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November 2012
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USA Today (November 29)

2012/ 11/ 30 by jd in Global News

As the U.S. approaches the fiscal cliff “an alarming number of people…are declaring that going over the cliff wouldn’t be so bad after all.” It would. Congress needs to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. “While spending cuts and tax hikes are needed to rein in federal deficits, having them kick in all at once would be like a drug overdose that plunges the economy into a new recession, according to the Congressional Budget Office and independent economists.”


CFO.COM (November Issue)

2012/ 11/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Is providing quarterly earnings guidance worth the effort?” Increasingly U.S. companies are saying no. Quarterly guidance is criticized for “consuming an inordinate amount of time, rarely hitting the bull’s-eye, and unnecessarily shifting company’s focus to short-term tactics at the expense of long-term value.” While quarterly guidance still remains common, more companies are moving toward “annual guidance with quarterly updates.” According to the National Investors Relations Institute, the percentage of companies providing quarterly guidance has fallen from 86% to 76% since 2009. A McKinsey & Co. study analyzed 4,000 public companies, finding that “quarterly earnings guidance does not result in superior valuation.” Many companies who want to discontinue the practice, however, may hesitate out of fear analysts might assume they were trying to hide something.


Financial Times (November 28)

2012/ 11/ 29 by jd in Global News

“After 15 years in which the BoJ has failed to defeat deflation, the institution could do with some fresh thinking.” Facing a similar situation, the UK has appointed a Canadian to head the Bank of England, but “sadly, it is inconceivable that Japan would appoint a foreigner to lead one of its most important institutions.” Still there is hope that an outsider will be appointed. It is time to end “Japan’s overly timid anti-deflation policy.”


The New York Times (November 26)

2012/ 11/ 28 by jd in Global News

“To counter a rising China,” Japan is raising its military profile and providing aid to help other Asian countries boost their defenses. “Taken together those steps, while modest, represent a significant shift for Japan, which had resisted repeated calls from the United States to become a true regional power for fear that would move it too far from its postwar pacifism.”


Euromoney (November 26)

2012/ 11/ 27 by jd in Global News

The UK looked outside in appointing the Bank of England’s next governor. “The surprising appointment of Mark Carney, Bank of Canada governor, could have profound consequences for the UK’s monetary framework, financial services industry and global bank reform drive.” Carney had been named Euromoney’s Central Bank Governor of the Year for 2012, an award he accepted in Tokyo during the IMF/World Bank meetings.


Wall Street Journal (November 25)

2012/ 11/ 27 by jd in Global News

At a time when Japan really needs a leader, none of the candidates for Prime Minister measure up. “As giant problems in need of urgent solutions go, Japan is a thing of beauty. Its economy contracted by 3.5% on an annual basis from July to September, and slack exports and declining industrial production suggest another recession is coming. Demographic decline is well underway and Tokyo’s fiscal position—with debt roughly twice annual output—appears ever more precarious. So it’s a shame, as the Japanese head to the polls next month, that no candidate is offering even plausible solutions.”


The Economist (November 24)

2012/ 11/ 26 by jd in Global News

Mexico is experiencing a boom as it benefits from economic trends. “Wages in Chinese factories have quintupled in the past ten years and the oil price has trebled, inducing manufacturers focused on the American market to set up closer to home. Mexico is already the world’s biggest exporter of flat-screen televisions, BlackBerrys and fridge-freezers, and is climbing up the rankings in cars, aerospace and more.” By 2018, America is expected to import more from Mexico than from any other country. “Made in China” is giving way to “Hecho en México”.


Financial Times (November 23)

2012/ 11/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Instead of protecting a revolution,” by usurping power Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi “risks relaunching one.” The largest nation in the Arab world, “Egypt, is the standard bearer for all those who rose up against autocracies.” President Morsi’s “deft handling of foreign affairs has shown that his government can be an effective interlocutor between Middle East and west.” Egypt may help prove the potential of democratic Islam. Still, “as long as there are no checks on his exercise of power, this will be in doubt. The decree should be reversed. Democracy is often noisy, complex and slow. But its processes cannot be usurped.”


Washington Post (November 22)

2012/ 11/ 24 by jd in Global News

Until, 1939, Thanksgiving was observed on the last Thursday in November. By moving it up to November 23, the fourth Thursday, from November 30, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s goal was to help retailers benefit from a longer shopping season. The move set off years of arguing over when the real Thanksgiving should be held. “Today, Thanksgiving is a settled issue, its observance cemented in place by goodwill, consensus and the National Football League’s scheduling department….. There are many factions in America, as always, but only one Thanksgiving, and it is neither Democratic nor Republican — a state of affairs for which all can be thankful.”


The Economist (November 21)

2012/ 11/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Who Won?” is the question being asked now that the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is in place. The answer depends on who is being asked. “Basically, the Israelis are saying they hit Hamas hard in their round-the-clock bombing assault and thus enhanced their deterrent power which was their stated objective at the outset of these eight days of bombardment. Hamas, for its part, says that despite the vast disparity in firepower, it is still up and running—and still firing rockets into Israel—which makes it the winner at least on points.”


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