In August 2016, SAIS Europe will inaugurate a new Master of Arts degree program in political risk analysis – called the ‘Masters of Arts in Global Risk’. It is a thirteen-month program taught in Bologna, Italy that includes a three-month practicum as a final project. The goal of the program is to help students to develop the analytic skills in economics, political science, history, law, and international relations necessary to work with clients to understand the world around us. It is a practical application of the social sciences. And it is a great potential source of added value for our students. This degree is currently accepting applications. The deadline for applications is 7 January 2016.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was in Rome yesterday, 25 November, outlining his government’s strategy for reforging the relationship between Great Britain and Europe. The event was hosted by the British embassy in cooperation with the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
There are three divergences in the art of central banking. The most obvious is between the monetary tightening expected in the United States and the loosening expected in Europe. A second divergence is between the prudential oversight of the banking system and the conduct of macro-economic demand stabilization – particularly quantitative easing. A third divergence is between the communication of forward looking policy intentions and the practice of monetary policy decision-making. Each of these divergences acts as a constraint on the conduct of monetary policy; the juxtaposition of all three increases the risk of significant market volatility.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi delivered his ‘Manifesto for 2016’ in a long speech to the parliamentary factions of the Partito Democratico on 3 November 2015. Il Foglio published an editorial on the manifesto some days later alongside a full text version of the speech. The paper also invited a few reactions from outside observers. The English-language version of my comment is below. The Italian-language version was published in Il Foglio this morning (10 November).
The European Commission’s autumn economic forecasts paint a bleak picture. The headline is cautiously optimistic. European growth is moderating but should improve in the forecast period thanks to an accommodating monetary policy, a neutral fiscal stance, and a gradual relaxation of ‘headwinds’ coming from other parts of the globe. The analysis itself is more troubling. European growth relies excessively on external markets; price inflation will recover as commodity prices stabilize at low levels; and monetary policy accommodation in Europe contrasts with a gradual tightening in the United States with uncertain implications for market volatility and global capital flows. The bottom line is that things may get better and yet then again they may not. Although the authors of the forecast would argue otherwise, this is not a message that offers much hope.