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CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence Report

Europe Economic News Briefing > Q3 / 2009

  • Euro zone confidence on the rise for the third consecutive time
  • A cautious return of debt market and leverage
  • The euro area has registered its first monthly current account surplus in over a year
    European Commission says deficit-to-GDP ratio could be even higher than the previous 6% estimate
  • ECB makes huge profits from crisis lending
  • Rivalry between UK and France threatens Europe's position in financial derivatives
  • Money market indicate that European interest rates start rising as early as spring next year.
  • Lisbon Treaty is a pre-crisis treaty for a post-crisis world, and becomes increasingly more difficult to defend.
  • ECB warns of an uneven recovery
  • New issuance on European bond markets reaches all-time high.
  • ECB to swamp banking sector with hundreds of billions in 12-month repos
  • ECB expects to have new monetary policy model in place in 2010
  • Euro area unemployment hits the highest levels for 10 years
  • The crisis may reduce the euro area's potential output by 5%
  • Risk appetite is returning to European capital markets, as investors are once again buying junk bonds
  • The strength of the euro is weighing heavily on exporters
  • Report presents a pessimistic outlook of the long-term prospects of the euro area
  • ECB tells banks to lend, and hints that it might intervene directly to channel money to the economy
  • A report suggests that the European car industry faces much greater overcapacities than thought, and that large job losses are inevitable
  • EU wants to follow the US into central counterparty clearing
  • The ECB's intervention pledge, has helped the recovery of the covered bond market.
  • Economists have expressed concerned that a premature exit by the ECB might lead to a sharp euro appreciation.
  • ECB injects liquidity of €442bn in the form of a 12-month repo
  • A draft EU legislation to fine banks that reward excessive risk-taking
  • ECB says euro area banks will have to write off $283bn this year and next estimate more optimistic than IMF's, but ECB warns about feedback loops
  • EU summit promises more funds to the IMF, amid fears that more countries will get into trouble
  • The economic forecasts are getting more pessimistic again. ECB says recession to continue all year, and will only modestly recovery next year
  • European banks say that the ECB's stress tests are harder than the tests in the US
  • Calls to start raising interest rates in Europe
  • Leaked paper from the EFC suggests that EU is about to reverse the stimulus, and decide on a binding exit strategy
  • ECB leaves rates unchanged, and announces no new stimulus measures
  • ECB is defying Germany and starting the money presses
  • Euro rises against dollar, as investors shift into commodities
  • A call of a common European approach to banking sectors stress tests.
  • EU's services sector declines
  • Hedge funds say they will quit London for Zurich unless EU reforms are watered down
  • Iceland wants to join the EU by 2011; asked to sort the financial situation before joining; to recapitalize its banking system
  • The Turks are concerned about the shift to the centre-right in European politics
  • Germany and France issue a ten-point plan for the future of Europe
  • Germany and France want to keeping Turkey out of the EU

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Austria Economic Intelligence

  • Austria is clamping down on foreign currency loans

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Belgium Economic Intelligence

  • Calls for a balanced budget in Belgium
  • Belgium wants to impose special tax on banks

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

France Economic Intelligence

  • France wants to include a happiness index (GNH) in the official GDP measure
  • French car industry is in a state of collapse, despite stimulus subsidies
  • French deficit could hit 7% of GDP this year
  • French and German economic policy are so divergent that this might threaten the future of the euro
  • France proposes carbon tax of €17 per ton of emission, a much lower rate than proposed by the Rocard commission
  • France wants to direct parts of its superbond to help medium-sized companies
  • French purchasing power held up well during the recession
  • France's 7% deficit of GDP is almost entirely structural due to a fall in potential output
  • France increases stimulus expenditures in 2010
  • French reform agenda is in opposite direction of Germany; no austerity or tax increases and differentiates between good and bad deficits

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Germany Economic Intelligence

  • German exporters associations warns of dramatic deterioration in credit conditions
  • More evidence of a credit crunch in Germany
  • Warning that Germany is still complacent about this crisis.
  • Criticism of Germany's economic policies, and its refusal to co-ordinate policy
  • German finance minister attacks the UK over financial regulation footdragging
  • German elections are important for macroeconomic and energy policies
  • Germany's Opel rescue very likely a breach of European law
  • Germany issues a dollar-bond, only the second time in the Federal Republic's history; the sale had been very successful for the federal government, noting it had attracted more than $11bn worth of bids from over 200 investors
  • Selling debt in dollars rather than euros may allow Germany to appeal to a wider range of investors including money managers in the U.S. who don’t want to take on foreign-exchange risk. It may also lure Asian central banks that may be looking to invest in dollar assets other than Treasuries.
  • Germany’s sale follows syndicated dollar-bond issues from Spain and Belgium last week. The German bond received over $11 billion in bids. Central banks, institutions such as the World Bank and sovereign wealth funds were the biggest buyers, taking up 45 percent of the sale, according to Citigroup Inc., one of the managers on the deal
  • Germany's SPD favors a third stimulus packages to offset the rise in unemployment.
  • German real wages stagnated during 2007 and 2008, as country continues to pursue to raise competitiveness relative to the EU
  • German industrial production slumps despite rise in orders and exports
  • Germany's volatile ZEW index soars, and exporters are expressing the hope of a return to the good old times of export led growth
  • German parties agree new Lisbon Treaty bylaw
  • Calls in Germany for the restoration of the wealth tax to pay off the country's debt
    German government denies story of forced bank recapitalization
  • France and Germany both reject another stimulus
  • Germany is considering nationalizing banks by force, amid fears of a general credit crunch this autumn
  • Disaggregated data show that credit to companies have fallen during Q1 in Germany
    Doubts are growing whether German finance ministry is serious in its threat to circumvent the banking sector by granting direct credits to companies
  • Germany no longer believes that it needs Europe to advance.
  • Germany wants banks to lend more, or government would force them to lend more
  • Contains also a sharp criticism of policies - pursued by Germany and France - to subsidize dying industries
  • German Constitutional Court rules in favor of Lisbon Treaty, but requires a change in an accompanying German law to strengthen parliament
  • Angela Merkel, in her election manifesto, promises lower taxes, in defiance of the recently introduced balanced budget law
  • Germany sets up a bad banking scheme for the Landesbanken, which carry bad assets of some E600bn - or 25% of Germany's GDP

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Greece Economic Intelligence

  • Greece politicians call for snap elections amid rising economic difficulties and inability to push through reforms
  • Greece conducts national bank stress tests
  • Greek public debt rises to 112% of GDP
  • In Greece, housing prices resilient to the crisis

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Ireland Economic Intelligence

  • Ireland lacks a clear bank recapitalization strategy
  • IMF and Ireland clash of bank rescue strategies
  • IMF calls on Ireland to cut public sector pay and employment, and to raise taxes
  • Ireland's economy is adapting fast, with unit labor costs now down 4%
  • S&P cuts its rating for long-term Irish debt to AA

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Italy Economic Intelligence

  • Italy's economy is finally turning according to the latest indicators
  • Euro area prices continue to fall in August year on year, while prices are already rising in Italy
  • Italy is as vulnerable because of high debts
  • Italian banks are not passing on interest rate cuts to their mortgage customers
  • The OECD has a deeply critical report of the Italian economy

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Latvia Economic Intelligence

  • Call for euroization in the CEE countries.
  • The Baltic economic depression has catapulted extremists into top position in the European elections
  • The two central banks reached E3bn swap agreement, aimed to strengthen Swedish banks when Latvia collapses
  • Calls to save Latvia by converting all foreign debt to Lats, devalue, and which will hurt Swedish debtors.
  • Latvia's central bank defends the currency peg
  • Failure of Latvian bond auction puts further pressure on the government's finances Devaluation is now only a matter of time

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Netherlands Economic Intelligence

  • Netherlands plans an austerity program, as part of which public expenditures will be cut by 20%
  • Dutch debt-to-GDP could rise by 50% within three years

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Spain Economic Intelligence

  • Relations between Spain's government and industrialists have reached a new low
  • Moody's downgrades 30 Spanish banks - largely because of the effect of the recession
  • Spain prepares for high increases in VAT and other consumption taxes
  • Spain seven-month budget deficit rises to 4.7% of GDP
  • Spain accepts the need to raise capital gains taxes to help plug the country's fast rising deficit
  • Spain's social dialogue is in danger of break-down, as trade unions resist demands to relax laws on dismissal costs
  • Bank of Spain wants consolidation of Spanish savings banks
  • 800,000 Spanish immigrants are driven underground by crisis
  • Spain has done more than any other EU country in terms of fiscal stimulus
  • Spain's central bank criticizes the government's lack of labor market reform, and warns of a delayed recovery
  • Spain's inflation rate falls by 9%
  • 20% of Spanish mortgages are at risk
  • Spanish house prices fall by 10%, and have more to fall
  • Spain, services sector is in free-fall

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

Sweden Economic Intelligence

  • Sweden expect outbreak of public anger amid rising unemployment that prompt politicians to act
  • Swedish EU presidency wants to prioritize climate change and financial crisis
  • Sweden says EU is wrong to penalize hedge funds and private equity groups
  • Swedish bank stocks collapse over Latvian problems

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

UK Economic Intelligence

  • Gordon Brown has survived the collapse of his party at the European election for now
  • A premature collapse of the Gordon Brown government could lead to Britain's exit from the EU
  • UK house prices seem to have stabilized

CEO Magazine - Economic Intelligence

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