Bundesbank: no deflation in sight. Really?

Today I came across an article in which the Bundesbank took the festive season as an opportunity to discuss if all the Christmas sales discounts are going to turn into a permanent phenomenon for the Eurozone. “No deflation in sight” (in German) concludes that the Eurozone is unlikely to experience continuously falling prices, ie deflation. The Bundesbank does however identify some parallels bet…

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A roadmap for Europe after the German elections

August is usually a dull month in German politics. It’s holiday season, and national parliamentary politics takes a break at the same time. However, this year German politicians don’t have time to put their feet up. The period of parliamentary recess marks the peak of the electoral campaign in Germany before the general elections take place on 22 September. Many people seem to expect that not o…

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You don’t expect any inflation in Europe? The Germans do. Look at their housing market!

Being a German abroad, I am very aware that one never runs out of German stereotypes to discuss. One of the stereotypes is the German obsession with price stability and fear of price instability. The latest results of the M&G YouGov Inflation Expectations Survey indeed confirm the current worry about inflation amongst the German public. The chart below suggests that Germans have an exceptionall…

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Germany doesn’t like its own fiscal union, so why would it ever agree upon a European one?

If I asked you how the structural problems of the Eurozone may be resolved, I am sure that the suggestion of a fiscal union in which transfer payments will be made by the “rich” Northern member states to the “poor” ones in the South of Europe would rank amongst the top answers. I’ve been wondering for a while if the member states could ever agree upon major fiscal transfer payments and if it wo…

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Wage inflation: Upward pressure on German labour costs in 2013

When I left Germany more than three and a half years ago, it was a good place to live. Germany’s polarising football superpower Bayern Munich had just failed to win the Bundesliga, horse meat was deliberately eaten in form of “Rheinischer Sauerbraten” and circa 40 million Germans were in employment. Despite all the bad news today – Bayern Munich has a strong lead in the Bundesliga table and hor…

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Arizona research trip: US high yield in times of the fiscal cliff

James recently returned from a research trip to the US. He attended the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference in Arizona, gaining insights into US market sentiment ahead of the presidential elections and the arising fiscal cliff. Following his latest research trip to Chicago, James had further meetings with a considerable number of US high yield issuers and discussed their outlook for 2013…

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US income inequalities: Buffett rules

In August last year, I picked up on Warren Buffett’s call for a higher burden share for America’s rich in a New York Times Op-Ed and alluded to the heated debate around income taxation and wealth distribution. Since then the US Senate has seen the Democrats proposing and the Republicans opposing the ‘Fair Share tax’, also called ‘Buffett rule’, which would require those with incomes over $1m to…

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Jim’s video from Tokyo – cup noodles, lessons about QE from the Edo period, and the fiscal multiplier effect

Last week Jim attended the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Tokyo. For Bond Vigilantes, he took the camera along and documented his trip. Jim told me that the IMF and World Bank meetings, and even more the conversations and debates beyond the formal schedule, gave him some interesting food for thought. With the fiscal cliff arising and the UK’s failing experiment with austerity, Oli…

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Should Europe let the single currency go to save the Union?

Today is the day on which football is going to meet the Eurozone crisis when Germany and Greece compete in the Euro Cup’s quarterfinal. Spectators will be watching closely any gestures by Angela Merkel sitting in the stadium next to other political and executive representatives, any behaviour (and banners) of both team’s supporters inside and outside of the stadium, and any appearance and words…

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Hollande’s presidency, early elections in Germany, and the risks of political uncertainty in the eurozone

The next three weeks will mark uncertain political times in the eurozone. We could see the election of Francois Hollande as the next French president, the first multi-party coalition in Greece as well as some serious debates about early general elections in Germany. An Irish referendum on the eurozone fiscal treaty – and consequently Ireland’s role in the eurozone – will follow shortly after, b…

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