The Eurozone comprises of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Established in 1999, these countries have adopted a common currency called the ‘Euro’. ‘Euro’ itself was introduced as a single currency no later than 2002. By sharing a common currency, the countries follow common economic and fiscal policies. Monetary policy decisions are taken by the independent European Central Bank , also known as the ECB. Entry to join the eurozone is controlled by the so-called Eurogroup.
Greece’s bailout extension expires in May this year and its inclination towards the members of BRICS seems inevitable. For long, Greece’s economy has been bringing troubling news to the Eurozone. The EU members have time and again tried their best to keep Greece in the common currency zone but bailouts and downgrading has got the worse out of Greece. However, the debt crisis in Greece seems to only deepen and has taken a different turn with some new developments in the Greece’s strategy – mostly captured in the statements of Greek Defense minister, Panos Kammenos.
By the end of 2014, Greece owed “troika”(European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission) €253.3bn. In 2014, many talks were doing the rounds of a possible exit of Greece from the Eurozone. With snap elections in January 2015, Greece is again put on a spot. There is a lot of speculation as to how things could change for Greece in case radical left-wing party Syriza wins. Sunday Elections for Greece could either make or break the future of Greece depending how the elected government handles rising tensions between the troubled nation and its creditors, Eurozone government and IMF.
Banking Industry has evolved tremendously over a period of time. Nowadays, modern banking sector is doing away with its traditional methods and shifting focus to a more advanced and digitally connected network. While many countries are still struggling to get basic banking facilities, there are others that are growing not only in number but facing fierce competition from non-banks. As we all know, banking, in recent years, is not all about depositing and taking loans but much more.
Six years of the financial turmoil has given a reason for many debates, research, arguments, discussions and even research work to many. To many nothing has really changed, in fact to them, we might be looking at something more serious in 2015. The question that is important is whether there is any truth to the occurrence of second financial crisis or are we just in denial?
2015 will be a year that will test many emerging economies like Brazil, Russia and China. Advanced countries will take measures to revive past growths and try to remain in the race. Low oil prices will lower inflation in many economies but will raise concerns in many others.
On October 30, 2014 Paul Krugman wrote in New York Times ” Japan used to be a cautionary tale, but the rest of us have messed up so badly that it almost looks like a role model instead.” Japan’s economy has been in coma for the past 20 years and its revival has been the focus of many debates and case studies (and many criticisms). With promising reforms like Big Bang and Abenomics, it is important to check whether Japan has overcome some hurdles or whether the reforms proved to be a complete failure.