Insights

Financial services icon

The rise of transparency as regulation

Financial Services

Two big new EU legislative decisions this month have aligned the EU with the US in creating a strong new precedent for country by country tax and payments reporting requirements for multinational companies. Both epitomize the growing trend since 2008 of using various forms of transparency and disclosure as a regulatory tool. The co-opting of the market and the media into…

Read more
General Policy icon

Scotland's Choice

General Policy

On the 18th September 2014 Scotland will hold a referendum on the single question, “Should Scotland become an independent country?”. Campaign activity on both sides is underway, and the debate has begun. The end of the summer break and the publication in the autumn of the SNP Scottish government’s major policy statement on independence will see the pace of campaigning go…

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

Mr. Xi in Moscow

Energy & Commodities

Last weekend’s Sino-Russian Summit was Xi Jinping’s first foreign trip as Chinese President. The choice of Moscow was more than symbolism. It was a marker in a rapidly evolving relationship in which the politics and economics of energy are increasingly complex and central.

Read more
General Politics

Bitter lessons of Cyprus

General Politics

The attempt to make Cyprus’ international bailout contingent on an enforced bail-in of Cypriot bank depositors is a serious political gamble for the EU and a gamble on market sentiment on Eurozone banks.The attempt to make Cyprus a test case is motivated by a desire to keep Russian money in Cyprus firmly on the hook for any bailout – a fact that explains the contortions…

Read more
Financial services icon

Deutsche Börse unclear futures

Financial Services

The European Commission’s rejection of the combination of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext in 2012 was one of the biggest merger stories of the year. The speculation this week that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) might have its own plans for the Frankfurt exchange raised the question of whether such a tie-up might also fall foul of European competition regulators. A…

Read more
General Politics

The 2013 Italian Election

General Politics

Read more
General Politics

The costs of the Spanish scandal

General Politics

Spanish politics have taken a dramatic turn in the last fortnight, and one that has not fully registered outside of Spain. Spain’s biggest political scandal of the post-Franco era may yet bring down Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. But the real cost of the ‘Bárcenas Scandal’ is as likely to be the compounding of a broader crisis of authority for the pre-crisis…

Read more
General Politics

François Hollande and labour market reform

General Politics

January was a month of war and peace in Paris. The same day France committed military forces in Mali, a three month negotiation between France’s employers' federation and its major unions produced an agreement on changes to France’s labour laws. The agreement is a victory for Hollande’s consensus-building approach, but how much does it actually change?

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

China's part in Tom Albanese's downfall

Energy & Commodities

Tom Albanese’s departure from Rio Tinto last week was precipitated by substantial write downs in Rio Tinto’s aluminium businesses. Rather than just a case of a badly-timed bet on the global market for aluminium, this is the result of a bigger shift in aluminium markets. It is a structural shift in which speculative investors and Chinese state capitalism play a key role.

Read more
Financial services icon

A very British split: the UK Banking Reform Bill

Financial Services

This week the UK government has published draft legislation that will restructure British banks on significantly different terms than the rest of Europe and the US, and on terms that the government itself would not have chosen. For all the talk in continental Europe of its Anglo-Saxon intransigence and resistance to reform, the UK will probably be the only major…

Read more
Trade and Manufacturing icon

US trade policy and politics in 2013

Trade & Manufacturing

Read more
Financial services icon

The EU banking 'union' deal

Financial Services

Read more
General Policy icon

The political small print in the EU budget

General Policy

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme: putting the soft in soft power

Energy & Commodities

Read more
General Politics

François Hollande after six months

General Politics

Read more
Sustainability icon

Why there will be no simple wins in the solar panel trade wars

Sustainability

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

Rosneft and BP: oil, money and foreigners

Energy & Commodities

Read more
General Policy icon

Is Warsaw the new London for Berlin?

General Policy

Read more