Italy up for auction

By Mike Peacock
April 12, 2012

All eyes on Italy. After paying sharply higher yields to sell one-year paper on Wednesday, it faces the altogether trickier task of selling up to five billion euros of three-year bonds. Yields are expected to jump by a full percentage point from a month ago but, as with yesterday, demand will be there and the paper should get away.

What have a trillion euros done for the economic outlook? Not much yet

April 11, 2012

The trillion euro sugar rush that made Q1 the best start to the year for global stocks in more than a decade has already worn off, but what is most striking is not how quickly it ended. It’s how little the economic outlook has changed.

The pain in Spain falls mainly on…

By Mike Peacock
April 11, 2012

Spanish 10-year bond yields are within a whisker of breaking above six percent for the first time since December and are dragging Italy’s up with them. The balmy days of first quarter calm are well and truly over. “Markets step up the attack”, El Pais blares from its front page this morning.

Who’d be a central banker?

By Mike Peacock
March 28, 2012

The focus is already on the euro zone finance ministers meeting in Copenhagen, starting on Friday, which is likely to agree to some form of extra funds for the currency bloc’s future bailout fund. What they come up with will go a long way to determining whether markets scent any faltering commitment on the part of Europe’s leaders.

Today in the euro zone – the elusive firewall

By Mike Peacock
March 27, 2012

Conflicting pressures for the euro zone bond market today – a strong signal from Germany that it is willing to increase the firewall built around the currency bloc but ongoing concerns that Spain is being dragged into the mire.

Europe’s triple threat: bad banks, big debts, slow growth

March 22, 2012

The financial turmoil still dogging Europe is most often described as a debt crisis. But sovereign debt is only part of the problem, according to new research from Jay Shambaugh, economist at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. The other two prongs of what he describes as three coexisting crises are the region’s troubled banks and the prospect of an imminent recession.

The euro zone today – strikes, reform and recession

By Mike Peacock
March 22, 2012

The euro zone economy looks to have contracted at a faster pace in March, according to the latest purchasing managers’ data, hours after ECB President Mario Draghi declared the worst of the debt crisis to be over. A mild recession appears to be in prospect with the probable exception of Germany.

An eerie euro zone calm

By Mike Peacock
March 16, 2012

I don’t want to be the idiot who asked “is it all over?” … but is it all over?

Today in the euro zone

By Mike Peacock
March 15, 2012

Morning all from a fogbound London. Visibility may be down to a minimum but there is a developing view that the euro zone debt crisis, if not solved, is in remission.

A recovery in Europe? Really?

March 8, 2012

There’s a sense of relief among European policymakers that the worst of the euro zone’s crisis appears to have passed. Olli Rehn, the EU’s top economic officials, talked this week of a “turning of the tide in the coming months”. Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, speaks of “sizeable progress” and “a reassuring picture”.