Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

Not many years after the financial meltdown of 2008-2010, the main culpable parties for that global catastrophe, the big banks and the gigantic insurance companies are now commandingly asking the world to forget that. They demand to be again left completely unchecked, free to repeat what they did then; inflate all and every market to […]

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

The appointment of Jerome Powell as the next head of the US central bank, the famous Fed, is a reassurance to the financial world that the giant lenders will continue being favored by ample and very cheap money. Last Thursday, Donald Trump, the American President didn’t dare to change the cautious approach to monetary policy. […]

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

The US Department of Justice settled its claims against Deutsche Bank, the biggest German lender, for packaging and selling toxic mortgage securities to uninformed customers prior to the 2008-2010 financial crisis. Initially, the Justice Department had asked for $14 billion, but it seems it settled for a fine of $7.2bn. However, this is not the […]

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

This year’s annual meetings of the IMF – World Bank Group in Washington D.C., which kicked off on Thursday 6 October, turned out to be an all out financial war of words between the United States and Germany. In the middle of it stands the battered Deutsche Bank. For a start, there was a confrontation […]

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

The European leaders who form the EU ‘directoire’ may get together as many times as they like, but still appear incapable of solving the club’s existential problems. Last Monday the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the French President Francois Hollande and the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met in Naples to relaunch Europe, after the Brexit. […]

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

Last Thursday morning the International Monetary Fund and the American central bank, the Fed, simultaneously but in the face of it independently, issued warnings about the health of the largest German lender, the long ailing Deutsche Bank. A few days before that the US rating agency Moody’s had degraded the creditworthiness of the bank close […]

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

Last Thursday 7 April, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) concluded that there is “No successful reform of the Economic and Monetary Union without a regional dimension”. Indirectly, this means the EMU remains a system just to support the banking industry. In other words, the banks are still completely unregulated, high flying and counting […]

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

On Thursday 25 February, this newspaper concluded that “the other major central banks in Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere appear ready to fill the gap that the Fed plans to leave in the ‘money for nothin’ game”. This week’s developments completely justified this prediction. The immediate result is a new appreciation of the dollar with […]

Failing to see reality or deceiving the masses? The EU about poverty and social exclusion

Some six years ago the European Union set targets for an ambitious project called “The Europe 2020 Strategy”. Amongst other equally fallacious if not deceitful objectives, the leaders of the 28 EU member states undersigned the Commission’s proposal to “lift 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020”. No need to say […]

A new global financial crisis develops fast; who denies it?

During the last two weeks the world’s largest stock markets had a wild time not seen since Lehman Brothers went bust on 15 September 2008. The New York stock exchange in Wall Street lost more than 8% of its capitalization in a few days and then recovered some of the losses to close last Friday […]

European Youth Forum warns of a Peter Pan generation as a result of financial crisis and response to it

Rome, 14th November 2014 // The policy responses to the economic crisis which began in 2008 have hit youth hardest, according to a new publication launched by the European Youth Forum today at a high-level event on youth employment in Rome. The publication “Youth in the Crisis: What Went Wrong?”, which examines in depth the […]

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

Last Monday 10 November the Financial Stability Board, an international non-binding body based in Basel which comprises government and central bank officials from G20 countries had a bright idea for the lenders. They admitted that the 30 “too big to fail” major world banks should retain at least 20% of their risky assets in own […]

EU’s new sanctions on Russia into force “in the next few days”: strength, weakness or strategy?

Last Saturday appeared as the possible beginning of a new phase for the Ukraine-Russia question, after a ceasefire was signed in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, between the Ukrainian government and rebels on Friday. Although both sides claimed on Saturday that the other had violated the ceasefire, the Associated Press reported that Donetsk was relative calm, the […]

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

The European Parliament once more confirmed its reputation as the authentic channel transiting the social and the economic realities the European people have to endure to decision makers. Yesterday, the MEPs disagreed with the Commission President Manuel Barroso and Dimitrios Kourkoulas, the Greek deputy Foreign Minister speaking for the Council Presidency, that economic recovery was […]

Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

Everybody knew it but ‘The Independent on Sunday’ said it this weekend; Nigel Farage’s UKIP political formation is the first choice of the Brits. The newspaper published a poll giving 27% to UKIP, 26% to Labour and 25% to Conservatives. Not to forget that last year this party got almost one-quarter of the English vote […]

The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

It’s very interesting to study how incomes and consumption in the worst hit countries coped with the financial crisis and the concomitant severe austerity measures imposed by the ‘troika’ of auditors/lenders. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund formed this ‘troika’ in 2010, to deal with the risk of insolvency […]

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

At least one out of every four EU citizens is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The relevant percentage was 24.8% in 2012. However, given that this variable has been increasing steadily since 2008 by some decimal points every year, the measurement must have exceeded the 25% benchmark in 2013. These figures were published […]

What do Europeans believe about the crisis and the possible way out?

Despite the falling level of citizens’ confidence in EU institutions during the past few years from 55% in 2007 to 44% in 2012, a recent Eurobarometer survey found that respondents insist that the EU is best placed to regulate banks, with 54% of the respondents supporting this view. This is a direct proof that Europeans […]

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

Labour market participation rates are socially sensitive variables and as such are slightly affected by short-term economic developments and modestly connected to cyclical changes. Because of that any attempt to follow the evolution of labour market participation percentages has to cover long periods incorporating more than one economic cycle. In view of that Eurostat, the […]

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

The European Commission adopted yesterday a proposal for measures on shadow banking introducing new but quite loose and thus ineffective rules and controls for money market funds (MMFs). This is a parallel financial system created by the major banks in order to avoid even the few controls and restrictions that the official banking system has […]

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

The crucial character of this Friday’s Ecofin Council can be seen in the size of the Commission’s preparative memo. More than 3,000 words were needed for it. The text of yesterday’s Press release contains everything, from the specific economic policy recommendations to countries with excessive deficits, the entry of Croatia, the €10 billion capital increase […]

How distorted is the EU labour market by this crisis?

Once more Eurostat, the EU statistical service, went a step forward and produced deep socio-economic analysis with labour market data, than sheer statistical tables. Without colouring its statistics with ideology, the choice of the variables to analyse and present betray a scientific strictness accompanied however with increased susceptibility towards inequality and exclusion. This time it […]

The inhumane face of crisis mirrored in numbers

The discussion and the argumentation about the unbelievable fall of living standards of the most deprived part of the population in the European Union during the crisis years is more or less an assertion, based on what every one of us sees and hears in one’s own personal social circle. Unemployment percentages tell only part […]

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

The positive relation between economic growth and the size of population is one of the best established principles in economic theory. There is no doubt then that today’s birth rate and future GDP are positively related, despite the fact that the dynamism of the correlation between those two crucial variables, seems to vary according to […]

EU’s social crisis and unemployment to deteriorate

During the 9th European Regional Meeting of the International Labour Office (ILO), which currently takes place in Oslo from 8–11 April, a study was presented showing that in the European Union the risks of social unrest have exploded over the past few years growing with the highest tempos in the world. Obviously this is a […]

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, retail trade volume in February compared with January 2013 fell by 0.3% in euro area and remained stable in the EU27. However in comparison with the same month of 2012, the drop in retail sales was much larger. In detail, in February 2013 compared with the same month […]

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

According to a Eurostat study on people at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion (AROPE), the ongoing economic and financial crisis has seriously affected the relevant indicators. Eurostat is the statistical service of the European Union. AROPE is the headline indicator to monitor the EU2020 Strategy poverty target. According to Euroastat it reflects the share of the population […]

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

The worsening of social conditions for the poorer part of the population, in the years of the still ongoing financial and real economy crisis, is an easily predictable development. However it is a revelation and a pity to observe the difference of the degree and the way recession badly affects some, and at the same […]

European Union: More taxes out of less income

In the fourth year of the ongoing financial and real economy crisis, with government social spending severely cut and bank credit to households and businesses continuously shirking, tax increases remain the only sure thing in life. According to a study by two Eurostat authors, Elisabeth Joossens and Laura Wahrig, taxes in absolute terms surpassed the […]

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

According to Eurostat, the EU statistical service, tax payments in absolute terms, kept rising in the Eurozone after 2009 and surpassed the pre-crisis levels in 2011. Given that all along this period most of the euro area member states applied austerity measures, by cutting social spending, it is common knowledge by now that the extra […]