Friday, March 27, 2009

Links of the Day

Jhong-Wha Lee & Ju Hyun Pyun argue that globalisation (specifically growth in trade) reduces the probability of conflict:

"The results may derive from the fact that an open global trading system will prevent a state from initiating a war against any trading partner because other trading partners in global markets prefer to do business with a "peaceful" player. Hence, global trade openness of the dyad can reduce the incentive to provoke a bilateral conflict. We also think that open states can be more peaceful because they become more susceptible to political freedom and democracy. They apply international law better and employ good governance. Trade openness can also lead to an "expansion of bureaucratic structure," which concerns itself with economic interests in addition to security interests — and is thus less likely to support military action."

Does that mean "engagement" is better than "sanctions"? Shall we then engage more with Iran, Myanmar and North Korea?

Jon Danielsson says more regulation is not the answer for financial market reform:

"In a financial crisis, where financial institutions are required by regulations to hold minimum capital, just that fact is destabilising. If asset prices are falling, the financial institutions need to sell high-risk assets which depress the price and therefore by itself erode their capital. This is why risk-sensitive capital increases systemic risk and forces banks to withdraw lending...Indeed, the banks are now doing what they are supposed to do. They are being prudent. It is a bit disingenuous of regulators and politicians demanding that the banks increase lending when the banks are just following the regulations designed by the very same regulators and approved by the very same politicians."

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