Britain to join the fray

By Mike Peacock
September 26, 2014

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq

The British parliament will vote today on whether UK forces should join U.S.-led air attacks against Islamic State militants. Any action will be confined to Iraq, which has asked for help, not Syria where IS also controls swathes of territory. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a separate vote on that if it comes to it.

Not really that close

By Mike Peacock
September 19, 2014

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond speaks at the "Yes" Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland

So what was all the fuss about?

A first rough draft of history would suggest the one opinion poll that gave the independents a lead nearly two weeks ago scared the Bejesus not only out of the British establishment but a significant chunk of Scottish voters too.

Q3 rebound but at cost of price cutting?

By Mike Peacock
August 1, 2014

A woman walks past a shop in Madrid

Manufacturing PMI surveys across the euro zone and for Britain are due. The emerging pattern is of an improving third quarter after a generally poor second three months of the year.

EU cuts off Russian banks, puts ball in Moscow’s court

By Mike Peacock
July 30, 2014

Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to reporters during a meeting in Brasilia

True to its word, the EU agreed sweeping sanctions on Russia yesterday, targeting trade in equipment for the defence and oil sectors and, most crucially, barring Russia’s state-run banks from accessing European capital markets. The measures will be imposed this week and will last for a year initially with three monthly reviews allowing them to be toughened if necessary.

A turning point?

By Mike Peacock
July 18, 2014

Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Could the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine be a fundamental turning point in the crisis that has pitted Russia against the West? And if so which way – towards rapprochement or a further escalation?

Sanctions tighten

By Mike Peacock
July 17, 2014

Britain's PM Cameron, Portugal's PM Passos Coelho, Germany's Chancellor Merkel and Finland's PM Stubb attend an EU leaders summit in Brussels

EU leaders failed to get anywhere on sharing out the top jobs in Brussels last night but did manage another round of sanctions against Russia.

ECB: talk but no action

By Mike Peacock
July 3, 2014

EThe European Central Bank holds its monthly policy meeting and after launching a range of new measures in June it’s a racing certainty that nothing will happen this time. However, ECB President Mario Draghi has plenty of scope to move markets and minds in his news conference.

Of Iraq and Ukraine

By Mike Peacock
June 18, 2014

Barack Obama’s message that any military support for Iraq’s besieged government is contingent on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki taking steps to broaden his Shi’ite-dominated government may be having an impact.

Signs of European dash for growth

By Mike Peacock
June 2, 2014

The ripples of EU election results are being felt, no more so than in France where the National Front topped the poll.

Evening of reckoning

By Mike Peacock
May 27, 2014

EU heads of government and state dine in Brussels this evening to discuss their response to a big slap in the face from the bloc’s electorates.