Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lagarde calls for bigger eurozone firewall

Lagarde calls for bigger eurozone firewall
By Alan Beattie in Washington

The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday the eurozone needed a bigger firewall to prevent Italy and Spain sliding towards default, underlining Europe’s responsibility in solving its own sovereign debt crisis.

In a speech in Berlin, Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, said that without a larger bail-out fund, fundamentally solvent countries like Italy and Spain could be forced into a financing crisis.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Failure Generation : Davos elites to seek reforms of 'outdated' capitalism

Failure Generation : Davos elites to seek reforms of 'outdated' capitalism

Economic and political elites meeting this week at the Swiss resort of Davos will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as "outdated and crumbling."
"We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations," said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.

"Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole.

"We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual," the 73-year-old said, adding that "capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us."


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ancient Greek sites could soon be available for rent

Ancient Greek sites could soon be available for rent
(AFP) – 7 hours ago
ATHENS — Available for rent: The Acropolis.

In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece's culture ministry said Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country's most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.

The ministry says the move is a common-sense way of helping "facilitate" access to the country's ancient Greek ruins, and money generated would fund the upkeep and monitoring of sites. The first site to be opened would be the Acropolis.


Portugal moves into default territory

Portugal moves into default territory
By David Oakley
Portugal is trading in default territory after investors offloaded the country’s bonds this week amid rising fears of contagion. Worries are mounting that the private sector and Greece will fail to agree a restructuring package for Athens’ debt.

Many investors were also forced to sell Portuguese bonds after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country to junk on Friday. Other funds sold Portuguese debt after Lisbon was removed from Citigroup’s European Bond Index, which these investors track, because of its fall to junk status.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Germany rejects rescue fund boost, Greece under pressure

Germany rejects rescue fund boost, Greece under pressure

(Reuters) - Germany, the only major euro zone member to retain a top-notch credit rating, refused on Monday to consider boosting the bloc's rescue fund, while Greece was under pressure to urgently break a deadlock in debt swap talks if it is to avoid an unruly default.

European leaders vowed to press ahead with a fiscal pact for stricter budget discipline and hasten the launch of a permanent bailout fund for the 17-nation euro area, the European Stability Mechanism, in the light of Standard & Poor's move last Friday.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Fed to Weigh Further Easing Amid Doubts About Recovery

Fed to Weigh Further Easing Amid Doubts About Recovery
Published: Friday, 13 Jan 2012 | 11:55 AM ET Text Size
By: Steve Liesman
Senior Economics Reporter

Federal Reserve officials are seriously considering giving the US economy—and especially the housing market—an added jolt with more quantitative easing.

Fed officials are likely to discuss such a move at their Jan. 24-25 meeting, when the central bank   will issue its first quarterly forecast on interest rates under the new communication policy.

Two of the new voting members this year on the Federal Open Market Committee  , which sets interest-rate policy, have recently suggested they would support more assets purchases.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Banks say no deal on Greek debt

Banks say no deal on Greek debt

THE group of major banks negotiating on a write-down of Greek sovereign debt say they have not reached a deal on its debt, including any new write-down.

"There has been no agreement on any Greek deal or a specific 'haircut'," said Charles Dallara, the head of the Institute of International Finance which is representing the banks in EU negotiations.

"We remain open to a dialogue in search of a voluntary agreement. There is no agreement on any element of a deal."


Five European Nations to Be Downgraded by S&P: Report

Five European Nations to Be Downgraded by S&P: Report
Published: Friday, 13 Jan 2012 | 1:18 PM ET Text Size
By: Antonia van de Velde
CNBC Associate Editor

Standard & Poor's will cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches and downgrade France and Austria by one notch, a French newspaper said Friday, without citing its sources.

The newspaper, Les Echos, said that S&P would spare Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg in its long-awaited adjustment of euro zone sovereign ratings.

It said the announcement would come at around 4:30 pm ET, after the US stock market has closed.

"Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close," one euro zone source told Reuters.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Top Indian businessman mocks Davos

Top Indian businessman mocks Davos
Jan 3 05:07 PM US/Eastern

Top Indian industrialist Rajiv Bajaj mocked the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, saying the annual power bash in the Swiss Alps was the source of half the world's problems.
Rajiv Bajaj, the managing director of leading motorbike manufacturer Bajaj Auto, said he would reluctantly travel to the exclusive ski resort for the meeting for the first time later this month.

"I think half the problems start from the World Economic Forum," the no-nonsense executive told reporters at a product launch in New Delhi when asked about the glitzy January 25-29 meeting.

He said he was a believer in the power of engineering to solve problems, not the sort of "top-down globalisation" espoused by world leaders and businessmen in Davos.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

World’s Biggest Economies Face $7.6 Trillion Debt

World’s Biggest Economies Face $7.6 Trillion Debt
By Keith Jenkins and Anchalee Worrachate - Jan 3, 2012 5:22 AM ET

Governments of the world’s leading economies have more than $7.6 trillion of debt maturing this year, with most facing a rise in borrowing costs.

Led by Japan’s $3 trillion and the U.S.’s $2.8 trillion, the amount coming due for the Group of Seven nations and Brazil, Russia, India and China is up from $7.4 trillion at this time last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ten-year bond yields will be higher by year-end for at least seven of the countries, forecasts show.

Investors may demand higher compensation to lend to countries that struggle to finance increasing debt burdens as the global economy slows, surveys show. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for growth this year to 4 percent from a prior estimate of 4.5 percent as Europe’s debt crisis spreads, the U.S. struggles to reduce a budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion and China’s property market cools.