Europe should give Cyprus a hand

By Hugo Dixon
March 17, 2014

Sunday marked the anniversary of Cyprus’ shock plan to raid the tiny island’s bank deposits. The envisaged tax, backed by the euro zone, covered all banks and all deposits, whether insured or not.

Labour has just shrunk Brexit risks

By Hugo Dixon
March 12, 2014

The risks of a Brexit have just shrunk a lot. Ed Miliband, the UK’s leader of the opposition, has virtually ruled out a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership if he becomes prime minister in 2015. David Cameron’s Conservatives will need to win an overall majority in the next general election and then lose an In/Out vote to allow the UK to quit before 2020.

EU’s half-baked bank union could work

By Hugo Dixon
March 10, 2014

The European Union’s half-baked banking union could be made to work – even though it wasn’t strictly needed to solve the euro zone’s problems and what has been agreed isn’t what the designers wanted.

How Britain could win EU reform

By Hugo Dixon
March 3, 2014

Angela Merkel’s visit to London last week has been viewed by many as a snub to David Cameron’s aim to reform the European Union. But it all depends on what one means by reform.

ECB faces severest stress test

By Hugo Dixon
February 24, 2014

A lot is riding on the cleanup of euro zone lenders being overseen by the European Central Bank. The progress so far is encouraging. But clarity is needed on a few points to ensure that lenders really do get a good scrubbing and are therefore able to support the zone’s fragile economic recovery.

A workable euro zone fitness regime

By Hugo Dixon
February 17, 2014

The euro zone has gone from the emergency room to rehab. As often with patients, the question is how to maintain a stiff exercise regime now the immediate danger is over.

Renzi rolls the dice

By Hugo Dixon
February 14, 2014

When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in his bid to take control of Rome, he is reputed to have said “alea jacta est” (the die is cast). Matteo Renzi, soon-to-be Rome’s new master, has also rolled the dice. In doing so, he is taking big risks. Given Italy’s mess, one can only pray that his gamble pays off.

Euroscepticism may have silver lining

By Hugo Dixon
February 10, 2014

Many eurosceptic treatises, such as the recent report saying the Netherlands would be better off quitting the European Union, are exaggerated and unconvincing. But mounting euroscepticism could still have a silver lining if it helps those wishing to reform the EU advance their agenda.

QE is the way for the ECB to go

By Hugo Dixon
February 5, 2014

The European Central Bank needs to start taking the risks of deflation more seriously. This danger should be top of its agenda when its governing council convenes for its monthly meeting this week.

Independent Scotland won’t keep the pound

By Hugo Dixon
February 3, 2014

An independent Scotland will not keep the pound. That’s despite this being the express wish of the Scottish government, which is campaigning for independence in September’s referendum. The reason is that it’s hard to see the rest of the UK agreeing to such a deal – except on terms that would affront Scotland’s amour propre.