Sober Look

Ukraine on the brink

While we see a great deal of media coverage of Ukraine-related geopolitical risks, there hasn’t been sufficient discussion about the dire economic and fiscal conditions the nation is facing. Writing about men in masks fighting in eastern Ukraine sells far more advertising than covering the nation’s economic activity. However it’s the economy, not the Russian army that has brought Ukraine close to the brink.

US labor markets Q&A


The media is generating a great deal of noise around the US labor markets and it’s worth going through some key facts, issues and trends. Let’s do it in a Q&A format for clarity.

Market reaction to the ECB announcement


The ECB rolled out the big guns today but stopped short of an all-out quantitative easing. In addition to the TLTRO, there will be ABS and mortgage bond purchases. However these markets are relatively small in Europe – particularly the higher rated paper that would qualify for the ECB purchases.