David Smith's picture
Affiliation: 
Sunday Times
Credentials: 
Economics editor

Voting history

China’s growth slowdown: likely persistence and effects

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Question 1:

Do you agree that the Chinese economy is likely (say more than 50% probability) to maintain in the medium term (say, for at least ten years) a rate of annual growth exceeding 6%.

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
China's trend rate of growth, currently 6.5% - 7% on official figures, is likely to slow further, probably to around 5% by the early 2020s, so a 10-year average of 6%-plus growth will be hard to achieve. What matters more perhaps is the quality of growth and the extent to which it will be better balanced, with a bigger contribution from consumption, which is the aim of the Chinese authorities.

ECB's quantitative easing

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Question 2:

Do you agree that the structure of the ECB's QE programme makes the Eurozone more fragile and increases the risk of one country leaving the euro?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Any fragility is due to the design of the eurozone, rather than the design of the QE programme, and the risks of a member country leaving have diminished.

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Question 1:

Do you agree that the design of the ECB's QE programme reduces its effectiveness? 

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I think the most important thing was to secure agreement on the expanded QE programme. That, and the confidence effects it has generated, outweighs any negatives from risk-sharing.

Deal or no deal: The Greece standoff

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Question 3: Do you agree that implementation of the agreement will lead to an expected decrease in Greek debt repayments?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Greece has already had significant concessions on debt repayments. This agreement may help at the margin, though probably not significantly.

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Question 2: Do you agree that Greece would be better off defaulting right now rather than signing to the agreement under consideration?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
A default now, which would make it difficult for Greece to maintain euro membership, would be negative for Greece. The deal on the table is not great but then this has been a badly handled negotiation, on both sides.

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