To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

Almost exactly two years have elapsed after the Brits voted to leave the European Union. Tomorrow, Tuesday 12 June, the elected lower House of the Parliament, the Commons, is expected to open the way for Britain to remain in EU’s customs union and the single market for an extended period of time. Most probably, Prime […]

Climate negotiations on the road to a strong Paris agreement rulebook

The UN climate change negotiations are concluding tomorrow in Bonn after ten days in the German city aiming at developing the final text for the Paris agreement rulebook. However, this is not going to happen before COP24 scheduled in December 2018, according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia […]

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

It was last Monday when the EU and UK announced a transition agreement till the end of 2020 providing thus the opportunity for a smoother Brexit. However, there are still unsolved issues that need intensive discussions such as the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The business world saw this accord positively as they will […]

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

If Britain is counting on the US for a favorable bilateral trade agreement after Brexit, Donald Trump the President of ‘America first,’ rushed last Thursday to destroy that Brit dream; he announced 25% extra tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum imports, prompting anger and retaliatory measures from America’s closest political allies, Canada and the […]

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

This past week, the EU and UK  Brexit negotiators’ solemn exchanges became for the first time, really aggressive and plain. Since the beginning of September 2017, during the Michel Barnier – David Davis meetings there had being difficult moments. Nevertheless, the two chief negotiators never questioned the good faith of the other side; not any […]

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

This week, the countdown starts for Britain to offer final answers, about the three Brexit prerequisites: the divorce alimony, the future of the 4.5 million European citizens who work on the wrong side of the English Channel and the Irish border. Only then will Brussels pass to the second phase of the talks, to discuss […]

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

If last Friday’s Reuters report from Brussels is correct and Theresa May and Donald Tusk agreed to solve the Brexit dead-end in ten days, then the wild Brexiteers must have retreated  and the orderly exit side has won the first round. Tusk, the President of the European Council said in a tweet that he told […]

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Last Monday’s events in Brussels were very characteristic of how perilously the Brits take the Brexit or more precisely how unripe they are to discuss this precarious question. When the two negotiating teams sat down for the first time to produce some tangible progress, the leader of the UK side, Brexit Secretary David Davis and […]

Brexit talks stalled at launch; issues with European Court’s authority in Britain

Last Monday, the British PM Theresa May directly bought for £1 + 0.5 billion the Parliamentary votes, of the ten (10) Irish aggressively Eurosceptic, extreme right-wing, ultra conservative evangelical Protestant deputies of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The Tories and the DUP had to ritually sign this controversial pact, obviously because they don’t trust each […]

The EU slams Theresa May’s Brexit option; sets base for own European defense, security platform

Last week’s EU Summit in Brussels set a solid base for the frictionless functioning of the European Union of 27, minus Britain. For one thing, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May fell on a solid wall of distrust. The mainland leaders ostentatiously repelled her vague offer, about the position after the Brexit of the around […]

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

Last Monday’s first meeting between the British and the EU Brexit negotiations teams gave a clear indication that London has started watering down its extra hard stance.The threat of a calamitous no-deal Brexit has visibly exited from the picture. The gratuitous cheerful and smiling David Davis, the chief Brit negotiator was confronted by the visible […]

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

It has been a rough week for the European hedge funds industry. The deadline (22/07/2014) for the implementation date of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) has well passed and many fund managers ran to apply at the very last moment. Now it is time for the national authorities to review the applications and report whether they […]

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

The 2008-2012 financial aka banking crisis and its devastating repercussions on the European Union, with deep recession and skyrocketing unemployment, are the main reasons why the EU political and economic establishment shivers ahead of the 22-25 May elections fearing a possible disastrous result. Eurosceptic extremists, nationalists and harlequins may occupy an increased part of the […]

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

At a time when the Eurozone banks have received for free €4.5 trillion of taxpayers’ money and at least another €3 trillion from the ECB at close to zero interest rates, the Commission dares to ask the pension funds and the Internet to replace the banks in financing economic growth in the crisis stricken and […]

European Banking Union: no one is perfect

Europe came to an agreement last Thursday 20 March to complete the second pillar of the European Banking Union with the establishment of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM). After months and months of negotiations between the European Parliament and the member states, Europe will have as of now the relevant legislation and the mechanisms to function a banking […]

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

According to the European Commissioner Michel Barnier, the Eurozone member states, who participate in the Eurogoup and the ECOFIN councils are ready to soften their position in the negotiations with the European Parliament, to lift the deadlock over the creation of the Banking Union. This is a step forward in resolving the stalemate around the […]

Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

Yesterday, Karel De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner delivered a speech in Düsseldorf, to reassure his German audience that the EU-US negotiations to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (Free Trade Agreement), will not lead to abandonment of EU health rules that ban genetically modified food and beef with hormones nor will it give […]

Is it impossible to place the banks under control?

Within the next few weeks the European Commission is expected to announce a proposal for a structural reform in the banking sector. The declared target is to make sure “that banks do not remain or become too-big, too-complex or too-interconnected to fail”. In announcing its intentions on this grandiose plan, the EU’s executive arm states […]

Only a few months away from the single European patent space

In a major breakthrough development for EU’s internal market, the EU Justice Ministers agreed yesterday on a Commission proposal, to complete the legal framework of one pan-European patent universe. The key point in this draft regulation is that the rulings of the Unified Patent Court will be recognised in the legal systems of all signatory […]

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

Last week the European Central Bank issued a press release welcoming the EU Commission’s initiative to regulate the banking industry’s setting of benchmark interest rates, like the Euribor. Interbank interest rate benchmarks are systemic and vital to the entire financial system. Any failures may cause losses for investors, distort the real economy and undermine market […]

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

The European Parliament adopted yesterday tougher rules for the issuance of creditworthiness ratings on governments and private businesses by the relevant agencies. Obviously the new legislation was voted in relation with and aims to set new restrictions on the activities of the three largest of them, namely Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch IBCA. But […]

European financial values on the rise

No doubt the screams, mainly coming from English language media, economists and commentators about the possible dissolution of Eurozone have now subsided and only some late comers in the league of those who have bet on Eurozone’s destruction still try to salvage their wrecks, by predicting catastrophe. On the other side of the fence those […]

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

The European Central Bank lent but in reality handed over yesterday 9 January a total amount of €77.7 billion to a number of Eurozone banks, under an arrangement called Main Refinancing Operation (MRO) at the negligible interest rate of 0.7% for a duration of 7 days. This is however the upper side of the iceberg. It’s […]

Banks cannot die but can be fined

The oldest Swiss bank was forced to temporarily shut down its US subsidiary yesterday, after its lawyers accepted that it has being helping at least 100 American citizens to avoid taxation. The bank Vegelin, of St Gallen, established in 1741 is accused by the US tax authority, the famous IRS, that it has directed those […]

“Private” sea freight indexes hide Libor like skeletons?

The almost three centuries old Baltic Exchange is a private and closed platform, where around 60 shipping brokers based mainly in London are contributing voluntarily their cargo prices. On the base of those contributions the Exchange publishes benchmark freight price indexes for a round number of 70 sea routes and vessel categories. The indexes are […]

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Two major Chinese providers of mobile phone equipment, Huawei Technologies Co. and the smaller ZTE Corporation, according to a Wall Street Journal report are under scrutiny by the European Commission, for allegedly offering their products at dumping prices. This report is still unconfirmed by the EU authorities. Its wording though is very carefully chosen by […]