Italy gets a government that surely cannot last, led by a ‘left-wing’ politician whose uncle is the chief of staff to Silvio Berlusconi. Front up a younger guy and put more women in the cabinet so the Germans think we’ve grown up, seems to be the plan. FT (sub needed) has a sensible leader about how political reform may be the only way to unlock the door to economic reform.
Meanwhile, in The Guardian Simon Hattenstone writes about his long correspondence with Amanda Knox, who faces a retrial for failing to be guilty of murder when everybody in Perugia knows she’s a witch.
In Spain, Almodovar has a new movie out about his country’s economic crisis. It sounds dark, funny and uplifting — whereas Italy has become shallow, unfunny and boring.
I quite like Krugman’s habit of leavening his blog with some decent music. And he has this very funny take-down of the Reinhart-Rogoff controversy over the relationship between debt and GDP from Colbert (you may need a VPN set to the US to view this). The theme of picking your data points to fit the hypothesis you already decided on is entirely consistent with what How Asia Works describes happening in World Bank reports about east Asian development in the 80s and 90s. Harvard, eh? Martin Wolf (sub needed) has a nice reminder of British industrial revolution history when debt was twice GDP. The best thing in How Asia Works on the non-linear relationship between debt and GDP growth is the financial history of South Korea, set out in Part 3. South Korea was more indebted than any Latin American state in the 1970s and 1980s but, unlike them, didn’t go bust because of what the debt was spent on.
If you are in London, this is superb. And very much on the theme of development.
Need more mirth?
Have a look at the curious tale of the Management Today review of How Asia Works…