Latest posts

2011

Merkozy’s palliative care pact

If newspaper reports over the weekend are to be believed, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are preparing a new eurozone stability treaty. Such news would almost be funny were it not for the seriousness of the euro crisis. [...]

No fuel like an old fuel: Germany’s nuclear reaction provides a win for coal

Energy companies are finding their profitable business models invalidated, national energy security is undermined by reliance on electricity imports, and instead of shifting towards renewable energies Germany's energy future lies in subsidised coal. Fear and green populism were bad counsellors indeed when Germany drew the wrong lessons from the Fukushima accident. [...]

Europe’s hidden doomsday machine

What Europe is still discussing and Germany is vehemently resisting – the transformation into a fiscal liability union – has long been achieved through the Target backdoor. Brace yourself for the day when Europe finally wakes up to its forgotten fourth crisis. [...]

Will Mr Nobody crash Europe?

When Germany’s political Boxing Day comes on December 17, there could be some hidden surprises among the presents which may spoil a few politicians’ Christmas breaks. A hitherto obscure German backbencher now threatens to thwart the EU’s plans to save the euro. [...]

Europe’s social failure

Capital markets are not loquacious storytellers. They condense the world into simple numbers. For this reason, the surge in Greek, Italian and Spanish bond yields could be mistaken for a mere technicality, a simple recalibration between the forces of demand and supply that happens in markets every day. [...]

Greece has no choice but to get out of eurozone

The choice left to Europe's economically illiterate politicians is this: will they finally admit the euro cannot work for Greece (and other periphery countries)? Or will they realise it only after burning another few hundred billion? [...]

Europe awaits a Chinese burn

The Chinese know that any money they dedicate to Europe would be a highly risky engagement. They realise that Europe’s growth inertia, debt dynamics and demographic change are condemning the Europeans to decades of slow decline. And they are fully aware that Europe’s social model is finished. [...]

Battle of the think tanks

After World War II, Europe became a continent of great expectations and little ambitions. For decades, governments had promised their peoples a life free of worry. Free education and healthcare, good infrastructure, a social-security safety net, lifelong jobs in the public sector followed by generous pensions – that’s what Europeans expected from the state. [...]

Going long on European deja vu

Here we are again, just a week after a supposed breakthrough for Europe, and the crisis is getting worse. First there was the alarming auction of Italian bonds last Friday; then the whole deal reached last week was effectively put on hold by the Greek prime minister on Tuesday. Expect more bad news in coming weeks and months as European growth stalls and ratings agencies will have another look at Italy, Belgium and France. [...]

Europe’s forgotten lessons of history

The rise and fall of the Euro is just another chapter in the long history of monetary unions in Europe. The Euro was not the first attempt to unite different European economies and countries by a monetary framework. And it will not be the first such currency to fail. [...]