ECB forecasts to contrast with Britain’s

By Mike Peacock
December 5, 2013

The European Central Bank holds its last rates meeting of the year with some of the alarm about looming deflation pricked by a pick-up in euro zone inflation last week – though at 0.9 percent it remains way below the ECB’s target of close to two percent.

Putin’s Ukraine “victory” — pyrrhic?

By Mike Peacock
December 3, 2013

Ukraine continues to top the European worry list.

Monday demonstrated how quickly the financial side of the equation can spiral out of control. The hryvnia currency slumped and the cost of insuring against Ukrainian default soared, forcing the central bank to intervene and urge its citizens not to spark a bank run.

Crisis in Kiev

By Mike Peacock
December 2, 2013

Ukraine’s shock decision to turn its back on an EU trade deal continues to reverberate with mass rallies on the streets of Kiev in protest at President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision.

France, Italy compare notes

By Mike Peacock
November 20, 2013

French President Francois Hollande is in Rome for talk with Italy’s Enrico Letta. Both have a lot on their minds.

ECB quandary

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2013

Another round of European Central Bank speakers will command attention today with disappearing inflation fuelling talk of further extraordinary policy moves.

Italian shuffle

By Mike Peacock
November 18, 2013

The decision by one of Silvio Berlusconi’s key allies to break from his party and back Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition appears to have shored up the Italian government with a final vote on expelling the media magnate from public life looming large.

What is France to do?

By Mike Peacock
November 14, 2013

It’s euro zone third quarter GDP day and Germany and France are already out of the traps with the latter’s economy contracting by 0.1 percent, snuffing out a 0.5 percent rebound in the second quarter. Growth of 0.1 percent was forecast, not just by bank economists but by the Bank of France too.

Brussels looks warily at German surplus

By Mike Peacock
November 13, 2013

Barring a last minute change of heart, the European Commission will launch an investigation into whether Germany’s giant trade surplus is fuelling economic imbalances, a charge laid squarely by the U.S. Treasury but vehemently rejected by Berlin.

United on banking union?

By Mike Peacock
November 11, 2013

Reuters reported over the weekend that Angela Merkel’s Conservatives and the centre-left SPD had agreed that a body attached to European finance ministers, not the European Commission, to decide when to close failing banks.

Moments difficiles

By Mike Peacock
November 8, 2013

Breaking news is S&P’s downgrade of France’s credit rating to AA from AA+ putting it two notches below Germany. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has rushed out to declare French debt is among the safest and most liquid in the euro zone, which is true.