Category Archives: World
“Pope Francis criticized what he called “savage capitalism” on a visit to a food kitchen, in an address in which he called for the values of generosity and charity to be revived.
“A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people … and we see the results in the crisis we are experiencing,” the pope said.
Francis greeted the men and women coming to the “Gift of Maria” food kitchen, located at the walls of the Vatican….”
“PARIS (Reuters) – Growth is picking up in most industrialized countries, including in the euro zone, the OECD said on Wednesday, with the United States leading the way.
The Paris-based think tank’s composite leading indicator shows growth firming in Japan and picking up in China while the outlook is improving for Italy and France is stabilizing.
Growth is seen weakening in India, however, while indicators for Russia, Brazil and the United Kingdom point to growth around trend, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
The monthly indicator for the 33 OECD member countries inched up to 100.5 in February from 100.4 in January, slightly above the long-term average of 100.0, a level last seen in October.
The euro area’s indicator has been gradually increasing over the past months, now at 99.9 from 99.7 in January and 99.4 in October.
France’s 99.6 reading, from 99.5 in January, suggests that there is no further decline in growth, while growth is picking up in Germany, the OECD said….”
This documentary puts together everything I have been saying since i was literally 11 years old.
Friends of mine say why complain, why bitch, and that what i say is too big to tackle too depressing to even think about. They are no longer my friends as i have no time for those who have no humanity.
When i bot my home a bumper sticker on the water heater said “If Nothing Changes, Then Nothing Changes”…while that is true there also comes a time where dislocation comes so slowly or too quick to notice until you are in such excruciating pain you wonder how you will ever get back to normal.
Thankfully, there is hope and wisdom that will get us back to normal. The question is will you participate or be an obstacle ?
Cheers on your weekend!
Get a handle on global growth by looking at PMI numbers that are being released over the next two days.
“There is a currency war, insists Gerald Celente, editor and publisher of the Trends Journal, and it’s going to degenerate into all out combat.
Celente’s declaration and forecast stand in sharp contrast to those of global finance leaders who are aiming to bury concerns about a currency war, as the act of competitive currency devaluation is called.
At last weekend’s G20 meeting, the finance leaders promised to “refrain from competitive [currency] devaluation,”
“It’s quite clear … that everyone around the table wants to avoid any sort of currency dispute,” Canadian Finance Jim Flaherty told reporters, according to Reuters.
“We all agreed on the fact that we refuse to enter any currency war,” Reuters said French Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters.
“Who are they kidding?” Celente asked.
“The only reason the world economies — the United States, Europe and even China — are doing anything is because of all the cheap money they are dumping into the system. But they don’t call it currency wars. They have white shoe boy names for them,” he told Yahoo.
Names such as OMT, or Outright Monetary Transactions, and QE, or quantitative easing, sound nicer. They sound “proper,” he noted. But Celente said these programs and efforts by the likes of Japan and Venezuela to devalue their currency are part of a currency war that is definitely occurring…..”
“While CAT’s CEO puts on a brave face, the results from his company are clearly indicative of the slowing global growth that everyone (apart from nominal equity indices) knows is occurring. For months, talking heads have used CAT’s results as a proxy for growth and as they are rising confirming their inherent BTFD biases; however, this month’s terrible results – with Asia/Pac down 12% on a 3-month rolling basis and North America down 11% - appears to confirm what has been evident in the lagging global GDP data for over a year - things are not picking up….”
“The world’s largest economies are set to diverge in coming months with few signs that a broad-based recovery in growth is imminent, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s composite leading indicators.
The leading indicators for December, released Monday, point to a pickup in growth in the U.S., Japan, the U.K. and Brazil, but suggest growth will remain weak by historic standards in many other big nations.
Economic data releases for the final three months of last year show that many developed economies contracted during the period, including the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.
The Paris-based think tank said Monday that its leading indicator of economic activity in its 34 developed-country members rose to 100.4 in December from 100.3 in November.
A reading above 100.00 means economic growth is set to be above the trend rate, which itself varies widely among large economies.
However, behind the slightly stronger overall measure, the leading indicators for individual economies point to differing fates.
“Composite leading indicators (CLIs)…show diverging growth patterns in the economic outlook of major economies,” the OECD said.
“In the United States and the United Kingdom, the leading indicators continue to point to economic growth firming,” the OECD said, while for Japan and Brazil “signs of growth picking up are emerging.”
The euro zone remains a weak spot in the global economy, although it is unlikely to slow further, it said….”
“Caterpillar, a global manufacturing powerhouse, is a reliable bellwether of economic conditions around the world.
This morning, the company announced better-than-expected 4Q financial sales and earnings.
The company also published its detailed outlook for the global economy, commenting on everything from interest rates, commodity prices, central bank policy, and emerging markets.
“Overall, we expect the world economy will begin the year with weak growth and improve as 2013 unfolds,” they write. “We anticipate overall world economic growth of at least 2.5 percent—a small improvement from our estimate of 2.3 percent for 2012.”
“An unprecedented $14trn (£8.8trn) greening of the global economy is the only way to ensure long-term sustainable growth, according to a stark warning delivered to political and business leaders as they descended on the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday.
Only a sustained and dramatic shift to infrastructure and industrial practices using low-carbon technology can save the world and its economy from devastating global warming, according to a Davos-commissioned alliance led by the former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, in the most dramatic call so far to fight climate change on business grounds.
This includes everything from power generation, transport, and buildings to industry, forestry, water and agriculture, according to the Green Growth Action Alliance, created at last year’s Davos meeting in Mexico.
The extra spending amounts to roughly $700bn a year until 2030 and would provide a much-needed economic stimulus as well as reduce the costs associated with global warming further down the line, said Mr Calderon, who leads the alliance….”
NATO to the rescue?
“(Reuters) – Islamist fighters have opened an international front in Mali’s civil war by taking dozens of Western hostages at a gas plant in the Algerian desert just as French troops launched an offensive against rebels in neighboring Mali.
Nearly 24 hours after gunmen stormed the natural gas pumping site and workers’ housing before dawn on Wednesday, little was certain beyond a claim by a group calling itself the “Battalion of Blood” that it was holding 41 foreign nationals, including Americans, Japanese and Europeans, at Tigantourine, deep in the Sahara.
Algerian media said a Briton and an Algerian were killed in the assault. Another local report said a Frenchman had died.
One thing is clear: as a headline-grabbing counterpunch to this week’s French buildup in Mali, it presents French President Francois Hollande with a daunting dilemma and spreads fallout from Mali’s war against loosely allied bands of al Qaeda-inspired rebels far beyond Africa, challenging Washington and Europe.
A French businessman with employees at the site said the foreigners were bound and under tight guard, while local staff, numbering 150 or more, was held apart and had more freedom.
Led by an Algerian veteran of guerrilla wars in Afghanistan, the group demanded France halt its week-old intervention in Mali, an operation endorsed by Western and African allies who fear that al Qaeda, flush with men and arms from the defeated forces of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, is building a haven in the desert.
Hollande, who won wide praise for ordering air strikes and sending troops to the former French colony, said little in response. In office for only eight months, he has warned of a long, hard struggle in Mali and now faces a risk of attacks on more French and other Western targets in Africa and beyond.
The Algerian government ruled out negotiating and the United States and other Western governments condemned what they called a terrorist attack on a facility, now shut down, that produces 10 percent of Algeria’s gas, much of which is pumped to Europe…”
“Spanish government securities declined, with the 10-year debt falling for the first time in three days, after a report showed euro-area industrial production unexpectedly shrank in November.
Italy’s bonds also dropped after a report showed factory output in the nation slid more than economists forecast. German bunds rose for the first time in three days, paring their worst start to a year since the introduction of the euro in 1999 as investors returned to the region’s safest assets. French two- year notes were little changed as the nation prepares to sell as much as 7.2 billion euros ($9.62 billion) of bills.
“There might be a little bit of a reversal” in Italian and Spanish bonds, said Elisabeth Afseth, a fixed-income analyst at Investec Bank Plc in London. “I doubt that there is any major change in trend. If we get continual setbacks and weak economic data then they might struggle.”
Spanish 10-year yields rose eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 4.97 percent at noon London time. The 5.85 percent bond due January 2022 fell 0.58, or 5.80 euros per 1,000-euro face amount, to 106.315. The yield touched 4.84 percent on Jan. 11, the lowest since March 1.
The yield on similar-maturity Italian bonds rose two basis points to 4.15 percent, after sliding to 4.09 percent on Jan. 11, the least since Nov. 10, 2010.
Industrial production in the 17-nation euro area dropped 0.3 percent from October, when it declined a revised 1 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.2 percent, according to the median of 37 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey….”
“As part of an effort to restore trust in the scandal-hit Euribor interest rate, regulators said the number of maturities that make up the benchmark for trillions of euros of lending should be cut from 15 to seven.
Europe’s top banking and markets regulators told the European Banking Federation, which oversees Euribor, to strengthen governance procedures to ensure no banks try to manipulate the rate. Cutting the number of tenors would “have the benefit of simplifying” submissions….”
“Liam Fisher writes: “The global debt crisis is continuing, largely unabated. While significant measures are being put into place by governments around the world, there is little tangible effect being had on deficits that are continuing to pile up. Indeed, there is only limited agreement amongst economists on the severity of the debt crisis and its implications for the people of the world or the best ways to go about rectifying the problem. Some advocate drastic austerity measures and strict fiscal conservatism, while others take a more Keynesian approach that sees deficit spending as a way out of recession.
In this infographic from IronFX.com…”
“Banks and financial institutions are leading the pack of global borrowers that have rushed to the U.S. debt markets at the start of the year.
Global corporations began 2013 with a wave of issuance that pushed total bond sales in the U.S. over the $40 billion mark in less than a week. But no group of borrowers has been more aggressive than banks and financial institutions.
Citigroup, Allstate, and MetLife, among others, were joined by the U.K.’sStandard Chartered and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, sending dollar-denominated sales of bank debt to $14.3 billion so far this year, according to Dealogic. In a single blockbuster sale, Bank of America offered $6 billion in three parts on Tuesday. That was the largest bond sale so far in 2013.
Banks are rushing to squeeze in as many sales as possible ahead of the so-called quiet period, which precedes the release of their quarterly earnings reports, analysts said. Wells Fargo kicks off the US bank results season on Friday, withJPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs coming next week.
“Banks tend to come to markets earlier in the year, but they are certainly being more aggressive,” said Jason Brady, portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management. “It’s a sign they are growing more comfortable with their balance sheets and in a position to take more debt.”
A recent rise in Treasury yields may also be contributing to the banks’ rush to lock in new funding sooner rather than later. The yield on the 10-year note moved close to 2 percent from 1.7 percent in a matter of days, before paring some of its advance….”
“Brazil’s swap rates dropped after a report showed inflation slowed more than forecast, fueling speculation that the central bank will keep borrowing costs at record lows to support the economy.
Swap rates due in January 2015 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.78 percent at 10:12 a.m. in Sao Paulo after rising nine basis points yesterday, the most this month. The real slid 0.1 percent to 2.0437 per dollar.
The IGP-M price index increased 0.41 percent in the 10 days through Dec. 31 from a month earlier after climbing 0.69 percent in the prior period, the Getulio Vargas Foundation reported today. The median forecast of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.5 percent advance. The gauge is composed of 60 percent producer prices, 30 percent consumer prices and 10 percent construction costs.
“Local swap rates should be responding to the inflation indicators,” Octavio de Barros, an economist at Banco Bradesco SA, wrote in an e-mailed report today.”
“Thailand kept its policy interest rate unchanged for a second straight meeting on signs of an improving outlook for exports and strengthening domestic demand.
The Bank of Thailand held its one-day bond repurchase rate at 2.75 percent, it said in Bangkok today, as predicted by all 22 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The decision was unanimous, and forecasts for growth last year and this year will be revised upward after a better-than-expected expansion in the fourth quarter, the monetary policy committee said.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government has extended subsidies, raised minimum wages and increased infrastructure investments to shield growth after the floods of 2011. While weakness in Europe and Japan persist, there is a broad-based recovery in Thai exports and the performance of Asian economies has turned positive, the central bank said today.
“The unanimous decision confirms our view that the easing cycle in Thailand has drawn to an end,” said Wee-Khoon Chong, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. “There seems to be no change in their view on the strong domestic demand and benign inflation. The BOT’s focus in the near-term will be on the potential impact of volatile capital flows.”
The Thai baht rose 0.2 percent to 30.38 per dollar as of 3:01 p.m. in Bangkok today, approaching a 10-month high. The benchmark Stock Exchange of Thailand index gained 0.6 percent, having surged 36 percent in 2012…”
“Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting committee could mark a key moment in the evolution of the euro zone debt crisis, as a growing number of economists predict that it will vote to cut interest rates again.
ECB President Mario Draghi has made several bold decisions in his first year in charge, notably the pledge to support struggling states through bond buying viaOutright Monetary Transactions(OMTs), and an interest rate cut could be the next.
A cut would make the ECB’s deposit rate, currently 0, negative – effectively charging companies to deposit money. While this could mean that banks put their money to work elsewhere, it could also mean that ordinary savers have less incentive to put money aside.
The headline refinancing rate is currently 0.75 percent, but at the moment this has less effect on short-term borrowing than the deposit rate because cheap ECB loans have already made borrowing money less expensive….”
“Political risk has entered our vocabulary,” writes Ian Bremmer pointing to the fiscal cliff, the eurozone crisis, and the turmoil in the Middle East.
Believe it or not, Bremmer actually thinks that the world may be a little too worried about what’s going on in geopolitics.
“Looking to 2013, political risk in the developed world is now overstated,” he writes. “Despite the chaos in Congress–which we’ll surely see much more of in the coming year–concerns about the fiscal cliff in the United States have been overplayed. So too the fragmentation of the eurozone. And the impact of continued zero growth in Japan.”
But this doesn’t mean we should be dismissive of the risks.
What follows are Bremmer’s top 10 risks for 2013, key excerpts from his report, and a list of the red herrings.