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Newsweek Scotland: Ken MacDonald in for Derek Bateman

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Simone Byrne Simone Byrne | 17:50 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

Ken MacDonald's blog post for Newsweek Scotland:

International Monetary Fund

"Too big to fail." Where have we heard that one before?

The pundits were wrong when they said it about RBS and Lehman Brothers. But everything's been sorted now - hasn't it? We've had stress tests and re-capitalisations so history can't repeat itself - can it?

Tell that to the people who've been taking to the streets in cities as far apart as Athens and Barcelona to protest against public service cuts and tax increases. It looks like the Arab Spring may be turning into the Mediterranean Summer; Greece could be the first domino to topple in what some are already billing as the Global Financial Crisis 2.0. The credibility of a country's debt depends ultimately on the willingness of its citizens to keep paying for it; many Greeks and Catalans are saying "enough". This crisis is real.

Scaremongering? If so, the International Monetary Fund is guilty of it. It's just has said the risks for the world economic outlook have increased; strong policy moves are needed from both rich and emerging countries to support growth and job creation. And the IMF notes increasing concern about the sustainability of debt in the euro zone.

As I write this there's a meeting in Berlin to decide what to do about Greece. And we'll also have some expert analysis on what this crisis means for the rest of Europe..

The Sunday Herald's David Pratt has recently returned from a trip to sub-Saharan Africa where he talked to refugees from the conflict in Ivory Coast. It's been called the silent emergency, largely overlooked because of the Arab Spring. We have an extended report on what he found there.

Angus MacLeod will be digesting the papers on our behalf, and he'll be joined by another colossus of the commentariat - Iain Macwhirter - to take the temperature of the political week in Scotland. Just why is Alex Salmond still so cross with the UK Supreme Court? And how big a pension can Danny Alexander expect - and how soon? Only asking...

Join Ken and the Newsweek Scotland team tomorrow morning at 8.


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