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Do the ECB’s stress tests results change anything for EU banks?

Markets

MADRID | The Corner | The ECB’s comprehensive assessment showed positive results, yet not sufficiently positive for banks to increase risk and lending. So no, stress tests were not a clearing event and we are not entering a new era as some have said. Which makes it harder for policy makers to rely on bankers for economic growth. This scenario “will likely add to pressures for greater structural reform in Europe,” analysts at Barclays believe.

In Europe

How to solve the problems of Europe’s second biggest economy

By John Bruton via The Fair Observer | I recently attended a conference that looked at France’s domestic economic situation, and the impact that has on the country’s global and European role. According to budgets published in October, France and Italy are failing to meet the eurozone’s requirements for reducing government debts and deficits to sustainable levels.

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World economy

China’s growing private sector

By Richard N. Cooper via Caixin | There is a widespread impression both inside China and out that after the vigorous economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, moving away from central planning and state control to greater emphasis on markets, the reform process stopped, or even reversed, during the 2002-2012 period. This view was perhaps reinforced by the emphasis in the third plenum of the Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee in November 2013 on the need to move further toward less guidance from the state and greater reliance on market prices to allocate resources.

Markets

The ECB’s stress tests deserve praise

MADRID | By Francisco López | Market watchers have something in common with journalists: they prefer criticism rather than compliments –as can be seen from the analysis of the European Central Bank’s stress tests. Criticism is growing, even though markets had already envisaged the results and neither the institution nor Mario Draghi is willing to defend the banking examination. 

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Markets

“QE ends and I feel fine”

WASHINGTON | Comment by UBS analysts | The FOMC ended QE and made its Fed funds rate hike guidance a bit more data- dependent. While the funds rate is likely to remain in its current range “for a considerable time” after asset purchases end at the end of this month, rate hikes could occur sooner or later than the Fed currently anticipates depending on the evolution of economic data. This was as straightforward an FOMC statement as could have been expected at the end of QE. It does not suggest changes in Fed thinking; nor does it change our expectations for the first Fed fund rate hike in mid-2015. 

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World economy

The Fed becomes slightly more hawkish

MADRID | The Corner | As expected, the Fed confirmed the end of its QE3, although the announcement was slightly more restrictive. According to experts at Link Securitites, “while the decision shows that US economic conditions have improved (especially the labour market) and inflation remains at low levels, the message tone was more hawkish.” 

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World economy

Fed shutters bond-buying program

MADRID | The Corner | Showing its confidence in the US economic recovery and the jobs market, the Fed announced it will put an end to its bond purchases scheme before the end of this week, the central bank announced after its FOMC two-days meeting on Thursday. Short-term interest rates will remain near zero for a “considerable time”.