And they say German elections are boring… As the preliminary results are in, here are our three key takeaways.
(1) Merkel goes fourth
First things first, as expected Angela Merkel has won the election. Her CDU, in combination with its Bavarian sister party CSU, is going to remain the largest faction in parliament (33.0% of votes combined). All roads lead to a fourth term for her as chancellor. … Read the article
The German federal election in September still seems far away. However, for the first time in years, it appears possible that Angela Merkel could actually lose the election. Martin Schulz, Chancellor candidate and chairman of the Social Democratic Party, is having some early signs of success in the polls and is gaining momentum. As a result, investors in European (and UK ) debt might want to re… Read the article
1. We are at the point of peak oil pass through: January and February 2016 saw oil prices reach their lows ($34.25 Brent January 20th and $26.21 WTI, February 11th), so this week’s inflation numbers will see some high year-on-year oil price base effects, as will February’s. This is one of the main reasons why we have been seeing significant rises in inflation in recent months.
2. The upward mar… Read the article
The votes are in and it’s pretty unanimous. Despite Mario Draghi’s best efforts to persuade otherwise, the market is clear that today’s announcements are tantamount to tapering. Frankly anything less than an extension of Euro 80bn per month, irrespective of the duration, was likely to have been taken as such, with scant evidence of the inflation target being achieved during the forecast horizon… Read the article
Today is the 10th anniversary of the Bond Vigilantes blog. Here’s a look back at the incredible changes to bond markets and monetary policy that we’ve been through over that decade. Also today we are launching our new book (the difficult second album) in support of Cancer Research UK. There’s a link to our Just Giving page at the bottom if you like what we do and can spare a few quid.
My fi… Read the article
Transport yourself back to July 26, 2012. Borrowing costs for the “peripheral” European nations are uncomfortably high. Ireland, Portugal and Greece were in the process of applying for bailouts, while the Spanish banking system was dangerously close to falling over. It wasn’t a question of when an EU member would leave the single currency bloc, but who? Step forward ECB President Mario Draghi, … Read the article
I attended a conference last week where European Central Bank (ECB) bashing was approaching fever pitch. The crux of the argument goes a little something like this:
“The ECB have lost the plot. Monetary policy has become impotent. The ECB is at the lower bound and the law of diminishing returns results only in an ever greater misallocation of resources, punishing savers and rewarding speculatio… Read the article
The world has seen negative interest rates before – Switzerland set interest rates below zero for foreigners in the 1970s in order to slow flows into the Franc. But today’s negative rate environment is far more widespread, with Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, and the Eurozone all setting negative policy rates. Lots has been written about the intended transmission mechanisms of negative r… Read the article
It has been difficult to filter through the noise of the Greece situation these past few months. But when you stop and have a look at the economic backdrop, things don’t look as bad as some of the alarming headlines might have you believe. Some significant economic headwinds have turned into tailwinds, which will likely drive European growth for the next 18 months.
1. The Euro
In April, the Eu… Read the article
It has been a while since we have discussed the economics of the single currency, but once again the issue of its suitability for all its members is at the forefront of economic concerns, as Greece faces some difficult decisions.
The financial crisis has taught us a number of lessons: fiscal policy works, monetary policy works, better regulation is beneficial for the financial sector, confidenc… Read the article