G20 treads familiar ground

By Mike Peacock
February 10, 2015

OECD Secretary General Gurria casts his shadow on the podium as he speaks during a news conference in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Istanbul

G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Istanbul will pledge to act decisively on monetary and fiscal policy if needed to combat the risk of  stagnation, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters last night. As has been customary at these summits, a lot of the discussion implicitly centres on Germany.

Tsipras not for turning

By Mike Peacock
February 9, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras delivers his first major speech in parliament in Athens

Alexis Tsipras is not for turning, not yet anyway.

Speaking in parliament on Sunday night the new Greek premier said he would not accept an extension to Greece’s current bailout, something the euro zone is urging him to do, and stuck with austerity-ending pledges such as giving free food and electricity to those who need it, reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout conditions and raising the minimum wage. Privatisations have already been halted.

Greece – a deal to be done?

By Mike Peacock
February 3, 2015

Greek PM Tsipras attends a memorial ceremony at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Rome for talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi and will be met there by his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who has already been to London and Paris to try the scope for a new debt deal for Greece and reassure investors that there won’t be a default.

Greek roadshow

By Mike Peacock
February 2, 2015

French Finance Minister Sapin and Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis pose before a meeting in Paris

A week into government, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will be in London today for talks with investors and his British counterpart George Osborne. He will then fly to Rome where he will be joined by his prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday.

Rampant inflation to keep Russian central bank tight

By Mike Peacock
January 30, 2015

Russian roubles are seen in this illustration picture taken in Moscow

Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.

EU ponders another round of Russia sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 29, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop an armored personnel carrier as they patrol Orekhovo village in Luhansk

EU foreign ministers hold an extraordinary meeting today after their leaders have asked them to consider possible new sanctions on Russia. A final decision to impose them is likely to be left to their bosses who meet in next month and again in March.

EU ponders new response to Russia

By Mike Peacock
January 27, 2015

A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at his position in the village of Luhanska, Luhansk region

EU finance ministers meet in Brussels with Ukraine likely to be the centre of attention despite the electoral shockwaves emanating from Athens.

Game on in Greece

By Mike Peacock
January 26, 2015

The head of radical leftist Syriza party Tsipras waves to supporters after winning the elections in Athens

Syriza has fallen tantalisingly short of an overall majority, winning 149 of 300 Greek parliamentary seats and taking 36.3 percent of the vote, 8.5 points ahead of the New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in what amounts to a decisive rejection of austerity.

Clean sweep for Draghi?

By Mike Peacock
January 23, 2015

European Central Bank President Draghi and Vice President Constancio leave after addressing an ECB news conferenc in Frankfurt

Mario Draghi’s peerless track record of eliciting the market response he wants remains unblemished after the ECB’s quantitative easing surprised on the upside – at 60 billion euros a month for at least 19 months it will exceed 1 trillion euros.

Crunch time

By Mike Peacock
January 22, 2015

ECB President Draghi addresses during ECB news conference in Frankfurt

The biggest policy decision of the year? The first U.S. interest rate rise may trump it whenever it comes and the Swiss National Bank has set the bar pretty high but an awful lot hangs on what the European Central Bank comes up with today.