IMF Chief Lagarde to Europe: Lighten Up on the Austerity

By: Thursday October 11, 2012 7:20 am

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has been in the “stop the austerity” camp for a little while now, but this was perhaps her most explicit statement yet on the policy that’s gradually killing off Europe’s economy.

 

U.S. Torture Program Architects Must Face Justice

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 11:05 am

With the DOJ’s failure to prosecute the Bush Six and other torturers, Spain has a legal obligation to ensure impunity does not cross borders

Spanish Banks Need 60 Billion Euros in Aid

By: Sunday September 30, 2012 6:00 pm

Spain announced the results of a stress test of its banks, finding a €60 billion shortfall, in line with estimates.

It’s important to understand that there are two bailouts as it pertains to Spain. The bank bailout, meant to cover this €60 billion shortfall, has already been requested and approved. Europe has reserved around €100 billion for this purpose. The other bailout, a bailout for Spain’s sovereign debt, has not yet been requested, much to the consternation of top European officials.

Germany Both Demanding and Delaying Eurozone Bailouts

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 12:45 pm

We have a little schizophrenia happening in Germany. On the one hand, they lead Europe in demanding that Spain ask for their bailout already. Michael Meister, a top aide to Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union party, said that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “must spell out what the situation is,” and he warned that any bailout will come with strict conditions, or else the German parliament would reject it. Meister warned of a domino effect, with other troubled countries asking for bailouts without conditionality if Spain gets one.

At the same time, however, Germany wants to slow down the rush to bail out countries like Spain, for domestic political reasons.

German Court Approves European Bailout Fund

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 8:00 am

A German constitutional court has allowed the new European bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to go forward, with only one condition that appears surmountable.

European Central Bank Announces Conditional Bond Purchase Scheme

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 9:55 am

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi wrapped up his major press conference this morning, and the news was pretty much what we heard yesterday. Draghi announced the formation of the OMT, or Outright Monetary Transactions. It’s an unlimited sovereign debt purchase scheme for those countries which submit to giving the ECB a vote on their fiscal policies.

Mario Draghi’s Cunning Strategy to Subjugate Weak European Nations

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 11:10 am

This is about the worst possible policy announcement the ECB could make. The only hope is that the bond market finds it credible enough to never test it.

ECB’s Draghi Hints at Purchases of Sovereign Debt; Is Just Saying So Enough?

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 10:40 am

Yesterday I noted what a consequential week this would be for the European economy, as the European Central Bank prepared to make its decision on how to deal with soaring bond yields in Italy and Spain. ECB President Mario Draghi let some of the cat out of the bag yesterday, hinting that the central bank would purchase short-dated sovereign debt instruments from those nations. Just hinting at this is already affecting markets.

ECB Prepares to Reveal Its Decision on Eurozone Rescue

By: Monday September 3, 2012 11:00 am

We have another week where the speeches at a national convention won’t be the most important in the context of the world economy. The European Central Bank meets this week amid high expectations that they will take action to finally arrest the unusually large bond price spikes from troubled Eurozone sovereigns like Spain and Italy. Shares in European stock markets drifted higher in anticipation of the announcement of a program to purchase bond debt from those countries and push the yields lower. However, that may not be part of the initial announcement this week

Lakeside Diner

By: Monday August 27, 2012 4:45 am

A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches/videos on current issues that may be of interest.

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