Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

Bullish sentiment from Polish central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek. Bloomberg reports him saying that Polish rate setters should “start to think about tightening monetary policy” since the central bank’s own forecasts show inflation accelerating to 3.5 percent by 2012. This is in contrast to some bearish sentiment last week from the newest members of Mr Skrzypek’s rate setting council.

Ralph Atkins

Has Greece – finally – done enough? First impressions suggest today’s latest austerity measures, equivalent to €4.8bn, or about 2 per cent of gross domestic product, will help restore Athens’ credibility in financial markets. More importantly, they should rebuild faith in the European Union’s ability to put its own house in order.

Greece’s agony has been drawn out. Faced with a massive deterioration in public finances, largely hidden by the previous government, the Socialist administration of George Papandreou, prime minister, has gone through phases of denial and anger since being elected last October. Now, apparently, it has moved into acceptance. That probably has a lot to do with the presence of high-level European Commission and European Central Bank delegations in Athens this week – including Jürgen Stark, the German ECB executive board member known for his hard-line defence of EU fiscal rules.

Luigi Speranza, economist at BNP Paribas, argues that today’s announcement “dramatically enhances the credibility of the Greek commitment to comply with the announced fiscal targets”. Athens’ submission to Brussels and Frankfurt, he adds, Read more

Norway is planning a 90 per cent loan-to-value cap on mortgages. Sweden announced a similar measure two weeks ago, effective July.

Bloomberg reported the release of Norway’s financial supervisory authority guidelines to prudent lending, available in Norwegian hereRead more

Ralph Atkins

An outburst by Ewald Nowotny, Austria’s cerebral central bank governor, has raised an interesting prospect. Might the ECB do away with the services of ratings’ agencies and judge itself the credit-worthiness of eurozone banks’ collateral?

Late on Tuesday in Vienna , Mr Nowotny highlighted the predicament currently faced by Greece: if Moody’s follows the other rating agencies in downgrading further its assets, they could become ineligible for use in ECB liquidity operations once the pre-global financial crisis regime is restored at the end of this year. Such assets would then become worth much less – sending Greece further into a downward spiral. Read more

By Tom Braithwaite

Democrats led by Barney Frank on Tuesday slammed a proposal to grant additional consumer protection powers to the Federal Reserve, as the latest idea designed to unlock talks in the Senate appeared destined for the scrap heap. Read more