from Lawrence Summers:

Britain and the limits of austerity

By Lawrence Summers
May 5, 2014

The Bank of England is seen in the City of London

The British economy has experienced the most rapid growth in the G7 over the last few months. It increased at an annual rate of more than 3 percent in the last quarter -- even as the U.S. economy barely grew, continental Europe remained in the doldrums and Japan struggled to maintain momentum in the face of a major new valued added tax increase.

A question of gas

By Mike Peacock
May 2, 2014

A Ukrainian soldier sits on top of an APC at a checkpoint outside the city of Slaviansk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Washington for talks with Barack Obama after Europe and the United States imposed wider sanctions on Russia.

Most accurate U.S. growth forecasters say to brace for stronger data this week

April 30, 2014

Arrows shot by Olympic hopeful and member of the U.S. archery team Gibilaro are seen in the target in BranfordThe two forecasting teams that came closest to predicting the U.S. economy would nearly stall in the first quarter expect other key economic data due this week to be strong.

ECB still the major source of funding for banks

April 30, 2014

European Central Bank President Draghi smiles during the monthly ECB news conference in FrankfurtThe European Central Bank is still the main funding source for banks even if it is not acting as lender of last resort for governments in the currency bloc.

Will sanctions bite?

By Mike Peacock
April 30, 2014

Financial markets may view the latest sanctions against Russia as feeble, but the reaction from Moscow – Vladimir Putin threatened to reconsider Western participation in energy deals and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said they were the work of weak politicians – suggests otherwise.

More hope than conviction for euro zone inflation rebound

April 29, 2014

ECB President Mario Draghi has a friend in euro zone economists of late. They tend to line up and take his view, at least when it comes to forecasting inflation.

Britain’s economic sprint probably tripled U.S. growth in Q1

April 28, 2014

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, analysts and investors were nearly unanimous in their expectation for a whole lot of nothing from Britain’s economy which, after a valiant leap higher from a spectacularly successful 2012 Olympic Games hosted in London, was back to just bumping along.

Obama impatient with EU over Russia

By Mike Peacock
April 28, 2014

The G7 has said tougher sanctions on Russia could be imposed as soon as today. EU ambassadors  are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels.

Scrambling to flesh out skeleton Fed board

April 25, 2014

“It’s about time” was the general reaction when on Thursday the Senate Banking Committee scheduled a vote on Barack Obama’s nominees for the Federal Reserve board. Not that Stanley Fischer, Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell (a sitting governor who needs re-confirmation) have been waiting all that long; it was January that the U.S. president nominated them as central bank governors, and only a month ago that the trio testified to the committee. The urgency and even anxiety had more to do with the fact that only four members currently sit on the Fed’s seven-member board and one of those, Jeremy Stein, is retiring in a month. The 100-year old Fed has never had only three governors, and the thought of the policy and administrative headaches that would bring was starting to stress people out. After all, the Fed under freshly-minted chair Janet Yellen is in the midst of its most difficult policy reversal ever.

Nearer to the brink

By Mike Peacock
April 25, 2014

De-escalation?  Forget it. Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels in the east yesterday and Russia launched army drills near the border in response.