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European Union leaders have insisted there will be no renegotiation of the Irish border backstop, snubbing Theresa May as she embarked on her whistlestop tour of EU capitals in a bid to seek fresh Brexit concessions.
Angela Merkel told the Prime Minister at their Berlin meeting there was “no way” the Withdrawal Agreement would be reopened. Rubbing salt in the wounds, the German Chancellor told Mrs May that any Brexit negotiations had to be handled through the European Commission and not through bilateral talks with national governments. (Telegraph – Continue Reading)
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would be “proud” to shut down the U.S. government if his demands for border security funding aren’t met, as a meeting with the top two Democrats in Congress turned acrimonious as soon as it started.
“I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” Trump said during a tense discussion with Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, and Chuck Schumer, the top Democratic senator, conducted in front of reporters at the White House. “And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck." (Bloomberg – Continue Reading)
Investors have expressed mixed feelings about the German economy, with the latest ZEW poll results showing less pessimism about the future but more concern about the present.
The ZEW economics institute’s forward-looking economic sentiment component rose unexpectedly to -17.5 compared to the consensus of -25.0 and last month’s -24.1 reading. The ZEW warned that the December headline number was still well below the long-term average of 22.5.
The ZEW’s current situation reading dropped sharply to 45.3 versus the 55.0 estimate and 58.2 in November. The institute’s indicator of economic sentiment in the Eurozone declined to -21.0 from -22.0. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
A worrying sign of inversion in the US Treasury bond curve is dulling the appeal of the developed world’s highest-yielding bond market for foreign investors.
Overseas investors are reviewing their investments or shunning Treasuries as rates at the short end rise above those at the longer end and make it unprofitable for holders of these bonds to hedge their currency risks.
The difference between short- and long-term bond rates, or the yield curve, has contracted in recent weeks as rising US interest rates meet growing doubts the world’s biggest economy may be slowing down, weighing on longer-dated yields. (RTRS – Continue Reading)
A deeply wounded, impoverished and divided Europe began to come back together after two world wars around the French-German reconciliation in the early 1950s. That epochal event eventually became the foundation of the European economic and political union — a 60-year old work-in-progress.
During most of that time, Germany was taken as the paragon of economic and political stability — a critically important counterweight to France's notoriously volatile body politic.
Those two countries made a deal — French agriculture in exchange for the free pass to Germany's powerful manufacturing industries — in order to move the European project forward. The deal still holds, but that uneasy alliance stumbled upon major difficulties posed by the last financial crisis, because Berlin and Paris have always been worlds apart in the way they could handle their fundamental economic, social and political challenges. (CNBC – Continue Reading)
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