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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: News Briefing (December 12-18, 2012)

QFINANCE: News Briefing (December 12-18, 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 December 12

In the UK, as part of the widening global scandal on Libor manipulation, police in London have arrested two interdealer brokers and a trader who worked for UBS and Citigroup, The Financial Times reported last Wednesday.

Related Viewpoint: James Anderson talks about Goldman Sachs describing it as the symbol and essence of what went wrong with western capitalism.

HSBC bank group announced its decision to stop offering Islamic products in many of its markets last week, according to the FT. The move, which has sent shock waves through the Gulf region, is due to large groups struggling to make money out of Sharia-compliant investments.

Thursday December 13

In the US, the Fed announced very precise and specific economic objectives for its policies last Thursday. “The world's most important central bank has just given itself a new magic number: 6.5%”, the BBC reported. The number represents the target in terms of US unemployment rate before the Fed considers raising interest rates.

Related Viewpoint: US Mortgage and Housing Market: Oonagh McDonald looks into the affordable ideology that wrecked the American mortgage market.

In Latin America, Uruguay’s economy grew faster than economists expected in the third quarter, reported MecoPress last Thursday. A considerable increase in construction, transportation and communications activity helped the GDP expand 3% from a year earlier, the central bank said.

Friday December 14

In France, officials denied rumors that the Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac was to step down, following allegations that he had held a secret Swiss bank account, Reuters reported.  "We formally deny this information," sources close to the minister told Reuters.

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

World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu urged India to maintain its blitz of 'promising' reforms, to ensure they bring the economy back to the nine per cent growth needed to combat poverty, according to BigPond News.

Monday December 17

In the US, the major banks are demanding an easing of the proposed global liquidity requirements, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Under this agreement, the banks argue that they would have to find an additional $800bn in easy-to-sell assets.

Related Viewpoint: US Mortgage and Housing Market: Oonagh McDonald looks into the affordable ideology that wrecked the American mortgage market.

In China, foreign direct investment dropped for the 12th time in 13 months, according to The National on Monday.  As the country’s new leaders have wrapped up their first agreement stipulating that much of the economic policy will stay unchanged, this fall suggests that the nation's economic-growth rebound has yet to attract fresh capital from abroad.

Tuesday December 18

A great end to the day for Greece on Tuesday as rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) upgraded the country's credit grade by six notches, the BBC reported. This move will allow Greece to avoid default while keeping the devalued bonds in junk status at B-.

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

The Bank of England published its Quarterly Bulletin on Tuesday and declared that the credit-boosting plan is showing “early signs” of helping to lower bank funding costs, Bloomberg reported.  “In turn, increased economic activity should raise incomes”- according to the report.

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

Tags: banking , Ben Bernanke , China , economic recovery , EU , euro , European Monetary Union , financial crisis , IMF , India , sovereign debt , UK , US , US economy
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