Bruno Colmant

Bruno Colmant
Bruno Colmant

How can we break out of deflation ?

13 February 2015

The real challenge in 2015 will be to avoid the economic shipwreck of the Eurozone in what is often presented as a Japanese-style deflationary scenario. Unfortunately, that scenario seems more and more plausible – prices have been going down over the past two years and the inflation rate will become negative at the beginning of 2015. Technically, of course, this could be described as disinflation rather than deflation, or as a trend towards low inflation, in order to avoid stigmatising a general fall in prices. Continue reading…

Bruno Colmant
Bruno Colmant

DEFLATION AND LOW INTEREST RATES: A THREAT TO THE BANKS

11 January 2015

The real danger lying in wait for the commercial banks is the low level of interest rates which, combined with risk limitation requirements, curbs their potential profitability. Moreover, the banks are facing major operational challenges, as they have to bear the operating costs of two retail channels (physical and digital) at a time of recession.

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Bruno Colmant
Bruno Colmant

Thomas Piketty and the money illusion

18 November 2014

In his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, the French economist Thomas Piketty gives a stunning demonstration of how capital has become concentrated in the hands of a few and grown faster than the economy, except during the 30 years of post-war growth. This trend has inevitably made the rich even richer and caused the inequality gap to widen. Labour has thus become a casualty of capital. Piketty is fascinating. I had the occasion to be a modest participant at his side in a discussion at the University of Brussels. Ever since, the conviction that I had met one of the most brilliant political economists of our time has never left me.

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Bruno Colmant
Bruno Colmant

The real crisis is about the role of government

30 October 2014

Various labels – subprime, bank lending, sovereign debt and monetary – have been used since 2008 to describe the economic crisis. Yet its scope doubtlessly extends far beyond these spheres. The crisis poses a fundamental question for society about the role of government, squeezed between unpredictable global corporations and public debt that requires refinancing to guarantee social order. Gorged on debt, governments are hostages to banking sectors, themselves prisoners of central banks that need to support private enterprise by constantly providing liquidity. Continue reading…