Opinionomics | 29 May 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Featuring housing in the US and more on Facebook

1. Debt-Ceiling Deja Vu Could Sink Economy (Bloomberg View)

Europe is crumbling. China is slowing. The Federal Reserve is dithering. Yet the biggest threat to the emerging U.S. economic recovery may be Congress, write Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers.

2. Is the Bank of England doing enough? (BBC News)

Stephanie Flanders argues that "both the Bank and the Treasuiry might need to be less pessimistic about the underlying state of the UK economy - and more optimistic - and urgent - in their efforts to help."

3. The Housing Recovery: A Rethink (Forbes | Modeled Behaviour)

Karl Smith looks at the state of the US housing market.

4. Why Are Two-Class Shareholder Arrangements Proliferating? (Slate | Moneybox)

In the wake of the ongoing Facebook IPOcaplypse, Matt Yglesias looks at why shareholder arrangements like Mark Zuckerberg's concentration of power are becoming more popular.

5. No taxation without mastication (Financial Times)

Jonathan Ford delivers what will hopefully be the final word on the pasty tax.

Is there a housing recovery in the US? 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.