Banking — union or disunion

By Mike Peacock
March 11, 2014

EU finance ministers face the mammoth task of finalizing everything on banking union that was set out in principle by their leaders at a December summit, since when not much has happened. Last night, the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers made little progress bar agreeing that they needed to agree quickly.

Marathon banking union talks

By Mike Peacock
March 10, 2014

Shots were fired at an international team of monitors in Crimea over the weekend, violence flared in Sevastopol as thousands staged rallies and Angela Merkel, who perhaps has the most receptive western ear to Vladimir Putin, rebuked him for supporting a referendum on Ukraine’s southern region joining Russia. But in truth we’re not much further forward or backwards in this crisis.

Weather to make February jobs report a crap-shoot too

March 7, 2014

Blaming bad economic news on winter is getting as tiresome as tales of snarled traffic, flight cancellations and trips out with the snow shovel in freezing winds.

Putin unmoved by carrots or sticks

By Mike Peacock
March 7, 2014

Vladimir Putin said this morning Russia and the United States are still far apart over Ukraine. Moscow, he said, could not ignore “illegitimate decisions” imposed on the east and south of the country and calls for help by ethnic Russians there but the two powers should not sacrifice relations over it.

Unsterilised ECB?

By Mike Peacock
March 6, 2014

Foreign ministerial talks in Paris yesterday made little progress on Ukraine. Russia rejected Western demands that its forces in Crimea should return to their bases and its foreign minister refused to recognise his Ukrainian counterpart. Moscow continues to assert that the troops that have seized control of the Black Sea peninsula are not under its command. The West is pushing for international monitors to go in.

Jaw jaw not war war, hopefully

By Mike Peacock
March 5, 2014

The end of Russian military exercises near the Ukrainian border and Vladimir Putin’s statement that force would only be used as a very last resort seemed to have taken some of the tension out of this crisis but the situation remains on a knife edge.

A small step back?

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2014

A reported 0300 GMT deadline, which Russian forces denied had been issued, for Ukraine’s troops to disarm in Crimea or face the consequences has passed without incident and in the last hour President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops that took part in military exercises in western Russia to return to base.

When is a war not a war?

By Mike Peacock
March 3, 2014

Is it war if no shots have been fired? The Ukrainians say so but Moscow, its grip on Crimea now pretty much complete, says it is merely protecting its people. The rest of the world and its financial markets watch on very uneasily.

Escalation in Crimea

By Mike Peacock
February 28, 2014

Worrying escalation in Crimea. Interfax reports Russian servicemen have take over a military airport in the Russian-speaking region of Ukraine and armed men are also patrolling the airport at Crimea’s regional centre of Simferopol.
Kiev has condemned the moves as an “armed invasion”.