After Syriza’s victory in Greece, investors are fretting that Spain’s “We Can” party could derail reform plans and fiscal discipline. They needn’t worry. The Podemos target is the demon of corruption. Even if the movement has already peaked, it has done the country a service.
The states of India need a break. They have lived with spending curbs that New Delhi has never accepted for itself. But this has bred angst. The upcoming budget is a chance to boost regional spending even as the federal government cuts back. The rebalancing will spur GDP growth.
Fringe movements may fuel dangerous populism. But new political parties sometimes offer a healthy response to the intellectual bankruptcy of the established order. Greece’s Syriza government could yet demonstrate how a reworked left can reinvigorate finance and the job market.
A resounding election victory for the radical left party has pushed Greece closer to quitting the euro zone. But Syriza should be able to cut a deal with the country’s European creditors to avoid bankruptcy – provided both sides are rational.
It’s easy to see why the rich and powerful in Davos are concerned about geopolitical risk. The world looks more dangerous and violent than a year ago. But a financial system that’s so little changed since the crisis poses a closer threat to global order and prosperity.
The widening gap between the Capital Class and the rest threatens global prosperity. Ford was a pioneer at voluntarily paying employees more, as U.S. insurer Aetna did last week. The great American auto entrepreneur would also have applauded Obama’s plan to tax workers less.
Inequality is a global problem trapped in dysfunctional national debates, and the numbers often confuse. It is easier to cut wealth than reduce poverty. But rich and poor countries have options to do both.
The carmaker’s swift bankruptcy sparked less soul-searching than the process of determining who died from faulty ignitions. Bringing Ken Feinberg in will go down as CEO Mary Barra’s smartest decision. She should go a step further and memorialize the dead in the lobby of GM’s HQ.
If Syriza wins the coming election, the radical-left group will have to come to terms with the country’s euro zone creditors rapidly. Otherwise, by end-February, the state’s cash will run out and the ECB will no longer provide a lifeline to Greek banks, maybe triggering panic.
At $55 a barrel, crude is still too expensive for the industry to be rational about development. But after the big price drop, some consumers will pay too little for a rational economy. And the market drama wastes resources. The right goals are a weak cartel and high user taxes.