Today Germany: Austerity actually works
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The Corner contextualizes the EU’s economy from Spain with exclusive analysis from market leaders.

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All posts by Ana Fuentes


The ECB will play by the book

World economy

MADRID | The Corner | Mario Draghi says the ECB is comfortable with taking action in June, and markets see it as a more or less done deal. This time the Bundesbank is not likely to say a word, as basic economic theory shows there is not much else to discuss: when money is pumped into a system, it shows up either like inflation or growth. And the Eurozone needs both.


People walk past a logo next to the main entrance of the Google building in Zurich
World economy

EU rules against Google in ‘right to be forgotten’ case

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | The EU highest court backing the right to be forgotten has taken Google by surprise. The Internet giant cannot longer refuse to erase personal information of citizens who request it. The sentence, which is setting a crucial precedent in the history of the Web, has raised an intense debate about censorship and the boundaries of tech giants. From now on, no matter how powerful online providers are, in EU soil they will need to comply with European law unless they have “legitimate” reason to do otherwise.


Former ECB executive: Draghi’s inaction weighing on credit lending

MADRID | By The Corner | For the first time a Spanish bank top executive has openly criticized the impact of the European Central Bank’s inaction on EZ credit lending. Spanish 2nd bank BBVA’s Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, also a former ECB board member, explained how banks are waiting to see which unconventional measures will Mr Draghi undertake, which is “fundamental for credit,” he said to Reuters on Monday. Some entities are also holding back on new credit plans and selling sovereign debt before the health checks due around October. 



Waiting for QE (hope it’s not like Godot)

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | ECB policy makers are increasingly open about an eventual QE. Executive Board Member Benoît Coeuré was recently interviewed by French newspaper Le Monde. He weighed in austerity measures taken, and how could the ECB influence the level of the euro. As the central bank seems to be actually leaning towards unconventional measures, bonds and equity markets have already anticipated any announcements by Mario Draghi. But some fear what would happen if it was only lip service. What happened with the “whatever it takes” to preserve the eurozone’s integrity? 

In Europe

BoE raises expectations (and ECB misses them)

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | As ECB officials spend their time debating what form of QE the euro zone needs to fight deflation risk (note that although its inflation target is 2%, the central bank keeps on sitting on its hands while its balance sheet is shrinking), more data point to the positive effects of unconventional measures on growth. Check this one recently published by the Bank of England: the mere announcement of a QE shot corresponding to 1% of GDP caused a 0.36% real GDP increase and a 0.38% CPI rise in the U.S. ­–a little less in the U.K. Indeed, hope can move mountains… and money.



Market chatter: well-rested European stocks are back to work

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | European markets are happily back from Easter as Wall Street enjoys its highest gains in 6 months. Spanish Ibex 35 keeps last week’s positive mood. Risk premium drops to 155 basis points. Spanish Treasury will sell up to 3 billion euros in 3-month and 9-month bills today.


Market chatter: T-bills auction time!

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Time for EU peripherals’ sovereign debt auctions: Spain, Italy, Ireland and most importantly, Greece, which is back on the market after 4 years. Note that the successful Greek sale pushed down the yields of its neighbors. Besides, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has become shareholder of Colonial, following the steps of big finance firms like Fidelity that recently renewed their bet for Spanish listed companies and volatile real estate. Colonial rose by 14.3 % at the closing bell.