RSS Feed


December 2012
« Nov   Jan »


Tag Cloud


Wall Street Journal (December 29)

2012/ 12/ 31 by jd in Global News

“The fiscal-cliff melodrama has become one of those bad cable reality shows, a sort of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” without the sincerity though not without the plastic surgery. In the latest episode on Friday, the actors met at the White House in a last-ditch attempt to avert the cliff they had created, and that they all claim would be a catastrophe to jump off, but that they hope they can blame on each other if they do.”


Financial Times (December 28)

2012/ 12/ 31 by jd in Global News

Manned space flight may be most appealing, but “since the Apollo programme ended 40 years ago unmanned exploration has provided almost all of our extraterrestrial excitement – at a far lower cost than crewed flights.” Beyond 2020, however, there are few plans for unpmanned exploration. “More ambitious proposals are needed….At the very least, Nasa should be planning to visit the giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn and their fascinating moons – to follow on from the successful Galileo and Cassini missions.”


Wall Street Journal (December 27)

2012/ 12/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Some Americans, viewing China as Asia’s future and Japan as its past, consider the alliance with Tokyo as anachronistic—or even a liability in a transformed world. But it would be a mistake to write off Japan as a friend. It remains America’s strongest ally in Asia, with world-class capabilities that make it a serious player in the global balance of power.”


New York Times (December 27)

2012/ 12/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Just before the Christmas break, negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff ended on an absurdist note.” House Republicans rejected the President’s “overly generous budget deal,” as well as “their own leadership’s proposal.” This is unacceptable. “No deal means the end of federal unemployment benefits” for 3 million people and an increase in payroll taxes for 125 million households.


Financial Times (December 26)

2012/ 12/ 28 by jd in Global News

Buoyed by demand from Asia, London’s real estate market has rebounded, reaching the highest transaction value since the financial crisis. Most of the interest is focused on London, creating “a widening fissure between the capital and the rest of the UK property market.” For that matter, “investment in London has been so heavy that the UK capital alone now represents a larger commercial property market than any single country in Europe.”


Chicago Tribune (December 25)

2012/ 12/ 27 by jd in Global News

This Christmas is also “Cliffmas, the day none of us wanted to reach with our elected officials in Washington not through heaving lumps of coal at one another. Remember, all of us are a week from a rush of federal tax increases and needlessly abrupt spending cuts because they wrote this showdown into law last year.” One can only hope that in the coming days, the politicians may “decide they’d rather not toss all of us into the chasm.”


Financial News (December 24)

2012/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

In 2013, some U.S. companies will benefit from changes to interest-rate pension liability assumptions, with the newly approved use of a 25-year rate average. This “will generally produce a higher rate, which will lead to a lower overall liability.” Some companies will now be legally able to reduce pension funding. “The catch is that this is a game of smoke and mirrors. The actual pension obligation hasn’t changed. And by putting less into their plans today, companies may end up facing a bigger bill in the future.”


New York Times (December 23)

2012/ 12/ 25 by jd in Global News

The proposed acquisitions of NYSE Euronext by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and Knight Capital Group by Getco both “reflect the demise of traditional stock-exchange trading. The equities market has been eclipsed by the global market in derivatives, and human traders have been increasingly replaced by computers programmed to profit from split-second price anomalies.” Regulators have not kept pace with this change. “The mergers should remain on the drawing board unless and until regulators can reassure the public that the newly created companies will operate not only for private gain, but in the public interest as well.”


The Economist (December 22)

2012/ 12/ 24 by jd in Global News

Freer trade is a no-cost measure that the U.S., Japan and Europe can take to boost otherwise weak forecasts of economic growth. “The gains to be had from sluggish rich countries opening their borders to each other’s goods and services look enticing. The world is less integrated than most people realise.” A TPP deal alone “could raise the region’s GDP by more than 1%” and there are two other major trade pacts (an EU/U.S. transatlantic pact and an EU services agreement) with strong potential. “Now is the time to act.”


Wall Street Journal (December 22)

2012/ 12/ 23 by jd in Global News

“How is it that a derivatives trading platform younger than Justin Bieber is about to acquire the New York Stock Exchange, which traces its Wall Street lineage to 1792? Thursday’s announcement that Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) will buy NYSE Euronext for about $8 billion is in part the story of a tech-savvy upstart that quickly grew to eclipse established giants.”


« Older Entries