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27 December 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Washington readies final effort to avert "fiscal cliff"
    With President Barack Obama and members of the Senate headed back to Washington, D.C., political leaders are preparing to make a final attempt at averting the "fiscal cliff" that economists have said could return the U.S. into a recession. In a sign that there may be a way to break the standoff, Rep. John Boehner, head of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, urged the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, to offer a proposal that could restart movement toward a budget compromise. Reuters (26 Dec.), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (26 Dec.), Bloomberg (26 Dec.), The Hill/On The Money blog (27 Dec.), MSN/Reuters (27 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. government will reach debt ceiling Monday, Geithner says
    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to Congress that the U.S. government's borrowing will reach the $16.4 trillion debt limit Monday. The Treasury plans to resort to "extraordinary measures" to allow it to legally keep borrowing. That will buy the government two months before it is unable to meet its financial obligations, Geithner said. The Washington Post (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BRIC countries face uncertain growth without reforms
    A decade of high growth for the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- is over as average gross domestic product growth is forecast to slip to 4.5% in 2012 from an annual average of 8% from 2000 to 2008. Each country faces particular challenges in modernizing to boost growth rates going forward. Russia must address corruption to attract investment and Brazil has to simplify regulations. The Wall Street Journal (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Most Asian-Pacific markets rise led by Japan
    Hopes that the stimulus policies of Japan's new government will boost growth sent Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.9%, its highest close since the March 2011 earthquake. The Nikkei led gains across most of the Asian-Pacific region Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.4%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 and South Korea's Kospi each gained 0.3%. Taiwan's Taiex moved up 0.2%. Bucking the trend, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.6%. India's Sensex was down 0.5% at midafternoon. MarketWatch (27 Dec.), The Economic Times (India) (02 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Arab stock markets posted big rebound in 2012
    Arab securities exchanges enjoyed dramatic growth during 2012. The 14 official stock exchanges in the Arab region increased their total market capitalization from $884 billion at the end of 2011, to $944.2 billion toward the end of this year, a $60.2 billion expansion. According to the Arab Monetary Fund, assets of Saudi Arabia's Tadawul market rose by $37 billion while the Abu Dhabi Security Exchange in the United Arab Emirates grew almost $12 billion. Emirates Business 24/7 (United Arab Emirates) (27 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economics 
  • Analysis: The global economic recovery is still shaky
    Five years have passed since the world was plunged into a financial crisis and the global economic recovery remains feeble, according to The Economist. "The euro zone's debt crisis became less acute in 2012, thanks largely to the promise by Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank's president, to do 'whatever it takes' to save the single currency," the magazine notes. "Bond yields in peripheral economies declined ... But Europe's chronic problems worsened." The Economist (free content) (22 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IMF says French deficit priority should be policies not numbers
    This month, the International Monetary Fund forecast that France's deficit for 2013 would be 3.5% of gross domestic product, missing its 3% target. With growth weak across the eurozone, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn put the idea of a "softer adjustment" on the table, offering hope that France would be given more time to meet its goals, thus avoiding cuts that would further slow growth. Reuters (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China reportedly will boost deficit 50%
    The Chinese government plans to increase its fiscal deficit 50% to 1.2 trillion yuan next year as part of a package of measures to accelerate economic growth, according to the China Business News, which quoted people familiar with the matter. The deficit is expected to widen to 2.1% of gross domestic product next year, compared with this year's 1.5%, the publication said. Market News International (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Financial advisers' "fiscal cliff" advice: Don't panic
    Financial advisers are getting a lot of questions about what to do, now that it appears that Congress and the White House won't come up with a deal to avert the U.S. "fiscal cliff." The one thing most advisers agree is that investors shouldn't panic. Drastic action is almost always a mistake, they say. CNNMoney (23 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • Carney open to unconventional policy tools at BoE
    The Bank of England's incoming governor Mark Carney signaled in a Dec. 11 speech that he may support use of unconventional monetary policy tools by the central bank, such as issuing interest rate guidance and printing money to lift Britain's economy. Many believe that Carney, currently head of the Bank of Canada, will turn first to rate guidance since he used it in 2009 to guarantee low interest rates to Canadian businesses after the financial crisis. The Wall Street Journal (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japan considering raising capital requirements for more banks
    Japan's Financial Services Agency is considering holding banks beyond the nation's three biggest to stricter capital requirements starting in 2016. The Financial Stability Board already requires three Japanese banks to set aside more capital to protect the stability of the global banking system. Reuters (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • Northern Lights helps advisers launch ETFs
    Arrow Investment Advisors and Gemini Fund Services partnered to create Northern Lights ETF Trust, a shared exchange-traded fund trust designed to reduce the cost and complexity of bringing ETFs to the market. For ETFs, Northern Lights will operate in a way similar to Gemini's shared trusts for mutual funds. PlanAdviser.com (20 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Ethics 
  • Rate swaps case against Royal Bank of Scotland dismissed
    The Royal Bank of Scotland won a U.K. High Court case that alleged the bank missold an interest rate swap in 2005. Judge David Wacksman ruled in the bank's favor because the swap performed until the credit crisis, which he said could not have been foreseen. Because of the credit crunch, Wacksman said, "it transpired that the protection given by the swap was not complete ... but none of that means that the swap was an unsuitable product back in May 2005." Citywire (U.K.)/New Model Adviser (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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