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Photograph by Pierre-Philippe/AFP via Getty Images

Photograph by Pierre-Philippe/AFP via Getty Images

Adios Austerity, But Debt Will Still Limit Spain’s Growth Measures

Spain’s 32-month experiment with austerity-at-all-costs, as devised by Angela Merkel’s budget ultras, is drawing to a close. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy oversaw 62 billion euros of tax hikes and spending cuts, 851,000 job losses and three different deficit targets, all...

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Photograph by Denis Doyle/Bloomberg

Photograph by Denis Doyle/Bloomberg

Labor Costs Drop in Poorest Parts of Europe — Earnings Gap Widens

It is becoming cheaper for companies to hire workers in the European Union — that is, so long as they stick to the most indebted euro member countries. Greece leads the way, if that’s the right expression, after hourly labor...

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Photograph by Grant Hamilton/Getty Images

Photograph by Grant Hamilton/Getty Images

ECB May Try to Turn Banks Back to Lending to the Real Economy

UPDATE The European Central Bank cut its benchamrk rate to a record low of 0.75 percent and cut the deposit rate to zero. —- The European Central Bank is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate below 1 percent today...

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Photograph by David Ramos/Getty Images

Photograph by David Ramos/Getty Images

ECB’s Legacy of Low Inflation May Be Eroded by Higher Sales Tax

The former president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, never tired of repeating at the ECB press conferences that the bank had achieved wonders in terms of price stability in the euro zone – keeping inflation at or below...

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Jens Weidmann, president of Deutsche Bundesbank, during a TV interview on Mar. 13, 2012

Photograph by Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

Jens Weidmann, president of Deutsche Bundesbank, during a TV interview on Mar. 13, 2012

The ECB’s Difficult Crisis Exit

The European Central Bank’s unlimited cheap bank loans have eased market tensions, particularly–in the words of ECB President Mario Draghi–by removing the “tail risk” of a banking crisis provoked by the euro debt situation. But the gusher of loans has...

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Lorenzo Bini Smaghi in Milan, Italy, on Mar. 8, 2012

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi in Milan, Italy, on Mar. 8, 2012

Bini Smaghi: We Should Not Be Complacent

The European Central Bank’s jobs keeps getting harder. Today it raised its 2012 inflation forecast and said growth could be worse than it had anticipated. Prior to the ECB’s rate announcement, I had the chance to interview former ECB executive...

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