Showing posts from April, 2024

Trade lunacy is back

It’s election season in the U.S., marred only by the minor complication of a criminal trial involving one of the candidates. Trump is on the campaign trail, and he is going big on trade policy. Or rather, trade lunacy. Here’s Gavin Bade at Politico attempting to explain Trump’s trade policy:  Trump is considering a 10 percent universal import tariff, the former administration officials said, and one result of that policy could be to make the dollar weaker relative to other currencies.  This is economic illiteracy of a kind I haven't seen since the heady days of Brexit . Or - more accurately - since the last time one Robert Lightizer was the United States trade representative. He is, once again, setting Trump’s trade agenda. And he appears to be no better informed than he was last time. Why do I say this policy is economically illiterate? Because universal import tariffs don’t weaken the currency relative to the currencies of trade partners and competitors. They are much more like

The West must no longer tolerate Israel's human rights breaches

  My latest post at Substack examines the state of play in Gaza after six months of war. Fair to say, it is truly horrible. But more importantly, there is now overwhelming evidence that Israel has deliberately and systematically violated international humanitarian law. These violations could amount to genocide. On 28th March, the International Court of Justice decided that the situation in Gaza had significantly worsened since its original order in January imposing six "provisional measures" that Israel must take to prevent the situation worsening. The Court imposed, in additional to the original six, a further two measures, specifically requiring Israel to admit sufficient humanitarian aid to ward off famine and prevent its army interfering with the distribution of that aid.  These measures are binding not only on Israel, but on all signatories to the Geneva Convention on Genocide. All Western countries are signatories. So what should they do to force Israel to comply? Read