End-of Year Edition

Mon 29 December 2014

OLIVIER BLANCHARD, chief economist at the IMF, on tumbling oil prices and which countries that look most vulnerable--and most hopeful--in 2015

The dark clouds around the silver lining

IT MUST seem churlish of me to maintain my grim pessimism about the Fed's current course of action, given the steady flow of encouraging data from the American economy. But try as I might, I cannot muster the same Panglossian enthusiasm as my colleague about the way policy is unfolding. This is not the best of all worlds. My colleague reckons that the American economy is "converging rapidly on full employment". I think the Fed shares his view. Ironically, this is actually an exceptionally negative statement about the strength of the American labour market.

End of year edition

OUR correspondents on the biggest business and finance stories of 2014, and what will make headlines next year

The road to nowhere near Wigan Pier

That has prompted accusations that the government wants the country to go back to the late-1930s—and the Britain Orwell describes in his cri de coeur against poverty. The Office of Budget Responsibility, Britain's fiscal watchdog, stated that Mr Osborne's plans would force public spending down "below the previous post-war lows reached in 1957-58 and 1999-00 to what would probably be its lowest level in 80 years".

Category: misc