News That Matters



Italy’s centre-right government is turning to cash-rich China in the hope that Beijing will help rescue it from financial crisis by making “significant” purchases of Italian bonds and investments in strategic companies,


Republican candidates for president squabbled over social security, foreign wars and the economy but presented a largely united front on one issue – the need to rein in the power of the Federal Reserve.


A hedge fund manager who paid more than $5m in charity auctions to have lunch with Warren Buffett has been hired to be part of the team that will oversee Berkshire Hathaway’s investments after the “Oracle of Omaha” leaves the company,


Job creation across the world is set to slow sharply in the last three months of the year, as companies plan to scale back their hiring plans in response to the stuttering global economy, according to a leading survey of employers,


US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner makes a one-day trip to Poland this week, Reuters reports, for an unprecedented meeting with eurozone finance ministers as growing fears of a potential Greek debt default rip into Europe’s banking sector. The trip comes as a surprise since Mr Geithner returned only on Saturday from a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers in Marseilles, France,




French bank shares suffered a fresh sell-off on Monday as concerns about the eurozone sovereign debt crisis intensified despite an attempt by Société Générale to assuage market concerns by pledging to accelerate asset disposals and cut costs,


India’s industrial output grew in July at its slowest pace since 2009, expanding just 3.3 per cent and renewing concerns that India’s battle against inflation is decelerating growth in Asia’s third-largest economy,


Britain’s banks will be forced to boost their capital and separate core operations from riskier trading and investment banking at an annual cost of up to £7bn ($11bn), under sweeping reforms announced on Monday,

Asian shares advanced in cautious trade Tuesday after news that China may come to the aid of the euro zone, but investors remained nervous with the Tokyo market capped by global economic uncertainty. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.5%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.3%, and New Zealand’s NZX-50 gained 0.3%. Markets in South Korea were closed for a holiday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 33 points higher in screen trade.


Investors flooded into the safe arms of German bonds Monday, and European banks dialed back lending to their riskier peers, in a clear sign that fears of a destabilizing collapse in Greece persist despite fresh efforts over the weekend to shore up the troubled country’s finances. The alarm sounded across Europe’s beleaguered periphery. Early in the day, Italy paid a steep price to issue short-term treasury bills, borrowing for three months at the same rate the U.S. commands for 10 years.


Foreign banks with a small U.S. presence are pushing for exemption from new rules that would require them to submit “living wills” to U.S. regulators outlining how they would be liquidated in the event of a failure. The push comes ahead of a meeting by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday in which the regulator is expected to finalize proposed rules for living wills, part of sweeping overhauls passed in the wake of the financial crisis.


U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron sought to find common ground during the first visit by a British leader to Moscow in six years, but talks equally highlighted the lingering points of friction between the two sides. After their Kremlin meeting, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow still opposes Western efforts to bring new sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Two Swedish labor unions Monday submitted applications for Saab Automobile AB’s bankruptcy on behalf of about 1,130 workers who haven’t received their August paychecks. Both unions, Unionen and Ledarna, pledged to withdraw their petitions if the Court of Appeal overturns a lower court ruling last week that denied Saab Automobile protection from its creditors while it restructures its operations. The cash-strapped car maker filed its appeal on Monday.


Société Générale SA is adapting to changes in market conditions and has tapped several alternative sources of dollars after U.S. money-market funds scaled back their lending to European banks, a senior bank executive said Monday. “Access to dollars through U.S. money-market funds has been drying up over the last 1½ months for all European banks, and we are adapting and managing the situation,” Severin Cabannes, Société Générale’s deputy chief executive, said in an interview.


Some of the biggest banks in foreign-exchange trading are reconsidering their forecasts for the euro in response to the deepening debt crisis in the euro zone. UBS AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley all said they were reviewing their year-end estimates for the euro’s value in dollar terms after the common currency fell to a seven-month low against the greenback on Monday.


China is set to launch a landmark trial program that will end a 17-year ban on Chinese brokerages’ presence in international futures markets, and has selected three domestic firms to make preparations for the trial, a senior executive at one of the three firms said. The return of the brokerages to the global futures markets is another step in Beijing’s efforts to gradually open the country’s rigidly controlled capital account, and to let financial firms take more of a role in helping Chinese enterprises manage their growing exposure overseas.

Australian business confidence nosedived in August as global markets trembled amid concerns of contagion flowing from Europe and the U.S., raising the prospect of a further rises in unemployment in coming months. According to National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey, business confidence fell 10 points to -8 points in August from July, with significant falls being posted by a range of industry groups. Business conditions edged lower by 2 points to -3 points in the same period, it said.


President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress should pass his jobs plan because it would be insurance against a double-dip recession. “When you look at what independent economists are saying about the American Jobs Act- my jobs plan – uniformly what they are saying is this buys us insurance against a double-dip recession and it almost certainly helps the economy grow and will put people back to work,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News.


President Barack Obama’s job-creation plans are getting a partial embrace from Capitol Hill Republicans, even as the GOP rejects more stimulus spending and insists it won’t accept tax increases to help pay for Obama’s proposals. “There are a number of areas that we can actually work on together,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday. Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, listed tax relief to small businesses, passing trade bills, and cutting regulations as items of common ground with Obama and Democrats.

Oil tracked equities higher on Tuesday, rising by as much as $1, while a weaker dollar rekindled some of the appeal of commodities as concern about Europe’s deteriorating debt crisis eased temporarily. U.S. crude climbed 69 cents to $88.88 a barrel by 0212 GMT, off an earlier high of $89.21, while Brent added 57 cents to $112.82 after touching $113.30.


Gold prices rebounded 1 percent on Tuesday from a sell-off in the previous session, as heightened worries about the sovereign debt crisis in Europe remain supportive of safe-haven demand for bullion. Spot gold gained as much as 1 percent to $1,831.86 an ounce and eased slightly to $1,829.95 by 0324 GMT, after shedding more than 2 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold rose 1.1 percent to $1,833.50. Technical analysis suggested that gold could decline to $1,759 later in the day, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.


Bank of America Corp said it will cut 30,000 jobs and slash annual expenses by $5 billion, but investors were unimpressed with the plan and the lack of details on how it will be accomplished. The staff reductions amount to more than 10 percent of the bank’s workforce, and come as chief executive Brian Moynihan struggles to fix a bank whose share price has dropped nearly 50 percent this year. Media reports last week said the bank could cut as many as 40,000 jobs. Many investors had hoped for a more dramatic turnaround plan on Monday, when Moynihan spoke at a financial conference and the bank released its cutback plans.


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner makes a one-day trip to Poland this week for an unprecedented meeting with euro zone finance ministers as growing fears of a potential Greek debt default rip into Europe’s banking sector. The trip comes as a surprise since Geithner returned only on Saturday from a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers in Marseilles, France, where he said Europe’s strongest economies must offer “unequivocal” backing to the weakest.


There is little the Federal Reserve can do at this point to help a U.S. economic recovery battered by problems at home and abroad, a top Fed official said on Monday, adding that he believes it is it incumbent on politicians to attack fiscal problems. Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, did not outright reject further monetary easing, but he emphasized he remains skeptical that such action would be fruitful. His comments echoed his own dissent to the U.S. central bank’s decision last month to commit to ultra-low interest rates until at least 2013, a stance driven not by fears of reigniting inflation, but because he did not believe the move would do any good.


The International Monetary Fund acknowledged on Monday it had not anticipated a surge in public debt in debt-stricken countries such as Greece and called for expanded analysis of growing debt piles in advanced economies. An IMF staff report said large increases in the debts of developed economies have highlighted the need to look at changes in the way the IMF assesses a country’s debt sustainability. The report suggested the analysis be broadened to make sure it includes all government agencies and institutions, including those not subject to normal budget rules.

Philippine exports fell for a third straight month in July as demand for electronics products weakened, adding to signs of a faltering global recovery that’s hurting Asian economic expansion.  Shipments abroad dropped 1.7 percent from a year earlier to $4.43 billion after falling a revised 9.4 percent in June, the National Statistics Office said in Manila today. The median of five estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 6.8 percent decline.


China’s property prices may fall in the next 12 to 18 months as banks curb loans to real estate companies, which may slow development, Hong Kong billionaire developer Vincent Lo said. The government is pushing banks to hold back lending to property firms as it attempts to cool the housing market, said Lo, chairman of Shui On Land Ltd. (272) The developer received a Chinese bank’s approval for a loan, which was withdrawn as the lender had a policy change, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.


Implied volatility for European equities has climbed to the highest level since 2008 compared with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as traders hedge against a potential default by Greece. The VStoxx Index, which measures the cost of options protecting against Euro Stoxx 50 Index losses, surged 7.5 percent to a 32-month high of 53.55 yesterday. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index closed 14.96 points below the gauge, the widest gap since October 2008, when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse drove both to record highs.


Oil at $60 a barrel may halt Russia’s two-year economic expansion next year, triggering a “substantial” devaluation of the ruble, the Economy Ministry said, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg. Gross domestic product may shrink as much as 1.4 percent next year under a negative scenario that projects a “world recession” cutting the average price of Urals crude by almost a half from the current level, according to the report, submitted to the government for approval last week. The price of Urals, the nation’s chief export oil blend, has averaged $109.35 this year and was at $114.23 yesterday.

Rising risk aversion, a surging U.S. dollar, historical seasonal weakness and a climb in bonds could send the S&P 500 down as much as 21 percent from Friday’s close, according to Mary Ann Bartels, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s technical research analyst. The 2-year Treasury yield could drop to zero, Bartels added.


Investors in Asia appear to be downplaying the risks posed by Europe’s debt crisis, and the potential outflow of funds from the region should major European banks collapse, warns Emil Wolter, Head of Regional Strategy, Asian Equities at RBS Global Banking & Markets. “The number one risk, which is still underestimated by the Asian investors that I speak to, is the potential for Europe to deliver a liquidity jolt to financial markets,” Wolter told CNBC on Tuesday.


Two regional Federal Reserve presidents on Monday cast doubt on the notion, widely prevalent in financial markets, that the central bank will ease monetary policy further at its Sept. 20-21 meeting. ichard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, told a conference of the National Association of Business Economics that there was little more policymakers could do to help the economy. His counterpart in St. Louis, James Bullard, said no decision had been made on further easing, adding that the central bank had already been very aggressive in bringing down borrowing costs.

There may be no better cure for a banker suffering the sovereign debt blues than a new Porsche, and few cities with more bankers in need of solace than Frankfurt. So it is all too fitting that the biannual Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens its doors this week, is defying the euro crisis with dozens of new models, including the latest incarnation of the Porsche 911. But even as BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagenand others boast new sales records and roll out important new models, car executives are looking warily in the rearview mirror. They are wondering whether they, too, will be overtaken by the same forces that are pushing down growth on the Continent and raising fears about the future of the euro.

Hopes for Britain’s troubled economy have been dealt another blow after a key indicator suggested growth is slowing at its fastest pace in more than a year. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), activity in the UK fell for a sixth straight month in July and at its steepest rate since June 2010. The contraction, from 100.9 to 100.4 – a level not seen since the UK entered recession in 2009 – indicated the country is in a “slowdown”.

Mortgage lending picked up in July, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). The overall value of mortgage lending increased to £7.3bn from £6.9bn in June. In volume terms 48,800 were signed, up from 37,800. The value of mortgages extended to first-time buyers also increased, to £2.3bn from £2.2bn in June. However, the number of loans to first-time buyers fell to 18,200 from 18,500 the previous month. The lending criteria for new mortgage borrowers also remain strict. The average deposit required remained at 20 per cent in July. The multiple of income that first-time buyers can borrow is also shrinking. They typically took out a loan worth 3.18 times their income in July, down from 3.22 in June.

The prospects for the retail sector look set to go from “bad to worse” a result of recent sharemarket volatility, an independent forecaster has warned. Deloitte Access Economics says in the 2010-11 financial year retailing posted its worst result in 20 years, suffering a major setback from last summer’s natural disasters, and despite solid growth in incomes. And the study offered very little in the way of a silver lining, saying retailers could expect a slight improvement in conditions after Christmas but next year was not expected to see a pronounced rebound in the consumer spending.


TALKS over a new European Union constitutional treaty have begun as euro-zone countries push for radical powers to save Europe’s single currency. Britain’s Chancellor George Osborne insisted that Britain would fight to keep its economic sovereignty against a euro-zone ”caucus” seeking to run the EU as a ”fiscal union” after Germany, France, Italy and EU officials demanded a replacement for the controversial Lisbon Treaty at a G7 meeting in Marseille at the weekend.

US President Barack Obama warned on Monday the world economy would remain weak until the euro zone crisis was solved, as market anxiety mounted over debt woes in Greece, Spain and Italy. In a roundtable interview with Hispanic journalists, Mr Obama said that the United States was working with European states and authorities to help craft packages for vulnerable economies.


Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday vowed to improve economic cooperation with Indonesia, particularly in the agriculture, energy and tourism sectors.  In her fist state visit to Indonesia, Ms Yingluck said that she and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono were pleased with the rapidly increasing flow of trade, which in 2010 jumped 34 per cent to around US$12 billion (S$15 billion).

In line with market expectation, China’s inflation retreated from a 37-month high in August as the government’s cooling measures gradually showed results and the carry-over effects quickly faded. The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, slowed to 6.2 percent in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Friday, down from 6.5 percent in July. The producer price index rose 7.3 percent, slightly lower than a 7.5 percent jump in July. Though August CPI figure edged down, analysts cautioned that the overall inflation picture allows no optimism as a series of complex factors will decide that China’s inflation pressure still remains high amid global economy’s uncertainties.


The appreciation of Chinese currency will continue to follow a gradual pace despite the upcoming push of visiting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe for a faster speed of the renminbi’s rise, economists said on Monday. Juppe will visit Beijing on Wednesday for talks ahead of the G20 summit in France in November. The summit will discuss the global economic crisis and high levels of sovereign debt owed to China. On Sunday, Juppe told reporters through an interpreter in the Australian capital of Canberra that he believes “that the yuan is undervalued at present”, according to a report by the Associated Press.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced Monday it has completed the first review of Portugal’s performance under a multi-year economic program, which enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to 3. 467 billion IMF special drawing right (SDR), or about 3.98 billion euros, to the nation. This allocation has brought total IMF disbursements under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to 9.078 billion SDR, or about 10.43 billion euros, the Washington-based lender said in a statement. The EFF, which was approved in May 2011, is part of a global package of financing with the European Union amounting to 78 billion euros over three years in support of Portugal’s economic recovery.

China’s commercial banks were more aggressive in lending in August than in July due to a temporary ease in inflation in August, as indicated by data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Sunday. China’s new yuan-denominated loans reached 548.5 billion yuan (85.8 billion U.S. dollars) in August, up 9.3 billion yuan year-on-year, China’s central bank said in a statement on its website Sunday. New lending in August was 55.9 billion yuan higher than those increased loans in July. “The new loans in August were basically in line with my expectation of 550 billion yuan,” said Zhao Qingming, a senior researcher with China Construction Bank.


The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) reiterated yesterday that stabilizing the overall price levels remained the top priority of macro-economic regulation.According to PBOC statistics, by the end of August, the outstanding of broad money supply (M2), which covers cash in circulation and all deposits, rose 13.5 percent year-on-year to 78.07 trillion yuan (12.20 trillion U.S. dollars), down 1.2 percentage points from July growth and 5.7 percentage growth one year ago. The slowdown in M2 growth was in line with the country’s prudent monetary policy, and current liquidity conditions remained compatible with the country’s stable and relatively fast economic growth, the central bank said.

India, China and most of the developed world, including the U.S., are witnessing strong signs of economic slowdown, according to a Paris-based think-tank OECD. The assessment is based on Composite Leading Indicators (CLIs), that provide early signals of turning points in economic activities of a country. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Monday said that CLIs for the month of July indicate a “slowdown in economic activity in most OECD countries and major non-member economies.” “Compared to the last month’s assessment, the CLIs for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China and India are pointing more strongly to a slowdown in economic activity,” it noted. In July, India’s CLI stood at 95.7, lower than 96.5 recorded in June. CLI has been on marginal decline since November last year.

South Korea’s economic growth will likely lose steam in 2012 from this year as the weakening global economic recovery is feared to make a dent in its exports, a private think tank said Tuesday. In its economic outlook for next year, Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) predicted the local economy will expand 4 percent in the coming year, which is lower than its 4.2 percent estimate for this year.

HRI’s prediction is much lower than the government’s growth forecast of 4.8 percent for next year. The government expects the economy to grow 4.5 percent this year. The think tank attributed next year’s economic slowdown largely to weakening exports, the main driver of the South Korean economy, Asia’s fourth-largest.

Iran and Russia agreed to set up a join energy committee for expanding the cooperations of the two states in the issues of oil, gas and energy. The decision was taken during the meeting between Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, here on Sunday, SHANA news agency reported.  The two ministers also asserted on the accelerating the implementation of the “energy road map”, which was agreed between the two countries last year.  The two sides also announced their opposition to laying any gas pipeline in the Caspian Sea bed due to environmental concerns, protection of marine resources and preventing of pollution.

Before going short into this move, consider the below turning points. SPX has a tendency to bottom out, at least short term, with classical hammer formations. More on this tomorrow, but here is a chart for the close;


By ECB on Global Crisis and Contagion. The 2007-09 financial crisis has been truly remarkable in its severity and global reach. This paper seeks to understand the global transmission channels of the crisis in equity markets, studying the cross-sectional heterogeneity of the crisis incidence across 55 equity markets. Despite its origination in the US, we find little evidence of systematic contagion from US markets to global equity markets during the crisis. Instead, there was systematic contagion from domestic equity markets to individual equity portfolios.