Asian markets fall, with Toyota's recall hitting Japanese shares
Most stock markets in the Asian-Pacific region dropped Thursday as investors took a cautious stance before the release of a U.S. report on jobs. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.5%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.6% and China's Shanghai Composite inched down 0.3%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.8%, South Korea's Kospi Composite rose 0.1% and Taiwan's Taiex gave up 0.1%. New Zealand's NZX 50 added 0.4%, shares in the Philippines gained 1% and Indonesian shares were down 0.5% in afternoon trading. The Wall Street Journal (04 Feb.)
*Greece is the tip of the iceberg in a long line of very bad headed lettuce!
Analysis: Greece's next challenge is to make austerity plan work
With the European Commission having endorsed Greece's plan for putting its finances back in order, Prime Minister George Papandreou must move swiftly to make the austerity measures stick, according to The Economist. Public-sector unions said they will go along with pay cuts as long as the pain is shared. To hold the unions' support, Papandreou must take strong action to track down and prosecute wealthy tax evaders. "High-earning doctors and lawyers can often avoid paying taxes by using offshore companies to acquire suburban villas, SUVs and luxurious motor yachts," according to The Economist. The Economist (03 Feb.)
Accounting firms warn about U.S. move to global standards
Executives from some of the Big Four accounting firms said a U.S. plan to shift to global accounting standards could face significant delays and that the process could become extremely politicized. The executives said discussions about the shift are at a crucial point. "The next six months are going to be defining," said James Quigley, CEO at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. "The key is what the [Securities and Exchange Commission's] position is going to be." Reuters (04 Feb.)
*the ADP is a bunch of government hacks. Companies are letting people go in droves. Wal-Mart, Verizon and yesterday Shell announced it was going to start cutting workers.
U.S. job losses ease as midsize firms hire again, ADP finds
Job losses in the U.S. private sector declined 22,000 from December to January, the smallest figure since February 2008, according to a survey by payroll-service company ADP. Hiring by companies with between 50 and 499 workers increased, adding a net 9,000 positions, ADP said. The Christian Science Monitor (03 Feb.)
*Realtors are like the Bush administration: "We have no subprime problem and our economy is strong." remember when Bush, Paulson and Bernanke were saying that? IJIOTS!
CB Richard Ellis reports Q4 profit, forecasts growth in 2010
CB Richard Ellis, the world's biggest commercial real estate broker, posted a fourth-quarter profit of 28 cents per share, substantially more than analysts' forecast of 18 cents a share. The company said it expects 6% to 8% revenue growth in the coming year, marking the first time in two years it has projected improvement. Los Angeles Times (04 Feb.)
*affects take time and its no surprise to me.
Australia posts 0.7% decline for December retail sales
Retail spending in Australia dropped 0.7% in December, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For the fourth quarter, spending increased 1.1%. Shoppers appeared to be more cautious as government stimulus measures declined and interest rates started heading back up. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)/Reuters (04 Feb.)