from MacroScope:

Rampant inflation to keep Russian central bank tight

By Mike Peacock
January 30, 2015

Russian roubles are seen in this illustration picture taken in Moscow

Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.

from The Great Debate:

A uniquely French recipe for unrest

By Alan Chin
January 29, 2015

French riot policemen fire rubber bullets behind a burning car during clashes in Villiers le Bel

French riot policemen fire rubber bullets behind a burning car during clashes one day after two youths died in a motorbike accident with a police car in Villiers le Bel in the northern suburb of Paris, Nov. 26, 2007. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

from Breakingviews:

ECB, Syriza have broken euro zone’s German spell

January 27, 2015

By Pierre Briançon

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from The Great Debate:

Secularism – not sensitivity – is the key to democracy

By John Lloyd
January 27, 2015

French Education and Research minister Vallaud-Belkacem in Paris

French Education and Research Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem attends a news conference at the the French prime minister's offices, in Paris, Jan. 22, 2015. France announced new measures last week aimed at helping schools combat radical Islam, racism and anti-Semitism in reaction to deadly Islamist attacks three weeks ago. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

from MacroScope:

Game on in Greece

By Mike Peacock
January 26, 2015

The head of radical leftist Syriza party Tsipras waves to supporters after winning the elections in Athens

Syriza has fallen tantalisingly short of an overall majority, winning 149 of 300 Greek parliamentary seats and taking 36.3 percent of the vote, 8.5 points ahead of the New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in what amounts to a decisive rejection of austerity.

from MacroScope:

Clean sweep for Draghi?

By Mike Peacock
January 23, 2015

European Central Bank President Draghi and Vice President Constancio leave after addressing an ECB news conferenc in Frankfurt

Mario Draghi’s peerless track record of eliciting the market response he wants remains unblemished after the ECB’s quantitative easing surprised on the upside – at 60 billion euros a month for at least 19 months it will exceed 1 trillion euros.

from MacroScope:

Davos faces now customary global uncertainty

By Mike Peacock
January 21, 2015

Swiss special police officers observe the surrounding area from atop the roof of Davos Congress Hotel in Davos

The great and good are in Davos facing a rather uncertain landscape yet again (‘twas ever thus for the last seven years).

from MacroScope:

Greece: A game of chicken

By Mike Peacock
January 19, 2015

Alexis Tsipras, opposition leader and head of radical leftist Syriza party, looks on as he speaks during a party congress in Athens

With six days until elections, the polls have been remarkably steady in Greece, giving anti-bailout Syriza a narrow but consistent lead that suggests this time next week it will be the largest party in parliament with a mandate to form a coalition government.

from MacroScope:

Volatility back with a bang

By Mike Peacock
January 16, 2015

The logo of the SNB is seen at the entrance of the SNB in Bern

Volatility is back with a bang.

The Swiss franc leapt by an unprecedented 40 percent at one point after the Swiss National Bank scrapped its currency cap out of the blue. Oil may have bounced but it’s still down the thick end of 60 percent since mid-2014, dragging the rouble and other oil-producer currencies with it. Copper, generally a barometer of world industrial demand, is barely finding its feet after plunging this week.

from The Great Debate:

To become ‘French,’ abandon who you are

By Justin Gest
January 16, 2015

YOUNG MUSLIM PROTESTER SEEN DURING STREET PROTEST OF SIKHS AGAINST FRENCH BAN ON RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS ...

PHOTO (TOP): A young Muslim girl has two French flags and a headband reading "Fraternity" on her headscarf while marching to protest a French ban on religious symbols in state schools, Paris, January 31, 2004. REUTERS/Charles Platiau