The U.S. and British central banks are scrambling to be the first of the majors to raise interest rates after a long period of unprecedented monetary generosity. It won’t happen immediately but both Janet Yellen, who chairs the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney say there will be a hike this year (Yellen) or around the end of the year (Carney). Might this be a bit of a rush? Not everything in the world economy is as sanguine as the U.S. and British economies purport to be.
In the euro zone, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has promised rock-bottom interest rates for the foreseeable future and pledged to see through the bank’s monthly 60 billion euro asset purchases until September next year. In Asia, China’s policymakers are struggling to contain stock market mayhem that could still undermine attempts to reverse a growth slowdown. Japan is still embarked on a massive quantitative easing asset-buying programme and has just cut its growth outlook.
LONDON (Reuters) – The race is on between the U.S. and British central banks to be the first major economy to raise interest rates after a long period of unprecedented monetary generosity.
It won’t happen immediately but both Janet Yellen, who chairs the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney signaled in the past week that higher rates are close.
LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – Europe is failing to shake off
the threat of deflation, with prices falling in Sweden,
flat-lining in Britain and barely registering any increase in
Germany and Italy.
Data on Tuesday underlined that central banks across the
continent are making little headway in boosting inflation
despite flooding their economies with cash through rock-bottom
interest rates and/or outright money-printing.
There is one day to go before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is supposed to meet EU bigwigs in a push for a political agreement on cash-for-reforms. Oneﾠglitch, though: the EU has only just received Tsipras’s new proposal, one that was supposed to have been handed over on Friday. Germanyﾒs Angela Merkel, Franceﾒs Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are not being given much time to prepare for their chat with the Greek leader.
Juncker, formerly as about as close to a Tsipras supporter as you could find in the EU, was very annoyed at the delay. So much so that he refused a telephone call from the Greek premier last week.
One of the sideshows of the Greek crisis has been the noise on the subject from the United States, which in short just wants Europe to get on with it and make a deal. There was more of this over the weekend at the Group of Seven meeting in Germany, although not quite so blunt as some recent forays. Barack Obama was keen to join Germany in hoping for a speedy solution. But the White House did again remind those who may not be aware that global financial markets may get unhappy if there is no agreement.
U.S. interference in European matters tends to irritate many EU leaders and frankly can put their backs up. You only have to look back a decade or so at Washington’s public advocacy of EU membership for its NATO ally Turkey. Some of the response then was along the lines of “Yes, and you make Mexico the 51st state”.
LONDON (Reuters) – A blues fan’s 1967 reel-to-reel tape recording of four then-relatively unknown British musicians is to be released on CD in April, capturing live what today would be dubbed a supergroup.
John Mayall, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were together for just three months that year as part of Mayall’s Bluesbreakers band.
LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) – The gender pay gap in the
European Union narrowed during the financial crisis, possibly
because the jobs of many women are more protected than those of
Data released by the EU’s statistic agency Eurostat ahead of
International Women’s Day on Sunday also showed the pay gap
between men and women tended to be wider in Europe’s richest
economies, although not definitively so.
ATHENS, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The chances of Greece being
forced out of the euro zone have risen but a compromise
agreement between Athens and its European partners is still
possible, Greek media and investment banks said on Tuesday.
They said all eyes were now on the European Central Bank,
which must decide on Wednesday whether to extend Emergency
Liquidity Assistance (ELA) funds to Greek banks to keep them in
cash while the crisis unfolds.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is not just confronting strong opposition to his plans to end austerity among Greece’s euro zone partners. He also has to keep one eye on his own fractious hard-left political party back home.
The Syriza movement, elected on a popular anti-austerity platform on Jan. 25, is just what it says on the tin when translated – a coalition of the radical left.
By Jeremy Gaunt
ATHENS(Reuters) – Tucked away in a corner of Athens’ historic Plaka district is a small museum showing that there is more to Greek music than “Zorba’s Dance” and “Never on Sunday”.
In fact, the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, or MELMOKE, contains barely any bouzoukis, the quintessential Greek instrument that often accompanies the smashing of plates in overseas Greek restaurants.