On October 7th 2014, we hosted thirty economic thinkers from civil society, trade unions, business, academia, politics, and policy attended a roundtable at the RSA to think about how monetary policy can help to build a sustainable economy.
Recent events in Europe have stolen much of the limelight in global financial and business news. Signs of deflation, decreasing oil prices, and the announcement of European QE has many analysts scratching their heads, wondering exactly what is going to happen next. Then there is Greece, and the recent election of the ‘radical’ left-wing party Syriza, whose candidness, charisma, and defiance has taken Europe by surprise.
Croatia has recently announced a new, fairly unorthodox strategy to help some of its poorest citizens. The country, as many others, has been hit hard by recession and has so far been unsuccessful in reviving its sluggish economy. Unemployment has risen sharply, particularly among the young population (in a country of roughly 4 million, current unemployment rates stand just shy of 330,000) and even those working are sometimes unpaid for months. Mortgages and other major loans all carry a currency clause, usually fixed to the Euro or the Swiss Frank and it's almost impossible to take any substantial loan in kuna (kn), the local currency. Around 38% of mortgages have been fixed to the Swiss Frank and as its rates spun out of control in recent years it left thousands unable to keep up with their payments, many losing their homes.