crisis

Can Hollande get the French economy back on track?
By an unfortunate coincidence, President François Hollande’s efforts to relaunch his presidency with an announcement of bold economic reforms have coincided with the revelation that he appears to be having an affair with an actress. Meanwhile, the economy continues to struggle, and the government is engaged in an effort to block performances by the controversial comic Dieudonné. Gideon Rachman is joined by Hugh Carnegy, Paris Bureau chief, and Ben Hall, world news editor, to discuss whether France is in crisis, or whether it’s business as usual

Esther Bintliff

An Occupy WEF protestor builds an igloo to protest against against the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 23, 2012 in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. Photo: VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

As highlighted in Gillian Tett’s post last night, and Jasmine Whitbread’s post in our rolling blogincome inequality is a big issue demanding the attention of Davos delegates this year, whether they like it or not.

So, we organised a quick email Q&A with David Roth, the spokesman for OccupyWEF, asking him to tell us why he’s protesting this year and what he hopes to achieve. Here’s what he had to say. Do add your comments below. 

Welcome to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. All times are London time. Curated by Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.

 

14.44: We’re now handing over to our colleagues on Money Supply, who are  liveblogging the testimony of Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve chairman, before Congress. Thanks for reading today and we’ll be back soon.

14.37: A quick round-up of today’s events:

  • Eurozone finance ministers postponed the disbursement of the next tranche of Greece’s bailout money until November
  • However, the Eurogroup also indicated they were preparing to paper over Greece’s failure to meet international lenders’ mandated budget targets for 2011, saying they would now evaluate Athens’ performance based on goals that combine both this year’s and next year’s finances
  • Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed that the eurogroup will review the losses imposed on private sector bondholders (mainly banks) as part of the Greek bailout agreed in July. Last week, the FT reported that as many as seven of the eurozone members wanted private creditors to swallow a bigger writedown on their Greek bondholdings
  • The French and Belgian governments stepped in to stem investor panic on Tuesday by saying they would guarantee loans made by Dexia, amid fears of a funding crisis at the Franco-Belgian bank
  • Shares in Deutsche Bank fell after it said it was going to take an approximately €250m impairment charge on its Greek sovereign debt holdings
  • Ireland’s central bank downgraded its growth forecasts for Ireland in 2012 (see our 13.15 update) while upgrading its forecast for 2011