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President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable with unemployed workers who are students in Lorain County Community College job training programs, at Lorain Community College in Elyria, Ohio, April 18, 2012.
The Financial Stability Board, a regulatory group
which advises the Group of Twenty leading advanced and emerging economies, said
a report [pdf] published on Wednesday that problems arising from poorly
underwritten residential mortgages contributed significantly to the global
financial crisis. It said that as the global crisis demonstrated, the
consequences of weak residential mortgage underwriting practices in one country
can be transferred globally through securitisation of mortgages underwritten to
weak standards. As such, it is important to have sound underwriting practices at
the point at which a mortgage loan is originally made.
Economic View: Large number still in “Undecided” camp ahead of Fiscal Treaty
vote; Dermot O'Leary, chief economist of Goodbody comments: "The latest poll on the upcoming Irish referendum on the Fiscal Treaty, published
in the Irish
Times this morning, shows that the “Yes” side remains in the lead. However, the
finding of the latest poll is that there is still everything to play for in the
campaign over the next
six weeks, with 39% of voters saying that they “’don’t know”.
The results show that 30% plan to vote Yes to the Treaty, with 23% voting No.
“Don’t Knows” and those who will not vote, the Yes side is in the lead by 57% to
compares to a 60% Yes vote in a redC poll carried out for the Sunday Business
Post in March,
and 59% for the Yes side in the Sunday Independent poll also last month. It must
be noted that
there is a +/-3% margin of error on this morning’s poll, meaning that there is
little difference in
the split between the Yes/No side over the past month. The most notable
difference in this
morning’s poll is the “undecided” category. This compares to 26% undecided in
Business Post poll and 36% in the Sunday Independent.
The fact that the campaign has yet to get into full swing largely explains
percentage of undecided voters at this stage. However, the Government will be
aware that the Yes side had a bigger lead in the run up to the first Lisbon
Treaty in 2008,
a vote that eventually failed. One would expect, with only six weeks to go to
the May 31st
vote, the campaign will now have to step up a gear."
Banks: ptsb proposes to become a hub for mortgage servicing; Eamonn Hughes of
Goodbody comments - - "With the Troika in town, there will be plenty of interest
in the banks. One of the previous targets
for this Troika review was the necessary agreement on a plan for ptsb. Press
morning (Irish Independent) indicate that one of the business plans under
ptsb would see the entity take over the administration of the loss-making
trackers that are set
to be segregated under proposals currently being considered by the department of
We have commented on this in recent weeks, whereby proposals appear to be under
consideration to park underperforming tracker mortgages from AIB and ptsb into
However, the latter doesn’t have the operational capability to service the
which is where ptsb believes it can contribute.
The proposal attempts to deal with the operational aspects of any proposal to
troubled mortgages. Previous commentary has also seen proposals from ptsb to
its UK mortgage book rather than the current disposal plan. Reports indicate
Troika may not reach full agreement on all aspects of ptsb by the end of next
there could be broad agreement on the strategy. We’ll reserve judgement on the
implications for ptsb (and others) until we see the broad proposals."
UK consumer remains squeezed by weak pay and price pressures:
Coille, chief economist of Davy, comments -- "UK labour market data
released yesterday indicated a marginal improvement in labour
market conditions. The unemployment rate fell from 8.4% to 8.3% in the three
months to February, with the level of employment up 0.2%. The timely claimant
count rate showed another small rise in social welfare claimants, now up to
1.613m in March.
Overall, the level of UK employment remains down 0.2% on February 2011. So
the broad picture remains that private sector employment growth in the UK
economy has not been sufficient to offset the fiscal consolidation and
associated public sector job cuts. Private sector jobs grew by 319,000 last year
as public sector jobs declined by 234,000, so that overall UK employment growth
was just 0.3% in 2011.
The weakness of the UK labour market is now appearing in weaker nominal pay.
In February, three-month average nominal pay growth fell to just 1.1%, well down
on rates exceeding 2% in 2011 and above 4% prior to the recession. In addition,
the squeeze on UK consumers looks likely to be amplified by stronger price
pressures. CPI inflation in March was 3.5% ahead of market expectations.
Yesterday, the minutes of the Bank of England's last Monetary Policy
Committee meeting indicated an 8-1 vote in favour of maintaining interest rates
and asset purchases, noting the stronger-than-expected CPI inflation rate. For
now we maintain our view, set out in our new UK economic forecasts this week,
that UK CPI inflation will decline to 2.4% by the end of 2011 – a sharp fall
from its current 3.5% rate but higher than many forecasts of a fall to 2% or
below by year-end."
In New York Wednesday, the
Dow fell 83 points or 0.63% to 13,033.
The S&P 500 slid 0.41% and
the Nasdaq slipped 0.37%.
The MSCI Asia
Pacific Index fell 0.3% Thursday. The measure increased 11% in the first
is down 1.04%; China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.14%. South Korea's
Kospi index dropped 0.46%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.42% and the Bombay
Stock Exchange Sensex 30 index in Mumbai dipped 0.04%.
On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for
the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points,
this week, the BDI closed up 17 points or 1.72% at 1,006 - - the BDI
plunged a full 70% from its recent mid-October peak of 2,173 to an all-time low
of 647 on February 3. London's Baltic Exchange was closed on Friday and Monday.
The skyscrapers and immaculate
beaches of Singapore's seaport look out on one of the world’s largest parking
lots: mile after mile of empty cargo ships, as far as the eye can see.
Similar fleets bob at anchor,
with empty cargo holds, off the coasts of southeast Malaysia and Hong Kong. And
dozens of newly built ships float empty near the giant shipyards of South Korea
and China, their owners from all over the world reluctant to accept delivery
during one of the worst markets ever for the global shipping industry.
As recently as six weeks ago
large freighters that can carry bulk commodities like iron ore or grain were
fetching charter rates of $15,000 a day. Now, brokers and owners say, the going
rate is $6,000 a day. If any customers can even be found.
between the US benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New York
Mercantile Exchange and Brent is at $16 - - The Globe and Mail says that for the
past 10 months, Canadian producers - - whose prices are tied to WTI - - have
been taking steep discounts for their oil compared with international crude
prices that are benchmarked against North Sea Brent, which can be shipped more
readily. In the past, WTI tended to trade at a small premium to Brent, because
it is easier to refine.
hit a peak of $28.08 (US) on Oct. 14, but has fallen dramatically since then.
After plans for more pipeline capacity at Cushing, Oklahoma, the differential