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The Christmas period had a number of news reports – certainly in the UK press – about the current euro currency problems. There were two main topics that stood out. 1. Estonia joining the euro club. A couple of the stories I saw took that stance that ‘perhaps news of the problems hadn’t reached up… » read more

The following contribution was written by Laura Stoicescu, alumni of the College of Europe in Bruges (2009-2010). The views given are her own. The outbreak of the ‘Club Med’ debt crisis in January 2010 took the financial world by surprise, as it was stemming from one of the most unlikely places: Europe. The same Europe… » read more

We Must Strengthen The Euro

“We must strengthen the euro” were the closing words of Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank, yesterday in Brussels. “Our competition is the big trading blocks”, thinking of the USA, China, etc, “and to compete we need to find European answers”. Minutes later he was backed up by Dr Jorg Asmussen, State Secretary at the… » read more

Information just published by Eurostat (discussed here) suggests what we all already know. The government finances of the EU are in a right old mess (that is a technical term used in financial circles – other such terms include ‘buggered’ and ‘up s*%t creek without a paddle’). The problem – to my mind at least… » read more

A Return To A Gold Standard?

I have been wondering for MONTHS – nearly years – when someone of real influence and clout would recommend that the world needs to revert to a gold standard of some form. Finally it has happened! The question now is what will it take for the idea to be taken more seriously by politicians around… » read more

In a number of recent posts (here, here and here), I have written about the borrowing woes of eurozone members. Happily, after some presumably hardcore politicking, Portugal has passed their austerity measures package. One can only imagine the bargaining and dealmaking that it took to get that through behind the scenes. Having threatened to quit… » read more

When Is A Fine Not A Fine?

Jerome Kerviel has just been convicted and sentenced in Paris. Mr Kerviel was the trader at the centre of the Societe Generale wobble in January 2008. This was the event that provided the first hints that things going wrong in the US might hit Europe. Of course, it was completely unrelated, but we didn’t know… » read more

From The Weak To The Strong

I have been a believer for some years that the balance of financial power in the world has been shifting from the weak to the strong. When I say weak, I mean central banks and western politicians. When I say strong, I mean private individuals that have decided that enough debt is enough, and want… » read more

As we now all know, the EU banks mostly passed their ’stress tests’ with flying colours. But now there are calls for more. Should there be? The first round of stress tests struck me as odd. I have read repeatedly that US banks (which of course European ones have been modelling) had expanded their financial… » read more

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