Europe/Middle East

Overcoming Saudi Arabia's Oil Dependency

On Monday, Saudi Arabia released a blueprint for the future, a plan for the Kingdom that could alter the course of its history. The "Vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" could radically transform Saudi Aramco, the Saudi economy, and the country's social structure.

Germany's Schaeuble: Chief Obstructionist

My name is no

My sign is no

My number is no

You need to let it go

Debt relief is no

German stimulus is no

ECB easing is no

You need to let it go

German Finance Minister Schaeuble appears to have taken on a new role:  chief obstructionist.  Schaeuble seems to be reveling in the fact that due to Chancellor Merkel's immigration stance, and perhaps because of her accommodation of Turkey, her public support has fallen below his.

Potential Saudi Responses to the 9/11 Bill

Discussion continues among investors about of New York Times report last weekend in which a Saudi official threatened to sell $750 bln of US Treasuries and assets if a bill that would allow families of victims to sue the Saudi government for involvement in the 9/11 terrorist strike. 

BOE Recognizing Brexit Talks' Economic Toll

No one can feign surprise that the Bank of England kept policy steady.  Nor was the 9-0 vote truly surprising, though there had been some speculation that of a couple of dovish dissents.  Nevertheless, there are two important takeaways for investors. 

How are the U.K.'s Police and Crime Commissioners Working Out?

Voters across 40 police force areas in England and Wales will go to the polls next month to choose their next police and crime commissioner (PCC). This is the second round of such elections. The first cohort of 41 PCCs were elected in November 2012 against a backdrop of widespread fears about the “politicisation” of the police. As a result, turnout was extremely low (at 15.1%) and in a significant minority of contests “independent” PCCs triumphed over those standing on a party ticket.

The Danes Defend Their Peg

In the first quarter, there was some speculation that currency pegs in either the Middle East or Hong Kong were going to give way.  We argued that the pegs would in fact hold, and hold they have.  In fact, pressure on the Saudi and Hong Kong pegs has dissipated.

The Dutch Government Faces a No-Confidence Vote

In what is possibly one of the under-appreciated political events of the year, the Netherlands holds a plebiscite today on an associational agreement with Ukraine already approved by the Dutch parliament, the European Parliament and all other 27 EU members. 

When stated so baldly, it is difficult to see what is at stake. Yet the consequences of a no vote, which seems likely, will send reverberations throughout Dutch politics, the EU, and the geopolitical balance in central Europe.   

The European 'Union'?

As the Eurozone is amid secular stagnation, its old fiscal, monetary and banking challenges are escalating, along with new threats, including the Brexit, demise of Schengen, anti-EU opposition and geopolitical friction. According to Dan Steinbock, Brussels can no longer avoid hard political decisions for or against an integrated Europe, with or without the euro.

Since 2010, European leaders have been deferring the hard decisions. Occasionally, there have been political reasons for delays. Yet, times of crises cry for leadership.

The UK Economy is Benefiting from EU Migrants

Migration and the principle of free movement within the EU is one of the main issues in the debate over whether Britain should remain in the EU. Polls suggest that the public is very sympathetic to the idea that the UK should restrict immigration and that it is the source of numerous problems. But why is this? In addition, are these fears justified?