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Archive for 24. April 2012

Reshaping banking. The retreat from everywhere

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

Led by European banks, the world’s lenders are pulling back to their home markets

Apr 21st 2012 |Economist

SOME signs are subtle. Foreign lenders operating in America are tightening loan standards more sharply than domestic rivals; Hong Kong property developers are scrambling to issue bonds for want of other funding. But others—the “for sale” signs hung on the overseas assets of many European lenders—are pretty blatant. The ability and willingness of banks to compete across borders is unravelling.

The years before the financial crisis saw rapid growth in the cross-border activities of banks. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the average year-on-year growth rate for cross-border bank credit to non-banks during the 2000-07 period was a sizzling 15.2%, compared with 6.7% for total bank credit. Since then cross-border credit has fizzled (see chart 1) and looks likely to fall further.

European lenders were in the vanguard during the era of internationalisation, and around a third of their assets are outside their home markets. They are now under pressure to slim down their balance-sheets quickly, partly to shore up capital and partly because of funding strains. The IMF this week projected that banks in the European Union would undergo a $2.6 trillion deleveraging over the next two years. Much of that will be achieved by running for home Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Deutsche Wirtschaft fordert härteren Sparkurs

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

Date: 24-04-2012
Source: SPIEGEL
Subject: Kritik an Bundesregierung

Deutsche Wirtschaft fordert härteren Sparkurs

In der europäischen Schuldenkrise feiert sich die Bundesregierung gerne als leuchtendes Vorbild bei der Haushaltskonsolidierung. Doch der deutschen Wirtschaft reichen die Anstrengungen offenbar nicht. Laut einem Pressebericht fordert sie die Bundesregierung auf, mehr zu sparen.

Berlin – Im Vergleich zum Rest der Euro-Zone steht Deutschland gut da: Mit einem Haushaltsdefizit von einem Prozent der Wirtschaftsleistung belegte das Land im vergangenen Jahr Platz drei. Nur Finnland und Luxemburg machten noch weniger neue Schulden. Doch von der deutschen Wirtschaft gibt es für diese Meldung nur wenig Applaus.

Sie verlangt von der Bundesregierung einen schärferen Sparkurs. Vor dem Hintergrund der europäischen Schuldenkrise sei es notwendig, “auf eine Politik praktisch ohne Neuverschuldung umzuschwenken”, heißt es in einem Brief des Präsidenten des Deutschen Industrie- und Handelskammertages (DIHK), Heinrich Driftmann, an Kanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU). Das berichtet die “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (“FAZ”). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Pain in Spain

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

John Mauldin’s Outside the Box, 24/4

It really does seem to be All Spain All the Time, but there is a reason. Unlike Greece, Spain makes a difference to the eurozone. It may be both too big to allow to fail and too big to save. Last week I came across a very informative 50-page PowerPoint on the situation in Spain from Carmel Asset Management. It is too big to send, but I asked Jonathan Carmel to draft a smaller document with some of the key points. I find it compelling. You can access the entire PowerPoint on my website. If you are not registered with me, you will need to enter your email address and, if you would, your zip code or country. There is a lot if information and data in the report. It will certainly make you think.

I want to emphasize that I do not think Spain is hopeless. Rather, it has a narrow set of limited options that will require a great deal of austerity and economic pain on the part of Spain and significant help from the rest of Europe, combined with the forbearance and patience of the bond market or massive buying of Spanish bonds by the ECB for an extended period of time. I think it will need to be the latter, as the bond market is on the brink of breaking down on Spanish debt, failing a realistic path to economic balance and growth. The way ahead is most difficult and treacherous. It appears to me that at the end of the day only ECB participation can buy Spain the time it needs. If they give Spain the time, it can get through. But the pain will then be spread to the valuation of the euro and thus the entire eurozone. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Keine Ratifikation des EU-Fiskalpakts ohne Volksabstimmung

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

http://www.facebook.com/EUFiskalpakt

Keine Ratifikation des EU-Fiskalpakts ohne Volksabstimmung

Aufruf

Beim Gipfel der EU- Staats- und Regierungschefs Anfang März 2012 wurde beschlossen, einen „Vertrag über Stabilität, Koordinierung und Steuerung in der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion“ einzurichten. Der Vertrag soll mit 1. Jänner 2013 in Kraft treten, wenn ihn zumindest 12 EU-Mitgliedsstaaten bis dahin ratifiziert haben. Der Vertrag wird außerhalb des EU-Rechts errichtet, trotzdem werden der EU-Kommission und dem Europäischen Gerichtshof weitgehende Entscheidungsrechte zugesprochen. Viele Menschen erkennen in diesem Vertrag die Gefahr, dass damit das in Jahrhunderten erkämpfte Fundamentalrecht der Parlamente, die Entscheidung über die Einnahmen und Ausgaben des Staates, diesen weitgehend entzogen wird. Demokratisch nicht gewählten Institutionen würde damit eine enorme Machtfülle über unser Leben zugesprochen. Der Sozialstaat, wie er über Jahrzehnte in Auseinandersetzungen errungen und ausgebaut wurde, wird durch die Verankerung einer permanenten und „automatisierten“ Sparpolitik in seiner Existenz bedroht. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greeks detect hypocrisy as Dutch coalition stumbles

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

Date: 24-04-2012
Source: Reuters

For months Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager has subjected Athens to regular dressings-down on the dire state of its finances. Now, with his coalition brought to its knees by a row over budget cuts, Greeks may detect a whiff of hypocrisy.

Even by the standards of the blunt-talking Dutch, De Jager hasn’t minced his words in demanding that Greek leaders submit to EU demands for punitive austerity measures – or forget about getting any help to avoid bankruptcy.

So blunt were some of his comments that he helped to provoke a response from the Greek head of state, who normally stays above the rough and tumble of daily politics. “Who are the Dutch?” asked an angry President Karolos Papoulias in February.

Monday’s resignation of the Dutch coalition over a failure to agree on budget cuts which are modest compared with those endured by Greeks aroused no sympathy in Athens. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The End of China’s One-Child Policy?

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

Date: 23-04-2012
Source: BusinessWeek
 Molly Zhang, a 31-year-old account manager in the lighting industry, just had her second son. Now she has to pay a fine likely to total 30,000 yuan ($4,760), roughly equal to her annual salary, for violating China’s one-child policy. “Even for an average white-collar worker in Dongguan, this is a lot of money. But I didn’t want to have just one child,” says Zhang, adding that paying the penalty is necessary to get her child a household registration document, without which education and employment would be impossible.

Last year’s publication of China’s 2010 census, which revealed a much more pronounced decline in births than previously estimated, galvanized 20 or so of China’s top demographers, sociologists, and economists to advocate ending the one-child policy. “It is time to think about removing this policy decided 30 years ago—China’s situation has changed so much,” says Gu Baochang, a demographer at Renmin University of China in Beijing and one of the informal leaders of the group, which has twice submitted petitions to China’s top leaders urging them to reform or end the policy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany Might Detach Itself From Europe’s Fate

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2012

Date: 23-04-2012 Source: BusinessWeek How happy should the rest of Europe be that German business confidence has been exceeding expectations? Maybe not too much. True, if the German economy rebounds, it will pull in more imports, giving a much-needed boost to trading partners like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France. Politically, though, German resilience is bad for those countries. The Germans may well conclude they can get along just fine regardless of what happens in the rest of Europe. Consider this: China will probably replace France as Germany’s biggest trading partner this year. Today, Germany’s Ifo Institute reported that its business climate index rose to a nine-month high, beating expectations, as it has done each month since September. That could be a sign Germany is about to pull out of a brief and shallow slump, says Christian Schulz, an economist in London for Germany’s oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. Germany’s output fell at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2011. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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