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Archive for the ‘EUROPE’ Category

US government securities seized from Japanese nationals, not clear whether real or fake

In AMERICA, ITALY, JAPAN on 08/06/2009 at 2:42 PM

Italian authorities have not yet determined whether they are real or fake, but if they are real the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history; if they are fake, the matter would be even more mind-boggling because the quality of the counterfeit work is such that the fake bonds are undistinguishable from the real ones. Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each… Asia News

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Western economies poised to account for less than 50pc of world GDP

In AMERICA, ECONOMY, EUROPE on 02/06/2009 at 5:47 PM

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) is forecasting that because of the downturn and China’s economic resilience, the combined contribution from the US, Canada and Europe to world GDP will be 49.4pc in 2009, down from 52pc in 2008. CEBR said prior to the financial crisis Western world GDP was not expected to fall below 50pc until 2015. The West’s contribution to global GDP has been steadily falling since 2004, when it was about 60pc, but the recession has accelerated that process, CEBR said… Daily Telegraph

Merkel attacks central banks – Berlin breaks the unwritten rule

In ECONOMY, GERMANY on 02/06/2009 at 9:44 AM

It is not the first time that Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has complained about the ultra-loose monetary policy being conducted in the Anglo-Saxon world. But when she attacked the European Central Bank on Tuesday, for its planned purchase of cover bonds – an unconventional way to help financial markets recover – Ms Merkel broke an unwritten ban on German leaders commenting on monetary policy close to home. The message, it seems, is that Berlin is more worried than people had assumed. The chancellor is not just concerned about the long-term inflationary potential of excessive monetary loosening… Financial Times

Ireland set to go bust, claims economic historian

In ECONOMY, EIRE, EUROPE, ITALY on 29/05/2009 at 2:51 PM

A dire warning that the Republic is a prime candidate to go bust has come from one of the world’s leading economic historians. “The idea that countries don’t go bust is a joke,” said Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and author of The Ascent of Money. “The debt trap may be about to spring” he said, “for countries that have created large stimulus packages in order to stimulate their economies.” His chosen prime candidate to go bust is “Ireland, followed by Italy and Belgium, and UK is not too far behind”. Argentina is top of his list of shaky countries but “the argument that it can’t happen in major western economies is nonsense”… The Independent

Could a teenage girl topple Berlusconi?

In BERLUSCONI, ITALY on 27/05/2009 at 3:04 PM

Italians are always scornful about the obsession of the “Anglo-Saxon” media with the private lives of the rich and famous, but for the past month the Italian newspapers have been preoccupied with one subject and one subject only: the relationship between Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a young woman from Naples called Noemi Letizia. Mr Berlusconi has been caught out telling numerous lies about the relationship and refuses to explain them. And with important elections pending, his popularity, at an all-time high only six weeks ago, may be eroding… The Independent

Dollar stops being Russia’s basic reserve currency

In AMERICA, ECONOMY, RUSSIA on 19/05/2009 at 6:29 AM

The US dollar is not Russia’s basic reserve currency anymore. The euro-based share of reserve assets of Russia’s Central Bank increased to the level of 47.5 percent as of January 1, 2009 and exceeded the investments in dollar assets, which made up 41.5 percent, The Vedomosti newspaper wrote. The dollar has thus lost the status of the basic reserve currency for the Russian Central Bank, the annual report, which the bank provided to the State Duma, said. In accordance with the report, about 47.5 percent of the currency assets of the Russian Central Bank were based on the euro, whereas the dollar-based assets made up 41.5 percent as of the beginning of the current year… Pravda

EU plans stress tests for banks in Europe

In ECONOMY, EUROPE, IMF on 12/05/2009 at 6:36 AM

Europe signalled today that it will to take new steps to try to bolster confidence in its badly tainted banks after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged it to take bolder steps to underpin the battered sector. Officials in Brussels and among European banking supervisors indicated that the EU is set to follow the lead set by Washington and carry out new “stress tests” to establish the resilience of its banks by September. The tests are expected to be carried out by individual country’s national regulators, according to common guidelines to be set by the EU’s Committee of European Banking Supervisors. “The decision was taken by EU finance ministers,” one government official in Brussels said… The Times

Turning red into green, Ferrari unveils a more competitive F1 car

In AUTOMOTIVE, ITALY, RUSSIA on 01/05/2009 at 4:15 PM

mosca1

After merging with Chrysler and keeping on talks with GM to buy out Opel, Fiat automotive embarked on a new partnership with Russian AZLK Moskvich to develop this futuristic, greener prototype to replace their run down Ferraris in the Formula 1 world championship.

Millionaire’s Crisis Plan: Return to Bartering

In ECONOMY, RUSSIA on 27/01/2009 at 8:46 AM

To help pull the world out of economic crisis, German Sterligov, one of Russia’s first multimillionaires, has swapped his valenki for polished office boots. After spending four years in a wooden hut in a forest outside Moscow, Sterligov has leased out almost an entire floor atop a skyscraper in the Moskva-City business district to launch a global barter system. Sterligov, who doesn’t watch television and rarely uses the Internet because of his Orthodox religious principles, plans to start facilitating the barter of debt and goods with his company, the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center, by early March. The Moscow Times

Ukraine dipping into IMF funds while Soros is shorting the hryvnia

In ECONOMY, IMF, RUSSIA, SOROS, UKRAINE on 02/01/2009 at 9:33 AM

The outgoing Bush administration, echoing the anti-Russian lobby in Washington, DC (which, not coincidentally, comprise some of the same people in the pro-Israel lobby), is condemning Russia’s Gazprom’s cut-off of natural gas to Ukraine. Gazprom maintains that Ukraine owes it $2.1 billion for past gas deliveries. Ukraine has threatened to seize gas bound for the European Union in retaliation. Russia has called the threat blackmail by Kiev against Russia and the EU nations that receive gas via pipeline from Russia via Ukraine. As with anything where billions of dollars are at at issue expect to find the hidden hands of George Soros and his ultimate bosses, the Rothschild banking family… Wayne Madsen Report