Trump says he doesn’t trust computers as he rings in 2017

President-elect Donald Trump says that “no computer is safe” when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to international relations. Trump rarely uses email or computers despite his frequent tweeting. “You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Continue reading “Trump says he doesn’t trust computers as he rings in 2017”

Trump sends New Year wishes to all, even his ‘many enemies’

President-elect Donald Trump has an unusual New Year’s message for his Twitter followers. He is wishing a “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly.” Trump adds, “they just don’t know what to do,” ending his message with the word, “Love!” The president-elect will be spending his New Year’s Eve at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. He’ll be throwing a private party that is expected to draw hundreds of guests, including action star Sylvester Stallone.

Russia-linked malware found on US electric company’s laptop

Malware code linked to Russian hackers and found on a Vermont electric utility’s computer is further evidence of “predatory” steps taken by that country against the U.S., a Vermont Democratic congressman said Saturday. The Burlington Electric Department confirmed Friday it had found on one of its laptops the malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name Homeland Security has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks. Continue reading “Russia-linked malware found on US electric company’s laptop”

N. Korea: Developing long-range missiles ‘in final stages’

North Korea’s development of banned long-range missiles is in “final stages,” the country’s leader Kim Jong Un was quoted as saying in his New Year’s message. Kim also threatened to boost his country’s military capability unless the U.S. ends war games with rival South Korea, according to Seoul’s Yonhap news agency, which monitored Kim’s address on Sunday. Continue reading “N. Korea: Developing long-range missiles ‘in final stages’”

Deutsche Bank chairman rules out pan-European merger

Deutsche Bank chairman Paul Achleitner has ruled out a pan-European merger or a state bailout in the wake of the lender’s mortgage settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported. Germany’s biggest lender last week announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading “Deutsche Bank chairman rules out pan-European merger”

Apple to cut iPhone production in first quarter of 2017: report

Apple Inc will trim production of iPhones by about 10 percent in the January-March quarter of 2017, the Nikkei financial daily reported on Thursday, citing calculations based on data from suppliers. The company had slashed output by 30 percent in January-March this year due to accumulated inventory, the paper said. Apple’s shares were down 0.84 percent in midday trading, in line with the Nasdaq stock index. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

U.S. oil rig count recovers to end 2016 near year-ago levels -Baker Hughes

The U.S. oil rig count ended 2016 just below year-ago levels as drillers added rigs this week as part of the biggest recovery since a global oil glut crushed the market over two years. Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 30, bringing the total count up to 525, the most since December 2015 and 11 shy of the 536 rigs seen at the end of 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. Continue reading “U.S. oil rig count recovers to end 2016 near year-ago levels -Baker Hughes”

Continental CEO says jobs will be lost in shift to electric cars

The shift to electric vehicles will cost jobs at German automotive supplier Continental, its chief executive told a newspaper, but he said many of those jobs would be offset by new positions related to electro-mobility. “Due to the low added value, production jobs will be lost,” German weekly paper Welt am Sonntag quoted Elmar Degenhart as saying in a summary of an article to be published on Sunday. Continue reading “Continental CEO says jobs will be lost in shift to electric cars”

Modi defends bank note move as Indians line up for cash

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday defended his decision to withdraw high denomination bank notes from circulation, as a deadline to end severe cash shortages passed with Indians still queuing at banks to deposit savings and withdraw money. Modi abolished 500 and 1,000 rupee bills on Nov. 8, taking out 86 percent of cash in circulation, in a bid to fight corruption, end terror financing and turn India into a cashless society. Continue reading “Modi defends bank note move as Indians line up for cash”

U.S. gasoline demand falls in October for first time in nearly a year -EIA

U.S. gasoline demand fell year-over-year for the first time in 11 months in October, according to data released on Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gasoline demand, which is still on pace for a record year, fell by 1.6 percent, or 150,000 barrels per day, to 9.095 million bpd in October, according to the EIA’s petroleum supply monthly report. The last year-over-year drop was in November 2015, EIA data shows. Continue reading “U.S. gasoline demand falls in October for first time in nearly a year -EIA”

Trump praises ‘very smart’ Putin for waiting to retaliate to US sanctions

Donald Trump threw more praise to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, a day after the Obama administration announced sanctions on people and organizations it believes were involved in suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The president-elect applauded Putin for holding off on retaliating to the U.S. actions, which included sanctions on nine entities and individuals and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Continue reading “Trump praises ‘very smart’ Putin for waiting to retaliate to US sanctions”

OPEC oil output cuts: ‘It’s inevitable. Somebody’s going to cheat’

OPEC’s first oil output cuts since 2008 take effect next week, but analysts see little chance members of the producer group will stick to their quotas. “It’s inevitable. Somebody’s going to cheat,” ClearView Energy Partners managing director Kevin Book told CNBC’. “You get until Jan. 21 to believe your hoped-for outcomes and then you converge with reality. Historically OPEC always blows past its targets,” he said, referring to the date the cartel’s monitoring committee first meets. Continue reading “OPEC oil output cuts: ‘It’s inevitable. Somebody’s going to cheat’”

U.S. trade gap rises 5.5% in November

The trade deficit increased 5.5% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual $65.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was larger than the $62.5 billion gap forecast by economists surveyed by MarketWatch, and the fourth-highest reading since 2008. Exports rose 1.0% to $121.7 billion, while imports totaled $187.0 billion, up 1.2% from October. The report is an advance look at trade patterns. A more complete reading, which includes services, will be released in the coming weeks. Continue reading “U.S. trade gap rises 5.5% in November”

US refiners export record amounts of gasoline, diesel

The U.S. last week exported a record 8 million barrels of gasoline and nearly 10 million barrels of distillates, or diesel, according to weekly government data released on Thursday. U.S. refined product exports have been growing as refineries run at high levels and the U.S. has been oversupplied with gasoline and crude oil. Analysts said a big chunk of the exported fuel probably went to Mexico and destinations in South and Central America. Continue reading “US refiners export record amounts of gasoline, diesel”

U.S. crude oil stocks rise, while products draw down: EIA

U.S. crude oil stocks unexpectedly rose last week, while gasoline and distillate product inventories dropped, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday. Crude inventories were up 614,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 23, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.1 million barrels. Oil prices were little changed on the news after a bit of volatility immediately following the release. Continue reading “U.S. crude oil stocks rise, while products draw down: EIA”

Oil traders face ‘big punishment’ if OPEC doesn’t deliver output cuts

Speculators have been increasing their bets that oil prices will rise, setting up a punishing outcome if OPEC’s production cuts disappoint, Again Capital founding partner John Kilduff said Thursday. OPEC not only faces the challenge of getting its own members to deliver the promised cuts. It must also contend with potentially weaker demand in China and the threat of rebounding U.S. production, Kilduff said. Continue reading “Oil traders face ‘big punishment’ if OPEC doesn’t deliver output cuts”

Trade war would disrupt markets in China, US, expert says

Both U.S. and Chinese markets could be disrupted if President-elect Donald Trump starts a trade war with China, Bob Hormats, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, told CNBC on Thursday. Hormats, former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs (International), said Trump could dangle threats in front of China or implement a tariff on imports, but, in any case, there are likely to be consequences. Continue reading “Trade war would disrupt markets in China, US, expert says”

Treasury yields extend decline after strong auction

U.S. government bonds extended gains Thursday, further pulling down yields after the final Treasury auction of the year was met with impressive demand. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 3.3 basis points to 2.477%, while the 2-year yield fell 4.5 basis points—the largest one-day decline since Sept. 14—to 1.161%. The 30-year T-bond yield declined 0.6 basis point to 3.081%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions. Continue reading “Treasury yields extend decline after strong auction”

Trump says he’ll meet with intelligence community to discuss findings that led to Russia sanctions

Donald Trump again tried to shrug off concerns about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election after the Barack Obama’s administration announced sanctions in response to suspected electoral meddling. The Obama administration issued an executive order Thursday authorizing sanctions on individuals and organizations it believes were involved in alleged Russian interference in the election. Continue reading “Trump says he’ll meet with intelligence community to discuss findings that led to Russia sanctions”

Trump vows U.S. will ‘Buy American,’ but the promise won’t be easy to keep

Donald Trump on Thursday said he will follow two simple rules as new president: Buy American and hire American. Easier said than done. Favoring American firms is actually nothing new. The U.S. government has long preferred domestic companies when awarding government contracts under the Buy American Act that’s been in place for 83 years. The law was passed in 1933 in the waning days of the Hoover administration as the Great Depression ravaged the country. Continue reading “Trump vows U.S. will ‘Buy American,’ but the promise won’t be easy to keep”

China’s growing debt burden is a crisis in the making

China’s debt this year reached more than 250 percent of GDP, much of it accumulated by state-owned enterprises given the task of borrowing to fund infrastructure projects to fuel demand. As China’s economy earlier this year threatened to miss the 2016 growth target of 6.5-7.0 percent, the government once again encouraged stimulus spending and more borrowing. Some economists argue other countries that accumulated debt as rapidly as China have ended up facing a financial crash soon afterwards. Continue reading “China’s growing debt burden is a crisis in the making”

Finland jails police chief Aarnio for drug-smuggling

A Finnish court has sentenced the former head of Helsinki’s anti-drugs police to 10 years in prison for drug-smuggling and other offences. Jari Aarnio was found to have helped a gang to import nearly 800kg (1,764lb) of hashish from the Netherlands and sell it in Finland in 2011-2012. Aarnio, 59, was found guilty of five drug crimes and 17 other offences. These included trying to frame an innocent man for being in charge of the drug ring. Continue reading “Finland jails police chief Aarnio for drug-smuggling”

Russian embassy in the UK tweeted a visual gag calling the Obama presidency a lame duck

A Kremlin spokesman told journalists in Moscow that President Vladimir Putin would consider retaliatory measures. Dmitry Peskov said the actions were “a manifestation of unpredictable and aggressive foreign policy”, and called them “ungrounded and not legal”. And the Russian embassy in the UK tweeted a visual gag calling the Obama presidency a lame duck. Continue reading “Russian embassy in the UK tweeted a visual gag calling the Obama presidency a lame duck”

US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds

The United States on Thursday expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Moscow. The State Department confirmed the news. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave the United States. Access to the two compounds will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon on Friday, the official added. Continue reading “US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds”

Goldman Sachs banking on two different Trump economies

It must be confusing to write about President-elect Donald Trump at Goldman Sachs these days. Just weeks after Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s face turned up in a campaign ad for Donald Trump that shamefully depicted three financial leaders as “villains” of a system “rigged” against the little guy (George Soros and Janet Yellen were the others), Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn left Goldman to become the chief economic mind of a new administration devoted to cutting plutocrats’ taxes and little guys’ health insurance. Continue reading “Goldman Sachs banking on two different Trump economies”

Pay to rise for millions as 19 states increase minimum wage

It will be a happy New Year indeed for millions of the lowest-paid U.S. workers. Nineteen states, including New York and California, will ring in the year with an increase in the minimum wage Massachusetts and Washington state will have the highest new minimum wages in the country, at $11 per hour. California will raise its wage to $10.50 for businesses with 26 or more employees. Continue reading “Pay to rise for millions as 19 states increase minimum wage”

Norway’s central bank chief says chance of rate cut still greater than hike

Norway’s central bank expects to hold its key policy interest rate unchanged in the time to come, but still sees a greater chance of a cut than of an increase, Governor Oeystein Olsen told public broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. Norges Bank predicted on Dec. 15 rates would stay flat at a record low 0.5 percent, while maintaining an easing bias. “There’s still a somewhat higher probability of a rate cut than of an increase,” Olsen said. “Even negative rates are a possibility in case the Norwegian economy were to face large new disruptions,” he added.

Unease over Italian bank rescue plan bolsters safe-haven euro zone bonds

Top-rated German bond yields fell to multi-week lows on Wednesday as concerns about the strength of a rescue plan for Italian banks pushed investors to the safety of government debt. Germany’s two-year bond yield touched a fresh record low at minus 0.84 percent, five-year yields fell to their lowest in almost three months at minus 0.57 percent and 10-year Bund yields hit a seven-week low in thin trade.

Continue reading “Unease over Italian bank rescue plan bolsters safe-haven euro zone bonds”

Germany says Italy must stick to European rules on Monte Paschi

Germany’s finance ministry expressed concern on Wednesday about Italian plans to rescue the country’s third biggest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, saying Rome must stick to European rules. “The European Central Bank and European Commission must check and make sure that Italian authorities stick to the European rules,” a ministry spokesman told Reuters when asked about Monte dei Paschi. Continue reading “Germany says Italy must stick to European rules on Monte Paschi”

Egypt signs $220 mln of oil and gas deals

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla has signed three offshore oil and gas exploration and production deals worth a total of at least $220 million with France’s Total, Britain’s BP, and Italian oil major ENI’s Egyptian subsidiary IEOC, the ministry said on Wednesday. The deals include drilling for six wells and a signing bonus of $9 million, the ministry said in a statement, and are the result of a tender called by Egyptian state gas board EGAS. Continue reading “Egypt signs $220 mln of oil and gas deals”

Oil prices fall on surprise build in U.S. crude stocks

U.S. oil prices fell on Thursday following a surprise build in the country’s crude stocks shown in data published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Wednesday. U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 39 cents or 0.72 percent to $53.67 at 0033 GMT after settling up 16 cents at $54.06 per barrel in the previous session. Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade after settling 13 cents higher at $56.22 in the previous session. Continue reading “Oil prices fall on surprise build in U.S. crude stocks”

Oil faces a dollar ‘double whammy’: Lower demand and higher odds of OPEC cheating

The U.S. dollar has been on a tear that threatens to derail the oil price rally and OPEC’s effort to balance an oversupplied crude market, the editor of The Schork Report warned on Wednesday. Dollar strength is being driven by forecasts for stronger economic growth and inflation in the United States than in other developed nations. Oil prices have so far risen along with the dollar following an agreement among producing nations to cut output. Continue reading “Oil faces a dollar ‘double whammy’: Lower demand and higher odds of OPEC cheating”

U.S. shale companies to boost spending as banks loosen purse strings

U.S. shale drillers are set to ramp up spending on exploration and production next year as recovering oil prices prompt banks to extend credit lines for the first time in two years. The credit increase is small, but with major oil producers worldwide aiming to hold down production in 2017, U.S.-based shale drillers are looking to boost market share to take advantage of higher prices, and greater availability of capital will make that easier. Continue reading “U.S. shale companies to boost spending as banks loosen purse strings”

Oil holds near annual peaks, awaiting OPEC cuts, supply data

Crude oil prices edged up for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, close to their highest levels since mid-2015, ahead of U.S. oil inventory figures and as the market awaits evidence of OPEC supply reductions in the new year. Oil prices have gained 25 percent since mid-November, helped by expectations for OPEC’s supply cut and solid U.S. economic figures that have also bolstered equity prices. Continue reading “Oil holds near annual peaks, awaiting OPEC cuts, supply data”

Writedown fears wipe $5 billion off Toshiba’s value as it weighs options

A looming writedown at Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp has wiped almost $5 billion off its value in two days and prompted a credit rating downgrade on Wednesday, as the company grapples to plug a potential multi-billion dollar hole. Toshiba said late on Tuesday that cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business it bought from Chicago Bridge & Iron last year, CB&I Stone & Webster, meant it could face ‘several billion dollars’ in charges, acknowledging a bruising overpayment. Continue reading “Writedown fears wipe $5 billion off Toshiba’s value as it weighs options”

Pending homes sales fall 2.5 percent in November as Trump bump misses housing

Any expected Trump bump in home sales didn’t materialize in contracts for homes signed in November. Higher mortgage rates hit home sales, driving the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index down 2.5 percent in November from October, the NAR reported Wednesday. Analysts had forecast a 0.4 percent gain in the index, which is now 0.4 percent lower than a year ago and at its lowest level since January. Continue reading “Pending homes sales fall 2.5 percent in November as Trump bump misses housing”

Trump takes credit for Sprint plan to keep 5,000 jobs in the US

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday took credit for Sprint’s decision to keep 5,000 jobs in the United States, as well as OneWeb’s plan to add 3,000 jobs in the U.S. Trump said the deal “was done through” SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a Japanese billionaire and technology investor. Earlier this month, Trump and Son announced in New York that SoftBank had agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and aimed to create 50,000 jobs. Continue reading “Trump takes credit for Sprint plan to keep 5,000 jobs in the US”

Sprint, OneWeb say 8,000 jobs announced by Trump are part of SoftBank pledge

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said telecommunications group Sprint Corp and a U.S. satellite company OneWeb will bring 8,000 jobs to the United States, and the companies said the positions were part of a previously disclosed pledge by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. SoftBank holds stakes in both companies and its chief, billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, earlier in December said he would invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs. Continue reading “Sprint, OneWeb say 8,000 jobs announced by Trump are part of SoftBank pledge”

Trump tax reforms could depend on little-known ‘scoring’ panel

President-elect Donald Trump’s goal of overhauling the U.S. tax code in 2017 will depend partly on the work of an obscure congressional committee tasked with estimating how much future economic growth will result from tax cuts. Known as the Joint Committee on Taxation, or JCT, the nonpartisan panel assigns “dynamic scores” to major tax bills in Congress, based on economic models, to forecast a bill’s ultimate impact on the federal budget. Continue reading “Trump tax reforms could depend on little-known ‘scoring’ panel”

OCC submits rule to curb U.S. banks dealing in industrial metals

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said on Wednesday it had submitted a rule to the Federal Register to prohibit U.S. national banks and federal savings associations from dealing or investing in industrial or commercial metals. The ruling, effective April 1, replaces a prior OCC determination that allowed national banks to trade in copper. It covers metal products such as copper cathodes and aluminum T-bars. Continue reading “OCC submits rule to curb U.S. banks dealing in industrial metals”

Bolton: Obama Administration’s Anti-Israel UN Decision ‘Reverses Fifty Years of American Policy’

Regarding the failure of the United States to veto the recent anti-Israel UN resolution, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Thursday, “The notion that this is simply consistent with prior U.S. policy, which is the Obama administration line, is flatly incorrect.” Bolton continued, “The failure to veto this Resolution 2334 reverses fifty years of American policy, ever since the 1967 war between Israel and the surrounding Arab states, which ended in the iconic Resolution 242, the so-called Land for Peace Resolution.”

China could derail OPEC’s effort to balance oil markets this year, says analyst

OPEC’s effort to balance an oversupplied oil market could have the unintended consequence of crimping crude demand from China, said Matt Smith, head of commodities research at shipment-tracking firm ClipperData. Falling demand from China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, would hurt OPEC’s current strategy. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with nonmembers, is cutting production in a bid to reduce huge stockpiles of oil that have built up during more than two years of weak oil prices. Continue reading “China could derail OPEC’s effort to balance oil markets this year, says analyst”

Halliburton seizes on holiday weekend to sneak out two news releases

The term “news dump” refers to the release of information at a time when few are paying attention. It has long been employed by companies looking to avoid scrutiny, but Halliburton Co. may take it to a new level this holiday season. With Christmas and New Year’s happening on the weekends this year, the Friday afternoons ahead of those holidays offer an extra-special opportunity, and Halliburton is taking full advantage. Continue reading “Halliburton seizes on holiday weekend to sneak out two news releases”

North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says

Political uncertainty in the United States and in South Korea could give North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “an apt time” to develop nuclear weapons “at all costs by the end of 2017,” a high-profile North Korean diplomat who recently defected to South Korea said Tuesday. “Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the US will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” Thae Yong-ho, formerly No. 2 at the North Korean Embassy in London, said in a news briefing, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Continue reading “North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says”

Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump disagrees with Senate consensus on Russia

Two of the Senate’s most prominent hardliners on Russia are framing the Washington consensus of Russian aggression as free from any disagreement whatsoever — except from President-elect Donald Trump. Republicans Lindsey Graham and John McCain, on a trip to Estonia, a Baltic nation threatened by a belligerent Russia, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto in an exclusive interview that the matter was settled and that Trump was simply wrong to question the bipartisan agreement. Continue reading “Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump disagrees with Senate consensus on Russia”

US Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market

The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study. Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases. Continue reading “US Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market”

Report: Netanyahu ‘Recruiting’ Trump To Thwart Another Obama Anti-Israel UN Move

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night reportedly attempted to reach out to President-elect Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress to block a potential last-minute bid by the Obama administration to have the UN Security Council approve parameters for a Palestinian state. After the anti-settlement resolution was passed on Friday, Netanyahu’s office said he was encouraged by the incoming U.S. administration and working with Trump to “to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.” Continue reading “Report: Netanyahu ‘Recruiting’ Trump To Thwart Another Obama Anti-Israel UN Move”

Delta to cancel order for 18 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft

Delta Air Lines Inc said that in agreement with Boeing Co it would cancel an order for 18 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which it assumed as a part of its merger with Northwest Airlines. The order is valued at more than $4 billion at current list prices. Delta, in its statement, did not disclose specific terms of the agreement. The airline, which acquired Northwest in 2008 for $2.6 billion in shares, said it would continue to take delivery of 737-900ER aircraft through 2019. Continue reading “Delta to cancel order for 18 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft”

Italy set to pump around 6.5 billion euros into Monte Paschi rescue: sources

The Italian government is likely to put in around 6.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) to rescue the country’s third biggest lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena more than initially expected, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday. The higher cost of the state rescue is due to the fact that the European Central Bank has revised the bank’s capital shortfall to 8.8 billion euros from a previous estimate of 5 billion euros. Continue reading “Italy set to pump around 6.5 billion euros into Monte Paschi rescue: sources”

Italy $20.9 billion fund sufficient for all banks under observation: Treasury source

Twenty billion euros earmarked by the Italian government would be enough to cover funding requirements at all the ailing banks currently under observation by the Treasury and the Bank of Italy, a Treasury source said on Tuesday. “The size of the fund has been set out to be fully sufficient to cover all funding needs that may emerge from the situations currently under observation,” the source said. Continue reading “Italy $20.9 billion fund sufficient for all banks under observation: Treasury source”

Japan Inc could claim edge in overseas deals as China faces restraints

Japan Inc may become a more important force in dealmaking next year as its cashed-up companies seek to buy growth prospects elsewhere in the world and as Beijing’s crackdown on capital outflows prevents some Chinese companies from making foreign acquisitions, bankers and lawyers said. Facing tepid prospects at home after decades of stagnation amid a shrinking population, Japanese companies had spent $93 billion overseas this year, up to Dec. 19, little changed from a record $96 billion in all of 2015, but up from just $51 billion in 2013, Thomson Reuters data shows. Continue reading “Japan Inc could claim edge in overseas deals as China faces restraints”

U.S. mutual fund trustees feel the heat of investor lawsuits

In courts across the land, investors are subjecting mutual fund boards to greater scrutiny. Trustees, often paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, are under pressure to prove they have stood up for shareholders in an industry that has $16 trillion under management. The lawsuits accuse fund boards of missteps such as failing to scrutinize fees or pass along to investors economies of scale as their funds grow with rising markets. Continue reading “U.S. mutual fund trustees feel the heat of investor lawsuits”

Trump taps ex-Bush official Bossert to counter domestic threats

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday selected former Bush administration official Thomas Bossert as a counterterrorism adviser who will focus heavily on cyber threats. As assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Bossert will concentrate on domestic security issues and help craft the administration’s cyber security policies, the transition team said. Continue reading “Trump taps ex-Bush official Bossert to counter domestic threats”

Yale’s Sonnenfeld: Get ready for tough tradeoffs on health care and environment under Trump

Businesses and voters may be gearing up for deregulation by Donald Trump, but a large portion of the country will be displeased with the sacrifices that could come with the rollback, Jeff Sonnenfeld told CNBC on Tuesday. “There’s a proliferation of agencies and we don’t see a proper adjustment of regulations, but we’re going to be getting rid of some that are quite popular in environmental and health care areas,” the Yale School of Management senior associate dean of leadership studies told “Squawk Box.” “That’ll be a big concern.” Continue reading “Yale’s Sonnenfeld: Get ready for tough tradeoffs on health care and environment under Trump”

Japan’s CPI, household spending drop in November

Japan’s core consumer price index (CPI) and household spending declined for the ninth month in a row, government data showed on Tuesday. Japanese CPI, which excludes fresh food prices but includes oil, fell 0.4% in November year-on-year, same as in the previous month. Household spending fell 1.5% in November from a year earlier due to slow wage growth, even as the jobs-to-applicants ratio hit a 25-year high. Continue reading “Japan’s CPI, household spending drop in November”

Lukoil wants to pump 5.4mln tonnes through CPC

Russian oil giant, Lukoil, announced on Monday that it has applied for a license to pump 5.4 million tonnes of oil through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). Rosneft has some 5 million tonnes of its oil moving through the pipeline. Lukoil announced in its journal that it is looking to increase its oil production in the Filanovsky field. In 2017 the company expects an output from the aforementioned area to come in at 4.4 million tonnes and rise to as much as 6 million tonnes in 2019, the expected peak production on the field. Continue reading “Lukoil wants to pump 5.4mln tonnes through CPC”

Russia’s VEB sees 2016 loss at $2.1 billion

Russian state development bank VEB will post a loss of 130 billion roubles ($2.14 billion) this year, its chairman Sergei Gorkov said on Monday, less than an expected loss of 200 billion roubles. Speaking to reporters, Gorkov said VEB’s sale of American depository receipts, or ADRs, in Russian state gas company Gazprom GAZPI.UL this year had contributed 118 billion roubles to the overall loss.

Trumps Health Secretary Pick Leaves Nations Doctors Divided

When President-elect Donald J. Trump chose Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be his health and human services secretary, the American Medical Association swiftly endorsed the selection of one of its own, an orthopedic surgeon who has championed the role of physicians throughout his legislative career. Then the larger world of doctors and nurses weighed in on the beliefs and record of Mr. Price, a suburban Atlanta Republican and the split among caregivers, especially doctors, quickly grew sharp. Continue reading “Trumps Health Secretary Pick Leaves Nations Doctors Divided”

Toshiba sees loss of about 100 bln yen on U.S. nuclear power acquisition – Nikkei

Electronics giant Toshiba Corp expects to report a one-off loss of about 100 billion yen ($850 million) on a U.S. nuclear power acquisition made by its Westinghouse operation last year, the Nikkei business daily reported. Toshiba did not immediately reply to a request from Reuters for comment. The loss relates to the acquisition of Chicago Bridge & Iron’s (CB&I) nuclear business unit in October last year. CB&I and Westinghouse are involved in litigation over the calculation of working capital in the deal. Toshiba has forecast full year net profit at about 145 billion yen this year.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Terror Groups Praise UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Palestinian terrorist factions, including the Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, welcomed the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy and branding Jewish homes in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as illegal and dangerous to the so-called two-state solution. The Palestinian jihadist organizations said the motion represented an important sea change in the international position on the conflict and a crucial victory for the Palestinian people. Continue reading “Hamas, Islamic Jihad Terror Groups Praise UN Anti-Israel Resolution”

Iran’s currency hits record low as Trump worries deter fund inflows

Iran’s rial hit a record low against the U.S. dollar on Monday in a sign of concern about the country’s ability to attract foreign money after U.S. president-elect Donald Trump takes office. The rial was quoted in the free market at 41,500 to the dollar, weakening from around 41,250 on Sunday and 35,570 in mid-September. Before this month, the record low was about 40,000, hit in late 2012, traders said. Continue reading “Iran’s currency hits record low as Trump worries deter fund inflows”

Trump ‘Tax Holiday’ would not Result in Jobs

President-elect Donald J. Trump has said he would like to create a ”tax holiday” so that American companies can bring back profit that was generated overseas at a lower rate. In his view, this influx of cash will create jobs. But corporate boards and executives may have different ideas. They are likely to use much of the estimated $2 trillion held overseas to acquire businesses in the United States, to buy back their own stock or to pay down debt, say advisers of America’s top corporate executives. Continue reading “Trump ‘Tax Holiday’ would not Result in Jobs”

China stocks fall on weak commodity prices, reduced liquidity

China stocks began 2016’s final week on a bearish note, as lower commodity prices hurt raw material and energy shares. Hong Kong markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. The CSI300 index was down 0.6 percent, to 3,286.47 points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index had dropped 0.8 percent, to 3,085.82 points. Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai, said sentiment was dampened by liquidity stress toward the year-end as demand for cash increased. Continue reading “China stocks fall on weak commodity prices, reduced liquidity”

GOP: Cut taxes, change brackets; but what about deficits

Congressional Republicans are planning a massive overhaul of the nation’s tax system, a heavy political lift that could ultimately affect families at every income level and businesses of every size. Their goal is to simplify a complicated tax code that rewards wealthy people with smart accountants, and corporations that can easily shift profits and jobs overseas. It won’t be easy. The last time it was done was 30 years ago. Continue reading “GOP: Cut taxes, change brackets; but what about deficits”

Iran says will only pay half price for new Boeing planes

Iran’s official IRNA news agency is reporting the deputy transport minister as saying that his county will only pay half of the announced price for 80 new Boeing planes, given the reductions in its purchasing options. According to the Sunday report, Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan says that despite an initial $16.8 billion deal with Boeing to purchase 80 passenger planes, “Regarding the style of our order and its options, the purchase contract for 80 Boeing aircraft is worth about 50 percent of the amount.” Continue reading “Iran says will only pay half price for new Boeing planes”

Giuliani: Obama ‘Lackadaisical’ With Regards to Terrorism

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed President Barack Obama in an interview with John Catsimatidis, saying the president has a “lackadaisical attitude” when it comes to dealing with terrorism. “I think we’re going to see a more peaceful world because we’ll have a president who’s going to put his foot down with regard to this radical Islamic terrorism that’s going on,” Giuliani predicted of Obama’s successor, Donald Trump. Continue reading “Giuliani: Obama ‘Lackadaisical’ With Regards to Terrorism”

Under scrutiny, Trump decides to dissolve his foundation

U.S President-elect Donald Trump said on Saturday he intends to dissolve his charitable foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has been under investigation by the New York attorney general. Trump gave no timeline for winding down the foundation, but said in a statement that he wanted “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President.” He directed his counsel to take the necessary steps for the dissolution. Continue reading “Under scrutiny, Trump decides to dissolve his foundation”

Gingrich: Obama ‘desperate frenzy’ to save legacy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an interview compared President Barack Obama’s legacy to a deflating doll and argued Obama is in a “desperate frenzy” to save it. “His legacy is like one of those dolls that, as the air comes out of it, shrinks and shrinks and shrinks,” Gingrich told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s in this desperate frenzy.” Gingrich, a vice chairman of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, made the comments as he pointed to executive actions Obama has taken just weeks before he surrenders the presidency to Trump. Continue reading “Gingrich: Obama ‘desperate frenzy’ to save legacy”

China needs to regulate ‘money gates’ but guard against financial stress: state media

China needs to keep financial market liquidity stable and regulate its “money gates” to prevent asset bubbles, but it also needs to ensure a lack of liquidity doesn’t cause financial stress, according to a commentary in a newspaper owned by the People’s Bank of China. Chinese policymakers face a dilemma as they need to tighten credit to contain debt and speculative investment without triggering a wave of defaults that could destabilize the financial system. Continue reading “China needs to regulate ‘money gates’ but guard against financial stress: state media”

GOP on taxes: Cut rates, brackets but what about the deficit

Congressional Republicans are planning a massive overhaul of the nation’s tax system next year, a heavy political lift that could ultimately affect families at every income level and businesses of every size. Their goal is to simplify a complicated tax code that rewards wealthy people with smart accountants, and corporations that can easily shift profits and jobs overseas. It won’t be easy. The last time it was done was 30 years ago. Continue reading “GOP on taxes: Cut rates, brackets but what about the deficit”

Russia’s Rosneft says has flexibility on oil output levels

Rosneft’s plans for next year allow it to be flexible with production volumes, Russia’s top oil producer said on Saturday, after Moscow clinched a deal with OPEC to cut production to bolster weak oil prices. State-controlled Rosneft, which accounts for over 40 percent of Russian oil production, said its board has looked into plans for 2017-2018. Continue reading “Russia’s Rosneft says has flexibility on oil output levels”

EU Chief: Borders Must Stay Open Despite Deadly Terror Attacks

The best way to fight terror is with “openness”, European Union (EU) head Jean-Claude Juncker has said, stressing that Europe must continue to receive migrants in the wake of the deadly truck attack in Berlin. Speaking to Funke Mediengruppe on Saturday, the president of the European Commission warned that the “rhetoric of exclusion” strengthens terrorists, and called for more EU involvement in nations’ internal security. Continue reading “EU Chief: Borders Must Stay Open Despite Deadly Terror Attacks”

Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland face multi-billion fines on toxic mortgages

Britain’s biggest banks are facing multi-billion-pound penalties after two European rivals were hit with fines of more than £10billion in a crackdown on the mis-selling of toxic mortgages. Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland are being pursued by the US Department of Justice over the scandal, which has been credited with starting the recession. Deutsche Bank was yesterday hit with a £5.9billion bill for its part in the debacle, while Credit Suisse agreed to pay out £4.3billion. Continue reading “Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland face multi-billion fines on toxic mortgages”

Bonanza Creek, other U.S. energy firms announce Chapter 11 plans

Bonanza Creek Energy Inc and two other energy firms announced on Friday plans to file for bankruptcy in coming weeks, joining a long list of U.S. energy companies that have succumbed to a drop in oil prices. Oil and gas producers Bonanza Creek and Memorial Production Partners LP and oilfield services provider Forbes Energy Services Ltd each said they had a plan to reduce debt and transfer ownership to creditors. Continue reading “Bonanza Creek, other U.S. energy firms announce Chapter 11 plans”

Italy approves bailout for Monte dei Paschi

Italy’s cabinet has approved a state-bailout for the country’s third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said his government had authorised a €20bn ($21bn; £17.9bn) fund to support Italy’s embattled banking sector. The announcement came after Monte dei Paschi failed to raise €5bn from private investors. The Italian bank said it would request a capital injection from the state to stay afloat. Continue reading “Italy approves bailout for Monte dei Paschi”

Dollar holds near-14-year high against rivals in preholiday trade

The U.S. dollar was little-changed against major rivals on Friday, with most investors avoiding big bets ahead of the December holiday weekend. The U.S. Dollar Index which measures the buck against a half-dozen rivals, was unchanged at 103.03, hovering near its 14-year highs. For the week, the index rose 0.1%. The greenback has gained 5.2% since November’s presidential election. Continue reading “Dollar holds near-14-year high against rivals in preholiday trade”

EU executive seeks to ensure Monte dei Paschi bailout meets conditions

The European Commission said on Friday it supported the objective of Italian authorities to strengthen the banking sector and would work with them to establish conditions were met for a bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena. State support will have be to be approved under EU state aid rules before it can be granted and on the basis of a sound restructuring plan, a Commission spokeswoman said. Continue reading “EU executive seeks to ensure Monte dei Paschi bailout meets conditions”

Trump: US must ‘greatly strengthen’ nuclear capability

President-elect Donald Trump has re-opened the debate over nuclear proliferation, calling for the United States to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” until the rest of the world “comes to its senses” regarding nuclear weapons. His comments Thursday on Twitter came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin said strengthening his country’s nuclear capabilities should be a chief military objective in the coming year. Continue reading “Trump: US must ‘greatly strengthen’ nuclear capability”

President-elect Donald Trump responded to the UN Security Council’s passage of an anti-Israel resolution Friday — thanks to U.S. abstention by President Barack Obama — by Tweeting: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

It was not immediately apparent what Trump meant, but senior members of Congress — including several in the Senate — have called openly for defunding the United Nations in response to the vote, which declares Israeli settlements illegal. The vote, which Israel argues mistakes both historical fact and international law, breaks with five decades of precedent in U.S. policy. The Obama administration had vetoed an earlier resolution substantially similar to the one that it allowed to pass. Continue reading “President-elect Donald Trump responded to the UN Security Council’s passage of an anti-Israel resolution Friday — thanks to U.S. abstention by President Barack Obama — by Tweeting: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.””

Since Trump’s win, investors have fallen for ‘fairy dust’: Citi economist

Stocks have soared to all-time highs since the election of Donald Trump, but some market watchers may the rally has gone too far, too fast. William Lee, head of North America economics at Citigroup, said Thursday on CNBC that the markets have gotten “way ahead of themselves” on hopes that financial services regulations will ease and the government will spend bigtime on infrastructure under Trump’s administration. Continue reading “Since Trump’s win, investors have fallen for ‘fairy dust’: Citi economist”

U.S. hits Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank with toxic debt penalties

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have been hit with a combined penalty of more than $12 billion over the sale of U.S. toxic debt, further hampering two of Europe’s leading investment banks as they struggle with weak earnings. The penalties stem from an initiative launched by U.S. President Barack Obama to pursue banks for selling sub-prime debt without warning of the risks, a practice that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Continue reading “U.S. hits Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank with toxic debt penalties”

U.S. drillers add oil rigs for eighth week in a row: Baker Hughes

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for an eighth week in a row, extending a seven-month drilling recovery as crude prices remained near a 17-month high. Drillers added 13 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 23, bringing the total count up to 523, the most since December 2015, but still below the 538 rigs seen a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. Continue reading “U.S. drillers add oil rigs for eighth week in a row: Baker Hughes”

Icahn regulatory role gives activist investors strong Washington voice

U.S. chief executives, already wrestling with a steady flow of activist investors in their board rooms, face a newly challenging landscape now that the loudest voice of the bunch will have the ear of the next president and his securities’ rule makers. The advisory role granted to billionaire investor Carl Icahn by President-elect Donald Trump is a potential blow to CEOs and board directors who hoped the new Securities and Exchange Commission would favor corporate management teams over shareholder proposals that they deem too friendly to shareholders. Continue reading “Icahn regulatory role gives activist investors strong Washington voice”

Durable goods orders drop for first time in five months in November

Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods sank last month for the first time in five months, according to government data released Thursday. The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods fell 4.6% in November, led by a plunge in order from Boeing Co. Economists had expected overall durable-goods orders to drop 4.5%, according to a MarketWatch survey. The drop in November retraces a revised 4.8% gain in orders in the prior month. Continue reading “Durable goods orders drop for first time in five months in November”

Trump: US must ‘greatly strengthen’ nuclear capability

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly called for the United States to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” until the rest of the world “comes to its senses” regarding nuclear weapons. Trump made the statement on Twitter and did not expand on the actions he wants the U.S. to take or on the issues he sees around the world. His comments came one day after meeting with incoming White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Continue reading “Trump: US must ‘greatly strengthen’ nuclear capability”

Italy’s government set to bail out world’s oldest bank with last-ditch rescue fund

Italy’s parliament has approved a 20 billion-euro ($20.8 billion) rescue fund for Monte dei Paschi di Siena after the embattled lender’s last-ditch private sector rescue plan failed to secure an anchor investor. The world’s oldest bank announced late on Wednesday that it had failed to attract a major investor to commit 1 billion euros, which discouraged the wider investment community to bolster the lender. The result of which means BMPS is at the mercy of a state bailout, with any losses set to be forced onto bondholders. Continue reading “Italy’s government set to bail out world’s oldest bank with last-ditch rescue fund”

Senate Dems say Wells Fargo not responding to fraud info requests

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Democrats sent another letter to Wells Fargo on Thursday, asking why their other letters have not yet been answered. The bank’s management has so far failed to answer all the questions the committee members have put to it, the letter says, following its settlement with multiple regulatory authorities in September for multi-year fraudulent sales practices. Continue reading “Senate Dems say Wells Fargo not responding to fraud info requests”

Trump Seeks Path for Mexico Barrier. But Will It Be a ‘Big, Beautiful Wall’?

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team has asked federal border protection officials for guidance on where a new wall separating the United States from Mexico — a signature promise of Mr. Trump’s campaign — can be erected, according to a Democratic congressman from Texas who opposes the idea. But the officials exploring possible paths for such a barrier also appear to be considering fencing and other options short of the “big, beautiful wall” that Mr. Trump regularly vowed to erect, at Mexico’s expense, along a border of more than 1,900 miles. Continue reading “Trump Seeks Path for Mexico Barrier. But Will It Be a ‘Big, Beautiful Wall’?”

U.S. hits Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank with toxic debt penalties

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have been hit with a combined penalty of more than $12 billion over the sale of U.S. toxic debt, further hampering two of Europe’s leading investment banks as they struggle with weak earnings. The penalties stem from an initiative launched by U.S. President Barack Obama to pursue banks for selling sub-prime debt without warning of the risks, a practice that led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Continue reading “U.S. hits Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank with toxic debt penalties”

How Deutsche’s big bet on Wall Street turned toxic

Deutsche Bank’s pursuit of success on Wall Street has come at a high price, a $7 billion plus penalty illustrating the extent of its decline since 2008 when its then chief executive claimed it was one of the “strongest banks in the world”. German regulators also want Deutsche, the country’s largest bank which employs around 100,000 people around the world, to rein itself in. “Size in itself is no sign of success,” said one senior official in Germany, where the mood among regulators has hardened towards the bank. Continue reading “How Deutsche’s big bet on Wall Street turned toxic”

U.S. crude settles at 17-month high after small, pre-holiday gain

U.S. oil prices closed at a 17-month high on Friday in quiet trade ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday week, even though the gain was small, as the market waits to see how OPEC manages its planned output cuts with Libya expecting to boost production. “This is the time for maximum hype in oil. It’s all related to the OPEC deal to cut output,” Davis said, warning the high prices will not last if the market does not see the OPEC cuts over the longer term. Continue reading “U.S. crude settles at 17-month high after small, pre-holiday gain”

Airbus seals deal with Iran for sale of 100 aircraft

Europe’s Airbus signed a firm contract on Thursday to sell 100 jets to IranAir, completing a return by Western plane giants and paving the way for deliveries to start next month, a year after sanctions against Iran were lifted. The deal took weeks of shuttling between Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, and Tehran, complicated by a shortage of expert legal advice as Iran completes its biggest commercial deals with the West since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Continue reading “Airbus seals deal with Iran for sale of 100 aircraft”

Weaker factory production Chicago Fed’s national economic activity index

U.S. factory production softened last month by enough to yank down a measure of national economic activity released Thursday by the Chicago Federal Reserve, although the report’s less-volatile, three-month average edged up in November from October. The report helps fuel the argument among some economists that any Federal Reserve adjustment to interest rates in 2017 will be moderate absent signs of inflationary economic growth. Continue reading “Weaker factory production Chicago Fed’s national economic activity index”

World Trade Falls to 2014 Level, just in Time for a “Trade War”

“If you get into a trade war with China, sooner or later we’ll have to come to grips with that,” Carl Icahn, now special advisor to President-Elect Trump, told CNBC on Thursday. “I remember the day something like that would really knock the hell out of the market.” A trade war with China surely would be another wall of worry for stocks to climb. Trump’s rhetoric against China, each morsel packaged into 140 characters or less, has already recreated much-needed turbulence. Continue reading “World Trade Falls to 2014 Level, just in Time for a “Trade War””

Trump Taps China Hawk Peter Navarro for Trade Advisory Position

Donald Trump has chosen economist Peter Navarro to head the newly-formed White House Trade Council, the president-elect’s transition team said in a statement Wednesday. Navarro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, advised Trump throughout the campaign and aligns with the president-elect’s hardline policy on trade with China. “The formation of the National Trade Council further demonstrates the president-elect’s determination to make American manufacturing great again and to provide every American the opportunity to work in a decent job at a decent wage,” the transition team said. Continue reading “Trump Taps China Hawk Peter Navarro for Trade Advisory Position”

ECB money has failed to boost economy substantially: Rimsevics

The European Central Bank’s aggressive money-printing has failed to boost growth in the euro zone substantially, Latvia’s Ilmars Rimsevics said on Wednesday, the third ECB rate setter to express disappointment about the program in the past few days. Rimsevics, Latvia’s central bank governor, blamed a lack of progress on economic reform and on the European Commission’s stimulus package for curbing confidence and lending despite the ECB’s massive injection of cash since 2015. Continue reading “ECB money has failed to boost economy substantially: Rimsevics”

Sources: Russia tests anti-satellite weapon

Russia has recently tested what is believed to be an anti-satellite weapon, US sources with knowledge of the test told CNN. The US tracked the weapon and it did not create debris, indicating it did not destroy a target, the source said. The Russian test, coming as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House next month, could be seen as a provocative demonstration of Moscow’s capability in space. Continue reading “Sources: Russia tests anti-satellite weapon”

In Trump cabinet, Commerce Secretary will run trade policy

Wilbur Ross, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Commerce Secretary, wears a ‘Make America Great Again Hat’ as he speaks briefly to reporters at Trump Tower, November 29, 2016 in New York City. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump plans to put his pick for Commerce Secretary, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, in charge of his get-tough trade policy, a transition team spokesman said on Tuesday. Continue reading “In Trump cabinet, Commerce Secretary will run trade policy”

Japan pulls plug on Monju, ending $8.5 billion nuclear self-sufficiency push

Japan on Wednesday formally pulled the plug on an $8.5 billion nuclear power project designed to realize a long-term aim for energy self-sufficiency after decades of development that yielded little electricity but plenty of controversy. The move to shut the Monju prototype fast breeder reactor in Fukui prefecture west of Tokyo adds to a list of failed attempts around the world to make the technology commercially viable and potentially cut stockpiles of dangerous nuclear waste. Continue reading “Japan pulls plug on Monju, ending $8.5 billion nuclear self-sufficiency push”

Investors Worry as Financial Picture of Italys Oldest Bank Deteriorates

Investors are increasingly sounding the alarms over Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the beleaguered Italian lender, as concerns mounted on Wednesday about its ability to raise new capital and avoid a government bailout. The troubled Italian banking system, stuffed with dubious loans, has broadly put global policy makers and investors on alert for signs of a potential shock. And Monte dei Paschi, the country’s oldest bank, is in the weakest spot. Continue reading “Investors Worry as Financial Picture of Italys Oldest Bank Deteriorates”

N.Y. pension fund manager, brokers charged in pay-to-play scheme

U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday accused a former portfolio manager at New York state’s retirement fund, the third largest in the United States, of steering $2 billion in trades to two brokerage firms in exchange for gifts such as cash, drugs and prostitutes. Manhattan federal prosecutors announced charges centered on the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which was shaken by another pay-to-play scheme a decade ago that sent the state comptroller to prison and sent shock waves through the pension fund world. Continue reading “N.Y. pension fund manager, brokers charged in pay-to-play scheme”

Trump rally could be like Coolidge’s Roaring ’20s before Depression, Nobel-winning economist warns

The stock rally since Donald Trump won the presidency can only be explained by psychology — an overwhelming sense of excitement about the prospects for growth — not efficient markets, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller told CNBC on Wednesday. The Yale University professor warned against getting too comfortable thinking the good times won’t end. “It could be like … Coolidge prosperity. Continue reading “Trump rally could be like Coolidge’s Roaring ’20s before Depression, Nobel-winning economist warns”

Trump names Icahn as special advisor on regulation, vows to shred Obama rules

Donald Trump has named billionaire investor Carl Icahn, a frequent critic of some Obama administration rules and a major fossil fuel investor, a special advisor on regulation, the president-elect’s transition team announced Wednesday. Trump’s team said in a statement that the activist investor will aid him in an “individual capacity” rather than as a federal employee or special government employee, adding that he will not have “specific duties.” Continue reading “Trump names Icahn as special advisor on regulation, vows to shred Obama rules”

CalPERS votes to lower expected investment return rate to 7 percent by 2020

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System board voted on Wednesday to lower the pension plan’s expected rate of return from investment to 7 percent by 2020, a decision that comes after the fund failed to meet its 7.5 percent target the past two years. The move by the country’s largest public pension fund will place a greater financial burden on the state’s cities, counties and other local government agencies across California that rely on CalPERS pensions. Continue reading “CalPERS votes to lower expected investment return rate to 7 percent by 2020”

Exclusive: Investors snub Italian bank Monte Paschi’s share offer – sources

Monte dei Paschi di Siena has all but failed to pull off a last-ditch rescue plan and a state bailout for the ailing Italian bank now looks inevitable, sources said on Wednesday. Confirming an earlier Reuters report, the bank said late on Wednesday it had failed to secure an anchor investor for its offer of new shares, which has just hours left to run. Two sources close to the matter told Reuters this had in turn dissuaded other institutional investors from supporting this part of the 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) rescue plan. Continue reading “Exclusive: Investors snub Italian bank Monte Paschi’s share offer – sources”

FINRA fines Wells Fargo, others $14 million for records’ changeable format

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said it fined several Wells Fargo & Co businesses, RBC Capital Markets, LPL Financial and others a combined $14.4 million on Wednesday for record-keeping problems that may have allowed company and customer documents to be altered. The securities industry’s self-regulator found that the firms failed to keep hundreds of millions of electronic documents in a “write once, read many” format, which would have made it impossible to alter or destroy records after they were written. Continue reading “FINRA fines Wells Fargo, others $14 million for records’ changeable format”

White House: Robots may take half of our jobs, and we should embrace it

Artificial intelligence is coming, and policymakers need to prepare the economy for it, the White House said in a report released Wednesday. The report, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy,” suggests the U.S. should invest in and develop AI, because it has “many benefits,” education and train Americans for the jobs of the future, and aid workers in the transition and empower them to share in future growth. Continue reading “White House: Robots may take half of our jobs, and we should embrace it”

US proposed $5 billion-$7 billion penalty on Credit Suisse on toxic debt: Source

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Credit Suisse to pay between $5 billion and $7 billion to settle a probe over its sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, a source with knowledge of the matter said, but the bank has resisted settling for that amount. The size of the suggested settlement indicates that the cost to the bank may be higher than analysts had expected and explains why Credit Suisse management, according to a second source, has been seeking a smaller penalty. Continue reading “US proposed $5 billion-$7 billion penalty on Credit Suisse on toxic debt: Source”

Hedge fund Ardmore shutting, manager moving to Citadel’s Aptigon

Prominent technology investor Chris Connor is shutting down his hedge fund less than one year after launching it and will be joining Citadel, one of the industry’s biggest players, two sources familiar with the move said on Tuesday. Connor launched Ardmore Global Investors, which concentrated on picking global technology, media and telecommunications stocks, in March. [L1N6G0UR] The fund was roughly flat at the end of November with a loss of 0.3 percent for the year. Continue reading “Hedge fund Ardmore shutting, manager moving to Citadel’s Aptigon”

Obama bans new oil, gas drilling off Alaska, part of Atlantic shore

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday permanently banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in one of his last environmental pushes before he leaves office next month. In protecting the waters, Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf Act that allows presidents to limit areas from mineral leasing and drilling. Continue reading “Obama bans new oil, gas drilling off Alaska, part of Atlantic shore”

Trump now says Carlos Slim, a frequent campaign target, is a ‘great guy’

Donald Trump on Tuesday acknowledged that he met with Carlos Slim, saying the Mexican billionaire whom he attacked on the campaign trail is a “great guy.” The pair met for dinner Saturday at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the telecom titan’s spokesman said Monday. He said that Slim “was left with a very positive taste in his mouth regarding the relationship with Mexico,” according to Reuters. Continue reading “Trump now says Carlos Slim, a frequent campaign target, is a ‘great guy’”

Self-driving trucks are here, but they won’t put truck drivers out of work — yet

Self-driving trucks are here. Otto, a self-driving truck startup that Uber acquired this summer, shipped a truckload of Anheuser-Busch beer across Colorado. According to Otto’s blog post on the trip, “our professional driver was out of the driver’s seat for the entire 120-mile journey down I-25, monitoring the self-driving system from the sleeper berth in the back.” The key reason is that Otto’s self-driving technology is initially limited to highways. Continue reading “Self-driving trucks are here, but they won’t put truck drivers out of work — yet”

Russia Missing From Trump’s ‘Defense Priorities’ Despite Pentagon Warnings

Russia is not listed among President-elect Donald Trump’s “defense priorities” despite senior military officials warning that Moscow ranks as the No. 1 threat to America, according to an internal Defense Department memo. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Brian McKeon prepared the memo, dated Dec. 1, based off of communications with Mira Ricardel, a former Bush administration official and co-leader of Trump’s Pentagon transition team, Foreign Policy reported Tuesday. Continue reading “Russia Missing From Trump’s ‘Defense Priorities’ Despite Pentagon Warnings”

Obama invokes 1953 law to indefinitely block drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans

President Barack Obama on Tuesday moved to indefinitely block drilling in vast swaths of U.S. waters. The president had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs offshore leases, as CNBC previously reported. The law allows a president to withdraw any currently unleased lands in the Outer Continental Shelf from future lease sales. Continue reading “Obama invokes 1953 law to indefinitely block drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans”

Weak demand for heavy-duty trucks weighs on Navistar revenue

Navistar International Corp posted its seventh straight decline in quarterly revenue, hurt by weak sales of its heavy-duty trucks, and it said industry conditions would challenge its results in early 2017 before improving in the second half. Heavy-duty truck orders have been declining as trucking companies adjust their fleets amid lackluster retail sales and industrial output in the United States. Companies such as Cummins Inc and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co have also been hit by a fall in U.S. heavy-duty truck production. Continue reading “Weak demand for heavy-duty trucks weighs on Navistar revenue”

Morgan Stanley fined $7.5 million by SEC over alleged violations of customer protection rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it’s fined Morgan Stanley & Co. $7.5 million for allegedly using trades involving customer cash to lower the firm’s borrowing costs. The SEC order said from March 2013 to May 2015, Morgan Stanley’s U.S. broker-dealer used transactions with an affiliate to reduce the amount it was required to deposit in its customer reserve account. The affiliate used margin loans from the U.S. broker-dealer to finance the costs of hedging swap trades with customers, the SEC said. Morgan Stanley didn’t admit or deny the findings.

Italy seeks to borrow 20 billion euros to prop up banking sector

The Italian government decided on Monday to seek parliamentary approval to borrow 20 billion euros ($ 20.7 billion) to underwrite the stability of its wobbly banking sector, starting with a likely bail-out of No. 3 lender, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, as early as this week. Monte dei Paschi, recently judged the weakest of the European Union’s major banks, needs to dispose of a mountain of bad loans and raise 5 billion euros in capital by the end of this month or else face the risk of being wound down by the European Central Bank. Continue reading “Italy seeks to borrow 20 billion euros to prop up banking sector”

General Motors is cutting almost half the jobs at its only plant inside Detroit city limits.

In another sign of slowing auto sales, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will eliminate its second shift and about 1,300 of its 3,000 jobs. The layoffs will take place in March. GM said it will try to find jobs for the employees at other plants. The Detroit facility is the third GM plant to eliminate the second shift. Plants in Lansing, Michigan, and Lordstown, Ohio, announced layoffs in November, the first permanent cuts by GM at its U.S. plants since 2010. Continue reading “General Motors is cutting almost half the jobs at its only plant inside Detroit city limits.”

Spain economy predicted to grow by slow 0.7 percent in Q4

Spain’s Central Bank says job creation and bu domestic spending is likely to keep the economy growing by a quarterly rate of 0.7 percent in the last three months of the year. The forecast released Wednesday is unchanged on the third-quarter rate, which was a slight slowdown from the 0.8 percent recorded in the previous three-month period. Spain emerged from recession in late 2013 and is now one of the European Union’s fastest-growing economies, although its unemployment rate of 19 percent remains the EU’s second-highest after Greece. Continue reading “Spain economy predicted to grow by slow 0.7 percent in Q4”

Italy seeks billions to shore up troubled banks

Italy’s new government is asking parliament to approve up to an additional 20 billion euros ($21 billion) in funding to rescue Italy’s troubled banks. The Cabinet approved the measure late Monday, as Italy’s third-largest lender, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is seeking to raise 5 billion euros in the markets to stay afloat. Investors signaled their doubts about the operation, with its share price dropping by 11 percent before the government’s announcement. Continue reading “Italy seeks billions to shore up troubled banks”

Euro slips further toward one-to-one with dollar

The dollar’s upward march has sent the euro currency to its lowest level in 14 years, easing the financial pressure on traveling Americans but giving European exporters a boost. The euro, used by 19 countries, was down 0.1 percent at $1.0390 late-afternoon Tuesday, having earlier fallen to $1.0352, its lowest level since early 2003. Over recent days, the euro’s descent to the psychologically important level of one euro per dollar, has accelerated. Continue reading “Euro slips further toward one-to-one with dollar”

Walgreens, Rite Aid shed 865 stores to close $9.4B deal

Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 stores to rival retailer Fred’s for $950 million, potentially removing the final roadblock thwarting a tie up between the nation’s largest and third-largest drugstore chains. Wall Street certainly saw it that way, sending shares of all three companies higher in early trading Tuesday. Walgreens is working to close its $9.4 billion purchase of Rite Aid early next year. It said Tuesday that it’s selling the Rite Aid stores in response to concerns raised by federal anti-trust regulators. Continue reading “Walgreens, Rite Aid shed 865 stores to close $9.4B deal”

Gold settles lower as dollar closes in on 14-year high

Gold returned to its losing ways on Tuesday, settling lower as a leading dollar index revived its run to fresh 14-year highs. Because a stronger greenback makes dollar-priced gold less attractive to investors using other currencies, gold for February delivery settled down $9.10, or 0.8%, to $1,133.60 an ounce. Gold’s decline comes as Treasury yields remain elevated and stocks forged new intraday records as global financial markets appeared to shake off the uncertainties around violent attacks on a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday and the murder of a Russian envoy to Turkey. Continue reading “Gold settles lower as dollar closes in on 14-year high”

Germany worrying again about its hidden bailout of Italy, Greece

For a brief while, it looked as if Europe no longer needed to worry too much about the infamous Target-2 balances for central bank overdrafts within the eurozone. But now — mainly as a result of rising worries over Italy — the European Central Bank’s innocuous-sounding system for settling intra-eurozone payments has swollen again to record levels. Continue reading “Germany worrying again about its hidden bailout of Italy, Greece”

German Finance Minister tells paper euro zone will fall apart if don’t follow rules

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, asked about Greece’s plans to pay pensioners a Christmas bonus while it is in the midst of a bailout program, told Die Zeit paper that the euro zone would fall apart if countries did not stick to the rules. Schaeuble, who has long taken a tough line on Greece, said the European Commission, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund had been asked for their view as to whether the step conformed to its obligations. Continue reading “German Finance Minister tells paper euro zone will fall apart if don’t follow rules”

Coal’s big US stronghold is losing steam, even as Trump aims for a revival

The U.S. Mountain States are moving away from coal, even as President-elect Donald Trump vows to revive the embattled industry. Western states — a stronghold for coal consumption — are increasingly using natural gas and renewable energy for their electricity. The switch puts pressure on miners in Wyoming, the country’s biggest coal-producing state, and tilts the playing field against Trump’s plans. Continue reading “Coal’s big US stronghold is losing steam, even as Trump aims for a revival”

A new plan to sell access to Trump children withdrawn after criticism

Two of Donald Trump’s adult children will not be participating in a planned fundraising event, after several media outlets reported that they were set to offer access during a hunting trip in exchange for donations of up to $1 million. The presidential transition team in a statement said late Tuesday that the plan, to offer hunting and fishing expeditions with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. for donations of up to $1 million, were merely “initial concepts.” “The Opening Day event and details that have been reported are merely initial concepts that have not been approved or pursued by the Trump family,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. Continue reading “A new plan to sell access to Trump children withdrawn after criticism”

GM says will shut five U.S. plants in January to adjust supply

General Motors Co will shut five U.S. auto assembly plants for varying durations in January, primarily to cut oversupply of sedans which have fallen out of favor among U.S. Consumers. GM confirmed on Monday information from sources at the United Auto Workers union who said that the five plants will shut. GM had built up inventory recently and will be cutting back on that supply after the end of the current year. Continue reading “GM says will shut five U.S. plants in January to adjust supply”

Uber lost more than $800 million in third quarter 2016: Bloomberg

Privately held ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] lost more than $800 million in the third quarter, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The company’s $800 million in losses did not include its operations in China, Bloomberg said, citing a person it said was familiar with the matter. In the previous quarter the company’s loss significantly exceeded $800 million, including its Chinese operations, Bloomberg said. Continue reading “Uber lost more than $800 million in third quarter 2016: Bloomberg”

US charges hedge fund founder, others with $1 billion fraud

Top executives of New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners were arrested on Monday and charged with running an approximately $1 billion fraud that federal prosecutors said became “like a Ponzi scheme” as its largest investments lost much of their value. Platinum, led by Mark Nordlicht, for years was known for producing exceptionally high and consistent returns by taking an usually aggressive approach to investing and fund management, as outlined by a Reuters Special Report in April. Continue reading “US charges hedge fund founder, others with $1 billion fraud”

Trump nominates high frequency trading firm founder Viola as Army secretary

President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Vincent Viola, an Army veteran and founder of a high-speed trading firm, to be secretary of the Army, adding another figure from the business world without government experience to his Cabinet. Viola is a West Point graduate who founded the highly profitable high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial Inc in 2008, Trump’s transition team said in a statement on Monday. Continue reading “Trump nominates high frequency trading firm founder Viola as Army secretary”

Boeing plans further cost reductions in 2017, including voluntary layoffs

Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit said on Monday it would cut more jobs in 2017 after slashing the workforce by 8 percent in 2016 as it battles to sell planes. The job cuts come as Boeing and rival Airbus face slowing demand for new aircraft, particularly twin-aisle jetliners such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330. Boeing said last week that it would cut 777 production to five a month in August 2017, a 40 percent reduction from the current rate of 8.3 a month, because of slow sales. Continue reading “Boeing plans further cost reductions in 2017, including voluntary layoffs”

Dispute could sink Italian bank Monte Paschi’s rescue plan

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is trying to resolve differences with a key investor over its 5 billion-euro ($5.2 billion) rescue plan to allow the deal to go ahead and avoid a state bailout. Italy’s third-largest bank has until the end of December to raise capital and offload 28 billion euros in gross bad loans as requested by European Central Bank supervisors. Monte dei Paschi has failed to find buyers for its shares so far. Continue reading “Dispute could sink Italian bank Monte Paschi’s rescue plan”

Dutch election could be next big shock for euro zone bond market

Investors risk being caught unprepared again by an anti-establishment vote when the Netherlands, the euro zone’s fifth largest economy, goes to the polls in March. Surveys point to strong gains for the anti-Islam, eurosceptic Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders. Some investors have reduced exposure to Dutch government debt, saying this partly reflects election uncertainty. Continue reading “Dutch election could be next big shock for euro zone bond market”

IMF chief guilty, but no criminal negligence

The Latest on the French verdict in the case of the International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde (all times local):A special French court has declared International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde guilty of criminal negligence in a long-running arbitration case. But the court decided not to punish her or give her a criminal record. The Court of Justice of the Republic ruled that her negligence while servicing as finance minister allowed for the misappropriation of funds by other people. Continue reading “IMF chief guilty, but no criminal negligence”

Minimum wage going up in 21 states, 22 cities

Come the new year, millions of the lowest-wage workers across the country will get a raise. Some of those raises will be very minor — a cost of living adjustment amounting to an extra nickel or dime an hour. But in several places the jump will be between $1 and $2 an hour. Even that may not sound like a lot, but it can provide a full-time worker with another $40 to $80 a week. That money, in turn, can make it easier to pay for essential expenses, such as groceries, commuting and keeping the lights on. Continue reading “Minimum wage going up in 21 states, 22 cities”

U.S. charges Platinum Partners execs with $1 billion fraud

Top executives of New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners were arrested on Monday and charged with running a $1 billion fraud that federal prosecutors said became “like a Ponzi scheme” as its largest investments lost much of their value. Led by Mark Nordlicht, Platinum was known for years for producing exceptionally high returns — about 17 percent annually in its largest fund — by taking an unusually aggressive approach to investing and fund management, as detailed by a Reuters Special Report in April. Nordlicht, Platinum’s founding partner and chief investment officer, was arrested at his home in New Rochelle, New York. Continue reading “U.S. charges Platinum Partners execs with $1 billion fraud”

Poll: Majority of Americans Pessimistic or Uncertain About Trump Presidency

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to be sworn in as the country’s commander-in-chief next month, a majority of Americans say they are either uncertain or pessimistic about his presidency, even as the country is sounding a more optimistic tone about the future of the economy and Trump’s ability to bring positive change to Washington D.C. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds 54 percent of adults saying that they are either uncertain (25 percent) or pessimistic and worried (29 percent) about how Trump will perform during his presidency, compared with 45 percent with either an optimistic and confident view (22 percent) or a satisfied and hopeful view (23 percent). Continue reading “Poll: Majority of Americans Pessimistic or Uncertain About Trump Presidency”

Banco Espirito Santo retail customers to get 60 pct of money back

Around 4,000 retail customers of Banco Espirito Santo who lost their savings when the banking group collapsed in 2014 should get around 60 percent of their money back under a plan presented on Monday by the Portuguese government. The retail investors have protested and taken legal action to try to get compensation for their losses since the government stepped in to rescue Banco Espirito Santo. This included an injection of 4.9 billion euros ($5.12 billion) into the healthy part of the bank now known as Novo Banco. Continue reading “Banco Espirito Santo retail customers to get 60 pct of money back”

Trump’s Treasury Pick Moves in Secretive Hedge Fund Circles

As a hedge fund manager, Goldman Sachs trader and bank chief executive, Steven T. Mnuchin has long been a member of the financial elite. Yet even on Wall Street he was not widely known before Donald J. Trump chose him to be his campaign fund-raiser last spring. Now, Mr. Mnuchin is on a path to become the first hedge fund manager to head the Treasury. As befitting that closed-door world of finance, Mr. Mnuchin’s record shows a willingness to take on risks and a penchant for secrecy that members of both parties expect will be a focus of his Senate confirmation hearing. Continue reading “Trump’s Treasury Pick Moves in Secretive Hedge Fund Circles”

Trump’s hard-line budget director choice may not believe in his campaign promises

Donald Trump has picked for his budget director a fiscal hard-liner who could clash with the president-elect on key campaign promises. Trump announced this weekend that he chose Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney, 49, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus that helped to oust former House Speaker John Boehner, was elected to Congress in 2010 and has pushed to slash government spending. Continue reading “Trump’s hard-line budget director choice may not believe in his campaign promises”

What has the European Union done to ensure democracy in Poland?

Last July, the European Commission opened an unprecedented investigation into the rule of law in Poland – a procedure that is started when there are concerns that a particular country is going against the EU’s democratic values. At the time, the commission said that it was only taking “preliminary action” but after several dialogues with the Polish government over the last 11 months, the commission could be close from proposing penalties to Poland for not addressing the EU’s concerns. Continue reading “What has the European Union done to ensure democracy in Poland?”

Poland another looming European crisis

Europe has just got another headache and this time the cause comes from north of the usual southern trouble spots of Greece, Italy and Spain. Over the weekend, protesters took to streets of Poland demonstrating against the government’s budget for 2017 and its plans to introduce new restrictions on the media. This is not the first time that the Polish right-wing Law and Justice government has come under fire after taking office in late 2015 as public and international discontent grows over some of its policies, including on abortion and restrictions on press freedom. Continue reading “Poland another looming European crisis”

Greek PM tries to unlock debt freeze to avoid another crisis

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has locked horns with Germany’s Angela Merkel amid an argument about a Christmas bonus payment for poor Greek pensioners in December. On Friday he visited Berlin to discuss the matter, but no progress was made. The plan triggered euro zone lenders to suspend a new debt-relief deal. On Wednesday they halted 45 billion euro ($47.7 billion) in short-term debt relief to help the indebted country, which is suffering from a deep recession and high unemployment. Continue reading “Greek PM tries to unlock debt freeze to avoid another crisis”

Saudi Arabia, U.S. play down reports of curbs on military support

Saudi Arabia and the United States on Sunday played down media reports that Washington had decided to limit military support, including planned arms sales to the kingdom, over its war in Yemen. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Riyadh had not been officially informed of such decisions, which he described as contradicting the reality, while visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested the issue related more to a long procurement process than restrictions on military support. Continue reading “Saudi Arabia, U.S. play down reports of curbs on military support”