Robert Peston, economics editor

Robert Peston Economics editor

Welcome to Peston's Picks - for my latest thoughts on the big economic events around the world making us richer or poorer

Carney attacks German austerity

  • 28 January 2015
  • From the section Business

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has tonight made what can only be described as a thinly-disguised attack on the German government's refusal to spend and borrow more to promote growth throughout the eurozone.

Germany is not once mentioned by name in his speech - entitled "Fortune favours the bold" - which he gave this evening on the fringes of the eurozone, in Dublin.

But in saying that monetary union cannot work without fiscal union - or the ability and willingness of countries with stronger public finances to support those that are struggling to grow under the burden of big debts - he is in effect saying that Germany ought to do more to support the likes of Italy, Spain and France.

This is how Mark Carney - who is also chairman of the main global policy making body for banking and finance regulators, the Financial Stability Board - put it:

"For complete solutions to both current and potential future problems, the sharing of fiscal risks is required. It is no coincidence that effective currency unions tend to have centralised fiscal authorities whose spending is a sizeable share of GDP - averaging over a quarter of GDP for advanced countries outside the euro area".

Read full article Carney attacks German austerity

A slower recovery

  • 27 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Construction output fell in the fourth quarter of 2014

There has been a slowdown in the British economy, driven by weaker construction, manufacturing and energy production - although it would be premature to see this as an end to the recovery.

GDP, or national income, grew 0.5% in the fourth quarter of the year, compared with 0.7% in the third and a recent peak of 0.8% in the second. That looks like a trend.

Read full article A slower recovery

Why aren't markets panicking about Greece?

  • 26 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Crowd celebrates Syriza victory in Greece, waving flags

The Greek people don't seem desperately grateful for the 240bn euros in bailouts they've had from the eurozone and IMF - and here is one way of seeing why.

The country's economic crisis was caused in large part because its government had taken on excessive debts.

Read full article Why aren't markets panicking about Greece?

Can Labour pay for university fee cut?

  • 25 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader

We may be about to learn how much of a constraint Labour's promise to make no unfunded spending promises really is.

Because I have been told that Labour's leader, Ed Miliband, wants to next month announce an eye-catching policy of cutting maximum university fees for students by a third, from £9,000 to £6,000.

Read full article Can Labour pay for university fee cut?

Why no le Pen or Farage at Davos?

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith opened her set at Google's Davos jamboree by shouting - with no apparent sense of irony, as the vintage Bollinger flowed - "let's spread the 1%".

What she meant, presumably, was "let's find a way to redistribute some of the almost-50% of the world's wealth controlled by the richest 1%" - who undoubtedly include Paloma Faith.

Read full article Why no le Pen or Farage at Davos?

Peston: Will cheap euros save the eurozone?

  • 22 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Euro notes

So the European Central Bank has embarked on cash creation through quantitative easing some six years after the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve embarked on what was then regarded as an unconventional monetary policy.

And the size of the programme, relative to eurozone GDP or output, is not a million miles from what those other central banks did. In other words, it isn't trivial.

Read full article Peston: Will cheap euros save the eurozone?

A lucky chancellor

  • 21 January 2015
  • From the section Business

Maybe George Osborne will be seen as a lucky chancellor, because the fall in oil prices and the rate of inflation has happened at the most perfect time for the Tories - and presumably the Liberal Democrats too - in relation to the electoral cycle.

But there is a caveat, to which I will return.

Read full article A lucky chancellor

Peston: Will euro QE work?

  • 20 January 2015
  • From the section Business

On Thursday we get the what and how much of eurozone quantitative easing.

Among investors and the media, I've rarely encountered quite so much fevered expectation about a policy that is very unlikely to do more than provide additional painkillers to an economy that needs rather more radical structural treatment (see my post of 14 January).

Read full article Peston: Will euro QE work?

Why extreme inequality hurts the rich

  • 19 January 2015
  • From the section Business
Homeless person on streets of London

"We could have developed a vaccine for Ebola years ago if we had chosen to allocate the resources to the appropriate research".

That is what a senior and respected medical scientist, a man who would be seen as a world authority on such matters, said to me.

Read full article Why extreme inequality hurts the rich

BP sees $50 oil for three years

  • 15 January 2015
  • From the section Business
BP's North Sea Headquarters, Aberdeen

BP's job announcement later today, including a few hundred job losses in Aberdeen, is being made because it does not expect the oil price to bounce any time soon.

The oil price has dropped around 60% since June, to $48 a barrel, and I understand that BP expects that it will stay in the range of $50 to $60 for two to three years.

Read full article BP sees $50 oil for three years

More Correspondents

  • kamal Ahmed Kamal Ahmed Business editor

    What really matters – and why - in the world of business

  • Linda Yueh Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    The latest on global business and the world economy

  • Peter Day Peter Day Global business correspondent

    A sideways look at the big trends upheaving the world of work

  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics

About Robert

Robert has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year, Specialist Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year (twice) from the Royal Television Society, Performer of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Broadcaster of the Year and Journalist of the Year from the Wincott Foundation.

Prior to joining the BBC, he was political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and Sunday Times.

He broadcast and published a series of influential reports about the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis.

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.