Showing posts with label Marea Britanie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marea Britanie. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crude dropped to its lowest since April 2009 in the wake of a glut of supply, triggering more swings in share prices after heavy falls on Monday.  At one point Brent crude fell 2 per cent to $51.23 a barrel and US crude dropped nearly 3 per cent to $48.47, adding to market worries about a possible Greek exit from the euro.  The UK's FTSE 100 index of leading shares plunged as much as 78 points, after a 130 point drop on the previous day, before staging an afternoon rally to close down 50.7 points to 6366.5 points.  Shares in Germany and France were also under pressure, as Wall Street fell 141 points in early trading following Monday's 331 point slump.  Oil prices have been driven lower by a combination of higher US shale gas and oil production and a refusal by Saudi Arabia to cut output.  Alastair McCaig, analyst at broker IG, said: "Commodity prices continue to play havoc with the FTSE."   Despite market volatility, chief European economist Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics predicted UK economic prospects would be improved by lower energy costs which would hold down inflation. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What will the Federal Reserve do?

After on Tuesday and Wednesday's regular policy meeting, the Fed is widely expected to announce that it will start to "taper" its $85bn-a-month quantitative easing (QE) programme, perhaps cutting its monthly purchases of assets such as government bonds by $10bn or $15bn.

Is that good news?

It should be: it means the governors of the Fed, led by the chairman, Bernanke, believe the US economy is strong enough to stand on its own, without support from a constant flow of cheap, electronically created money – though they still have no plans to raise base interest rates from the record low of 0.25%, and they expect to stop adding to QE over a period of up to a year. "We really want to see a situation where central banks should not be pumping money into markets. It's not a healthy thing to be doing," says Chris Williamson, chief economist at data provider Markit.

Why are they doing it now?

Economic data is pointing to a modest but steady recovery. House prices have turned, rising by 12% in the year to June. Unemployment has fallen to 7.3%, its lowest level since the end of 2008, albeit partly because many women and retirees have left the workforce.
Since QE on such a huge scale carries its own risks – it can distort financial markets, for example – the Fed is keen to withdraw it once it thinks an upturn is well underway. However, some recent data, including worse-than-expected retail sales figures on Friday, have raised doubts about the health of the upturn.
There's another reason too: Bernanke's term as governor ends in January next year, and he may feel that at least making a start on the process of tapering – marking the beginning of the end of the policy emergency that started more than five years ago – would be a fitting end to his tenure.

How will the markets react?

With a shrug, the Fed hopes, since it has carefully communicated its intentions. Scotiabank's Alan Clarke said: "I think it's pretty much priced in ... Speculation began months ago, the market has already moved and we are still seeing some very robust data. The foot is on the accelerator pedal just a bit more lightly."
However, a larger-than-expected move could still cause ripples – and a decision not to taper at all would be a shock, though some analysts believe it remains a possibility. Paul Ashworth, US economist at Capital Economics, said: "I don't think they've actually decided on this ahead of time."

What will investors be looking for?

First, the scale of the reduction in asset purchases. No taper at all might suggest Bernanke and his colleagues have lingering concerns about the health of the economy; a reduction of $20bn a month or more would come as a shock. The tone of the statement, and the chairman's subsequent press conference, will also be scrutinised, with markets hoping for reassurance that even once tapering is underway, there is no immediate plan to raise interest rates: Bernanke has previously said he doesn't expect this to take place until unemployment has fallen to 6.5% or below. Williamson said: "I think they will accompany the announcement with a very dovish statement designed not to scare people that the economy is too weak but to reassure stimulus won't be taken away too quickly."

What does it mean for the UK?

Long-term interest rates in UK markets have risen sharply since the early summer, at least in part because of the Fed's announcement on tapering, and that shift, which has a knock-on effect on some mortgage and other loan rates, is likely to continue as the stimulus is progressively withdrawn.
If tapering occurs without setting off a market crash or choking off recovery, it may help to reassure policymakers in the UK that they can tighten policy once the recovery gets firmly under way, without sparking a renewed crisis. David Kern, economic adviser to the British Chamber of Commerce, said: "it will strengthen for me the argument against doing more QE in the UK."

How will the eurozone be affected?

It could cut both ways: a strengthening US economy is a welcome market for Europe's exporters, and if the value of the dollar increases against the euro on the prospect of higher interest rates, that will make eurozone goods cheaper.
However, the prospect of an end to QE in the US has also caused bond yields in all major markets to rise, pushing up borrowing costs – including for many governments. That could make life harder for countries such as Spain and Italy that are already in a fiscal tight spot.

What about emerging markets?

Back in May, Bernanke merely had to moot the idea of ending QE to send emerging markets reeling. A side-effect of the unprecedented flood of cheap money under QE has been that banks and other investors have used the cash to make riskier investments in emerging markets. The prospect of that tap being turned off has already seen capital pouring out of emerging markets and currencies, potentially exposing underlying weaknesses in economies that have been flourishing on a ready supply of cheap credit.
"It has triggered all sorts of significant movements around the world out of emerging markets. It's had big ramifications for India and other parts of Asia," said Clarke.
Central banks in Brazil and India have been forced to take action to shore up their currencies; Turkey and Indonesia also look vulnerable. Many of these markets have looked calmer in recent weeks, but the concrete fact of tapering could set off a fresh panic.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

UK EUROPEAN MEMBERSHIP - We don't want to be part of a United Europe governed by a socialist unelected junta from Brussels. Put the business case to one side, this is about democracy, liberty and self governance.  I would rather be a little bit poorer now but in charge of my own destiny, than ruled by a socialist political elite which will in time become even more corrupt than now and make me much poorer in the long run. If the rest of Europe want to unite under a Brussels government then let them, but we don't want it. I suspect if other countries were ever given a vote, they would not want it either.  But surprise, surprise, the unelected elites don't like elections because they get the wrong answer to their ever closer union. The business leaders quoted should know better than to neglect democracy for the sake of profits....
Whilst the economic benefits of membership may, or may not be, overwhelming, (and Lord Lawson, Denis Healey and others have already questioned whether the economic benefits are as great as made out), that is not the issue.  The issue is that there are a number of fundamental problems with the eurozone and the EU itself which are precipitating the continent into potential conflict.  Firstly, as is apparent from Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Portugal, not a single person in those countries has a vote to change let alone influence policy being directed by Brussels. This democratic deficit in a time when the Euro-"elite" are pushing a solitary austerity agenda, without regard to the consequences of those policies not just on families and communities but half the continent, is fanning the flames of extreme nationalism in those countries. Until such time as the people of Europe get a vote to get rid of the idiots in charge in Brussels, we should have nothing to do with it.  Secondly, even if the policy of "internal devaluation" is successful, that will mean a worker in those countries will have to work harder and longer for a Euro than a worker, say, in Germany. So the exodus of the youth from those countries will accelerate and some will go within the Union to areas where there is work. This will drive down wages in the destination countries and will ignite talk of "jonny foreigner taking our jobs" that we've heard incessantly here. How well that will play in Germany is anyone's guess.  Thirdly, the accounts of the EU haven't been signed off by their auditors for, I believe, something like 10 years due to fraud and misappropriation of funds.  Finally, and most importantly, if the eurozone members are successful in driving through a Federal State (without obtaining specific consent for this from the individual national electorates), what impact is that going to have upon the operation of the EU? Currently, we have 27 nations, some with greater weight than others. With a Federal State of 17 nations, that bloc will outvote and outweigh all the other members. Policy (as the SNP seems to argue) will be set to the agenda of the bigger constituent. Ergo, the UK and all the other non-eurozone members will be outvoted on every measure, and what guarantees are there going to be to protect those countries from such policy focus? Given the EU's declaration of economic war against the City of London with the FTT (stealing money that would otherwise go to the UK Exchequer from the City), capping bonuses (bureaucracy gone mad and aimed directly at the City), with seemingly precious little the UK can do about it, it does not augur well for future protection.   I remain unconvinced about the economic benefits of membership. The EU will want access to our market. But is the EU necessarily the dynamic growth zone for the future? It doesn't look like it.   However, the risk of extreme nationalism arising from the current policies and the utter devastation being wrought across half a continent to "save" the Euro is not a price worth paying to secure economic benefits. We should be leading Europe away from the precipice towards which its bureaucrats appear determined to push it. Clearly this isn't happening at present, so its time to leave. Not, as some would suggest, to a Norwegian or Swiss style semi-detached model, but complete detachment.  And the sooner the better.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


New Spanish tax laws affecting an estimated 200,000 British expats, have sparked panic, prompting some to leave the country or hand in their residence cards at town halls before today's deadline (30 April), fearing a Cyprus-style money grab.
Opponents, including Spanish politicians, have branded the new asset declaration law discriminatory, and fear an exodus of EU residents from the fragile economies of the coastal towns.  Russell Thomson, the former British Consul for Alicante, Spain, has led a petition to the EU, branding the law unlawful and discriminatory against non-Spanish residents.
The Spanish government requires that any resident with an overseas asset worth more than €50,000 and who lives in Spain at least six months (183 days) of the year is affected – and must declare what they own abroad.
Failure to declare or any errors in any of the 720 online forms will result in a penalty of €10,000 or more. As relatively few Spaniards have assets outside of Spain, those most affected are EU residents, the vast majority of which are British pensioners and retirees who have homes in the EU and, or, rely on EU pension funds and trusts for their income. They are required to declare EU bank account numbers, mortgages and other details, via professional intermediaries, in an online format, considered risky by many.
Any delays or errors will attract hefty penalties. No information has been given as to what will be done with the data. The new law was passed in November 2012, but the majority did not find out until several months ago via the local English-language newspapers.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This EU budget stuff can come across as pretty dull and confusing. To lighten things up a bit, we will turn to the universal language of football. So meet the EU budget 'Veto Team' - the eleven EU leaders that so far have threatened to veto the EU budget unless they get a better deal. Needless to say, given that this is its first outing, the eleven-man team is far from a cohesive unit - with lots of big egos and players who play for themselves.
·       David Cameron leads the line, ready to strike and seen as the most likely to pull the trigger on any veto.
·       Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at right winger hugging the line (sticking to his guns), happy to put in a shift for the team and more likely to offer an assist/support for Cameron than to deliver the final blow himself.
·       French President François Hollande is the mercurial trickster playing between the lines but not quite sure of his role or his aims. Ultimately a selfish player (as are many of the others) but who’s own personal gain could ultimately be detrimental to the rest of the team.
·       Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is playing the stoic holding role, refusing to budge and occasionally gesticulating wildly at the referee, although never actually getting into the danger zone at the forefront of the action. More likely to break up play and provide a stumbling block than deliver a knockout blow to the opposition. Unlike the rest of the team, not here on merit (elected) but parachuted in by the powers above.
·       Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho takes on the Cristiano Ronaldo role as a marauding left winger and not just because of the nationality. His red line that Herman Van Rompuy's proposal is unacceptable makes him more of a threat than many expected. Under pressure to perform from his home fans (electorate) he needs to put in a big showing – the question remains though whether he will rise to the challenge or crumble under the pressure.
·       Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is playing the 'box-to-box midfielder' role, akin to the days of Johan Cruyff's 'total football'. Usually more inclined to side with Germany (the opposition), Rutte finds himself dragged end-to-end with action not quite sure where he should be or where he is best suited. One things for sure, his hometown team (the VVD party) would love to see him score.
·       Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, naturally inclined to the left, find himself at left back. His demands are relatively minor and he’s not a regular in this team (usually part of the core EU group who’s views align closely). He’ll put up a fight for a bit but he’s not a star player in this game.
·       The towering centre-back, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt provides a solid spine to the team. Not one of the more flashy players but they know their job and what they want out of it (a clean sheet). Unlikely to score (pull the veto) but will definitely provide a blocker against any increases in the budget.
·       Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann is another unfamiliar member of the team. Stuck in at centre back because of its experience in the eurozone crisis and playing a key blocking role in minimising the liabilities. Unfortunately, its aims are different in this game and as with Hollande its may end up scoring an own goal (getting more spending in the budget).
·       Romanian President Traian Basescu, at right back, is there as a late replacement and now a token entry. The previous incumbent (Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta) looked set for an interesting game, but after the substitution this role is unlikely to provide much action.
·       Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is in goal because, well, the smallest kid always gets stuck with the worst job.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The eurozone will struggle to emerge from a double-dip recession next year as deep budget cuts stifle growth, the European commission has said.  In a gloomy health check on the state of the 17 countries that belong to the monetary union, Brussels said a sharper than expected fall in output in 2012 would be followed by a virtually non-existent recovery in 2013.  The commission said the eurozone as a whole would contract by 0.4% this year and grow by 0.1% in 2013. It cut its forecasts for the single currency's "big four" economies – Germany, France, Italy and Spain – as it predicted that unemployment would rise to a fresh peak of 11.8% next year.
"Europe is going through a difficult process of macroeconomic rebalancing, which will still last for some time," said the economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn. "Europe must continue to combine sound fiscal policies with structural reforms to create the conditions for sustainable growth to bring unemployment down from the current unacceptably high levels."
Brussels blamed the deepening sovereign debt crisis and financial market concerns about a possible breakup of the eurozone for the "disappointing" growth performance in 2012. It said domestic demand would make no contribution to eurozone GDP in 2013 as the lack of jobs and tax increases hit consumer spending.
The commission expressed confidence that by 2014 the benefits of the austerity programmes would bear fruit, leading to expansion of 1.4%.
Although the UK is expected to grow by just 0.9% next year, Brussels believes it will expand more quickly than any of the major economies of the eurozone. The commission has pencilled in growth of 0.8% for Germany, 0.4% for France, a contraction of 0.5% for Italy and a retrenchment of 1.4% for Spain. In all cases the predictions are for output to be weaker than expected by national governments, leading to budget deficit reduction targets being missed.
Greece is one eurozone economy where the commission's forecasts are less pessimistic than those of the government. The EU executive believes the Greek economy will shrink by 6% this year and 4.2% in 2013 before finally emerging from a six-year slump with growth of 0.6% in 2014. The government is assuming contraction of 6.5% in 2012, 4.5% in 2013 and growth of 0.2% growth in 2014.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bad news...

BRUSSELS -- Unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro remained at its record high rate of 11.4 percent in August renewing concerns that efforts to slash debts have sacrificed jobs.
While European leaders have calmed financial markets in recent months with promises to cut spending and build a tighter union, they haven't solved the eurozone's deep-rooted economic problems and the rising tide of joblessness. In August, 34,000 more people lost their jobs in the eurozone, according to data released Monday by the European statistics agency, Eurostat. The unemployment rate – the highest since the euro was created in 1999 – is the same as July's, which was revised up from 11.3. Europe's problems are dragging down the global economy. The region is the U.S.'s largest export customer and any fall-off in demand will hit American companies – as well as President Barack Obama's election prospects. The U.S.'s 8.1 percent unemployment rate is already making re-election an uphill battle for the president. The eurozone is in danger of slipping into recession this year after its economic output dropped 0.2 percent in the second quarter. Six countries in the eurozone – Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal – are already in recession. Howard Archer, the chief economist for IHS Global Insight, said it will take some time before Europe's labor market rebounds. "There looks to be a very real danger that the eurozone unemployment rate could reach 12 percent in 2013," he said. He thinks that will be the high-water mark, hit somewhere around the end of next year. While austerity measures were introduced to ease the financial crisis by lowering public debt, they are also slowing down economies as government spending drops off. This is also pushing unemployment higher and threatening the continent with recession. Some experts urge leaders to instead loosen spending to encourage growth.

MEANWHILE - a dengerous development :
Turkey's military have struck targets inside Syria in response to a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory which killed five Turkish civilians, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement.
The mortar fired from the Syrian side into the region of Akçakale sparked an urgent round of meetings with military chiefs and led the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmed Davagotlu, to formally complain to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.
"Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar," the statement from Erdogan said. "Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security."
Nato said it was following developments and senior officials would meet urgently to discuss the issue. Turkey is a member state of the powerful body and earlier this year invoked a clause in the Nato treaty which called on it to respond to an earlier clash in which a Turkish jet was shot down from inside Syria.
The escalating border tensions came amid a day of grave violence inside Syria, with central Aleppo ravaged by three large explosions that killed at least 41 people and the capital Damascus again the scene of fierce clashes between loyalists and rebels and security sweeps by regime forces.
The Aleppo bombings were among the biggest seen in Syria in 18 months of uprising. Attackers, believed to have been dressed in military fatigues, are thought to have convinced regime soldiers stationed in Saadallah al-Jabiri Square to let them enter the secure zone. They are then thought to have detonated the bombs believed to have been packed into cars

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Portugal's prime minister has admitted that his country may require more help. Writing in the Financial Times today, Pedro Passos Coelho said there were "no guarantees", but insisted that he will deliver on economic reforms. Full details and reaction shortly....Elsewhere... the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting continues in Washington. Today we get the Global Financial Stability Report.
In the UK, the latest unemployment data is released this morning, along with minutes from the last meeting of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee....City traders reckon European stock markets will open calmly after yesterday's rally.The Bank of England was split last month over whether to leave its quantitative easing programme unchanged, or pump even more electronic money into the economy. Minutes from the last meeting were just released, showing that David Miles wanted to increase the QE budget by another £25bn to £350bn. The rest of the committee voted to leave the asset purchase programme unchanged. According to the minutes, Miles took a 'finely balanced' decision that another stimulus measure was needed....Adam Posen, though, the long-time dove on the MPC, did not call for more QE. If anyone would want an extra dose, he seemed the most likely.
GERMANY - Schröder's labor market reforms remain controversial today in Germany. They included the combining of unemployment and welfare benefits, drastic cuts for the long-term unemployed, the deregulation of temporary work and the creation of mini-jobs, essentially limited part-time work that has no effect on welfare payments. Critics say the changes meant primarily that the unemployed were now expected to accept poorly paid jobs. Some 41 million people have a job in Germany today -- the highest employment figure ever, which could provide Schröder with some delayed satisfaction. But the flip side of the coin is that 23 percent of them work in the low-wage sector, and that real wages have in fact declined by 3 percent in the last 11 years.  By contrast, no one in the southern European countries was asked to make any sacrifices in the years leading up to the crisis. The boom on borrowed funds led to wage increases, but it also ensured that rigid labor market laws remained unchanged.
A de facto ban on dismissals persisted in southern Europe until recently, usually benefiting the individual, but not society as a whole. The unpleasant truth that employers only create jobs if they are also permitted to lay off workers in times of crisis was ignored.
Italy is a case in point. Even today, unlimited full-time employment and protection against dismissal are practically sacrosanct in Italy. A number of governments on the left and the right have already tried to tackle Italy's big taboo, a deregulation of the labor market, but have always ended up yielding to public opinion. Protection against dismissal is codified in Article 18 of the labor code, a symbol in the struggle between employer and unions for years.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This financial foreplay is becoming exceedingly tedious

United Kingdom - The IFS has urged the Government to consider a £20bn fiscal stimulus in the event of the eurozone break-up, saying a possible plan B should be outlined in the Budget. However, the institute’s director Paul Johnson said the IFS was "firmly on the fence" as there was a risk of increasing government borrowing costs. Johnson added that a stimulus plans of this order would have negligible effect on economic growth, suggesting it would only deliver one or two tenths of a percentage point of growth. A Treasury spokesman said: “The IFS say that tackling the deficit is necessary, that without the Government’s deficit plan borrowing would be much higher, and that any fiscal stimulus big enough to make a difference would undermine investor confidence and so risk higher interest rates.” ---The Institute of Fiscal Studies doesn't know it's elbow from its posterior. Where was "it" when the debt crisis was blowing up, and Brown was showing his shrewd economic management of feeding the banksters and starving the rest of the economy? Much better to listen to someone like Ron Paul (US Republican maverick) who predicted this crisis. Cameron and Osborne have done the right thing by cutting back spending, and need to do so even more aggressively. The reason UK has not gone to tatters, despite Brown, is the money pumping was stopped. But the economy is still fragile. Somehow the money trapped in the self-serving hoarding of parasitic banks and financial institutions has to be forced back into the economy.....By it's very inception the euro has failed - nations, a whole continent of peoples.................oh, they mean if it meets it's maker, if it ceases to be. Personally I wouldn't call that event a failure.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today's main headlines:

Time for recap of today's main headlines: UK GDP falls 0.2pc in Q4 2011, worse than 0.1pc expected Some MPC members believe further expansion of QE is likely to be required • IMF chief Christine Lagarde has warned that if a haircut on private sector Greek debt is not enough, public holders of debt will have to participate in renogotiationThe ECB is said to remain opposed to losses on its Greek debt holdings despite pressure • Greek debt talks will resume tomorrow in Athens • Portugal needs €30bn in additional EU/IMF funds to solve credit crunch • World Bank says it will make $27bn available over the next two years for emerging Europe, Cental Asia nations hit by eurozone crisis • George Soros warns that the European debt crisis could destroy the EU.

The German chancellor insisted – against widespread resistance elsewhere in the eurozone and in the UK – that the European court of justice (ECJ) be empowered to police the public spending and budget policies of the 17 countries in the euro. She also called for the eventual creation of a European political union, with many more national powers ceded to a central government, a strengthened bicameral European parliament, and the ECJ assuming the role of Europe's supreme court. Days before the latest crucial EU summit, which – at Merkel's insistence and evoking scant enthusiasm elsewhere – is to finalise an international treaty between eurozone governments entrenching German-style fiscal and budgetary rigour in all single currency countries, the chancellor admitted to having doubts about the strategy she has pursued throughout the crisis. "We haven't overcome the crisis yet," Merkel said. "Of course, there's Greece, a special case where, despite all the efforts that have been made, neither the Greeks themselves nor the international community have yet managed to stabilise the situation." Asked about the European response over the past two years, during which Berlin has often dictated terms and encountered strong resistance in Brussels, Paris, and at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Merkel said: "Good politicians always have doubts, as a way of constantly reviewing whether they are on the right track." There were no doubts about her aim – to save the euro and preserve the EU. The reservations concerned the means to those ends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Markets fall as Germany fails to sell 35pc of the bonds it offers at auction

"The scale of the deterioration is surprising, but it seems that manufacturing is the sector probably most affected by the spillover from the financial tensions of the sovereign debt crisis, because it is highly cyclical," said Clemente de Lucia, economist at BNP Paribas.The 17 nations using the euro suffered the deepest fall in new industrial orders since December 2008, well below analysts' forecasts of a 2.5pc fall. The core nations of Germany, France, Italy and Spain all registered sharp contractions, the EU's statistics office said. The 6.4pc drop in orders of capital goods, which indicates investment in new machinery, shows factory managers are pulling back on expansion plans and hoarding cash as the debt crisis shatters business confidence. Falling export demand from Asia, fewer new orders, unemployment at 10pc and weak consumer confidence are combining to create a very difficult business environment. "This clearly indicates that we are now entering into a recession," said Peter Vanden Houte, economist at ING. "It is now very clear that this debt crisis has also affected the real economy, and the real economy is now going down." He said banks in peripheral eurozone countries are facing deposit withdrawals that could create a credit crunch, further slashing industrial orders. He said output in the fourth quarter will be "quite negative", as could the first quarter of 2012.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Euro -Zone, hot air, indecizion and in conclision, NO DEAL -- Germany and the U.K. remained at odds about the introduction of a levy on financial transactions at European level, but agreed on a limit for the rise in the budget of the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said after meeting Friday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the media after thetalks at the Chancellery on Friday. "We are one in saying that a global financial transaction tax would be introduced by both countries immediately," Ms. Merkel said, but acknowledged that no progress was made on a possible introduction of such a levy by Europe alone. Germany wants the EU to pioneer the set-up of the tax, while the U.K. is resisting that, fearing the position of London as a financial center could be harmed. The two leaders showed more agreement on the issue of the EU's budget. "It's not acceptable that the [EU] budget grows by 5%," Mr. Cameron said, rejecting a proposal by the European Parliament. Efforts to consolidate national budgets should be mirrored in the EU budget, Ms. Merkel said, proposing the budget increase to stay close to the inflation rate. After recent disagreements between the 17 countries belonging to the euro zone and the 10 EU countries outside of it on a possible change to the EU treaty, Ms. Merkel also suggested as a compromise that a treaty change should only be adopted by the euro-zone countries. Mr. Cameron and his finance minister, George Osborne, have openly backed the need for greater euro-zone integration, even if it requires a treaty change.

Friday, May 13, 2011

With unemployment officially nudging 790,000 – although believed to be far bigger with the closure of some 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses over the past year – there are fears that Greece, the country at the centre of Europe's worst financial debacle in decades, is slipping inexorably into political and social crisis, too. Rising racist tensions and lawlessness on the streets this week spurred the soft-spoken mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, to describe the city as "beginning to resemble Beirut".With unemployment officially nudging 790,000 – although believed to be far bigger with the closure of some 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses over the past year – there are fears that Greece, the country at the centre of Europe's worst financial debacle in decades, is slipping inexorably into political and social crisis, too. Rising racist tensions and lawlessness on the streets this week spurred the soft-spoken mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, to describe the city as "beginning to resemble Beirut".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ATHENS—Greece was paralyzed by a nationwide general strike Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of workers, shopkeepers and civil servants walked off the job in a 24-hour protest over the government's austerity program. The strike affected public services, with government ministries, local government offices, courts and schools all closed, and hospitals and many state-owned enterprises running with reduced staff. Mass transit around the capital ground to a halt as bus, trolley, tram and subway operations were suspended, and Athens's electric rail operated on a reduced schedule. More than four dozen domestic flights were canceled ahead of a four-hour walkout by air traffic controllers, and ferry operations to Greece's islands were also suspended. "The austerity measures are beginning to affect all of society even more now. The economic situation is becoming very difficult for both Greek businesses and for workers," said Anthony Livanios, an independent political economist and commentator. "Even so, the government appears determined to continue with its policies." Recent public opinion polls showed seven out of ten Greeks expect the austerity program to continue even beyond 2013 when the current bailout deal with the EU and IMF ends. The ruling Socialists have seen their popularity drop sharply in the past year, although they still retain a 3.5 percentage-point lead over the center-right opposition.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

BERLIN - The succession of European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet will not be a topic at this week's Group of 20 meeting and will be dealt with after March, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday. "We will then see (if there will be a German candidate). The important thing is that we will have a good candidate," Schaeuble added in an interview with German radio channel Deutschlandfunk.BCE,EURO,Dollar,RON,Crisis Agerpres, Mediafax
FRANKFURT - Emergency borrowing from the European Central Bank remained exceptionally elevated for a second straight day on Friday, intensifying speculation that one or more euro zone bank might be facing new funding problems. ECB figures showed banks borrowed more than 16 billion euros in high-cost emergency overnight funding, the highest amount since June 2009 and well above the 1.2 billion euros which banks were taking before the figure first jumped on Thursday. The ECB gives no breakdown of the borrowing figures and declined to comment on Friday when asked for an explanation for the jump. Traders remained unsure whether the spike was due to a serious funding issue or whether a bank had simply made an error earlier in the week by not borrowing enough at the ECB's regular weekly funding handout. If a bank, or number of banks, did not get enough funding, and were unable to make up the difference in open markets, they would be forced to use the ECB's emergency facility until the next ECB tender came around. The next ECB offering is on Tuesday, banks get the money on Wednesday, meaning any change would evident in figures published early on Thursday. "As no bank or banking group from any euro zone country is aggressively seeking money in the interbank market at the moment, it is likely that something went wrong at the main refinancing operation," said one euro zone money market trader. "The bank or banking group needs to tap the ECB for the money whether they like it or not, or they are doing that so as not to appear active on the money market and to thereby be stigmatized," he added

European bank shares were down 1 percent by 1100 GMT while the euro fell against the dollar and other major currencies for much of the morning. Money markets showed little reaction, however. Key euro bank-to-bank lending prices remained on a downward trajectory, a direction traditionally at odds with rising tensions. The theory that the spike was due to human error appeared to be supported by data from the ECB's latest weekly funding operation. Banks borrowed the lowest amount since June at the tender, 19 billion euros less than the previous week and well below expected demand of around 160 billion euros.

However, a monetary source in Italy, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the increase in borrowing was not a technical problem and was a sign that money markets were still not functioning correctly and geographically split in the wake of the global financial crisis. The source said the Italian banking system continued to have good access to money markets, while high-level Spanish financial source said the jump was not down to Spanish banks. The borrowing jump added extra complexity to the question of whether the ECB will scale back, or extend, its money market support measures at its next meeting on March 3.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in a recent interview that the health of money markets had improved, although Belgium's Guy Quaden said this week liquidity support remained necessary. "If the increased use of the marginal borrowing facility is due to new problems in the banking system this would call for an extension of the ECB's liquidity support," said UniCredit analyst Luca Cazzulani. "The ECB knows exactly who is borrowing the money and why they are doing it. If it is due to a mistake then it should not influence their thinking at all." The extra 0.75 percent which banks have to pay for overnight funding from the ECB normally means it is used only as a last resort. The last time before this week that overnight borrowing exceeded 10 billion euros was on June 24, 2009, when it was 28.7 billion euros, the highest ever. This year, emergency overnight borrowing has been above 1 billion euros only twice. Traders said while mistyping the required amount or missing the ECB's tender altogether would be an unlikely mistake, it could happen. "It would be a huge oversight and pretty unlikely but it is possible if a lot of things conspired against you," said one London-based money market trader. "If it is a mistake then someone's boss is not going to be very happy." A number of banks, mainly from the euro zone's most debt-strained countries but also troubled banks in core countries, remain barred from open money markets and almost completely dependent on the ECB for funding.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Financial-Banking Analysis

For the new democracies and market economies of the Eastern European region, 2009 has been a rude awakening, the biggest shock since they switched from Soviet communism to western capitalism 20 years ago. "There is no doubt the region is in deep crisis," said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development last week. "The worst output collapse since the great recession that followed the end of communism."

Most analysts expect the National Bank of Romania to come with a less optimistic forecast as far as this year's price increase is concerned, after last autumn it expected inflation to slow down to 3.4% in December 2011, i.e. close to the official target of 3%. According to an internal survey conducted by the Association of Financial-Banking Analysts, the average analyst forecast for the 2011 inflation is 4.3%, i.e. also above the upper inflation target limit.
The main risks now have to do with the international trend of making food and fuels more expensive, which has already been felt on the Romanian market. Last year consumer prices climbed nearly 8%, although the official inflation target was 3.5%. The shock of the VAT hike from 19% to 24% in the summer, as well as the food price increases that occurred in autumn overturned the downward trend of inflation.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Denmark's Vestas, the world's leader in the field of wind farm technology, with turnover worth above 6bn euros in 2009, decided to open an office in Romania this year considering the company has already sold turbines with a 450 MW capacity for investments in Dobrogea. After six years' research, Vestas now says it is time it started developing domestically.
"We have been eyeing Romania over the past five or six years, but it is now that we decided to open a local office. This is a decision that proves the domestic market has reached a certain maturity. We are in the right place at the right moment. Romania is the most promising country in Eastern Europe," says Hans Jorn Rieks, chairman for Central Europe with Vestas.
The best-known wind farms due to be equipped by Vestas are the ones being built by Energias de Portugal in two towns of Dobrogea, Pe[tera and Cernavod`.
According to Rieks, the big concern as regards the Romanian market is legislation. "The existence of clear legislation will open the market to several players as banks are always looking at something tangible and are not willing to take on risks," he says. (Z.F)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BRUSSELS, Jan. 27 - The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the rescue fund set up by Eurozone countries last May, Tuesday saw strong demand for its debut bond issued to raise cash for Ireland. Demand for the five-year bond was reportedly nearly nine times of the 5 billion euros (6.8 billion U.S. dollars) on offer, which is seen as a sign of confidence in the facility. Klaus Regling, chief executive of the EFSF, said that the strong demand "confirms confidence in the strategy adopted to restore financial stability in the euro area." The 440-billion-euro (580-billion-U.S. dollar) EFSF is not offered directly by eurozone countries, but guaranteed by them to borrow money by issuing bonds on the market for debt-laden eurozone members. According to the aid package endorsed by European Union (EU) finance ministers last November to Ireland, the EFSF, will raise 17.7 billion euros in total for Dublin.

Earlier this month, the European Commission also raised 5 billion euros for Ireland through its first bond issuance under the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM), which is guaranteed by the EU's budget. Markets snapped up the bond within one hour.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The outgoing head of the CBI today strongly criticised the government's lack of strategy for economic growth and warned that ministers would fail to reduce Britain's budget deficit without measures to boost demand. Sir Richard Lambert used his last big speech as director general of the employers' organisation to accuse the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition of taking policy initiatives for political reasons "apparently careless of the damage that they might do to business and to job creation". Speaking on the eve of the release of official growth figures expected to show a slowdown in the pace of economic expansion in the final three months of 2010, Lambert backed plans to cut the deficit but said they had to be accompanied by increased output and employment, which would increase tax receipts. "The sooner we can get output back up to the levels that were expected before the recession, the quicker government revenues will rise to narrow the fiscal gap. "It's not enough just to slam on the spending brakes. Measures that cut spending but killed demand would actually make matters worse." Lambert said the government had been single-minded, even ruthless, in the pursuit of spending cuts but had not been "nearly so consistent" when it came to policies that supported growth. "It's failed so far to articulate in big picture terms its vision of what the UK economy might become under its stewardship."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lloyds Banking Group has begun a mass mailshot of 231,000 letters offering possible refunds to Halifax customers who may have been mis-sold payment protection insurance on their credit cards, under a costly and large-scale outreach programme codenamed Project Kestrel. Internal documents obtained by the Observer reveal that 8,300 letters went out last Monday. Almost a quarter of a million will be dispatched by mid-February, asking credit card customers to contact a special call centre operated by outsourcing firm Capita. The exercise by Lloyds, which is 70% owned by the government and is the parent of Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, comes amid an ongoing furore over the mis-marketing of so-called PPI policies which protect cardholders against debts if they lose their jobs, fall ill or have accidents. Analysts believe Lloyds could face a bill of more than £1bn for compensation if it were found to have mis-sold PPI.

euro, criza datoriilor de stat, euroscepticismul, monede nationale, renuntarea la euro, salvare euro, zona euro