Europe/Middle East

  • Greece is very fluid, with financial and political levers pulled daily.

    Financial Innovations and More to Help Greece Move Forward

    It is a bit too familiar, isn't it?  Greece received a new loan so it can service its debt to the official creditors.  In exchange for the funds, of which practically none remains in Greece, the government has promised to carry out the reforms that the past few governments had agreed to but failed to implement.  Greece may no longer be in arrears to the IMF, but it is making ends meet by delaying payments to local service providers.

    view 0

  • It is unclear as to whether a levy on business will boost UK apprenticeship.

    Business Secretary Sajid Javid's Bold Move to Boost U.K. Apprenticeships

    Britain is on the hunt for new apprentices. George Osborne recently unveiled a levy on large employers to pay for an increase in the number of apprenticeships from 2m to 5m. In addition, as he made the announcement, the chancellor signalled one of the key problems with workplace training, that while many companies do a brilliant job “there are too many large companies who … take a free ride on the system.”

    view 0

  • American businesses will get to Iran after meeting certain conditions.

    American Corporations will Likely be at the Back of Iran's Business Queue in the Beginning

    One can summarize the potential for US business to engage with Iran one sentence: Iran exports crude oil but imports gasoline. Why? The Iranians lack sufficient capacity to refine their own oil for domestic use.

    This bizarre fact underscores how, hemmed in by sanctions and the limited worldview of their theocracy, Iranian technology and installed equipment is years, even decades, behind the West – not just in the energy sector, but across the board in most industries.

    view 0

  • Iran has an opportunity to be a major league economy.

    As Iranian Sanctions Lift, Global Economic Benefits will have Attached Risks

    The Islamic Republic of Iran boasts the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, second-largest gas reserves, and the 29th-biggest economy, estimated at US$415.3 billion in 2014. Its gross domestic product is growing about 3% a year despite the crippling impact of decades-old sanctions.

    Not surprisingly, then, potential economic gains are prevailing over military, terrorism and human rights concerns in shaping responses to the historic deal agreed to this week between Iran and six major world powers (P5+1).

    view 0

  • Greece needs to sell €50 Billion of assets; what could go wrong?

    How to Get the Most Out of a €50 Billion Asset Sale

    Yesterday’s agreement between the Greek government and its creditors includes a condition that requires Greece to sell €50 billion worth of public assets and establish a fund to oversee the proceeds.

    Recapitalizing banks will take half, while repaying part of Greece’s debt will take €12.5 billion and investing internally to generate growth will consume €12.5 billion.

    While the privatization of inefficiently managed government assets could well serve the interests of the Greek people, it could well go very wrong.

    view 0

  • Unlike Greece, there is no Plan B for Europe, so where does it go from here?

    The Way Forward for Europe

    German Finance Minister Schaeuble claims that he raised the possibility of a Greek exit to push for an alternative, and he did so with backing of the Merkel government.  He used the threat of a violating the "irreversible clause" of the EMU Treaty as a cudgel to beat Greek Prime Minister Tsipras into submission. 

    It appeared to work.  Tsipras has not only agreed to all the terms he previously called "blackmail", but he agreed to essentially implement all the earlier agreements since the crisis began and more.

    view 0

  • Greek PM Tsipras ran out of options and time.

    Out of Maneuvering Room

    When Alexis Tsipras walked into the meeting with the remaining 18 Eurozone leaders at the weekend, he may have had in mind, not a line from Greek antiquity, but perhaps one from the Italian middle ages. Dante Alighieri’s version of hell had a simple message at its gate: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” It was a very difficult, and very long, meeting for Tsipras, but my first impression is that he managed the best he could under extremely difficult circumstances.

    view 0

  • Moldovans are warming to the idea of unification with Romania.

    Moldova: Pondering Unification with Romania?

    Hard times in Moldova are prompting some Moldovans to warm to the idea of unification with neighboring Romania.

    On July 5, thousands of Moldovans, carrying Romanian flags, marched in the Moldovan capital, Chișinău, voicing a preference that Moldova, a predominantly ethnic Romanian country that signed an integration agreement with the EU last year, give up on independence and join Romania, which is already a member of the EU and NATO.

    view 0

  • Cautious optimism over Greece is the order of the day.

    Tsipras Delivers His Pitch, But is it a Hit?

    From bailout to default, then referendum and lack of a bailout, Greece and the Eurozone’s troubles continue. While Greece has been on the brink of exiting the Eurozone as numerous deadlines have passed, the country’s creditors have signalled Sunday June 12 to be the final deadline for a deal when there will be a full EU summit to discuss Greece’s proposals.

    view 0

  • The lack of an EU debt forgiveness mechanism is another Greek hurdle.

    Greece's Lesson that Cash Remains King

    As the world waits to see the outcome of negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors, our attention draws to the fragility of money by the ATM queues in Greece. The euro project, which has long been under strain, may soon start to irrevocably crack.

    view 0