European Economy


UBS quantifies Brexit

Via UBS: Brexit crossroads: Possible paths ahead and their impacts on assets Things have been very fluid in the last 24 hours, but we believe markets still ascribe a low probability to a Brexit deal by end-October. Beyond that may loom new negotiations and elections, potentially a final turn in the Brexit saga. The consequences


Exploitative visa system undercuts Australian workers

Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash has called on businesses to invest more in workforce training. Noting that it costs companies on average $28,000 to replace an employee, Cash claims that one of the main reasons why people leave their job is that they are unsatisfied with their skills development. Cash says that spending more


Brexit chaos builds

Via the BBC: Conservative MP Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of a showdown between Boris Johnson and Tory rebels over Brexit. Dr Lee, the MP for Bracknell, took his seat on the opposition benches as the PM addressed the Commons. His defection means Boris Johnson no longer has a working majority.


Hard Brexit firms up

Via Wolfgang Munchau: The gloves have come off on both sides. MPs are now plotting a strategy to take total control of the House of Commons, and anti-Brexit Lords have devised a strategy to frustrate a filibuster. The important question is not whether a legislative route is theoretically possible within the time limits – we


Waleed Ali clutches his Brexit pearls

Waleed Ali is clutching at his Brexit pearls today: This trick of rebuilding globalisation through lots of new bilateral agreements is really designed to preserve the mythology of national sovereignty: to say Britain will remain in the global economy, but on its own terms. Sure, that’s a bit false, since free trade agreements typically require


Europe is going to get worse

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Overnight, markets were spooked by deteriorating economic data and broad-based inversion of yield curves among the developed markets. The risk-off phase started with weak Chinese data, and was reinforced by weak European data. In 2Q: German real GDP shrunk by 0.1%, the second quarterly contraction within the


Blundell-Wignall: Brexit is awesome

What a gale of fresh air is Adrian Blundell-Wignall, blowing aside Aussie group think with ease. As a doyen at the OECD he repeatedly warned about Aussie property bubbles and the failure to address the trade war. Since returning home, he has caned the houses and holes growth model and warned that China is going


BoJo readies UK for hard Brexit

Via the FT: The UK chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, is preparing to announce more than £1bn in increased funding for a no-deal Brexit after Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal preparations, said such an exit was a “very real prospect”. A person familiar with Mr Javid’s thinking said that, while the


Britain’s Brexit is an economic Bobby Dazzler

They’ll be rooned, says News: Setting aside the fact that just 160,000 members of the Conservative party will ultimately decide who will secure Britain’s exit from the EU, the new leader will find themselves in much the same position as that which forced Theresa May to quit. The conundrum is this: Theresa May negotiated a


Is Brexit the next global shock?

Via VOX: The race to replace outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May has officially begun. Ten candidates are now vying to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the future prime minister of the United Kingdom. Whoever wins the crowded contest will be faced with the daunting task of trying to finalize the UK’s break up with


Credit Suisse: Europe is sinking

More great stuff from the excellent Damien Boey today: European growth has slowed sharply in recent quarters. In 4Q, GDP expanded by a meagre 0.2%. This followed another meek 0.2% growth reading in 3Q. Year-ended growth has slowed to 1.2% in 2018 from 2.7% in 2017. Compositionally, there are reasons to be concerned as well.


Hard Brexit looking more likely

by Chris Becker A little primer first to get you up to date on the mess that is Brexit – from The Economist:   Amid the farcical scenes within the Parliament, overnight a hard Brexit – i.e no deal, just get on with it – looks more and more likely. From the ABC: European Union


Super Mario gooses the Euro

by Chris Becker ECB President Mario Draghi pushed the Euro off the cliff early this morning AEDST with his post-meeting press conference comments: “The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have moved to the downside on account of the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors and the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and


Is Germany about to enter recession?

by Chris Becker One of the most closely watched economic prints on the calendar, the monthly German ZEW Survey, was released on Wednesday. The continued Brexit imbroglio is obviously weighing on the dominant European economy, as does Trump’s Jacksonian trade policies which has seen the “current condition”  factor flop to a new four year low,


May’s Brexit vote fails

by Chris Becker The Brexit parliamentary vote has come and gone overnight and it’s bad news for Theresa May. From the BBC: Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal,


Brexit vote is coming

by Chris Becker Well it’s a red letter day for the UK as Parliament votes on PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal tonight, AEDT time. The fear, doubt and uncertainty (FUD) brigades are out in force while the continent goes from a Gallic shrug to a stern Prussian frown over the fracas. From the BBC: Theresa


Is the Brexit long tail wagging?

by Chris Becker As we grind ever closer to the end of March, the no-deal/deal imbroglio within the UK Parliament over Brexit is devolving, with even Japanese PM Shinzo Abe putting his two bits in: The World does not want a no-deal Brexit, the Japanese Prime Minister said as he gave his “total support” to Theresa


German powerhouse sputters

by Chris Becker Overshadowed by the ongoing US-China trade talks, Brexit shenigans and the Trump wall “crisis”, there’s real reason to be concerned for the global trade machine with the latest German industrial production numbers overnight shocking everyone: From FT: Fears of a prolonged slowdown in the eurozone grew on Tuesday after a sharp fall


Blame Brexit on the Euro

by Chris Becker At the end of March this year, or in less than 90 days, the UK is set to leave the European Union. The EU and UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May have struck a deal, but it needs to be voted on in Parliament before such a deal is ratified. The exit from


Sell gold! Or why the US dollar is not going to weaken

Via Bloomie: The U.S. dollar may be poised to decline, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases, strategists at Goldman wrote in a note Saturday. Powell cited the events of 2016, when rates were kept unchanged through


ECB turns cautious

Via Westpac: At the December ECB meeting, the Governing Council confirmed the end of net asset purchases and repeated the forward guidance that key policy rates will remain on hold “at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary”. In addition, they gave forward guidance on their reinvestment


Inside Brexit chaos

Via Capital Economics: While US readers were settling in for Thanksgiving dinners, those of us on the other side of the pond were left to pick over the remains of a Brexit deal that looks dead on arrival. Our UK economists have covered the various twists and turns in detail and copies of the various


OBOR Dan done dirt cheap

Via The Australian comes more unsettling revelations about Dan Andrews’ China foray: A staffer in Daniel Andrews’s office has been linked to China’s United Front organisation, which co-ordinates Beijing’s overseas influence operations, amid growing criticism of the Victoria Premier’s decision to sign up to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Australian can reveal Mr Andrews’s adviser


Is Italy about to blow up?

Via Mark Cudmore at Bloomie: If Italy is going to avoid a full-blown euro zone debt crisis that’s capable of causing turmoil in global financial markets, communication will be key. Much of the investor complacency toward the threat from Italy’s debt crisis is the fallacy that worse scenarios have been survived elsewhere before. Let’s be


A stronger Germany to rise out of Brexit and Trump

by Chris Becker A hallmark of NATO, the European Union and US foreign policy in Europe has been about containing the economic and political behemoth of Germany whilst defending the Western half of the continent from external threats. In the post WW2 era this has worked, save for the creation of the Euro which effectively