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.

Turkish troubles

By Mike Peacock
January 10, 2014

Ask investors about their minimum criteria when putting money into a country and rule of law comes pretty high. That’s one of the reasons why Turkey’s corruption scandal, and the reaction of the government in ousting hundreds of police officers, is so serious. The lira touched a record low on Thursday.

ECB’s Draghi gives Germans “perverse” lesson

By Eva Taylor
January 9, 2014

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When Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, told Der Spiegel magazine at the end of last year that “there was this perverse Angst” in Germany that things were turning bad, he caused an outcry in  German media, already suspicious of his policies. What had perhaps slipped by Draghi is that the English word perverse can also mean kinky in German.

ECB rate cut expectations to be left deflated

By Mike Peacock
January 9, 2014

Euro zone inflation has dropped to just 0.8 percent and the core measure is lower still – at 0.7 percent it has fallen pretty consistently over the last year.

from Global Investing:

Market cap of EM debt indices still rising

January 8, 2014

It wasn't a good year for emerging market bonds, with all three main debt benchmarks posting negative returns for the first time since 2008. But the benchmark indices run by JPMorgan nevertheless saw a modest increase in market capitalisation, and assets of the funds that benchmark to these indices also rose.

Lew’s comes to Europe airing concerns

By Mike Peacock
January 8, 2014

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew moves on to Berlin then Lisbon after spending yesterday in Paris. There, he urged Europe to do more to build up its bank backstops and capital, a fairly clear indication that Washington is underwhelmed by the German model of banking union which has prevailed.

That sinking feeling

By Mike Peacock
January 7, 2014

Euro zone inflation, or deflation, is the focus of the moment.

Germany’s HICP rate fell to 1.2 percent last month, Italy’s hit 0.6 percent and Spain’s just 0.3 in December (not to mention Greece’s -2.9 percent). Today we get the figure for the euro zone as a whole. Forecasts for it to hold at 0.9 percent may now look a little toppy.