By Paolo von Schirach May 3, 2013 WASHINGTON – I wonder whether the elected leaders of perennially weak and now impoverished Southern Europe really grasp what is going on in their own countries. They routinely talk about their totally indigenous economic troubles as if they were unexpected calamities imposed on them by insensitive and selfish Northern European partners [...]
By Paolo von Schirach April 24, 2013 WASHINGTON - Recently the WSJ provided a lengthy insight into Germany’s role in determining how the long and painful fiscal crisis affecting Southern Europe has been and will be handled. But, in fact, we already know the issues. The weak countries at Europe’s periphery, (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and [...]
By Paolo von Schirach February 17, 2013 WASHINGTON – The usually sober The Economist, after providing a scathing indictment of the Italian society and its ruling elites, (Who can save Italy?, Feb. 16 – 22, 2013), engages in the worn –and in this case almost silly– wishful thinking whereby a major challenge (fixing Italy) is [...]
By Paolo von Schirach February 16, 2013 WASHINGTON – With all its problems, due to the discovery and exploitation of new carbon based energy reserves, and to public policy that strongly favors consumers, America has a major comparative advantage vis-a-vis global competition: rock bottom electricity prices. Some of America’s competitors like Australia are energy rich. But [...]
By Paolo von Schirach February 14, 2013 WASHINGTON – Largely because of a lack of presidential leadership, for the moment Washington is incapable of reforming federal spending and taxes. But in foreign trade Obama put a major foreign trade issue on the agenda: significant further liberalization of US- EU trade to be achieved at the end [...]
By Paolo von Schirach January 27, 2013 WASHINGTON – America’s biggest problem –as the recent presidential elections have demonstrated– is that a bit more than half the country no longer believes in unfettered free enterprise as the main engine of both personal and national growth.
By Paolo von Schirach January 20, 2013 WASHINGTON – I am really worried about too much praise for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. He is described as Europe’s savior, as a genius because last Summer he bluntly said that he would do whatever is necessary to defend the Euro.
By Paolo von Schirach January 15, 2013 WASHINGTON – These days in Europe there is a far more optimistic atmosphere. It would appear that the big Eurozone crisis has been solved. No Greece exit. Italian and Spanish bond yields are back to tolerable levels. It seems that all problems, if not entirely taken care of, are now smaller and manageable.
By Paolo von Schirach December 24, 2012 WASHINGTON – With his (typically Italian) hints and hesitations as to whether he will or will not be a candidate to lead a centrist/reformist group aspiring to form Italy’s next government, Mario Monti (the outgoing, unelected Prime Minster) proved that he is not a national leader. And this [...]
By Paolo von Schirach December 9, 2012 WASHINGTON – It was expected that Mario Monti would not have a long tenure as Italy’s care taker Prime Minister. The distinguished economist is an outsider, the non political technocrat called upon a year ago by President Giorgio Napolitano to fix Italy’s finances and restore a modicum of international credibility. And [...]