Demand-led German recovery

By Mike Peacock
March 6, 2015

The factory of the company Kronospan is pictured during sunset at the east German town Lampertswalde

An economic trend, like a battle plan, often doesn’t survive the first engagement. Data from euro zone countries has generally surprised on the upside since the turn of the year with Germany leading the way. German growth was robust in Q4, with domestic demand to the fore.

Prescient Yellen saw limits of zero Fed interest rates back in 2009

March 4, 2015

yellen.jpgDespite the Federal Reserve’s trillions of dollars in newly printed money, workers’ wages and overall U.S. inflation have failed to take off since the recession. Longer-term borrowing costs, from 10-year Treasury yields to 30-year home mortgages, have also compressed without any real signs of reversing. While this has perplexed many economists, transcripts of the U.S. central bank’s crisis-fighting meetings in 2009 show that Janet Yellen, then the head of the San Francisco Fed, was prescient in warning colleagues of these very problems.

The more things change: Fed wrestled with same policy “exit” issues in 2009

March 4, 2015

bernanke2009.jpgThe Federal Reserve faces two big challenges in the months and years ahead: how to finally “liftoff” after more than six years of rock bottom interest rates, and how to begin drawing down its $4.5-trillion balance sheet after three massive rounds of bond purchases. But, it turns out, those questions were being raised at the U.S. central bank as far back as 2009.

Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.

Turkish interest rate standoff

By Mike Peacock
March 3, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a conference at the Foreign Affairs building  in Mexico City

Turkey’s central bank releases minutes of its last meeting at which it cut interest rates by a quarter point.

Negative inflation to herald QE launch

By Mike Peacock
March 2, 2015

US dollars and euros banknotes are seen in this illustration photo taken at a change bureau in Paris

The European Central Bank is about to start printing money. Euro zone data today will show why.

Eurozone awaits Greek reform list

By Mike Peacock
February 23, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

A Greek deal has been pulled from the fire at the last moment. The country’s bailout programme will be extended for four months averting a potential cash crunch in March that could have forced the country out of the currency area.

Greek talks about talks

By Mike Peacock
February 13, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

The Greek standoff is coming to a head.

A day after euro zone finance ministers couldn’t “even agree to disagree” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, attending his first EU summit, agreed that Greek officials would meet representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF today.

Varoufakis enters the lion’s den

By Mike Peacock
February 11, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis holds his speech notes before a vote of confidence at the parliament in Athens

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis enters the lion’s den today, attending his first meeting of euro zone finance ministers where he will spell out his plan to drop his country’s bailout and end austerity.

G20 treads familiar ground

By Mike Peacock
February 10, 2015

OECD Secretary General Gurria casts his shadow on the podium as he speaks during a news conference in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Istanbul

G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Istanbul will pledge to act decisively on monetary and fiscal policy if needed to combat the risk of  stagnation, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters last night. As has been customary at these summits, a lot of the discussion implicitly centres on Germany.