News That Matters


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China was willing to expand its investment in Europe, but European leaders must take certain “bold steps”, particularly recognising China’s status as a market economy,

The Asian Development Bank cut its estimate for China’s growth this year and said that failure to rebalance growth toward domestic consumption poses risks to the sustainability of the nation’s expansion,

JPMorgan Chase’s trading revenue will slide about 30 per cent in the third quarter, the company’s head of investment banking said on Tuesday, one of the first signs of the impact on bank revenues of a torrid summer in the markets,

The US Treasury would accommodate a possible Federal Reserve stimulus to drive down long-term interest rates, the FT says, citing a person familiar with the Treasury’s thinking. The effectiveness of ‘Operation Twist’ would depend on how the Treasury reacted.


Global financial groups including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are ramping up their presence in the burgeoning Indonesian market, the FT reports. Goldman Sachs, which does not have an office in Jakarta,

The US government fell into line with private forecasters and cut its outlook for the domestic corn crop after a summer hot spell crimped yields, the FT reports. This year’s harvest in the world’s largest corn producer and exporter will total 12.5bn bushels,

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, sought on Tuesday to quash speculation that a Greek default was imminent, insisting that no such event could happen before 2013 even as markets continued to gyrate wildly over eurozone fears,

Pressure on News Corp over its phone-hacking scandal is rising on three continents with fresh legal and political challenges, the FT reports. James Murdoch, the media group’s deputy chief operating officer,

Bob Diamond, Barclays’ chief executive, has given a surprisingly warm welcome to the Vickers Commission report, the FT says, in the first public response from a UK bank chief executive to the proposed shake-up of the industry. In comments which reformers will see as proof that bankers succeeded in diluting the commission’s recommendations,

General Electric has confirmed that it is to pay $3.3bn to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to buy back preference shares that Mr Buffett bought during the credit crisis in October 2008, the FT reports.Berkshire

Nomura Holdings is planning to trim about 5 per cent of jobs in Europe to reduce costs, Bloomberg says, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The cuts will reportedly total less than 400 jobs worldwide,

Merck has rejected claims made by Michele Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, who said that the US drug company’s HPV vaccine could cause “mental retardation”, the FT reports. The remarks came as Ms Bachmann was levelling criticism at rival Rick Perry,

French officials resisted pressure to shore up their besieged banking sector on Tuesday as senior eurozone officials instead increased efforts to avert a Greek default, the prospect of which continued to roil international financial markets. French banking shares fell sharply but then rose again amid hopes that Paris would mount a defence of its financial sector, which has struggled to raise short-term funding because of fears of a Greek collapse. French and other European banks hold significant debt in Greece and other eurozone peripheral countries.

Slovakia is one of the smallest and newest members of the eurozone, but if the speaker of the Slovak parliament has his way, the country could yet thwart a proposal to widen the powers of the bloc’s bail-out fund. While Slovakia’s centre-right cabinet has agreed to the proposal to expand the European financial stability facility from €440bn to €780bn, and to allow it to inject capital into eurozone banks and purchase distressed sovereign bonds on the open market, Iveta Radicova, premier, faces a battle to get the proposals accepted in parliament. That is largely due to the resistance of Richard Sulik, the parliamentary speaker who also heads the Freedom and Solidarity party, the second largest member of the four-party governing coalition.

According to Demopolis, a research institute, only 7 per cent of Italians interviewed in a recent survey believed their family’s economic situation had improved over the past three years, compared with 45 per cent who felt living conditions had worsened.  “The study reveals the progressive impoverishment of the fixed-income middle class of our country,” says Pietro Vento, institute director. Struggling below the squeezed middle class are the 11 per cent of Italian families who earned below the monthly €992 poverty line last year, according to Istat, the national statistics bureau.

Even as Italy’s parliament prepares to give its final approval on Wednesday to the centre-right government’s austerity budget after weeks of tortuous changes, investors are looking at what else Rome needs to do to halt a potentially mortal debt spiral. Local media are dubbing a central part of the current plan “Britannia-2” – the sequel to a meeting hosted in June 1992 by UK institutional investors aboard Queen Elizabeth’s yacht, at which Mario Draghi, then a young head of Treasury and from this November the governor of the European Central Bank, presented Italy’s (and Europe’s) largest privatisation programme to date.

The tightening of the oil market is likely to “moderate” this year as global demand growth slows, according to the International Energy Agency. The monthly oil market report, released on Tuesday, suggested that the world economic slowdown was bringing demand growth back into line with supply. The IEA has knocked 200,000 barrels a day off its total demand estimate for this year, reducing it to 89.3m b/d. As for 2012, the agency has revised its prediction downwards by 400,000 b/d to 90.7m b/d.
Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday as investors remained cautious amid efforts by European policymakers to avert a Greek debt default, while oil-related stocks rallied on higher global oil prices.  Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.2%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7% and the New Zealand’s NZX-50 was flat. South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 1.1% as investors played catch-up after a public holiday on Monday and Tuesday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down six points in screen trade.

Growth in the developing countries of Asia will cool slightly in the second half of 2011, but it should remain healthy given firm domestic demand and recent increases in intra-regional trade, according to a report released Wednesday. The Asian Development Bank revised down its growth forecast for the region to 7.5% for this year, from a 7.8% projection forecast in April. The bank lowered its forecast because worsening economic conditions from developed nations will weigh on export-focused Asian economies. But private consumption will cushion Asian economies from the worst of the global slowdown, according to the ADB report.

Overnight deposits parked at the European Central Bank once again reached a new high for the year Monday, reflecting new worries about the sovereign crisis and the end of the ECB’s monthly reserve period. Bank deposits reached €197.75 billion ($270.5 billion) Monday, ECB data showed Tuesday, surpassing the prior year high for

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda put the issue of phasing-out the country’s reliance on nuclear energy on the back-burner Tuesday, saying his new administration’s priorities are post-disaster reconstruction and economic recovery. “In the mid- to long-term, we must aim to minimize our dependency on nuclear energy,” Mr. Noda said in a speech at the start of an extraordinary parliamentary session. “We will restart [currently suspended] nuclear plants once their safety has been confirmed and the trust of local communities has been regained,” he added.

France, Germany and Spain rejected a key plank of the European Commission’s planned reform of the Schengen passport-free travel area Tuesday, arguing that national governments must retain the power to impose temporary border checks. Ahead of a Commission proposal on Schengen, the French, German and Spanish governments issued a statement warning the European Union’s executive arm to respect their authority over security matters, calling this a “core area of national sovereignty.”  “We therefore do not share the European Commission’s views on assuming responsibility for making decisions on operational measures in the security field,” the governments said.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Tuesday the world’s big developing economies may propose joint aid to help resolve Europe’s debt crisis, underscoring worries Europe’s problems may become a headache for global capitals from Beijing to Brasilia. Mr. Mantega said joint aid would come up as a topic when leaders from China, Brazil, India and Russia gather in Washington in advance of an International Monetary Fund meeting on Sept. 24. He gave few details. “We’re going to see what we can do to help the European Union get through this situation,” Mr. Mantega told reporters.
A record number of people were in poverty last year as households saw their income decrease, according to data from the Census Bureau Tuesday, demonstrating the weakness of the economy even after the official end of the recession. The 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010 was the most for the 52 years that estimates have been published, and the number of people in poverty rose for the fourth consecutive year as the poverty rate climbed to 15.1% — the highest since 1993 — up from 14.3% in 2009.
Oil fell on Wednesday, pulling U.S. crude off six-week highs, as the dollar strengthened and investors saw little upside from declining inventories in an environment where the euro zone debacle is overshadowing tightening supply. U.S. crude shed $1.33 to $88.88 a barrel after touching $90.52 on Tuesday, the highest intraday price since August 4, while Brent fell 58 cents to $111.31. The dollar climbed about 0.5 percent against a basket of currencies. .DXY

Spot gold held steady on Wednesday, as investors flocked to bullion for safe haven from fears of crisis contagion in Europe while technical weakness and a strong dollar weighed on prices. Spot gold inched up 0.4 percent to $1,840.36 an ounce by 0238 GMT, after rising 1.1 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,844. Technical analysis suggested that U.S. gold could move sideways in the next few weeks, while commodities as a whole may correct moderately by the end of the year, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

The Federal Reserve, facing rising global financial strains and recession fears, is poised to increase downward pressure on longer-term interest rates next week in a bid to accelerate a sputtering U.S. recovery. With one eye on escalating debt turmoil in Europe and another on a stubbornly high 9.1 percent U.S. unemployment rate, the Fed, whose policy panel meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, looks set to begin shifting the composition of its balance sheet to weight it more heavily with longer-term securities.

China will keep monetary policy tight to contain inflation while forging ahead with structural reforms and boosting consumption to sustain long-term economic growth, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the northeastern port city of Dalian, Wen said China’s slowing economic growth was a result of the government’s tightening measures to bring inflation under control and was “within expectations.”

Japan’s economy may get less support than expected from overseas demand as Europe’s debt woes escalate and U.S. growth slows sharply, a Bank of Japan policymaker said, painting a bleak picture for the prospects of recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami. There are already signs Europe’s debt woes are hurting that region’s banking sector and economy, BOJ board member Ryuzo Miyao said on Wednesday, warning that fast-growing Asian and emerging markets may begin to feel the pinch as the recovery in advanced economies loses steam.
China shouldn’t buy bonds issued by individual euro-area countries because their leaders and the European Central Bank are in disarray, said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China’s central bank. “China has to wait until it can see a clearer road map by euro countries for solving sovereign-debt problems,” Yu, who is based in Beijing, said in e-mailed comments today. The nation is not a lender of last resort for “troubled countries,” he added.

Americans’ pessimism about the economy has deepened and confidence in both political parties has fallen with only 20 percent saying the country is on the right course even as they remain divided over solutions. Just 9 percent of people say they are confident the economy won’t slide back into recession, in a Bloomberg National Poll. A majority says it will take at least six more years for home values in their community to recover to pre-recession levels.

Bank of Japan (8301) board member Ryuzo Miyao said the central bank is ready to take “appropriate” action as needed to support the economy amid worries that the yen will stay strong. “An area of concern is that the strong yen is taking root,” Miyao, 47, said in a speech in Hakodate, northern Japan. If the dollar and euro remain weak against the yen on sovereign- debt worries, “concern about the hollowing-out of domestic industries will increase,” he said.

A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re- election. The downbeat assessment of the American Jobs Act reflects a growing and broad sense of dissatisfaction with the president. Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12 shows. The disapproval number represents a nine point increase from six months ago.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will urge European governments to step up their crisis- fighting efforts amid Obama administration concerns that the region’s woes may hurt the U.S. economy. Geithner will press European Union finance ministers when he meets with them this week, a euro-area official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because preparations for the meeting, which takes place in Wroclaw, Poland, on Sept. 16 and 17, are confidential. It will be the first time Geithner has attended a session of Europe’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council, known as Ecofin.

Mario Blejer, who managed Argentina’s central bank in the aftermath of the world’s biggest sovereign default, said Greece should halt payments on its debt to stop a deterioration of the economy that threatens the European Union. “This debt is unpayable,” Blejer, who was also an adviser to Bank of England Governor Mervyn King from 2003 to 2008, said in an interview in Buenos Aires. “Greece should default, and default big. A small default is worse than a big default and also worse than no default.”

Indonesia’s central bank signaled it may cut the benchmark interest rate to spur growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy as Europe’s debt crisis threatens demand for the country’s exports. Policy makers are ready to “adjust the rate and mix monetary policy toward loosening” if inflation slows and the economy expands less than expected due to a global slowdown, Perry Warjiyo, Bank Indonesia’s director of economic research, said late yesterday in response to reporters’ questions after meeting with lawmakers in Parliament to discuss the nation’s 2012 budget assumptions.
European banks susceptible to shocks from the debt crisis in Greece and other nations should get access to a program similar to what US banks had during the financial crisis, analyst Dick Bove told CNBC Tuesday. With financial institutions in 2008 suffering hundreds of billions in writeoffs from bad loans, the Treasury Department instituted the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, to help the banks recapitalize. While it wasn’t enough to save some big banking names, the program is largely credited with staving off greater financial disaster when the housing market and subprime mortgage collapse caused a market crash.

Obama’s Spending Plan: $250,000 Per Job: Barack Obama’s jobs plan may be one of the worst policy proposals I’ve ever seen. As I pointed out last week, the plan to “pay for” the jobs proposal with tax hikes is just lunacy. It eliminates every bit of stimulus effect that could possibly come from additional government spending. Over at Zero Hedge, John Poehling has run the numbers on the American Jobs Act (AJA). Even if you take very optimistic figures, the jobs bill turns out to be unbelievably costly.
Prices of goods imported into the United States fell in August for the second time in three months as the cost of oil and food dropped, while autos stabilized, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The department said the import-price index fell 0.4 percent. The decline followed a 0.3 percent increase in July. Economists projected a 0.8 percent decrease, according to the median of 52 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Prices excluding fuel rose 0.2 percent.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is not going to Poland to push European finance ministers to boost the size of the euro-zone bailout fund, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Geithner is taking an unusual one-day trip to Poland to meet euro-zone leaders to discuss the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, as worry about the European fiscal situation has intensified.
The economic outlooks for Australia and New Zealand are diverging the most in at least five years in the bond market. Investors expect the central bank to boost New Zealand’s key interest rate 48 basis points within a year, the biggest forecast rise in the developed world, as the country rebounds from its deadliest earthquake in eight decades, Credit Suisse Group AG indexes show. Australia will make the biggest cuts by lowering borrowing costs 147 basis points, the data show. The gap between the gauges is 195 basis points, matching the most since the indexes began in 2006. New Zealand’s “growth is generally better balanced than in Australia and policy setting is more stimulatory,” said Jonathan Cunliffe, London-based head of global macro strategy at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, which manages $298 billion worldwide. “We would have a preference for owning long-dated Australian government bonds versus their New Zealand counterparts.”
Fast aging populations in Asian countries need to be properly managed, to ensure future growth said the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In its outlook update report, the ADB said structural reforms were needed in coming years. The bank also cut its growth forecast for developing Asia to 7.5% in 2011, from its earlier projection of 7.8%. It attributed the moderating growth to ongoing worries about the health of the US and European economies.

Trade unions have drawn up plans for a widespread campaign of industrial action over government plans for public sector pensions, the BBC has learned. Until now it was thought there would be a single day of action in November, but a senior union leader has confirmed the action will be more sustained. Industrial action, potentially involving millions of workers, could start by late November. Unions plan to follow up the strikes with co-ordinated action across the UK.
Reflecting the anger of Americans who are blaming Europe for the current economic turmoil, the President called for eurozone leaders to show global markets they are taking responsibility for the crisis. Mr Obama told Spanish journalists: “The leaders in Europe must meet and take a decision on how to co-ordinate monetary integration with more effective, co-ordinated fiscal policy.”

UK household finances were under increased pressure last month as rising utility bills pushed the official inflation rate up to 4.5pc. It was a modest rise compared with July, when the Consumer Prices Index was 4.4pc, but economists warned worse was yet to come. A 3.7pc increase in the price of clothing and footwear, as well as higher gas and electricity bills, were chiefly to blame for the August inflation rise according to the Office for National Statistics data.

The 50p rate of income tax is costing the Treasury up to £500 million a year as high earners shelter their money abroad, a leading think tank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the tax has led people earning more than £150,000 to resort to legal tax avoidance schemes to escape paying the higher rate. The findings will increase pressure on George Osborne, the Chancellor, to scrap the 50p rate next year. Paul Johnson, director of the IFS, said: “It looks like the 50p rate may be too high and that it is possible it will reduce tax revenues.

MPC’s Adam Posen calls on Government to set up state bank to help small businesses. Adam Posen, a leading UK policymaker, has called on the Government to set up a state-owned bank to funnel desperately needed credit to small businesses.  Mr Posen, one of the Bank of England’s nine rate setters, said such dramatic measures are necessary to avoid “potentially lasting damage” to the UK from both the recession and what he termed the “policy defeatism” of those in charge.

Britain’s trade position was unexpectedly weak in July, dampening hopes that exports will boost growth over the coming months. The trade in goods deficit widened slightly to £8.92bn, according to Office for National Statistics data, as a rise in exports failed to out-pace a rise in imports. Economists had predicted the deficit would narrow to £8.5bn. Both exports and imports increased by around £1.4bn, to £25.4bn and £34.3bn respectively. Oil was the main driver of the increase in exports, while a rise in the amount of chemicals being brought into the country was predominantly behind the rise in imports.
Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy will hold crisis talks with the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, on Wednesday in an attempt to defuse the eurozone’s escalating debt crisis. With President Barack Obama putting pressure on Europe‘s politicians to show the necessary leadership to prevent a Greek debt default triggering a market meltdown, the German chancellor and the French president will on Wednesday insist that Athens stick to its tough deficit-reduction programme. The US fears the worsening eurozone situation risks a return to the mayhem in the global markets seen three years ago this week when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.
Consumer confidence has rebounded strongly in September, a survey shows, as a recovery in economic growth and fading expectations of an interest rate hike reassured households. After falling to its lowest level in more than two years in August, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 8.1 per cent in September to 96.9. The index fell to 89.6 in August, its lowest level since May 2009. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said a strong recovery in economic growth in the June quarter and moderating interest rate expectations were behind the surprise increase.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today revised second quarter inflation lower, suggesting price growth is not as strong as previously expected. The dollar dropped on the news. The ABS, in doing its periodic revision of the consumer price index, lowered its reading of core inflation to 0.6 per cent in the second quarter from the 0.9 per cent reported in July. “The revisions to CPI are significant and are likely to help ease the RBA’s concern over the medium-term inflationary outlook,” 4Cast Ltd analyst Celeste Tay said in a note to investors.

Spain faces risks “on the downside” to its credit rating as growth slows and regional governments fall behind schedule on deficit targets, Fitch Ratings director Douglas Renwick says. “Risks for the credit rating are clearly on the downside,” London-based Renwick said last night. “The regional deficit performance adds to pressure on the central government to make the needed cuts.” Fitch rates Spain AA+ with a “negative” outlook, and Mr Renwick said weaker growth, failure to meet deficit targets, or larger-than-forecast use of public funds to rescue banks could be “clear triggers for the rating.”
The gap between the rich and the rest is growing ever wider — with the chasm increasing at a faster pace in Canada than in the United States. That’s the conclusion of a Conference Board of Canada study Tuesday, which says income inequality has been rising more rapidly in Canada than in the U.S. since the mid-1990s. Its global analysis found that Canada has had the fourth-largest increase in income inequality among its peers. Between the mid-nineties and late 2000s, income inequality rose in 10 of 17 peer countries — including Canada. It remained unchanged in Japan and Norway, and declined in five countries.
Negotiations on a cross-Strait investment protection agreement have gone smoothly and consensus been made on most issues, said a Chinese mainland official on Wednesday. Negotiators from both the mainland and Taiwan should accelerate the process so that the agreement could be signed during the 7th meeting of the heads of the mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), said Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at a press conference.

New immigrants will continue to support the demand in Singapore property market and prevent prices from falling even when the supplies surge as expected over the next couple of years, a property expert has said. Local media on Wednesday quoted Chua Yang Liang, head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Southeast Asia as saying that the non-resident population grew by 7 percent per annum over the past decade, far outpacing the housing supply growth of 2.1 percent, leading to rising home prices.

Chile’s fiscal and financial authorities are working on a contingency plan to ensure its economy can sustain any worsening of the ongoing debt crisis in the United States and European Union (EU), Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said here Thursday. “We believe that what we have to do in order to be responsible here at the Finance Ministry is to create a contingency plan to face a potentially more complex situation,” Larrain said during a seminar. Larrain said the plan is centered around creating more liquidity for Chile’s state assets and overall macro-economic management” in case the situation worsens” in Europe and the United States.
Greek government spokesman Elias Mossialos said on Tuesday that his country has escaped the default risk, categorically rejecting persistent scenarios of a Greek bankruptcy in coming weeks or months. “With the policies implemented by the Greek government, we have escaped default,” said Mossialos during an interview with a local television channel, commenting on the latest foreign media analyses and some quotes of European officials that increased anxiety this week driving stock markets down and yields of Greek bonds and the borrowing costs of other troubled economies soaring.
Stating that a series of bad news is coming both on the domestic and international fronts, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the global community cannot afford to lose nerve and will have to deal collectively with the financial crisis in Europe. “A series of bad news are coming. First, we had the IIP index (at 3.3 per cent in July) lowest in two years and second, lengthening shadow of the eurozone crisis all over the markets in the world is a matter of concern. But at the same time, we cannot lose our nerve,” the Finance Minister said on the sidelines of an ICRIER (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations) conference here.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said it would not intervene in the foreign exchange market unless the situation was grave, though the rupee touched a 16-month low of 47.59 against the U.S. dollar. “It is clear policy of the RBI that we address volatility and not the level unless it is grave and adverse situation,” RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha told reporters when asked if the RBI would intervene to check volatility in the currency market.  Rupee closed at 47.59/60 to a U.S. dollar, lowest since May, 2010. As the stock markets fell around the world and capital flows reversed from the emerging markets, including India, the rupee lost by more than 2 per cent against the dollar in the last one week.
I suspect the eurozone will soon collapse and trigger global financial contagion. This will be not remotely as bad as 2008, but painful nevertheless. A double-dip recession is not certain, but looks likely.  I have been obliged to abandon my earlier optimism that eurozone politicians would find ways of postponing Greek default, and the global economy would grow slowly but avoid recession. European politicians have poured much political capital into creating the eurozone, and will go to extraordinary lengths to prevent a rupture.

RBI’s monetary tightening has had only a limited success in curbing inflation, R Gopalan, economic affairs secretary at the finance ministry, said on Wednesday, ahead of the release of August’s headline inflation data. India’s wholesale price index (WPI) likely rose an annual 9.6 percent in August on rising food and fuel prices, bolstering the Reserve Bank’s resolve to raise interest rates further at its policy review on Friday, even at the cost of slower economic growth in the near term, a Reuters poll showed.
Turkmenistan — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych traveled on Monday to energy-rich Turkmenistan in search of a new source of natural gas supplies as his country’s relations with traditional provider Russia continue to sour. Turkmenistan and Ukraine do not share a border, however, which means that any gas deliveries would have to pass through Russia. Turkmenistan says it has spare gas to sell, and the pipeline that it uses to deliver to Russia has copious unused capacity since Gazprom sharply reduced its purchases of the Central Asian nation’s energy exports in 2009.
Greece will sack 200 000 public servants from 151 state companies long considered a burden on the country’s finances, radio reports said on Tuesday. Officials said the government had asked selected state-owned companies to proceed with the immediate dismissal of 10% of their workforce within two weeks. Affected companies included the Athens News Agency, state broadcaster ERT, the National Railway and the Athens metro, according to the reports.
Dubai plans to introduce a quarterly Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) from next quarter to evaluate consumer impressions on the state of the economy and the key drivers of consumer behaviour. Based on the findings of complex surveys, the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) will release the CCI, providing an overview of spending patterns, household incomes, and saving techniques among consumers in Dubai. The first CCI for Dubai will be published by the end of the last quarter of 2011, DED said in a statement.
Moodys Downgrading Soc Gen, and the other banks should follow shortly. The European banking mess will make Lehman look bleak. Bankers have not learnt anything from the last crisis. Moral hazard all over again. We just ask ourselves, why Soc Gen didn’t follow Albert Edwards, one of the brightest strategist around. After all, he works at Soc Gen. From Moodys; Paris, September 14, 2011 — Moody’s Investors Service has announced an extension of its review of the C+ standalone Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) of Societe Generale SA (SocGen), equivalent to a standalone Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of A2 on the long-term ratings scale, originally announced on 15 June, 2011.

Maybe Dallas Fed President Fisher will be the next Fed Chairman. Who knows. Below some highlights from his speech. Full version here. “My colleagues and I are professionally beholden to beware of short-term fixes that might contradict, or place in jeopardy the long-term duty and credibility of the central bank.” “As I have said repeatedly, we have filled the gas tanks of the economy with affordable liquidity,” he said. “What is needed now is for employers to confidently step on the pedal and engage the transmission that will use that gas to move the great job-creating machine of America forward.”