Ruble Rout and Financial Market Volatility - Pneumonia Ahead for Europe? (12/29)

spellmanBy James David Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

If Russia catches the flu, will Europe suffer pneumonia?

As the ruble plummeted in value just before Christmas, a new wave of volatility swept through Europe’s financial markets, underscoring the complex, deep interdependence of EU member-countries with Russia.


European Parliament Lends Support for Palestinian Statehood (12/17)

brianbeary-august2011By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics Magazine

In a non-binding but important symbolic move, the European Parliament on December 17 voted to support recognizing Palestine as an independent state that goes “hand-in-hand with the development of peace talks.” The resolution was approved by a large majority, with 498 MEPs in favour, 88 against and 111 abstaining. It was a compromise text, one that allowed the five political groups who jointly crafted it to each put their own spin on the outcome. Thus, the center-right European People’s Party, Parliament’s largest group, which has qualms about moving hastily to bestow statehood, said the vote “clearly rejected the unconditional recognition separate from the peace negotiations.” By contrast, keen to ride the current pro-recognition wave, the center-left Socialists and Democrats group said it “reflects the initiative for Palestinian recognition that is sweeping parliaments across Europe.” The centrist Liberals and Democrats group described the vote as “a step forward towards the recognition of Palestine.”


New Year, New Central Bank Measures to Promote EU Growth?: Investors Anxious for Bold Decisions as Concerns Shift to Oil Price Collapse, China’s Slowdown, the Russia’s Tailspin, Looming Eurozone Triple-Dip Recession (12/17)

spellmanBy James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

When Europe’s financial markets open in the New Year, investors will be looking for any signs indicating whether the European Central Bank will broaden and deepen measures to stimulate an economy that cannot throttle into high speed to outrace the mounting risks of Eurozone deflation.