Housing boom and bust lesson still not sinking in

November 28, 2013

Housing markets are booming again in parts of the U.S. and Britain and they haven’t stopped doing so in Canada for the better part of a generation.

The big questions on the UK housing market: what the analysts say

November 28, 2013

Although UK house prices will head steadily higher in the next two years, analysts polled by Reuters are divided over whether the Bank of England can restrain the market if it overheats. Here’s what they said in the latest Reuters poll, taken this week:

Auto-pilot QE and the Federal Reserve’s taper dilemma

November 26, 2013

 It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

When the U.S. Federal Reserve launched its third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, it was hailed as an “open-ended” policy that would last as long as needed. Most important for investors, the pace of the bond buying – which started at a somewhat arbitrary $85 billion per month – would be “data dependent.” Especially throughout the spring, officials stressed they were serious about adjusting the dial on QE3 depending on changes in the labor market and broader economy. But as the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent last month from 8.1 percent when the program was launched in September, 2012, the bond-buying has effectively been on auto-pilot for 14 straight months.

Doing it for the kids: foreign parents snap up London properties

November 26, 2013

Investors wanting London’s booming housing market for their portfolios and the city’s universities for their children are killing two birds with one stone.

And more from the ECB…

By Mike Peacock
November 22, 2013

The bombardment of European Central Bank interventions continues today. ECB chief Mario Draghi addresses the European Banking Congress in Frankfurt and any number of his colleagues break cover elsewhere.

ECB cacophony

By Mike Peacock
November 21, 2013

A round of European Central Bank policymakers speeches this week can be boiled down to this. All options, including money-printing, are on the table but it will be incredibly hard to get it past ECB hardliners and neither camp sees a real threat of deflation yet.

France, Italy compare notes

By Mike Peacock
November 20, 2013

French President Francois Hollande is in Rome for talk with Italy’s Enrico Letta. Both have a lot on their minds.

ECB quandary

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2013

Another round of European Central Bank speakers will command attention today with disappearing inflation fuelling talk of further extraordinary policy moves.

Italian shuffle

By Mike Peacock
November 18, 2013

The decision by one of Silvio Berlusconi’s key allies to break from his party and back Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition appears to have shored up the Italian government with a final vote on expelling the media magnate from public life looming large.

Taking the union out of banking union?

By Mike Peacock
November 15, 2013

Today’s meeting of EU finance ministers will grapple with banking union and next year’s stress tests though with no German government in place, a leap forward is unlikely.