Category Archives: World
“LISBON—A political rift was opened in Portugal on Wednesday after the country’s president sent the 2013 budget to its highest court for review, an unusual move that highlights deepening opposition to a two-year austerity drive.
President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who is the head of state and belongs to the same right-of-center political party as Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, signed the budget bill into law on Monday, but expressed reservations the next day. In a late televised address to the nation, he expressed doubts about the budget’s “distribution of sacrifices,” while calling for an end to the “recession spiral” the country is undergoing.
Analysts say Mr. Cavaco’s decision marks a compromise following pressure from critics who question the budget’s fairness, such as the country’s National Association of Judges, and also allows the country to have a budget in place while the issue is being resolved….”
“LONDON (Reuters) – Global manufacturing activity expanded last month for the first time since May, supported by solid output gains in China, the United States and Britain, a business survey showed on Wednesday.
JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI, produced with research and supply management organizations, rose to 50.2 in December from November’s 49.6, nudging above the 50-mark that divides growth from contraction for the first time in seven months.
“PMI survey indices for output, new orders and employment continued to lift at the end of 2012, as the global manufacturing sector stabilizes following a softer patch in the middle of the year,” saidDavid Hensley, director of global economics coordination at JPMorgan.
As output rose for the second straight month, factories increased staffing levels for the first time since June, the survey found.
Earlier data showed U.S. manufacturing ended 2012 on a modest upswing, as increased demand at home and abroad helped the sector to grow in December at its fastest rate in seven months.
But euro zone factories sank deeper into recession with new orders tumbling – a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China.
The index combines survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.
(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; editing by Stephen Nisbet) “
“German government bonds slumped, with 10-year yields rising the most in more than three months, after U.S. lawmakers passed a bill undoing income tax increases threatening growth in the world’s largest economy.
Finnish and Dutch securities also fell as investors shunned refuge assets even though Republicans vowed to fight President Barack Obama for spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Italian bonds rallied, with 10-year yields dropping to the lowest since December 2010, as the tax deal spurred demand for higher-yielding securities. Germany sold 4.15 billion euros ($5.5 billion) of two-year notes, with the sale resulting in a positive yield for the first time since October.
“The compromise on the U.S. fiscal cliff is dominating risk sentiment,” said Rainer Guntermann, a fixed-income strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It’s a pro-risk environment and bund yields should correct a bit higher.”
Germany’s 10-year yield rose 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to 1.43 percent at 10:38 a.m. London time after climbing as much as 12 basis points, the biggest increase since Sept. 14. The 1.5 percent bond due September 2022 declined 1.005, or 10.05 euros per 1,000-euro face amount, to 100.655.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the Senate’s budget legislation as Republican lawmakers abandoned efforts to add spending cuts to the bill, removing an impediment to growth. The 257-167 bipartisan vote breaks a yearlong impasse over how to head off $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to start taking effect yesterday….”
I find it fascinating that everyone carries the meme that anything is possible.
I guess the human race has struggled to survive for so long that hope has been hard wired into us.
Another thing we all seem to agree on is that the only constant in man’s history is change.
When i mention this public service announcement in quick summation to people they become hostile while finding ways to negate anything being possible. The more i press the more they box themselves into a corner spitting out pre-programmed responses.
Peter Joseph has a cogent argument for why we may be forced into change. Change that is a natural outcome of our behavior.
It is up to everyone to endure the information contained herein and to free your mind, to open up to what is possible.
Remember if nothing changes then nothing changes….until your hand is forced.
May you and your tribe have a happy and healthy new year.
The world’s most active twitter city is….
“When the re-election of President Obama was official, I was very interested to see what would happen to the trajectory of foreign military interventions — especially the use of unmanned Predator drones. We didn’t have to wait long, however; within hours of being reelected, Obama celebrated with strikes in Yemen. As unaccountable, lawless, and dangerous as U.S. use of drone warfare has been under the Obama administration, new developments reveal that it may actually be getting worse.
NYU student Josh Begley has been tweetingevery U.S. drone strike since President Bush’s first bombing in Yemen back in 2002, and his Twitter feed highlights an incredibly disturbing tactic. The U.S. is employing a “double-tap” method in its use of drones, which means the bombing of a target multiple times in a very short period of time.
These “double-tap” attacks end up hitting “first responders” to the rubble and ashes that are left over after the initial strike, and Begley’s tweets reveal that the U.S. has been intentionally targeting funerals and civilian rescuers.
While these tactics, when discussed at all (Obama’s drone program is shrouded in an intense level of secrecy), are justified under the rubric of “national security,” even the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have classified “double-taps” as staples of terrorists, not the repertoire of supposed constitutional republics.
So while the “double-tap” method may please the likes of Hamas and the abortion clinic bomberEric Rudolph, these attacks, even by the most broad definitions of international law, are blatant war crimes….”
“Euro zone finance ministers may achieve a “breakthrough” on Wednesday in their talks in Brussels on reforming supervision of Europe’s banks, a German government official said.
Germany and France have been at loggerheads over how many banks the European Central Bank should directly supervise and some other details.
“We hope for major progress and perhaps a breakthrough (in the talks),” the German official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had told the German cabinet he was “optimistic” about a deal.
“We are ready to contribute to a solution on banking supervision. We have some questions but if they can be resolved by finance ministers today then Germany will not stand in the way of an agreement,” the source said.
But reaching a deal, which EU leaders want to sign off when they meet at a summit on Thursday and Friday, will require addressing the concerns of Germany, whose support is crucial,while also satisfying France and others with deep vested interests such as Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.
“It’s not an easy one for Germany,” said one diplomat, close to the talks. “But the markets are watching us.” Another diplomat said it came down to a conflict between quality and speed: For the best banking union possible to be put in place it will take time and it may be necessary to extend agreed deadlines.”
“Italian bonds fell for a second day as former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s political party threatened to stop supporting the government, risking the disintegration of the parliamentary coalition.
The decline pushed the 10-year yield up by the most in more than four months. Prime MinisterMario Monti survived a confidence vote after the head of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party in the Senate said his group wouldn’t put the full weight of its support behind the bill. German bunds advanced for a third day after European Central Bank policy makers left interest ratesunchanged.
“Political risk has clearly increased in Italy today, even though Mr Monti survived,” said Nick Stamenkovic, a fixed- income strategist at RIA Capital Markets Ltd. in Edinburgh. “That’s undermined peripheral bonds, particularly Italy, and given a little bit of support to bunds.”
Italian 10-year yields jumped 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to 4.56 percent at 12:51 p.m. London time, after climbing as much as 18 basis points, the most since Aug. 2. The 5.5 percent bond due November 2022 fell 0.89, or 8.90 euros per 1,000-euro ($1,307) face amount, to 107.85. Two-year yields rose 12 basis points to 2.05 percent, after reaching 2.16 percent, the most since Nov. 21….”
PMI stats have come out overnight for dozens of countries.
“Greece offered 10 billion euros ($13 billion) to buy back bonds issued earlier this year as the bailed-out nation attempts to cut a debt load that may threaten future international aid.
Greek bonds rallied after the so-called modified Dutch auction was announced today by the Athens-based Public Debt Management Agency. PDMA offered an average maximum purchase price for the bonds maturing from 2023 to 2042 of 34.1 percent, based on information in the statement. The offer runs until 5 p.m. London time on Dec. 7.”
“Former European Central Bank policy maker Nout Wellink said Spain can’t realistically expect officials to narrow the bond spread with Germany to as little as 200 basis points, as he predicted “execution problems” with the ECB’s bond program.
If Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy envisages “that the maximum difference with the Germans is 200 basis points, then he makes a mistake,” Wellink, the former Netherlands central bank governor who retired from the post in 2011, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Nov. 30. “Two hundred basis points seems to me too much” to hope for, he said.”
HEADS UP: The world’s biggest economies will release their November manufacturing PMI reports starting at 7:01 PM EST, and this is our scorecard.
Economists will want to see if the Asian economies are continuing the improvement they saw in last month’s PMI reports. They’ll also want to see if Europe’s manufacturing downturn is continuing to accelerate.
On Friday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics released the country’s official PMI. The number increased from 50.2 in October to 50.6, which was a bit shy of the 50.8 expected by economists. However, the internal measures of the report confirm that growth probably bottomed in Q3 and that the economy was accelerating again.
At the beginning of each month, Markit, HSBC, RBC, JP Morgan and several other major data gathering institutions publish the latest local readings of the manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for countries around the world.
Each reading is based on surveys of hundreds of companies. Read more about it at Markit.
These are not the most closely followed data points. However, the power of the insights is unparalleled. Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, believes the PMI numbers are among the most reliable economic indicators in the world. BlackRock’s Russ Koesterich thinks it’s one of the most underrated indicators.
The IMF and the ECB will go back to the drawing board in Brussels to try and hammer out a clear path on funding Greece.
“HONG KONG (CNNMoney) — China’s ruling Communist Party named seven men to its powerful Politburo Standing Committee Thursday in a highly orchestrated ceremony that emphasized party unity and held out little immediate prospect of bolder economic reforms.
The ritual, which took place in Beijing amid heavy security, caps the 18th Communist Party National Congress. The selection of the seven, who can serve for a decade, provides a glimpse into the thinking of party officials and contains hints about government priorities as well as the political machinations behind the choice of China’s next generation of leaders.”
“The euro-area economy succumbed to a recession for the second time in four years as governments imposed tougher budget cuts and leaders struggled to contain the debt crisis that broke out in October 2009.
Gross domestic product in the 17-nation bloc slipped 0.1 percent in the third quarter after a 0.2 percent decline in the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. The result matched the median forecast in a Bloomberg News surveyof 44 economists, as unexpected strength in Germany and France was outweighed by contractions elsewhere.
Europe’s economic malaise is deepening as governments across the region impose budget cuts to narrow their fiscal deficits. Spain and Cyprus this year joined the list of countries seeking external aid, following Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Unions across the region have held protests against austerity measures.”
“In spite of positive economic news recently from the US and China, global business sentiment remains subdued. In fact according to Markit, business confidence is at the lowest level since the financial crisis.”
Italy’s economy is likely to contract 2.3% this year due to plummeting business investment and private consumption, the European Commission said Wednesday, slashing a February forecast for a more modest 1.3% economic contraction.
The euro-zone’s third-largest economy will also contract next year by around 0.5% before expanding 0.8% in 2014, according to the new projections from the European Union’s executive body.
Italy’s public debt should peak next year at 128% and decline modestly the following year, according to the new projections.
The European Union’s new view suggests that more fiscal austerity lies ahead for Italy. The “structural” budget deficit–adjusted for the business cycle and one-off measures–should decline to 0.4% of gross domestic product next year but rise again to 0.9% of GDP in 2014.