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The arguments in favour of the euro surviving

Poor economic growth prospects, high unemployment, large debt burdens, poor public finances – it is all too easy for analysts and economists to say that the euro won’t be around indefinitely. Yet here we are, coming up to the five year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse and having lived through a number of sovereign debt crises, and the euro remains the single currency for the Economic…

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ECB to ECP (European Centre for Politics)

The ECB is modelled on the idea of an independent central bank, where decisions are made to enforce economic rather than political discipline. Recently however, its role and mandate seem to be changing.

This move by the ECB to become more an arm of the state is typified by Mr Weidmann’s comments recently. He draws comparisons of the recent potential bond buying announcement, with that of aggres…

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The Euro-friendly left is gaining momentum in Germany

When I listen to my colleagues or read the English papers, the general consensus is that the Germans don’t like the Euro and don’t want to fund Greece’s bail-outs anymore. Whilst you can hardly argue against this overall impression of German public opinion, the feed-through from that to the German political landscape hasn’t necessarily reflected that popular view. In Finland and the Netherlands…

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Europe – It’s The Final Countdown

There were echoes of August 2008 for a few hours last week.  The yield spread on 10 year Spanish, Belgian and Italian government bonds over German government bonds spiked to a euro era record, while the cost of insuring Portuguese and Irish government bonds against default also hit a record high.  Greece has already become a zombie sovereign, and is being kept alive with a cash drip from the EU…

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Back to school

It’s that time of year once again – school holidays are over and the children are going back to work. This feels very much the same in the grown up (?) world of investment. This year’s questions and tests look as though they are going to be trickier than usual. After all, the financial headmaster Ben Bernanke has just warned that conditions are unusually uncertain.

The move from the summer lul…

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European recession will put a huge strain on European Monetary Union

After a few teething problems, it’s not contentious to say that the euro has been a success. Helped by the US dollar’s demise, the euro is gradually becoming a rival as the reserve currency of choice for central banks. European unemployment has plummeted, and the European economy probably grew at around 3% last year. Some countries have boomed – Spanish economic growth has averaged about 4% ove…

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