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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

On January 16 the euro replaced the koruna as the official currency of Slovakia, bringing to sixteen the number of countries of the eurozone. It was the first country in the former Soviet bloc to adopt the single currency – and just 20 years after the Fall of the Wall. What a great way to […]

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

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

While the United States and Britain reel from one catastrophe to another in the storm of the sub-prime crisis, the eurozone has seemed remarkably detached, until recently anyway. For the Americans and the Brits the news is totally dominated by stories of collapsing banks, bail-outs, vast lines of credit insurance which turn out to be […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

“That’s the only cut this year!” quipped a council member when European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet took the knife to the ECB’s birthday cake in Frankfurt on June 2. The occasion was the tenth anniversary of the Bank’s establishment. Apparently the mood in Frankfurt was of genuine celebration tempered by concern at the conflicting […]

Posted by Michael Berendt