Asian markets decline on weaker-than-expected data from China
Markets in Asia were lower on Thursday after China released worse-than-expected economic growth data. China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2%, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was off 1.4%, South Korea's Kospi Composite Index dropped 1.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index decreased 1.2%, Taiwan's Taiex Index lost 1.4% and New Zealand's NZX-50 Index was off 0.7%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.5%. The Wall Street Journal (22 Oct.)
*Commercial Real Estate is in trouble, no shit. How bout the fact that the Fed owns a worthless strip mall out in OK City and we are paying for it with interest payments.
Commercial real estate is weakest sector in Fed's Beige Book
Weak or deteriorating commercial real estate markets were reported by all of the Federal Reserve's 12 district banks, according to the central bank's latest Beige Book. The Fed's regular anecdotal report found that the overall economy is still plagued by weakness in banking and increasing unemployment. Among the few bright spots in the report were observations of "stabilization or modest improvements" in manufacturing and housing. Google/The Associated Press (21 Oct.)
*Now WalMart will have no choice but to become the new Dollar Store. You know its bad when even white trash WMT can't get consumers in the door. Gee, I wonder if the increase in credit card interest rates have anything to do with it. YA THINK?
Wal-Mart warns of a "tough" holiday season
Wal-Mart suddenly looked a bit less invincible in the face of a recession during an investor conference presentation, according to this blog post. John Fleming, the discount retailer's chief merchandising officer, said the holiday shopping season "is going to be tough, it is going to be late." The wallets of consumers "are challenged," he said. Then Wal-Mart announced a new round of price cuts. Los Angeles Times/Money & Company blog (21 Oct.)
*don't believe it for one second. They will buy the dollar again as soon as earnings season over.
Dollar breaks symbolic $1.50 threshold against euro
The dollar may be poised for further decline after falling below $1.50 per euro for first time in more than a year, experts said. "This has enormous psychological significance. It opens the way for further gains above $1.50, which is overwhelmingly market consensus," said Michael Woolfolk, a managing director at Bank of New York Mellon. He predicted that the euro will be worth $1.55 by the end of 2009. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, told reporters that the dollar's slide is a sign that the flight to quality triggered by the global financial crisis is reversing. Nasdaq.com/Dow Jones Newswires (21 Oct.)
Commission calls for broader participation at World Bank
A report by a multination commission at the World Bank says the bank's policy making is dominated by the U.S. and Europe, and that many member countries need to have a greater voice. The commission said the nations of Europe are "considerably over-represented," with too many seats on the World Bank's 25-member decision-making board. The commission said that this is a "historical legacy that no longer seems appropriate for a global institution and a transformed global economy." Reuters (22 Oct.)
*I don't know why US worried. Only a matter of time before they are killing each other.
Japan's closer alignment with China worries Washington
U.S. officials are growing increasingly uncomfortable about the new Japanese government's moves to redefine its alliance with the U.S. and build closer economic ties with China. The new government came to power promising to take a stronger hand in negotiations with the U.S. and showing little enthusiasm for a U.S.-backed military buildup aimed at countering a resurgent China. Instead, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has advocated creation of an East Asian Community, modeled after the European Union, with China at its heart and the U.S. left outside. The Washington Post (22 Oct.)
*did you really think that american consumers would rush out and buy GM cars and trucks with their cash for clunker vouchers? They weren't buying them before so why after a handout? GM is still GM and their cars suck. And now we own it!
Former auto task force chief: No guarantee GM, Chrysler will survive
General Motors and Chrysler face some big challenges in returning to profitability, and their recovery is "far from assured," said Steven Rattner, the Wall Street financier who formerly headed President Barack Obama's auto task force. For GM, the big question is "whether without an infusion of new blood its management team can implement the massive cultural change that is needed," he said. Chrysler must manage a highly leveraged balance sheet and come up with new products, Rattner said. The U.S. government will probably recover some of the taxpayers' investment in the automakers' rescue, but not all of it, he said. Bloomberg (21 Oct.)