Battle lines drawn

By Mike Peacock
October 13, 2014

Germany's Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schauble speaks during a discussion during the World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington

The predictable battle lines were drawn at the G20/IMF meetings in Washington – most of the world urged Europe to do more to foster growth while Germany warned against letting up on austerity. The argument will doubtless be reprised today when euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg.

EU ratings day: Portugal modest thumbs up, Dutch unscathed, Ireland awaited

By Mike Peacock
January 17, 2014

Friday is European ratings day since EU rules took force requiring ratings agencies to say precisely when they will make sovereign pronouncements and to do so outside market hours.

S&P’s year-end broadside

By Mike Peacock
December 20, 2013

Any sense of euphoria EU leaders felt about agreeing a plan to underpin Europe’s banks – which should have been muted anyway – may be tempered by S&P’s decision to cut the bloc’s credit rating to AA+ from AAA.

Moments difficiles

By Mike Peacock
November 8, 2013

Breaking news is S&P’s downgrade of France’s credit rating to AA from AA+ putting it two notches below Germany. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has rushed out to declare French debt is among the safest and most liquid in the euro zone, which is true.

Portugal, ECB, Turkey — trials and tribulations

By Mike Peacock
July 12, 2013

How to pull defeat from the jaws of victory in one easy lesson; look no further than Portugal.

Possibility of Spanish downgrade looms over euro zone

May 17, 2013

Spanish government bonds have had a good run since the European Central Bank said it would protect the euro last year. But some analysts say the threat of a rating downgrade to junk remains an important risk.

Italy in market after Spanish downgrade

By Mike Peacock
October 11, 2012

Italy is expected to pay slightly more than it did a month ago to borrow for three years at today’s auction of up to 6 billion euros of a range of bonds. Yields edged up at a sale of 11 billion euros of short-term paper on Wednesday but there is no immediate cause for alarm. Three year-yields have dropped from 5.3 percent to around 3.3 since the ECB declared its readiness to buy the bonds of troubled euro zone sovereigns and Italy has shifted about 80 percent of its debt requirements this year, so is on track in that regard.

Euro zone: Steps forward, steps back

By Mike Peacock
April 27, 2012

Steps forward and steps back…

The Netherlands’ fractured political class managed to unite enough last night to reach a deal on a 2013 budget which they say will cut the deficit to 3 percent of GDP as required by new EU fiscal rules. Failure could have undermined the EU fiscal pact before it was even born and undermined the efforts of Italy and Spain to pull clear of the debt supernova.

S&P statement on Greece

February 27, 2012

S&P on Monday cut Greece’s ratings to “selective default” but said it would consider the default “cured” after Greece completes its debt exchange. At that point, S&P plans on upgrading the country to CCC. Here is the full statement S&P issued alongside the decision:

Wall St. downplays downgrade. Will markets listen?

August 6, 2011

Reporting for this post was done by the U.S. markets team in New York.

A number of Wall Street analysts have reacted to the historic downgrade of the U.S. AAA rating on Friday evening with a shrug. Some argue the ratings firm’s warnings about the U.S. debt deal offered an early signal, while others dismissed the action, questioning the company’s record of giving AAA ratings to housing assets that turned out to be toxic.