QFINANCE brings to you its top 5 financial news stories of the week, along with relevant QFINANCE articles and definitions to fill you in on background details. Stories this week include overreaction to sovereign debt by Eurozone investors, the Chile miners' miracle rescue, and China's reserves hitting a record high.
As the world watched the incredible sight of Chile’s 33 miners emerging, one by one, from what might so easily have been their stony tomb half a mile underground, there was a real sense that this was also the opportunity for the country as whole to shed the darkness of the Pinochet years and to be seen as a modern, democratic country with a thriving economy.
When the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”, the members knew, of course, that their decision would not be cheered by the Chinese authorities who regard Liu Xiaobo as a “criminal” and have him locked up and serving an eleven year prison sentence.
After a heated public debate about the unfairness of public sector pensions, Lord Hutton’s interim report comes as a breadth of fresh air. Its tone and suggested approach to addressing the issues is measured, which must surely be a good thing in such an emotionally-charged environment.
The global “currency war” first highlighted by Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega on September 27 is showing little sign of abating. Finance ministers attending the IMF meetings in Washington DC failed even to pretend they had poured oil on the crisis, which now looks certain to spill over the G20 meeting in Korea.
Until its high profile decision on October 5 to cut its overnight call rate from 0.1% to 0.0% plus some fraction less than 0.1%, the Bank of Japan had not altered its rate since December 2008. This was when it reduced the rate to the now superceded 0.1% level, a decision that flipped savings in Japan from massive to under 3%. Why save when you are getting nowt for your money?
QFINANCE brings to you its top 5 financial news stories of the week, along with relevant QFINANCE articles and definitions to fill you in on background details. Stories this week include AIG's attempts to secure commitment from Kuwait, the IMF calling for a global currency deal, and BP signing a deal with Azerbaijan.
The Russian economy is on the cusp of major structural change, with the government aiming to limit dependence on raw material exports – particularly oil and gas – normalize the economy and lure in more foreign investment.
So now we know that the “Flash Crash” of 6 May, when the S&P plunged almost 1000 points in a few minutes was not caused by a “fat finger” error after all. A fat finger error, we should explain, is where a trader means to sell, say, one billion shares and keys one too many zeros before hitting the “send” button, thus selling 10 billion shares, and in the process triggering a briefly self-sustaining selling wave by both traders and automated trading programmes.
Writing about a volatile commodity price always runs the risk of having the markets make nonsense of anything one says by the time the piece is published. However, the awesome rise of the price of gold, which is on a 21 month tear and has been tumbling one record high after another since it went through $1290 on Wednesday 22 September, is worth commenting on in and of itself.