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30 November 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • "Fiscal cliff" talks are getting nowhere, lawmaker says
    U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said no real progress has been made in talks between Republican leaders and the White House, and there is a real danger that the "fiscal cliff" will go into effect at year-end. "No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks," he said. "There's been no serious discussion of spending cuts so far, and unless there is, there's a real danger of going off the fiscal cliff." Reuters (29 Nov.), (30 Nov.), Bloomberg (30 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rise in Japan's factory output surprises economists
    Economists were caught off guard by a 1.8% increase in Japan's industrial production in October from September, when it fell 4.1%. Surging demand for electronic parts and devices largely drove the increase, with production for those items up 14.7%. Sales to Apple played a big part in the expansion. Bloomberg (30 Nov.), RTT News (29 Nov.), MarketWatch (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts discuss possible ways to overhaul Libor
    The American Enterprise Institute asked a group of experts to discuss proposals for resolving issues plaguing the London Interbank Offered Rate and other benchmarks. Alex Pollock of AEI offered a bit of history of how Libor came to be and how it has emerged as probably the world's most important index. The experts differed on many points but expect adjustments will be made to Libor's administration. However, deals might be drafted to rely on alternative benchmarks, they said. (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Asian-Pacific markets up despite stall in "fiscal cliff" talks
    Asian-Pacific markets closed out the month higher, and were up Friday despite a stall in "fiscal cliff" talks in the U.S. Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.5%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6%. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5%. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.9%. Taiwan's Taiex advanced 1%. India's Sensex was up 0.9% at mid-afternoon. MarketWatch (30 Nov.), The Economic Times (India) (06 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "Fiscal cliff" triggers scramble to book deals in 2012
    Fears that Congress won't strike a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" and that capital gains taxes will rise Jan. 1 are driving a rush by U.S. companies and funds to close sales in 2012. Data provider Dealogic said follow-on offerings by venture capital and private equity firms total $35.3 billion, the most at this point in a year since Dealogic began tracking the data in 1995. The Wall Street Journal (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Swedish exchange glitch is latest bourse tech issue
    Nasdaq OMX Group halted trading in Swedish derivatives for four hours due to a computer error that resulted in an order seeking to buy futures contracts on the nation's stocks valued at 131 times its gross domestic product. "Our system misinterpreted a certain order category and communicated a value that was way too high into the book," said Nasdaq OMX spokesman Carl Norell. He noted that this wasn't a "fat finger" incident. The glitch was the latest in a series of technical problems experienced by exchanges in recent months. Bloomberg Businessweek (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • U.S. economy grew faster in Q3 than first thought
    The U.S. economy expanded 2.7% in the third quarter, not 2%, as initially estimated, according to the Commerce Department. Most of the growth came from government spending, mainly for military items, and companies stockpiling inventory, the department says. Consumer spending and business investment in equipment and software were less than originally thought. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (30 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Competitors, not regulators, will challenge Web giants
    Regulators are scrutinizing the Internet's Big Four -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- but the companies' biggest challenge will be innovative competitors, according to The Economist. Microsoft is fading because it ignored changes in the marketplace, not because of regulatory action. "The four big fish nowadays also have a reputation for arrogance and plenty of enemies," the magazine notes. The Economist (01 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • PBOC official criticizes U.S. over FATCA
    Liu Xiangmin, a senior official at the People's Bank of China, says the U.S. has erred in taking a unilateral approach to thwart tax evaders by way of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Liu says FATCA doesn't respect the sovereignty of other nations. "It creates unreasonable costs for foreign financial institutions and directly contravenes many countries' privacy and data-protection laws," he said. (subscription required) (28 Nov.), Reuters (28 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2 U.S. lawmakers request Volcker rule delay
    U.S. Reps. Spencer Bachus and Jeb Hensarling are asking regulators to postpone the Volcker rule, which prohibits proprietary trading at major banks. The leading Republicans asked to delay the effective date by two years after the final version is released. "Given the time that it will take for you to agree on one version of the Volcker Rule as well as the tremendous uncertainty that market participants face in trying to anticipate what the final rule will look like, we respectfully suggest that the Federal Reserve Board delay the Volcker Rule's effective date," Bachus and Hensarling wrote in a letter to regulators. Bloomberg Businessweek (29 Nov.), (subscription required) (29 Nov.), The Wall Street Journal/Deal Journal blog (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HKEx gains U.K. authorization to acquire LME
    The U.K. Financial Services Authority approved Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's takeover of the London Metal Exchange. Shortly thereafter, HKEx raised as much as $1 billion from the equity market to help pay for the $2.2 billion purchase. The deal is expected to be completed late next week. Reuters (29 Nov.), Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (30 Nov.), Google/Agence France-Presse (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EU court blocks request for ECB files on how Greece hid debt
    The EU General Court, rejecting a request by Bloomberg News, is allowing the European Central Bank to keep private documents that show how Greece used derivatives to conceal debt. "The courts are bending the rules to legalize the policies of the European institutions and help stabilize the region," said Georg Erber of the German Institute for Economic Research. "It reveals implicitly that the EU was well-informed about what was going on and didn't take steps to avert the crisis." Bloomberg (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • House panel is expected to make SRO bill low priority
    A U.S. bill to move supervision of financial advisers from the Securities and Exchange Commission to one or more self-regulatory organizations is unlikely to see a House vote this year, after Rep. Jeb Hensarling was elected chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, industry officials say. "I would expect him to hit the ground running with a strong agenda," said Dan Barry, managing director of government relations and public policy at the Financial Planning Association. "I wouldn't expect the investment-adviser issues to be high on his list." InvestmentNews (free registration) (28 Nov.), (U.S.)/Yield of Dreams blog (29 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • ProShares plans high-yield-debt ETF with hedging
    ProShares aims to launch an exchange-traded fund investing in high-yield corporate debt that would have built-in protection against rapidly rising interest rates. If approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the ProShares High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF will take short positions on U.S. Treasurys to hedge against higher interest rates diminishing the value of its bonds. Zacks (28 Nov.), (27 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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