Breakingviews

Merkel down not out after Super Sunday defeat

March 14, 2016

Right-wing populists won large gains in three German state elections. Support for Angela Merkel’s coalition is waning. Yet results also show credible and determined mainstream leaders can still woo voters. This may help the chancellor to keep inner-party critics at bay.

Dixon: Turkey deal offers a lot – if it sticks

March 8, 2016

An offer to reduce disorderly migration would cut the risk of Britain leaving the EU and Greece quitting the euro. It would also shore up German Chancellor Merkel’s position, helping stabilise the EU and the Schengen Area. What it won’t do is stop anti-migrant populism in Europe.

Options market reveals depths of UK/EU jitters

February 22, 2016

Sterling is sliding and gilts and the FTSE 100 are underperforming peers because of growing concern that Britons might vote to leave the European Union. But these moves are just the tip of the iceberg. Derivatives show an even deeper pessimism about the outlook for UK assets.

from Hugo Dixon:

Dixon: Investors yet to price in Brexit risks

February 21, 2016

Now Cameron has a deal with the EU, it’s down to the British people to vote. While the risk of Brexit looks less than evens, the economic consequences could be severe. With Boris Johnson bolstering the leave campaign, markets don’t seem to be factoring in the tail risks.

UK business faces its own In-Out dilemma on Europe

January 21, 2016

The British prime minister wants companies not to “hold back” on Britain’s future in Europe. Such a call must be heeded with caution. If the pro-EU debate hinges on what’s good for business – or even worse, the City – it may backfire.

Britain’s exit from Europe: 28 days later

December 24, 2015

Sometime in the future, some notes are found. Purportedly written by an adviser to David Cameron, they chronicle events in the month after the UK voted to leave the European Union. It’s a vision of banker exoduses, surprising new investors and mountains of unsold pork pies.

Dixon: EU-Turkey deal is historic, if it sticks

November 30, 2015

The EU has dangled the prospect that Turkey can join the bloc, offered to liberalise visas and promised the government a chunk of cash in return for Ankara agreeing to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. The snag is that not all of the pact looks deliverable.

Europe’s terrible banks look their best in years

November 25, 2015

Capital levels, profitability and lending rose in the six months to June, the European Banking Authority says. Bad loan ratios are almost double those of U.S. banks, and more EU quantitative easing could be bad for business. Even so, lenders are proving surprisingly healthy.

Dixon: How the EU could woo the UK

November 23, 2015

The British prime minister wants to rework the UK’s relationship with Europe. Once complete, other EU leaders could launch a charm offensive to persuade Britain it is valued and influential, and to vote to stay in the union. Here’s what Merkel, Hollande, Renzi, et al could say.

France can afford budget-busting security spend

November 17, 2015

Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the deficit is bound to miss EU targets as security spending rises after the Paris attacks. Brussels is unlikely to kick up a fuss over this exceptional overspending. Nor will investors, who are used to serial French fiscal slippage.