Mihai Macovei

Articles by Mihai Macovei

Government Intervention into International Currency Exchange Rates: Japan as a Case Study

The recent hefty depreciation of the yen to a twenty-four-year low against the dollar has raised eyebrows due to the yen’s traditional safe haven role in times of turmoil, such as the war in Ukraine. The yen’s decline had already started when major central banks signaled a tightening of monetary policy to fight inflation while the Bank of Japan (BoJ) doubled down on its loose monetary policy and zero target for ten-year bond yields.

Read More »

Heavy Sanctions against Russia Could Usher in a Wider Economic War

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was met with unprecedented economic sanctions by the United States and its allies in order to cripple Russia’s capacity to wage war. Never before in post–World War II history has an economy of Russia’s size been reprimanded with such force. Moreover, the sanctions could remain in place after the war ends and reach other major economies too, in particular China. In this case, current sanctions could be the harbinger of a longer-term economic war with dire consequences for global productivity and welfare.
Sweeping Sanctions Invite Countersanctions
The round of sanctions imposed on Russia following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 were limited to travel bans, freezing of the assets of certain Russian officials, and a prohibition of credit and technology

Read More »

China Needs to Pop Its Property Bubble

The financial woes of the giant real estate developer Evergrande, which carries an estimated debt of $300 billion, have rekindled global fears that China’s property bubble is about to burst. Such predictions have occurred repeatedly in the past, in particular since 2010, and have been fueled by the rapid rise of property prices, construction volumes, and real estate debt. Today, many analysts fear that if the property bubble collapses, the impact on the real economy will be devastating. Some expect China’s growth potential to decrease dramatically, to 4 percent per year from about 8 percent during 2010–19, or even lower. Yet the current property market turmoil originates in regulatory action to reduce financial leverage, and it may not lead to a full-fledged financial meltdown if

Read More »

Cronyism, Not Welfare, Is China’s Big Problem

After three decades of promarket reforms, extreme poverty in China has been virtually eradicated. So President Xi Jinping now has the leverage to shift his attention to reducing the wealth gap in Chinese society. In a speech to the Chinese Communist Party in August, Xi touted "common prosperity" for all Chinese as an essential requirement of socialism and modernization.

Read More »

“Shortages” Aren’t Causing Inflation. Money Creation Is.

Graph 1: Real GDP growth

For central bankers and mainstream analysts the recent inflation outburst is only a transitory phenomenon which has nothing or very little to do with the massive monetary and fiscal stimuli unleashed during the pandemic. Although the Fed has recently conceded that price pressures are persisting longer than expected, the surge of inflation is allegedly due to supply bottlenecks caused by the pandemic.

Read More »

Forced Vaccinations in France Bring Both Repression and Protest

In a speech to the nation just ahead of Bastille Day on July 14 celebrating the French Revolution, President Emmanuel Macron delivered a paradoxical blow to the Republic’s famous slogan: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. He announced a series of measures to speed up the pace of covid-19 vaccinations which undermine individual liberties and threaten a strong political and economic backlash.

Read More »

There Are No Winners in the US-China “Tech War”

Global Exports and Manufacturing

After unleashing a disruptive trade conflict with China, the Trump administration has also escalated the lingering “cold tech war” between the two rival powers. Over the last two years, the US has passed new rules limiting China’s investments in the US, restricting bilateral information and communications technology (ICT) trade and controlling exports of sensitive and emerging technology to China.

Read More »