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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/11/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/11/2021

The Washington Post – Rachel Siegel and Jeff Stein / Biden taps Powell for second term as Fed chair in sign of continuity at central bank

  • During his first term as Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell faced blistering political pressure and an enormous economic crisis. He has confronted an ethics scandal within the central bank and the steepest inflation in more than 30 years.
  • Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, President Biden on Monday announced he was nominating the 68-year-old Fed chairman for another four-year term. Democrats and Republicans gleefully offered their support.
  • Powell somehow emerged stronger than ever from the economic, domestic and political convulsions of 2020. He steered the Fed through wild stock market swings, enormous labor market fluctuations and multiple waves of the coronavirus.
  • Biden’s confidence in Powell reflects both a White House that wants continuity and a Fed chair who has emerged as predictable in an economy that is anything but.
  • Financial Times – Harriet Clarfelt / European shares dip after Powell nomination dents US stocks

Financial Times – Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli and Sarah White / France and Italy seek to boost EU influence with ‘friendship treaty’

  • France and Italy were at such odds two years ago that Paris recalled its ambassador and a spat between leaders descended into name-calling — but a Franco-Italian “friendship treaty” that President Emmanuel Macron will sign in Rome this week shows how the mood has changed.
  • Meant to spur closer collaboration on everything from foreign policy to defence and culture, the 60-page Quirinale Treaty mirrors a Franco-German deal from 1963.
  • The idea was discussed in 2017 by Macron and former Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, but was sunk the following year by Italy’s coalition of Five Star and the nationalist League, which clashed badly with Paris over migration to the EU.
  • Now the project has been revived under Macron and Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister. With the former European Central Bank president at the helm in Rome, Italy’s nationalist-populist impulses have been so tamed that even the League favours the treaty.
  • European Council on Foreign Relations – Mathilde Ciulla / Enter the Dracron: Franco-Italian relations and European cohesion

Bloomberg – John Ainger and Ewa Krukowska / EU steps up push to remove carbon from the atmosphere

  • The European Union wants to use technology to remove five million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually by 2030, as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
  • The target comes as part of the bloc’s plans to establish more sustainable “carbon cycles,” according to the draft document that is still subject to change. The EU wants to see far less reliance on the element and more recycling of it. 
  • “To scale up carbon farming and industrial solutions removing carbon from the atmosphere, the European Commission is working towards a legislative proposal in 2022 for an EU regulatory framework for the accounting and certification of carbon removal,” the document said. The proposal is scheduled to be published Dec. 14.
  • Five million tons are roughly equivalent to Uganda’s carbon emissions last year, according to the Global Carbon Atlas. It’s also about 12% of emissions trapped by all commercial carbon capture plants operating in the world today, figures from the Global CCS Institute show.
  • Euractiv – Kira Taylor / Carbon capture: Europe’s trump card for waste treatment?

Bloomberg – Zoe Schneeweiss / Be ready for German inflation spike near 6%, Bundesbank says

  • German inflation may spike even higher than previously forecast this month with a rate just under 6%, according to the Bundesbank.
  • About 1 1/2 percentage points of that will reflect a temporary cut in value-added tax and very low prices for travel-related services in 2020, the Frankfurt-based central bank said in its monthly report released on Monday.
  • German inflation already hit a three-decade high of 4.6% in October, but that was always flagged as a prelude to an even faster surge in November. The latest data are due next Monday, a day before the highly anticipated consumer-price report for the euro area. 
  • An increase of the magnitude seen by the Bundesbank is likely to intensify focus on the European Central Bank in Germany, where inflation is a sensitive topic. The current surge — partly linked to spiking energy prices — has stoked public attention, with both the Council of Economic Advisers and national tabloid Bild warning on ultra-loose monetary policy.
  • Financial Times – Martin Arnold / Germany’s cautious consumers feel the pinch from surging inflation

Today’s further reads:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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