Corporate responsibility: it’s time to start investing those record profits and cash piles

December 3, 2013

Corporate profits and cash piles have never been higher. But it’s not just an economic imperative that firms get spending and investing, it’s their social and moral responsibility to do so.

Brussels looks warily at German surplus

By Mike Peacock
November 13, 2013

Barring a last minute change of heart, the European Commission will launch an investigation into whether Germany’s giant trade surplus is fuelling economic imbalances, a charge laid squarely by the U.S. Treasury but vehemently rejected by Berlin.

French travails

By Mike Peacock
November 12, 2013

The Bank of France’s monthly report forecasts growth of 0.4 percent in the last three months of the year, up from an anaemic 0.1 percent in the third quarter. That still makes for a fairly doleful 2013 as a whole.

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.)

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.

Spanish sums

By Mike Peacock
October 29, 2013

Spanish third quarter GDP figures tomorrow are likely to confirm the Bank of Spain’s prediction that the euro zone’s fourth largest economy has finally put nine quarters of contraction behind it, albeit with growth of just 0.1 percent.

Right time to pump up UK housing market?

By Mike Peacock
October 8, 2013

The British government is poised to announce the extension of its “help to buy” scheme for potential home owners.

If at first you don’t succeed… Fed’s Evans sticks to strong forecast despite misses

September 6, 2013

It’s nice to know Federal Reserve officials have a sense of humor about their own forecasting errors. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans was certainly humble enough to admit to some recent misses in a speech on Friday .

Euro zone rate cut prospects evaporate

By Mike Peacock
August 27, 2013

The euro zone is growing again and while its weaker constituents face plenty of tough times yet, it seems less and less likely that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates from their record low 0.5 percent. That illustrates the problems of the new fad of forward guidance.

Post-Jackson Hole, Fed Septaper still appears on track

August 26, 2013

With all the QE-bashing that went on at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole conference this year, it was difficult not to get the sense that, barring a major economic disappointment before its September meeting, the central bank is on track to begin reducing the monthly size of its bond purchase program, or quantitative easing.