Sure, you can read about a cabinet reshuffling anywhere, but try and sort out what it means and how it affects the markets you’ve invested your clients in. Doing so might lead you to think that Europe was some sort of economic backwater given how hard it is to find solid coverage of European markets, money, and business on any U.S.-based business-oriented sites or newspapers. To get there from here, we went to the source, Europe, in order to ferret out a relevant hot list of useful dot-com investment sites.
We’ve written previously about The Economist (www.economist.com), which features a global outlook with a Eurocentric accent. As the name implies, the magazine covers business affairs in significant depth from a mostly laissez-faire viewpoint, but it also has considerable coverage of politics and social issues, and is written for a smarter audience than the American newsweeklies. The Economist is a generally excellent magazine, in weekly printed or Web form, but most of its stories are not available for free online. (A subscription, needed to read “premium content” and archives online, is $69 per year.)
What are the best English language sources with considerable free content to keep us literate in European business news? Glad you asked.
The Financial Times (www.ft.com), is the famously orange paper from London. It’s clearly the paper of record for business news with a European focus. The latest news (up to a week) and data is free. (Subscriptions, which start at $95 per year, are required for archive searches, sector searches, and analysis and survey articles, along with some personal office features.) For our purposes here, the main-page “Business” link to “UK” or “Europe” will provide among the best and easiest to find collections of such articles.
The Times (www.timesonline.co.uk) of London offers free registration to read current articles (older articles can be purchased). It is perhaps best seen as a British daily combining the coverage of our Washington Post (national and world politics and news) and Wall Street Journal (extensive business coverage) as well as a bit of Fortune or Forbes (annual list of the rich, management and marketing issues, and so forth).
The European Central Bank, also known as the ECB (www.ecb.int), is the euro equivalent of the U.S. dollar’s Federal Reserve Board. Go straight to the “Statistics” section, where the Monthly Bulletin for June explained that a recent decision to keep euro interest rates unchanged followed a “comprehensive analysis of monetary, financial, and economic developments in the euro area.” That’s what you’d expect for any but the most benighted countries, but in this case we have over 150 pages (a PDF file download) showing the comprehensive analysis. The document includes recent monetary, financial, price, output, demand, labor market, and fiscal developments in Europe, as well as global macroeconomic projections and an editorial. It ain’t light reading, but it’s well written and extremely well presented, with many graphs and clear headings to help you find what you’re looking for. It even explains its terminology and abbreviations.