Interview with an investment banker

Just in case you missed it. Investment bankers bet and speculate. In other words they are making money with money. When the banking world was about to collapse because the bet on packets of junk bonds, and were about to be caught out on it they changed their tack. They now bet and speculate on […]

Wal-Mart’s distress signal

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — U.S. retailers reported their slowest monthly sales growth in five years, which would further cement fears that American consumers are buckling under the weight of a slowing economy. Leading the way was No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., (WMT, Fortune 500) which on Thursday reported a big miss in its January […]

The Fat Cats Protection League

Wherever you hear the words “free market”, you’ll find massive state handouts to corporations By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 4th September 2007 After my column last week, several people wrote to point out that the neoliberal project – which demands a minimal state and maximum corporate freedom – actually relies on constant government […]

CREDIT WRAPUP-Credit fears spread, Australia quashes rumours

By Ian Chua HONG KONG, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Credit fears flared in Asia on Tuesday prompting Australia’s central bank to quash speculation that one or more regional banks had asked for emergency funding, a day after savers rushed to withdraw deposits from a British lender. Japan’s finance minister provided soothing words to investors, saying […]

Black day for shares as €4.5bn lost

By Brian O’Mahony, Chief Business Correspondent ON a black day for Irish shares a total of €4.5 billion was wiped off the value of the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday. Market sentiment was certainly not helped by fears that investors in one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders, Northern Rock, might lose their life’s savings as the […]

Interest rate increases have ‘gone too far’

The Reserve Bank has “definitely overdone” interest rate rises this year and should slash the rates in line with Australia, economic forecasting group Berl says. Instead of being on “perpetual inflation alert”, rates should be lowered to encourage investment, productivity improvements or business expansion, Berl says. “The psychotic fear of inflation is clouding the need […]

Investor panic takes toll on Speirs Group

Palmerston North-based loss-making finance company Speirs Group says its investor roll has plummeted 35% in the past three months, its secured stock funding has reduced and it is grappling with the collapse of its rental car client. Speirs Group, made up of Speirs Finance, Speirs Nutritionals and Spiers Foods, posted a loss of $1.9 million […]

Prepare for prolonged turmoil, says US Treasury Secretary

From The Times September 18, 2007 Suzy Jagger and Gabriel Rozenberg Investors should brace themselves for a prolonged period of market turmoil, Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, said yesterday as he held emergency meetings with the Chancellor and the French Finance Minister. Mr Paulson flew to London to discuss the financial crisis with Alistair […]

Rising Energy Costs Could Affect BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Share Prices

Posted by Dan Denning on May 25th, 2007 Finding the lowest-cost producer is becoming increasingly important in the mining industry. Prices for base metals are high. Some of this comes from supply/demand dynamics. And some is the result of inflation (a deteriorating U.S. dollar.) Either way, the price signals in the resource market are telling […]

Investors to blame for not assessing the risks

The United States is not the only nation confronting a household debt crisis. We, too, have a subprime lending market and it is managed by our collective bag of finance companies. The collective sum of savings at risk in this sector is reported to be $16 billion. Put another way, that’s nearly a third of […]

Failing banks, toxic bonds and mortgage laundering

The Triumph of Structured Finance By Mike Whitney  The entire global financial structure is becoming uncontrollable in crucial ways that its nominal leaders never expected, and instability is its hallmark. The scope and operation of international financial markets, their “architecture”, as establishment experts describe it, has evolved haphazardly and its regulation is inefficient — indeed, […]

Greenspan on 60 Minutes: It was all Bush’s fault

By Mike Whitney 09/17/07 “ICH” — – Alan Greenspan’s appearance on 60 Minutes was preceded with all the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding. The public relations blitz dragged out for a whole week. What profound truisms would the elusive former-fed master divulge to the News Magazine’s withered-coquette, Leslie Stahl? Would he produce his […]

Cullen planned $1 billion in tax cuts

The Government planned to deliver $1 billion in personal tax cuts at the last budget, but shelved the plan due to fears it would fuel inflation, official papers show. The papers, issued under the Official Information Act, show the Government last year considered a package of personal tax cuts that would have equalled the $1 […]

Fed to meet for US rate decision

The Federal Reserve is preparing to meet to decide whether US interest rates should be reduced from 5.25%. Most analysts believe the Fed will cut rates to try and prevent a housing market downturn and the credit crunch from severely denting the economy. By making money cheaper to borrow, people would spend and invest more, […]

Families feel pinch as basic costs rise

By PAUL EASTON – The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 18 September 2007AdvertisementHouseholds are being squeezed by price increases on basic foods and petrol, even before higher power prices and a sliding Kiwi dollar begin to take effect. Budgeting agencies fear the increase in staple food prices, including butter’s 23 per cent increase yesterday and milk’s […]

Credit crisis: Meltdown!

In the past 100 years, the rollercoaster ride that is the world of high finance has seen some spectacular lows. Sean O’Grady looks back at four episodes that not only came to define their times but also served as lessons for the future Published: 15 September 2007 1907: The Bankers’ Panic Sometimes, all that is necessary […]

‘Housing boom over’ as UK bank chaos grows

Economist warns of sharp downturn · Tory leader attacks Brown over crisis Heather Stewart and Lisa Bachelor Sunday September 16, 2007 The Observer Britain’s house price growth will be halved next year as the global financial crisis exacerbates the impact of rising mortgage rates, according to Nationwide, the biggest mortgage lender.After the dramatic bail-out of […]

House prices surge ahead of pay

The cost of buying a home has blown out to a record high. In August it took 81.6 per cent of a median weekly income to pay the mortgage on a median-priced house. That is more than twice the amount considered affordable, according to the latest Fairfax Media home loan affordability report. That makes the […]

Fed can’t stop recession

Even if the central bank starts to cut rates aggressively, many of the risks for the U.S. economy are beyond its reach. By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer September 13 2007: 1:35 PM EDT NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Problems in housing, the financial markets and the first job decline in four years have made a […]

US, NZ ‘on a date’ for free trade pact

By Audrey Young  Richard Armitage Former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage likens US relations with New Zealand at present to “dating”. “It’s just like dating. I think we are on a date now,” he said at the second US-NZ Partnership Forum in Auckland, which finished yesterday. “We’re going to see if this works.” […]

Realtors Cut Forecast, Say Slump Will Extend to 2008

By Kathleen M. Howley Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) — The National Association of Realtors reduced its home sales forecast for the ninth time this year and said the housing slump will extend into 2008. Existing home sales will fall 8.6 percent in 2007, exceeding the 6.8 percent drop estimated a month ago. New-home sales probably will […]

Is China Dumping the U.S. Dollar?

« U.S. dollars change hands in Beijing, China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) Is China Dumping the U.S. Dollar? September 10, 2007 | From theTrumpet.com Questions loom whether China is behind recent dollar sales—if it is, America’s way of life is about to change. The only question is how badly and how fast. By Robert Morley The U.S. […]

The Supply-Side Fraud: Republican Economics Don’t Work

By Hale Stewart, HuffingtonPost.com. Posted September 10, 2007.Supply-side economics is a great marketing concept, but in reality is a poor national policy. Tools Republicans are enamored by “supply-side” economics. Frankly, I have to admit it’s a very easy sell. Think about it. “Cutting tax rates stimulates the economy to such a high level that tax […]

Warning issued on Geneva Finance

By DAVID HARGREAVES – Fairfax Media | Tuesday, 11 September 2007Auckland-based consumer finance company Geneva Finance faces a possible future downgrade of its credit rating because of “increasing pressure” on its liquidity and funding, international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said today. “We believe that there is a possibility that current financial market disruptions […]

We’ll break US free trade barrier – Nats

National leader John Key today unveiled plans to negotiate a free trade agreement with the US, which the government is yet to succeed in doing since it came to power in 1999. National will soon release a foreign policy paper with the key objective of preparing the ground for negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) […]

Worst crisis for 20 years, say banks

LEADING bankers are warning of the worst crisis in the money markets for 20 years, which will come to a head this week when $113 billion (£57 billion) of commercial paper – market IOUs – comes up for refinancing. This huge refinancing, mainly through London, exceeds the $100 billion that became due in mid-August, and […]

Countrywide to cut up to 12,000 jobs

Fri Sep 7, 2007 7:39PM EDT NEW YORK (Reuters) – Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Friday it plans to cut 10,000 to 12,000 jobs to cope with weak housing demand, rising foreclosures and tightening credit markets. The cuts, which amount to as much as 20 percent of the lender’s work […]