China to target 13 pc wage Rise over Next Five Year
The Greek Haggle Goes On..
…Greece may have only three days left to arrange financing for its bond payment and avoid “outright default,” said Thomas Mayer, chief economist at Deutsche Bank.
“If they don’t have the money in the account at the time the payment is due, then they really default,” Mayer said today in a radio interview on “Bloomberg — The First Word” with Ken Prewitt. “Time is of the essence. I think we have maybe one, maybe two, maybe three more days but that’s it.”
While the prime minister and party chiefs have agreed to make further cuts this year equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, they have yet to close gaps over measures demanded by creditors for the rescue. Unions, which went on strike yesterday, have derided the conditions as “blackmail.”…..
Frances Trade Deficit Widens To New Record On 35 Hr Work Week/ Six Weeks of Vacation/Sick Pay
The shortfall swelled to 69.6 billion euros ($91 billion) last year from 51.5 billion euros in 2010, the trade ministry in Paris said today. Exports climbed to 8.6 percent to 429 billion euros, outpaced by a 12 percent increase in imports to 498 billion euros.
As the euro-area crisis enters its third year, and with a presidential election less than three months away, the deficit has become a political issue as a symbol of France’s decline. Sarkozy wants to raise the nation’s sales tax rate to finance a cut in payroll levies that he says penalize industry. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande instead wants to create a public investment bank to finance research and development.
“France’s trade deficit has been deteriorating for a decade, and it’s about competitiveness, it’s obvious,” said Michel Martinez, an economist at Societe Generale SA in Paris. Whoever wins the election needs “to address this.”….
China May Buy $132 Billion In ESFS debt in Vendor Finance Deal
China may “move shortly” to help Europe resolve its debt crisis by providing an investment of as much as 100 billion euros ($132 billion), said Yuan Gangming, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The money would probably go to the European Financial Stability Facility, the euro bailout fund, said Yuan, adding that the forecasts are his own and don’t necessarily represent government plans. Economists from the academy provide policy advice without direct involvement in decisions.
Helping Europe is like “hitting two birds with one stone,” Yuan said in an interview in Beijing Feb. 6. The action would have many benefits and few drawbacks, Yuan said.
China, sitting on the world’s largest foreign-exchange reserves at more than $3 trillion, has signaled a stronger willingness to aid Europe, which is the largest market for its exports. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabaotraveled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week toGuangdong province, a hub for factories making electronics, shoes and toys for export, and said there that helping Europe would be helping China itself.
China may initially invest tens of billions of euros and later increase the amount to 100 billion euros or even more, said Yuan, who is also a researcher at Tsinghua University’s Center for China in the World Economy. Another option is for funds to go toward the International Monetary Fund’s bailout program, he said….
Another Quantas A380 Grounded With Crack in English Made Wings
German Exports Declined 4.3 pc in December.
Biggest Drop in 3 years.
FBI Steps Up Probe of Rupert Murdoch Crime Gang
China-PBOC Promises Housing Support
China’s central bank pledged support for first-home buyers as a crackdown on real-estate speculation threatens to trigger a property slump in the world’s second- biggest economy.
Officials will increase support for construction of affordable housing and ensure that “loan demand from first-home families” is met, the People’s Bank of China said on its website yesterday evening.
Policy makers aim to limit public discontent by making housing more affordable, with Vice Premier Li Keqiang, a possible contender to be the next premier, describing the distribution of low-cost homes as a key test of government credibility. At the same time, the ruling Communist Party aims to avoid the economic “hard landing” that Fitch Ratings said yesterday is a key global risk.
“The government doesn’t want to see home transactions slide too fast — that may hurt economic growth,” said Lu Ting, a Hong Kong-based economist at Bank of America Corp.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s current-account surplus slid to a 15-year low in 2011 as increased energy demands after the March earthquake bolstered imports amid a global slowdown that has curbed demand for the nation’s goods, a report showed. The excess shrank 44 percent from a year earlier to 9.63 trillion yen ($125 billion), the Finance Ministrysaid in Tokyo today…
Greece, Troika Work on Final Rescue Draft
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos postponed a meeting with heads of the political parties supporting his caretaker government a second time in as many days as the government and international creditors haggled over terms to secure a second aid package.
Papademos will meet with the leaders in Athens tomorrow, instead of tonight as previously scheduled, a spokeswoman for his office said. Instead, he will meet tonight with the so- called troika, comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank and theInternational Monetary Fund, to put the final touches to terms required for a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) rescue package, the spokeswoman said.
The delay is yet another hitch in completing a package that’s been on the table since July as the government struggles to wind up financing to avert a collapse of the economy, risking a new round of contagion in the euro area. With the country facing a 14.5 billion-euro bond payment on March 20, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned yesterday that “time is running out” to reach an accord.
A Greek official said earlier the government and international creditors were close to a final draft of an agreement on budget and structural measures needed to extend the financial lifeline.
While the prime minister and party chiefs have agreed to make further cuts this year equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, they have yet to close gaps over measures demanded by creditors for the rescue. Unions, which struck today, have derided the conditions as “blackmail.”
“It is clear we are going into another drama for Greece with many questions unanswered,” Patrick Legland, head of research at Societe Generale SA, told Bloomberg Television today. “It’s kind of a catch-22 where they have to reduce their deficit but there is no growth. It’s very tricky.”
At stake is whether Greece wins the bailout, secures a debt write-off with private creditors and remains in the euro region. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters late yesterday that “failure of these talks, failure of the plan, the country’s bankruptcy, means even greater sacrifice.”
The euro rose 0.9 percent to $1.3254 at 10:16 p.m. Athens time after touching $1.3270, the highest level since Dec. 12. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.3 percent..
Asian Markets Cheered by Greek Progress
(Reuters) – Asian shares hit their highest level in more than five months on Wednesday and the euro hovered close to an 8-week high as investors kept hopes alive for an agreement on details of a new Greek bailout package despite further delays.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 to open about 0.2-0.3 percent higher.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan, after a slow start, rose 0.9 percent to its highest in more than five months. The rise followed solid U.S. stocks overnight, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average touch its highest in 3 years and nine months, underlined by improved sentiment on recent above-forecast economic figures.
The Asian index has risen 13 percent this year, outpacing a 7 percent rise for Wall Street’s S&P 500, but has been treading water much of this week as Greek talks dragged on.
Japan’s Nikkei rose to a three-month high above 9,000 and closed up 1.1 percent, buoyed by a better-than-expected profit outlook from Toyota Motor Corp.
“It’s really a reaction in terms of the better turn in the U.S. markets,” said Guy Stear, head of research with Societe Generale in Hong Kong.
While the Greece deal was postponed, markets may be focusing on the flip side of the issue — pressures on the European Central Bank to be more involved in helping break the deadlock over the bailout plan.
“There are signs that the ECB may be willing to accept some kind of haircuts on its Greek debt holdings, which would be more like a crystallization of the fact that there are gains which have been made by the fact that these bonds were bought well under par,” Stear said.
Such expectations have made markets somewhat optimistic that it was less likely that Greece will default, he said….
EU Poohbahs Say They are Ready for Greek Default
Russia working with Assad to end Violence/Civil War
English Crown Plots in Open to Depose Assad
The old English Empire never died, it just went incognito, at least to the unobservant. Although properly among themselves they refer to it as the British-Israel Imperium, aka the NWO.
Mr Hague revealed that Britain has already provided training to civilian Syrian opposition groups in the documentation and reporting of human rights abuses, as well as “strategic communications”, which means mobile phones, radios and advice on messaging. He has appointed an ambassador-level diplomat, Frances Guy, to liaise with exiled opponents of the regime.
Britain will, he said, be a driving force in a new “Friends of Syria” group of nations – an international consensus reaching beyond the US, the EU and Arab League – that will coordinate economic and diplomatic pressure on Damascus. A similar group was formed against Libya’s Col Muammar Gaddafi. But the key difference is that the Libyan Contact Group’s activities were combined with the threat of force, which was authorised by the UN and succeeded in removing a despot…
Kirchner-England Militarizing South Atlantic