“There are human beings involved” in austerity debate

May 3, 2012

The inventors of democracy and its greatest 18th century champions both go to the polls this weekend. Greek and French voters will try to elect governments they hope will help release their economies from the grips of the euro zone debt crisis.

Europe in recession – an interactive map

April 30, 2012

Spain has become the latest European country to slip into recession joining the Belgium, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

High inequality makes it tougher to reform economies: Swedish Finance Minister

April 25, 2012

Americans are all too acquainted with the shouting-match politics that tends to accompany any debate over economic policy: everyone is yelling and nobody is listening. The toxic political discord in Washington has become so familiar it is almost a cliché.

Eurobonds key to financial stability: Nobel economist

April 23, 2012

There’s no other way. In order for Europe to hold together as a monetary union it must be able to issue a currency region-wide bond. That’s according to Christopher Sims, Nobel-prize winning economist and Princeton University professor, speaking on a panel at the IMF over the weekend:

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”.

Europe’s wobbly economy

February 15, 2012

Things are  looking a bit unsteady in the euro zone’s economy.  Just ask Olli Rehn, the EU’s top economic official, who warned this week of  “risky imbalances” in 12 of the European Union’s 27 members. And that’s doesn’t include Greece, which is too wobbly for words. 

Risks from ECB debt drip

January 13, 2012

The abundance of European Central Bank liquidity in the euro zone financial system is making for smoother issuance of shorter-dated debt in the euro zone.

European rescue: Who benefits?

January 12, 2012

The words “European bailout” normally conjure up images of inefficient public sectors, bloated pensions, corrupt governments. But market analyst John Hussman, in a recent research note cited here by Barry Ritholtz, says the reality is a bit more complicated:

Money funds cut Europe exposure, slowly

January 11, 2012

Prime U.S. money funds further reduced their holdings of euro zone bank paper in December, although the pace of movement slowed while investors continued to hedge against any bank failures, J.P. Morgan Securities said on Wednesday.  The slower movement out of euro zone bank paper was the result of money funds having already strongly reduced their holdings, J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients.

Please take my money: The zero-yield bill

December 28, 2011

Wall Street firms are begging the U.S. Treasury to take their cash, at least judging by the latest auction of short-term Treasury bills. Treasury sold $30 billion of four-week bills at a “high rate” (pause for laugther) of 0.000% on Wednesday, a mix of strong demand for year-end portfolio shuffling but also a reflection of ongoing fears of a credit crunch emanating from Europe.