Breakingviews

Greek deal is rational, predictable, messy

May 25, 2016

Both the IMF and Europe have compromised in Greece’s new debt plan. Athens’ fiscal targets are looser, but less so than the IMF wanted. Its debt costs will fall, but the relief is vague. There’s a hoary cliche about kicking the can down the road. This doesn’t even go that far.

The Exchange podcast: ‘Europe is a cesspool of deflationary forces’

By Rob Cox
May 4, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis joins Rob Cox, global editor of Breakingviews, to talk about his new book, “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?”, the state of the EU, and the implications of a potential Brexit and Trump presidency.

The Exchange: ‘Europe is a cesspool of deflationary forces’

By Rob Cox
April 28, 2016

Yanis Varoufakis joins Rob Cox, global editor of Breakingviews, to talk about his new book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?", the state of the EU, and the implications of a potential Brexit and Trump presidency.

Investors get too comfy over US-euro divergence

November 19, 2015

Twin the prospect of higher U.S. policy rates with the chance of more euro zone easing and the result is eye-catching divergences in currency and interest rate markets. The problem is, such price trends are vulnerable to setbacks even if rate-setters do what’s expected of them.

Uncertain central bankers leave markets stranded

October 16, 2015

Investors can’t get a straight story on when interest rates will rise, or why. And they’re not sure whether delay is good or bad for stocks. So markets behave capriciously. In the murk, one thing is becoming painfully clear – the diminishing effectiveness of all monetary policy.

Cult of central bank transparency is too powerful

May 26, 2015

Rate-setters around the world are in a bind. The zeitgeist demands they share every twist and turn of their deliberations. But too bright a light can be blinding. Hard talk is often best done in private. While some transparency is good, more is not always better.

ECB torn between two roles in Greek bank support

March 20, 2015

The central bank’s monetary policy wing has delayed a plan by its supervisory arm to legally stop Greek banks increasing their stocks of illiquid assets. The stability-searching supervisors have the right idea. But the policy group has an even higher political responsibility.

EU insurers’ solvency is shakier than it looks

December 16, 2014

A quarter of Europe’s insurers would fail to meet a basic gauge of capital health if Japan-style low-yield conditions were to persist, recent stress tests found. But actual euro zone yields are even lower. With the bloc on the brink of deflation, that’s not a reassuring sign.

Draghi can only dream of moving like BOJ’s Kuroda

October 31, 2014

The ECB chief might fantasise about taking big decisions with a one-vote margin, as the Bank of Japan leader just did. But realpolitik requires a goodly majority. The euro zone’s inevitable compromises complicate Draghi’s fight against stubbornly low inflation.

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

September 17, 2014

A first round of liquidity injections this week will test Mario Draghi’s attempt to fight deflation in the euro zone. A small take-up could increase pressure for more ambitious sovereign debt purchases. But the ECB has time, and several ways to boost its balance sheet as planned.