Yemen slides into civil war

By Mike Peacock
March 26, 2015

A Houthi fighter walks on a vehicle damaged by an air strike at a residential area near Sanaa Airport

Dramatic escalation in Yemen overnight with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launching military operations including air strikes in Yemen to counter Iran-allied forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the U.S.-backed president is holed up.

Waiting for the Greek list

By Mike Peacock
March 25, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

The Greek government could produce at any time a list of economic reforms which it hopes will prompt a flood of funds from its creditors.

Currency concerns everywhere

By Mike Peacock
March 24, 2015

A bureau de change operator counts U.S. currency notes in Abuja

Currency concerns in the central banking world have come to the fore again.

Sweden cut interest rates further into negative territory out of the blue last week, fearing its strong currency will engender deflation. The Swiss National Bank said it would aim to weaken what it sees as a “significantly overvalued” franc. And the Bank of England flagged the risk that sterling could strengthen further and leave inflation below target for longer.

Tsipras seeking mercy from Merkel

By Mike Peacock
March 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras, EU Parliament President Schulz and Germany's Chancellor Merkel attend a EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Angela Merkel in Berlin late today.

The strategy in Athens seems to be to seek mercy from EU leaders, going over the heads of euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank and IMF, hoping that they will see the broad political cost of a Greek collapse rather than focus on the nitty gritty of funding and required economic reforms.
That doesn’t look like a winning strategy.

Differing accounts after late-night Greek talks

March 20, 2015

Hollande, Merkel, Dijsselbloem, Juncker, Tsipras, Tusk and officials during an EU leaders summit in Brussel

After late-night talks in Brussels with key EU leaders and institutional chiefs, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured his creditors that he would soon present a full set of economic reforms in order to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.

Tsipras’ High Noon

By Mike Peacock
March 19, 2015

cooper3

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit with Greece and Ukraine eclipsing the official economic and energy policy agenda.

Bibi rides again

By Mike Peacock
March 18, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv

Not for the first time, Benjamin Netanyahu has defied the odds and snatched electoral victory from the jaws of defeat.
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog has just conceded although he has not given up hope of forming a coalition government if Netanyahu fails to.

Another Russian rate cut?

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2015

A cashier takes a 500-rouble banknote from a cash register as she serves a customer at the Vinoteka specialised wine and vodka store in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.

Ukraine to get serious money

By Mike Peacock
March 12, 2015

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Lagarde speaks about the situation in Ukraine at a news conference in Brussels

The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.

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.