Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


IREF Newsletter

Every month IREF publishes a Newsletter on Financial and Banking Features that are affecting the EU.

They are authored by IREF Senior Fellows Gordon Kerr and John Butler, with Prof. Enrico Colombatto, experts with first-hand insight into financial markets and their interplay with government policy.

You can subscribe to the Newsletter (for free) by entering your email address in the box on the left.

November’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

The European Banking Can Nears the End of the Road
“The key thing to know about Lehman Brothers is that it did not cause the financial crisis, it revealed the financial crisis”
Central Banking
The Credibility of Central Banks is Irreparably Damaged. Critics of Policy Grow as More (...)

October’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

As QE becomes widely discredited, German policymakers end their uneasy truce with the ECB. Banking woes deepen.
Central Banking
Central Banks under fire for crossing the line into fiscal policy. Claudio Borio, head of monetary and economic research at the Bank for International (...)

September’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

The absence of structural reforms brings the effectiveness of ECB policy increasingly into question. The Financial Stability Board claims that banking reform is largely complete. Despite a quiet summer, there is plenty of evidence that it (...)

July’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

Post Brexit, Sterling weakens. Brexit will retest Central Banks’ Firepower. Will Scotland’s Resurgent Independence Campaign Want to Keep the Pound?
The reaction of financial markets to the Brexit vote was well covered by the press. After initial sharp falls, stock markets throughout the (...)

June’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

Central Banking
Brexit Fervour Underscores the Weakness of Economic Forecasting.
Increasingly Outlandish Economic Arguments on Both Sides of the Brexit Debate. The Bank of England’s intervention is questionable.
As apolitical neutral observers, your authors seek to draw attention to (...)

May’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

Central Banking – Embracing the Blockchain
In a recent speech, Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent opined that the key innovation underlying Bitcoin is not the unit of account itself but blockchain – the digital settlement ledger in which all transactions are recorded chronologically (...)

April’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter
Some technical points on accounting concerns and potential ECB support of insolvent banks

Central Banking
The European Commission accepts that EU law requires accounts to provide a “true and fair view” of assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss as specific indicators of financial health of companies, including banks. That is something that that IFRS accounting (...)

March’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter
“Still Talking to a Brick Wall” (OECD’s William White on central banks response to cautionary advice).

Central Banking
Bank share prices recover after further falls early February. However, credibility of ECB increasingly questioned as it considers further expansionary policies.
Fears of a renewed banking crisis, which had seemed a possibility in January, abated in February. By March (...)

February’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

Jittery January Markets - Does the ECB have Contingency Plans? The ECB must be aware that investors’ confidence in stock markets, particularly bank shares, dropped in January. If contingency plans exist, they are likely to fall short of purchasing non-performing loans.
The media consensus in (...)

January’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

Central Banking – The Bank for International Settlements again Questions Prevailing Central Bank Policies.
The BIS has recently published two reports. In one, appearing to embrace the Austrian School of economic thought, it attributes the weakness of the present advanced economy recoveries (...)

December’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

Problems executing QE cause market confidence in the ECB to dip. What policy changes should we expect from the ECB in 2016?
Reports from the European Banking Authority and Bank of England claim that banks are healthy, but weak measures of capital are (...)

November’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

US regulations blamed for banks turning away deposits. Will this add further impetus to non-banking deposit and payment businesses?
Even More Bad news from Deutsche Bank. Can the Bank be Turned Around?

October’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

Despite abundant and increasing evidence of loose monetary policies being the cause of emerging market economies moving from boom to bust, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
Central Bankers want to abolish cash in order to be able to set substantially negative interest (...)

September’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Special focus: Chinese devaluation

China devalued its currency by 3%. Financial markets responded disproportionately, but we explain that it is quite understandable, given government policies in the rich countries.
We then investigate the devaluation’s effect on the US and EU financial markets as well as on the currencies of (...)

Jul-Aug’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
BIS report | Bank Stress Tests

Ultra Low Interest Rates have destabilized the global Economy whose capital markets now show signs of Illiquidity.
Stress testing of banks by central banking authorities has come to prominence as reliance on the traditional accounting standards has waned. Europe’s banking system was (...)

June’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
UK & ECB | Criminal convictions for banks

As the US vs European recovery story swings our way, what lessons can Europe learn from the strong swing to the centre right in Britain’s elections? Is there a possibility of Brexit?
Banks have been hit with more fines, but more importantly, also with Criminal Convictions. Is this banking out (...)

May’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Secondary US Bonds Market | Unique Bulgarian Banking Crisis

Most media optimism, both in the US and Europe, continues to focus on the dizzy levels of stock and bond markets, but in our view these index levels have been driven up by professionals front-running QE in the US and Europe.
In the past month, a Bulgarian court appointed two experts to (...)

April’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Easing and Volatility | More woes in Carinthia

Bank for International Settlements has labelled the impact of recent European quantitative easing as “unprecedented”. Worrying effects are not only the negative interest rates, but also very high price volatilities of asset. This development may soon hit not only economic, but also legal and even (...)

March’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Greece has Plan B | US Stress Tests

The ECB’s deal with Greece still leaves it exposed. Despite the rhetoric that countries must get their own finances in order, the ECB’s sister agency has started work on a new programme of $319 bn of mutualised debt.
US banks all pass their stress tests. However, that is not necessarily (...)

February’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
ECB vs. Syriza | Banking regulations

Is the standoff between the ECB and Greece in any sense subtle, or simply a car crash waiting to happen? We explain why being the first to defect may in fact
benefit Greece. With low sympathy for formal (fiscal) debt forgiveness, we expect pressure to increase further on the ECB.
— - (...)

January’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
ECB QE? Will banks avoid Russia?

Only two countries remain opposed to QE, although even they realise that measures about to be implemented are QE in all aspects but the name. Meanwhile, ground is being prepared for ECB to shift blame if “unconventional stimulus” ends up not working.
— -
Russian sanctions work. Or so we are led (...)

December’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Rancour at ECB Board

Despite the attention offered by the media to Russian banking and foreign exchange markets, tensions are growing in the ECB. Some ECB Board members are unconvinced of the stance the ECB President is taking, doubting that the introduced policy would be effective, let alone constitutional. We (...)

November’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
2014 Bank Stress Tests

The Asset Quality Review (Stress Test) results confirm system wide solvency. Yet, regulators announce the rewriting of bank risk models and the ECB plans large scale asset purchases.

October ’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter
Special Issue on Scotland and Catalonia

Although Scotland voted in September to remain in the United Kingdom, both sides hailed the high voter turnout as recognition of democratic engagement and growing European dissatisfaction with over-centralised, bureaucratic, seemingly unaccountable government. The effect has been to raise (...)

September’14 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter

Low interest rates contribute to weak labour markets
A new measure of Unemployment and Labour Market Conditions gains support at the Annual Jackson Hole Conference. Doubts continue about European QE as near-zero interest rates may actually be preventing employment from picking up.
Concerns (...)

July’14 Financial and Fiscal Features Newsletter

BIS has doubts about monetary policy in the Euro area
Latest BIS Report says that present monetary policies risk permanently destabilizing the global economy. It calls for A New Policy Compass, focussing on the ‘Financial Cycle’, not the Business Cycle.
Banks remain fragile and imbalances (...)

June ’14 Newsletter

Central Banking
Confidence in the ECB wobbles as commentators on all sides question the effectiveness of supposedly growth stimulating new policies.
Markets and Investment
At least two big takeover deals are being negotiated in Europe now, both with heavy government involvement. The (...)

May’14 Newsletter: Three clear questions with unclear answers

Three fundamental questions have emerged, but clear answers still have not:
Free floating for the hryvnia?
New bureaucrats in Brussels?
New rules for high-frequency trading?

April ’14 Newsletter: Is the Recovery Sustainable?

Recovery has started, according to some data. Is it sustainable? Or is it based on asset prices inflated by easy monetary policies? Inside this newsletter:
* Bond markets and the real economy * Central Banking – The Illusion of Tapering * The Return of (...)

March’14 Newsletter: A Questionable Recovery

The quality of the recovery remains questionable. In the meanwhile, banks must deal with new regulation and investors look for higher yields.

February’14 Newsletter: A Weak Recovery Turns Monetary Policy Into A Gamble

European growth stutters along as fear of deflation exerts pressure on the ECB to loosen monetary policy further.

January’14: Confidence Rises and Inflation Stays Low. Is Everything Under Control?

The statistics tell us that recession is over. Yet, while this has triggered tapering in the USA, it has also prompted a new of ECB promises to keep interest rates low. In the meantime, EU authorities do not seem how to deal with the world of banking, which is far weaker than meets the (...)

December’13 Newsletter: Growth Is Fragile, But Banks Might Be In Better Shape

GDP in the EU area seems to be growing, but at a very slow pace. Although financial market remain sanguine, the real estate sector presents a mixed picture, with bad news coming from heavily indebted countries. While waiting for better news, the authorities are devoting their attention to the (...)

November’14 Newsletter: The 2014 Agenda
Raise Taxation Now And Fix The Banking Problem Later

More taxation, more banking supervision, more bail-in than bail-out, more banking malpractice... This month newsletter summarizes the trends that are leading the banking world.

October’14 Newsletter: National Debts Reappear, Old Issues Remain Unsolved

Something is rotten in the European Union! It looks like a hide and seek game, where countries and banks are playing a very dangerous game for the citizens’ future. Thus, between political instabilities, stealthy defaults, unhealthy and reckless banks and a real estate market that is (...)

September’13 Newsletter: Have We Really Turned The Corner?
The Eurozone Recovery? Is It real?

In the two months since we last reported, the media has focussed on the rebound in the EU area, where in the second quarter GDP grew at an annualised rate of 1.1%. The atmosphere has been optimistic, so optimistic, that even the Aug 20 confirmation by Germany’s Finance Minister Schaueble that (...)

July’13 Newsletter: Asset Bubbles Become Policy Bubbles

Leaders, institutions and markets are all looking for guidance to get out of the present crisis. Government confidence is at stake, institutions’ credibility is jeopardized and banking is close to fraud and collusion.

June’13 Newsletter: New Members Join The European Union, While Bail-Outs And Banking Regulation Are Questioned

Welcome to the clubs! Why should they join?
The crisis is not over and doubts about the virtues of the EU and the euro abound. It may therefore seem surprising that not only are more countries seeking to join the EU, but also that some are joining the currency union. Croatia accedes on July (...)

May’13 Newsletter: The End of Austerity? Not Quite

The May Newsletter explains the austerity concerns heralded during April, the European Banking Union issue, the coming implementation of the Tobin Tax and the fact that there was no major banking fatalities during the month.

April’13: Bumpy Springtime for the ECB

Bumpy springtime for the ECB: no recovery, another major blunder and more regulation. Times ahead are becoming increasingly hard as more EU countries are in trouble, new regulations are being introduced and banking and sovereign borrowing are (...)

March’13: Austerity, Liquidation and Collapses

This 3rd newsletter, written by Kevin Dowd and Gordon Kerr with Enrico Colombatto, is pointing out the auterity consensus tested as the Irish liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Company, anayzing also further Collapses, Poor Results and Regulatory Arbitrage in (...)

Bailouts, Monetary Policy and Banking: Where Is The European Union Heading?

Prof. Enrico Colombatto (Turin), IREF scientific director, has provided his update on EU policies. This month, he describes sovereign bailouts, the probable change of monetary policies, and the repayment of ECB loans.
Domestic. How are the high profile struggling countries faring – Greece, (...)

Public finances and banking regulation: where is Europe heading?

IREF has asked its scientific director, prof. Enrico Colombatto (Turin) to provide a periodic update on EU regulations. Policies adopted by Brussels in 2012 did not help to surmount the crisis: what will happen in 2013?

 css js

By continuing browsing our website, you agree with our cookies policy
C L O S E

Monthly newsletter
Receive our publications for free