What’s it all about, Mario?

By Mike Peacock
September 4, 2014

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It’s ECB day and after Mario Draghi’s recent dramatic utterances, expectation for fresh action has grown, expectations which are likely largely to be dashed.

Over to Obama

By Mike Peacock
September 3, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One before departing for Estonia while at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington

Barack Obama is in Estonia before the NATO summit in Wales intending to pressure Vladimir Putin to back off in Ukraine. The rhetoric will be strong – not least about protecting the Baltics under NATO’s umbrella.

Jaw jaw and war war

By Mike Peacock
September 2, 2014

An Ukrainian serviceman is seen next to a sight for a gun near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luhansk

Pro-Russia separatists at talks with representatives from Moscow and the OSCE in Minsk said they would be prepared to stay part of Ukraine if they were granted “special status”, which is unlikely to be acceptable to Kiev.

Nearer the brink

By Mike Peacock
September 1, 2014

A man walks past cutting boards, that have been painted with images of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, at a street store in the center of St. Petersburg

Ukraine is nearer the brink with Russian forces now pretty clearly operating over the border. The past week has seen Ukrainian forces flee in the path of a new rebel advance which Kiev and its western allies says has been directly aided by Moscow’s forces.

The ECB keeps putting up the cash, but where’s the lending?

August 28, 2014

Draghi and TrichetFor the European Central Bank, a lot is riding on euro zone banks ramping up lending to the private sector. Unfortunately, after a very long time, lending still is not growing. It fell 1.6 percent on a year ago in July.

Fed’s embrace of labor market is complete at Jackson Hole, 20 years later

August 26, 2014

Fischer, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System, speaks with a demonstrator at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson HoleBy Michael Flaherty, Howard Schneider and Jonathan Spicer in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

To dig deeper into the significance of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s message at the annual central banking summit in Jackson Hole this past weekend, go back twenty years to the same event, when a top Fed official sparked a firestorm by showing support for the labor market. At the end of the 1994 symposium, the new Fed vice chairman at the time, Alan Blinder, gave a 14 page overview in which he stressed the point that central banks have a role in reducing unemployment.

UK rate consensus nearly rock-solid even as markets flip-flop over timing

August 20, 2014

BFor all of the flip-flopping in sterling markets in recent months over when the Bank of England will finally lift interest rates off their lowest floor in more than 300 years, the consensus view among forecasters has been remarkably stable.

from Global Investing:

Sanctions bite Russia but some investors are fishing

August 14, 2014

By Andrew Winterbottom

Russian stocks are up today, for the fifth day in a row and at the highest level in two weeks. What's going on? As we wrote  here earlier in the week, foreign investors have been fleeing this market.  However it could be that some of them are starting to put aside concerns about the potential for further sanctions on Moscow and are scouring Russia's stock markets for contrarian buying opportunities.

Euro zone recovery snuffed out

By Mike Peacock
August 14, 2014

A BMW logo is seen the wheel of a car in Mexico City

A glut of euro zone GDP data is landing confirming a markedly poor second quarter for the currency area.

All eyes on Putin

By Mike Peacock
August 13, 2014

Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to reporters during a meeting in Brasilia

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his top security officials prior to visiting annexed Crimea on Thursday with members of his government.