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    Thoughts From the Frontline, January 2012

    The Transparency Trap

    January 28, 2012

    This week we take a brief pause in our series on the choices facing the developed world to look at some items that are catching my attention. We will get back to the US next week, as somehow I think we will not solve our problems between now and next Friday, and there will be plenty left for us to talk about. So today we look at the "shift" in Fed policy, and at the balance sheets of central banks, US GDP, Portugal and the ECB, the LTRO policy, and yes, there's even a tidbit on...

    Staring into the Abyss

    January 21, 2012

    "If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change."

    – from The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

    "The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought, and that's sort of exactly the Mexican story. It took forever and then it took a night."

    – Rudiger Dornbusch

    Europe's leaders are committed to keeping both the euro and the eurozone as it is. But for it to do...

    The End of Europe?

    January 14, 2012

    One of the interesting things about being in Hong Kong is that I get to see the weekend edition of the Financial Times 12 hours early. And the headlines were not all that pleasant. As I promised last week, we will cast our eyes to Europe and ponder what is in store for Europe for the year and the next five years. And what do we read on page 2? The "ECB raps revisions to draft a fiscal pact." Seems they feel there are too many loopholes, which will make the document meaningless …...

    2012: A Year of Choices

    January 7, 2012

    Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever, 'twixt that darkness and that light.

    – James Lowell, 1845

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    – Reinhold Niehbuhr

    "Happy New Year. We enter 2012 with a...