Iran and Japan in focus at Davos

By Mike Peacock
January 22, 2014

Lots of action in Switzerland today with the annual get-together of the great and good at Davos getting underway and Syrian peace talks commencing in Montreux.

A moment of truth for Turkey

By Mike Peacock
January 21, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will make his first visit to Brussels for five years where he will meet EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

The Iranian thaw

By Mike Peacock
January 20, 2014

A landmark deal curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in return for a loosening of sanctions appears to be underway, an agreement intended to buy time for a permanent settlement of a decade-old standoff.

Why should the Bank of England hike rates when it can baby-step?

January 17, 2014

When the Bank of England decides to start hiking interest rates, it may find that its standard 25 and 50 basis point interest rate moves of old are too blunt a tool for Britain’s delicately-poised economic recovery.

EU ratings day: Portugal modest thumbs up, Dutch unscathed, Ireland awaited

By Mike Peacock
January 17, 2014

Friday is European ratings day since EU rules took force requiring ratings agencies to say precisely when they will make sovereign pronouncements and to do so outside market hours.

Relief from UK services inflation seen fleeting

January 16, 2014

British inflation dipped to 2 percent  in December – its lowest since November 2009 and within the Bank of England’s target. Part of the move was driven by a fall in prices in Britain’s services sector – which constitutes more than three quarters of the country’s output.

Spain ascendant?

By Mike Peacock
January 16, 2014

Spain appears to be on the road to recovery, if you can call it that with around a quarter of the workforce without a job.

Hollande talks the talk

By Mike Peacock
January 15, 2014

Francois Hollande managed to bat off questions about his private life (how successful he is in holding that line depends on the attitude of the French media which yesterday was nothing but respectful) and focus instead on a blizzard of economic reforms.

Hollande’s moment of truth

By Mike Peacock
January 14, 2014

This afternoon, French President Francois Hollande will expand upon his New Year announcement that French companies who agree to hire more workers could pay lower labour taxes in return and find themselves less tied up in red tape. Unemployment is running near to 12 percent and Hollande’s vow to get it falling by the end of 2013 fell short.

New face at the ECB

By Mike Peacock
January 13, 2014

The European Central Bank held a steady course at its first policy meeting of the year but flagged up the twin threats of rising short-term money market rates and the possibility of a “worsening” outlook for inflation – i.e. deflation.