Euro area prospects

Markets heaved a sigh of relief when the Dutch election failed to give Mr Wilders the government and when Mr Macron swept into the Presidency of France along with a Parliamentary majority. It meant the euro was safe for a bit from parties and candidates who wished to break it up. We have been positive … Continue reading “Euro area prospects”

Putting politicians on pedestals only leads to disappointment

It is hard to overstate the expectations resting on Emmanuel Macron’s shoulders. He has only just been elected and already he is being heralded as Europe’s saviour. But high expectations can easily drift into unrealistic ones. A little circumspection would better serve us all. Macron’s ascent is certainly remarkable. His party didn’t even exist eighteen … Continue reading “Putting politicians on pedestals only leads to disappointment”

Has unconventional monetary policy had its day?

“People will always try to stop you doing the right thing if it’s unconventional,” so said Warren Buffett in an interview for Time magazine in 2008.  Buffett wasn’t referring to monetary policy specifically, but there’s some truth in his adage if we apply it to the more controversial tools that central banks have used since … Continue reading “Has unconventional monetary policy had its day?”

European private equity: 2017 outlook

At the start of 2016 there was little in the tea leaves to foretell of imminent global political upheaval. The private equity outlook was, for many, ‘business as usual’. The previous year’s shocks had been mostly limited to the Syriza Party’s electoral victory in Greece and a Chinese renminbi devaluation. Fast forward to the end … Continue reading “European private equity: 2017 outlook”

The euro on the ballot paper?

What impact will the looming elections in Europe have on the euro and the markets? Revolts against the political establishments of advanced countries are becoming commonplace. The Brexit and Trump decisions have so far been positive for shares in the UK and US, despite big doubts and unhappiness for many in markets on the news. … Continue reading “The euro on the ballot paper?”

Infrastructure spending: What’s not to like?

Is it time for an infrastructure push? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) thinks so, and we agree. Public infrastructure investment not only provides a short-term lift to demand; it also helps economies to grow faster without hitting capacity constraints. And to these two benefits, we would add a third: increased infrastructure spending could help relieve … Continue reading “Infrastructure spending: What’s not to like?”

Deutsche Bank’s predicament dominates Europe in September

Europe briefing – European markets were overshadowed during September by concerns over the financial health of Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which was hit with a US$14 billion fine by the US Justice Department. Deutsche Bank’s shares lost over 20% of their value during September Inflation remained a headache for ECB policymakers Switzerland was named the world’s … Continue reading “Deutsche Bank’s predicament dominates Europe in September”

Forbidden fruit

There are unusual, even bizarre, aspects to the news that the European Commission has ordered Ireland to claw back €13 billion in back taxes from Apple. The figure represents the difference between Ireland’s standard corporation tax rate and the somewhat smaller figure paid by Apple over the past quarter-century. First, the Irish Government has decided … Continue reading “Forbidden fruit”

European markets deliver mixed performance

Europe briefing – Although the overall performance of European equity markets was relatively muted during August, returns at individual country level were rather more mixed. Ireland generated a strong performance during the month, and the benchmark ISEQ 20 Index rose by 4.7%. Research from Bank of Ireland suggests that confidence amongst Irish businesses and consumers … Continue reading “European markets deliver mixed performance”

Europe market review – July 2016

Having dropped during June following the UK’s shock Brexit vote, European equity markets rose during July, boosted by speculation over further stimulus measures. Nevertheless, confidence remained brittle, undermined by terrorist atrocities in France and Germany , and by continuing uncertainties surrounding Brexit. European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers believe that Brexit could have a “significant” effect … Continue reading “Europe market review – July 2016”

The economic future of the Euro area

The falls in Euro-area share prices over the last year have been led by big falls in commercial bank shares. In part, this reflects slow progress in dealing with the bad debts and poor conduct of the pre-crash period, leaving many of them with low levels of cash and capital to absorb past losses. It … Continue reading “The economic future of the Euro area”

Brexit raises questions over EU’s future

In Europe, June was dominated first by speculation over the possible outcome of the UK’s referendum on its future membership of the European Union (EU), and then by the unexpected news that a slim majority of UK voters had opted to quit Europe. The shock result plunged global financial markets into a state of heightened … Continue reading “Brexit raises questions over EU’s future”

Stagflation looms after UK’s EU referendum

The UK choosing to leave the EU comes as a major shock for investors and uncertainty will remain high for some time. In the near-term, the UK is likely to experience a stagflationary period of lower growth but higher inflation. After months of uncertainty and market volatility, the UK is projected to have voted to … Continue reading “Stagflation looms after UK’s EU referendum”

Economic growth gathers pace in the eurozone

During May, Greece finally managed to thrash out a deal with its international creditors that would release a further tranche of bailout cash to allow Greece to meet its upcoming debt repayment obligations. Following the confirmation of the deal, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson commented, “Our European partners and all the other stakeholders all … Continue reading “Economic growth gathers pace in the eurozone”