Thursday, October 27, 2016

Turkey calls for end to NATO's migrant mission in Aegean

Thu Oct 27, 2016 | 8:34am EDT


By Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold | BRUSSELS
Turkey is seeking an end to NATO's counter-migration mission in the Aegean Sea and it is telling the U.S.-led alliance that the sharp drop in refugees trying to get to Greece means there is no longer a need for warships to patrol its coast.

Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik told other NATO defense ministers on Wednesday that Ankara no longer saw a need for the mission to continue beyond the end of December, according to two people briefed on the exchanges, despite strong support across the alliance for the mission.

"This was a temporary mission, and the goal has been reached in this temporary mission. There is no need to extend it further," Isik told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

Why India Is A Better Investment Bet Than China

OCT 26, 2016 @ 08:14 PM 5,942 VIEWS


Panos Mourdoukoutas ,   CONTRIBUTOR,
"I cover global markets, business and investment strategy  "

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

China may be the world’s largest emerging economy, beating India in many economic and financial indicators. But India is beating China in an indicator that matters the most to emerging market investing: financial market development. This means that India is less prone to a financial crisis than China, and therefore, a better investment than China.

China Gets Desperate About Debt

OCT 26, 2016 5:00 PM EDT

By Christopher Balding


With its debts surging and growth sluggish, China has hit on a new strategy to revitalize its ailing economy. It’s the same as the old strategy. Only this time, it won’t work.

Earlier this month, China’s State Council released guidelines for a new swap program, in which companies can exchange troubled debt with banks in return for equity. The government hopes this will give the firms a chance to restructure on favorable terms, and avoid the prospect of “zombie companies” propped up indefinitely by state-owned lenders.

Euro zone lending growth levels off, keeps ECB on toes

Thu Oct 27, 2016 | 4:46am EDT


Growth in loans to euro zone companies and households is leveling off, European Central bank data showed on Thursday, keeping the pressure on the ECB to maintain its aggressive stimulus policy for months to come.

Lending to companies grew by 1.9 percent year-on-year in September while household loans rose by 1.8 percent, keeping the steady but slow pace seen since the start of the summer

UPDATE 1-Greece names Total-led consortium preferred bidder for offshore gas drilling

Wed Oct 26, 2016 | 1:05pm BST


Oct 26 Greece named on Wednesday a consortium of France's Total, its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum and Italy's Edison as the preferred bidder for an offshore gas drilling block in the west of the country.

Greece, which signed up to a third bailout last summer, has made several fruitless attempts over the last 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves. Its debt crisis and important findings in neighbouring countries has prompted the country to step up those efforts.

Greece’s Syriza Defiant After Judges Annul Key Policy

Country’s supreme administrative court rules government acted unconstitutionally by licensing TV broadcasters itself

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Oct. 27, 2016 4:27 a.m. ET

ATHENS—Greece’s ruling Syriza party vowed on Thursday to continue fighting for its radical agenda after judges struck down its plan to revamp Greece’s media sector, the culmination of a weekslong power struggle that produced allegations of blackmail and “fascist” methods.

Greece’s supreme administrative court, the Council of State, ruled late Wednesday that the government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, acted unconstitutionally by licensing TV broadcasters itself, a power that the constitution reserves for an independent media regulator.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Greece awaits Obama trip amid tough bailout talks

The Washington Post

By Derek Gatopoulos | AP October 25 at 12:08 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government says it was facing pressure from the International Monetary Fund to aggressively scale back union powers and employment rights, as the White House confirmed Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a post-election visit to Athens.

Obama’s Nov. 15 trip could boost efforts by the left-wing government in Athens to press for debt relief from European bailout lenders, as the country’s national debt approaches 180 percent of Greece’s stagnant gross domestic product. Obama will travel on to Germany after his Greek visit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Euro Gripes Threaten Economic Recovery as Populism Advances

Alessandro Speciale
October 25, 2016 — 7:00 AM EEST


Anti-establishment parties are gaining ground in the heart of the European Union, and they may pose a bigger challenge to the region’s economy than any of those that have drawn support in the periphery over the past years.
While populists in Spain or Italy are revolting against restrictive fiscal policies and a weakening of social safety nets, the backlash in France and Germany focuses on monetary union itself. Parties openly advocating a break from the euro are building momentum ahead of a year of election across the region and politicians skeptical about EU integration are already twisting policy decisions. Belgium’s Wallonia region blocked a trade deal with Canada just last week.

Greece Set to Receive Fresh Loans Under Bailout Agreement

Eurozone bailout fund officials expected to sign off on disbursement Tuesday

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 24, 2016 2:45 p.m. ET
BRUSSELS—Greece’s creditors are expected to approve €2.8 billion in fresh loans for the debt-ridden country after it completed a set of key economic overhauls, three eurozone officials said Monday.

The disbursement of the next slice of financial aid, to be officially signed off by the eurozone bailout fund on Tuesday, marks the formal end of the first review of Greece’s up-to-€86 billion bailout, which was agreed to in August last year.

The loans will comprise of €1.1 billion to be used for debt servicing and €1.7 billion to repay arrears owed to domestic contractors.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The threat from Russia

How to contain Vladimir Putin’s deadly, dysfunctional empire
Oct 22nd 2016

The Economist

FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America’s “number-one geopolitical foe”. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war’s been over for 20 years,” scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romney’s view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is today’s Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

What is China’s plenum and why does it matter?

Oct 23rd 2016, 23:27 BY J.P. | BEIJING

The Economist

THE 200-odd highest-ranking members of China’s Communist Party—its central committee—meet only once a year. The closed-door gathering is called a plenum. This year’s starts today, October 24th, in Beijing and runs until the 27th. The agenda does not sound consequential. It will discuss, in the unlovely words of the official announcement, “the norms of political life within the party…and a revision to an intra-party supervision regulation.” So why does it matter?

China Deal Watch

(for full article with interactive plots see

Chinese companies are buying up overseas assets at a faster pace than U.S. buyers for the first time on record. This graphic, updated weekly, takes a close look at what China is acquiring, and where. The numbers reveal a lot about the country’s growing global ambitions.

On Oct. 18, China Life Insurance Co Ltd agreed to buy select-service hotel portfolio from Starwood Capital Group LLC for $2 billion. Here’s how this deal compares to China’s other overseas acquisitions:
Rank 17th largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company this year
2016 Total $206.6B in foreign mergers and acquisitions
Growth 212% increase from the same period in 2015

Brexit Bulletin: Bankers Threaten Exodus

Bankers threaten early exodus, while PM May tries to head off a constitutional crisis


Emma Ross-Thomas

Banks will start moving operations out of the U.K. late this year and early next as they anticipate a hard Brexit. That's according to  Anthony Browne, chief executive officer of the banking lobby group BBA, writing in the Observer newspaper on Sunday.

International banks’ “hands are quivering over the relocate button,” he wrote. “Many smaller banks plan to start relocations before Christmas; bigger banks are expected to start in the first quarter of next year.”
Without identifying any banks by name, he said lenders can’t wait until the last minute and have to “plan for the worst,” especially because “public and political debate at the moment is taking us in the wrong direction.”
Handily, some real estate companies are already finding them new digs.  A property company managed by Schroders Plc is bidding for an office building in Frankfurt, joining CBRE Global Investors LLC and Standard Life Plc, which are seeking to purchase office space in cities from Dublin to Amsterdam.

Opinion: Appearance and reality in Greece

Greece's euro crisis has disappeared from the headlines, but the problem has still not been resolved. And since nothing much is changing in Athens, it will soon be a hot topic once again, says Spiros Moskovou.

Deutsche Welle

"I hereby declare the nonprivatization of the state electricity company DEI to be one of Syriza's key political concerns," Energy Minister Panos Skourletis announced at the governing party's conference in Athens last weekend. Yet last May, the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, together with the Greek parliament, approved an initial list of state-owned businesses for privatization.
An important point here is the sale of a quantity of shares in DEI. The whole privatization package is intended to bring in revenue of 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for the Greek treasury by the end of the year.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Monetary Policy And Political Problems To Drive The Euro Lower

OCT 22, 2016 @ 11:57

Stephen Pope ,   CONTRIBUTOR


Over the past week, foreign exchange markets have been offered opposing views on the next play in European and American monetary policy. The differences are wider than the Atlantic Ocean.

In Europe, the Bank of England (BOE) faces many problems as the falling level of Sterling threatens to ignite inflation from its current 1.0% at a time when the economy is struggling to accommodate the uncertainty over the terms of Brexit.

A larger dilemma faces the European Central Bank (ECB). With a tepid economy, GDP growth just 0.3% and unemployment of 10.1% coupled to a fragile banking system it is obliged to hold open the door for further monetary stimulus in December and maintain that accommodation deep into 2017.

Scotland demands to be equal partner in Brexit negotiations

The lead Scottish minister in the process is concerned that the UK is heading for a hard Brexit

The Independent

David Hughes, Lucinda Cameron

The Scottish Government has demanded to be treated as an “equal partner” by Theresa May in the Brexit negotiations, as the Prime Minister called for a “grown up” relationship with the devolved administrations.

The Prime Minister will host the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Monday to discuss the Brexit process and her Government's economic plans.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte’s impetuous pivot

Image result for south china sea map claims

Is the Philippines, until now a staunch American ally, falling into the Chinese camp?
Oct 19th 2016 | Asia

The Economist

EVEN in a year of extraordinary reversals, few would have expected it. In July China reacted with fury when an international tribunal upheld a complaint from the Philippines and rubbished China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. This week it is rolling out the red carpet for the mercurial Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. He is being feted in a four-day state visit, with 400-odd businessmen in tow. Rub your eyes: America’s strongest ally in South-East Asia appears to be plopping like a ripe mango into China’s hands.

Greece Might Just Get a Boost From an Unlikely Source

The cash-strapped nation stands to gain a lift to demand from the aid effort for refugees


Nikos Chrysoloras

October 20, 2016 — 7:01 AM EEST

As European Union leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday with the refugee crisis on the agenda, some of them may repeat the claim that their economies can't bear the cost of aiding people fleeing war and persecution. Greece ought not to be one of them.
After all it has been through in the past six years, the arrival of tens of thousands of refugees from across the Aegean may in fact be giving the country a mild, short-term stimulus.
Hundreds of millions of euros have been spent so far to provide shelter, provisions, and support to migrants and asylum seekers, in a period when government-funded spending has taken successive cuts.

World’s Fourth-Biggest Currency Trader Sees Euro Decline Ahead

Lananh Nguyen


Deutsche Bank AG is sticking with its weaker euro call.
The currency dropped to the lowest in almost three months and the world’s fourth-largest foreign-exchange trader says it’s got further to fall. The bank sees the shared currency declining to $1.05 by year-end, more bearish than the $1.10 median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Traders will be watching the European Central Bank’s policy-setting meeting Thursday for signals about its monetary stimulus efforts, which haven’t prevented the euro from climbing this year.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saudi Arabia to Offer International Investors $17.5 Billion in Bonds

Gulf countries are increasingly raising funds through international markets

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 19, 2016 7:27 a.m. ET
DUBAI—Saudi Arabia plans to raise up to $17.5 billion by selling bonds for the first time to international investors this week, two people aware of the transaction said Wednesday.

The kingdom also tightened its pricing guidance for the potential multi-tranche issue, which along with the estimated issue size reflects a strong appetite for the potential issue, bankers say.

For the five-year tranche, Saudi Arabia said it would pay around 140 basis points above U.S. Treasurys, compared with an initial guidance of around 160 basis points above U.S. Treasurys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Turkey will fight Isis in Mosul, President Erdogan says

Bitter row between Ankara and Baghdad over role of Turkish troops in battle to retake Mosul threatens future of operation, US says

Bethan McKernan Beirut


It is “out of the question” for Turkish troops to stay out of the US-backed Iraqi army offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul from Isis, the Turkish president has said.

“We will be in the operation and we will be at the table,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in a televised speech on Monday. “Our brothers are there and our relatives are there. It is out of the question that we are not involved.”

Mr Erdoğan's comments came as Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the long-awaited operation to reclaim the city has begun.

The Iraqi army begins the liberation of Mosul

Even with backing from Kurds, Shia militias and an American-led international coalition, the campaign will be hard
Oct 17th 2016 | Middle East and Africa

The Economist

“THE time of victory has come…today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh [Islamic State].” With these words, broadcast at 2am on October 17th, Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced the start of the long-awaited offensive to liberate Mosul, the country’s second-biggest city, which was seized by IS in June 2014, and is the only significant place in Iraq that the jihadists still hold. Mr Abadi added: “The Iraqi flag will be raised in the middle of Mosul and in each village and corner very soon.” Across the rest of Iraq, following a series of victories this year, it already has been.

Will Italy Leave the Euro? Follow the Money

30 OCT 17, 2016 1:31 AM EDT
By Mark Whitehouse


Will Italy follow the U.K.'s example and leave the European Union? Far-fetched as it may seem, capital flows suggest that some people aren’t waiting to find out.

To keep the euro area's accounts in balance, Europe's central banks track flows of money among the members of the currency union. If, for example, a depositor moves 100 euros from Italy to Germany, the Bank of Italy records a liability to the Eurosystem and the Bundesbank records a credit. If a central bank starts building up liabilities rapidly, that tends to be a sign of capital flight.

'Brexit' May Hurt Britain Where It Thrives: Science and Research

OCT. 17, 2016

The New York Times

LONDON — When Adam Durant started his company analyzing climate-related threats to aircraft, he and his team of researchers symbolized the possibilities offered by the European Union.

Soon after graduating from college, Mr. Durant received a prestigious European Union grant to study atmospheric chemistry and conduct climate-related research. When he started his business, he hired staff members from Belgium and France without having to sponsor their visas.

But since Britain voted in June to leave the bloc, Mr. Durant has become the archetype of something very different: a nervous entrepreneur, unsure about future funding and even considering leaving the country.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Global Economy Week Ahead: China GDP, U.S. Industrial Production, ECB Meeting

Inflation data are due from the U.K. and the U.S., as well as retail sales from China

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 16, 2016 3:00 p.m. ET
The week’s economic calendar provides insight into how the world’s two largest economies are faring. It kicks off with a gauge of U.S. industrial activity, followed by a round of economic data out of China. From Europe comes a report on consumer confidence and a policy decision from the European Central Bank.

Nine Things You Need to Know About a ‘Hard Brexit"


 Simon Kennedy

October 17, 2016 — 7:00 AM EEST

Just when you finally grasped the meaning of “Brexit,” the subject grows more complicated. In London and the capitals of continental Europe, political leaders are preparing to discuss the terms and conditions of the U.K.’s coming separation from the European Union. Two broad options are being shorthanded as "hard Brexit" and "soft Brexit," with the U.K.’s prime minister, Theresa May, thought to lean toward the "hard Brexit" camp.

Kurdish Troops Advance on ISIS-Held Villages East of Mosul


The New York Times

BADANA PICHWK, Iraq — Kurdish forces on Monday morning began advancing on a string of villages east of Mosul, the start of a long-awaited campaign to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State, which seized it more than two years ago, officials said.

About 4,000 Kurdish pesh merga troops are involved in the operation to retake 10 villages, the opening phase of a battle that could take weeks or months and could involve nearly 30,000 Iraqi and Kurdish troops, with American warplanes providing air support. Iraqi counterterrorism forces, which work closely with American Special Operations commandos in Iraq, are also expected to join the Kurdish forces in the coming days.

Greece's lenders to launch new review as Athens digs in on debt relief

Sun Oct 16, 2016 | 4:06am EDT


By Michele Kambas and Lefteris Papadimas

Greece and its creditors start a fresh round of talks this week on reforming its labor market, a tricky task for a leftist government sliding in opinion polls but needed if the recession-hit state can ever win debt relief.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was re-elected a year ago promising to fight to revive collective bargaining and resist reforms that may lower the minimum wage. But he also needs a swift conclusion of the review to achieve Athens's primary goal of restructuring a mountain of debt, the highest in the euro zone, and mollifying an increasingly jaded public worn by years of austerity and unemployment.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Brexit means…higher prices

The economic impact of devaluations
Oct 13th 2016, 10:29 BY BUTTONWOOD

The Economist

THE economic arguments for and against Brexit in the course of the referendum campaign were quite esoteric and confusing to the average voter. Similarly, sterling’s decline in the currency markets might seem like the kind of thing that only concerns City traders.

So the row that has broken out between Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, and Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch multinational, has made the story concrete in ways that were not apparent before. Unilever wants to raise prices across a range of goods to reflect the fall in the pound, which has dropped from around $1.50 on the day of the referendum to less than $1.22 at the time of writing. Similar falls have been seen against the euro; indeed travellers who change their money at the airport are getting less than a euro per pound.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

U.S. says foreign forces in Iraq should be there with Baghdad's approval

Tue Oct 11, 2016 | 4:36pm EDT


Foreign military forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of the Baghdad government and under the umbrella of the anti-Islamic State coalition, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Turkey and Iraq disagree over the presence of about 2,000 Turkish troops at a base in northern Iraq, as the coalition prepares for an attack on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

4 more Turkish servicemen lose asylum claim in Greece

Published October 11, 2016

Fox News

THESSALONIKI, Greece –  A state asylum service in Greece has rejected claims by four more Turkish military servicemen who fled in the wake of their country's failed coup attempt in mid-July.

Eight servicemen fled to the Greek border town of Alexandroupolis by helicopter, and all remain in police custody in Athens. Seven have now had their asylum claims rejected, following the latest decision announced Tuesday, with a decision pending for the eighth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

EU Sagas of Greece, Transaction Tax Back in Focus: Brussels Beat

Jonathan Stearns
October 10, 2016 — 1:00 AM EEST


Two European Union financial sagas return to the spotlight this week. One is Greece. The other is the financial transaction tax being pursued by 10 EU governments.
During much of last year, it would have been reasonable to bet that the FTT initiative had a better chance of succeeding than Europe’s efforts over half a decade to keep Greece in the euro area. Concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank AG and other European lenders add to the reasons why that’s no longer the case -- and just how far the tables have turned will be on display when EU finance ministers gather in Luxembourg on Oct. 10-11.
Euro-area finance chiefs will decide on Monday whether Greece, in its third international rescue program since 2010, qualifies for another disbursement of aid. At stake is a 2.8 billion-euro ($3.1 billion) payout tied to Greek overhauls in areas in such as pensions, bank governance and the energy market.

On Greece's Lesbos, migrants remain in limbo in squalid camps

by Reuters
Monday, 10 October 2016 15:20 GMT

Thomson Reuters

The flow of new arrivals has slowed to a trickle, but thousands of migrants remain in limbo on Greece's islands, in grim camps they liken to prisons
* Nearly 15,000 refugees languish on Greek islands

* Tents unheated, sanitation poor as winter approaches

* Local people say crisis has hurt tourism

By Karolina Tagaris

Less than one euro to the pound at many UK airports

By Ian Pollock
Business reporter, BBC News
10 October 2016


The continued fall in sterling's value means that the average rate available at 17 airport bureaux de change is now just 99 euro cents to the pound.
The worst rate is currently 88 euro cents at Moneycorp at Southampton airport and the best is €1.06 from the Change Group at Glasgow Prestwick.
Since the UK's Brexit vote in June, the pound has fallen sharply in value.
The average US dollar rate at the airports is down to $1.08 to the pound.
What's the pound exchange rate near you? Please tweet your pictures of currency exchange rate boards to @BBCBusiness and let us know
The survey of airport bureau de change currency rates was carried out by travel money firm FairFX on Monday morning.

Greece Clears Hurdle Toward Another Round of Bailout Aid

Greek economic overhauls win approval from eurozone finance ministers; $3 billion more in aid coming

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 10, 2016 2:03 p.m. ET

LUXEMBOURG—Greece has completed a set of key economic overhauls, eurozone finance ministers agreed Monday, marking the end of the first review of its fiscal bailout and clearing the way for disbursement of new loans to Athens.

The ministers, who were here for their monthly meeting, gave their blessing to €2.8 billion ($3.12 billion) in the next stage of financial aid, but they stopped short of signing off on it immediately. Instead, they said the country would receive the funds at the end of the month, when data on repayments Greece has made to domestic contractors should also be available.

While the next slice won’t be made immediately available, the fact that Greece’s creditors agreed that all the economic overhauls have been implemented essentially completes the lengthy first review of the country’s third bailout, which could amount to €86 billion

Monday, October 10, 2016

IMF says still engaged with Greece, no decision yet on bailout role

Sun Oct 9, 2016 | 12:21pm EDT


The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday it is still fully engaged in talks to join the Greek bailout program and has not yet decided on what role it will take.

The IMF's comment came after two sources with direct knowledge of the Greek bailout talks told Reuters on Saturday that negotiations for the fund to commit financial resources to the program are making little headway and the IMF likely would accept a special advisory status with limited powers.

"We remain fully engaged, with the aim of reaching agreement on a program that the fund can support with a new arrangement, as requested by the authorities," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in an emailed statement on Sunday. "In this regard a mission team will visit Athens soon."

EU Sagas of Greece, Transaction Tax Back in Focus: Brussels Beat


  Jonathan Stearns

October 10, 2016 — 1:00 AM EEST

Don't Miss Out — Follow Bloomberg On

Two European Union financial sagas return to the spotlight this week. One is Greece. The other is the financial transaction tax being pursued by 10 EU governments.
During much of last year, it would have been reasonable to bet that the FTT initiative had a better chance of succeeding than Europe’s efforts over half a decade to keep Greece in the euro area. Concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank AG and other European lenders add to the reasons why that’s no longer the case -- and just how far the tables have turned will be on display when EU finance ministers gather in Luxembourg on Oct. 10-11.

Friday, October 7, 2016

London Won’t Easily Surrender Role as Euro Clearinghouse, Hammond Says

Chancellor of the Exchequer says the City should keep the business after Brexit

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 6, 2016 1:37 p.m. ET

The City of London won’t quietly relinquish its central role in derivatives trading even after the U.K. completes its exit from the European Union, a British official said Thursday.

Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the Exchequer, said firms in London will continue to handle transactions on euro-denominated derivatives. The location of clearing, in which funds are transferred from one account to another, and of settlement, in which financial institutions agree on account balances, has emerged as a key issue in Britain’s departure from the bloc.

London is home to some of the region’s biggest clearinghouses, which are intermediaries that stand between buyers and sellers of financial instruments and act as a buffer should one side fail to hold up its obligation. A threat to the clearing and settlement business could strike at the heart of the city’s large financial industry.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dollar flat after U.S. data, euro rises with bond yields

Wed Oct 5, 2016 | 3:30pm EDT


By Richard Leong | NEW YORK
The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as encouraging data on the U.S. services sector offset a weaker-than-expected report on private-sector job growth, while the euro was broadly higher in step with a rise in higher euro zone bond yields.

U.S. services industries grew at their fastest pace in 11 months in September, reinforcing the view of a steady economic expansion which would allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, analysts said.

Wednesday's upbeat snapshot of the services sector from the Institute for Supply Management followed perceived hawkish remarks from regional Fed presidents Loretta Mester and Jeffrey Lacker earlier this week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Greece’s 2017 Budget Plan Sticks With Robust Growth Forecast

But analysts say austerity and tight credit conditions are likely to weigh on economy

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 3, 2016 11:21 a.m. ET
ATHENS—Greece’s budget plan for 2017 sees the economy rebounding strongly after a seven-year slump, but analysts say continued austerity and tight credit conditions are likely to weigh on its recovery prospects amid uncertainty over the country’s public debt.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos submitted a draft copy of the budget to parliament on Monday that is expected to be finalized in coming weeks after the country resumes talks with lenders on its reform program.

The 53-page budget sticks with Greece’s previous forecasts that the economy is expected to contract by 0.3% this year before growing by 2.7% in 2017. Many see these targets as too optimistic, saying the economy is now entering a period of stagnation, rather than growth, having shrunk by more than 25% since the debt crisis erupted in 2010.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sterling hits three-year low versus euro as Brexit deadline set

Mon Oct 3, 2016 | 4:31am EDT


By Jemima Kelly | LONDON
Sterling slid to a three-year low against the euro and a three-month low versus the dollar on Monday, after a March deadline was set for the start of the formal process that will split Britain from the European Union.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May told her Conservative party's annual conference on Sunday that she was determined to move on with the process and win the "right deal", in a move to ease fears inside her party that she may delay the divorce.

To fix Greece, get your figures straight

 10/01/2016 12:29 pm ET
The Huffington Post

Michael G. Jacobides
Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, London Business School
Greece has been making headlines again - and for all the wrong reasons. Egged on by government propaganda, the judicial system has allowed a rather grotesque case to be made against Mr Andreas Georgiou, former president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). His alleged crime was using applicable international rules to report the Greek government’s budget deficit, which had the effect of increasing it by just under 3% to a whopping 15% of GDP. Confusing cause and effect, some hot-headed Greek prosecutors claim that Georgiou’s un-sugarcoated report caused financial and social damage, leading to the EU/IMF Memorandum. Several commentators have already pointed out that shooting the messenger is a spineless, head-in-the-sand attitude. Now we have to accept that only accurate, internationally comparable figures can begin to save Greece from its financial woes.

What’s Derailing Greece’s Plan to Sell State Assets? Its Own Government

The ruling Syriza party must privatize chunks of the country’s infrastructure to meet bailout terms. Many of its ministers are standing in the way

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Oct. 3, 2016 12:09 a.m. ET

ATHENS—The day that Christos Spirtzis became responsible for much of Greece’s ambitious privatization program, he vowed to ensure it failed.

Greece’s leftist infrastructure minister has resisted every sale of roads, airports and trains, even though he and his government have promised to raise €50 billion from privatizations as part of the country’s international bailout.

“I hope the deal will not bear fruit,” the combative, chain-smoking former labor unionist said after his government, under pressure from Greece’s creditors, confirmed the sale of 14 regional airports to a German investor. He backed calls for local referendums to scuttle the deal. When he finally had to sign the contract, he did so “with a great deal of pain,” he told Greek radio listeners in a trembling voice.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Greece’s Least Wanted Man Lives in Maryland

Andreas Georgiou fixed the country’s fake stats, now he faces criminal charges.
 Robert Schmidt
  Bloomberg Businessweek

For 21 years, Andreas Georgiou worked in relative obscurity as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. When the European debt crisis hit and his home country of Greece began teetering toward bankruptcy, Georgiou felt a patriotic urge to help. In early 2010 he applied online to run a newly created office designed to clean up Greece’s much maligned economic statistics. He got the job, and in August 2010 he moved to Greece for a five-year term as president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

Greece says Erdogan's remarks on islands 'dangerous' to relations

Fri Sep 30, 2016 | 12:07pm EDT


Greece on Friday accused neighboring Turkey of endangering ties between the two NATO allies by questioning the wisdom of an almost century-old treaty that established the modern boundaries between the two countries.

At a speech in Ankara on Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the Treaty of Lausanne, a 1923 peace accord which forged modern Greece and Turkey's borders, was essentially a defeat for Turkey because it "gave away" islands to Greece.