LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - There are two tipping points in the climate crisis. The first will come if the climate spirals out of control; the second if humanity takes decisive action to stop the planet frying before then. As the world prepares for November’s United Nations climate summit “COP26”, we are getting closer to both tipping points.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Excess corporate debt makes the global economy wobbly. After the pandemic, governments should use the tax system to encourage more equity and less leverage. That will help the economy resist future shocks. Countries may even be able to raise some cash to repair their own balance sheets.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - There’s a growing investor consensus that post-pandemic recovery plans should be green. But what should those “green new deals” look like? How should they be funded? And will governments play ball?
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Struggling individuals, businesses and countries deserve financial support during the pandemic. But let’s not kid ourselves. Taxpayer-funded bailouts are likely to encourage excessive risk-taking in the future and provoke new populist backlashes when the bills need to be paid.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Income tax was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1799 to fund the Napoleonic Wars against France. America imposed the tax in 1861 to pay for its civil war. The coronavirus pandemic is not literally a war. But it will lead to massive debts and eventually higher taxes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Both pro- and anti-Europeans are saying the coronavirus pandemic may tear the European Union to shreds and destroy the euro. In fact, the bloc is muddling through.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Some economists say central banks should fund the fight against the coronavirus by printing money and giving it to governments. There would be no need to raise taxes either now or in the future, the argument goes; nor would government debt need to increase.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Governments will rack up eye-popping bills to fight coronavirus if they’re not careful. The key will be to avoid debilitating stop-go strategies, where economies come out of lockdowns only to go in again. But that will only happen if exit strategies are well planned, not rushed.
ATHENS (Reuters Breakingviews) - When Kyriakos Mitsotakis met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday, the new Greek prime minister was able to point to a list of quick wins since taking office last month, including lifting capital controls. But he has also made errors. To change the country for good, he’ll have to learn from them.
ATHENS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Several years ago, in the midst of the Grexit crisis, I asked a friend how to say “virtuous circle” in Greek. He said the expression didn’t exist; there was only a term for “vicious circle”. My friend was wrong. There is a Greek expression for virtuous circle – and the country may finally be about to enter one with this Sunday’s general election.