Michael Berendt's blog

Archives for Banking

It seems that a European Banking Union has become the magic solution to the eurozone debt crisis. This week’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels confirmed that European funds will provide direct support to Spanish banks, to the tune of €100bn in loans from the European Financial Stability Facility and subsequently the European Stability… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

A compromise may be in sight to defuse the conflict over a proposed EU turnover tax for all financial transactions. It seems that finance ministers are looking at stamp duty on share deals as an alternative way of taxing the financial sector, perhaps marking a calmer phase in the evolution of European financial services legislation.… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It’s no surprise that the “disciplinary” elements of this week’s Greek bail-out deal have been badly received by many in Greece. Strengthening of the Commission Task Force in Athens to provide an “enhanced and permanent presence” to oversee Greek government measures, and deposit of quarterly debt repayment funds in an escrow account to ensure their… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It’s curious how centre-right governments have come to dominate the political scene as Europe faces its biggest economic crisis for a generation. Given the fierce pressures on public spending, the battle by public sector workers to protect their jobs and pensions, whittling down of welfare programmes and high levels of unemployment, especially among young people,… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

A game-changer: that’s how Christine Lagarde, new boss of the IMF, described last week’s eurozone crisis summit, which agreed revised bail-out terms for Greece and far-reaching new capabilities for EU financial institutions, virtually creating a European Monetary Fund. There is no doubt that the decisions taken in Brussels on July 23 2011 opened a new… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Greece must choose the road of change or the road of catastrophe: that was how Greek prime minister George Papandreou described the two options facing the Greek people before Wednesday’s austerity vote in the Athens parliament. Parliament’s approval, by 155 votes to 138 with five abstentions, marked a first step. More must follow as implementing… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

“But always at my back I hear / Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near” wrote the English poet Andrew Marvell in the seventeenth century, when trying to persuade his coy mistress to be more accommodating. Marvell’s lines sum up rather well the sense of foreboding in the European Union at the start of 2011 as policy… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The eurozone will never be the same again – and nor will Europe as a whole. The scale of the crisis which has hit the single currency area in recent weeks is transforming the European Union. It looks as if the first victim is the European social model, as governments slash and burn, reducing public… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt