‘In early 2011, the European Central Bank raised its intervention rate from 1 to 1.5 per cent. This was wildly inappropriate, and in the end it had to cut rates again and embark on QE.’ Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images

Why are interest rates so low? The best answer is that the advanced countries are still in a “managed depression”. This malady is deep. It will not(...)

The United States is now adding jobs at a rate not seen since the Clinton years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Six years ago, Paul Ryan, who has since become the chairman of the US House Ways and Means Committee and the GOP’s leading voice on matters economic, (...)

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe. As always with Japan, given its very large public debt, time may not be an unlimited resource. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Japan’s attempts, through Abenomics, to beat back against the tide of demographics may be proving futile.Japan has lapsed into its fourth recession si(...)

The Federal Reserve’s policies have also benefited the relatively well off; it is trying to raise the prices of assets which are overwhelmingly owned by the rich

When should growing inequality concern us? This is a moral and political question. It is also an economic one. It is increasingly recognised that, bey(...)

Former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers has argued that the high-income economies seem to be worryingly unable to generate good growth in demand without extreme credit instability. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Why are real interest rates so low? And will they stay this low for long? If they do – as it seems they might – the implications will be profound: (...)

Former US treasury secretary Larry Summers suggested that there could be no easy return to pre-crisis normality in high-income economies. Instead, he sketched out a disturbing future of chronically weak demand and slow economic growth.

Lawrence Summers has poured gallons of icy water on any remaining optimists. Speaking on a panel at the International Monetary Fund’s annual research (...)

Oiling the cogs: Much like these oil rig pumps near Long Beach, California, the US economy is running reasonably smoothly in the short to medium term, but this does not mean fiscal challenges do not exist. Photograph: Reuters/David McNew

From the frenzied political battle and clashes of opinion of recent weeks, an observer might conclude the US faces fiscal catastrophe. It does not. Th(...)

US president Barack Obama  applauds after announcing his nomination of Janet Yellen  to head the Federal Reserve at the White House in Washington yesterday. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen, president Barack Obama’s pick to lead the US central bank, said yesterday that strengthening the economic rec(...)

President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve later today, administration officials said last night, ending an unusually public search to fill one of the most important economic policy-making jobs in the world. Photograph: Mary F Calvert/The New York Times

US president Barack Obama will nominate Fed number two Janet Yellen today to run the world’s most influential central bank, providing some relief to m(...)

US stocks and Treasuries rose, and the dollar fell, after Larry Summers withdrew his bid to be the next Federal Reserve chairman and America and Russia agreed on a plan to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. Photograph: David Karp

Stocks and bonds on major markets rallied yesterday after former US treasury secretary Larry Summers withdrew from consideration to be the next chairm(...)