ECB in court

By Mike Peacock
June 10, 2013

The major euro zone event of the week starts on Tuesday when Germany’s top court – the Constitutional Court in Karlrsuhe – holds a two-day hearing to study complaints about the ESM euro zone bailout fund and the European Central Bank’s still-unused mechanism to buy euro zone government bonds.

Taking stock

By Mike Peacock
May 1, 2013

It’s May Day and most of Europe, barring Britain, is taking a holiday so maybe it’s a day to take stock.

ECB eclipsed by BOJ

By Mike Peacock
April 4, 2013

The European Central Bank takes centre stage. While others in the euro zone are saying the way Cyprus was bailed out – with bank bondholders and big depositors hit – could be repeated, the ECB insists it was a one-off.

Europe’s ‘democratic deficit’ evident in Cyprus bailout arrangement

March 28, 2013

The problem of a “democratic deficit” that might arise from the process of European integration has always been high on policymakers’ minds. The term even has its own Wikipedia entry.

One-off or precedent?

By Mike Peacock
March 26, 2013

Cypriot banks were supposed to reopen today but they won’t and when they do capital controls will be slapped on to prevent money fleeing its borders (was that how the single currency zone and single market was supposed to work?) The controls are supposed to be temporary but the Icelandic experience showed that once imposed they can be devilishly hard to remove. It seems pretty certain that there will be a bank run when the doors are reopened, which is now slated for Thursday.

Cyprus Plan B – phoenix or dodo?

By Mike Peacock
March 21, 2013

They’ve only been looking for it for a day but Cyprus’s Plan B has already taken on mythical status. A myth it might remain.

What now?

By Mike Peacock
March 20, 2013

 

The slow motion Cypriot car crash of the past five days reached impact point last night when not a single lawmaker voted for the bailout with bank levy attached – the first time a euro zone legislature has simply said no.

Cypriot crunch point

By Mike Peacock
March 19, 2013

Cypriot lawmakers are supposed to vote today on a bailout that hits at least some of its bank depositors but the president’s spokesman has said any such legislation is unlikely to pass. This could be brinkmanship but it doesn’t sound like it.

A Rubicon crossed

By Mike Peacock
March 18, 2013

What a weekend. The euro zone crossed a dangerous Rubicon by whacking Cypriot bank depositors as part of a bailout – a dramatic departure from previous aid programmes. The finance ministers insist it is a one-off (as they did for Greece) but if investors and bank customers fear a precedent has been set, there could yet be a serious backwash for the euro zone. And all this for six billion euros? It seems perplexing to say the least although our trawl of the streets of the euro zone periphery has detected little alarm so far.

Euro bailouts — one out, one in

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2013

We had thought the end-of-week EU summit was going to be a lacklustre affair but things are starting to bubble up.