Opinionomics | 28 May 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Featuring a tiny amount of hyperbole, maybe?

1. The balance of financial terror (Bruegel)

The relationship between Greece and the rest of the euro area are increasingly reminiscent of the Cold War’s balance of terror, writes Jean Pisani-Ferry in a perhaps slightly hyperbolic piece.

2. Tax is always going to be taxing (LabourList)

Imogen Parker writes in defence of wealth taxes.

3. Austerity Defenses (New York Times | Consscience of a Liberal)

Paul Krugman strawmans the strawmen. But is very entertaining.

4. Do consumers want to get rid of the “dangerous myth” of free current accounts? (Market Square)

Nida Broughton examines Andrew Bailey's comments

5. Austerity Bites, but Fascism Won’t Snarl in Europe (Bloomberg View)

Pawel Swieboda examines the rush to fringe parties caused by austerity in Europe.

Greek fascists, Golden Dawn, salute as they are sworn in to Parliament. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.