Correspondent, Brussels
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Sep 14, 2014

World waits for white smoke from U.S. Fed

FRANKFURT, Sept 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve may
give clearer hints on when it will hike the cost of borrowing in
the United States in the coming week, as struggling Europe
braces for a tight vote in Scotland on whether to leave the
United Kingdom.

As the U.S. economy picks up pace, its central bank is
inching closer to raising interest rates, a move that will send
ripples across the globe. In the euro zone, however, the
European Central Bank is moving in the opposite direction in a
desperate bid to rekindle growth and inflation.

Sep 5, 2014

Draghi’s ECB surprise puts off bigger quantitative easing for now

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s surprise interest rate cut and new schemes to bolster lending have allowed its president to swerve a thorny debate over full-scale money printing in the hope that such a move may never be needed.

Armed with a plan to lend to banks in return for giving credit to companies, a pledge to buy parcels of repackaged debt as well as record low borrowing costs, the ECB may have done enough to stop Europe’s fragile economy from sliding further.

Sep 5, 2014

Draghi’s ECB surprise puts off bigger QE for now

FRANKFURT, Sept 5 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s
surprise interest rate cut and new schemes to bolster lending
have allowed its president to swerve a thorny debate over
full-scale money printing in the hope that such a move may never
be needed.

Armed with a plan to lend to banks in return for giving
credit to companies, a pledge to buy parcels of repackaged debt
as well as record low borrowing costs, the ECB may have done
enough to stop Europe’s fragile economy from sliding further.

Aug 13, 2014

Don’t repeat mistakes of Irish bailout, former IMF official warns Portugal

FRANKFURT, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Portugal is making the same
costly mistake as Ireland by rescuing a troubled bank and
largely sparing its bondholders losses, one of the architects of
Ireland’s bailout has warned.

Shortly after finishing a painful economic overhaul in
return for emergency loans, Portugal recently unveiled the
surprise rescue of a major bank with an injection of almost 5
billion euros ($6.7 billion) chiefly using state funds.

Aug 10, 2014

Europe’s fragile economy put to test as Ukraine, Iraq sour mood

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Investors will gauge the strength of the euro zone’s fragile economy this week as escalating conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq darken the mood globally.

In stark contrast to the United States and Britain, which are growing strongly, economic output in the euro bloc is likely to have all but ground to a halt in the three months to June. Its star economy, Germany, is losing momentum and Italy is sliding back into recession.

Aug 7, 2014

ECB says Ukraine crisis threatens EU recovery, keeps rates low

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The Ukraine crisis has heightened risks to the euro zone’s weak and uneven economic recovery, and a tit-for-tat sanctions war could compound the problem, the European Central Bank said on Thursday as it held borrowing rates at record low levels.

ECB President Mario Draghi cited instability across the Middle East as well as tensions between Russia and Western countries over the conflict in Ukraine among factors weighing on growth in the single currency area. Moscow has retaliated for European Union sanctions by halting imports of food from Europe.

Aug 7, 2014

ECB keeps rates low as Ukraine casts cloud over Europe

FRANKFURT, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank held
borrowing rates on Thursday as it pinned its hopes on lending
measures to bolster a struggling euro zone economy facing
further damage from the Ukraine conflict.

Having cut interest rates to record lows in June, the euro
zone’s central bank kept them steady, waiting to see whether
schemes such as the ultra-cheap four-year loans to banks it will
launch in September will prompt them to lend more.

Aug 4, 2014

Exclusive-Europe mulls handing back reins of reform to Athens

FRANKFURT/ ATHENS (Reuters) – Brussels is considering scrapping the troika that supervises Greek reforms to allow Athens to pursue its own plan to bolster the economy in return for a drip-feed of debt relief, European officials say.

The discussion, still in its early stages, will gather pace as Greece and its euro zone backers chart a new course for the country with its second European bailout programme due to end later in 2014.

Aug 4, 2014

Europe mulls handing back reins of reform to Athens

FRANKFURT/ ATHENS (Reuters) – Brussels is considering scrapping the troika that supervises Greek reforms to allow Athens to pursue its own plan to bolster the economy in return for a drip-feed of debt relief, European officials say.

The discussion, still in its early stages, will gather pace as Greece and its euro zone backers chart a new course for the country with its second European bailout program due to end later in 2014.

Jul 30, 2014

Banks loosen purse strings for euro zone businesses

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone banks have loosened their lending terms for businesses for the first time since the start of the financial crisis, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday, reducing one of the chief obstacles to an economic rebound.

Since the start of a banking collapse, which struck Germany in 2007 with the near failure of small-business lender IKB, banks in Europe have remained reluctant to lend even as the clouds of crisis gradually lift.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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