Ripples from ECB even before it acts

By Mike Peacock
January 20, 2015

Draghi.jpg

The prospect of dramatic European Central Bank action – coupled with the deflationary threat posed by a plunge in the price of oil and the pain it inflicts on oil producing countries – is putting the financial system under growing stress.

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.

Europe reviews security

By Mike Peacock
January 12, 2015

French President Hollande welcomes Germany's Chancellor Merkel as she arrives at the Elysee Palace before the solidarity marchin the streets of Paris

After dozens of world leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms and led more than a million French citizens on a march through Paris, Europe has both security and social problems to face following last week’s Islamist attacks.

France grieves and questions

By Mike Peacock
January 8, 2015

Makeshift memorial is seen outside the Consulate General of France during a vigil for the victims of an attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in San Francisc

The youngest of three French nationals hunted over the killing of 12 people at a satirical magazine turned himself in overnight. The police have named the trio, the two still at large are brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

Day of reckoning for Greece

By Mike Peacock
December 29, 2014

Greece's PM Samaras addresses the audience during the Economist Conference on "The big rethink for Europe, the big turning point for Greece" in Athens

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras faces a final parliamentary vote on his presidential candidate. Lose and he will have to call snap elections early next year which polls suggest anti-bailout Syriza would win. A result is expected around 1100 GMT.

Incremental French reform steps

By Mike Peacock
December 12, 2014

French Prime Minister Valls and Economy Minister Macron leave a press conference to present the "Law on Growth and Activity" plans at the Elysee Palace in Paris

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls meets ministers to discuss the next leg of the government’s reform agenda. Documents will be published afterwards.

Greek gamble

By Mike Peacock
December 9, 2014

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras smiles during a news conference with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades after their summit at the presidential palace in Cairo

The Greek government has taken a huge gamble, bringing forward by two months to next a week a parliamentary vote on a new president. Two further rounds of voting will be held before the year-end.

Merkel raps Italy, France over budgets

By Mike Peacock
December 8, 2014

France's President Hollande talks with Italy's Prime Minister Renzi during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan

Euro zone finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss member states’ 2015 budget plans. We know the European Commission thinks France, Italy and Belgium are breaking EU deficit rules but will defer decisions on any action until March. At that point, France could face a multi-billion euro fine and Italy and Belgium be put on a disciplinary programme.

Greek bailout pressure rising

By Mike Peacock
November 25, 2014

A Greek and an EU flag flutter in front of the temple of the Parthenon during the takeover ceremony of the six-month rotation of Greece's EU Presidency in Athens

Greece’s government will resume stalled talks with EU/IMF lenders in Paris today as Athens pushes to make an early exit from an unpopular bailout programme.

Battle lines drawn

By Mike Peacock
October 13, 2014

Germany's Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schauble speaks during a discussion during the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington

The predictable battle lines were drawn at the G20/IMF meetings in Washington – most of the world urged Europe to do more to foster growth while Germany warned against letting up on austerity. The argument will doubtless be reprised today when euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg.