european central bank

Why World Markets Focus on Tiny Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Every August, the world's financial markets shift their attention from the centers of global commerce to a mountain valley in northwest Wyoming. On Friday, they will hear a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. So how did Jackson Hole, Wyo., come to wield such outsize importance in global economic affairs?

S&P Touches Highest Level Since 2008, Then Falls

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is closing lower after hitting a four-year high. The S&P 500 lost five points to close at 1,413. The index had climbed to 1,426 in morning trading, its highest since May 19, 2008.

Europe Teeters on the Edge of Recession

Europe is edging closer to recession, dragged down by the crippling debt problems of the 17-country eurozone, official figures showed Tuesday: The economies of both the eurozone and the full EU shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter, after a flat first quarter.

S&P Closes Over 1,400 for First Time in 3 Months

It's been a day of milestones for the stock market. Stronger corporate earnings reports and expectations that central banks will act to support the economy powered the Standard & Poor's 500 index past 1,400 for the first time in three months.

Stock Market Cuts Its Losses with a Late Rally

A late recovery on Wall Street wiped out most of the stock market's losses Thursday, leaving the Dow Jones industrial average down just 25 points. The Dow had been down as much as 177 points but came back sharply at the end of the day.

How You Can Still Benefit From the Greek Debt Crisis

Greece isn't going to rebound anytime soon, and Europe about to rapidly propel itself out of its mild recession either. But obsession with the Mediterranean's economic basket case has caused many investors to miss strong overseas gains. Here are three companies leading the charge.

As Italian Drama Persists, Small Businesses Worry

The Atlantic Ocean is wide, but maybe not wide enough. On Thursday, markets had a mixed reaction to the deepening economic crisis in Europe. Some sources reported that the European Central Bank would step in. But in the U.S., small business owners are growing nervous.

The Financial Landscape: SEC Fines JPM Over CDOs

The news across the financial world is good for unions, which will find organizing a bit easier; adequate for Greece, which will find getting bailed out a bit easier, and bitter for JPMorgan which had to accept a $153.6 million SEC fine for misleading investors about a mortgage securities transaction.

Why the European Debt Crisis Is Far From Over

The European debt crisis is back: Portugal is in political turmoil, and may need a major bailout, and Spain may too. But the E.U.'s strong healthy are rebelling against propping up their weaker neighbors. The real issue, though, is that the E.U. hasn't yet addressed the fundamental flaw built into it at the euro's creation.

Why the Dollar Is Stuck at Three-Month Lows

One would think that with the Mideast crisis East, oil prices skyrocketing and U.S. manufacturing rebounding smartly, the buck would be flying high. But no. Why that's so may lie in international perceptions about where interest rates are heading.

Will the Fed's New Hawks Force a Change of Course?

While most analysts don't expect a major departure from the December Fed meeting, the voting lineup has changed substantially. Now, Chairman Bernanke has to deal with three new members of the rate-setting committee who have expressed reservations about quantitative easing.

Why Japan Is Rushing to Aid Europe: It's All About China

World markets got a boost this week from Japan's pledge to help overly indebted EU nations. What's behind Japan's move? Sure, the spirit of global cooperation is part of it. But much more significant is Tokyo's need to keep pace with Beijing in the influence game.

Ireland's Austerity Budget:
Not Likely to Avoid Default

Despite its planned austerity budget, the long-term solvency of Ireland is still in doubt. Simply put, the losses which Irish taxpayers must cover are larger than the nation's economy can support, making sovereign debt default likely even with a promised bailout from the EU and IMF.

The E-Bond Is a Bold Idea, but the EU Is Too Timid

The notion that the EU could issue a eurozone-wide bond is probably the most sweeping proposal yet to relieve country debt problems. But the ad hoc measures Europe has been taking to put out fires are likely to remain the status quo. One big reason: Germany.

Europe and IMF to Discuss Aid Package for Irish Banks

European and International Monetary Fund officials will meet in Dublin tomorrow to discuss the possibility of aid for Ireland%u2019s ailing banking sector. "If banking problems are too big for this small country to manage, Europe has made it clear they%u2019ll help," Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said, according to Bloomberg News.

Ireland in Talks With European Officials About 'Market Conditions'

Ireland is in talks with European officials about "market conditions" amid widespread speculation that the country will accept some form of bailout. "Ongoing contacts continue at official level with international colleagues in light of current market conditions," a Finance Ministry spokesman said in an email late yesterday, Bloomberg News reported.

Eurozone Growth Slows as Austerity Takes Its Toll

Economic growth in the eurozone slowed sharply in the third quarter as austerity measures aimed at cutting budget deficits dented the Continent's recovery. Meanwhile, a growing divergence in the economic performance of EU nations is likely to make it tough for the European Central Bank to set its monetary policy.

European Commission Unveils Planned Debt Rules

The European Commission presented plans to punish countries whose excessive debt levels pose a potential risk to the euro. The proposals include automatic fines for countries that mismanage their finances and economies, BBC News said.

Irish Borrowing Costs Fall from Record High

Irish borrowing costs fell from a record high as concerns about the country%u2019s fiscal problems eased. Ireland sold a total of 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) of bonds Tuesday, paying a yield of 6.02% on 8-year bonds and 4.77% on 4-year bonds, The Associated Press reported.

European Commission Raises Economic Growth Forecasts

The European Commission upped its forecast for economic growth in the European Union and the 16-member euro zone in 2010, based on strong growth in industrial exports. The commission said that the 27-member EU would probably grow by 1.8% in 2010, compared with an earlier forecast of 0.9%, The Wall Street Journal reported. The commission forecast growth of 1.7% for the euro zone, compared with an earlier forecast of 0.9%.

Euro-Zone Countries Should Be Ready to Cut Debt, ECB Says

Euro-zone countries should prepare to implement more measures aimed at cutting "excessive deficits" if economic growth disappoints, the European Central Bank said. The 16 members of the euro-zone should "be prepared to accelerate consolidation where necessary to correct their excessive deficits," the ECB said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "If previously overly optimistic macroeconomic forecasts fail to materialize, countries should swiftly adopt additional consolidation measures to ensure that commitments are fulfilled."

Greek Economy Shrank More than Estimated in Second Quarter

Greece's economy contracted more than previously thought in the second quarter, according to new figures. The country%u2019s statistics agency said that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 3.7% in the second quarter, compared with an initial estimate of a 3.5% decline, The Wall Street Journal reported. The economy contracted 1.8% from the previous quarter, rather than the initial estimate of 1.5%.

Austerity Could Push Europe Back into Recession, Stiglitz Says

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, said Europe risks falling back into recession as governments slash spending in a bid to narrow their budget deficits. "Cutting back willy-nilly on high-return investments just to make the picture of the deficit look better is really foolish," Stiglitz said today, according to Bloomberg News.