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18 January 2013
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  Top Stories 
  • House Republicans consider temporary debt-limit increase
    Senior Republicans in the House of Representatives said they may back a small, interim increase of the U.S. debt limit, a move that would let them deflect the political consequences of the government defaulting on its debt in February or March. "We're discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension, so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and White House involved in discussions in March," said Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee. Reuters (17 Jan.), MarketWatch/Political Watch blog (17 Jan.), MSNBC (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Schwab agrees to let money funds' NAV float
    Charles Schwab is taking the first step to let money funds' net-asset value deviate from $1 per share. According to a letter sent to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the change would start "reform at the sector of the money market fund industry most likely to initiate a potentially destabilizing run, but do so without wreaking havoc." Reuters (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
2013 — The year of the leverage ratio
The leverage ratio is set to become a key metric for banks. From Q1'13, banks in the U.S. and Europe will disclose more consistent and comparable figures for assets and leverage. SNL Financial monitors developments affecting hundreds of European financial institutions; providing standardised data, in-depth analysis and exclusive news. Find out more.
  Market Activity 
  • Weak yen and strong Chinese GDP boost Asian-Pacific markets
    Asian-Pacific stock markets climbed Friday as Japan's yen continued to weaken and China released positive economic data. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 2.9%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.1%. China's Shanghai Composite advanced 1.4%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.3%. Taiwan's Taiex added 1.5%. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7%. India's Sensex was up 0.4% near midafternoon. MarketWatch (18 Jan.), The Economic Times (India) (24 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Markets signal little worry about eurozone debt
    Concerns about the eurozone debt crisis are fading, despite weakness in underlying economies. Italian and Spanish bonds have been strengthening for six months, and the euro is at its highest value in 10 months. Meanwhile, Spain has successfully concluded a large debt offering. Reuters (17 Jan.), The Wall Street Journal (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Director, Curriculum Projects - All locations
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  • Economists don't expect eurozone growth
    An economic survey concurs with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's assessment that "we are not at all seeing an early and strong recovery." Analysts expect eurozone growth to be stymied not only by austerity but also by the euro's strength. "Without a decisive resolution it will be hard to fully restore private-sector confidence and credit availability, and stimulate growth," according to a Goldman Sachs report. "As a result, 2013 promises to be another year of weakness for Europe's economy." Bloomberg (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Initial unemployment claims hit 5-year low
    First-time jobless claims in the U.S. decreased to 335,000 last week, the fewest in five years, the Labor Department says. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 369,000. Bloomberg (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. housing starts reach highest level since 2008
    Housing starts in the U.S. increased 12.1% last month compared with November, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000, the Commerce Department says. In 2012, construction began on about 780,000 units, a 28.1% increase from 2011. RTT News (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: End of offshoring jobs begins
    America's practice of sending jobs to foreign land is waning, but the demise of offshoring is no cause for complacency about the labor market, according to The Economist. "The shift of jobs back to developed countries is an encouraging sign that the flow of jobs need not be one-way," the magazine notes. "But only if governments and people in prosperous places invest heavily in building up skills will the workforces there properly benefit." The Economist (tiered subscription model) (19 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chinese economy rebounded in Q4
    Adding to evidence that China's economy is picking up momentum, gross domestic product increased 7.9% in the fourth quarter, up from 7.4% expansion in Q3. Retail sales jumped 15.2% last month compared with December 2011. For 2012, GDP increased 7.8% compared with 2011, the lowest rate since 1999. Forbes (17 Jan.), (China) (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fee-based advisers purchase more structured notes
    Financial advisers who don't accept commission when selling products, compensated solely through fees, accounted last year for the biggest proportion of U.S. structured-note sales since 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Advisers are becoming bigger buyers of structured notes because they are searching for higher yields and developing confidence in the securities, said Justin Capetola, managing partner at Blue Bell Private Wealth Management. Financial Advisor online/Bloomberg (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FCA's approach must be different from FSA's, panel says
    A U.K. parliamentary committee has challenged the Financial Conduct Authority to be "radically different" from the Financial Services Authority. The FCA, which will take over as early as April, will be led by John Griffith-Jones, formerly KPMG's U.K. head. While some lawmakers are nervous about his lack of experience, they also praise his appointment as "part of a welcome and much-needed fundamental shake-up of regulation." Bloomberg (17 Jan.), Reuters (18 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BoE official says Basel III isn't strong enough
    Robert Jenkins, a member of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, warns that Basel III will not protect the global financial system. He says his opinion is shared by, among others, Andrew Haldane, the central bank's director of financial stability. Haldane has said in the past that Basel III is too complex to be effective. Reuters (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC reportedly considering ex-prosecutor for chairmanship
    Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White reportedly is in consideration for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White presents a different profile compared with former chairmen, who often were lawyers with experience in the financial sphere. Bloomberg (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • Credit Suisse gold ETN would use covered-call strategy
    Credit Suisse has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch an exchange-traded note that would buy physical gold. The ETN would seek to enhance returns by selling "out of the money" call options, a technique known as the covered-call strategy. (17 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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