Guarded Bernanke still manages to toss a bone to Wall Street and Washington

August 31, 2012

Ben Bernanke has done it again. In his much-anticipated speech Friday, the Federal Reserve chairman managed to tell both investors and politicians what they wanted to hear – that “the stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern” – all while saying next to nothing new about where U.S. monetary policy is actually headed. That the Fed, as Bernanke also noted, stands ready to ease policy more if needed was well known to anyone paying attention the last few months. We also know that the high jobless rate, at 8.3 percent in July, has long been Bernanke’s main headache in this tepid economic recovery.

Goldman thinks market’s disappointment with ECB is premature

August 2, 2012

Financial markets on Thursday were starkly disappointed with the European Central Bank and its president, Mario Draghi. He had promised recently to do everything in his power to save the euro and yet announced no new bond-buying at the central bank’s latest meeting. Riskier assets sold off and safe-haven securities benefitted.

Breaking up is hard to do – even for stoic Germany

June 15, 2012

German Bund futures have just had their second straight week of losses. This has left many scratching their heads given the timing – right before Greek elections that could decide the country’s future in the euro and the next phase of the euro zone debt crisis. That sort of uncertainty would normally bolster bunds, which are seen as a safe-haven because of the country’s economic strength.

Is Germany the next domino?

June 13, 2012

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Throughout Europe’s financial crisis, German government bonds have been seen as a safe-haven for those seeking protection against the troubles of southern Europe. However, the confidence of financial markets in Germany’s finances may finally be starting to falter as the cost of a festering financial crisis rises – and the country is seen as ultimately holding the bag.

Spanish bailout blues

June 10, 2012

100 billion used to be a big number. These days, it barely buys you a little time.

Eurobond or bust

May 29, 2012

Many market analysts consider a deeper fiscal union the only way to hold together a troubled euro zone. And while Germany continues to loudly reaffirm its long-standing opposition to shared euro zone bonds, the region is in many ways already headed towards implicit mutual responsibility for national debts. Berlin will likely come under increasing pressure to succumb, especially now that “core” European countries are entering the crosshairs of speculators .

Euro zone may struggle with its own Lost Decade

May 24, 2012

Additional Reporting by Andy Bruce and polling by Rahul Karunakar and Sumanta Dey.

Greek political poll tracker

May 22, 2012

Greece faces another election on June 17.  Although they reject the austerity required by the bailout, most Greeks want their country to stay in the euro. However Frankfurt and Brussels say it is impossible for Greece to have one without the other: no bailout means no euro and a return to the drachma. Whether the Greek people believe these warnings could have a big impact on the election result.

Risk of contagion if Greece exits euro: WestLB

May 11, 2012

What happens if Greece leaves the euro? No one can say for sure. But John Davies at WestLB, finds it difficult to envision a benign outcome.

“There are human beings involved” in austerity debate

May 3, 2012

The inventors of democracy and its greatest 18th century champions both go to the polls this weekend. Greek and French voters will try to elect governments they hope will help release their economies from the grips of the euro zone debt crisis.