As predicted, Britain’s surging anti-EU party UKIP snatched a second parliamentary seat from the ruling Conservatives overnight.
After European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi managed to mend fences and get his colleagues to sign up to his 1 trillion euros or so target to push into the ailing euro zone economy, Paris hosts its version of the Jackson Hole central bankers meeting.
It’s ECB day. While the Federal Reserve has called time on its bond-buying and the Bank of Japan decided to create money at a more furious rate, the euro zone central bank will plot the middle course – waiting to gauge the impact of its recent efforts to pump more money into the currency bloc’s economy before entertaining further action.
After the Federal Reserve wound up its bond-buying programme, as expected, and the Bank of Japan sprung a surprise by sharply increasing the pace of its money-printing, this week the European Central Bank takes its monthly bow and will probably come up with nothing new.
What’s spooking the markets?
One thing we can say for sure is that it is not the slightly weaker-than-expected retail sales that triggered the mayhem on Wall Street on Wednesday morning. Most U.S. economic data have actually been quite strong in the month since Wall Street peaked on Sept. 19.
The predictable battle lines were drawn at the G20/IMF meetings in Washington - most of the world urged Europe to do more to foster growth while Germany warned against letting up on austerity. The argument will doubtless be reprised today when euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg.
By this time tomorrow, the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party is likely to be celebrating its first member of the Westminster parliament. Polls have just opened in the deprived seaside town of Clacton where the sitting Conservative lawmaker switched to UKIP and called a vote.