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20 November 2012
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  • Obama confers with Dimon and Buffett about "fiscal cliff"
    President Barack Obama consulted over the weekend with corporate leaders, including investor Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, about avoiding the U.S. "fiscal cliff." Both business leaders support the president's call to increase tax rates for the wealthy, but Dimon was critical about waiting so long to start talks about the fiscal cliff. Reuters (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Manufacturing returns but without blue-collar jobs
    Manufacturing is growing fast in the U.S. and other major economies but the nature of factory work has changed and the number of traditional factory jobs has decreased, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. Worldwide manufacturing contributed to 37% of productivity growth between 1995 and 2005, but employment fell 24% in that period, the study found. The Washington Post/Wonkblog (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • India might allow greater foreign ownership of debt
    India's central bank is considering a proposal to increase the amount of government debt that foreigners can own from $10 billion to $15 billion, two Finance Ministry officials said. The Reserve Bank of India is also reviewing a proposal to raise the limit on foreign ownership of corporate debt from $20 billion to $25 billion, they said. Bloomberg (20 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Spain's financial woes reflect world's
    Spain is a prime example of problems besetting the global economy; namely, too much debt that likely will never be repaid, Alen Mattich writes. Spain has €182 billion in bad loans, nearly 11% of its balance sheet. Until bondholders accept losses, the can will keep getting kicked down the road, Mattich notes. However, that cannot go on forever. A U.K. official noted that monetary policy will only put off, not prevent, painful and necessary restructuring. The Wall Street Journal/The Euro Crisis blog (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
 
  • Asian-Pacific market are mixed amid eurozone troubles
    Asian-Pacific markets were mixed Tuesday as uncertainty over aid for Greece and the downgrade of France's bond rating rattled investors. South Korea's Kospi and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 each rose 0.6%. Taiwan's Taiex edged up 0.2%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.2%. China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.4%. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.1%. India's Sensex was down 0.1% at mid-afternoon. MarketWatch (20 Nov.), The Economic Times (India) (26 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • France loses AAA rating from Moody's
    Moody's Investors Service downgraded France's government-debt rating one step, from AAA to Aa1. The credit rating agency cited the country's weak outlook for long-term growth, reduced competitiveness and inflexibility in labor, service and goods markets. Standard & Poor's downgraded France in January. France 24/Agence France-Presse (19 Nov.), Forbes (19 Nov.), CNBC (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economics 
  • Sales of existing U.S. homes increase
    Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. increased 11% last month compared with October 2011, the National Association of Realtors said. The inventory of unsold homes shrank to its smallest in a decade. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder sentiment this month shows that confidence is at its highest level in six years. Google/The Associated Press (19 Nov.), Bloomberg (19 Nov.), FuturesMag.com (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japan readies $12.3B stimulus program
    Japan aims to prevent recession by launching a $12.3 billion round of stimulus. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura says the government will draw against reserves in this fiscal year's budget. Bloomberg (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: U.S. needs sensible pricing for energy
    America's oil and gas bonanza, made possible by policy that encourages innovation, should be followed by rational pricing for energy, according to The Economist. "Tiny petrol taxes take no account of the damaging effects of pollution. ... The biggest bonanza from all this new energy would be if the users paid the real cost of consuming oil and gas," the magazine notes. The Economist (17 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Investors seek better alternative-investment reporting
    Use of alternative investments is increasing, and financial advisers, as well as other entities offering investment guidance, are facing pressure to produce client statements more quickly and accurately and with more detail. One solution is for advisers to use a data-aggregation service. AdvisorOne (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • FSA might let retail banks sell certain derivatives
    U.K. banks might end up peddling derivatives to small companies once their retail operations are ring fenced, Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner said. That revelation is a reversal of an original proposal. "We can see some arguments why a relaxation might be legitimate and OK provided that it is wrapped around with some limits as to the scale of this book relative to the total scale of the balance sheet," Turner said. Reuters (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Products 
  • Van Eck prepares hedged high-yield-bond ETF
    Van Eck Global filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch an exchange-traded fund focused on high-yield corporate bonds. The ETF would short U.S. Treasurys to hedge against a sharp increase in interest rates. The Market Vectors High Yield/Treasury Bond ETF would be linked to a proprietary index tracking below-investment-grade corporate debt, which must have a fixed coupon and one year left to maturity and be denominated in the U.S. dollar. IndexUniverse.com (19 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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