Euro chat resumes

By Mike Peacock
September 13, 2013

After the summer lull, euro zone and EU finance ministers meet in Lithuania. The “informal Ecofin” can often be quite a big deal but with German elections only nine days away, it’s hard to see that being the case this time.

Back from the beach

By Mike Peacock
August 26, 2013

Back from a two-week break, so what have I missed?

All the big and ghastly news has come from the Middle East but there have been interesting developments in the European economic sphere.
It seems safe to say that Britain’s economic recovery is on track, and maybe more broadly rooted than in just consumer spending and a housing market recovery (bubble?).

Silvio’s trials

By Mike Peacock
August 2, 2013

Italy’s Supreme Court last night upheld Silvio Berlusconi’s conviction for tax fraud and a four-year jail term, to the fury of the man who has dominated Italian politics for 20 years and throwing a fragile coalition government into peril.

A Marshall Plan for Greece

July 30, 2013

The spectacular failure of “expansionary austerity” policies has set Greece on a path worse than the Great Depression, according to a study from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.

Spain on the way back … to stagnation

By Mike Peacock
July 30, 2013

Spain heads the rest of the euro zone pack with second quarter GDP figures at a time when we’re seeing glimmers of hope, with surveys suggesting the currency area could resume growth in the third quarter.

An Italian in Greece

By Mike Peacock
July 29, 2013

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will be in Athens for talks with Greek premier Antonis Samaras today with (whisper it) the prospect of the euro zone enjoying its first summer lull for years, in fact all the way up to German elections on Sept. 22.

Central bank guides

By Mike Peacock
July 17, 2013

The Bank of England will publish the minutes of Mark Carney’s first policy meeting earlier this month which will pored over for signs of how the debate about forward guidance – it’s all the rage in the central banking world now – went, and whether that may herald more money printing or act as a proxy for looser policy.

Just a typical euro zone day

By Mike Peacock
July 16, 2013

Spain will sell up to four billion euros of six- and 12-month treasury bills, prior to a full bond auction on Thursday. Italy attracted only anaemic demand at auction last week and Madrid has already had to pay more to borrow since the Federal Reserve shook up the markets with its blueprint for an exit from QE.

Banking on union

By Mike Peacock
July 10, 2013

The European Commission will present its blueprint for a body to refloat or fold troubled banks, largely in the euro zone. As we’ve said ad nauseam, there is no chance of a great leap forward on this front ahead of Germany’s September elections. The question is whether Berlin’s line softens thereafter.

Forward guidance; will it work?

By Mike Peacock
July 5, 2013

After the European Central Bank broke with tradition and gave forward guidance that interest rates will not rise for an “extended period” and could even fall, some of its members – including French policymakers Benoit Coeure and Christian Noyer, and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann – head to an annual gathering in the south of France.