Practicing Problems

Economists will long debate just how much of this disastrous performance was down to the man running the Treasury.

Super-bull on the rampage

But could the blockbuster be released soon? Speaking after the council meeting, Mr Draghi gave no clear commitment (contrasting with earlier occasions such as in May when he dropped the heaviest of hints of action the following month). However, the overall tenor of his remarks seemed to suggest that such a programme may be drawing closer despite German opposition and possible legal challenges. The lack of action disappointed markets, the more so given the sombre picture that the ECB’s boss painted of the euro area’s prospects.

Coming soon?

None of the downside risks of recent years have been sufficient to derail the recovery, nor will the supposed downside risks of next year... [M]y probability of recession in the next twelve months: 0%. I would place similar odds on the following twelve months as well... Perhaps, just perhaps, the US economic expansion has been consistently undersold, and continues to be undersold. It is worth considering that maybe it is time to just accept the good news without the desperate search for every dark cloud. Have we all been too pessimistic about the American economy?

China's $6.8-trillion hole?

This is the startling claim made by two Chinese government researchers that has, understandably,  caused quite   a stir . If true, it would mean that fully 37% of Chinese investment since 2009 was wasted on building bridges to nowhere and homes with no one in them. There is, without question, plenty of worrying evidence that Chinese investment has become less efficient in recent years. But a closer look at how the researchers produced the $6.8 trillion figure badly damages their claim.

Why so glum?

The CEHMB is in the same mould as the "Cambridge History of Capitalism" (CHC), which we reviewed a few weeks ago .

A grander tour

China’s stockmarket has surged 21% in the last ten trading days, and that is building on a 20% rally over the previous four months.