Eurozone break-up fears hit two-year high – business live

Rolling economic and financial news, as a new survey finds that investors are more concerned about Greece leaving the eurozone

Sentix: 38% of investors see eurozone break-up this year
Introduction: Third Greek bailout needed?
Stunning German retail sales figures

9.03am GMT

The latest Spanish unemployment figures also suggest that Europe’s economy is reviving.

The number of Spaniards out of work fell by 13,538 last month, or 0.3%, as factories and building firms took on more staff.

Key question: what conclusions will Spanish voters draw from contrast between Spain’s recovery and Syriza-induced disaster in Greece?

8.55am GMT

German consumers hit the shops with remarkable vigour last month, in the latest signal that Europe’s largest economy is gaining strength.

German retail sales jumped by 2.9% month-on-month in January, the biggest jump since January 2008.

JPM calles the rise in German retail sales “legendary”:

8.50am GMT

I forgot to link earlier, sorry, but here’s the Sentix survey:

8.41am GMT

Here’s another chart from this morning’s Sentix’s eurozone survey, showing that fears of Greece leaving the eurozone are at their highest level since autumn 2012.

As Greek rumblings continues ever more investors expect #Greece to leave Euro. #Grexit risk at 37%, highest since ’12

8.33am GMT

2014 was a good year for Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins.

“On this occasion I judged it was right for me to take my bonus….Barclays today is a stronger business, with better prospects, than at any time since the financial crisis.

8.14am GMT

Europe’s banks will not be subjected to a full stress test this year.

The European Banking Authority, which ran a health-check of the sector last autumn, announced the move (or non-move) this morning:

EuropeanBankingAuthority EBA decided not to carry out an EU-wide stresstest in 2015(next 2016)

8.11am GMT

Writing in the Guardian today, Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas argues that Greece’s best hope of ending its deflationary economic spiral is to leave the euro.

Lapavitsas warns that the next four months will be very tough for Athens as it tries to meet the demands of its lenders:

Tax income is collapsing, partly because the economy is frozen and partly because people are withholding payment in the expectation of relief from the extraordinary tax burden imposed over the last few years. The public purse will come under considerable strain already in March, when there are sizeable debt repayments to be made.

The most vital step is to realise that the strategy of hoping to achieve radical change within the institutional framework of the common currency has come to an end. The strategy has given us electoral success by promising to release the Greek people from austerity without having to endure a major falling-out with the eurozone.

Unfortunately, events have shown beyond doubt that this is impossible, and it is time that we acknowledged reality.

7.59am GMT

More investors expect the eurozone to fracture over the next 12 months than at any time since the Cyprus bailout crisis of March 2013.

The Euro Break-up Index, calculated by German research group Sentix, jumped to a two-year high of 38% in February, from around 24% in January, with more investors predicting a Greek exit.

The development is driven by a clearly worsening assessment of investors concerning Greece….

Despite the solution which was found last week for Greece ever more investors expect the Mediterranean country to leave the euro soon.

7.58am GMT

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial market, the eurozone, and business.

“We are negotiating a third rescue for Greece.”

“Euro zone finance ministers are not discussing a third bailout.”

#Varoufakis on #enikos : Greek #repayments will be made in full – #Greece #IMF #bailout

in athens, we’re looking at the end of creative vagueness as finmin varoufakis says he’ll go to monday’s eurogroup with 6 proposed reforms

Barclays provides

Bank of England foreign exchange investigation too narrow, says MP

Jesse Norman MP commissions report into review by Anthony Grabiner QC, claiming it set ‘very low tests’ for an inquiry into the scandal

The Bank of England has come under attack for failing to properly investigate its role in the rigging of foreign exchange markets.

In a report commissioned by Jesse Norman, the Conservative MP and a member of the Treasury select committee (TSC), a leading UK barrister said the Bank set “very low tests” for its inquiry into the scandal.

I have commissioned an opinion from Charles Bear QC pro bono into the @bankofengland Grabiner Inquiry. Strong stuff.

Continue reading…

Paul Krugman’s Amazing About Face On The Minimum Wage

We economics geeks have long been trying to point out that there’re two Paul Krugmans. There’s “good” Krugman who did some excellent economic research and rightly gained a Nobel for having done so. Good Krugman is also one of the finest technical essayists of our time: his ability to explain […]

‘Dragon Quest Heroes’ To Receive A Western Release

In an interesting move, Square Enix has announced that they’ll be bringing Dragon Quest Heroes to the West on PS4. This is a new Dragon Quest themed action role-playing game developed by the team behind the Dynasty Warriors games. Released recently in Japan on both PS3 and PS4, the game has […]

Fixing Traffic Congestion In Kenya: Twende Twende

About $600,000 per day is lost in Nairobi due to congestion on roads. The city is the fourth-most congested city in the world, according to a 2011 survey. Many of the city’s roads are decades old and were developed for a city of 350,000 inhabitants, instead of the over 3.4 million population today.

Google Announces Mobile Payments Platform Android Pay

At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps Sundar Pichai announced an upcoming mobile payments framework called Android Pay. Android Pay will not be a separate payment app, but it is going to be a platform that enables developers to integrate mobile payments […]