Huge gaps to bridge in Greek negotiations

By Mike Peacock
April 17, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis speaks at the Brookings Institution in Washington

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters on Thursday he was “firmly optimistic” of reaching an agreement with Greece’s creditors. But he acknowledged that the two sides disagreed on four major issues: labour rules, pension reform, a hike in value-added taxes and privatisations.

Merkel, seeking firm line with Russia, meets Poroshenko

By Mike Peacock
March 16, 2015

Ukraine's President Poroshenko addresses the commemoration for people killed in anti-government protests in 2014 in Kiev

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin.

Another Russian rate cut?

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2015

A cashier takes a 500-rouble banknote from a cash register as she serves a customer at the Vinoteka specialised wine and vodka store in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.

Ukraine to get serious money

By Mike Peacock
March 12, 2015

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Lagarde speaks about the situation in Ukraine at a news conference in Brussels

The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.

Talking Turkey

By Mike Peacock
March 11, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci will brief President Tayyip Erdogan today about sharp falls in the lira of about 12 percent versus the dollar this year which have not been helped by Erdogan’s criticism of monetary policy.

Euro zone facing autumn crunch?

By Mike Peacock
July 25, 2012

Spain remains the focus for the markets but here comes Greece racing up on the outside lane. Officials told us exclusively yesterday that Athens is way, way off the targets set by its bailout programme and a further restructuring will be needed. If so, it’s almost inevitable this time that euro zone governments and the ECB will have to take a hit. Are they prepared to? There’s little sign of it so far although a key ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last night that a second haircut was an option.

Contemplating Italian debt restructuring

November 10, 2011

This week’s evaporation of confidence in the euro zone’s biggest government debt market — Italy’s 1.6 trillion euros of bonds and bills and the world’s third biggest — has opened a Pandora’s Box that may now force  investors to consider the possibility of a mega sovereign debt default or writedown and, or maybe as a result of,  a euro zone collapse.