Tsipras seeking mercy from Merkel

By Mike Peacock
March 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras, EU Parliament President Schulz and Germany's Chancellor Merkel attend a EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Angela Merkel in Berlin late today.

The strategy in Athens seems to be to seek mercy from EU leaders, going over the heads of euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank and IMF, hoping that they will see the broad political cost of a Greek collapse rather than focus on the nitty gritty of funding and required economic reforms.
That doesn’t look like a winning strategy.

Tsipras’ High Noon

By Mike Peacock
March 19, 2015

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EU leaders gather for a two-day summit with Greece and Ukraine eclipsing the official economic and energy policy agenda.

Patient: Fed may drop the word, not the idea

March 18, 2015

RTR4R4RY.jpgFed Chair Janet Yellen may signal later today that she is no longer patient about when to consider raising rates but any eventual hike is likely to come after June, judging by how many key economic reports so far this year have undercut expectations.

Decision day in Israel

By Mike Peacock
March 17, 2015

Combination picture of Isaac Herzog, co-leader of the centre-left Zionist Union party, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israelis are going to the polls with the last opinion polls suggesting momentum had shifted to opposition Zionist Union after weeks of running neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

Euro may not be on a one-way road to parity

March 17, 2015

RTR4SXKP.jpgSigns the euro zone economy may have turned a corner just as many begin to question the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike could soon put a floor under the euro after a 13 percent plunge so far this year.

Another Russian rate cut?

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2015

A cashier takes a 500-rouble banknote from a cash register as she serves a customer at the Vinoteka specialised wine and vodka store in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.

Talking Turkey

By Mike Peacock
March 11, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci will brief President Tayyip Erdogan today about sharp falls in the lira of about 12 percent versus the dollar this year which have not been helped by Erdogan’s criticism of monetary policy.

ECB to fill in the QE gaps

By Mike Peacock
March 5, 2015

ECB President Draghi arrives to take part in a plenary debate on the ECB's Annual Report 2013 at the EU Parliament in Brussels

The European Central Bank is holding its monthly meeting – an offsite gathering in Cyprus – and is about to commence its quantitative easing bond-buying programme.

Prescient Yellen saw limits of zero Fed interest rates back in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen.jpgDespite the Federal Reserve’s trillions of dollars in newly printed money, workers’ wages and overall U.S. inflation have failed to take off since the recession. Longer-term borrowing costs, from 10-year Treasury yields to 30-year home mortgages, have also compressed without any real signs of reversing. While this has perplexed many economists, transcripts of the U.S. central bank’s crisis-fighting meetings in 2009 show that Janet Yellen, then the head of the San Francisco Fed, was prescient in warning colleagues of these very problems.

Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.