Wednesday night’s panic in Tokyo, where the Nikkei dropped a stomach churning 7pc, kicking off a global chain-reaction that saw the FTSE fall 143.48 points, demonstrates just how difficult it is going to be for the world’s central banks to exit their loose money policies.
It’s not even as if Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, said he was planning to exit; in fact, initially he said the reverse, in testimony to Congress. It was only in the Q&A, and in minutes to the last meeting of the Fed’s Open Markets Committee, that a clear bias emerged to slow the pace of asset purchases “in the next few meetings”, so long as the economic data were strong enough. Continue reading
The survey, carried out for the BBC, polled 26,000 people in 25 countries and asked them to rate 16 countries and the European Union as a whole on whether their influence on the world was mainly positive or negative.
Germany came out on top, with 59 percent of survey participants giving it a positive rating. The country moved up three percentage points from its 2012 position. It displaced Japan, which saw its positive rating fall from 58 percent last year to 51 percent, going from first to fourth place. Continue reading
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A top U.S. Federal Reserve official urged the European Central Bank on Tuesday to consider employing a U.S.-style quantitative easing programme to counter slowing inflation and recession in the euro zone.
The ECB has engaged in bond purchases in the past but has always withdrawn an equivalent amount of money from markets to ensure its interventions are neutral for the money supply, fearful of stoking inflationary pressures. Continue reading
Global finance chiefs may have denounced it, but that has not stopped Japan joining other central banks in driving its exchange rate lower. With Australia and South Korea forced to respond, will the Asia-Pacific region be the main battleground in a global currency war? Continue reading
A beleagured President François Hollande went on the offensive today calling for an “economic government” for the Eurozone and “political union” in Europe within two years.
In a two hour press conference at the Elysee Palace, Mr Hollande announced a string of new initiatives including a four point plan for rapid progress towards a more federal Europe. Continue reading
If you were, lets say, a sinister EU and you wanted to guarantee a supply of energy resources because you have none, how would you go about doing it?
Expanding on the relations between Cyprus and Greece pointed out by this article, one could say in a nutshell, this is how: The EU, which is ran by Germany via the “Troika”, subjugates Greece through forcing it to give up chunks of sovereign rights while simultaneously destroying the Cypriot economy for generations via bank depositor theft. While some control of both countries over their economies is retained, they forge natural relationships for a common cause (keeping Turkey and it’s revived Ottoman empire dream out of their region) that bring about resources that will ultimately be under the Fourth Reich’s EU control mechanism.
Perhaps this is too ahead-of-the-curve, but it is a very plausible outcome. Europe in general does not wish to remain dependent upon the Russian bear for all of its energy resources, nor the Middle East. This would be a life saver for them. They have no fear of economically or politically, openly raiding and plundering countries as shown in the last three years. Even if it doesn’t come under EU control, it’s also within the realm of possibility that the energy resources will be sold at very cheap prices to the EU in return for paying off country debt and regaining some sovereignty. Either way, you can look forward to the EU getting in on the action. Expect Israel to also fit into the equation as it also is a deterrence to Turkish aggression.
The Cyprus issue, energy security and the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone were examined during a meeting in Athens between the Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Fotis Fotiou and Panos Panagiotopoulos, respectively.
Fotiou also discussed with Panagiotopoulos the situation in the wider south-eastern Mediterranean region and Turkish threats against Cyprus with regard to oil exploration.
He thanked the Greek government and its people for supporting the Republic of Cyprus and for being the firm and permanent supporter of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and its economy, adding that “with hard work by both governments we can support one another and give hope and prospects to the people”. Continue reading
In case anyone didn’t catch last week’s currency news:
The so-called currency wars progressed further in today’s session, as two new countries jumped on the bandwagon of selling or threatening to sell its own currency to unwind recent strength.
Overnight, RBNZ Governor Wheeler announced that the central bank had already once intervened in Forex markets to bring down the price of the New Zealand Dollar. During European trading hours, Swedish Finance Minister Borg said the Krona’s strength may become an issue for the country’s central bank. Continue reading
Oskar Lafontaine, the German finance minister who launched the euro, has called
for a break-up of the single currency to let southern Europe recover, warning
that the current course is “leading to disaster”.
“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said.
“The Germans have not yet realised that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, blaming much of the crisis on Germany’s wage squeeze to gain export share. Continue reading
Spain’s National Statistics Institute says the country’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
The agency said Thursday the number of people unemployed rose by 237,400 people in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, taking the total to 6.2 million.
The huge sums poured into the global financial system by major central banks have eased bond market pressure on Spain, but the cuts Madrid has made in spending to regain investors’ confidence have left it deep in recession. Continue reading
The European Union no longer exists, at least not as we know it. And the question is not what will be the form of the new Union, but rather why this Europe, which was the focus of so many of our dreams no longer exists. The answer is simple: today, all of the pillars that served to build and justify the existence of the European Union have collapsed.
Chief among these was the memory of the Second World War. A survey of German secondary school students in the 14-16 age bracket, which was published a little over a year ago, showed that a third of these young people did not know who Hitler was, and 40 per cent were convinced that human rights had been respected to an equal degree by every German government since 1933. This in no way implies that there is a nostalgia for fascism in Germany. No, it simply means that we now have to contend with a generation that has nothing to do with this history. Today the conviction that the EU continues to derive legitimacy from its roots in the war is in an illusion. Continue reading
FRANKFURT — When Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister and war horse of European politics, celebrated his 70th birthday at a theater in Berlin last September, two of the most powerful women in the world offered warm words in his honor.
Ms. Lagarde’s presence reflected her close, longtime friendship with Mr. Schäuble. But it also was a confirmation of the enormous stature that Ms. Lagarde and the I.M.F. have acquired in Europe as a result of the euro crisis.
The I.M.F. has more say over crisis management than many euro zone members, and Ms. Lagarde has become a quasi head of state, whose views carry more weight than those of many elected leaders. Indeed, without the I.M.F.’s money and advice, the euro zone might have fallen apart by now. Continue reading
MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russian state-controlled and private companies have not sustained any losses due to the financial crisis in Cyprus, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
That refers to all “state structures and even a significant number of private companies,” he said in his address to the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma. Continue reading