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.

ECB rate cut takes markets by surprise – time to crack Draghi’s code

By Eva Taylor
November 7, 2013


After today’s surprise ECB move it is safe to forget the code words former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet never grew tired of using – monitoring closely, monitoring very closely, strong vigilance, rate hike. (No real code language ever emerged for rate cuts, probably because there were only a few and that was towards the end of Trichet’s term.)

It’s all Greek

By Mike Peacock
November 4, 2013

The EU/IMF/ECB troika is due to return to Athens to resume a review of Greece’s bailout after some sparring over budget measures.

Italy versus Spain

By Mike Peacock
October 30, 2013

Italy will auction up to 6 billion euros of five- and 10-year bonds after two earlier sales this week saw two-year and six-month yields drop to the lowest level in six months. Don’t be lulled into thinking all is well.

The Italian Job

By Mike Peacock
October 28, 2013

Italy has dropped out of the spotlight a little following the protracted political soap opera surrounding Silvio Berlusconi. But it remains perhaps the euro zone’s most dangerous flashpoint.

Why is the Reserve Bank of India so quiet on the rupee?

August 23, 2013

 

When nobody’s listening, sometimes it pays to shout from the rooftops.

Based on the rupee’s daily pasting, the Reserve Bank of India might do well to look to the European Central Bank’s strong verbal defense of the euro just over a year ago.

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.

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.

A Rubicon crossed

By Mike Peacock
March 18, 2013

What a weekend. The euro zone crossed a dangerous Rubicon by whacking Cypriot bank depositors as part of a bailout – a dramatic departure from previous aid programmes. The finance ministers insist it is a one-off (as they did for Greece) but if investors and bank customers fear a precedent has been set, there could yet be a serious backwash for the euro zone. And all this for six billion euros? It seems perplexing to say the least although our trawl of the streets of the euro zone periphery has detected little alarm so far.

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.