Post Tagged with: "euroscepticism"

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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The EU as a larger Germany post-Brexit and Hugh Hendry’s Eclectica Fund commentary

The EU as a larger Germany post-Brexit and Hugh Hendry’s Eclectica Fund commentary

Stocks have mostly recovered since Brexit and the strong dollar and Yen have reversed much of their overvaluation in recent days. The question remains as to what the fallout from the UK’s departure from the EU will be. I continue to believe the near-term economic impact will be muted, and that Brexit will come to be seen as mostly a political event. But it is a political event with wide-reaching potential ramifications.

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The problem at euro banks

The problem at euro banks

As the Brexit worries began two weeks ago, I flagged Italian banks – more than the UK economy – as one of my principle concerns, because of the potential to cause systemic damage to the euro system. And now the contagion is spreading, with Deutsche Bank the most obvious weak link. The question now is twofold. First, does the Italian banking crisis solve itself without a major overhaul of EU institutional arrangements. Second, if not, how does the EU solve this problem? Some brief thoughts below.

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Leading UK PM Brexit strategies taking shape with May and Leadsom

Leading UK PM Brexit strategies taking shape with May and Leadsom

At this juncture, the leading candidates for British Prime Minister are both women on either side of the referendum vote. However, both are saying they will guide the UK out of the European Union. Meanwhile Chancellor George Osborne’s fiscal stimulus looks set to concentrate on lowering corporate tax, which will continue to widen the income gulf, a major contributor to the vote to leave the EU. Markets have stabilized with the Pound taking the brunt of the post-Brexit fallout.

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Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her keynote address on the second day of the Conservative party annual conference in Manchester, northern England September 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN  - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTR3FFSM

Why Britain might not leave the EU and the next Prime Minister could be female

This is a quick run through of the post-Brexit vote decision tree. The opportunities and constraints after the UK vote to leave the EU are now coming into view. It is clear that the UK is likely to leave the EU given not only statements by Prime Minister Cameron but also the Home Secretary Theresa May, both of whom campaigned for ‘Remain’. But it is also clear that the EU will not broker formal or informal discussions with the UK until the UK has invoked Article 50, which can only be done by an act of Parliament. Below, I want to run through some of the constraints in order to build a few scenarios that I see as possible now that we are a week into the post-Brexit era.

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The downside risks introduced by the UK Brexit referendum

The downside risks introduced by the UK Brexit referendum

The unexpected ‘Leave’ victory in the recent referendum on EU membership introduces considerable political risk by elevating tail risk scenarios to reasonable worst case status. However, in a global economy that is already slow and already lacks policy space, the referendum outcome also introduces economic and financial risk. Below I have some general thoughts on those risks, with the US dollar, Italian banks, and Japanese deflation foremost among them. At a later point, I hope to also go into some more detailed scenario handicapping.

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The mess in Portugal is negative for debt sustainability

The mess in Portugal is negative for debt sustainability

Portugal’s election on 4 October was inconclusive, without any party winning an absolute majority of the votes. The President of the country, a former Prime Minister, allowed his own party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho to form a new minority government as has been done in the past. However, the way he has gone about doing so has created a controversy, which has made Portugal the new focal point of the still virulent European sovereign debt crisis. While I don’t think this is a coup by any stretch, as some are saying, I do think Portugal has a tough road ahead regarding debt sustainability.

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European interest rates and the showdown over Greece

European interest rates and the showdown over Greece

I want to riff off a David Beckworth post in thinking about the problem in Europe and extend the discussion with some comments on the meltdown in Greece. The gist of what I intend to say is that the eurozone, as constructed, can never work because of a one-size-fits-all interest rate policy and a lack of fiscal stabilizers to offset this. Moreover, Greece could end up defaulting even before the April deadline hits if things really go south from here. Europe is not out of the woods by a long shot.

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The Grexit talk should be frightening

The Grexit talk should be frightening

About four weeks ago, I wrote a post on Greek eurozone exit scenarios. While I believe that Greece will eventually exit the euro zone, I think it is premature to expect this to occur now as there are many avenues for compromise. The posturing has begun though and elements of the German government are leaking Grexit as a viable option to the press. At this point, I see this talk as speculation more than substance. However, I do want to put down some thoughts on where this is came from and where it is heading. Contagion is going to be the biggest concern.

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