France on a budget

By Mike Peacock
September 25, 2013

The French 2014 budget will be presented in full today with the government seeking to reassure voters with a plan that makes the bulk of savings through curbs in spending, having relied more heavily on tax increases so far.

Norway shifts tack

By Mike Peacock
September 10, 2013

Norway’s centre-right swept to power last night, ousting a centre-left government that couldn’t capitalize on a solidly performing economy which escaped the world financial crisis largely unscathed (uncanny echoes of Australia’s weekend election here). The popular feeling seems to have been that a decade of strong growth was wasted and is now slowing.

Reform hue and cry

By Mike Peacock
May 16, 2013

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy meets labour union and business leaders to discuss reforms to pensions and public institutions. After some fairly brutal cutting, Rajoy has grown more cautious. He is negotiating a new formula for calculating pension payoffs but is wary of going further for fear of sparking greater protest. And all the time, recession put the country’s debt targets further out of reach.

The pain in Spain … spreads to Italy

By Mike Peacock
September 21, 2012

This morning, we exclusively report that Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy could be about to break another promise by freezing pensions and bringing forward a planned rise in the retirement age.

from Global Investing:

Russia’s babushka time-bomb

March 24, 2011

The babushka, that embodiment of Russian grandmotherly goodness that has spawned iconic dolls and inspired a Kate Bush song, poses one of the gravest threat to the Russian economy.