Commentaries

Steinmeier’s recipe deceptively seductive

By Paul Taylor
September 14, 2009

merkel-steinmeierIt was about as scintillating as a discussion among accountants, but Social Democratic challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier outshone conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s only general election television debate.

A dark hour for CMBS

September 11, 2009

The last week has been a bit of a shocker for Europe’s already crumbling commercial mortgage-backed securities market (CMBS).
Investors have had to cope with steep declines in the value of their bonds and a wave of downgrades by rating agencies.

Trichet points to possible double-dip recession in Europe

By Paul Taylor
September 3, 2009

In his cautious Franglais central-bank speak, Jean-Claude Trichet has pointed to the strong possibility that the euro zone may face a double-dip or W-shaped recession.

Bon chance getting this deal done, Alcatel-Lucent

August 26, 2009

It beggars belief that humbled telecom equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent could be scooped up by a Chinese rival with nothing better to do. Huawei or ZTE seem credible candidates. The question is, why would they ever bother?

Sarkozy walks the walk on bonuses

August 25, 2009

Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to reform bank bonuses are out, and for once there appears to be some substance to the French President’s flamboyant style:

Tax-happy French eye carbon tax

By Paul Taylor
July 22, 2009

Cynics say the French never saw a market they didn’t want to regulate, or an economic activity they didn’t want to tax. Now this levy-happy nation, with one of the highest fiscal burdens in the world, is eying a new target for taxation: carbon. And in this case, they may just be right.

Polish EU vision breaks the mould

By Paul Taylor
July 22, 2009

At last — a Polish vision of the future of the European Union that does not involve refighting
World War Two or dying in a ditch for outsized voting rights.

Blair for EU president? Don’t hold your breath

By Paul Taylor
July 15, 2009

The British government has chosen a strange time to announce its support for former Prime Minister Tony Blair for the not-yet-existent job of President of the European Council. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has publicly touted Blair as a good candidate, and his name is among a handful discussed among EU diplomats. But there was no obvious reason for Europe Minister Glynnis Kinnock to go public with a British candidacy now.

from FaithWorld:

Sarkozy dons burqa to camouflage reform agenda

By Paul Taylor
June 22, 2009

sarkozy-speechIn a column last week, I noted how Nicolas Sarkozy was a master at signalling left while turning right. Well, in his keynote address to both houses of parliament today, the conservative president went a step further. He summoned up the burqa to camouflage his real intention -- relaunching a drive to reform France's ossified social, education and tax system.

from Paul Taylor:

Sarkozy dons burqa to camouflage reform agenda

By Paul Taylor
June 22, 2009