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21 February 2013
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  Top Stories 
 
  • EU gains further authority to oversee national budgets
    The European Commission and the European Parliament have compromised on a plan to give the commission power to review eurozone members' budgets and request changes if they do not meet the bloc's rules. "This will mean that the euro area can benefit from a more integrated and effective policy-setting framework already for the 2014 budgetary cycle," said Olli Rehn, EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner. Reuters (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Boeing reportedly will propose Dreamliner battery fix to FAA
    U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta will meet with Boeing executive Ray Conner on Friday to hear the company's plan to fix battery problems that have grounded the 787 Dreamliner, a source familiar with the matter said. The Dreamliner could fly again by April if Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood approves the plan, the source said. Reuters (20 Feb.), AviationWeek.com (20 Feb.), The Seattle Times (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2 Democratic lawmakers push for transaction tax
    The political momentum for a U.S. financial-transaction tax seems weak, but two Democrats -- Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon -- are ready to reintroduce a bill that would impose a 0.03% tax on bond and equity transactions. Derivatives would be taxed, too, though at a rate yet to be determined. Industry experts say such levies would curb economic growth and shrink trading volume. The Trade News (U.K.) (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FSA prepares to publish internal Libor review
    The U.K. Financial Services Authority has promised a parliamentary committee that it will publish an internal review of an investigation into manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate in coming weeks. The Treasury Select Committee has expressed concern that despite the FSA's assertion that it worked with U.S. regulators, its investigation seemed to lag significantly. Reuters (21 Feb.), Bloomberg (21 Feb.), The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 Morningstar Direct Whitepaper in CFA Institute Selected Content Newsletter
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  Market Activity 
 
  • Asian-Pacific markets fall amid fears of Fed tightening
    Asian-Pacific markets fell Thursday after Federal Reserve minutes from January indicated that the central bank is leaning toward a tightening of monetary policy. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.7%. China's Shanghai Composite dropped 3%. Japan's Nikkei 225 gave up 1.4%. South Korea's Kospi slid 0.5%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 2.3%. India's Sensex was down 1.6%. MarketWatch (21 Feb.), The Economic Times (India) (26 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Read complimentary articles on 2013 U.S. and European bond interest rates, the 2013 global credit outlook, and factors affecting nonfinancial corporate credit stability.
  Economics 
  • BoE was divided in stimulus debate, minutes show
    Minutes from the last Bank of England meeting show that despite Governor Mervyn King's public skepticism about increased quantitative easing, he, along with two other policymakers, voted for further bond buying. The minutes also display the central bank's "willingness to bring inflation back to the target over a longer time horizon than usual." Reuters (20 Feb.), Bloomberg (20 Feb.), The Wall Street Journal (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rate cuts must reach beyond eurozone core, Noyer says
    Interest-rate adjustments are effective only if they materially change conditions in the entire eurozone, European Central Bank Governing Council member Christian Noyer says. "The exact level of the ECB's main refinancing rate has been considered to have much less importance because of its low level and because our main problem was transmission [of monetary policy]," he said. The Wall Street Journal (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Starts increase for single-family houses
    U.S. housing starts declined 8.5% last month, but builders broke ground on the most single-family homes since July 2008, the Commerce Department says. A sharp drop in multifamily construction, traditionally a volatile indicator, drove the overall decline, the department says. Permit issuance, an indicator of future construction, reached its highest level since June 2008. Reuters (20 Feb.)
  • Advisers: Wait until retirement to put funds in Roth IRA
    Some financial decisions are best made through procrastination, and deciding when to move savings into a Roth individual retirement account is one of them, advisers say. Waiting until retirement to shift funds usually results in a lower tax rate than making the move during midcareer, they say. Reuters (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Prepaid cards bring banking to the poor
    About 1 in 12 U.S. households lacks a bank account, but improvement in prepaid cards offers hope of bringing financial services to the poor, according to The Economist. "Pre-paid cards are not perfect: their fees can be sizeable and opaque, and they offer limited consumer protection," the magazine notes. "But they are convenient and a growing part of America's consumer-finance landscape." The Economist (tiered subscription model) (16 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Reining in Risk
CFA Institute report: Investors need better disclosure of derivatives and hedging activities

Read the Report
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • SEC's Aguilar calls on companies to offer pay details
    Luis Aguilar, a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is urging companies to voluntarily disclose compensation details to shareholders. "The relative pay of different classes of employees, such as the ratio between CEO compensation and median pay, can ... create risks to an enterprise, including the risk of employee, customer and shareholder discontent," Aguilar said. Industry groups have expressed concern about gathering and disclosing such information. Reuters (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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