Greek gamble

By Mike Peacock
December 9, 2014

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras smiles during a news conference with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades after their summit at the presidential palace in Cairo

The Greek government has taken a huge gamble, bringing forward by two months to next a week a parliamentary vote on a new president. Two further rounds of voting will be held before the year-end.

Merkel raps Italy, France over budgets

By Mike Peacock
December 8, 2014

France's President Hollande talks with Italy's Prime Minister Renzi during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan

Euro zone finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss member states’ 2015 budget plans. We know the European Commission thinks France, Italy and Belgium are breaking EU deficit rules but will defer decisions on any action until March. At that point, France could face a multi-billion euro fine and Italy and Belgium be put on a disciplinary programme.

EU investment plan; game changer or empty vessel?

By Mike Peacock
November 26, 2014

European Central Bank President Draghi and Eurogroup President -Juncker talk during a news conference in Nicosia, Cyprus

New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil his investment plan for the bloc to the European Parliament today which aims to generate 315 billion euros of investment and lift growth onto a higher plane. The details were put out last night and there’s no new money in it. Instead, 21 billion euros of funding is expected to leverage private investment of a whopping 15 times that amount.

Fed heads one way, BoJ the other. What now for ECB?

By Mike Peacock
November 3, 2014

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After the Federal Reserve wound up its bond-buying programme, as expected, and the Bank of Japan sprung a surprise by sharply increasing the pace of its money-printing, this week the European Central Bank takes its monthly bow and will probably come up with nothing new.

Putin – is he ready to deal?

By Mike Peacock
October 17, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Poroshenko are due to meet on the sidelines of the EU/Asia summit in Milan today to try to find a way out of the Ukraine crisis.

Battle lines drawn

By Mike Peacock
October 13, 2014

Germany's Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schauble speaks during a discussion during the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington

The predictable battle lines were drawn at the G20/IMF meetings in Washington – most of the world urged Europe to do more to foster growth while Germany warned against letting up on austerity. The argument will doubtless be reprised today when euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg.

Europe looks again to Draghi

By Mike Peacock
September 22, 2014

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Surprisingly low take-up at last week’s first round of cheap four-year loans by the European Central Bank begs a number of questions – How low is demand for credit and what does that say about the state of the economy? Are banks cowed by the upcoming stress tests? Does this make an eventual leap to QE more likely?

Swedish shift

By Mike Peacock
September 15, 2014

Opposition leader Stefan Lofven speaks at the election night party of the Social Democrats in Stockholm

Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrats topped the poll in Sunday’s election but fell well short of an overall majority to the extent that it will struggle to form a strong coalition.

An almighty gamble

By Mike Peacock
September 10, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London

Having woken up to the very real possibility of Scotland going it alone, the leaders of Britain’s main parties have scrapped their parliamentary business and headed north to campaign in what amounts to a huge gamble.

Nearer the brink

By Mike Peacock
September 1, 2014

A man walks past cutting boards, that have been painted with images of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, at a street store in the center of St. Petersburg

Ukraine is nearer the brink with Russian forces now pretty clearly operating over the border. The past week has seen Ukrainian forces flee in the path of a new rebel advance which Kiev and its western allies says has been directly aided by Moscow’s forces.