ECB forecasts to contrast with Britain’s

By Mike Peacock
December 5, 2013

The European Central Bank holds its last rates meeting of the year with some of the alarm about looming deflation pricked by a pick-up in euro zone inflation last week – though at 0.9 percent it remains way below the ECB’s target of close to two percent.

Game of chicken in Kiev

By Mike Peacock
December 4, 2013

No sign of tensions calming on the streets of Kiev, in fact today we could have a new flashpoint.

For the Fed, pros and cons of lowering yet another rate

December 3, 2013

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Now that the Federal Reserve is finally – we think for real this time – preparing to reduce its bond buying program, trading floors are abuzz with what it could do at the same time to offset such a move. Tapering its quantitative easing (QE) program would signal, after all, that the Fed thinks the U.S. economy is healing and that monetary policy needn’t be as accommodative as it has been. But since inflation is still too low and unemployment is still too high, the thinking goes, the central bank will want to do something that proves it is serious about keeping interest rates low for a while longer in order to make sure the economic recovery is durable.

Corporate responsibility: it’s time to start investing those record profits and cash piles

December 3, 2013

Corporate profits and cash piles have never been higher. But it’s not just an economic imperative that firms get spending and investing, it’s their social and moral responsibility to do so.

Putin’s Ukraine “victory” — pyrrhic?

By Mike Peacock
December 3, 2013

Ukraine continues to top the European worry list.

Monday demonstrated how quickly the financial side of the equation can spiral out of control. The hryvnia currency slumped and the cost of insuring against Ukrainian default soared, forcing the central bank to intervene and urge its citizens not to spark a bank run.

Crisis in Kiev

By Mike Peacock
December 2, 2013

Ukraine’s shock decision to turn its back on an EU trade deal continues to reverberate with mass rallies on the streets of Kiev in protest at President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision.

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.