Death Star Economics



Woohoo, another EU summit!

It’s summit-day again and the EU comes together to argue about policy. On the agenda, designating €20bn to job creation and loans to small and medium-sized companies and setting up the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) as a permanent bailout fund. The IMF [i.e. Christine Lagarde] also wants to see a ceiling (maximum amount committed to the fund) discussed, but Germany [i.e. Angela Merkel] is only willing to do that once the fiscal pact, leaving the control of national budgets to Brussels, is passed. The meeting starts at 2pm GMT. All in all, this is the 17th fun EU-get-together in the past two years (That’s 0.7 summits per month! Who has time for this?). Here is the list of attendees, I never realized Finland’s prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, was a minor.

But, Greece and Germany are headed for collision. Angela Merkel wants her new shiny budget rules to be enforced on Greece asap, the Greek reaction was this: view image
Reason for the outrage was mainly the proposed cut of 13th and 14th monthly salaries in the Greek private sector and lowering of minimum wage.

Very amusing fact of the moment, Bloomberg and Reuters have somewhat contradictory headlines on the same topic. The former writes “Euro-Area Economic Confidence Rises Less Than Forecast“, while the latter proclaims “Optimism builds in euro zone economy“. See the difference in sentiment? Does that mean it’s neutral? The bottom line is, the economic sentiment indicator rose from December, but didn’t reach the mark predicted by surveys. Meanwhile, inflation is rising [slightly] in Germany, due to fuel and food prices, and Spain is in a recession.

Otherwise, Ryanair will up its prices by approximately 12% on the year-on-year comparison (Q4) and get rid of 80 aircraft to effectively deal with rising fuel costs. Other than that, the budget airline is doing pretty well and just revised its net profit target for Q1 upwards. Also, and I was not aware of this, because I don’t fly them, Ryanair apparently sells smokeless cigars on board. Puzzling… to say the least. read article

So long.


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