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The Corner contextualizes the EU’s economy from Spain with exclusive analysis from market leaders.

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What are asset prices telling us about growth and inflation?

Markets

LONDON | By Keith Parker at Barclays | The recent risk aversion episode has raised concerns that global growth and inflation are continuing to fall. While the collapse in oil is flashing red, copper prices and industrial metals have had a more measured decline. Copper has historically been a good barometer for global production and is pointing to continued sluggish growth, but not another leg down. 

In Europe

Germany’s budget 2015: Saving to grow or growing to save?

BERLIN | By Alberto LozanoConsidering current low interest rates, ageing infrastructure in Germany, the slowdown of the economy and the threat of a new recession in the Eurozone, does it make sense that the German government is prioritizing a balanced budget for 2015?

 

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Markets

ECB fuels up optimism with covered bond purchases’ largesse

MADRID | The Corner | As all market eyes are set on Sunday’s stress tests results (which will be released 12 pm CET) and the  FOMC meeting next Wednesday, the last PMI data are offering some hope, mostly in Germany. The rumors about the ECB having purchased at least 800 million euros ($1 billion) of covered bonds in the first four days of program (as opposed to €1.5bn in the first month of the last covered bond program in November 2011) fueled optimism.

Markets

Spanish banks: The sun is back but not for everyone yet

ZURICH | By Ignacio Sanz at UBS | GDP expectations continue to improve, NPLs are starting to come down although we do not expect write-backs for any bank, capital looks comfortable ahead of AQR and banks show a healthy funding while underwriting new deposits at c0.5-0.7%. The market knows all that with banks trading north of 1x NAV15e although for retail banks making more than 10% ROE with 0% rates is challenging.

Spanish banks ratings
World economy

US companies: When having too much money is a bad sign (II)

WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Having €2.83 trillion in the bank and not knowing what to do with it is a problem that everybody would love to have. But it is actually a really serious problem for 316.1 million Americans, especially for those whose income increased by 0.43% in 2013. And, by extension, for the other 6.8 bn of human beings in the planet. Behind this problem there is a lack of investment opportunities, without which investment in the US will remain in a state of weakness and heavily dependent on an inability to increase consumption.

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In Europe

More (yet less paid) employment in Spain

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | Last jobless data in Spain were excellent in terms of unemployment rate reduction, the government pointed out on Thursday. But are they 100% reliable? Total worked hours have fallen and they continue to fall. That is, more Spaniards are working, yet more and worse paid hours. In the graph above: total working hours per week. 

 

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In Europe

European Investment Bank will not fund national energy sector updates

BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | The EU hopes to set up a new policy framework targeting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by improving renewable energy by 2030. The continent´s energy efficiency would be improved with utilities companies and operators operating under the auspices of the directive. It could be a crucial step, designed to save €100bn annually for consumers –most of them households.

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