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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


Luxleaks: the hunter becomes the hunted

In Europe

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Not an easy week for Jean-Claude Juncker. As the new head of the European Commission he is in charge of fighting flaws in corporate taxation in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. And yet, he now has to explain how 340 multinationals avoided or potentially avoided millions of euros in tax thanks to signing secret sweet deals with Luxembourg during the 18 years he was the president of this country. The Luxleaks, revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) investigation, points to outrageous tax avoidance schemes… which are completely legal.


Silent whispers: Do murmurings of disaffection within ECB point to mounting obstacles for Draghi?

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Was Mario Draghi reckless to announce an ECB balance sheet expansion target? According to Reuters, some of his colleagues at the central bank are particularly aggrieved about a perceived “ secretive management style and erratic communication” and they will apparently  “urge him to act more collegially”. Could this leak be the beginning of a larger problem for the ECB chief? The bank was unwilling to comment on Wednesday.

World economy

Russian market: Winter is coming

MADRID | By Sean Duffy and Ana Fuentes | Growth is stagnant, sanctions are biting, and Russian investors are getting the cold-shoulder on international markets. So where does the country go from here? The Corner wanted to get a glimpse at market conditions on the ground and the overall sentiment within the country. 

We spoke to Alexander Pechersky, a managing partner from ALT R&C, a firm specialising in advice to investors in the Russian market. In a frank interviewhe cautions against placing too much stock in the effects on sanctions, noting that the economy was a mess to begin with. 

epa spain
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. 



ECB’s eventual purchase of corporate bonds: Inflating the bubble?

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | Even though the ECB dismissed the rumours about its intentions of buying corporate bonds, all market players are asking for stronger actions by the central bank. Such measure could become the ace up the ECB’s sleeve for its December meeting. Given the liquidity surplus in the companies’ debt market (due to the “low interest rates, not to cheap credit,” as experts at Renta4 pointed out), including this sort of assets could add to such surplus. 

Prof YAO
World economy

“Globalisation is Southern Europe’s source of agony”

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Trying to compete with emerging markets is not enough: Those EU countries trying to re-launch their industrial sectors in order to boost  economic recovery need to go through technological changes, Yao Yang explains to The Corner. Dean of the China National School of Development and Director of the China Center for Economic Research, he believes that austerity in Europe has not been in vain. On the same day, business-research group Conference Board reported that Chinese growth will dip to 5.5% in 2015-19, Prof. Yang points out that such a decline would not mean any catastrophe. 

labour markets
In Europe

No jobs, no growth: Why the ECB’s last bulletin points to eurozone labour markets

MADRID | The Corner | Although employment is not in the central bank’s mandate, the European Central Bank’s October monthly bulletin focuses on the impact of the economic crisis on euro area labour markets. “Monetary policy is focused on maintaining price stability over the medium term and its accommodative stance contributes to supporting economic activity. However, in order to strengthen investment activity, job creation and potential growth, other policy areas need to contribute decisively.”