Posts belonging to Category ECB



Icelandic bitcoin mine

Bitcoin is going nuclear

The digital currency is hitting all-time highs, with a single coin going for more than $2,197. It’s an epic bull run that has accelerated in recent months: Just a year ago, it was sitting at just $443. This is great news for bitcoin miners, the people responsible for creating new bitcoins. Their mining infrastructure is the backbone of bitcoin. Anyone who contributes computing power to help process transactions on the network is rewarded with the chance to “mine” bitcoin.

In plain English, in return for helping keep the network up and running, they have the chance of being given a newly created piece of the digital currency. This payout makes the entire process — with the right equipment — incredibly lucrative. It has helped spawned a huge and surreal industry.

You can mine at home, and many people do. But companies dedicated to mining have also sprung up, some worth tens of millions of dollars. These companies build huge data centres, or mines, that consume vast amounts of power and perform insane computations on the hunt for digital gold.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Thu.,  25  May 2017

Greek debt deal

Euro zone, IMF to seek compromise

Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund will seek a deal on Monday on Greek debt relief that balances the IMF’s demand for a clear “when and how” with Germany’s preference for “only if necessary” and “details later”. Without the deal, no new loans can be disbursed to Athens, even though the bailout is now handled only by euro zone governments, and Greece needs new credit to repay some 7.3 billion euros worth of maturing loans in July.

Without the loans, Athens is likely to default – a bad start for a country that wants to return to market financing next year when its latest bailout, the third since 2010, ends in mid-2018. For its part, Greece has done what it could to secure a deal. It has agreed, albeit after months of negotiations, with the euro zone lenders and the IMF on pensions and tax reforms.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  22  May 2017

Europe is speeding up

Euro-area GDP growth outpaces America’s

The appeal of GDP is that it offers, or seems to, a summary statistic of how well an economy is doing. On that basis, the euro-area economy is in fine fettle; indeed, it is improving at a faster rate than America’s. Figures released on May 3rd show that GDP in the currency zone rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, an annualised rate of around 2%. That is quite a bit faster than the annualised 0.7% rate reported for America’s GDP.

http://www.economist.com…  Wed.,  10  May 2017

Pro-European Macron wins a crucial election

Europe stronger with Macron victory

Europe’s political establishment entered 2017 in a state of panic. Britain had voted to leave the European Union six months before and the United States had just elected a president who was hostile to their grand project and the values it stood for. The same forces that had led to Brexit and Donald Trump – popular anger with distant elites, economic inequality and immigration – threatened to hit the continent hard in a year in which Europe’s largest countries were holding elections. The biggest risk of all was France, a country with an ailing economy, historic ambivalence toward the EU and a politician, in National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who seemed well positioned to seize on voter fears.

Instead, on Sunday, Le Pen was soundly defeated by Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old independent who ran on an unashamedly pro-European platform. Macron urged the French to embrace rather than reject globalization. And he vowed to work with Germany to relaunch the European Union, a project long seen as a guarantor of peace and prosperity but one which is now struggling to find its “raison d’etre” after years of crisis. Macron’s victory represents a reprieve for Europe and the liberal democratic values for which it has stood for more than half a century.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  08  May 2017

BREXIT: JPMorgan to move massively staff out of London

Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, new destinations for bankers

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to move hundreds of London-based bankers to expanded offices in Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg as it prepares for the U.K. to lose easy access to the European Union’s single market after Brexit, the firm’s head of investment banking said.

“We are going to use the three banks we already have in Europe as the anchors for our operations,” Daniel Pinto said in an interview Tuesday in Riyadh, referring to the New York-based firm’s local entities. “We will have to move hundreds of people in the short term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers.”

http://www.bloomberg.com…  Wed.,  03 May 2017

Europe’s Big Banks on the road to recovery

Europe’s most troubled banks are looking healthier

EUROPE’S most troubled big banks may at last be on the road to recovery. Not only is economic growth perking up; uncomfortable decisions, put off too long, are also being taken. In recent months UniCredit, Italy’s largest lender, has written down bad debt by €8.1bn ($8.7bn) and tapped shareholders for €13bn. Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest, has raised €8bn in equity and decided to keep a retail business it had hoped to sell. On April 27th it reported first-quarter net income of €575m, up from €236m a year earlier, although revenue fell.

http://www.economist.com…  Mon.,  01 May 2017

French Election: Macron’s Victory Provides Europe a Ray of Hope

European markets rally after Macron’s victory

European markets started the week on a positive footing after the centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 1.6 percent higher in early deals with all sectors trading on positive ground. The benchmark rose 1.8 percent to its highest level since early December 2015. The French CAC 40 bourse jumped nearly 4 percent at the start of trading. Stocks of French banks dominated the top of the European benchmark with Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas all up by around 10 percent. Natixis, Axa and Vinci were also higher in early deals. The rally in french stocks supported the entire sector, which outperformed its peers on Monday morning, up by 4.2 percent.

http://www.cnbc.com…  Mon.,  24 April 2017

Banks are now assuming there will be a “hard Brexit”

HSBC Says Companies Already Re-Routing Business

HSBC Holdings Plc said some of its largest clients have already asked for their business to be routed through the bank’s offices in mainland Europe and aren’t waiting to see what Brexit deal the U.K. hammers out with the continent’s trading bloc.

http://www.bloomberg.com…  Fri.,  14 April 2017

The City of London under threat

London will lose  a €930 billion  daily business — after Brexit

London will lose the business of euro clearing — a €930 billion (£792 billion, $995 billion) daily business — after Brexit, says France’s finance minister Michel Sapin.

Sapin said in an interview with the Financial Times that it is not possible for the City to continue the lucrative clearing business after Britain leaves the European Union on March 29, 2019 because it would hurt the EU’s “sovereignty.”

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Mon.,  10 April 2017

Iceland mulls to join Euro

Iceland may peg crown to euro, says finance minister

Iceland is considering pegging its crown to a major currency, most likely the euro, its finance minister said on Saturday, amid concerns the small North Atlantic nation’s economy risks overheating. Nearly a decade after a crash that brought down its banking system, Iceland has bounced back as increasing numbers of tourists flock to its geysers and drink in the trendy bars of the capital Reykjavik.

But worries about overheating have increased. Economic growth was 7.2 percent last year while the crown gained around 15 percent against the dollar. The currency, though volatile, is little changed since then.

http://www.reuters.com…  Tue.,  04 April 2017