Opinionomics | 3 May 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. The Eurozone's all messed up - but can it change course?

1. Lex in depth: Facebook (£) (Financial Times)

Robert Armstrong and Stuart Kirk crunch the numbers about the upcoming Facebook IPO.

2. What are the alternatives to austerity for the Eurozone? (Marginal Revolution)

Tyler Cowen hits back at Ryan Avent's response to Gideon Rachman (it's all getting a bit warlike in the commentariat), and takes a similar line to Rachman himself – regardless of the benefits (or not) of austerity, there's no realisitic alternative.

3. The boom and bust of Mervyn King (BBC News)

Robert Peston shares his thoughts on Mervyn King's Today Programme lecture.

4. Call it a depression (Economist | Free Exchange)

Ryan Avent argues that even absent a major economic crisis, the situation in the Eurozone is as bad as it can be.

5. What is living and what is dead in the contributory principle? (ToUChstone)

Kate Bell and Declan Gaffney assess the contributory principle 70 years on from Beveridge.

The French presidential debate, the results of which will dictate where the Eurozone crisis goes from here. 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.