On 15th January,  Dr Barbara Kolm, Director of the Austrian Economics Center, delivered the Keynote Presentation Between Stagnation and Recovery at the British Embassy’s annual UK Trade and Investment Forum for 2015.

Dr Kolm’s presentation gave a brief but poignant review of Europe’s performance following the financial crisis, urging political leaders to put continuous structural reform back on the agenda.

The EU economy is struggling to shake off its lethargy. Since the crisis struck, most Member States have been unable to generate or sustain strong economic momentum. While the recovery from such a deep crisis had been expected to be very subdued, the persistence of weak growth dynamics suggests that the EU’s current predicament is particular.”

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logo-fmrsFederico N. Fernández has recently interviewed Prof. Dr. Erich Weede for the Free Market Diaries. Needless to say, Erich Weede possess a keen intellect coupled with an encyclopedic knowledge. He is a bright enlightened man who is more than worthy of our attention. We can undeniably learn a lot from him.

In this first part, Dr. Weede talks about the current state of Europe.

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by Robert Murphy

Conservative pundits are supposed to be hard-nosed and economically savvy, but when it comes to tax reform they can be as emotional and misguided as progressives.

The question of tax reform may be a moral issue, but it only makes sense to discuss reform if the conversation is grounded in economics.

Unfortunately, when discussing “tax reform,” American pundits on both the Right and Left often ground their analyses on simple fallacies. I’ll expose three widespread myths about tax reform.

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by Rein Lang

In 1991, after having de facto restored its national independence, Estonia started with a relatively blank slate in many areas. What we did, however, have was the cornerstone of our national legal system – the Constitution which was passed by a referendum and an understanding of the legal system as a whole based on legal continuity. By 1940 Estonia had established a legal order based on continental law, which is rightfully also called the German-Austrian legal system.

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by Richard Lorenc

Thriving tech companies may feel threatened by proposed net neutrality legislation, but the CEO of one ailing high-tech has-been thinks that the regulation-in-waiting may be his beleaguered company’s salvation.

Net neutrality — the contentious idea that government intervention is required for consumers to access Internet content quickly and easily — is absurd to anyone who understands innovation, but BlackBerry CEO John Chun is already suggesting ways to expand the idea to give his company a leg up against its competitors.

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by Sydney Williams

The FCIC (Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission), the Commission of which Representative Phil Angelides (D-CA) was chairman, reached nine main conclusions as to the cause of the near credit collapse in 2008, not one of which cited the role played by Congress, prior Administrations, or Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). The Commission was comprised of ten people, five Senators and five Representatives. Six were appointed by Democrats and four by Republicans. It was like having the fox investigate the stealing of chickens.

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by Matthew Mccaffrey 

You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting someone who’s talking about entrepreneurship and why we need to encourage more of it. In the public and private sectors — especially in higher education — innovation, enterprise, and entrepreneurship are buzzwords like never before.

A big beneficiary of this trend is the field of social enterprise. Unlike ordinary businesses, the conventional explanation goes, social enterprises use their commercial activities to promote a broader aim of human well-being rather than simple profit maximization.

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by Richard Ebelling

The European Central Bank has announced its intention to create out of thin air over one trillion new Euros from March 2015 to September 2016. The rationale, the monetary central planners say, is to prevent price deflation and “stimulate” the European economy into prosperity.

The only problem with their plan is that their concern about “deflation” is a misguided fear, and printing money can never serve as a long-term solution to bring about sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

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by Iain Martin

On Sunday evening, the BBC showed the first part of the landmark documentary on the Holocaust from 1985. Shoah was directed by Claude Lanzmann.

Everything you have ever heard about the overwhelming power of that remarkable and controversial film is true. If you were unaware of it, or if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you try to find a way to get a copy.

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by Sydney Williams

The President was “defiant” wrote the New York Times; “defiantly liberal,” claimed the Financial Times. “It was an ungracious speech,” editorialized the latter. Despite setting a record, since becoming President, for the greatest number of Party-seat losses in the post-War period (14 Senate seats, 69 House seats and 913 seats in state legislatures), the President was unapologetic. With constant usage of the pronoun “I”, and with quoting himself, his ego was on full display.

Mr. Obama urged civility, yet he remained supercilious. When he said, “I have no more campaigns to run,” there was a smattering of Republican applause (allegedly derisive).

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by Enrico Colombatto

The euro exchange rate could lose further ground in the next few weeks. Is this good or bad news and what does it mean for European companies? Not much will change for companies which decided to play for time, shied away from global competition and tried to look for help through subsidies and friendly regulation. By contrast, global players who, despite European stagnation, resisted the temptation to relocate to low-cost, low-productivity countries, and engaged in technological renovation, will reap significant rewards in higher profits and increased opportunities to expand on world markets. The euro will see increased volatility, rather than further sharp depreciation, while a weak euro will encourage new entrepreneurs to emerge.

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