Beneath the babble, little sign of Greek progress

By Mike Peacock
June 1, 2015

Greece's Finance Minister Varoufakis and Eurogroup chairman Dijsselbloem talk during an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels

We went into the weekend pondering the Greek government’s expectation that a cash-for-reforms deal would be agreed on Sunday, and we come out the other side with no breakthrough … again.

IMF paid but how much money does Greece have left?

By Mike Peacock
May 12, 2015

Greece's Finance Minister Varoufakis and Eurogroup chairman Dijsselbloem talk during an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece made a 750 million euros repayment to the International Monetary Fund a day ahead of schedule on Monday but it is not clear precisely how much money Athens has left in its coffers.

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.

Turkish interest rate standoff

By Mike Peacock
March 3, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a conference at the Foreign Affairs building  in Mexico City

Turkey’s central bank releases minutes of its last meeting at which it cut interest rates by a quarter point.

Negative inflation to herald QE launch

By Mike Peacock
March 2, 2015

US dollars and euros banknotes are seen in this illustration photo taken at a change bureau in Paris

The European Central Bank is about to start printing money. Euro zone data today will show why.

Eurozone awaits Greek reform list

By Mike Peacock
February 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

A Greek deal has been pulled from the fire at the last moment. The country’s bailout programme will be extended for four months averting a potential cash crunch in March that could have forced the country out of the currency area.

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.

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 vs Weidmann

By Mike Peacock
July 14, 2014

draghi.jpg

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi makes a lengthy appearance in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He will doubtless reassert that the ECB would start printing money if necessary but, as we reported last week, policymakers are fervently hoping they won’t have to and that a raft of measures announced in June will do enough to lift the economy and inflation.

France flatlining

By Mike Peacock
May 15, 2014

We get a flood of EU GDP reports today. Germany’s figure, just out, has marginally exceeded forecasts with quarterly growth of 0.8 percent but France is underperforming again and stagnated in the first three months of the year, missing estimates of 0.2 percent growth.