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Economists are rightly starting to warn that the United States faces a worrisome "fiscal cliff" at year's end. The blunt spending cuts mandated by the 2011 compromise on the debt ceiling — and the failure of the "supercommittee" that followed — along with across-the-board tax increases would derail the US recovery and undermine the well-being of the global economy. We should be avoiding the edge of this cliff — and politicians should not believe that they have until the end of this year to act.
The sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the reversal of the Bush-era and payroll tax cuts would essentially mean withdrawing from the economy some 4 percent of the national income in one blunt go — and this doesn't factor in possible knock-on effects. The importance of this issue cannot be overstated. A fiscal contraction of this magnitude and composition would stop dead in its tracks the economy's nascent healing and job creation. Consu…
In the next few years, millions of savers are in for a surprise that could cost them tens of thousands of dollars now—or hundreds of thousands later.
The reason: Universal-life insurance policies bought years ago when interest rates were high will face cancellation if policyholders don't pay more. View Interactive Douglas Jones
If interest rates stay low, many policyholders will face the unhappy choice of kicking in more money, accepting a lower death benefit or walking away, possibly sacrificing years of premiums they already paid.
Many people are "sitting on a ticking time bomb," says Kenneth Himmler, president of Integrated Asset Management, an advisory firm in Los Angeles. About 70% of the new clients whose insurance coverage he reviews are facing higher out-of-pocket costs because policies aren't generating enough interest income to pay costs, he says.
FRANKFURT—The euro-zone economy contracted in the third quarter, offering little hope for the worsening global environment as rising unemployment and fiscal austerity across much of Europe undermine the region's fortunes.
The euro zone hasn't grown for four straight quarters and the latest decline in gross domestic product was the second straight. Economists often define recession as two straight quarterly GDP contractions.
Europe's debt crisis, which has pushed unemployment higher and forced governments to enact tax increases and spending cuts, is largely to blame for the malaise.
Germany and France, the euro-zone's two largest economies, posted modest growth in the quarter.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's economy shrank in the September quarter for the first time since last year, adding to signs that slowing global growth and tensions with China are nudging the world's third-largest economy into recession.The 0.9 percent fall in GDP was in line with expectations, although a decline in capital expenditure was much steeper than forecast. Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp have slashed spending plans to cope with massive losses as they struggle with competitive markets and a strong yen.The fall in GDP translated into an annualized rate of decline of 3.5 percent, government data showed on Monday. While U.S. growth showed a modest pick up in the third quarter, Japan and the euro zone economies are shrinking."The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter.&q…
NEW DELHI: The much talked about 2G mobile phone spectrum auction ended in a damp squib on Wednesday with half of the airwaves on offer remaining unsold and government getting just about one-third of the targeted revenue.
According to preliminary estimates, the government received bids worth "much-less" than Rs 10,000 crore in an auction that ended in two days, a far cry from the 35-day bidding for the 3G spectrum in 2010 that got Rs 67,719 crore.
The government was targeting Rs 28,000 crore from the sale of 2G spectrum in the GSM band. Videocon and Idea won spectrum in 7 circles while Telenor got spectrum in 4 circles. Airtel and Vodafone won spectrum in one circle each.
None of the five companies in fray bid for a pan-India spectrum for which the reserve price was set at Rs 14,000 crore for 5 Mhz of airwaves.
The scant interest in the 2G auction was attributed to high base price.
The government had put on auction a substantial part of the spectrum that was freed from Supreme Cou…
Even as gold demand has picked up in the country during quarter ended September, China may still become the largest importer of the precious metalby the end of this year, overtaking India marginally, theWorld Gold Council said today.
"The demand here has picked up during the third quarter (July-September), while in China it lost the momentum. However, in the fourth quarter both the countries are showing very strong demand for gold and we feel the competition will be neck to neck with China ending up ahead of India.
"But the difference is likely to be very close to up to 50 tonne," WGC Managing Director (Investment) Marcus Grubb told PTI here.
In the July-September period of this year, the domestic demand improved mainly due to Diwali demand and the upcoming marriage season. However, in China it slipped following slowing domestic demand, he said.
"The fall in Chinese demand coincides with weaker economic numbers there in Q3," Grubb said, adding, the situation is st…
According to a leading analyst the renminbi is expected to become a major reserve currency in the next decade, a move that could see the greenback's share of global reserve currencies fall from about 60% now, to 50% by 2020.
Cloete notes that Berkeley economist Barry Eichengreen has said that the renminbi could account for 15% of global currency reserve holdings within ten years.
"Demand for RMB is bound to accelerate, given China's commitment to liberalize its capital and current account by the end of 2015.
Hardly a month goes by without the People's Bank of China further loosening the restrictions on onshore RMB trade settlements for foreign investors and customers. For instance, since August 2011 foreign businesses have been able to settle contracts in RMB in any province in China, a relaxation of the rules that would have been unimaginable even two years ago."
The number of children and pregnant women forced to live in bed and breakfast accommodation has risen by 60 per cent in a year, according to a new report.
Homeless Bound, by the National Housing Federation, also found that over a third of families with children living in B&Bs had been there longer than the Government's six-week limit, a 200 per cent increase in two years.
It found that a "perfect storm" of rising rents, insecure private tenancies and a lack of affordable housing have led to a sharp increase in homelessness.
It warned that low-income families are now the "new face of England's homeless" and argued that the only solution is to build more affordable homes for sale or rent.
Gold traders are the most bullish in 11 weeks and investors accumulated record bullion holdings on speculation U.S. policy makers will add to stimulus following President Barack Obama's re-election.Twenty-five of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week and three were bearish. A further five were neutral, making the proportion of bulls the highest since Aug. 24. Investors boosted assets in gold-backed exchange-traded products to an all-time high of 2,596.1 metric tons yesterday, valued at $144.7 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Obama won the Nov. 6 election against Mitt Romney, who had criticized the Federal Reserve's policies and said he'd replace Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, whose second term expires in January 2014. The European Central Bank kept interest rates at a record low yesterday and nations from the U.S. to China have pledged more action to boost economies. Gold rose 70 percent as the Fed bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds o…
12 reasons Obama won and Romney lost President Obama went into his reelection fight facing significant head winds – most important, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Even if the nation had technically pulled out of recession, many Americans weren't feeling it.For Mr. Obama to win a second term, he was going to have to beat history. No president since the Great Depression had won reelection with unemployment above 7.2 percent, the rate when President Reagan was reelected in 1984.For a multitude of reasons – Obama's positives, Republican challenger Mitt Romney's negatives, and factors beyond either man's control – Obama succeeded. Here's our list. President Obama went into his reelection fight facing significant head winds – most important, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Even if the nation had technically pulled out of recession, many Americans weren't feeling it.For Mr. Obama to win a second term, he was going to have to beat history. No p…
Greek MPs approved the country's latest austerity package yesterday aimed at securing – the ruling coalition insists – its financial survival and membership within the European family. Meanwhile, ordinary people's anger reached boiling point in widespread demonstrations and an 80,000-strong protest outside parliament.The harsh measures passed with a razor thin majority, as only 153 MPs out of the 300-seat parliament voted in favour. Shortly after the vote was concluded, two of the ruling parties expelled seven MPs for voting against the bill. The cutbacks – worth €13.5bn over the next two years – are essential if Greece is to continue receiving bailout funds from international creditors. The bill includes cuts to wages and pensions as well as labour reforms, in exchange for a €31bn aid lot that is already five months overdue.Public service wages that have already suffered reductions of nearly 40 per cent will be further axed while labour reforms will make it easier for emplo…
Past examples of Fiat money failures: When a government has the power and will to print unlimited monies; there is a sense of prosperity for awhile.
At the same time the government is increasing its own power base (because it doles out the money).
Eventually though excessive currency creation (especially of great magnitude) usually (if not always) leads to waste, corruption, and
What is Fiat Money?
Fiat money (usually paper, or coinage) acquires its value from government decree. It has no commodity value.
In other words the only reason it is valuable is because people trust in their government and are willing to use it for financial transactions.
The money is valueless if the populous loses all faith in the government.
You can see this yourself by visiting a local coin shop. Ask to see fiat currencies from around the world from failed governments, currencies or both. T…