The Great Debate

Despite pending referendum, UK is not European Union’s weakest link

April 1, 2016
A model presents a creation made with chocolate by designer Wang Jingzhi and Maitre Chocolatier Roberto Rinaldini during the international exhibition of chocolate "Salon du Chocolat" in Milan, Italy, February 12, 2016.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

A model presents a creation made with chocolate by designer Wang Jingzhi and Maitre Chocolatier Roberto Rinaldini during the international exhibition of chocolate “Salon du Chocolat” in Milan, Italy, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The most important man in Europe you’ve never heard of

March 9, 2015
Guardia di Finanza troops stand before the Quirinale palace in Rome, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Guardia di Finanza troops stand before the Quirinale palace in Rome, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

from Breakingviews:

Rob Cox: Welcome to the new, global Tangentopoli

By Rob Cox
February 26, 2015

By Rob Cox

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

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Time for a ‘melt-up': The coming global boom

November 14, 2014

European Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi speaks at a news conference during the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington

Get ready for a “melt-up.”

Back in mid-October, as stock markets around the world plunged faster than at any time since 2011, many investors and economists feared a meltdown. But with the U.S. economy steadily expanding, monetary and fiscal policies becoming more stimulative in other parts of the world and the autumn season for financial crises now over, a melt-up seems far more likely.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Will the European economy’s summer squalls turn into an autumn tempest?

October 3, 2014

Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) answers reporter's questions during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt

Following the grim market response to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s latest monetary policy pronouncements, Europe is approaching another make-or-break moment comparable to the crisis of 2012. The summer quarter ended this week, and financial markets delivered their judgment on just how bad things are, pushing the euro down to its lowest level since September 2012. Europe’s quarterly stock market performance was the worst since the nadir of the euro crisis. The question is whether the miserable summer will give way to a milder autumn. Or whether the summer squalls will turn into a catastrophic tempest.

from Breakingviews:

Does Italian capitalism prove that Darwin was right?

By Rob Cox
July 10, 2014

By Rob Cox

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

The year ahead in the euro zone: Lower risks, same problems

January 14, 2013

Financial conditions in the euro zone have significantly improved since the summer, when euro zone risks peaked because of German policymakers’ open consideration of a Greek exit, and the sovereign spreads of Italy and Spain reached new heights. The day before European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s famous speech in London in which he announced that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro, bond yields in Spain and Italy were at 7.75 percent and 6.75 percent, respectively, and rising. When the ECB announced its outright monetary transactions (OMT) bond-buying program, the euro zone was at risk of a collapse.

The abyss and our last chance

December 1, 2011

By Carlo De Benedetti
The opinions expressed are his own.


In a magnificent book published a few years ago Cormac McCarthy imagines a man and a child, father and son, pushing a shopping cart containing what little they have left, along a back road somewhere in America. Ten years earlier the world was destroyed by a nameless catastrophe that turned it into a dark, cold place without life.

from Ian Bremmer:

Europe’s necessary creative destruction

November 11, 2011

By Ian Bremmer
The opinions expressed are his own.

What we’re seeing in Europe -- in rising Italian borrowing costs and the felling of two prime ministers -- is the growing impatience of the markets for a resolution to the euro zone crisis. To put a finer point on it, the hive mind of the markets has decided it is not going to give Europe enough time to get its act together. The big institutions that drive the world’s economies are sitting on huge amounts of cash -- enough to solve many of these problems overnight. But they have lost confidence in the ability of the European political system to deliver solutions that will work.

Italy’s fundamentals aren’t worse than usual

November 10, 2011

By James Macdonald
The views expressed are his own.

The markets have come to the conclusion that Italy’s debts are unsustainable in the long term. They are therefore demanding a higher risk premium to compensate for the risk that they might not be repaid in full. So runs the conventional wisdom. However, the situation is not that simple.