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Eurozone finance ministers meet amid contagion fears

PisaEuropean finance ministers meet today to discuss solutions to Greece’s debt crisis as markets ratchet up the pressure on the eurozone’s other indebted nations, Italy and Spain.

The group of 17 eurozone finance ministers will continue negotiating how public and private sector investors could ease Greece’s debt woes without prompting rating agencies to label the changes a default.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland are determined that banks, insurers and other private holders of Greek government bonds should bear a chunk of the costs of a second Greek bailout, which is expected to total €110bn (£98bn) – on top of its previous €110bn bailout.

But after weeks of negotiations with bankers, there has been next to no progress on agreeing a formula acceptable to all sides.

And the market is now become risk averse on government debt on several more of the eurozone’s weaker states.

Italian government bonds and stocks fell sharply on Monday as investors cut their exposure to Italy on fears the eurozone's third-biggest economy could be sucked into the bloc's sovereign debt crisis.

Secret Euro Finance Ministers meeting in Luxembourg - discussing Greece and possible exit from the euro

There are unconfirmed reports of a secret finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss Greece and its possible exit from the euro. A reporter at Spiegel insists that this is the case.





... he broke the story of the appointment of Draghi (below) ..


Euro-Zone Ministers Stall on Bailout Details

Euro-zone finance ministers reached no agreement Monday on precisely how the bloc's 17 members will share the burden of enlarging bailout funds, and put off discussions until next week.

But despite the unresolved details, markets reacted warmly to Saturday morning's announcement of a pact to expand the euro zone's current bailout capacity. In trading Monday, the prices of Spanish, Portuguese and Greek bonds jumped, bringing down their interest rates and reflecting improved investor confidence.

European finance ministers agree over-spenders will face penalties under tougher budget rules

European finance ministers have backed new rules on member states' debt and deficit levels. Under the rules, over-spenders would be penalized after a majority of EU counties agree there had been a breach of sound-finances rules. The EU leaders are expected to approve the rules next week. The agreement is less strict than some had wanted. The EU head office wanted fines to be imposed without a vote. In a joint statement Monday, Germany and France said "control of the budget and the procedures to coordinate the economic policies must be strengthened."

The battle lines over budget reform are hardening as euro zone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg to try to complete an overhaul of EU budget rules.

During the day: EU finance ministers debated budget reform

Carl Wahlbom's (1810-1858) painting of the Battle of Lützen. The scene shows the death of King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden on November 6, 1632.Germany, the Netherlands and Nordic countries wanted strict imposition of sanctions against those governments that exceed limits on deficits and public debt; that is in order to prevent a new sovereign debt crisis.

ECOFIN: EU Ministers To Discuss Bank Taxes, Hedge Fund Rules - starting on Monday

Debate over regulation of hedge funds will take center stage at a meeting of European Union finance ministers next week, overshadowing previously planned discussions on new taxes for banks and reforms of the bloc's economic policy rules. The ministers will attempt to resolve an impasse over the hedge fund rules, which would require funds to register with the EU and allow national supervisors and ultimately a new pan-EU regulator to limit the amount of leverage they can use to boost returns. The main obstacle now to an agreement is concerns from France that the new legislation would allow offshore hedge funds to operate freely throughout the EU without adequate regulation.

Euro-zone ministers meet Monday morning in Luxembourg, with a gathering of ministers from all 27 EU member states scheduled for the following day. Officials from European Council President Herman van Rompuy's task force on economic governance will also meet Monday for the last time before they put their proposals to EU heads of state when they meet Oct. 28. The proposals aim to strengthen the bloc's budget rules and improve coordination of macroeconomic policies across the EU.

ECOFIN Council 7 September 2010 - Main results of the Council

The Council endorsed an agreement with the European Parliament on a reform of the EU framework for financial supervision. The reform will establish a new basis for supervision in Europe, eliminating deficiencies that were exposed during the financial crisis. It involves the creation both of a European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), which will provide macro-prudential oversight of the financial system, and three European authorities for the supervision of the banking, insurance and securities industries. The agreement with the Parliament will enable all of these bodies to be operational as planned as from 1 January 2011. The Council also endorsed changes to the manner in which the EU's stability and growth pact is implemented in order to allow a "European semester" to be introduced as part of a reform of EU provisions on economic policy coordination. This initiative will allow the economic and budgetary policies of the member states to be monitored in parallel during a six-month period every year, starting in 2011, so as to detect any inconsistencies and emerging imbalances. The so-called European semester is one of the first initiatives to emerge from a task force on economic governance set up at the request of the European Council and chaired by its president, Herman Van Rompuy. The Council held an exchange of views on the options regarding financial industry contributions in the wake of the financial crisis. Discussions covered the coordination of levies on banks and other financial institutions and the possible introduction of a financial transaction tax.

Related article: http://www.asymptotix.eu/content/ecofin-council-7-september-2010-eu-finance-ministers-new-bank-levy-bank-resolution-funds

ECOFIN Council 7 September 2010: EU finance ministers to discuss new bank levy - Bank Resolution Funds


who is really in charge in the EU?


The eurogroup is an utterly demagogic profoundly undemocratic sub-committee,

its a politburo;

a product of 'Rampant Ad-Hocery'

EU Economic Governance is 'Seat of the Pants' in a West End Farce - i.e. the pants are falling down ....


European Union finance ministers are set to discuss the possibility of introducing a levy on banks and whether a tax on financial transactions can deal with another banking crisis, as they gather tomorrow Tuesday in an atmosphere more benign than when they last met in July. Worries about the European economy and its ability to deal with large amounts of government debt have been eased by a run of better than expected economic data, progress by Greece in strengthening its bailed-out government finances and the results of stress tests on 91 of the EU's banks.

Seven banks fail EU stress tests

Seven out of 91 European banks failed a long-awaited stress test, regulators announced on Friday night, a result that risks undermining the credibility of an exercise designed to restore the market’s confidence in the eurozone banking sector.

EU/ECOFIN COUNCIL: Member states stand ready to recapitalise banks further to stress tests

zaventem asymptotix

EU economy and finance ministers found common ground in Brussels on Tuesday 13 July concerning the arrangements for the publication, on 23 July, of stress tests currently conducted on 91 main European banks. The exercise is to show the resistance of banking establishments under extreme conditions, such as the depreciation of debt securities held by them. Also, all countries are ready to take the measures needed to consolidate the situation of a financial institution in need. The Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) of the EU was entrusted with the task of follow-up after publication of the results of stress tests.

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