The euro and the promise to end monetary profligacy
As the European Central Bank winds down its quantitative easing program, none of its future policy options look especially promising for the euro. While investors would welcome a more neutral monetary stance, that could spur political tensions in the euro area that could roil financial markets. Meanwhile, regulation is on the rise and growth could suffer, with unpleasant consequences for the single currency.
Redressing the European position
In urging Europe to become stronger, politicians like French President Emmanuel Macron and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas are right. But their statements sound more like expressions of defiance toward Washington than serious declarations of intent.
Will Italy make it?
Italy’s public finance situation is worrying global markets, just as the newly-elected populist coalition is plotting its economic course. The coalition made dramatic promises to voters that could blow past deficit targets and push Italy toward default, bailout or an exit from the euro. But despite their recklessness, the Five Star Movement and the League are more likely to moderate their economic programs — that is, if they can manage to keep their alliance together.
Italy’s new coalition – a necessary disruption?
The coalition government finally announced by Italy’s two euroskeptic parties is being bemoaned in Europe as right-wing and populist, turning Italy into a threat to the entire eurozone. But its predecessors in Rome were the ones who put the country in its current financial quandary.
Opinion: The day Europe goes bankrupt
You may not be able to see it, but Europe’s biggest economies have piled up enormous amounts of pension debt. The European Central Bank’s policy of target credits and quantitative easing has only made things worse. With politicians seemingly determined not to notice, a systemic implosion may be inevitable.
Italy’s 50-year bond: an ill omen?
What’s not to like about Italy’s first-ever 50-year bond? October’s brilliantly successful sale may set the template for other eurozone governments. But investors should take note that it was far from a vote of confidence in Europe’s financial and economic prospects.
The Panama Papers’ sobering lessons
The Panama Papers scandal of April 2016, in which scores of prominent people, including heads of state, were identified as connected to offshore companies in the world’s best-known tax havens, invites one general observation and raises two important issues.