Champagne for “bailout boys” in Dublin?

November 19, 2010

T2Doom and gloom is in no shortage in Ireland this week with “bailout boys” from the IMF descending on the capital and newspaper editorials mourning the end of Irish independence.

from Reuters Investigates:

Club Fed: the ties that bind at the Fed

October 1, 2010

USA-FED/BERNANKE We're getting a lot of good feedback on our special report on cozy ties between Wall Street and the Fed. As one Wall Street economist put it: "I've never seen the 'Fed Alumni Association' used more extensively for back-channel communications with the Street than has been the case since June."

ECB payback as easy as ABC

July 1, 2010


The European Central Bank is breathing a sigh of relief as it managed to take back 442 billion euros in emergency loans lent to banks a year ago without blowing a hole in money markets.

The ECB’s half-trillion euro question

June 25, 2010

ReutersEuropean banks must pay back almost half a trillion euros to the European Central Bank on July 1 as the ECB’s first-ever one-year loans fall due, potentially putting pressure on banks’ ability to refinance and on money market interest rates.

A “Greed Tax” on banks

April 21, 2010

The International Monetary Fund has done what it was bid by the G20  and come up with proposals for getting banks to pay for the government help they receive when they get in trouble.  You can read the actual wording here, but it comes down to this:

Scams from Abuja to Reykjavik

March 4, 2010

It suffered the collapse of its currency, economy and banking system so being invoked in a version of the notorious Nigerian email scam is one of the smaller humiliations endured by Iceland.

Financial headcounts stabilize in 2009

February 25, 2010

After financial firms slashed hundreds of thousands of jobs in 2007 and 2008, the bloodletting slowed in 2009 as major banks rebounded from the financial crisis. Even though firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co reported billions of dollars in profit, they still did not announce major hiring initiatives.

Are CDS markets the euro zone’s iceberg?

February 15, 2010

icebergIn an unfortunate turn of phrase at the height of his country’s current debt crisis, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Monday compared his government’s Herculean task in slashing deficits and debts as akin to changing the course of the Titanic. Sadly, we all know where the great “unsinkable” ended up almost a century ago and I’m sure,  given the chance, Mr Papaconstantinou would have chosen another metaphor. But if the Greek economy (or perhaps the euro zone at large?) is to be cast as the Titanic, then what is its potential iceberg?

ECB to cash junkies: Get into rehab

November 5, 2009

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet  signalled on Thursday that the days of 12-month loans to banks will come to an end soon and that will be the start of a gradual exit from unlimited liquidity injections.***”The market, as far as I see, it is not expecting that we will prolong (our) one-year operation, I will say nothing to dispel this present sentiment of the market,” Trichet said in a news conference after the 16-country bloc’s central bank kept rates at 1 percent. “The enhanced credit support … was not for eternity,” he added.******The ECB started the 12-month cash injections to help the ailing banking sector back into form, and banks reacted with joy, snapping up nearly half a trillion euros of cheap money in the first such operation in June.******But Trichet also had soothing words for banks addicted to cheap money. The ECB would keep interbank interest rates well below the main refinancing rate, he said.  But it seems banks will have to learn to play again with each other rather than relying only on the ECB’s largesse.******And before signing off, Trichet also had words of advice for the media.  “This is exactly the same language as we always have utilised. Everybody knows that, so no news there.”******That advice seemed fall on deaf ears, as most media, including Reuters, would make a lot of hay out of his words on 12-month liquidity injections and keep it the centrepiece of their coverage.

“Normal” bank lending is no longer realistic

October 14, 2009

MacroScope is pleased to post the following from guest blogger James Carrick.  Carrick is economist at UK fund firm Legal & General Investment Management. He says here old patterns of lending are unlikely to return and that this means slow growth in developed countries.