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Thursday, February 19, 2009


Bank of England looks to boost money supply in economy
The Bank of England plans to use quantitative easing to increase the amount of money in the system. The goal is to make it easier for banks to boost lending. The measures, which were unanimously agreed upon by the nine members of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee, are expected to include purchases of government and corporate bonds. BBC (18 Feb.)

Euro closes in on 3-month low against U.S. dollar
Forecasts of contraction in Europe's service and manufacturing sectors sent the euro close to a three-month low against the U.S. dollar Wednesday. For the first time in six weeks, the dollar increased to more than 93 Japanese yen. The moves indicate that traders think the U.S. will come out of the recession faster than the eurozone, a currency strategist at Rabobank International said. Bloomberg (19 Feb.)

Finance minister's resignation a setback for Japan
The sudden departure of Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa after his strange behavior at a news conference in Rome could have damaging consequences for Japan's economic recovery. Economists said Nakagawa's resignation undercuts the ability of Prime Minister Taro Aso to lead the nation out of the downturn. Japan Times/Kyodo News (19 Feb.)

Groups battle SEC's decision on equity-index annuities
State insurance regulators and lawmakers told an appeals court that the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision to consider equity-index annuities to be securities ignores the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The law gives states the authority to regulate the insurance industry, which includes such annuities, they said. "The commission did not consider the protections already provided by the state regulatory system," according to the brief. InvestmentNews (18 Feb.)

CME goes to Washington to fight changes to regulationCME Group, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade,is sending its executives to Washington regularly these days to influence the direction of financial-regulatory reform. Some parts of a bill working through Congress would drive business out of the U.S. and into foreign markets, the company said. Pensions & Investments (18 Feb.)

Banque de France calls for eurozone CDS clearinghouse
Banque de France prepared a report that discusses the creation of a clearinghouse for over-the-counter credit default swaps. The central bank urged eurozone nations to establish the facility to control the massive market rather than allowing U.K. or U.S. entities to take charge. Meanwhile, CDS dealers in Europe agreed to use a clearinghouse to end regulators' threats to legislate the market. Financial Times (19Feb.) , Bloomberg (19 Feb.)

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