France’s downturn is more significant than you think

April 5, 2013

The huge downturn in French businesses was by far the most disappointing aspect of this week’s euro zone PMIs, which again painted a dismal picture of the euro zone economy.

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.

Euro bailouts — one out, one in

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2013

We had thought the end-of-week EU summit was going to be a lacklustre affair but things are starting to bubble up.

To print or not to print

By Mike Peacock
March 7, 2013

It’s ECB day and it could be a big one, not because a shift in policy is expected but because journalists will get an hour to quiz Mario Draghi on the Italy conundrum after the central bank leaves monetary policy on hold.

Euro zone week ahead

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2013

Italy will continue to cast a long shadow and has clearly opened a chink in the euro zone’s armour. It looks like the best investors can expect is populist Beppe Grillo supporting some measures put forward by a minority, centre-left government but refusing any sort of formal alliance. That sounds like a recipe for the sort of instability that could have investors running a mile. The markets’ best case was for outgoing technocrat prime minister Monti to support the centre-left in coalition, thereby guaranteeing continuation of economic reforms. But he just didn’t get enough votes. Fresh elections are probably the nightmare scenario given the unpredictability of what could result.

A flaw in euro zone defences

By Mike Peacock
February 28, 2013

Italy continues to dominate European financial markets and it looks like the best they can expect is populist Beppe Grillo supporting some measures put forward by a minority, centre-left government but refusing any sort of formal alliance. That sounds like a recipe for the sort of instability that could have investors running a mile. Outgoing technocrat prime minister Monti is speaking Brussels today. The markets’ best case was for him to support the centre-left in coalition, thereby guaranteeing continuation of economic reforms. But he just didn’t get enough votes.

Euro zone triptych

By Mike Peacock
February 22, 2013

Three big events today which will tell us a lot about the euro zone and its struggle to pull out of economic malaise despite the European Central Bank having removed break-up risk from the table.

A statement of non-intent

By Mike Peacock
February 12, 2013

The flurry of activity about a G7 currency statement yesterday can now be put in perspective. It will almost certainly happen but it’s very much going through the motions.

Currency chatter

By Mike Peacock
February 11, 2013

With the rhetoric getting more heated, the three-year market fixation on bond yields could well be supplanted by currencies in the months ahead.

Super, or not so super, Thursday

By Mike Peacock
February 7, 2013

For those who thought the euro zone had lost the power to liven things up, today should make you think again.