Back to banking union

By Mike Peacock
June 19, 2013

The G8 produced little heat or light on the state of the world economy but if there was one clarion call it was for the euro zone to get on with forming a banking union – the last major initiative needed to draw a line under the euro zone debt crisis.

Mervyn King gets a “B” grade from economists… for the time being

May 30, 2013

As is now customary for retiring central bank chiefs, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has received a warm – but not a standing – ovation from economists for his time in charge.

Britain’s Help to Buy unites analysts about its dangers

May 29, 2013

Even if they can’t agree how much Britain’s Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme will boost the housing market, analysts in the latest Reuters poll are united by an understanding of its dangers.

Mervyn King’s economic ray of light may be too bright

May 15, 2013

In his valedictory Quarterly Inflation Report, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King shone a ray of light on the British economy, saying it should grow 0.5 percent in the current quarter.

What’s it all about?

By Mike Peacock
May 9, 2013

G7 finance ministers meet London on Friday and Saturday. Since they and many more met in Washington only three weeks ago and not much has changed since, it’s tempting to ask what is the point of this British gathering. There have been mutterings from some of the travelling delegations to that effect.

Austerity, the ECB and Osborne

By Mike Peacock
April 24, 2013

There’s been a lot of noise surrounding the rhetorical shift away from austerity in the euro zone in recent days, the notable exception being Germany. It is now widely acknowledged that monetary policy alone cannot turn economies around. But of course it has a vital part to play.

Octogenarian rekindles Italian hope

By Mike Peacock
April 22, 2013

 

The big euro zone development over the weekend was the re-election of ageing Italian President Giorgio Napolitano for a second term. The presumption is that to put himself through this again he must have got pretty serious expressions of intent from the warring political parties that they will strive for some form of grand coalition. That may have been made easier by the resignation of centre-left leader Bersani who was in danger of splitting his own caucus.

From one central banking era to another: beware the consequences

April 8, 2013

Paul Volcker’s inflation-fighting era as chairman of the Federal Reserve is quite the opposite of today’s U.S. central bank, which is battling to kick start growth and even stave off deflation with trillions in bond purchases. And it is polar opposite of where the Bank of Japan finds itself today, doubling down on easing to lift inflation expectations after two decades of Japanese stagnation. After all, Volcker ratcheted up interest rates in 1979 and the early 1980s to tame the inflation that had been choking the United States.

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.

Rose-tinted forecasting still in vogue for Britain’s independent budget watchdog

March 20, 2013

Britain’s independent Office for Budget Responsibility slashed its growth forecasts for this year ahead of George Osborne’s Budget on Wednesday. But looking longer-term, it now has the unusual distinction of being more optimistic about Britain’s long-term economic health than the Bank of England, often pilloried for its rose-tinted views.