though the credit crunch was largely the fault of (highly regulated) banks, politicians seized the chance to have a pop at the unpopular hedge-fund and private-equity industries. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Europe's public finances Weighed down

THE BAD thing for politicians about good news on the economy is that they can no longer avert their eyes from the state of public finances. Figures released on November 13th showed that the euro-area economy crawled out of recession in the three months to the end of September. GDP rose by 0.4%, the first quarterly increase for more than a year. Given the scale of the downturn, the recovery is modest: GDP was still 4.1% lower than a year earlier. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

The Coming Deficit Disaster

The president says he understands the urgency of our fiscal crisis, but his policies are the equivalent of steering the economy toward an iceberg. President Barack Obama took office promising to lead from the center and solve big problems. He has exerted enormous political energy attempting to reform the nation's health-care system. But the biggest economic problem facing the nation is not health care. It's the deficit. Recently, the White House signaled that it will get serious about reducing the deficit next year—after it locks into place massive new health-care entitlements. This is a recipe for disaster, as it will create a new appetite for increased spending and yet another powerful interest group to oppose deficit-reduction measures. Read the complete column in the WSJ here.

Technology Is Stranger Than Fiction

In a time of great change, fiction can sometimes provide better understanding than facts alone. "As the pace of technological change accelerates, the job of the science fiction writer becomes not harder, but easier—and more necessary," he writes. "After all, the more confused we are by our contemporary technology, the more opportunities there are to tell stories that lessen that confusion." Read the complete column in the WSJ here.

maandag 23 november 2009

Gezondheidszorg......met name de Mexicoooo griep

Pension schemes and pension projections in the EU-27 Member States 2008-2060

Read this EC paper here.

Assurance hospitalisation trop chère ?

“Ne tirez pas sur le pianiste”, répond le secteur à Test-Achats. Et de pointer coût et vieillissement…

Lisez l'article complet dans LLB ici.

European Business: Facts and figures, 2009

Read this Eurostat publication here.

How much greenhouse gas emission abatement is enough?

Climate change will have widespread negative effects of uncertain magnitude. But this column argues that climate change is not humanity’s biggest challenge and needs to be solved without impeding economic development. It calls for a measured policy of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Read this article from R. Tol on here.

Stabilities and instabilities in the macroeconomy

Economics lacks an anchored understanding of the nature of the reality that economics is supposed to illuminate. This column, which introduces a new CEPR Policy Insight, says that instability of leverage, connectivity, and the potential instability of the price level have all been neglected in stable-with-frictions macro theory. Technical innovations will not bring real progress as long as “stability-with-frictions” remains the ruling paradigm. Meanwhile, governments are not prepared to face another crisis.
Read this article from A. Leijonhufvud on here.

Large changes in fiscal policy: taxes versus spending

Read this paper from A. Alesina and S. Ardagna here.

Commerce : selon l'OMC, la crise n'a pas déclenché de vague protectionniste

La force et la soudaineté de la crise économique auraient pu pousser les pays à renouer avec le protectionnisme. "Cela ne s'est pas produit", constate l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) dans le quatrième rapport de l'année qu'elle consacre à la surveillance des pratiques commerciales mondiales et qui a été publié le 18 novembre. Certes, il y a eu quelques branle-bas de combat douaniers dans les pays industrialisés comme dans les pays émergents. Mais l'OMC estime qu'aucun de ses membres "n'est retombé dans un protectionnisme à grande échelle et qu' il n'y a pas eu d'exemple significatif de riposte commerciale". Les restrictions aux échanges et les distorsions de concurrence n'ont pas concerné plus de 1 % des échanges mondiaux.
Le Monde, 20/11/2009
Consultez le rapport de l'OMC ici.

vrijdag 20 november 2009

Onze nietszeggende duffe grijze muis gaat Europe voorzitten....Lang leve Europa!

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

Time for the greening of global trade

To suggest that free trade is destructive is to invite controversy. But the reality is that free trade must be constrained: it encourages the unrestrained consumption of goods and services, thereby playing a negative environmental role globally.
Read this article in the FT here.

November 2009: Monthly Labour Market Monitor

Unemployment continues to rise, job vacancies remain significantly lower than a year ago and companies continue to announce more job reductions than creation.
Moreover, the outlook for the coming months remains unfavourable. However, labour markets are showing tentative signs of stabilising in some Member States, while a relative improvement in confidence among businesses and consumers, including their employment and unemployment expectations, although still pessimistic, adds support to the view that the pace of economic and labour market deterioration is easing. In this month's edition there is a special focus on the health sector as well as an update on the situation in the automotive industry, previously reported on in the February issue.
Read this EC report here.

donderdag 19 november 2009

Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service

Read the complete IZA paper here.

China's state-owned enterprises: Nationalisation rides again

Do state firms have too much power? A case in Hebei stirs debate. Read the complete piece in The Economist here.

Inventing a Better Patent System

Congress should add five amendments to existing statutes that would improve patent processing, reduce lawsuits and speed up the arrival of innovations on the market. Read the complete column in The NYTimes here.

Euro Solidarity With Eastern Europe

It's a shame that assistance efforts for the new member states are not EU-led but spearheaded by the IMF. Read Verhofstadt's opinion article in the WSJ here.

No Time to Read This? Read This

Many readers seem to think they do, based on the email response to my recent column on the importance of taking time off. Dozens asked me to recommend a time-management method that would help them get on top of their work and home duties. In response, I asked a half-dozen executive coaches to help me pick the most widely used time-management systems—not just software tools or high-tech to-do lists, but behavioral-change techniques that help people get organized, clarify thinking and increase output. Then, I tried out for a week each of the three methods they mentioned most often—including one that involved a ticking plastic tomato. Read the complete article in the WSJ here.

Evaluating the potential of solar technologies

Solar power is poised to grow into a reliable alternative energy source, promising lower carbon emissions and decreased dependence on fossil fuels. What technologies are currently jostling for leadership in the market?
Read this McKinsey article here.

The lingering effects of financial crises

Will the economic recovery be U-, V-, W-, or L-shaped? This column warns that recoveries from recessions caused by financial crises are slower than others, due to stressed credit conditions that persist even after output begins to recover. It thus recommends policies aimed at recapitalising financial institutions, resolving distressed financial assets, ensuring adequate provision of liquidity, and expediting bankruptcy proceedings.
Read the full article from P. Kannan on here.

The effectiveness of fiscal and monetary stimulus in depressions

There is one important source of information on the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal stimulus in an environment of near-zero interest rates, dysfunctional banking systems and heightened risk aversion that has not been fully exploited: the 1930s. This column gathers data on growth, budgets and central bank policy rates for 27 countries covering the period 1925-39 and shows that where fiscal policy was tried, it was effective.
Read the full article from B. Eichengreen et al on here.

Sudden financial arrest

How should governments respond to sudden failure of the financial system? This column says that it is neither credible nor desirable to refuse to assist the private sector in financial crises. It makes the case for massive provision of credible public insurance and guarantees to financial transactions and balance sheets – a financial defibrillator to respond to sudden financial arrest.
Read this full article from R. Caballero on here.

dinsdag 17 november 2009

De politiek en Het Schitterend Belgische Burgemeesterschap van .....

De Islam is een deel van Vlaanderen

Europajournalist en publicist Paul Goossens schrijft Yves Desmet een antwoord op zijn essay over het islamdebat in ons land. "Als de islamcritici vaak makelaars in angst zijn, dan zijn er ook producenten van slachtofferschap die met mooie maatschappijanalyses, waarin zelfs een grond van waarheid zit, de illusie creëren dat je niet langer verantwoordelijk zou zijn voor je eigen daden", schreef Yves Desmet zaterdag in een opmerkelijk essay. Daarin legt hij onder meer uit waarom hij Paul Goossens tot die "producenten van slachtofferschap" rekent. Goossens heeft een repliek klaar. Lees het volledige opiniestuk in De Morgen hier.

maandag 16 november 2009

gezondheidszorg.......met name slachtofferhulp.....

Indicatoren, doelstellingen en visies van duurzame ontwikkeling

Lees het vijfde rapport van het Federaal Planbureau hier.

The modest superpower

How the financial crisis could leave Europe even stronger than America. Read the complete article in Newsweek here.

«On ne tire aucune leçon de la crise de 2007»

Selon Geert Noels, Chief Economist de la société de conseil Econopolis, les banques centrales répètent les mêmes erreurs qu'en 2002 et hypothèquent sérieusement l'avenir.
Lisez l'article complet dans L'Echo ici.

vrijdag 13 november 2009

Improving Resolution Options for Systemically Relevant Financial Institutions

There are critical holes in the existing regulatory framework for handling large complex financial institutions that become impaired. This uncertainty makes it difficult for regulators to know the best way to restructure a financial institution or, indeed, whether restructuring is even feasible without enormous disruption. This Working Paper, the seventh in the Squam Lake Working Group series distributed by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies, endorses legislation that would give authorities the necessary powers to effect an orderly resolution of large complex financial institutions. As part of this authority, every such institution should be required to create its own rapid resolution plans, which would be subject to periodic regulatory scrutiny. These “living wills” would help authorities address the difficulties that might arise in a resolution. Read the complete article here.

Preventing the Next Financial Crisis

U.S. monetary and fiscal policy is currently on a course toward creating another financial crisis. History shows that without changing course, countries with high actual and expected money growth, unsustainable budget deficits, and a currency expected to depreciate wind up in a crisis. The United States should commit to reducing future inflation and lowering future budget deficits to avoid a crisis and ultimately increase economic well-being. Read the complete AEI article here.

House Health Bill’s High-Income Surcharge is Sound and Well Targeted

Read the complete report from the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities here.

Economic theory and the financial crisis - An interview with Eric Mashkin

Read the complete interview in The Browser here.

Is Posner Right? An Empirical Test of the Posner Argument for Transferring Health Spending from Old Women to Old Men

Posner (1995) proposes the redistribution of health spending from old women to old men to
equalize life expectancy. His argument is based on the assumption that women’s utility is
higher if they are married. Thus, extending the lifespan of men would benefit women. Using
life satisfaction data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), we conduct an
empirical test of this assumption. We apply a two-step estimation strategy: first, we use a
propensity score matching approach to generate a control group of non-widowed women.
The average level of life satisfaction in the control group serves as a reference to measure
the degree of adaptation to widowhood. In the second step, the life satisfaction trajectories of
both groups are estimated using penalized spline regressions. The results suggest
bereavement has no enduring effect on life satisfaction, and that falsifies Posner’s
assumption. Read the complete publication here.

Unemployment update with and without the recovery plan

Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East

As European opposition to EU membership for Turkey grows, Ankara is looking to forge closer ties to its neighbors. Turkey wants to once again become a leading power in the Middle East -- but its relationship with Israel may suffer as a result. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

Geert Wilders' One-Man Crusade against Islam

Geert Wilders wants to ban the Koran, impose a tax on headscarves and calculate the cost of immigration. The Dutch right-wing populist also plans to run for prime minister in 2011 -- and his party is currently leading in the polls. Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International Edition here.

Single market bargaining

Why a deal on tax harmonisation might not boost support for the single market. Read the Charlemagne column in The Economist here.

Health-care reform: Passing the baton

One step forward for health reform. But even if they reach the finishing line, the Democrats face trouble in next year’s mid-terms. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Pour une école de la confiance

L'avant-projet de décret est une étape positive dans la reconstruction d’une école de la confiance. Eléments de réflexion sur une plateforme durable pour la réussite scolaire. Lisez la carte blanche dans La Libre Belgique ici.

Free to Lose

Read Krugman's column on US unemployment in the NYTimes here.

donderdag 12 november 2009

In Istanbul - Islam en mensenrechten

De vergaderzaal van hotel Akgün baadt in een onbestemde tristesse. Dikke gordijnen houden het priemende zonlicht buiten, want dat zou weergaloze PowerPoint-presentaties kunnen verstoren. Over de tafels hangen lange witte kleden, met veel plooien en weelderige fronsen. Het lijkt wel een huwelijksfeest, een heel treurig weliswaar, waarbij de bruid verontschuldigd is en de bruidegom vergeet aanwezig te zijn. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Rik Torfs in de Standaard hier.

dinsdag 10 november 2009

Paranoia Strikes Deep

Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied. Read Krugman's column in the NYTimes here.

Fighting Obesity May Take a Village

Exercise more. Avoid junk food. Such common-sense health advice has proved no match against the temptations of modern life, which have sent obesity rates around the world soaring. Now, government officials in a number of countries are pursing an aggressive new strategy: enlisting entire communities to insulate people from these temptations and make healthier choices easier. Read the complete article in the WSJ here.

Een meesterlijk stukje beeldvorming

SCHIET NIET OP DE PIANIST, MEVROUW HEMMERECHTS — Op haar weblog op de nieuwswebsite van de VRT trok schrijfster Kristien Hemmerechts van leer tegen een opiniestuk van LUCKAS VANDER TAELEN dat onlangs in deze krant verscheen. Dat vindt die laatste niet kunnen. Vander Taelen wilde de multiculturele problematiek in zijn gemeente aanklagen, en nu wordt hij plots zelf als dader afgeschilderd. Lees het volledige opiniestuk van Lucas Vander Taelen hier.

vrijdag 6 november 2009


Kosten zorgleerlingen blijven stijgen, terwijl kennis over effecten beleid ontbreekt

De uitgaven voor het primair onderwijs in Nederland lopen de laatste jaren sterk op door leerlingen die extra zorgbegeleiding nodig hebben. Het aantal zogenaamde zorgleerlingen groeide van 80 duizend in 1997 naar ruim 100 duizend in 2007. Centraal in dit rapport staat de vraag wat de oorzaak is voor deze toename. Daarbij kijkt het rapport ook naar de mogelijke invloed van beleidsveranderingen hierop. De stijging van de uitgaven aan zorgleerlingen komt hoofdzakelijk door een verschuiving naar de duurdere vormen van speciaal onderwijs samen met een stijging van het aantal rugzakleerlingen. De achterliggende oorzaak is vermoedelijk voor een belangrijk deel nieuw beleid dat nieuwe gevallen aantrekt zonder dat het budget grenzen stelt aan de deelname. Tot slot, uit de inventarisatie blijkt dat weinig tot niets bekend is over de effectiviteit van het overheidsbeleid voor zorgleerlingen in termen van toekomstkansen of, breder, de maatschappelijke baten.
Lees het volledige rapport van Centraal Planbureau Nederland hier.

How to share the burden of combating climate change

Governments are bitterly divided about how advanced and developing economies should share the burdens of aggressive climate change mitigation. This column suggests a “do no harm” principle by which developing countries would be enabled to reduce their cost of mitigation to zero until they have eliminated abject poverty.
Read the full article from V.R. Joshi on here.

donderdag 5 november 2009

Lang leve de Belgische treinen!

Calomiris on historical crisis lessons

Policymakers and macroeconomists often remind us that banking crises are nothing new. This column, based on recent papers by Columbia professor Charles Calomiris, looks at the long-term record of banking crises and draws lessons for today.
Read the article from R. Baldwin on here.

dinsdag 3 november 2009

De Belgische politiemacht op z'n best!

European Economic Forecast, Autumn 2009

Read this EC report here.

Are health problem systemic? Politics of access and choice under Beveridge and Bismark systems

Read this working paper from IRDES here.

Disparities in health expenditure across OECD countries: Why does the United States spend so much more than other countries?

Read this OECD document here.

France: L'emploi des seniors désormais imposé par la loi

Pour la première fois, la loi de financement de la sécurité sociale inclut des sanctions financières à l'égard des entreprises qui ne se mobiliseraient pas en faveur de l'emploi des plus de 50 ans. Les intéressées ont peu de temps pour réagir et transformer ce qui semble être une contrainte en réelle opportunité.
Lisez l'article complet sur Novethic ici.

Crisis Compels Economists To Reach for New Paradigm

The pain of the financial crisis has economists striving to understand precisely why it happened and how to prevent a repeat. For that task, John Geanakoplos of Yale University takes inspiration from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."

The play's focus is collateral, with the money lender Shylock demanding a particularly onerous form of recompense if his loan wasn't repaid: a pound of flesh. Mr. Geanakoplos, too, finds danger lurking in the assets that back loans. For him, the risk is that investors who can borrow too freely against those assets drive their prices far too high, setting up a bust that reverberates through the economy. Read the complete article in the WSJ here.

Le grand retour de la bulle spéculative

En voulant sauver l'économie mondiale, a-t-on fait naître une nouvelle bulle qui sera à l'origine de la prochaine crise ?
Lisez l'article complet dans Le Monde ici.

Government guarantees on bank funding: Should we extend them into 2010 despite the improved bank profitability and the schemes’ distortionary effects?

In December 2009, government guarantees on the issuance of bank bonds will close to new issuance in many EU countries. This column argues that the guarantees have been effective and should be extended into 2010, despite improved market conditions and bank profitability. In doing so, governments should correct the schemes for some distortionary effects and develop a careful exit strategy.
Read the full article from A. Levy and F. Panetta on here.

maandag 2 november 2009

Recent economische ontwikkelingen in Vlaanderen (Oktober 09)

Lees het volledige rapport van de Studiedienst van de Vlaamse Regering hier.

Will the current economic crisis lead to more retirements?

Since the crisis began, the economy has shed millions of jobs. This column explains how stock, housing, and labour market fluctuations affect retirement decisions. While wealthier workers will delay retirement, a larger number of workers will be forced into retirement because of their inability to find new jobs. This increased involuntary retirement will likely exceed any work-seeking effect of diminished stock market wealth by 50%.
Read this article from C.C. Coile and P.B.Levine on here.

Disincentives from Health Reform

Read this article on Greg Mankiw's blog here.

Design and effectiveness of fiscal-stimulus programmes

The recent global recession has made the efficacy of fiscal-stimulus packages one of the most prominent policy debates in economics today. This column finds that the multiplier of defence spending falls in a range of 0.6 to 0.8 and argues that non-defence multipliers are unlikely to be larger. It says we should be sceptical when policymakers claim government-spending multipliers in excess of one and suggests tax cuts may be preferable to spending increases.
Read the full article from R. Barro and C. Redlick on here.