Tag Archives: ECB

A Tale of Two Countries

Developments in the separate crises in Ukraine and Greece are likely to offer some upside lift to financial markets, at least in the short term. My thoughts: • The ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine is a clear positive for financial markets and reduces concerns about geostrategic and military risks

A Statement for Everyone

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to do nothing and signal nothing at the January meeting. The committee upgraded its assessment of the economy to reflect what was most likely a strong end to 2014. That said, members also acknowledged that wage growth, inflation and the housing market remain cooler than they would [...]

Mr. Draghi Delivers

In the end, Mario Draghi delivered. The much expected move into quantitative easing is now a reality, as announced by the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) today. The ECB will purchase government bonds, debt securities issued by European institutions and private sector bonds at the pace of 60 billion euros per month until September [...]

Europe: QE and Greece in the Balance

This is a crucial week. On Thursday, we expect the European Central Bank (ECB) to announce the much anticipated plan for asset purchases, aka quantitative easing. On Sunday, Greece will vote for a new parliament, where anti-European forces may win

Swiss Central Bank Rocks Currency Markets

Earlier today, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued efforts to hold the Swiss franc’s exchange rate with the euro at 1.20 francs. Since September 2011, Switzerland had capped the value of the franc, to contain intense pressure to appreciate against the European single currency and other major currencies. Switzerland is considered a financial safe haven

Falling Oil Prices Reduce Trade Deficit

The trade deficit narrowed more than expected again in November, with imports dropping more than exports. A fall in oil imports, due to the sharp drop in energy prices we have seen in recent months, was the primary reason for weakening imports. Exports were hurt by a drop in aircraft shipments,

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 [...]

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

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