MacroScope

from Global News Journal:

Waiting for Europe’s “appropriate response”

Will the euro zone finally act decisively?

Investors are hoping for something big from European leaders at the EU summit on Oct. 23 and of the Group of 20 on Nov. 3. But they also know the 17 nations of the euro have a habit of offering delayed, half-hearted rescues that have cost them credibility.

So there's been a lot of "urging" and "warning" in Brussels lately -- politicians and central bankers have all been demanding Europe act as international alarm grows that its sovereign debt problems may drag the world into recession. "Further delays are only aggravating the situation," said European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet on Tuesday in his last appearance at the European Parliament, before he hands over the post to Mario Draghi on Nov. 1.

A day earlier, Germany's Deputy Finance Minister, Joerg Asmussen, at the parliament to promote his candidacy to join the ECB's board, made his call, saying "cooperation has to be increased," across the euro members, divided as to who should pay to rescue the heavily indebted nations of southern Europe. "I want to see a solution for debt sustainability for Greece," Asmussen said. So do so many others, especially Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who in Brussels on Thursday said it was a "crucial element to make the necessary decisions concerning Greece."

The European Roundtable of Industrialists, a business lobby of multinationals ranging from French car maker Renault to Spain's Telefonica, has also come through Brussels to make its point. The group's head, Leif Johansson, who is also chairman of Swedish phone maker Ericsson, warned that if European leaders fail to act, businesses could see a repeat of the liquidity freeze that followed the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

"The worst element of the 2008/2009 crisis was when liquidity froze," he said. "The worst scenario we have right now is that that could happen again ... and there is a real downside risk." 

Joint euro bonds: the inconvenient truth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy kept a distance from the idea of a common sovereign euro zone bond on this week, with France hinting only that it could be a possibility in the very distant future.

But a Reuters poll shows a growing field of investors and economists say a common bond issuance would be the best — and perhaps the only — way of solving the debt crisis. In theory, it would allow highly indebted euro zone countries to regain access to commercial markets, while providing investors a safeguard through joint liability.

More than that, those analysts think Europe’s leaders may soon have to bow down to market pressures and issue a common bond as soon as 2012 or 2013.

from Dave Graham:

Is the German economic recovery a stitch-up to fool voters?

As if by magic, industry has become all upbeat about the prospects for the German economy – just in case anyone had the impression companies were about to start firing workers en masse after an upcoming federal election.

This was the tone of a German newspaper editorial this week which said “what a coincidence” it was that sentiment had shot up in the weeks before the Sept. 27 vote.

“Some pronouncements give rise to suspicion that interest groups are trying to pacify the electorate ahead of the ballot box,” the Neue Westfälische daily wrote. “The motto seems to be: don’t draw any more conclusions from the crisis, it really wasn’t that bad after all.”