Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


Financial and Fiscal Newsletter

Banks in the US as well as Europe Push Back Against New Rules

Banks in the US as well as Europe Push Back Against New Rules

Liborgate Re-Rears Its Ugly Head

Liborgate Re-Rears Its Ugly Head


Accommodative Monetary Policy is Encroaching on Fiscal Policy

Accommodative Monetary Policy is Encroaching on Fiscal Policy

Compliance Meltdown at the Bank of England

Compliance Meltdown at the Bank of England


 Unicredit's Rights Issue – the figures don't add up

Unicredit’s Rights Issue – the figures don’t add up

Supervision cannot save insolvent banks

Supervision cannot save insolvent banks


Latest publications

Stress Tests don’t work

Stress Tests don't workCriticisms of bank stress tests continue to mount, particularly as banks continue to struggle. A new problem recently emerged: the marked shortfall between the market capitalisation of most European banks and their book values.
This should soon lead to a new stress test methodology. This (...)

Inflation To Rise – We expect UK, ECB and US Policy to Diverge

Inflation To Rise – We expect UK, ECB and US Policy to DivergePurely for geopolitical reasons, namely frustration at the failure of the governments of individual member states to respond to repeated calls for “structural reforms”, your authors had taken the view in recent months that the ECB might increase interest rates this year.
Our views are (...)

January’17 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

January'17 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterCentral Banks Pray for Electoral “Shocks”. Forced to Nationalise Monte dei Paschi, Italy Looks in Trouble, but Cleverly Plays its Sicilian Defence.
Central Banking
How will Central Banks cope with 2017 shocks? Perhaps new rules, one-off solutions, doubtless lots more QE. Populism will (...)

December’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

December'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterThe Eventual Impact of Rising Bond Yields. Further Cracks Appearing in the ‘Global Consensus’ of Bank Supervision.
Central Banking
Global Bond Market Yields are Rising
The ECB’s recently announced 6 month extension of its QE programme reminds us that the speed at which the programme will (...)

November’16 Financial and Banking Features Newsletter

November'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterThe 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

October'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterAs 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

September'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterThe 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

July'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterPost 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

June'16 Financial and Banking Features NewsletterCentral 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

May'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterCentral 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

April'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterCentral 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).

March'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterCentral 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 (...)

The Italian (Bad) Bank

The Italian (Bad) BankA deteriorated banking sector in a worn-out economy At the beginning of 2016, in the context of the new EU legislation on “bail in”, Italy found itself unprepared to face the emerging crisis of its credit system, mainly caused by two correlated elements: 1. a banking sector weakened by a large (...)

February’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

February'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterJittery 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

January'16 Financial & Banking Features NewsletterCentral 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

December'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterProblems 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

November'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterUS 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

October'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterDespite 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

September'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterChina 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

Jul-Aug'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterUltra 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

June'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterAs 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

May'15 Financial & Fiscal Features NewsletterMost 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 (...)

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