Mark Whitehouse

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Capital Flows in Greece

Now that Greece and its European creditors have set the country on a perilous path into the unknown, it’s worth considering the economic damage that almost a year of political turmoil and brinkmanship has wrought. Nowhere is this clearer than with capital flight: Over the 12 months through May, at least 64 billion euros in private money has left the country -- the equivalent of more than a third of Greece's annual economic output.

Data from Greece's central bank, which records a liability for every euro that leaves the banking system, suggest that investors and depositors started pulling out in mid-2014 -- not long after the far-left Syriza party's victory in European parliamentary elections set the government on a collision course with creditors.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trade Ties to Russia, 1999

Why can't Europe's leaders bring themselves to impose tough sanctions on Russia after the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet disaster? One explanation is that economic ties to Russia, a major supplier of energy, trump the moral imperative to punish President Vladimir Putin for his support of separatists in Ukraine.

A look at trade data for selected European countries offers an indication of the incentives in play. The Netherlands, which had 193 citizens aboard Flight MH17, is among the most connected: Russia accounted for about 6.4 percent of its imports in the 12 months through February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Germany, the most politically powerful country in Europe, is roughly three times more tied to Russia than the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »