Category Archives: Adolfo Laurenti

European Bank Stress Tests: Just One Step in the Right Direction

The European Central Bank (ECB)  has announced the results of the stress test exercise over the banking system. Out of 130 banks scrutinized 25 failed, revealing capital shortfalls for a total of about 25 billion euros. Out of these 25 banks, nine are Italian, three Greek and three Cypriot. In several cases, plans were already [...]

2014 Nobel Prize for Economics: Jean Tirole

This is the time of year when economists become self-referential, turn inward and assess the state of the discipline by celebrating the recipient of the highest honor in the profession: the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. (It is not one of the original prizes established by Alfred Nobel, but [...]

Five Themes to Start the Week

Economic developments abroad were not in short supply during the past weekend, nor will they be in the week ahead. 1.    The first round of the Brazilian presidential election was, as expected, inconclusive, but somewhat surprisingly the center-right candidate Aécio Neves placed second behind incumbent President Dilma Rousseff. Now he will vie for the presidency [...]

Five Themes for the Week

I’ve written on five key themes or developments of the week just past in the international economy: 1. According to several press reports, Chinese leaders are considering the replacement of the central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan. Mr. Zhou is broadly seen as a reformer, who has been insisting on more liberalization in Chinese financial markets. [...]

Five Themes of the Week

The disappointing employment report in the U.S. came at the end of an eventful week in the global economy. Central bankers met and took action in Europe, but held their ground in Japan. Political risks heightened in the United Kingdom, while they appeared to abate in Ukraine

Global Economy: Five Themes of the Week

Europeans like myself traditionally spend the third week of August vacationing at the beach. Even here in Chicago, one week ahead of the reopening of schools, the atmosphere has been decidedly relaxed. For those of us on the economic desk, though, the past few days were not without interesting developments: •    Monetary policy became much [...]

Eurozone Growth Stalls in 2nd Quarter

The combined GDP for countries in the Eurozone flattened out during the second quarter. At the same time, inflation continued to slow. Growth in the two “pillars” of the euro currency area, Germany and France, declined. Today’s data show a much weaker core but offer some signs of relief

Five Themes of the Week

Central banks took the center stage, with policy setting meetings taking place at the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). In each case, policy makers stayed the course, despite the mounting pressure to act: In the case of the BoE, toward a tightening of monetary conditions

ECB Decision: The Choice of the Glutton, with Nothing Left on the Table

Standing before a smorgasbord of policy options, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, made the choice of the glutton; he chose them all: lower interest rates, expansion of the balance sheet, short-term financing to banks and forward guidance. Short of purchasing sovereign bonds and throwing in the kitchen sink, practically every [...]

Construction Spending Partially Disappoints in April

Construction spending in April rose by 0.2%, a slightly disappointing figure that reflects a standstill in private spending and some modest progress in public construction expenditures. Expectations counted on seasonal improvements and a return to warmer temperatures for a more robust turnaround in activity, which in fact failed to materialize