Alexei Nikolsky | RIA Novosti | Kremlin | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 17, 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed “external factors” for the country’s ongoing economic problems on Thursday, but failed to reassure investors hoping for quick answers, sparking another bumpy day for the ruble. Putin sought to reassure the country that it would overcome its present difficulties and return to economic growth by 2017 by the latest, as …

Kirill Kudryavtsev | AFP | Getty Images
A woman walks past a board listing foreign currency rates against the Russian ruble outside an exchange office in Moscow on December 16, 2014.

The extraordinary volatility in the ruble this week suggested that many traders and investors were caught off guard by events in Russia. Yet there were plenty of red flags for Russia-watchers, some of which are outlined here. West wages economic warfare After more than a decade of problematic interventions in the Middle East, Western countries’ …


Greece’s stock market plunged 13 percent on Tuesday and bond yields spiked after the country’s government surprised investors by announcing a snap presidential vote. The election was originally scheduled for the new year, but will now take place next week. The news, announced late Monday, caused the Athens Stock Exchange to fall 13 percent by …

ECB’s Draghi moves markets

There were some sharp reactions and confusion when Mario Draghi didn’t say what investors wanted to hear. Steve Liesman breaks down the European Central Bank’s actions.

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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with benchmarks retreating from records, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank would wait until early next year to consider whether further moves to stimulate the economy are needed. Draghi’s comments threw cold water on hopes the ECB would begin a program of sovereign-debt purchases called …

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European Central Bank and Euro Symbol in Frankfurt, Germany.

It’s hard to believe it’s just a few years since countries like Ireland and Spain had to go cap-in-hand to international lenders – at least if you look at their bond yields. Ireland’s 10-year bond yield, usually reflective of a country’s economic performance, hit a record low of 1.477 percent Monday, while Spanish 10-year bond …

John Thys | AFP | Getty Images
ECB President Mario Draghi speaks about the ECB's perspective on economic and monetary developments with Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs, focusing on ECB's unconventional monetary policy which might go beyond purchases of private sector assets with an aim to help the stagnating EU economy.

The euro zone’s growth has weakened over the summer months, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi told European lawmakers Monday, but stressed that he was willing to do more to stimulate the economy — including the purchase of government bonds. Speaking at the European Union’s Parliament, Draghi reiterated that the bank’s governing council remained …


The tests are a key test of whether Europe is serious about repairing its dysfunctional banking system. The ECB has come under fire over whether the tests have been rigorous enough and the “stresses” used were realistic. This is not the first time Europe’s banks have been stress-tested. However previous tests have been widely discredited …

Europe awaits bank stress tests

European banks face a critical test this weekend and global investors will be paying close attention to the results.

Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping toast during a signing ceremony on May 21, 2014, in Shanghai.

As Russia and China continue to forge trade pacts, including the huge $456 billion gas deal with Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom signed in May, many Westerners are wondering whether this cozy relationship between the two nations is anything to be concerned about. “Right now China’s biggest goal is to deflate American dominance, and what …

Pascal Boegli | Getty Images

This week’s disappointing German manufacturing data are the latest sign the “strongman” of Europe is weakening, in what could mark a worrying turn for the rest of Europe. Tuesday’s industrial output numbers for Germany missed forecasts, with production slowing by 4 percent month-on-month in August. German factory orders, out on Monday, also showed a steep—and unexpected—decline. “The …

Why Scotland may never be the same

A huge sigh of relief in markets around the world on Scotland’s historic vote against independence, keeping the United Kingdom United. Even though a majority of Scots voted “no” to breaking away, Scotland may never be the same.

Scotland’s historic decision

The polls in Scotland and now closed and officials are tallying up the votes to see if a majority of Scotland’s people have decided whether to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent nation.

Katie Slaman | CNBC
An employee works the production line at the Ian Macleod distillery in Scotland.

Lack of certainty about Scotland’s currency, interest rate levels and membership in the European Union—which eliminates trade barriers in its largest market—all compete for the top of the list of worries. Mike Younger, one of the few Scotch executives who will speak to the media, is finance director for Macleod Distillers, makers of Glengoyne Single Malt. …

New sanctions against Russia

European Union officials have agreed to a new round of sanctions against Russia. They are expected to be imposed early next week. This comes just hours after world leaders wrapped up a two day NATO summit today, where Russia was on the docket.