Oscar Wilde and the euro zone

By Mike Peacock
July 3, 2013

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one looks like misfortune, to lose two smacks of carelessness.
Portugal’s government has been plunged into crisis with the foreign minister resigning a day after the finance minister did, the latter complaining that the public would not tolerate his austerity drive.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

By Mike Peacock
June 25, 2013

Who guards the guards? In the case of Europe’s banks, the answer is still a work in progress given the faltering efforts to create a banking union.

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water…

By Mike Peacock
June 24, 2013

A worrying weekend for the euro zone.

Greece’s coalition government – the guarantor of the country’s bailout deal with its EU and IMF lenders – is down to a wafer-thin, three-seat majority in parliament after the Democratic Left walked out in protest at the shutdown of state broadcaster ERT.

The new reality

By Mike Peacock
June 20, 2013

The Federal Reserve has spoken and the message seems pretty clear – unless the U.S. economy takes a turn for the worse the pace of money creation will be slowed before the year is out and it will be stopped by mid-2014.

Back to banking union

By Mike Peacock
June 19, 2013

The G8 produced little heat or light on the state of the world economy but if there was one clarion call it was for the euro zone to get on with forming a banking union – the last major initiative needed to draw a line under the euro zone debt crisis.

G8 — plenty to worry about

By Mike Peacock
June 17, 2013

The week kicks off with a G8 leaders’ summit in Northern Ireland. Syria will dominate the gathering and the British agenda on tax avoidance is likely to be long on rhetoric, short on binding specifics.

Mixed evidence from Germany

By Mike Peacock
June 7, 2013

German trade data, already out, showed both exports and imports rose more than expected in April – up a sharp 2.3 and 1.9 percent respectively. That suggests that its fabled industrial base is in reasonable shape but also that domestic demand is holding up, possibly helped by some above-inflation pay deals. The figures represent a significant bounce from the first quarter when Europe’s largest economy just managed to eke out some growth.

France under the spotlight

By Mike Peacock
June 4, 2013

An IMF team will conclude its annual review of the French economy and hold a news conference this morning.

Something must be done, but what?

By Mike Peacock
June 3, 2013

With little sign of economic recovery in Europe and governments incrementally loosening their austerity drives (Britain being the exception) the focus turns to the big central banks on our patch and what more they might be able to do to foster some recovery.

Franco-German motor

By Mike Peacock
May 30, 2013

Today’s big setpiece is a meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande ahead of a June EU summit which is supposed to lay the path for a banking union. The traditional twin motor of Europe has sputtered – not least because the French economy is so much more sickly than Germany’s – but also because of real differences of opinion.