Real Greek gross domestic product per capita fell 26 per cent from 2007 to 2013, compared with a German decline of 29 per cent from 1913 to 1919

Try to talk about the policies we need in a depressed world economy, and someone is sure to counter with the spectre of Weimar Germany, supposedly an (...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel: the way forward, she insisted,  was a return to frugality. Photograph: Fritz Reiss/AP

Many economists, including US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, view global economic troubles since 2008 largely as a story about “deleveraging(...)

 Barack Obama: it goes without saying the president’s fiscal proposals will be attacked by Republicans. Photograph: John Gress/Reuters

By the time you read this President Barack Obama will have called for a significant increase in spending, reversing the harsh cuts of the past few yea(...)

Incoming Greek prime minister  Alexis Tsipras is being far more realistic about austerity and growth than European officials who want the beatings to continue until morale improves. Photograph: Michael Kappeler/EPA

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, has become prime minister of Greece. He is the first European leader elected on an explicit(...)

Kansas governor Sam Brownback:  in 2012,  he drastically cut taxes, assuring everyone that the resulting boom would make up for the initial loss in revenues. Unfortunately for his constituents, his experiment has been a resounding failure. Photograph: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times

It’s now official: 2014 was the warmest year on record. You might expect this to be a politically important milestone. After all, climate-change denie(...)

No surprise: the first move of the new Republican Senate is an attempt to push Barack Obama into approving pipeline. Photograph: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

It should come as no surprise that the very first move of the new Republican Senate is an attempt to push US president Barack Obama into approving (...)

President Barack Obama. ‘Now that he’s presiding over unexpected economic strength [his critics] can’t just turn around and assert his irrelevance.’ Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Suddenly, or so it seems, the US economy is looking better. Things have been looking up for a while, but at this point the signs of improvement – j(...)

Pussian president Vladimir Putin: he’s an ex-KGB man – which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug. Photograph: EPA/Sergei Chirikov

More than a century has passed since Norman Angell, a British journalist and politician, published The Great Illusion, a treatise arguing that the age(...)

Wall Street overwhelmingly backed Mitt Romney in 2012, and invested heavily in Republicans once again this year. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

On Wall Street, 2010 was the year of “Obama rage” in which financial tycoons went ballistic over the president’s suggestion that some bankers helped c(...)

“We can now say with confidence the recovery’s weakness had nothing to do with Obama’s alleged anti-business slant”

Last week we got an actually good employment report – arguably the first truly good report in a long time. The US economy added well over 300,000 jobs(...)