Talking Turkey

By Mike Peacock
March 11, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci will brief President Tayyip Erdogan today about sharp falls in the lira of about 12 percent versus the dollar this year which have not been helped by Erdogan’s criticism of monetary policy.

Impatient euro zone tells Greece to get on with it

By Mike Peacock
March 10, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis walks past  Eurogroup Chairman Dijsselbloem at a euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

The head of euro zone finance ministers urged Greece on Monday to “stop wasting time” and buckle down to serious talks on implementing a reform programme to secure urgently needed funds from its international creditors.

Greeks bearing letters

By Mike Peacock
March 9, 2015

Varoufakis arrives at a news conference after an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis must face the music once more at a Eurogroup meeting of euro zone finance ministers.

Demand-led German recovery

By Mike Peacock
March 6, 2015

The factory of the company Kronospan is pictured during sunset at the east German town Lampertswalde

An economic trend, like a battle plan, often doesn’t survive the first engagement. Data from euro zone countries has generally surprised on the upside since the turn of the year with Germany leading the way. German growth was robust in Q4, with domestic demand to the fore.

The U.S. job market is consistently beating expectations

March 5, 2015

The evidence clearly shows that the U.S. job market now is consistently beating rising expectations, which should give pause to those doubting an interest rate rise is coming from the Federal Reserve later this year.

ECB to fill in the QE gaps

By Mike Peacock
March 5, 2015

ECB President Draghi arrives to take part in a plenary debate on the ECB's Annual Report 2013 at the EU Parliament in Brussels

The European Central Bank is holding its monthly meeting – an offsite gathering in Cyprus – and is about to commence its quantitative easing bond-buying programme.

Prescient Yellen saw limits of zero Fed interest rates back in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen.jpgDespite the Federal Reserve’s trillions of dollars in newly printed money, workers’ wages and overall U.S. inflation have failed to take off since the recession. Longer-term borrowing costs, from 10-year Treasury yields to 30-year home mortgages, have also compressed without any real signs of reversing. While this has perplexed many economists, transcripts of the U.S. central bank’s crisis-fighting meetings in 2009 show that Janet Yellen, then the head of the San Francisco Fed, was prescient in warning colleagues of these very problems.

The more things change: Fed wrestled with same policy “exit” issues in 2009

March 4, 2015

bernanke2009.jpgThe Federal Reserve faces two big challenges in the months and years ahead: how to finally “liftoff” after more than six years of rock bottom interest rates, and how to begin drawing down its $4.5-trillion balance sheet after three massive rounds of bond purchases. But, it turns out, those questions were being raised at the U.S. central bank as far back as 2009.

Transcripts show just how scary things were getting for Yellen and the Fed in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen2009.jpg The U.S. Federal Reserve just released full transcripts of its crisis-fighting meetings of 2009, when the U.S. economy was in the depths of recession and unemployment was soaring to 10 percent. Janet Yellen, who at the time was head of the San Francisco Fed, gave a sense of just how scary things were getting:

Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.