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Archive for January, 2012

Davos

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It has never been easy to be French in Davos. Except perhaps for Raymond Barre, who had been part of the adventure from the beginning! At the dawn of the 2000s, when France went out of his “Three Glorious Days” (10% growth over the three years 1998 to 2000), the Forum had the audacity to schedule a session on “The French model.” But he had canceled as entered were only a handful of French ….

In 2012, it is much better. The image of France is not carried by dozens of top managers from this year – they now manage global groups with a small French flag. If the agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire made a provision appreciated, it is difficult to say the same for Baroin. In a roundtable discussion with German and Spanish counterparts, the Minister of Economy was the only one to speak in their language and Wolfgang Schäuble made him the lesson.

But the worst is elsewhere, when speaking of the French in their absence. Yesterday, in a session on the Chinese economy, a professor of Beijing says that China should choose a different model, perhaps the German, French or Swedish. Stephen Roach, the flamboyant former economist of Goldman Sachs became a university, says, “I did not know there was a French model.” The room bursts into laughter. This morning, even stronger. The gurus were telling their forecasts for 2012. After turning the debate on Europe, China, the United States, Syria, Iran, the facilitator plays on the French election. “I spend,” said the first. Then the second. Then the third, fourth. The latter is the economist Nouriel Roubini, specialty forecasting catastrophic. “In any case, whether Sarkozy or Holland, France will soon find themselves on the periphery of Europe.” Close the ban.

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January 30th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

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WEF

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This is a World Economic Forum under the sign of a needed revival that opens the evening of Wednesday, January 25 in Davos, Switzerland. The themes for this year 2012 speak volumes about the concern of the organizers: “The twentieth-century capitalism is it trying to cheat the company of twenty-first century?”, “Global Risks in 2012: the seeds of disillusionment “or” Repair capitalism. ” There are many, economists, political scientists, sociologists, historians, have already discussed the evils of capitalism. If all do not agree on the diagnosis nor the solutions, each believes that the system can not leave unchanged the current crisis.
First to advocate a reform of the dominant system of production for nearly two centuries, even the founder of the Davos Forum, Klaus Schwab, who argued in the pages of the World (November 15, 2011 edition) for “further analysis” to understand “why the capitalist system no longer functions in its present form.”

Regretting that the years have passed without the lessons of the crisis have been learned, among other things he denounced the confusion between managers and entrepreneurs, the first having been linked to business results through a system of bonuses that can only generate perverse effects, and advocates a “dissociation of the manager and the risk taker”

Considered mainly responsible for the crisis, the financial sector is under fire of criticism and led to numerous proposals for reform. The economist André Orléan want a wide movement “of the economy définanciarisation” agrees, arguing that more stringent regulation will not: “What I question is the idea that financial markets would allow even a transparent allocation of capital good. It is the contrary view that financial prices do not provide right signals to economic actors, “he believes.

The economist and philosopher Jeremy Rostan questions on his side of the quarry suffered by capitalism. He said the strategy of outrageous criticism of the organization of production of wealth has – regrettable – advantages: “First, it allows the powers that be to disavow as such, and claim to be the voice and the weapon the victims. Second, it avoids the bad taste of identifying gross harm to any human group, “” third, draw a scarecrow can censor in advance any criticism, “” Fourth, such a move is especially effective in that it allows all confused – because the enemy is by definition obscure and impenetrable. ”

In a fine analysis of economic policy in the two emerging giants, China and India, the economist Joel Ruet highlights the pragmatism of the people who have not conceptualized capitalism, and who practice a version “variable geometry”: if the Indian government allowed to run the airline Kingfisher, it is because in a market economy “those who die must die”, but if Chinese banks are going through a bad patch, they benefit from a relaxation of their obligations to equity. A vision which the West will have to feed the emerging economic partners have become unavoidable.

Capitalism is not necessarily a dirty word, ahead of his side of the Bruslerie Hubert, a professor at Dauphine, denouncing mainly the responsibility of banks in the current crisis. “To avoid a ‘credit crunch’, it will, in our opinion, do not the banks and be innovative,” said he. With the withdrawal of banks, and use more and more common in private equity, private equity funds and venture capital, “capitalism project finds its roots.” “A new capitalism is emerging. It seems less financial and more entrepreneurial, less greedy and more bank debt,” he hopes.

In 2009 already, while the developed world still believed that the recession was over and that the Western economies were recovering, the economist Nicolas Baverez provided much needed changes in the deepest workings of the capitalist system of production. Pragmatic, he analyzed six “fractures” to repair to rebuild the economy: between private and public sectors, the developed world and emerging countries, in the heart of the developed world, between states and markets, between states and global governance, political freedom and economic freedom.

“The deleveraging of the developed world and the conversion of the economic model of globalization extend over ten to fifteen years,” said he. As much time needed for a “transition” at the time he considered necessary to engage “in 2010.” Nearly two years later, the site seems very late. The 2012 edition of the Davos forum he can be the starting point?

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January 26th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

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world GDP

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The IMF now expects world growth of 3.3% in 2012, against 4% in previous forecasts. For 2013, the Fund provides for the strengthening of global growth to 3.9%.

He believes, however, that in case of worsening of the European crisis, its estimate for this year will be reduced by about two percentage points. “The global recovery, which was initially low, threatening to stall,” said chief economist Olivier Blanchard of the IMF at a press conference. “The world could experience another recession” if the crisis deepens in Europe, he warned.

Gross domestic product (GDP) of countries in the euro area is expected to decline 0.5% this year before starting to grow in 2013 (0.8%).

The countries of Central and Eastern Europe, who have links with major economies of the euro area will be particularly affected by a slowdown in growth. The IMF forecast for the region amounted to 1.1% in 2012 against a previous estimate of 2.7%.

The IMF said that economic activity slows but does not collapse. It maintains its growth forecast of 1.8% for the United States this year, but reduced its projection for Japan to 1.7% instead of 2.3%.

Economic activity in advanced economies is expected to grow 1.5% on average in 2012 and 2013, an increase insufficient to allow a marked reflux of unemployment.

The emerging markets also affected

As for emerging economies, the Fund expects a sharp slowdown in the growth rate to 5.4% in 2012 against 6.1% forecast in September. It calls upon States concerned to focus on policies to stimulate their economies. China is expected to grow 8.2% this year against 9% in previous estimates, and 8.8% in 2013.

All the Asian emerging economies is expected to grow by 7.3% in 2012 against 8% previously forecast. Middle East and North Africa, growth is expected to accelerate, particularly in Libya.

The world oil prices should also slow down their race only slightly this year, according to the IMF, which maintains its projection to $ 100 a barrel. Prices of other commodities, however, should fall by 14%.

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January 25th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

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WEF

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The political and economic leaders of the world find themselves Wednesday from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which this year aims to “the transformation of a model shaken by an unprecedented economic crisis.” This formula should be skeptical smile, especially as this year’s forum will be opened by Angela Merkel. Nicolas Sarkozy did not join them.
Away from the small resort in the Swiss Alps, the nearly 2,600 participants – 1,600 economic decision makers and 40 heads of state and government – go for five days to discuss the situation in the world, protected by a significant military force .
But the quiet of the snowy peaks, enjoyed by participants of the Forum, contrasts sharply with the turmoil caused by one of the biggest economic crises after the war.
The indebtedness of public finances has led Europe and the United States in the crisis, leading rating agencies, in an unprecedented move, lower the notes of several countries in the euro area, including France, after that of the United States.
This situation led the World Bank Tuesday to warn against the slowing economy, according to her risk to plague developing countries.
His new world economic forecasts point to a global GDP growth of 2.5% in 2012 following an estimated growth of 2.7% in 2011.
“We risk losing completely the confidence of future generations,” because of excessive debt, lack of investment in future generations and a crisis of morality, said the president and founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab.
“Solving problems with outdated models (…) we will push even more,” said economics professor, who initiated this meeting there are more than 40 years.
According to Mr. Schwab, age 73, the world is in phase one “of profound change, which calls for new ways of thinking.”
After Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will deliver the keynote address Wednesday of the WEF, accompanied by his finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
Merkel will, however, without his companion must fight against the crisis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, this last year, not on the list of participants of the 42nd edition of the Forum.
French side, only a number of UMP Jean-Francois Cope and the Minister of Economy Baroin are announced.
The presence of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, whose country chairs the G20, British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and the director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, the President of the Bank European Central Bank (ECB) and the boss Mario Draghi of the WTO Pascal Lamy widely expected to tackle the economic crisis.
The Forum did not want to miss changes in the Arab world, with the advent of the new Prime Minister announced Tunisian Islamist Hamadi Jebali, and presidential candidate Egyptian Amr Moussa.
Despite the presence of some 5,000 Swiss soldiers, filtering access to the valley, and F/A-18 fighter jets patrolling the skies, participants will have to face the challenge of the movement “WEF Occupy” ( Attend the World Economic Forum).
They have built an igloo in the village center and have demonstrated against what they complain of being “self-proclaimed elite.”

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January 23rd, 2012 at 12:33 pm

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BCE

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It is too early to know whether the European Central Bank (ECB) will suffer a discount on Greek bonds it has purchased. This could be the case if the negotiations between Athens and its creditors fail and a coercive procedure is launched. The ECB would be theoretically treated as an unsecured creditor. The ECB may also voluntarily agree to waive a portion of its debts, to relieve Greece.
According to a major market player, the central bank would have bought the Greek securities at an average price 88 cents par value (88% of par). It holds about 40 billion euros of Greek debt in nominal terms or 35.2 billion purchase price. If discount of 50%, then the ECB would record a loss of 15 billion euros. According to Stephane Deo, UBS, based on an assumed purchase price of 70 cents, a nominal amount held by the ECB of 55 billion euros and a discount of 70%, the loss would be 22 billion euros.
The amount is high but does not endanger the balance sheet of the central bank. As explained in “Echoes” Jose Manuel Gonzalez Paramo, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, the capital of the latter and revaluation accounts represent about 500 billion euros. Moreover, as pointed out Stephane Deo, the ECB record profits on the rest of its program of purchases of securities (Portuguese, Irish, Spanish and Italian), as well as the massive loans it provides to banks. Therefore, the net loss would be only 2.25 billion euros.
However, it would be a first. The impact would be unfortunate for its program of purchases of securities. The ECB would be difficult to justify further interventions. Furthermore, as recalled by the board member, the ECB is not allowed to fund a State. Technically, it can not participate in an exchange of debt, which means to receive directly from Greece to new obligations. A transfer of title in Greek European Stability Fund (EFSF), for example, could circumvent the problem. “It could make sense,” says the economist from UBS, while stressing the need to again resolve technical and political obstacles.

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January 22nd, 2012 at 1:46 am

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Eu

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The euro area is “the edge” of the economic downturn, said Wednesday the leader of finance ministers of the monetary union, Jean-Claude Juncker, calling to find ways to sustain growth.

“In the euro area we are on the brink of technical recession,” he told a news conference in Luxembourg. A recession “Technical” is defined by economists for at least two consecutive quarters of falling GDP.

Many analysts expect economic activity in the monetary union will be folded in the last quarter of 2011 – the figures are not yet known – and do the same in the first quarter of current year. Then they think the euro area GDP will stagnate and begin to grow slightly. It would thus be a recessive phase of limited scope. But that will not settle the affairs of European governments when all must find ways to reduce their deficits.

“I believe that fiscal consolidation is an approach that has no alternative,” said Juncker after a meeting with the prime minister of Belgium, Elio Di Rupo. “We must strengthen our public finances but we also draw attention to the necessity of giving Europe a real policy for growth,” he added, noting that the issue would be the center of summit of EU leaders on January 30. “I believe that fiscal consolidation is national and that growth must be able to have European-inspired elements,” he said Mr Juncker, who is also Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

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January 19th, 2012 at 10:53 am

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Euro Rating

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The rating agency Standard & Poor’s put his threat into execution by breaking on Friday night, nine member countries of the euro area. The blow is especially tough for France, which lost its triple A for the first time in 1975, and sees it as all other countries deteriorated, except Slovakia, this note together with a negative outlook. Austria supports France in the fall, unlike Germany, Finland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, who maintain their triple A.

France, Austria, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia are degraded as a notch. But Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, in the crosshairs of the markets for months, Friday saw their financial rating lowered two notches. A particularly hard blow for Italy, now rated BBB +, despite the austerity plan of 20 billion euros announced in recent weeks by Mario Monti. Portugal and Cyprus, in turn, pass into speculative investment category. Here, in detail, the rating changes announced Friday by Standard & Poor’s:

• France and Austria are degraded in one step, and go from AAA to AA +

• Italy is degraded by two notches, from A to BBB +

• Spain is degraded by two notches, from AA-to A

• Portugal is degraded by two notches, from BBB-to BB

• Cyprus is degraded by two notches, from BBB + to BB

• Malta is degraded by one notch from A to A-

• Slovakia is degraded by one notch from A + to A

• Slovenia is degraded by one notch, from AA-to A +

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January 17th, 2012 at 2:43 am

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EurZone

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The loss of triple-A Paris plunges the euro area in the dark: the rescue fund is thus weakened while Greece just to make ends an agreement with its creditors.
The state of grace only lasted a few days. The euro area last week welcomed the rate cut, up high, carried in the financial markets to finance the debts of Italy and Spain, on Friday evening was returned to its harsh realities by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S & P).

His rating for the debt of nine Member States of the euro has been lowered, implying higher costs of debt repayment of sanctioned countries: a notch for France and Austria (going from the highest grade – the famous AAA – AA +) as well as Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta. The countries of southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus) were even less to the party, being loosened two notches. The club of countries of the euro still enjoying the AAA becomes smaller: only Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are still part. S & P did not hit the notes for Belgium, Ireland or Estonia.

The announcement of the rating agency upsets the fragile balance of power while the specter of a default of Greece, mired in its negotiations with the banks (see cons), resurfaced. All ingredients of explosive cocktail European and appear together again. Standard & Poor’s now plainly indicates that the main risk is not as self-rising deficits and public debt but the lack of economic growth in the euro area.

“A reform process based solely on the side of fiscal austerity is likely to devote himself to failure, falling domestic demand along with growing consumer concerns about job security and income, undermining tax countries, “wrote S & P to be justified. Fear of a recession even stronger in the euro area than the current widening deficits, especially if banks were to be recapitalized by the government, is the true explanation of the action of S & P. Fiscal discipline is in fact well under way if not in countries that span of austerity austerity plans, like Italy and Spain. The new Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has seen the country lowered its rating two notches (to AA? To A) when it launched there only two weeks a new austerity.

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January 16th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

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The loss AAA

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Standard & Poor’s downgraded the rating of France. The loss of this “national treasure” can be felt on credit to households and, more importantly, threatens to blow up the wall anti-crisis in the euro area.

• The European Support Fund (EFSF) threatened

This is probably the most serious consequence triggered by the loss of AAA: the European financial stability, which depends on the AAA rating of the countries that support it, should also be revised downwards. Consequently, the interest rate demanded by investors while climbing. This would increase the cost of plans aid to Greece, Portugal and Ireland in the perfusion of the European mechanism. And jeopardize the fragile wall anti-crisis in the euro area.

• Domino effect on local

The penalty for Standard & Poor’s would cause a domino effect, says Norbert Gaillard, specialist rating agencies’ rating of the country serves as a national reference. If it is lowered, all those companies, especially banks and local governments will be challenged. Of these, those with an AAA, as the city of Paris and the Ile-de-France, will automatically be degraded. ”

Communities depend heavily on financial transfers from the State (via the global allocation of operation), they can not benefit from a better grade than him. However, once their score deteriorated, they should deal with creditors more wary, they would demand higher interest rates. This would increase the cost of debt and end of the line, “could cause an increase in local taxation,” concludes Norbert Gaillard.

• A possible increase in the cost of credit

The loss of AAA may also affect the relationship between households and banks. Institutions might indeed tighten access to credit and raising interest rates. “The bank borrowing more expensive markets, we can assume that it affects the increase of its customers,” says economist of a major French bank. “However, given the current competition, they could instead choose to reduce their margins to maintain market share.” Moreover, “in the current credit squeeze by banks, the additional impact of a decline in the note could pass almost unnoticed, “relativizes economist Alexandre Delaigue.

• The cost of government debt

The consequences of loss of the AAA of France also and especially depend on the reaction of markets. If they continue to impose on France interest rates ever higher, while the ripple effects are to be expected of state finances to the wallets of consumers. But if, as many suggest, the rates charged at present imply a France already has the lower score, then we can expect little change. New Zealand, for example, lost its AAA September 30. In response, the cost of credit has soared. Before falling to lower levels than before the sanction of rating agencies.

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January 14th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

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3A

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The rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday decided to degrade France by withdrawing its triple A rating of excellence, but instead maintain the AAA ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, according to corroborating sources.
The rating agency Standard & Poor’s has decided to degrade France, withdrawing her triple-A rating of excellence but instead maintain the AAA ratings of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg, according to several sources quoted by news agencies. “France is losing its triple A,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity, adding that other countries would likely suffer the same fate. Austria and Slovakia are particularly concerned by the degradation of a notch to their score.

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January 14th, 2012 at 2:16 am

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