China saw a rise of 70 percentage points in the ratio of corporate and household debt to GDP between 2007 and last year. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty

When the world economy depends on fragile balance sheets, expect more crises

At the very least US spenders will, once again, have to pull not only their own economy, but much of the rest of the world. Photograph: Michael McCloskey

The global economy is an integrated system, ignoring that reality is futile

An elderly woman reacts as her acquaintances board a bus to flee due to a military conflict in Debaltseve, Ukraine. The IMF is seeking to negotiate a new multiyear extended fund facility with the troubled country. Photograph: Sergey Polezhaka /Reuters

A deomcratic and law-governed Ukraine would shake the Russian kleptocracy

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister (left), with George Osborne, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, in London on Monday. Photograph: Matt Dunham/Pool/Bloomberg

Most observers believe Greece could find the €4.3bn it needs to pay the IMF next month

Presidential guards parade before newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers at a swearing in ceremony outside the presidential palace in Athens on January 27th, 2015. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Creating euro zone is members’ second-worst monetary idea, a break-up is the worst

The SNB has embraced the risk of deflation from which the ECB wishes to escape. Photograph: Reuters

An ECB stimulus must happen despite Berlin fears – the euro zone economy is at stake

Political leaders walking in solidarity after the attacks in  Paris. Photograph: EPA

Martin Wolf: Fanatic a familiar character in history

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable,” – John Kenneth Galbraith

Martin Wolf: If the European Central Bank pulled out all the stops, the rise in confidence might surprise

Many believe dysfunctional behaviour in finance is due solely to distorted incentives

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