Top 10 at 10: Chinese want to replace US$; Australian bond fever; UK inflation surprise; Conspiracy theory

Top 10 at 10: Chinese want to replace US$; Australian bond fever; UK inflation surprise; Conspiracy theory

Here's my top 10 news links from around the internet at 10am. I welcome your additions in the comments below. China's SDR proposal China's Central Bank governor has proposed replacing the US dollar as the global reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies. This is unlikely, but it does show how nervous the Chinese are that Barack Obama's borrow, spend and print strategy will devalue the US dollar and the US$1 trillion worth of US Treasuries held by China. America needs China to keep buying its bonds. Any signs that China might say 'no' are worrying. Here's the New York Times version of the story. Here comes the inflation Britain reported inflation surprisingly rose to 3.2% in February from a year ago. This as the Bank of England embarks on a massive money printing exercise. Here's the TimesOnline version. The Dow's euphoria fades The Dow closed down 1.5% as Monday's euphoria over the public-private toxic debt cleanup plan faded. Here's the Bloomberg version Now the Australians may be catching  bond fever too New Zealanders have been buying unguaranteed corporate bonds hand over fist this year in an attempt to find a decent yield from anywhere but the banks. Now Australians, who traditionally have gone to the stock market when bank rates fell, may be catching it too in the wake of their stock market collapse. Casino company Tabcorp is reported by Bloomberg to be planning an A$200 million issue of five year unsecured bonds aimed at retail investors. The unguaranteed issue is the first since the guarantee was put in place. What does it mean for us here in New Zealand? Not much right now apart from those here saving in Australian dollars. But it does show too that corporates in Australia are starting to have the same problems getting money out of their banks. Will it work? The new Geithner plan to clear toxic debt from US bank balance sheets is just a rehash of the discredited Paulson plan, says Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist and columnist who is usually sympathetic to Obama. Combating the xenophobes TVHE has a nice discussion on the vexed and growing issue of employing skilled migrants at a time when New Zealanders are being laid off. Postman Pat better than Fred the Shred An opinion piece here from Simon Jenkins at the Guardian suggests the bank-wary British would quite like UK Post to build a British version of Kiwibank. It's all a plot... Rolling Stone has an entertaining piece which says the whole Credit Crunch is a plot for rich bankers to take over the world. Worth a read, although my view is most things are cockups rather than conspiracies. I'm almost reluctant to draw this to the attention of Iain Parker. Don't get too excited.

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

Power is keen Simon Power is reportedly keen on a select committee inquiry into finance companies, here at Stuff.

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