Beware the Bundesbank

By Mike Peacock
April 26, 2013

German newspaper Handelsblatt has got hold of a confidential Bundesbank report to Germany’s constitutional court, which sharply criticized the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan. This could be very big or it could be nothing.

Austerity — the British test case

By Mike Peacock
April 25, 2013

First quarter UK GDP figures will show whether Britain has succumbed to an unprecedented “triple dip” recession. Economically, the difference between 0.2 percent growth or contraction doesn’t amount to much, and the first GDP reading is nearly always revised at a later date. But politically it’s huge.

The limits of austerity

By Mike Peacock
April 23, 2013

With debate about the balance between growth and austerity well and truly breaking out into the open, flash euro zone PMIs – which have a strong correlation to future GDP — are likely to show why a bit of fiscal stimulus is sorely needed. Talk of a European Central Bank rate cut is growing, euro zone policymakers at the G20 last week began to ponder loosening up on debt-cutting in an attempt to foster some growth and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso added his voice to the debate yesterday, saying the austerity drive had reached its “natural limit”.

Why euro zone bond yield ‘convergence’ may be something to fear

April 15, 2013

 

Are European bond investors looking for love in all the wrong places?

The premium bankers demand to hold various types of euro zone debt over that of Germany has recently come down. In normal circumstances, this might suggest markets are no longer discriminating between the risks associated with different member countries’ bonds. But analysts say the recent convergence is based on a precarious belief of ECB action rather than any real improvement in economic fundamentals.

German ghost of inflations past haunting European stability: Posen

April 15, 2013

“Reality is sticky.” That was the core of Adam Posen’s message to German policymakers on their home turf, at a recent conference in Berlin.

ECB eclipsed by BOJ

By Mike Peacock
April 4, 2013

The European Central Bank takes centre stage. While others in the euro zone are saying the way Cyprus was bailed out – with bank bondholders and big depositors hit – could be repeated, the ECB insists it was a one-off.

Firefighting in the euro zone

April 3, 2013

Money markets largely braved Cyprus’s bailout saga last week, but figures showing liquidity conditions are tightening suggest sentiment may not be as resilient the next time around.

Cyprus Plan B – phoenix or dodo?

By Mike Peacock
March 21, 2013

They’ve only been looking for it for a day but Cyprus’s Plan B has already taken on mythical status. A myth it might remain.

To print or not to print

By Mike Peacock
March 7, 2013

It’s ECB day and it could be a big one, not because a shift in policy is expected but because journalists will get an hour to quiz Mario Draghi on the Italy conundrum after the central bank leaves monetary policy on hold.

Euro zone triptych

By Mike Peacock
February 22, 2013

Three big events today which will tell us a lot about the euro zone and its struggle to pull out of economic malaise despite the European Central Bank having removed break-up risk from the table.