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Banks and their role in economies

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  • Softening the Basle liquidity rules caused some bank shares to rally, but economists are less excitable than equity markets. Economically speaking, we need to see a greater willingness for banks to intermediate in the economy, especially in the Euro area.
  • Euro consumer and corporate confidence data has shown little sign of support in recent months, and the December figures are expected to remain negative today. The deal on banking union is probably too abstract to have a meaningful impact.
  • Unemployment and retail sales data from the Euro area, though somewhat dated as November numbers, are likely to underscore the caution and the causes of that caution at a consumer level.
  • US consumer credit numbers for November are due, and may be somewhat affected y the East Coast storms (though other data has been relatively immune). US consumer credit growth has been good, though small business credit has been lagging somewhat.

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