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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: News Briefing (November 14-20, 2012)

QFINANCE: News Briefing (November 14-20, 2012)

Each week brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.

If you have any views on how we can improve this service or new areas you would like to see covered, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Wednesday November 14

Newly published figures revealed a return to recession for the eurozone according to Eurostat. The BBC reported last Wednesday that the bloc contracted by 0.1% during the summer as the debt crisis continues to affect demand considerably.

Related Viewpoint: Sovereign debt: Patricia Gabaldon on the advantages and difficulties of cuts and spending

Britain's financial watchdog, the FSA, has warned the global banks that it expects a “claw back” deferred bonuses from bankers involved in the recent financial scandals. A general bonus restraint is expected too, as the head of the financial body declared in a letter that “firms should also forfeit or reduce current year’s bonuses if appropriate”, according to The Telegraph.

Thursday November 15

In China, Xi Jinping has been handed the country’s most important reigns for the first time since Mao’s death. Not only did the party elect him general secretary but they also gave Xi Jinping the head of the Chinese army. "Public opinion will wield more and more influence over China's politics (...) and a more vigorous reform could be expected", the Chinese Global Times' reported on Thursday.

Related Viewpoint: Matthew Gertken looks into the challenges facing China in the near future and the testing maintenance of stability

UK governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King warned over prospects of a very low growth for the country in what the Financial Times called the “gloomiest medium-term assessment of economic prospects”.  The governor declared that it “may be in for a period of persistently low growth” as he said the pound’s rise was “was not a welcome development”.

Friday November 16

Giant oil group BP has pleaded guilty to the deaths of 11 men in the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010 and agreed to a $4.5bn settlement. Although this would resolve the group’s criminal charges, the company still faces actions for civil penalties and damages, The FT reported on Friday.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund said it would back the $66bn merger between Xstrata and Glencore, but would refrain from a management incentive package of £140m, Khaleej Times reported last Friday.

Monday November 19

EU officials are excluding the UK in work on a long-term budget. This reflects frustration that Britain’s demand for a spending freeze cannot be reconciled with the rest of the bloc, The Financial Times reported on Monday.

Moody’s rating agency has downgraded France from the country’s top AAA credit rating on Monday, the BBC reported. Some French leaders implied that this decision was a result of The Economist report on French economy entitled “The time-bomb at the heart of Europe”.  In response, BBC Economic Editor Stephanie Flanders commented: “I don't think Moody's – or Standard and Poor's – downgraded French debt because France looks different from other countries. In many ways, I think France has been downgraded because it is decidedly average.”

Tuesday November 20

Economist Jagdish Bhagwati said that India’s growth rate could be back to the high 8 and 9% in two or three years by intensifying the recent economic reforms.  “I would say if they stick with the measures they have undertaken and intensify them further…then we could get back to 8-9 percent GDP growth in 2-3 years,” Bhagwati told PTI on Tuesday.

Japan has recorded its worst October trade figures in at least 30years The Telegraph reported on Tuesday as the dispute with China has considerably affected the country’s exports lately.

Related Viewpoint: John Vail looks at the lessons for Europe and the US that can be taken from Japan’s past stagnation

Come back next week for another report on the world of business and finance.

Tags: banking , Ben Bernanke , central banks , China , credit rating agencies , European Central Bank , eurozone , financial crisis , France , International Monetary Fund , Japan , regulation , sovereign debt , UK , US
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