Evening of reckoning

By Mike Peacock
May 27, 2014

EU heads of government and state dine in Brussels this evening to discuss their response to a big slap in the face from the bloc’s electorates.

Money for Ukraine?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2014

Russia’s next move remains the great unanswered question for Ukraine but there are glimmers that things might be starting to move elsewhere.

ECB deflation risk denial has echoes of 2009

January 31, 2014

Euro zone policymakers like to talk. They often contradict each other at separate speaking engagements on the same day. But they have struck a chorus in recent weeks, asserting that deflation is not a threat.

Davos Day Two — Rouhani, Lew and Lagarde

By Mike Peacock
January 23, 2014

Day one in Davos showed the masters of the universe fretting about Sino-Japanese military tensions, the treacherous investment territory in some emerging markets and the risk of a lurch to the right in Europe at May’s parliamentary elections which could make reform of the bloc even harder.

Data to shape ECB week

By Mike Peacock
January 6, 2014

Euro zone service sector PMIs and German inflation (with the euro zone number to follow on Tuesday) will lay the ground for the European Central Bank’s first policy meeting of the year.

Just a typical euro zone day

By Mike Peacock
July 16, 2013

Spain will sell up to four billion euros of six- and 12-month treasury bills, prior to a full bond auction on Thursday. Italy attracted only anaemic demand at auction last week and Madrid has already had to pay more to borrow since the Federal Reserve shook up the markets with its blueprint for an exit from QE.

The Greek “cliff”

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2012

Some key positions were staked out on Greece over the weekend – ECB power-behind-the throne Joerg Asmussen became the first euro policymaker to say on the record that euro zone finance ministers meeting on Tuesday would be intent only on finding a deal to tide Greece over the next two years. But IMF chief Christine Lagarde told us in an interview that she would push for a permanent solution to Greece’s debts to avoid prolonged uncertainty and further damage to the Greek economy.
  
Sounds like those two positions could be mutually exclusive. However, it may be that something like a behind-the-scenes pledge from the German government that it will act decisively after next year’s election will keep the IMF on board.

Greek debt — a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

By Mike Peacock
November 16, 2012

So said Winston Churchill of Russia. The Greek debt saga isn’t quite that unfathomable but the economic necessities continue to clash with the political realities.

Italy in market after Spanish downgrade

By Mike Peacock
October 11, 2012

Italy is expected to pay slightly more than it did a month ago to borrow for three years at today’s auction of up to 6 billion euros of a range of bonds. Yields edged up at a sale of 11 billion euros of short-term paper on Wednesday but there is no immediate cause for alarm. Three year-yields have dropped from 5.3 percent to around 3.3 since the ECB declared its readiness to buy the bonds of troubled euro zone sovereigns and Italy has shifted about 80 percent of its debt requirements this year, so is on track in that regard.

Euro zone ying and yang

By Mike Peacock
May 28, 2012

The ying.
Sources told us last night that Spain may recapitalize stricken Bankia with government bonds in return for shares in the bank. That would presumably involve an up-front hit for Spain’s public finances (it is already striving to lop about 6 percentage points off its budget deficit in two years) which might be recouped at some point if the shares don’t disappear through the floor.
The ECB’s view of this will be crucial since the plan seems to involve the bank depositing the new bonds with the ECB as collateral in return for cash. If it cries foul, where would that leave Madrid?