Prieur’s readings (September 26, 2009)

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This post provides links to a number of interesting articles I have read over the past few days that you may also enjoy.

Bénassy-Quéré, Kumar and Pisani-Ferry (RGE Monitor): G20, Not G7, September 25, 2009.
A striking outcome of the global financial crisis has been the substitution of the G7 for the G20 as the key forum for international coordination. There is something like a paradox in such substitution since the agenda of G20 meetings has so far focused on financial regulation issues, which are of more concern for G7 than for non-G7 G20 countries. Indeed, it has so far been much more specific on financial regulation than on trade, global imbalances or the reform of Bretton Woods institutions, where the views of non-G7 G20 countries are highly needed.

WSJ Blogs – Real Time Economics: Marc Faber takes on Krugman, links Bernanke and Mugabe, September 25, 2009.
Mr. Faber suggested Mr. Krugman’s piece, entitled “How Did Economists Get it So Wrong,” missed the mark. There wasn’t “a single word about excessive credit growth” in Mr. Krugman’s article, he said. “He should have written ‘How did I get it so wrong?'”

Economist.com: Liquid fuel, September 24, 2009.
Investors are betting on a vibrant recovery. With returns on cash so low, they have little choice.

Jennifer Hughes (Financial Times): Yield curve watchers divided over bank power, September 25, 2009.
Yield curves have a Cassandra quality. But their enviable signaling record suggests that investors ignore them at their peril.

Global CFO Survey (Duke University News): Economy bottoming out, but lethargic recovery ahead, September 16, 2009.
CFO optimism continues to increase, with US CFOs rating the overall economy at 56 on a scale of 1-100 (compared with 52 last quarter). Internationally, Asian CFOs rated their optimism at 68 (63 last quarter), Chinese CFOs at 71 (70 last quarter), and European CFOs at 52 (47 last quarter).

Foundation for Economic Education The Distress Index (A better “Misery” Index), September 18, 2009.

Roben Farzad (BusinessWeek): Searching for true north, September 24, 2009.
Well-intentioned people can disagree over the Great Recession’s place in history. In one important sense, though, the chaos of the past 18 months has been unprecedented. It has shattered deeply held beliefs about the basic functioning of the stock and bond markets and left the best minds in finance – to say nothing of ordinary people – grasping for explanations. Investing gauges are broken, market signals are mixed, and money managers don’t know where to turn. What exactly is the “new normal”?

Geoff Dyer (Financial Times): The dragon stirs, September 24, 2009.
Turn on the television news next Thursday and on display will be the sort of images from China that used to capture the imagination in the days of the Soviet Union. Dozens of tanks will roll down Beijing’s main avenue and past Tiananmen Square, followed by immaculate ranks of goose-stepping soldiers. The occasion will be the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, an event allowing the country’s leaders to show off their rapidly advancing military prowess at a time when its economy is leading others out of recession. If the Beijing Olympics last year were a chance to demonstrate how successful China has become, the October 1 parade will provide enduring images of its growing power.

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