Here is a quick snapshot of some key overnight news, views, and data.
The 'lost decade' myth
The idea of a Japanese-style 'lost decade' is misleading – even when applied to Japan, says Daniel Gros. We're ignoring the big key demographic trends, something that we can use to understand what is ahead.
I want some more
US Treasury Secretary Geithner asks Congress for a larger debt limit - raising it above its current US$14.29 trillion. He says not to raise it would invite default, and that would be "unthinkable, and must be avoided".
"Seven Deadly Sins -
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice."
- Mahatma Gandhi
more below ...
|8 am||--- 52 week --|
|Crude oil||in US$/bl||88.44||88.44||91.45||70.15|
|US Treasuries||30 yr bond||4.48%||4.53%||4.78%||3.61%|
You've got a new boss
The EU is proposing that their regulators be given the power to seize, sack, and impose haircuts on banks who they judge out-of-line. Credit default swap spreads for bank debt rose on the news.
But is it enough?
More details have been revealed of the extent of the writedowns at Yellow Pages, and the eye-watering level of losses the banks will have to take in this restructure. But even after these writedowns, almost $700 million worth of 'goodwill', 'brand' and 'customer relationship' (sic) are left on their books.
The NZ dollar ended last week at a five year high against the struggling euro. It was last at this level mid December 2005 when it went as high as NZ$1 = EU0.6092 which was its all-time high.
They are not for the faint-hearted - but they are a way to earn an enhanced return if an insurable catastrophe doesn't occur. But you could be wiped out if it does. Apparently the NZ Super fund is a buyer ...
'We'll be inflexible'
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet warned eurozone governments not to rely on the ECB to get Europe out of its debt crisis and urged them to step up efforts to tighten fiscal rules. ECB policy can't be a substitute for irresponsible governments, he said.