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BRUSSELS The European Union reached a landmark deal on Thursday to make the European Central Bank the bloc’s top banking supervisor, giving EU leaders greater confidence that they are gaining the upper hand over the euro zone’s debt crisis. EU finance ministers forged a deal on the single supervisor in the early hours of Thursday after marathon talks. Leaders will give their stamp of approval at a summit starting later in the day, their last of 2012, and also discuss closer fiscal ties for their troubled currency area. {id:nL5E8ND057] After a hectic year of crisis management, during which Greece had […]

FRANKFURT Germany’s Bundesbank cut its growth outlook on Friday and now expects the euro zone’s largest economy to barely grow in 2013, while it also pointed to risks of a recession as the euro zone debt crisis takes its toll. The Bundesbank expects Germany’s economy to grow just 0.4 percent next year, down from an earlier forecast in June of 1.6 percent. The move comes a day after the European Central Bank cut its forecasts for next year, pointing to weaker growth prospects for the bloc’s core countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands. Germany has been a key […]

HANOVER German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned at a congress of her Christian Democrats (CDU) on Tuesday against complacency in the euro crisis, saying it was too early to declare the worst of the turmoil was over. “I could take it easy and say the euro is saved,” Merkel said in a speech in the northern city of Hanover. “But I am very cautious about saying the worst of the crisis is over.” (Reporting by Noah Barkin and Stephen Brown)

Spiro says ECB head Mario Draghi deserves most of the credit for the recent shift in market sentiment towards the eurozone.Improvement in sentiment is largely a result of actions taken by ECB head Mario DraghiMarket commentators should pay more attention to fundamentals and less to fluctuating bond yields The end of 2012 is a far cry from the dark days of 2011 when nervousness about the eurozone was at its highestEditor’s note: Dr Nicholas Spiro is managing director of London-based Spiro Sovereign Strategy, a niche consultancy specialising in sovereign credit risk. Dr Spiro advises private and institutional clients on qualitative […]

People wait in line in front of a government employment office in Sevilla, Spain, in early 2012.Blair: Rather than rebuild old structures, we must renew our government for modern worldBlair: Emerging economies are often where the most radical innovation is happeningBlair: We must strengthen regional bodies (EU, Asean) and reconsider groups like the G8Editor’s note: Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997-2007. He is now the Quartet Representative to the Middle East and has also set up the Africa Governance Initiative, a charity to help Africa’s leaders deliver the change their people need […]

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped its civil lawsuit against a former executive of GSC Capital Corp who was accused of negligence for helping mislead investors on a JPMorgan Chase & Co mortgage-bond deal. The SEC’s decision to drop the case against Edward Steffelin, a former managing director at GSC Capital Corp, was disclosed in a court filing Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. “Our duty in all cases is to achieve a just and appropriate outcome,” SEC spokesman John Nester said. “Our decision here appropriately reflects information that came to light as the litigation progressed.” Steffelin […]

Ireland has made progress toward recovery after its 2010 bailout.Ireland first eurozone member to see credit rating improve since the region’s debt crisis erupted Ireland was forced into a European Union/International Monetary Fund bail-out in November 2010Also gaining credit for efforts to rein in public debt and bloated bank industry (Financial Times) — Investors looking for good eurozone news this week should have heeded Village People’s advice: “Go West.” Ireland became the first eurozone member, excluding tiny Estonia, to see a positive rating action by one of the big three US ratings agencies since the region’s debt crisis erupted in […]

A Piraeus branch in Athens, October 19, 2012. Piraeus head Alex Manos says Greek banks will emerge stronger from the crisis. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Greece’s banks are being snubbed by European peers as country’s recession deepens But a leading voice in the sector says the country’s austerity measures are working Piraeus Bank boss Alex Manos says Greece’s banks will emerge from the crisis stronger London — Greece’s banking sector is being snubbed by its European peers as the country’s recession deepens. And even as immediate fears about the country’s exit from the eurozone fade on the latest austerity deal, the impact […]

BRUSSELS A clash between Greece’s international lenders over how the stricken country where the euro zone debt crisis began can bring its debts down to a sustainable level reignited fears on Tuesday that the crisis could flare up anew. Euro zone finance ministers suggested that Athens should be given until 2022 to lower its debt/GDP ratio to 120 percent but International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde insisted the existing target of 2020 should remain. “We clearly have different views. What matters at the end of the day is the sustainability of Greek debt so that country can be back on […]

FRANKFURT The euro dropped versus the dollar and other major rivals Wednesday, with U.S. stock index futures also on the decline, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro-zone debt crisis is beginning to have an impact on the region’s largest economy. “Germany has so far been largely insulated from some of the difficulties elsewhere in the euro area. But the latest data suggest that these developments are now starting to affect the German economy,” Draghi said in remarks prepared for delivery in Frankfurt. The euro fell to $ 1.2747 in recent action, down from $ 1.2817 in […]

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