No Greek deal in Riga but glimmers of convergence

By Mike Peacock
April 24, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis attends a parliamentary session in Athens

We’ve been saying it for a week or more and it’s now confirmed – the lack of an economic reform programme forthcoming from Athens means today’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Riga can achieve no breakthrough despite glimmers of the two sides moving closer.

Change in Nigeria?

By Mike Peacock
March 31, 2015

All Progressives Congresses presidential candidate and Nigeria's former military ruler Muhammodu Buhari addresses a news conference outside his house after he voted in Daura

A result in Nigeria’s close-fought election is due to be announced later. With votes from only six of 36 states uncounted, opposition contender Muhammadu Buhari has a lead of over 2.5 million votes over President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Greek plan is in, breath bated

By Mike Peacock
February 24, 2015

Varoufakis arrives at a news conference after an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece sent an economic reform plan to its EU and IMF creditors overnight, according to an EU source, and euro zone finance ministers will this morning see the list which is a condition for extending the country’s bailout programme by four months.

Last-ditch Ukraine truce bid

By Mike Peacock
February 6, 2015

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic gather near a building destroyed during battles with the Ukrainian armed forces in Vuhlehirsk

After flying to Kiev to present a new peace plan, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande will be in Moscow today for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Another reverse for Greece with Berlin yet to come

By Mike Peacock
February 5, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis answers journlists questions at restaurant in Frankfurt

Last night, after Greece’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding, shifting the burden onto Greece’s central bank to finance its lenders, the latest reverse for the country’s new government.

Greeks on tour

By Mike Peacock
February 4, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras gestures during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Renzi at Chigi palace in Rome

The Greek roadshow continues with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. After that, he will head to Paris to see French President Francois Hollande.

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.

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.

Volatility back with a bang

By Mike Peacock
January 16, 2015

The logo of the SNB is seen at the entrance of the SNB in Bern

Volatility is back with a bang.

The Swiss franc leapt by an unprecedented 40 percent at one point after the Swiss National Bank scrapped its currency cap out of the blue. Oil may have bounced but it’s still down the thick end of 60 percent since mid-2014, dragging the rouble and other oil-producer currencies with it. Copper, generally a barometer of world industrial demand, is barely finding its feet after plunging this week.

Draghi tries to keep show on the road

By Mike Peacock
October 2, 2014

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The European Central Bank has one of its two offsite policy meetings of the year, in Naples. After a glut of measures last time it’s inconceivable that further action will be taken now but there is plenty to ponder.