The Bank of Spain said it authorised injecting €11 billion ($15.8bn) in public funds to aid in the restructuring and bolster the balance sheets of the merged banks.
At the same time, the European Union said it would triple the number of banks subject to public stress tests to allay a growing global anxiety over the bloc’s finance sectors.
For more: European Union triples number of banks for stress tests | The Australian
US Economy: ADP National Employment Report Shows U.S. Employment Increased by 13,000 Private Sector Jobs in June
ROSELAND, NJ, Jun 30, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- According to today's ADP National Employment Report(R), private sector employment increased by 13,000 from May to June on a seasonally adjusted basis. The ADP National Employment Report, created by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP(R)), in partnership with Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, is derived from actual payroll data and measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month
For more: ADP National Employment Report Shows U.S. Employment Increased by 13,000 Private Sector Jobs in June - MarketWatch
Air India and Jet Airways have ordered 27 and 10 of the planes, already more than two and a half years late to market. In all 866 Dreamliners have been ordered by 57 customers worldwide.
For Boeing, the latest issue with the new plane puts additional pressure on the company’s ambitious flight-test schedule, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Boeing last December gave itself roughly a year to complete thousands of hours of flight tests to receive government certification before delivering the first plane to All Nippon Airways Co. sometime before the end of the year.For more: Boeing finds problem in 787 Dreamliners’ tail | CalcuttaTube
Euro, S&P 500 Rise on Optimism on Europe Banks, Manufacturing - By Michael P. Regan and Rita Nazareth
The shared European currency jumped 0.9 percent to $1.2291 at 11:59 a.m. in New York and rebounded 0.7 percent from an eight-year low against the yen. The S&P 500, which plunged 3.1 percent yesterday, rose 0.6 percent to 1,046.92 to trim its quarterly decline to 10.5 percent. Treasury 2-year yields increased four basis points from a record low and 10-year yields rose three basis point to 2.98.
Banks advanced after the European Central Bank said it will lend 131.9 billion euros ($161.5 billion) for three months, less than economists forecast and easing concern the region’s lenders will struggle for funding after a 12-month ECB lending program expires. Industrial shares led the gain the S&P 500 as the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its gauge of U.S. business activity expanded for a ninth month.For more: Euro, S&P 500 Rise on Optimism on Europe Banks, Manufacturing - BusinessWeek
Weak language in the final communique highlighted the divergency of views on a global bank levy, with countries that avoided the worst of the financial crisis such as Canada, Australia and Brazil, opposing the idea.
Should countries such as Germany, France and the UK decide to push ahead anyway, the weekend's decision means European levies are likely to be smaller as a result, in order to prevent banks simply moving to more lenient jurisdictions.
For more: EUobserver / Wins and losses for EU at G20
In fact, far from representing a step in the right direction, the Chinese announcement was an exercise in bad faith — an attempt to exploit U.S. restraint. To keep the rhetorical temperature down, the Obama administration has used diplomatic language in its efforts to persuade the Chinese government to end its bad behavior.
The proof that China is, in fact, keeping the value of its currency, the renminbi, artificially low is precisely the fact that the central bank is accumulating so many dollars, euros and other foreign assets — more than $2 trillion worth so far. There have been all sorts of calculations purporting to show that the renminbi isn’t really undervalued, or at least not by much. But if the renminbi isn’t deeply undervalued, why has China had to buy around $1 billion a day of foreign currency to keep it from rising?
So what comes next? China’s government is clearly trying to string the rest of us along, putting off action until something — it’s hard to say what — comes up. That’s not acceptable. China needs to stop giving us the runaround and deliver real change. And if it refuses, it’s time to talk about trade sanctions."
For more: Op-Ed Columnist - The Renminbi Runaround - NYTimes.com
G20: Dear Deficit Hawks: At Least Get Your Facts Straight...Sovereign Debt Crisis not caused by the Welfare State
The Netherlands vs. Slovakia match seemed like just another day at the office for Robben, who scores goals like that with some regularity at Bayern Munich. And, for much of the first half, the Dutch looked reminiscent of the 1970’s “Clockwork Orange” squad that punished opponents with systematic crisp passing and fast runs to space, capped off with precision goal-scoring.
Now soccer fans worldwide will be drooling over the prospect of a Netherlands-Brazil quarterfinal later this week. As impressive as Holland was today, they will not be able to beat Brazil if they give away the types of chances they gave the Slovakians midway through the second half.
For more: Netherlands vs Slovakia: Shades of Clockwork Orange as Arjen Robben returns - CSMonitor.com
Apparently the system isn't getting used consistently across the Netherlands but a team of researchers in South Limburg compiled data from a two year period starting in January 2007 that sheds some light both on demographics and potential risk profiles for swingers. Just under 12% of people coming to the clinics were identified as swingers. This number is much higher than the estimate of 2% of the U.S. adult population which was previously proposed by researchers.
In terms of risk for STIs the paper looked at tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and noted that swingers, particularly swingers over 45, had a higher prevalence of STIs when tested at the community clinics. In fact they had the second highest rate of combined STIs among the four groups considered (which, in addition to swingers, included men who have sex with men, sex workers, straight people who weren't swingers).
For more: STI Rates Among Swingers
After the missed call the British would yield two more goals and march back into the ignominy of another failed World Cup. FIFA officials, who have dealt with blown goal calls the entire tournament, refused to comment upon the latest colossal blunder. Instead FIFA arrogantly relied upon the old tried and true statements once trotted out as weak excuses for why there would be no instant replay in American sports leagues. Namely, that instant replay would represent a slippery slope that would lead to too much review, would be difficult to implement, and make the game worse.
FIFA's position is, essentially, that player and referee errors are a part of the game. That's true, but it's also idiotic. If you can eliminate some referee errors then you magnify the importance of the on-field performance of the players. Which, in the end, is the goal of all sports, right? Allowing the players to determine the outcome. Just imagine what would have happened if England and Germany had been playing in the World Cup Final and England had lost after a missed goal like this.
EU-Digest: FIFA is totally wrong in not going for instant replay. Not only the British game was full of mistakes by the officials, but also the Argentina - Mexico meeting allowed a goal by Argentina which was a clear offside for everyone to see except the officials.
For more: The World Cup Needs Instant Replay Now -- Soccer FanHouse
For more: G-20 Differences: Half-Hearted Promises and Mutual Blame - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Economic confidence will be restored by action, not soothing words - by Kevin Carmichael and Grant Robertson
For more: Economic confidence will be restored by action, not soothing words - The Globe and Mail
Note EU-Digest: the question is not so much related to the justification for such high EU salaries, but rather the lack of transparency about the income and expenses of the EU staff.
For more: Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | UK News :: EU fat cats paid more than UK prime minister
With his government attempting to raise the retirement age and bracing people for cuts of €45 billion in public spending, president Nicolas Sarkozy has said ministers must lead by example and reduce their own budgets. France has not yet set out a detailed austerity package, but the national auditing office recently called for urgent moves to trim the deficit.
Two months ago, Mr Fillon ordered ministers to take only commercial flights after his state secretary for overseas development, Alain Joyandet, spent €116,500 chartering a private jet to attend a conference in Martinique.
Another perk in peril is the free Paris flat that goes automatically with cabinet rank, whether needed or not.
Cigars out as Sarkozy cuts perks ahead of austerity plan - The Irish Times - Sat, Jun 26, 2010
The group, which includes the United States, Canada and other rich nations as well as newly developed economic powerhouses such as China and India, came to prominence in 2008 in a unified campaign to combat the spreading recession. Together, they have pledged $5 trillion in economic stimulus spending.
But now summit host Prime Minister Stephen Harper is confronted with a deep split over economic policy that pits U.S. President Barack Obama against European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
G20 set to tackle sharp differences over economic policy - thestar.com
G20 summit: Rifts in Toronto as US warns EU of double-dip recession risk - by Patrick Winfour and Larry Elliot
The leading European economies, especially Germany, are putting a new emphasis on cutting back government spending, and there is a possibility that a G20 communique, due to be released on Sunday , will set out an indicative timetable of how far and fast countries should retrench spending.
David Cameron, making his first appearance at a world summit and packing in a frantic round of bilaterals to start building personal relations, was praised by the summits' host for his deficit slashing budget earlier this week.
For more: G20 summit: Rifts in Toronto as US warns EU of double-dip recession risk | World news | The Guardian
The ECHR is part of the Council of Europe, which promotes democracy and the rule of law among its 47 member states. Its rulings are binding on Council members since they have signed the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The court observed that, among Council of Europe member states, there is no consensus regarding same-sex marriage,” the ECHR said in a statement on Thursday. Only 7 of the Council’s 47 members have approved same-sex marriage.
For more: Court rules no right to gay marriage in Europe | World | News | Toronto Sun
For more: Exclusive: Chinese Self-Interest Contrives Phony Currency “Reform” » Publications » Family Security Matters
Also read Making sense of our $61.9 trillion bill
Health Care: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, - Netherlands the best
Among the seven nations studied—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last overall, as it did in the 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, coordination, efficiency, and equity. The Netherlands ranks first, followed closely by the U.K. and Australia. The 2010 edition includes data from the seven countries and incorporates patients' and physicians' survey results on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care.
For the complete report: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update - The Commonwealth Fund
The survey also shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil spill, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation of the oil industry and believing that the spill will affect the nation's economy and environment. Sixty-two percent of adults in the survey feel the country is on the wrong track, the highest level since before the 2008 election. Just one-third think the economy will get better over the next year, a 7-point drop from a month ago and the low point of Mr. Obama's tenure.
Amid anxiety over the nation's course, support for Mr. Obama and other incumbents is eroding. For the first time, more people disapprove of Mr. Obama's job performance than approve. And 57% of voters would prefer to elect a new person to Congress than re-elect their local representatives, the highest share in 18 years.For more: Confidence Waning in Obama, U.S. Outlook - WSJ.com
For more: Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website
For the complete report click here: The Associated Press: World leaders and their issues before G-20 summit
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said it was wrong to claim that budget austerity would cause stagnation, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would stick to plans to save 80 billion euros in the next four years, its biggest program of fiscal cutbacks since World War Two.
"We'll enact the measures that we've agreed upon," Merkel said in an interview with German ARD television broadcast on Thursday morning. "I believe we should not let up."
After winning plaudits for guiding the world economy through the financial crisis, splits have emerged among Group of 20 powers over which policy priority ought to take precedence now -- supporting still-shaky growth or shrinking budget deficits. Markets remain jittery about the debt crisis and the risk of an economic slowdown in the run-up to the meeting of G20 leaders this weekend, with the cost of protecting government debt against default hitting a record high for Greece and jumping in other peripheral countries such as Portugal.For more: Europe digs in on budget austerity ahead of G20 | Reuters
Eurozone governance was for long a name without a game. The crisis, however, has brought much-needed clarity. Discussions are now focusing on three areas: strengthening of budgetary discipline; surveillance of the eurozone countries’ competitiveness; and provisions for crisis management.
This is a sensible agenda. The failure of surveillance over the past 10 years needs to be remedied because, in spite of multiple procedures, it was markets, not peer pressure, that in the end forced adjustments. The system needs to be rebalanced because the exclusive focus on public accounts distracted attention from bubbles in the private economy. It also needs to be complemented, because the belief that crisis prevention made crisis management superfluous was proved wrong by events.For more: FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Towards a system to secure the euro
More than half of people around the world say they would abandon their homelands and move to Canada if they could.
Given the choice, 53 per cent of adults in the world's 24 leading economies said they would immigrate to Canada, according to an international survey commissioned by the Historica-Dominion Institute in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Aurea Foundation.
It's a startling finding, one that is reinforced by respondents' overwhelmingly positive attitudes about Canada's welcoming and tolerant treatment of newcomers. The results bode well for Canada's efforts to attract highly educated immigrants as the global search for talent heats up in coming years.For more: The world would love to be Canadian - The Globe and Mail
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the law, introduced in 2007, has been expanded to bar over 5,000 sites in the past two years and is severely damaging freedom of expression and information rights.
"I ask the Turkish authorities to revoke the blocking provisions that prevent citizens from being part of today's global information society," the OSCE's media freedoms chief Dunja Mijatovic said in a statement.
For more: OSCE calls on Turkey to stop blocking YouTube - Reuters -
A furious stock market rebound helped the world's list of millionaires climb 17 percent to 10 million, while their total wealth rose 19 percent to $39 trillion. Stock values rose by half and hedge funds recouped most of their losses from 2008.
Bank of America wealth management chief Sallie Krawcheck said, "We are already seeing distinct sings of recovery and, in some areas, a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth."
The fastest growth in wealth took place in India, China and Brazil. Asia's millionaires rose to 3 million, matching Europe for the first time.
For more: Rich Getting Richer | Benzinga.com
US Political Scene: Voters Say Hillary More Qualified To Be President Than Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Palin
U.S. voters think Hillary Clinton is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama, but most believe that both Democrats are more fit for the White House than three top Republicans interested in the job.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 57% of voters feel Clinton is qualified to be president, but 34% disagree and say she is not.
As for President Obama, 51% say he is fit for the job. However, 44% say he is not qualified to be president, even though he has now served 17 months in the job.For more: Voters Say Hillary More Qualified To Be President Than Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Palin - Rasmussen Reports™
Filote said Monday that terrorist organization PKK's announcement to re-launch attacks was grave, condemning attacks of the terrorist organization that claimed human lives. She said Kurdish problem needed be solved, noting however that terrorist attacks could not be a solution.
Filote pointed at the Turkish government's democratic initiative as a possible solution to the problem.
For more: EU condemns PKK attacks in Turkey [ WORLD BULLETIN- TURKEY NEWS, WORLD NEWS ]
Britain slapped a 2 billion pound (Euro2.50 billion) annual tax on banks on Tuesday and Germany and France said they will follow suit, telling the industry it must pay for its part in the financial crisis. Britain's tax was less harsh than some previous estimates, however, adding to evidence that resistance from other leading economies to imposing similar levies may cap the scale of steps taken by governments.
British banking shares were down on the day but cut their losses after Osborne's speech. "This was a crisis that started in the banking sector and the failures of the banks imposed a huge cost on the rest of society," British finance minister George Osborne said.
For more: UPDATE 2-UK banks hit with $3 bln tax; France, Germany follow | Reuters
Merkel, addressing a business audience in Berlin today, said she told Obama in a phone call that cutting government debt is “absolutely important for us,” exposing a second point of contention ahead of the June 26-27 G-20 summit in Canada.
Reducing the budget deficit by 10 billion euros ($12 billion) per year “won’t put a brake on the world’s economic growth,” Merkel said, relating what she told Obama yesterday. Germans are more likely to spend money if they feel the government “is taking precautions” to ensure solid finances, she said.For more: Merkel Tells Obama Germany Won’t Heed Calls to Focus on Growth - BusinessWeek
Health: Private cardiac treatment news: Tea and coffee reduce heart disease risks, study showsDrinking regular cups of tea and coffee can help reduce
A team working at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands looked into the tea and coffee drinking habits of more than 37,000 people, as well at their levels of heart disease over the past 13 years.
They found that tea offers the most heart health benefits, with people who drink between three and six cups a day 45 per cent less likely to suffer coronary problems than adults who drink less than one cup a day.
A similar rate of consumption of coffee was found to reduce the risk of heart disease by around 20 per cent.
For more: Private cardiac treatment news: Tea and coffee reduce heart disease risks, study shows
Note EU-Digest: this is a disgrace for France. The football association should kick out all these arrogant, spoiled and childish acting players, who seem to forget that they are not in charge of the France soccer team.
For more: France's World Cup saga continues - latimes.com
For more: Russia. Gas cut to Belarus over unpaid debts
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission said last Thursday that the debt-ridden Greece is on track with the reforms required as part of the rescue package that saved it from bankruptcy, after reviewing progress in the austerity measures the government has been implementing in order to pull the country out of a financial crisis that brought it to the brink of default last month.
To secure the funds, government has taken austerity measures that aim to make its bloated public sector less wasteful and its shrinking economy more competitive. It has pledged to cut its massive budget deficit from 13.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to be cut sharply to 8.7 percent by the end of this year and to 2.6 percent in 2014.
Across Europe, countries are trying to slash their deficits. Germany plans to cut 80 billion euros in spending over the next four years, while Britain is unveiling an emergency budget this week with cuts to welfare benefits and the wages of state employees.
Spain is pushing through budget cuts and labor reforms that Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero claimed would prevent new redundancies and encourage companies to hire more workers.For more: Europe is in the clear, banks will follow - The China Post
Snijders, who on the night of June 6 was riding his motorcycle, was run down by a motorcar and subsequently attacked by at least two men who stepped out the vehicle. While lying on the ground, the journalist was repeatedly kicked in the head and face, and also received blows on the body. As a result of the beating Snijders sustained four broken ribs, a fractured collar bone and severe bruses on the body. Snijders said, that while he was being kicked, his attackers repeatedly said that he should stop writing "trash" in the Parbode publications.
For more: Caribbean Net News: Suriname journalist attacked by unknown assaillants
Now, however, evidence is mounting that China’s growth “miracle” is on the verge of a major slowdown, which could bring the 10 percent growth rate of recent decades down to 6 or 7 percent in coming years. Recent high-profile labor strikes have dramatically called into question the China model, built on cheap labor and exports. And the rate of growth in spending is about to slow, because there are only so many new highways, railways, and ports China can build, and because land and labor costs are rising sharply. Government targets for spending in all these areas are shrinking; the mainland already has more than 65,000 kilometers of highways, the second-largest network behind the United States’ 80,000-plus kilometers. Now, however, evidence is mounting that China’s growth “miracle” is on the verge of a major slowdown, which could bring the 10 percent growth rate of recent decades down to 6 or 7 percent in coming years. Recent high-profile labor strikes have dramatically called into question the China model, built on cheap labor and exports. And the rate of growth in spending is about to slow, because there are only so many new highways, railways, and ports China can build, and because land and labor costs are rising sharply. Government targets for spending in all these areas are shrinking; the mainland already has more than 65,000 kilometers of highways, the second-largest network behind the United States’ 80,000-plus kilometers.
The most popular television show these days is Woju, or “Snail’s Home,” which depicts the despair of average Chinese people amid spiraling apartment prices. To get developers to cut back prices, the government is cracking down hard, increasing minimum down-payment requirements and suspending lending for some new projects. Given that property constitutes a third of all investment spending in China, growth will inevitably slow.
For more from Ruchir Sharma on China - Newsweek
Tomorrow we will see a gamble on a monumental scale, one of the greatest in postwar British political history. What George Osborne does in his emergency budget will determine not only his own reputation but the future of the coalition. If he pulls off a drastic reduction in spending and tax rises without revolt at Westminster or in the country, he gives David Cameron his path to future election victory. If he tips the economy into recession, or splits the coalition, everything collapses.
As simple as that? Pretty much, except that this is a gamble with the livelihoods and living standards of millions of people, based on spuriously exact estimates about future trends nobody really understands, and with the gamblers themselves deeply divided in their instincts. After the calm of the early honeymoon days of the coalition, we are heading for wild, high-stakes politics.
Cameron and Osborne have gone around the country, or at least the media, trying to stir up despair. From their jolting words about Britain being changed for generations to come, about everyone sharing the pain, they suggest a budget of ferocious bleakness. Many commentators assume it's the old game of expectation management, and when the detailed figures are announced by the chancellor there will be a whistle of relief and a few choruses of "good old George" in the Dog and Duck.For more: The budget for generations is just a gamble from the gut | Jackie Ashley | Comment is free | The Guardian
"I am saddened that Israel is making it so difficult for its truest friend to understand its actions."
Niebel wanted to visit the Hamas-run Palestinian territory Sunday to meet representatives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement in Berlin that he also "regretted" the decision by the Israeli government, and underlined that Germany and the European Union want to see an end to the Gaza blockade.For more: AFP: Germany blasts minister's blocked entry to Gaza
David Cameron faced down a Brussels bid to dictate British economic policy yesterday, but warned the UK must be 'on guard' against future power grabs.
He enjoyed a political 'love-in' with fellow European leaders, who marked his first trip to Brussels as Prime Minister with a traditional English breakfast of bacon and eggs. Mr Cameron warned, however, that he faces much tougher battles ahead with Brussels.
Charles de Gaulle could never be accused of a lack of self-regard, and the same could be said of the wife of his modern-day successor, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Carla Bruni posed her way through a visit to London by France’s first couple yesterday marking the 70th anniversary of the BBC broadcast by de Gaulle, in which he appealed to his countrymen to fight on against Nazi Germany following the fall of France. Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy, one-time model, singer and subject of speculation about the state of her marriage, flirted with the cameras throughout the visit, which included an inspection of the studio at Broadcasting House used by de Gaulle to record his broadcast on June 18 1940.
For more: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Nicolas Sarkozy meet David and Samantha Cameron - Telegraph
Two leaders also noted that creating new institutions will not solve the problem. Merkel and Sarkozy talked to media after a summit on Monday, which was initially supposed to start in Berlin a week ago.
Merkel and Sarkozy in a joint letter will urge the chairman of G20 meeting to speed up reforms in financial regulation. They will also seek support for a financial transaction tax and bank levy. If a nation impose tax unilaterally, banks will move to other nations that have no such taxes.For more: Germany, France Find Need For Economic Governance In EU27 | Daily Markets
With U.S. unemployment still near 10% and workers' incomes largely flat, that may be a prescription for fresh trouble. One factor keeping the world out of balance, the Obama administration and many experts contend, has been China's policy of keeping the value of its currency artificially low, allowing the Asian giant to keep churning out exports.
In a surprise move Saturday praised by President Obama, Beijing said it would allow more flexibility in exchange rates. But the Chinese statement, which was light on details, suggested that any change would be gradual. How fast the global economy can evolve will also turn on how much spending patterns change in the biggest economies, especially America's.For more: U.S. once again cast as world's consumer of last resort - Los Angeles Times
Within a week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a whirlwind visit to Germany, Britain, Russia and Brussels where EU leaders just had their summit, trying to tune up and harmonize European voices on international economic governance.
The attempt was made right before the G20 and G8 summits on economic governance.
Regarding bilateral issues of political ties, security consensus and business contracts, the French president got almost all he wanted, but in terms of Europe-wide economic governance and global financial regulation, Sarkozy had both gains and losses.For more: Sarkozy whirls among European powers to coordinate stance
Mozzarella cheese imported from Germany has turned up blue in some shops in the north of the country, triggering a Europe-wide alert by the health ministry. The ministry alerted European and German authorities after police seized about 70,000 mozzarellas in northern Italy which had been made at a German factory, it said in a statement.
The blue mozzarellas could be caused by bacteria, newspapers said today, quoting tests by a Venice specialist institute. The bacteria does not appear to be hazardous to health, they added.For more: Italy alerts Europe over blue German mozzarellas | WORLD News
Here in Norway, the crisis is over, and never really started. We’ve divested ourselves of most parts of our industrial-export companies over the last decades, and are currently mainly selling oil and fish, produced at competitive production costs. The state is a net buyer of foreign debt, and government deficit spending is financed by over-consuming the interest from the 0.5 trillion USD ‘oil fund’, at a few ten-billion USD a year. Hardly a critical situation as I see it for now.
Privately held debt is fairly high, with the banks being the prime debtors (bank-issued debt is at about USD50k pr citizen - source http://www.ssb.no/brutgjeld/tab-2010-06-…). At the peak of the crisis, the banking-sector was bailed out as ‘too big to fail’, so that’s certainly a risk factor.
I’d also worry about the energy-dependency of the fish-industry, but I have not yet had any chance to investigate what’ll happen there if oil-production drops significantly.For more: Does anyone have a view on how Norway fits into the global picture? | The Market Financial | Stock Market & Wall Street News
The decision to admit Estonia, a former Soviet republic that entered the EU in 2004, reflects the EU’s determination not to let the Greece-fueled debt crisis in western Europe derail plans to widen the currency bloc to the east.
EU leaders lauded Estonia’s economic management, hailing “the convergence it has achieved, based on sound economic and financial policies,” according to a statement prepared for today’s Brussels summit.For more: Estonia Wins EU Clearance to Switch to Euro in January - BusinessWeek
With Germany, Britain and France pledging to impose levies on their own banks and to clamp down on financial speculation, the EU called for global taxes that have run into opposition from G-20 powers such as China.
“We want a system of levies and taxes for financial institutions to ensure fair burden-sharing and rein in systemic risks,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after an EU summit in Brussels yesterday. “We also want a global system.”EU to Push Levies on Banks, Financial-Transaction Tax at G-20 - BusinessWeek
Global financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund — created at the Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire 1944 — are outdated and must be replaced, Sarkozy told an economic forum in St. Petersburg hosted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
"We all need to think about the foundations for a new international financial system. We've been based on the Bretton Woods institutions of 1945, when our American friends were the only superpower," Sarkozy said. "My question is: Are we still in 1945? The answer here is, 'no,'" he said.
For more: The Associated Press: France, Russia vow to promote global role of G-20
The business research firm's forward-looking leading economic index (LEI) rose 0.4 percent after April's 0.1 percent decline was revised to no change.
The financial components made the largest positive contributions to the index, more than offsetting the substantial negative contributions from stock prices and building permits, the board said.
Note EU-Digest: the underlying problem of the US economy is that it is still based on being consumer driven and that no-one is seriously addressing that problem.
For more: Channel NewsAsia - Key US economic index shows slower recovery - channelnewsasia.com
The simple fact is that we use carbon-based fuels because they are the cheapest form of energy around. Cheap if you only count the direct costs of extraction and getting the energy to the consumer. There are, however, vast costs that are not captured in the price. The recent and ongoing BP (BP - Analyst Report) oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is simply one aspect of it. The gains from drilling for oil in deepwater go mostly to the companies that drill for it, and indirectly to consumers of the fuel. The costs are largely borne by the wider society.
If the price of a gallon of gas were high enough, people would start to buy more fuel efficient cars, and the automakers would rush to build ever more efficient vehicles. If there were a significant price on carbon, you would not have to tell utility executives not to build new coal fired plants and build wind farms instead -- they would do so because it would be in the clear self interest of their shareholders.
For more: Time to Get Serious About Energy - Zacks.com
For more: Netherlands' social democrats renew push for purple coalition | Earth Times News
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn gave the Spanish government a vote of confidence, saying on a visit to Madrid that its reform plans went "absolutely in the right direction."
The comments and Spain's readiness to make public resilience tests for its banks allayed concerns the country might have to tap a 500 billion euro ($613.2 billion) safety net set up to halt contagion in the euro area after a bailout of Greece.
The euro held near a three-week high against the dollar close to $1.24, well above the four-year low of $1.1876 it hit on June 7 and good for a weekly gain of about 2 percent -- its biggest since May 2009.For more: Spain optimism and stress tests boost euro assets | Reuters
The euro retained gains near $1.24 as investors liquidated short positions after a robust response to Spanish bond auctions, which also encouraged some investors to shift funds back to euro zone bonds from safe-haven U.S. Treasuries, traders said.
Peripheral European debt markets calmed after the auction, whetting investors' appetite for riskier assets and supporting higher-yielding currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars which hovered near one-month highs.For more: Euro steadies near 3-week highs, dollar on backfoot | Reuters
For more: EU calls for tough new rules on 'economic governance' - Summary | Earth Times News
For more: Euro Surges as Spanish Bond Sales Draw Higher Investor Demand - BusinessWeek
Finance experts, including the president of the Dutch central bank, have been invited for talks with the negotiator putting together a new coalition government, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.
The paper says Coen Teulings of the government's macro-economic policy unit, caretaker finance minister Jan Kees de Jager and the central bank's Nout Wellink will meet Uri Rosenthal on Wednesday morning.
They will be ask to detail the difficult financial and economic situation facing the Netherlands, which queen Beatrix referred to when she appointed Rosenthal to the job. The negotiator is looking to put together a right-wing coalition made up of the VVD, anti-Islam PVV and CDA. The VVD emerged as the biggest party in last week's general election by just one seat and the PVV made the most gains.Support for the CDA almost halved. But Wilders needs to get Verhagenfrom the Christian Democrats on board if he is to be in government. The other parties have all ruled out a coalition with the PVV which wants an end to non-western immigration and a ban on the Koran.
For more: DutchNews.nl - Finance experts join coalition talks; Wilders, Rutte keep mum
Every four years, during the World Cup, I adopt the garb and the gab of a soccer fanatic. I was glued to the Ghana-Serbia match. I got up early to watch Japan and Cameroon. I've watched endless reruns of the England-USA tie.
And I find myself getting deeply immersed in the details. Was that handball on the Serbian player properly called in the penalty box? (It was.) Are the refs ignoring the scourge of diving? (No.). Where did the Germans get those moves? (OK, the Australians were bad, but the German coach has style.)
Why is that I'm indifferent to soccer most of the time but passionate during the World Cup? Why do I turn from a mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll to a howling Mr. Hyde once I hear the air horns in the stadium.
For more: Herhold: Why I'm glued to the World Cup - San Jose Mercury News
In reality, there is next to no chance that the euro-zone will break up as a result of the current economic crisis in Europe, or as a result of a probable Greek sovereign default. There are several reasons why. First, leaving the euro would impose a catastrophic cost on any nation that tries to do so out of economic weakness. Even euro-zone countries that default on their debts would be far better off inside the euro-zone than outside (crucially, euro-zone members cannot be kicked out), because in the longer-term they would still have access to the deep liquid euro-zone financial markets.
Any euro-denominated interest rate imposed by financial markets even after a default would be a lot lower than interest rates on, say, new drachma-denominated bonds. Moreover, under the Lisbon Treaty (which will not be revised in even the medium term) leaving the euro zone cannot be done without quitting the EU entirely. Such a move would entail a nearly complete regional political isolation and probably exposure to the EU’s external trade barriers as well.For more: Kirkegaard: The Euro Is Safer than Ever – Here's Why - CNBC
A useful counterpoint to Friedman is a recent column by Ömer Taspinar, who provides what seems to me to be one of the more persuasive explanations for why the Turkish government has been acting as it has over the last several years. Taspinar starts by questioning the handy, potentially misleading Islamic/secular distinction that practically every Western observer, including myself, has used at one time or another:
For more: Eunomia
EU leaders will tomorrow (17 June) seek to agree new measures to enforce better economic discipline when they meet in Brussels for a one-day summit.
They are expected to agree on the need for tougher sanctions for countries that fail to respect the limits on public deficits and debts. They will also agree to provide details about their national budget plans to the European Commission and to each other for review.
The focus on improving economic governance follows the recent sovereign debt crisis that started in Greece and spread to other eurozone countries as investors shunned government bonds because of fears they might default. Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has called for a new “stability culture” where governments keep deficits under control in order to support the euro.For more: EU leaders to sign up to tougher economic discipline | Policies | EU governance | Council of Ministers | European Voice
For more: UPDATE: France To Raise Retirement Age To 62 To Help Cut Debt - WSJ.com
The European Union (EU) Tuesday asked three more member states to reduce their deficits below the 3-percent ceiling set by the bloc's budget rules.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said that Cyprus, Denmark and Finland ran excessive deficits and recommended different deadlines for the three countries to bring their deficits and debt levels down according to the EU's Stability and Growth Pact.
European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said: "The entry into the excessive deficit procedure of these countries, which until recently had surpluses, shows the severity of the economic and financial crisis we have gone through. "For more: Three more EU members asked to cut deficit
"Extra measures" need to be "specified in the 2011 budget," he stressed.
Spain was one of 12 countries, including Portugal, whose existing deficit reduction plans were considered, and broadly approved, by the EU Commission.For more: AFP: EU demands 'extra' 2011 deficit measures of Spain
First things first -- Turkey's stance on Gaza hardly splits it off from the West. British Prime Minister David Cameron called the raid "completely unacceptable," and he, along with the presidents of France and the United States, wants an investigation into the raid and has called on Israel to loosen its Gaza blockade.
It's true that Turkey has been strongly critical of Israel since its 2008-09 incursion into Gaza, but this doesn't mean it or its leadership is anti-Israel. In fact, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan doggedly pursued Middle East peace before the Gaza incursion, working for two years to try and stage-manage a rapprochement between Israel and Syria. This effort had to be shelved after Israeli troops entered Gaza.
Note EU-Digest: the Netanyahu government is a coalition of pretty hard line radicals just like Hamas is on the other side of spectrum . Mr. Erdogan regardless of his shortcomings has at least given this very explosive situation, which can never be solved by endless and fruitless negotiations supported by the US and the EU into a more aggressive confrontational mode and force the US and the EU to change course on this issue.
For more: Doug Sarro: Turkey and the West: Everybody Take a Valium
The strategy here is to create a network of floating wind farms 10 to 50 miles offshore, where the winds are strong and -- here's the rub -- the water is very deep. A floating turbine that is sited in water that is thousands of feet deep has never been engineered, much less built and tested.
While there are thousands of offshore wind turbines in northern Europe, they are anchored (not floating) in water that, at most, is hundreds of feet deep, not thousands. Is a sustainable deepwater floating wind turbine possible? Maybe. Maybe not.
A journalistic hard look at this proposal would have also included what little is known about the potential environmental impacts of a flotilla of offshore wind turbines. These turbines, in addition to generating electricity, will generate underwater noise and vibration.For more: Maine Voices: Offshore floating wind turbines raise environmental, technical questions | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
Vestas is ready to develop China’s rich offshore wind resources with its abundant experience in offshore wind energy projects and cutting-edge technology.
This readiness and commitment is underlined by being the co-sponsor of Offshore Wind China 2010 Conference and Exhibition which takes place at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center.
Vestas introduces its newest product to the Chinese offshore market - Metal Supply
Afghan officials believe the mining sector will eventually become the backbone of the now tiny Afghan economy and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The economy is currently dominated by aid money and drug smuggling, raising fears the coalition's investments in building the Afghan army and state are ultimately unsustainable.For more: US discovers $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan - Telegraph
Soccer - the Netherlands: Van Persie shows glimpses of old form as Netherlands beat Denmark at World Cup
In front of a near capacity crowd at Soccer City, the 26-year-old Dutchman was a consistent thorn in the side of the Danish team. And it was his cross that led to the own goal that broke the deadlock a minute into the second half of the 2-0 win.For more: The Canadian Press: Van Persie shows glimpses of old form as Netherlands beat Denmark at World Cup
Despite recent tension over bailout packages for Greece and the eurozone, the two wrote a joint letter last week urging the European Commission to speed up efforts to regulate financial markets. Merkel and Sarkozy say the bloc should consider prohibiting the naked short selling of some shares and bonds.For more: The Canadian Press: Merkel, Sarkozy meeting in Berlin ahead of EU summit
The European single currency rose to 1.2232 dollars from 1.2106 dollars in New York late on Friday. Against the Japanese unit, the dollar increased to 91.88 yen from 91.61 yen.For more: AFP: Euro strengthens amid upbeat data
For more: Int’l law expert Aral: Israel not as untouchable as before
Spain, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, will press for a vigorous approach with support from France, Italy and the UK. José Luis Zapatero, Spain's prime minister, called at the weekend for a "strong joint EU position on the siege".
Zapatero said his foreign minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, would argue at the meeting that the EU should "stand up for the end of the blockade on Gaza and that it extends all its political and diplomatic capacity to reach that goal".For more: EU ready to intensify pressure on Israel to lift Gaza blockade | World news | The Guardian
The Netherlands is a small corner of the European continent, but it has made big contributions to developments in the modern world.
In the 17th century Dutch strength in trade and finance, shipping and technology, made the small republic a major power. This was based upon the population's remarkable innovative capacities. I was reminded of this society's ingenuity in the Rijks (state) museum, viewing the works of their greatest artists - and Europe's as well? - Rembrandt, Reubens and Vermeer. Artists may not be fundamental to achieving political and economic greatness, but great societies inevitably produce them. The Dutch were the first in Europe to legalize egalitarianism, even before the French Revolution. Their lack of deference to either monarchy or aristocracy led to an absence of the social hierarchy in other great powers of the time. And the weakness of ecclesiastical authority led to societal curiosity and openness that others envied.
Whereas political life in Holland was once a model of stability, in the 21st century the country has been convulsed. In 2002 the anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated. Then in 2004, Theo Van Gogh, descendent of the renowned artist, and producer of a documentary critical of Islam, was viciously murdered. Afterward, the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, a secular Jew, engaged in an outreach effort to the Muslim community that was very similar to that of "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, who visited Viterbo University this past school year. Cohen focused the city government's integration policy on lending a sympathetic ear to the Muslim community, even the most insular and orthodox. And when Dutch elections were called this spring, Cohen led the Labor Party ticket, with number two Nebehat Albayrak, who is Turkish.
For more: Keith Knutson: The Netherlands are a bellwether for Europe
While Barack Obama’s US administration last week denied that the disastrous oil spill had damaged relations, it has caused early difficulties for the new British prime minister, David Cameron. With reports that the broken BP pipe is leaking twice as much oil as initially thought, the president and the American people are desperate to find someone to blame.
What Cameron described as an ‘‘environmental catastrophe’’ could also turn out to be a political disaster. There is certainly great political and public anger directed towards BP. A ‘‘seize BP’’ campaign is conducting demonstrations in major US cities, calling on Obama’s government to grab the British company’s US assets, while a ‘‘boycott BP’’ group is encouraging consumers to shun the oil company’s network of service stations
For more: Oil leak tension between Britain and US spills over | The Post
"The EU has very good relations with both Turkey and Israel," and "the bilateral relations between these two countries are not linked with the bilateral relations between the EU and each of these countries," insisted Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the bloc's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.
She added that "as far as Turkey is concerned, progress in accession negotiations depends on the progress in reforms taking place" there.The European Union on Wednesday rejected a US charge that its failure to accept Turkey as a member was partly responsible for the deterioration of relations between Ankara and Israel.For more: EU denies responsibility for Turkey-Israel tension | Jordan Times
“If we had not said 'no', it would have been self-denial... It would have been a lack of self-respect,” Erdogan was quoted as saying at a Turkey-Arab forum currently being held in Istanbul, AFP reported. The comment came after Turkey had brokered a deal with Iran last month for the exchange of 1,200 kilogram's of Iranian low enriched uranium with highly enriched uranium. The enriched uranium, Iran says, is to be used as research reactor to make medical isotopes.
Russia's interests will also go unaffected as the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says the country will ensure "absolute protection for all significant channels of trade and economic cooperation existing between Russia and Iran," and that Russian companies would just "adapt" to the new sanctions.
For more: US 'inciting conflict to trigger war'
Steven Gerrard had put England ahead in the fourth minute, blowing past Ricardo Clark to beat goalkeeper Tim Howard from inside the 6-yard box. But Dempsey tied the score when his 25-yard shot skipped off the grass twice and bounced in off Green's hand, yet another in a long line of shocking gaffes by England goalkeepers. It made Dempsey only the second American to score in two World Cups, joining Brian McBride.For more: U.S. set for finest hour
The European Commission plans to open European Union markets fully to Palestinian exports in the coming months to help strengthen the Palestinian economy, the EU trade chief said on Thursday. The 27-country bloc has an agreement with the Palestinian Authority that allows Palestinian industrial goods duty-free access to the EU, and requires the Palestinian territories to phase out tariffs on EU exports over five years.
The EU decision to accelerate bilateral trade was announced after a meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Palestinian Economy Minister Hasan Abu-Libdeh.For more:EU to open market fully to Palestinian exports - Israel Business, Ynetnews
The Turksh President Abdullah Gul has said the attack on ships manned by activists attemtping to break the Gaza blockade, was a crime and was something one would expect from a group like al-Qaeda, rather than a sovereign state. Gul has also said Israel should apologize for the attack and pay compensation. Nine activists were killed in the attack.
Speaking to the French daily newspaper Le Monde, the Turkish president hinted his country would terminate diplomatic ties unless the Jewish state changed its attitude.
For more: Israel must apologize and pay compensation, says Turkey
The draft law's passage on Thursday by the senate prompted a torrent of criticism from Italian prosecutors, newspapers and opposition lawmakers. Mr. Berlusconi, a media magnate, says the bill aims to protect the privacy of Italians. Critics say the draft legislation, which still faces a vote in the lower house of Parliament, is an attempt by Mr. Berlusconi to weaken the judiciary branch's investigative powers and muzzle criticism of the prime minister in Italian media.
"The massacre of freedom has begun," said Anna Finocchiaro, a senator in the center-left Democratic Party.
For the complete report: Italy's Senate Approves Wiretap Bill - WSJ.com