Post Tagged with: "Europe"

Why Macron is a risky bet for France and for Europe

Why Macron is a risky bet for France and for Europe

About two months ago I wrote about Emmanuel Macron as a risk, rather than a saviour. Today, following his 1st round presidential victory in France, I feel even more that he represents a risk that is unappreciated. Here’s why.

Read more ›
Brexit is more important politically than it is economically

Brexit is more important politically than it is economically

Today’s news coverage is non-stop Brexit. And this is a big event. But it is the political implications which matter; the economic impact will be more muted.

Read more ›
Did the Greek bailout money go to ‘liquor and women’?

Did the Greek bailout money go to ‘liquor and women’?

It is tragic that this ‘liquor and women’ quote is the discussion dominating headlines as the EU celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Read more ›

Some thoughts on Dijsselbloem’s ‘liquor and women’ intervention

Last week, I wrote how the Labour Party in the Netherlands suffered a historic defeat in parliamentary elections because voters questioned their priorities – and how this is emblematic of Western social democratic parties everywhere. And as if to prove my point, Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup leader Jeroen Dijsselbloem has produced an analogy on fiscal spending about ‘liquor and women’ that has outraged many. Let me put his comments in the proper context here to make a wider point about the European Union.

Read more ›
Will Brexit’s trigger, now set for 29 March, mean recession?

Will Brexit’s trigger, now set for 29 March, mean recession?

British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger her country’s exit from the EU on 29 March, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister has confirmed. Afterwards, the clock will be ticking, as the UK will have two years to wind up any negotiations for exit before the country’s membership ends on 29 March 2019 after 46 years. The biggest questions are what this means for the UK economy, the EU economy and whether it is a precedent others will want to follow. Some thoughts below

Read more ›

The re-nationalization of eurozone lending

While most analysts have been focused on credit growth which has re-emerged after the sovereign debt crisis, cross border inter-bank lending has decreased, fragmenting the euro zone along national lines. In a crisis scenario, one should expect that fragmentation to increase dramatically, putting extra stress on national central banks and increasing financial fragility in the eurozone’s periphery.

Read more ›
Germany leading by example

Germany leading by example

Here’s an example of Germany’s leading by example on fiscal policy.

Read more ›
Two things you should know about Germany’s budget surplus

Two things you should know about Germany’s budget surplus

You probably heard that Germany recorded its third consecutive year of government budget surpluses. This year it was the highest full year surplus since German reunification – 24 billion euros. A lot of the commentary on this will stress whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Germany has surpluses. Forget all of that. There are two other things you need to know.

Read more ›

Why the election timetable favours the Five Star Movement in Italy

Yesterday, I was talking to a veteran journalist based in Rome. He remarked that youth unemployment in southern Italy was 60% and that this was one of the biggest problems to deal with politically. The spectre of strong, able-bodied young men sitting idle is always something that should fill any political system with dread – because it is exactly those same young men who always lead violent protests or revolution, no matter where in the world.

Read more ›

The negotiations over Greece aren’t about Greece

Earlier today, I was listening to an interview with IMF head Christine Lagarde dance around the issue of the unsustainability of Greece’s debt load. And she said something very telling. She said that debt haircuts were not on the table but that maturity extensions and interest rate reductions were, but only AFTER Greece implemented reforms demanded by the Troika.

Read more ›
Not All Germans Love The Euro These Days

Not All Germans Love The Euro These Days

Bloomberg View had a good column today on the popularity of the European single currency. The article shows how the euro has gone from being unloved in Germany at introduction in 2002 to well accepted, while the opposite has happened in Italy and France. But behind the aggregates, deep fissures lie that tell a different story. Let me start the conversation on that story here.

Read more ›
Europe’s delusional economic policies

Europe’s delusional economic policies

Yesterday three big things happened in three different eurozone economies that I think are interrelated. And I am going to tell you what I believe they mean for the European political economy by tying them together in this post under the somewhat provocative banner of “Europe’s delusional economic policies”. The reason for the title is that what I see happening is an anti-growth economic framework which is having political consequences by fomenting nationalism and anti-EU sentiment.

Read more ›