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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

People have been grumbling over the last year or so that Barroso’s presidency of the European Commission has been too much influenced by hope of a second term, and that he has leant over backwards not to upset the big member states. I’m not convinced of the evidence for that, but the Commission president has […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

In the next few days the European Commission will tell us how Europe’s regulatory regime for financial services should be reformed in the aftermath of the credit crisis. As a starting point the Commission has the report from Jacques de Larosière’s taskforce, which was commissioned by President Barroso last October and published earlier this week.
No […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

It seems that France has had a good presidency. It could hardly have been a more challenging one, but despite the occasional sniff of folie de grandeur, President Nicolas Sarkozy has proved to be the man of the hour, with the élan needed to make things happen.
Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and finance minister Christine Lagarde […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

It seems that any major transfer of power from the national level to the European Commission for EU telecoms regulation has been scuppered by the Council of Ministers.
Commissioner Reding had threatened ten days ago to withdraw Commission proposals if ministers refused to go along with them, but the Council’s political agreement on November 27 was […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

So Commissioner Viviane Reding has decided to play hardball over telecoms reform. Some weeks ago we discussed how the Commission’s proposed telecoms package would hand over extensive new powers to Brussels.
The European Parliament watered down these proposals in first reading, but it seems that the revised version to be sent to the Council gives little […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

There are tentative signs that the dust is beginning to settle after the last few hyperactive weeks, with signs that world leaders have mounted an effective response to the credit crisis. Inter-bank lending seems to be recovering, stock markets appear more stable and the outline of a global approach is beginning to show, following three […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Just a week ago I suggested that continental Europe seemed rather detached from the global credit crisis. Whoops! What terrible timing!
In the last seven days Europe has been hit by the storm force winds of this crisis. Liquidity has dried up, governments have been forced to rescue one institution after another, Iceland’s banking system seems […]

Posted by Michael Berendt