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.

Why euro zone bond yield ‘convergence’ may be something to fear

April 15, 2013

 

Are European bond investors looking for love in all the wrong places?

The premium bankers demand to hold various types of euro zone debt over that of Germany has recently come down. In normal circumstances, this might suggest markets are no longer discriminating between the risks associated with different member countries’ bonds. But analysts say the recent convergence is based on a precarious belief of ECB action rather than any real improvement in economic fundamentals.

German ghost of inflations past haunting European stability: Posen

April 15, 2013

“Reality is sticky.” That was the core of Adam Posen’s message to German policymakers on their home turf, at a recent conference in Berlin.

Abe’s European spring break: Japan stimulus sends euro zone yields to record lows

April 5, 2013

It wasn’t just the Nikkei. Euro zone government bonds rallied following Japan’s announcement of a massive new monetary stimulus. That sent yields on the debt of several euro zone countries to record lows on bets that Japanese investors might be switching out of Japanese government bonds into euro zone paper, or might soon do so.

Firefighting in the euro zone

April 3, 2013

Money markets largely braved Cyprus’s bailout saga last week, but figures showing liquidity conditions are tightening suggest sentiment may not be as resilient the next time around.

Europe’s ‘democratic deficit’ evident in Cyprus bailout arrangement

March 28, 2013

The problem of a “democratic deficit” that might arise from the process of European integration has always been high on policymakers’ minds. The term even has its own Wikipedia entry.

Is Slovenia the next shoe to drop?

March 21, 2013

The Cypriot saga has thrown the spotlight on Slovenia, which is also a small euro zone country struggling with an over-burdened banking sector.

Priceless: The unfathomable cost of too big to fail

March 13, 2013

Just how big is the benefit that too-big-to-fail banks receive from their implicit taxpayer backing? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke debated just that question with Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren during a recent hearing of the Senate Banking Committee. Warren cited a Bloomberg study based on estimates from the International Monetary Fund that found the subsidy, in the form of lower borrowing costs, amounts to some $83 billion a year.

100-years of solitude in the euro zone

February 14, 2013

The euro zone slipped deeper into recession than economists expected in the fourth quarter of 2012 as Germany and France– the region’s two largest economies – shrank 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent respectively on a quarterly basis.

Irish setback

By Mike Peacock
January 28, 2013

We’ve been saying for some time that while the immediate heat may be off the euro zone, therein lies a danger – that policymakers will relax their efforts to remould the bloc into a tougher structure that can withstand future crises, and possibly even allow this crisis to flare back into life.