At least we're not in Dubai... There's a property collapse now in Dubai with an interesting twist. Many foreigners are leaving after being sacked because they know they could be put in 'debtors prison' if they miss payments on their loans in Dubai. Yikes. This in the New York Times. Finally some outrage over Madoff This is a spectacular excoriation of the SEC over the Madoff scandal. It feels like watching the best episodes of The Office. It's excrutiating and brilliant. Hattip to Kiwiblog on this. Here it is on CNBC. This guy, Gary Ackerman, needs his own reality television show. Oh the symbolism This is a bit off topic, but I love the symbolism of this story. Google has bought a paper mill in Finland for 40 million euros to build a massive data centre. Just like paper mills, data centres use a lot of power so this site is well set up to handle power. This in Reuters. A hat-tip to Chris Crum at WebProNews for this one. Itsh stime to put up interesh ratesh..i mean down...those ratesh thingies The Japanese Finance Minister appeared to be drunk during a G7 press conference. Not surprisingly, there are now calls for his resignation. Mind you, as the minister in charge of the Japanese economy, I'd be having a few drinks as well. Anything to dull the pain of GDP falling an annualised 13.7% in the December quarter. This on the BBC.
Here come the Chinese Alan Kohler at BusinessSpectator points out China is on the prowl with its big warchest buying various assets, including OZMinerals and a good chunk of Rio Tinto. That's what happens when a country like Australia (and us if we had anything worth buying) runs a current account deficit and China runs a surprlus. HSBC needing capital? Morgan Stanley's banking analyst Michael Helsby reckons HSBC needs US$20 billion to US$35 billion in fresh capital to replenish its balance sheet. Other analysts dispute this, but these stories won't go away. This in ft.com's excellent Alphaville blog. When will the bond bubble pop? The Wall St Journal points out that bond yields look set to jump as the US government's stimulus and bailout packages translate into big new issues of US Treasuries to soak up. This is important because those longer term Treasury yields are the basis for all longer term interest rates globally, and here in New Zealand, where longer term fixed mortgage rates look set to rise. The legendary Kanjorski may have been wrong Some regular readers of this blog may remember I referred people to a C-Span interview with a Republican Congressman, Paul Kanjorski, in which he refers to the US Financial system almost melting down completely in September. It seems he may be remembering things in a way that wasn't strictly true. Felix Salmon at portfolio.com gives Kanjeski's claims a jolly good fisking. Well worth a read. And here's Mark II of the fisking. Irish default fears Fears are growing about Ireland defaulting on its foreign debt. The cost of buying insurance (CDOs) on Irish government bonds has soared. This is one to watch. When Iceland defaults the world sneers and has a giggle. When Ireland defaults we can all be a little afraid, particularly the Spanish, the Greeks and the Italians, who are the other Eurozone members in a bit of strife. This in Timesonline with a timely warning from a former IMF chief economist.