Sunday, 30 March 2014

Jim Rogers: China Will Gain Massive Power & Influence by Bailing Out EU

Europe is taking its chance to make sure China knows its arms are wide open for any investment it can get. President Xi Jinping is visiting the continent - and Paris and Berlin have laid out the red carpet.

And the issue of human rights, so often a key part of talks between the EU and China, is strangely absent this time around.

On Thursday, the EU trade chief agreed to drop a probe into under-priced Telecom equipment, imported from China. Karel De Gucht says that's because Europe needs to do much more to attract Chinese investment.

There was some hushed criticism on China's rights record, with Human Rights Watch describing the conditions most Chinese people live in as "appalling". But investor and financial commentator Jim Rogers says Europe knows it has to be nice.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Greece Child Abuse Rises As Economy Falters

Economic crisis has been linked to a growing number of abandoned and abused children, straining local charities.

Austerity Push: Britons Struggle with High Hidden Debt

Consumer debt has hit record levels in the UK with many borrowing to cover basic necessities like rent and utility bills. And new information's now come to light, revealing the problem affects far more people than previously thought, as RT's Laura Smith now reports

Friday, 28 March 2014

Wirtschaftskrise in Europa: Spanien fällt in die Deflation

SPIEGEL ONLINE – WIRTSCHAFT: Es ist eine ökonomisch gefährliche Entwicklung: In Spanien fallen erstmals seit 2009 die Preise. Was für Verbraucher angenehm klingt, ist fatal für die Wirtschaft. Muss die Europäische Zentralbank eingreifen?

Madrid - Spanien ist überraschend in die Deflation geraten. Im März sanken die Verbraucherpreise erstmals seit Oktober 2009 auf Jahressicht, wie aus einer ersten Schätzung der nationalen Statistikbehörde vom Freitag hervorgeht. Die für europäische Vergleichszwecke harmonisierte Teuerungsrate fiel im März auf minus 0,2 Prozent. Im Vormonat hatte die Rate mit plus 0,1 Prozent immerhin noch knapp über der Nulllinie gelegen. » | yes/dpa-AFX | Freitag, 28. März 2014

Gefährlicher Preisverfall: Wie Deflation entsteht »

Russische Wirtschaft: Auch ohne Krim schon in der Krise

SPIEGEL ONLINE – WIRTSCHAFT: Das Kapital flüchtet, der Rubel bricht ein und es droht eine Rezession: Russlands Wirtschaft driftet allmählich Richtung Abgrund. Doch die Probleme sind nur zu einem kleinen Teil Folge der Krim-Krise. Viel schwerer wiegt, dass der Kreml seinen Modernisierungskurs aufgegeben hat.

mmerhin, für Siemens scheint die russische Welt noch in Ordnung zu sein. Konzern-Chef Joe Kaeser ist nach Moskau gereist, er hat Wladimir Putin getroffen. Der Präsident empfing ihn in Nowo-Ogarjowo, seiner Residenz vor den Toren von Moskau. Kaeser sprach von der "169-jährigen Tradition", die das Unternehmen mit Russland verbinde.

Allein 2,5 Milliarden Euro lässt sich der russische Staat 700 Siemens-Lokomotiven kosten, Siemens-Schnellzüge verkehren zwischen Moskau und Sankt Petersburg, Siemens-Regionalbahnen in der Olympiastadt Sotschi am Schwarzen Meer. » | Von Benjamin Bidder, Moskau | Freitag, 28. März 2014

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Europe's Economic Crisis Is Getting Worse Not Better, Says Caritas Report

The Caritas report says that as a result of economic measures[,]
Greece's political scene has become increasingly toxic.
THE GUARDIAN: Survey shows increase in the number of new poor in seven countries and challenges the official European Union discourse

Far from being over Europe's economic crisis is getting worse with disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation being noted among children and youth, says a report compiled by the Catholic charity Caritas.

The survey, conducted over the course of the past year, not only challenges the official discourse – that Europe is on the mend – but documents a dramatic poor in the seven EU countries worst hit by the policies of austerity.

"We in Brussels keep hearing that the economic crisis is over," Thorfinnur Omarsson, a spokesman for Caritas Europa said in Athens where the network of Catholic relief organisations released the report. "These findings not only doubt that the crisis is over but show it is the poor who are paying for a crisis they did not cause." » | Helena Smith in Athens | Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

If the West Wants to Hurt Putin, Could Saudi Arabia Do Its Dirty Work?

THE GUARDIAN – ECONOMICS BLOG: Europe depends on Russian oil and gas exports, so an embargo may not be practical. But there is another way to apply pressure

Russia is vulnerable to sanctions. Economic weakness caused the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago and – the self-enrichment of the oligarchs apart – not much has changed since. Energy exports to the rest of the world pay for imports of machines and consumer goods. The population is ageing and there has been little industrial diversification. » | Posted by Larry Elliott | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Friday, 21 March 2014

Sanctions: Potential Economic Damage

Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty making
Crimea part of Russia.
BBC: Russia, already teetering on the edge of recession, has a lot to lose from any economic sanctions imposed by Europe and the US - as does Europe, experts say.

The tense stand-off between Russia and the West over Crimea and Ukraine has led to sanctions being imposed on members of the Russian elite by the EU and the US.

US president Barack Obama has signed an order enabling economic sanctions against sectors of the Russian economy, and EU leaders are meeting in Brussels to consider their options.

"Russia can lose immensely out of this," says Paul Ivan, an analyst at Brussels-based think tank the European Policy Centre. "They are much more dependent on the European economy than we are on them."

Over half of Russia's budget comes from gas and oil it sends to the EU, making it vulnerable to any economic sanctions involving fossil fuel exports, Mr Ivan says.

By contrast, around 25% of European Union gas comes from Russia.

EU member states are linked to gas supplies flowing from countries such as Norway, making them less vulnerable to fluctuations in supply from Russia. » | Friday, March 21, 2014

Monday, 17 March 2014

£108m Jackpot Winner to Tell All

BT: Details have emerged of the lucky ticket-holder who scooped a massive £107.9 million on the EuroMillions draw as he prepares to reveal his identity.

Details have emerged of the lucky ticket-holder who scooped a massive £107.9 million on the EuroMillions draw as he prepares to reveal his identity.

The car mechanic and racing driver from Coulsdon, in Surrey, will discuss his plans for the future when he speaks at an event tomorrow, Camelot said.

The claimant had the only ticket to hit the jackpot from Friday's draw, making him the National Lottery's fourth biggest winner. » | Monday, March 17, 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Euromillions Jackpot of £107.9m Claimed by UK Ticket-holder

BBC: A UK ticket-holder has come forward to claim the £107.9m Euromillions jackpot - the UK's fourth biggest win in National Lottery history.

The winning numbers in Friday evening's draw were 6, 24, 25, 27 and 30, with the lucky star numbers 5 and 9.

Lottery operator Camelot confirmed it has had a claim staked for the jackpot prize, though no further details about the winner or winners were released.

Subject to validation, the prize could be paid out when banks open on Monday.

The ticket-holder can then decide whether or not to go public and share the news.

There will be no information released on whether the winning ticket belonged to an individual player or a syndicate, or where exactly the ticket was purchased, unless the ticket-holder decides to go public. (+ BBC video) » | Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Ed Balls 'Daunted' by Chancellor Task

BBC: Ed Balls has told me that he is "daunted" at the prospect of becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, given the scale of cuts a future Labour government may have to make.

I put it to the shadow chancellor that he would have to make spending cuts deeper than those made by any government since the war (other, that is, than the coalition itself) - deeper than those made by Labour Chancellor Denis Healey in the 1970s and Margaret Thatcher's Tory government in the 1980s.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that Labour's plans would imply about £18bn cuts to departmental budgets, since spending on pensions, welfare and debt interest is rising at the moment.

Despite this Mr Balls insisted that the government was wrong to save £200m this year (and £400m in the year after) by refusing to give pay rises to 600,000 NHS staff already receiving automatic pay increments. » | Nick Robinson, Political editor | Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Carney’s ‘Forward Guidance’: Interest Rates (January 2014)

The governor of the Bank of England talks to Jeremy Paxman about his plans for interests rates, and what's next for forward guidance. They also discuss Ed Miliband's banking strategy and Bitcoin.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Deutsche Firmen fürchten Eiszeit mit Russland

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Die Krim-Krise belastet die wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit zwischen Russland und Deutschland. Die Länder sind so eng miteinander verflochten, dass Sanktionen und mögliche Gegensanktionen ernsthafte Folgen hätten.

Hamburg - Der Warenstrom zwischen Deutschland und Russland ist fast ausgeglichen: Öl und Gas fließen aus Sibirien nach Deutschland, deutsche Unternehmen liefern vor allem Autos, Maschinen und chemische Erzeugnisse in die russische Föderation. Die wechselseitigen Verbindungen zwischen der Wirtschaft beider Länder haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren verstärkt - zu Wohl und derzeit Wehe der Unternehmen.

Rainer Lindner, Geschäftsführer beim Ost-Ausschuss der deutschen Wirtschaft zeigt sich deshalb äußerst besorgt über die Zuspitzung der Lage auf der Krim: "Wir erleben große Turbulenzen an den Märkten, die russische Wirtschaft ist bereits stark betroffen, genauso die börsennotierten deutschen Unternehmen, die auf dem russischen Markt tätig sind; darunter Metro , Volkswagen , BMW oder Daimler ". Deutschland habe deutlich engere Verbindungen zu Russland als andere europäische Länder, mit 6000 deutschstämmigen Betrieben seien mehr Firmen in Russland tätig als aus allen anderen EU-Staaten zusammen. Lindner zufolge hängen 300.000 deutsche Arbeitsplätze am Russland-Geschäft.

Das Handelsvolumen zwischen Russland und Deutschland belief sich im vergangenen Jahr auf rund 76,5 Milliarden Euro, wobei die russischen Exporte mit einem Wert von rund 40,5 Milliarden Euro leicht über den deutschen Ausfuhren (36 Milliarden Euro) lagen. Während Deutschland für Russland der drittwichtigste Handelspartner ist, liegt umgekehrt Russland nur auf dem elften Platz der wichtigsten deutschen Handelspartner - knapp hinter Polen. » | Von Franziska Bossy und Nicolai Kwasniewski | Dienstag, 04. März 2014

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Inside a Nigerian Private Jet

BBC: Nigerians have spent $6.5bn on private jets, making it the largest market in Africa for luxury aircraft and one of the fastest growing in the world.

More than 100 private planes are said to operating in there - many of them owned by the country's growing number of rich businessmen and women.

Tomi Oladipo reports from Lagos airport. (+ BBC video) » | Sunday, March 02, 2014