New Series Of Spain Podcasts

The first in a new cycle of Spain economy related podcasts I am doing with Matthew Bennett is now up.

Here’s a sort of summary from Matthew of what goes on.

The short version: market reaction so far this year has, as always, been irrational, underlying indicators are not in a good place and Spain has no plan to replace the construction industry as the engine of its economic recovery.

* Spain, Greece and the EU bailout package;
* The madness of the markets and rational analysis of underlying factors;
* Is there any basis for the current apparent economic and financial calm?
* Important changes in the role of the ECB and its relationship with sovereign states;
* The impact of cuts announced by Zapatero in June;
* Spanish banks reliance on ECB funding and moral hazard;
* The civil service wage cut announced in June is not really a wage cut;
* Car sales in July were down 30% on June, after the Spanish version of cash-for-clunkers was withdrawn and VAT rose 2%. Is that indicative of what the rest of the economy might look like if we took away government stimulus?
* The effect of the VAT rise on consumer behaviour and the real-estate market;
* Inflation, deflation or stagflation?
* There’s no plan to replace the weight of the construction industry in the make-up of Spanish GDP. Could tourism replace the construction industry in Spain’s GDP?
* Europe and the IMF are not being harsh enough on Spain;
* The Spanish government’s hope of reaching 2.7% GDP growth and 3% deficit targets by 2013 is totally unrealistic;
* The north-south economic divide in the eurozone;
* What happens to Spain when the ECB starts raising interest rates and monthly mortgage payments start rising again?

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".