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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


*pop goes the weasel: US Stock Market likely to follow suit
Asian markets advance after Wall Street surge
Asian-Pacific share markets recorded solid gains Wednesday after Wall Street's best close of the year. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 went up 2.4% and South Korea's Kospi Composite gained 1.8%%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 2.6%, Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.3%, Singapore's Straits Times Index added 1.5% and New Zealand's NZX 50 advanced 0.6%. The Wall Street Journal (16 Sep.)

*I can't even think of something witty to say. All I keep thinking about is that federal employees pay ZERO to get some of the BEST benefits in the world of healthcare and I AM PAYING FOR THEM and have no insurance. Go figure.
Survey: 40% of employers to raise cost of medical benefits
With or without an overhaul of the U.S. health care system, many businesses plan to raise the cost of employees' medical benefits, according to a survey. The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that 40% of employers expect to increase the amount workers pay out of pocket to visit a doctor. Increases to employee payment for prescription medication also are in the works, many businesses said. The Washington Post (16 Sep.)

*questions all right, like, what is this bank really worth? Absolutely NOTHING!
Citi's sale of government-backed bonds raises questions
Citigroup sold $5 billion in two- and three-year bonds backed by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The sale raises questions about the bank's health and its ability to exit from government support. Citigroup reportedly is in talks with the U.S. Treasury to sell the government's 34% stake in the bank. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (16 Sep.)

*its about time someone starts talking about this
Fed adviser warns about central clearing of derivatives
Establishing a central clearinghouse for derivatives might not be safe, a Federal Reserve official said. Centralized clearing of over-the-counter derivatives might create too wide of a range of derivatives for a clearinghouse to cover, said Patrick Parkinson, senior adviser to the Federal Reserve Board. American International Group's troubles forced the U.S. government to guarantee billions in derivatives, spurring the call for centralized derivatives clearing. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (15 Sep.)

*China wants. Hard to believe eh?
China wants more for developing nations with IMF, World Bank
During next week's Group of 20 meeting in the U.S., China will insist that developing nations get more voting rights and greater participation in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, government officials and experts said. "China expects voting rights in both of these institutions to eventually be equally distributed between developed countries and developing countries," said Assistant Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, The same view was offered by Guo Qingping, assistant governor of the People's Bank of China. He said leaders at the G-20 summit should "set further specific goals for transferring voting rights from developed countries to developing countries." China Daily (Beijing) (16 Sep.)

*ING has been having a hard time finding a buyer. You think its all those US mortgages that they bought? Hummmmm
State aid for ING is fair, Dutch central banker says
De Nederlandsche Bank Governor Nout Wellink said loan guarantees received by ING Group from the Dutch government do not constitute unfair state aid. During the past year, ING received not only a $14.6 billion cash injection but also $40.4 billion in guarantees to back its portfolio of U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities. The European Commission is investigating whether the support is unfair. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (15 Sep.)

*sounds so familiar....
Daunting economic challenges await Japan's new prime minister
Yukio Hatoyama and the Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide election victory against the long-ruling Liberal Democrats by pledging to cut waste, reduce the influence of bureaucrats in making government policy and increasing consumer spending. As Hatoyama names his Cabinet and becomes prime minister, he must move quickly to implement those broad goals with specific actions, political observers in Japan said. "The DPJ has got to come up with an agreed list of priorities quickly, because its manifesto is just a laundry list," said Koichi Nakano, a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. "... And it better not just be how they will govern differently, but actual policies." Reuters (15 Sep.)

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