european central bank

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.

Greece Made 'Strong Start' to Austerity Measures, Delegation Says

Greece has made a "strong start" in its austerity program and is on course to receive a 9 billion euro ($11.8 billion) installment of emergency loans, a joint European and IMF delegation said. The Greek government is ahead of schedule in many areas as it battles to reduce its debt levels and budget deficit, the statement from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank delegation said.

Investor Confidence in Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland Improved

The recent European stress tests show that investor confidence towards Irish banks Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Bank of Ireland (BKIR) has improved, Fitch said. In its semi-annual review of Irish banks, the rating agency said that this improved investor confidence may strengthen the banks%u2019 ability to raise funds, The Irish Times reported.

Europe's Stress Tests to Detail Three Scenarios

European regulators will give details of three different scenarios when they publish the results of their stress tests on European banks, Bloomberg News reported. Banks will give their estimated Tier 1 capital ratios under a benchmark for 2011, an adverse scenario and a third test that includes "sovereign shock," Bloomberg News said, citing a template that was prepared for the banks.

Greece Successfully Sells 1.25 Billion Euro of Bonds

Greece raised 1.25 billion euro ($1.57 billion) of bonds, its first debt auction since taking international bailout loans. The sale of 26-week treasury bills was oversubscribed 3.64 times, the Associated Press reported. The yield on the bonds was 4.65%.

European Central Bank Keeps Rates Low

It may be because of the slowing European economy, the drive for austerity by the continent's national governments, or planned tax increases. But whatever the reasons, the European Central Bank said Thursday it would hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 1%.

European Central Bank President Trichet Warns EU Budget Slackers

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet issued a warning to EU member nations Monday, telling them that there will be penalties for countries that fail to follow the financial guidelines defined by the EU. Those penalties could include the loss of voting rights.

Rising Stress Over European Bank Stress Tests

Ever since the Greek debt crisis began worrying investors last month, there have been increasing concerns that European banks could be facing huge losses. Many large banks are being stress tested, and investors are hoping that the results will be made public.

China and EU to the monetary rescue

The global recession has dramatically reduced demand and tightened credit, but now monetary officials in the world's three largest economies have...