Chief European Commentator, The Wall Street Journal. Britisher. Where there is discord, may I bring harmony.

Stress Tests Mark Step Closer Toward Eurozone Banking Union — Only time will tell how successful the stress tests have been, but the exercise was an important step toward a banking union in the eurozone, Simon Nixon writes.

Draghi’s Dangerous German Stand-Off — I've written a number of columns over the last two months on the growing rift between Mario Draghi and Germany, for example here and here. Now Reuters has published a detailed report that provides plenty of fresh color on the deteriorating relationship, not least between the European Central Bank president and Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany's Bundesbank, which is said to be "totally rotten, broken beyond repair."

Europas neue Krise geht auf das Konto der Politik

The Eurozone’s Problems are Based in Politics — Some say the euro crisis is back; others argue that it never really went away. A gloomy forecast from the International Monetary Fund suggesting a 40% chance of a slide back into recession and a flurry of weak data pointing to a faltering recovery, particularly in Germany, have spooked the market.

France’s Dodgy Budgetary Arithmetic — Brussels can breathe a sigh of relief. A crisis has been averted. Harmony has been restored. France has submitted a draft budget for scrutiny by the European Commission as required under the eurozone's Fiscal Pact-and what's more, it is fully compliant with the rules.

French Bravado Being Put to the Test in Eurozone — Behind the scenes at the International Monetary Fund's annual meetings in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, the fiercest arguments concerned France's refusal to respect the eurozone fiscal rules set less than three years ago. This is shaping up to be a defining ideological confrontation with profound long-term consequences for the whole of Europe.

The Riddle of Europe’s Capital Markets Union — When the going gets tough, the European Union gets going on a big new integration project. Faced with weak growth, high employment and rising debts in many countries, the latest buzz in Brussels is a "capital markets union."

Stop Bashing Lord Hill — Many predicted that Jonathan Hill would face a tough time persuading the European Parliament to back his nomination as a European Union commissioner. And it turns out they were right. But it is not Mr. Hill's lobbying past, or his alleged sympathies for the City of London, or his supposedly suspect loyalties as a member of the euroskeptic British Conservative party that have put a question mark over his appointment.

Fringe Parties Unleash a Political Earthquake — Something extraordinary is going on in European politics. The populist rebellion that saw fringe parties secure almost 25% of the seats in the European Parliament in May elections appears to be accelerating, rather than abating as some had predicted.

David Cameron's Pledge to Scotland Is Unbreakable — For much of Britain, the events of the past few weeks came as a profound shock. Most Britons had taken it for granted that the U.K. was an island of stability in a troubled continent. Many spent the past five years predicting the imminent collapse of the eurozone.
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Oct 31, 2014

RT @robfordmancs: @JohnRentoul @SamCoatesTimes worse for Con if it suggests Lab voters willing to tactically vote ukip. That wld expand Con-ukip map a lot

Oct 31, 2014

RT @SamCoatesTimes: More bad news for Tories in Rochester - Ukip vote RISING: UKIP 48%(+8), CON 33%(+2), LAB 16%(-9), LDEM 1%(-1), , GRN 2%.

Oct 31, 2014

RT @FraserNelson: If people were lining up in Dover desperate to get to Calais it would be time for Britain to panic. Me on immigration…

Oct 31, 2014

RT @FGoria: Italy Court sentences former Monte Dei Paschi Chairman, Ceo to 3 years and 6 months jail in derivatives case - RTRS

Oct 31, 2014

Interesting that Osborne suggests BOE should further weaken leverage ratio if Basel Committee sticks to its current looser definition.

Oct 31, 2014

@_SidVerma I have no doubt if this decision had been taken by the King-era FPC it would have come to a very different conclusion

Oct 31, 2014

BOE leverage ratio proposals a major defeat for the capital Taliban, the final welcome breach with the Mervyn King era.

Oct 31, 2014

RT @nchrysoloras: Greek Aug. Retail Sales Rise 4.5 Percent From Year Earlier

Oct 31, 2014

@georgemagnus1 @fwred well maybe not if QE-driven commodity bubble continues to deflate, putting more money in European pockets...

Oct 31, 2014

RT @WSJbreakingnews: Bank of Russia raises key interest rate by 1.5 percentage points to 9.5%

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