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News And Commentary

In Germany, fragmentation rules

Angela Merkel's difficulties in assembling a cohesive coalition in Berlin after yesterday's election will greatly complicate Germany's and Europe's tasks, writes David Marsh. Political fragmentation has intensified, with the leading parties scoring record low voting shares and the radical right-wing AfD entering parliament.

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New Zealand globalisation divide

In Saturday's New Zealand election, the incumbent National-led coalition government looks to have won a fourth term. But the make-up of the next government will be decided in intricate coalition-building, with a potential alliance between Bill English's National Party and Winston Peters' (photo) populist NZ First.

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Central banks 'falling behind the curve'

Central banks must guard against falling 'behind the curve' in normalising interest rates in spite of low inflation – and must consider potential threats on financial markets. That was the warning from Claudio Borio of the Bank for International Settlements, speaking at an OMFIF City Lecture in London.

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'Clean Brexit' – May must be positive

In her speech today in Florence, Theresa May must set out an uplifting vision of a UK with a global role, writes Gerard Lyons. Brexit means the UK will leave both the single market and customs union – a 'clean Brexit' – and will increase the UK's ability to tap opportunities in the world economy beyond Europe.

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Queen Angela the Uneasy

Angela Merkel looks likely to be dubbed the 'Queen of Europe' after Sunday’s German elections, yet her crown will sit uneasily, writes David Marsh. Merkel's reduced manoeuvring room in parliamentary coalition-building and waning hold on power have big implications for the ECB's quantitative easing programme.

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Merkel's coalition 'has run its course'

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition between conservative and social democratic parties has 'run its course', according to Prof. Volker Wieland of the German Council of Economic Experts, speaking in OMFIF's podcast on Sunday's German elections and the difficulties Merkel will face in forming a new government.

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Brexit is 'a British problem'

In her speech this Friday in Florence, Theresa May should try to make some sense of the mess which her Conservative party has so far made of Brexit, writes Antonio Armellini in Rome. The EU27 are perplexed, but are equally confident that this is ultimately a British problem, not theirs.

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Scepticism on digital currencies valid

Carl-Ludwig Thiele, member of the German Bundesbank executive board, spoke on cryptocurrencies and central bank-issued digital currencies at an OMFIF roundtable. Thiele said private digital currencies lack trust, have no intrinsic value, and that their governance structure is opaque, making them infeasible.

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings

Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

A seminar and book launch of 'Six Days in September: Black Wednesday, Brexit and the making of Europe' by William Keegan, David Marsh and Richard Roberts. This is the fifth publication from OMFIF Press. The discussion focused on the lessons of the 1992 ERM crisis for Britain, Europe and the world.

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.

ECB under-purchasing German bonds

OMFIF Chart

ECB under-purchasing German bonds

Latest figures for July show that, for the fourth month in a row, German bonds bought under the European Central Bank's public sector purchase programme fell short of the amount allowed by the 'capital key' allocation.

EU nationals and the British labour force

OMFIF Chart

EU nationals and the British labour force

The rights of EU nationals living in the UK has been one of the most controversial issues since Britain voted to exit the bloc in June 2016. Around 3m EU nationals live in the UK, comprising 7.3% of total UK employment.

Fed raises rates but turns dovish

OMFIF Chart

Fed raises rates but turns dovish

Fed policy-makers see the slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter as 'transitory', and will be watching to see if the downturn in inflation is temporary too. Further dovish inflation data for May have added to the sense of caution.

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Weidmann and the ECB

Advisory Board

Weidmann and the ECB

This month's advisers network poll focuses on the leadership of the ECB. Members of the network were asked: 'After Mario Draghi steps down as president in November 2019, who will replace him?' Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank chief, found most favour.