Brazil looking most vulnerable in Latam to any bursting of China’s credit bubble

March 13, 2014

Higher taxes, rising prices, political turbulence. The outlook for Brazil over the next months and years is tough, as Reuters reported on Wednesday, but it could get a lot worse if there is a banking crisis in China, according to the British firm Oxford Economics.

Sanctions loom for Russia

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2014

The European Union, as we exclusively reported yesterday, has agreed on a framework for sanctions against Russia, including travel restrictions and asset freezes, which goes further than many expected. The list of targeted individuals is still being worked on but will be ready for the bloc’s foreign ministers to look at on Monday.

Odds on Britain leaving EU shift again

By Mike Peacock
March 12, 2014

Kiev has appealed for Western help to stop Moscow annexing Crimea, where a referendum on joining Russia will be held on Sunday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk will take that message to Washington and the United Nations.

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.