A substantial and growing amount of press attention has been devoted to the subject of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) since last year’s announcement of Libra which spooked regulators at central banks who are petrified of losing control of the mint. Central banks have a mixed track (...)
In the ten years since the first iteration of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) emerged, its status has changed markedly. Initially, it was just a clever example of financial engineering deployed by the ECB to enable certain EU member states to be bailed out without imposing the costs (...)
Sir Donald Brydon, former Chairman of the London Stock Exchange, published just before Christmas his wide-ranging review of the UK audit industry. This is likely to have significant ramifications for bank financial reporting throughout Europe because (with only a few national opt outs) (...)
In November, Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz wrote an article in the Financial Times claiming that he had devised a common European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS)  that could be acceptable to both sides of the hitherto gridlocked debate. Mr Scholz also circulated a document which he (...)
As the momentum has built behind calls for policy responses towards climate change, the ECB and the Bank of England have not been the quickest central banks to act. Back in 2011, the Banco do Brasil announced that banks must incorporate ‘Environmental and Social Risk’ in their reporting and risk (...)
New entrants into every aspect of banking were encouraged by two recent regulatory developments: the Open Banking initiative and the ‘sandboxing’ exemptions from regulations. Open Banking, part of the Payment Services Directive enacted October 2015, encourages customers to allow their data to be (...)
A cynical English expression popular in sporting circles is “All the Gear and No Idea”. This is expressed, sotto voce, at the club bar when mocking a typically well-off amateur sportsman who has shown up at the ski slope, the golf course or the clay pigeon shoot with the most expensive equipment (...)
Facebook’s greatest recent challenge has been the fading of its brand. A veritable slew of newer social media platforms are cooler and more trendy than Fb, which now languishes in popular esteem as the social platform of choice for the out of touch greying generations, rather than youngsters. (...)
Reuters reported in May that “The European Commission is working on its biggest regulatory push on banking since the 2008 financial crash that could curb Britain’s access to the bloc”. According to Reuter’s account, the document outlines three areas which the Commission seeks to reform: bank (...)
Personnel changes are afoot, both of Central Bankers and Politicians. ECB President Draghi will step down at the end of October when his eight-year term expires. Half the ECB Governing Board will also be replaced at the same time. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s term expires at the end (...)
The ECB is under twin pressures, both of which are only likely to increase. Firstly, with interest rates stuck at minus 0.4% ECB policy is diverging from Fed policy; secondly, problems with Europe’s banking look likely to be highlighted soon by the ECB’s Supervisory Board.
A) Interest Rate (...)
Latest Political Developments
Given the media’s focus on the March 29th Brexit date, the views of present and former EU political leaders captivated recent mainstream media. Former Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni called Brexit ‘the biggest mistake by a European country since the war’. (...)
In January, there were two interesting speeches by senior ECB figures which provided some insight as to likely future policy.
Speaking at an event in Riga to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Latvia’s adoption of the euro, ECB vice president Luis de Guindos (also a former Finance Minister (...)
With little fanfare, the Eurogroup of 19 Eurozone finance ministries published in December its report detailing progress on how to strengthen and deepen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Written in dry bureaucratic language, the Report Summary hardly appeared on the radar screens of (...)
Background to MIFID, MIFIR and EMIR
Version 2 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID II) is a particularly important piece of recent European Law due to the extent and scale of its impacts on professionals operating in capital markets. MIFID II was enacted in 2014, and the (...)
Why all the fuss?
The nub of the dispute is Italy’s budget plans, which have been rejected by the European Commission (EC). The budget claims to increase public indebtedness by 2.4% in 2019 rather than the previously approved figure of 1.6%. However, the EC is unhappy about the violation of (...)
In September, the UK cross party Parliamentary Committee dealing with bank regulation and central banking published its analysis of the opportunities and risks posed by ‘crypto-assets’, such as Bitcoin, Ether, as well as any other coin issued via an Initial Coin Offering.
The report makes stark (...)
Why is Turkey’s Currency Falling?
During the past five years, we have observed the ebbs and flows of US and European capital markets investment appetite for the emerging markets (EM). Nothing deters EM investment more than currency fears, and many European fund managers must be pleased that (...)
To help understand the genuinely transformative business technology of blockchain in the context of cryptocurrency hype, Wharton professor David Werbach encourages the distinction to be drawn between three frequently confused concepts:
1. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which are simply (...)