Tag: Italy

  • LOTS OF FROTH, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    A brand new development in the history of the ECB has occurred: leaks yesterday revealed the broad outlines of its new sovereign debt securities’ purchase programme. One cannot help thinking that it was necessary to prepare the ground in advance, with the ECB decisions falling well short of some of the mounting speculation.

    According to Mario Draghi, there will be no limit to the amount of bond purchases on the secondary market – but the scope of the announcement needs to be put into perspective. They will in fact be decided … Read the rest

  • BEHIND THE SCENES, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    There are some sinister goings-on behind the scenes of the European financial system, which are hardly being proclaimed from the rooftops! Even Mario Draghi himself is preoccupied by it, drawing attention to vague manifestations of “fragmentation” which are developing at the heart of the Eurozone. What was he alluding to?

    It is occurring in three stages: an ongoing capital flight from countries on the verge of the abyss, leading to their banks becoming increasingly dependent on ECB loans, with the liquidities then supplied by the latter being used to buy state-issued … Read the rest

  • SURRENDER, YOU ARE SURROUNDED!, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    It is not just Italy and Spain causing problems, after the decisions taken during the last summit suffered a setback, in view of the spectacle of great confusion and nervousness we have witnessed with regard to the joint press release – which wasn’t one – from Spain, Italy and France demanding immediate implementation. Simultaneously, Greece is providing an example of the strategic retreat of the European authorities and of the IMF.

    It is now the ECB and the Eurosystem which hold the vast majority of the Greek debt, a fact which … Read the rest

  • QUIET ON THE SET, AND… INACTION!, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    Events are moving fast. We were expecting it of Greece, but Spain is overtaking it. Yesterday evening, a human tidal wave invaded Spanish town streets, which these days have become virtually permanent places of mini-demonstrations at midday or after work. Today, at the very moment when the Eurogroup ministers were adopting the bail-out plan for the Spanish banks, the bond rate had edged up to 7.20% and the Madrid Stock Market plunged more than 5%. Instead of falling as had been predicted, the government has announced that the official unemployment rate … Read the rest

  • FIRST IT WAS THE AGENCIES, NOW ITS THE FORECASTERS’ FAULT, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    “I can’t see any time soon when…the pressure will be off” replied David Cameron, the British Prime-Minister, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. He continued, “this is a period for all countries, not just in Europe but I think you will see it in America too, where we have to deal with our deficits and we have to have sustainable debts”. In conclusion, his austerity policies are likely to continue beyond 2020, as the situation is “a lot tougher than the forecasters were expecting”. Georges Osborne, the Chancellor of … Read the rest

  • THE RESULT OF UNRAVELLING A BALL OF WOOL… FROM THE WRONG END, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    François Hollande has confirmed that the Government is going to propose for adoption an organic law (which a simple law cannot undo) in order to have the balanced budget rule adopted, on the advantageous pretext that it is provisional. There have been many occasions in recent French history when special measures have been adopted for their presumed importance, without ever leaving good memories behind.

    At the same time, the debate in Europe continues to move on, focusing once again on the reduction of the banks’ debts. Thanks to the Wall Street … Read the rest

  • WELL SPOTTED, BRAVO!, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    As already highlighted the Spanish government is already benefitting from a de facto rescue plan under another name. To save appearances, the new austerity measures put forward for vote in parliament have not been the object of a memorandum jointly signed with those providing the funds, as had previously been the case for other countries. In fact, the announcement of these measures came the day before that of the banking bail-out!

    One major difference with the preceding rescue plans can be observed: the entirety of the 100 billion Euros loans provided … Read the rest

  • WHEN WE’RE NOT MOVING FORWARDS WE’RE GOING BACKWARDS…, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    The European Finance Ministers managed during the course of the night to finalize a minimal agreement, which needs, as usual, to be examined in detail due to its grey areas. They put together a set of nominations to the ECB and the ESM based upon the provisional re-appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker at its head, in the absence of any other solution. Then they reached a “tentative agreement” (another way of saying a broad outline) with regard to the particular case of Spain which needs to be wrapped up for adoption on … Read the rest

  • GUILTY PARTIES WANTED !, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    In accordance with the predictable script, the bond market is under pressure again. The cost of servicing Spanish and Italian debt has continued to increase as their financing plans move forward in little measured steps. The effect of all this is to place an additional burden on the budgets, undermining those measures which are intended to reduce the deficits.

    The statistical institutes INSEE (France), IFO (Germany) and ISTAT (Italy) all agree: Europe is sinking into a recession which they describe as ‘technical” in an attempt to make it sound innocuous, but … Read the rest

  • A BIG BANG, OR NOTHING , by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

    With the G20 meeting being held in Mexico at the start of the week, our perspective will find itself altered, falsely accustomed as we are to only seeing the debt crisis from a European angle. On the 18th and 19th June, the greats of this world are going to gather in Los Cabos, a tourist resort in Southern Lower California, under the double auspices of debt and global recovery.

    To avoid standing idly by whilst confronted by a disaster of its own making, the British Government has just announced a plan … Read the rest

  • THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THE SPANISH BANKING BAIL-OUT, by François Leclerc

    Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell.

    Some important details are still lacking with regard to the Spanish banking bailout plan: its final amount, which is going to depend on the results of the audit commissioned by the government; its rate, which we will be coming back to; and the stabilizing measures for the banks which will be associated with it. These will include massive lay-offs in the banking sector and will further worsen the unemployment situation.

    One other aspect has, however, not been highlighted enough. The funds will have to be paid out – at least initially … Read the rest