Of euro budgets and banks

By Mike Peacock
October 14, 2013

Euro zone finance ministers meet today and will have one eye on budgetary matters given a Tuesday deadline for member states to send their draft budgets to the European Commission for inspection, and with protracted German coalition talks keeping other meaningful euro zone reform measures on hold.

Greek turning point?

By Mike Peacock
October 7, 2013

Greece will unveil its draft 2014 budget plan which is expected to forecast an end to six years of recession.

Economic damage from the shutdown? Small to start, say forecasters

October 2, 2013

The U.S. government shutdown probably won’t hit the economy too hard, say economists. Some point to the fact the shutdown has come right at the start of the fourth quarter, meaning there’s time before the year’s out for the economy to recoup some of  lost output resulting from the downtime. But, the longer it goes on, the worse it will be.

France on a budget

By Mike Peacock
September 25, 2013

The French 2014 budget will be presented in full today with the government seeking to reassure voters with a plan that makes the bulk of savings through curbs in spending, having relied more heavily on tax increases so far.

Curious timing for Fed self-doubt on monetary policy

August 30, 2013

If there was ever a time to be worried about whether the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying stimulus is having a positive effect on the economy, the last few months were probably not it. Everyone expected government spending cuts and tax increases to push the economic recovery off the proverbial cliff, while the outlook for overseas economies has very quickly gone from rosy to flashing red. But the American expansion has remained the fastest-moving among industrialized laggards, with second quarter gross domestic product revised up sharply to 2.5 percent.

Portugal crisis to test ECB´s strategy

July 3, 2013

Portuguese bond yields surged to more than 8 percent as a government crisis prompted investors to shun the bailed-out country, raising concerns about another flare-up in the euro zone debt saga.

Is Congress the ‘enabler’ of a loose Fed?

May 22, 2013

We heard it more than once at today’s hearing of the Joint Economic Committee featuring Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: the central bank’s low interest rate policies are allowing Congress to delay tough decisions on long-term spending.

There is no sovereign debt crisis in Europe

May 15, 2013

Evidence that Europe’s austerity policies are not working was in ample supply this morning. The euro zone as a whole is now in its longest recession since the start of monetary union. France has succumbed to the region’s retrenchment. Italy’s GDP slump is now the lengthiest on record. And Greece, still in depression, shrank another 5.3 percent in the first quarter.

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.

Another U.S. debt ceiling showdown could roil markets: NY Fed paper

March 7, 2013

After two days of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman last week in which he decisively criticized Congress’ decision to slash spending arbitrarily in the middle of a fragile economic recovery, a report on money market funds from the New York Fed nails home the point.