Hollande’s moment of truth

By Mike Peacock
January 14, 2014

This afternoon, French President Francois Hollande will expand upon his New Year announcement that French companies who agree to hire more workers could pay lower labour taxes in return and find themselves less tied up in red tape. Unemployment is running near to 12 percent and Hollande’s vow to get it falling by the end of 2013 fell short.

New face at the ECB

By Mike Peacock
January 13, 2014

The European Central Bank held a steady course at its first policy meeting of the year but flagged up the twin threats of rising short-term money market rates and the possibility of a “worsening” outlook for inflation – i.e. deflation.

ECB rate cut expectations to be left deflated

By Mike Peacock
January 9, 2014

Euro zone inflation has dropped to just 0.8 percent and the core measure is lower still – at 0.7 percent it has fallen pretty consistently over the last year.

Lew’s comes to Europe airing concerns

By Mike Peacock
January 8, 2014

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew moves on to Berlin then Lisbon after spending yesterday in Paris. There, he urged Europe to do more to build up its bank backstops and capital, a fairly clear indication that Washington is underwhelmed by the German model of banking union which has prevailed.

Data to shape ECB week

By Mike Peacock
January 6, 2014

Euro zone service sector PMIs and German inflation (with the euro zone number to follow on Tuesday) will lay the ground for the European Central Bank’s first policy meeting of the year.

In euro bond markets, world still upside down

December 11, 2013

Corporate bonds normally yield more than sovereign debt since companies are seen as more likely than states to go bust. But during the euro zone debt crisis, when various governments had to be bailed out, that relationship broke down in Spain and Italy.

Banking disunion

By Mike Peacock
December 10, 2013

The full Ecofin of 28 EU finance ministers meets after Monday’s Eurogroup meeting of euro zone representatives didn’t seem to get far in unpicking the Gordian Knot that is banking union. Ireland’s Michael Noonan talked of “wide differences”.

Banking union talks, storm allowing

By Mike Peacock
December 6, 2013

The finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and possibly Spain are expected to meet in Berlin to discuss banking union. Two sources told us Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem – who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers — should attend as will EU commissioner Michel Barnier and key European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen.

ECB forecasts to contrast with Britain’s

By Mike Peacock
December 5, 2013

The European Central Bank holds its last rates meeting of the year with some of the alarm about looming deflation pricked by a pick-up in euro zone inflation last week – though at 0.9 percent it remains way below the ECB’s target of close to two percent.

Putin’s Ukraine “victory” — pyrrhic?

By Mike Peacock
December 3, 2013

Ukraine continues to top the European worry list.

Monday demonstrated how quickly the financial side of the equation can spiral out of control. The hryvnia currency slumped and the cost of insuring against Ukrainian default soared, forcing the central bank to intervene and urge its citizens not to spark a bank run.