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News And Commentary

Unity push divides Germany

Angela Merkel's CDU has distanced itself from SPD leader Martin Schulz since he made his suggestion for a European federal state, writes David Marsh. A minority Merkel government 'tolerated' by the SPD seems probable. But after Schulz's discordant push for European unity, a consensual outcome seems to be receding.

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From Napoleon to Martin Schulz

The call by Martin Schulz for the creation of a United States of Europe by 2025 is the latest in a long line of similar appeals. But so far there have been few, if any, takers, writes Denis Macshane. As with Napoleon, Hugo, Trotksy and Churchill, Schulz's call makes for a good story, but is not going to happen.

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Yellen 'gives cover' to Trump tax cuts

In her final press conference on monetary policy, Janet Yellen gave cover to Donald Trump for his tax reform, characterising the effect of the potential fiscal stimulus as 'modest'. Her remarks came as Republicans moved to reconcile differences between the tax bills in the House and Senate, writes Darrell Delamaide.

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'Trump effect' on international trade

As this week's occasionally-caustic WTO summit ended, the EU and Mercosur reported that progress had been made on a long-awaited trade pact between Europe and Latin America, writes David Smith. An aide to Brazil's foreign minister said, 'Call it the Trump effect. It's time for us to lead, where others only undermine.'

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'Practical tool' for market development

Ghana's external position has improved thanks to macroeconomic reforms, according to speakers at the Accra launch of OMFIF's research for the Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index. Financing costs are strongly related to countries' index score, making this an important practical guide for African economies.

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'Lost confidence' in central banks

'Central banks all over the world are getting interested in cryptocurrencies. They sense that something is happening which they understand only imperfectly, and the rise of these digital currencies is somehow a proxy for people having lost confidence in central banks,' according to David Marsh, speaking on CNBC.

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Landmark agreement for African trade

Although trade has powered a large share of African growth, it has mainly been conducted with economies outside the continent. To encourage intra-African trade, leaders are working towards establishing the landmark Continental Free Trade Area involving all 55 African Union countries, writes Danae Kyriakopoulou.

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Now May must communicate and campaign

Theresa May and the EU have shown they want a 'good' agreement over Brexit. But problems remain. Many stem from within the UK, where Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are not disposed to compromise in the same way. Much will depend on May's communicative skills, writes Joergen Oerstroem Moeller.

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Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

A lunch discussion with Chuka Umunna, Labour Member of Parliament for Streatham since 2010 and served as Shadow Business Secretary 2011-15. The discussion examined the Brexit negotiation process, the role of parliament, nature of a transition arrangement and the future relationship between UK and Europe.

Global infrastructure finance falls

OMFIF Chart

Global infrastructure finance falls

Global infrastructure financing has fallen short of its potential.Private sector investment and institutional investor capital are often raised as possible solutions for filling the infrastructure funding gap.

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

OMFIF Chart

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

Productivity and economic growth continue to disappoint in most countries. Although analysts show a great deal of concern for the so-called 'productivity puzzle', little attention is paid to the real solution: freer markets and increased competition.

Bull markets don't die of old age

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Bull markets don't die of old age

Stock prices have been rising for more than eight years, but bull markets don't die of old age. There are few signs of the excessive growth, valuation or financial leverage that usually signal the approach of a bear market. With interest rates below inflation, it is unsurprising that money continues to flow into markets.

Euro area strength and the future of QE

OMFIF Chart

Euro area strength and the future of QE

The ECB's QE programme has played an important role in supporting economic recovery in the euro area. GDP across the currency union grew by 2.2% year-on-year according to the latest data for the second quarter of 2017, unemployment is down, and the threat of deflation has receded.

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End of bull market in sight

Advisory Board

End of bull market in sight

This month’s advisers network poll focuses on when and how the current bull market might end. Members of the network were asked: ‘Assets globally have benefited from a strong bull market in 2017. When will markets see a correction and what will be the cause?’