Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roundup: October 22


The Fed has raised the rates it will pay on excess reserves. Libor continues to ease, though by normal standards money markets are still highly stressed.

Wachovia has posted a net loss of $23.7bn, $11.18 a share (more than its capitalization). The NYT says analysts are anticipating a wave of regional bank consolidation. Cerberus may sell Chrysler to GM but keep Chrysler Finance, Bloomberg reports.. from another dimension. Wal-Mart is observing changes in consumer behavior as belts tighten.

BayernLB is seeking EUR5bn of aid from the German government, the first bank to tap that country's bailout fund. The UK is reportedly planning a GBP3bn loan for Iceland (30% of Iceland's GDP), to unfreeze UK savers' money frozen in Landesbanki's online bank, Icesave. Mervyn King warns the UK is entering a recession. Argentina has nationalized $30bn in private pensions, in an especially bad deal for pensionholders -- the newswires seem to agree it's a cash grab by the government.

BHP Billiton has warned it sees Chinese growth slowing. Singapore's container shipping line Neptune Orient said it would cut capacity; Airbus is to double the financing it offers to buyers of aircraft.

SocGen's James Montier says investment analysts don't know anything -- and are misled further by their faith in managements, who also don't know anything.

Three Minneapolis Fed economists have written a paper attempting to debunk, mainly, claims that interbank lending is frozen.


An enigmatic report that Kim Jong Il has banned long hair for men is the first news of the North Korean leader since his rumored illness.

ZANU-PF hardliners are calling for Robert Mugabe to form a government without Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC, as the Mugabe-controlled press in Zimbabwe accuse Tsvangirai of boycotting multiparty talks in Swaziland -- Mugabe's government had refused to issue him a passport.

Sunday's NYT Magazine takes a look at the course taken by the McCain campaign over the past weeks.

Bosnia is at serious risk of collapse, warn Paddy Ashdown and Richard Holbrooke.


Organic farming practices could deliver improvements in yield necessary to provide Africans with food security, a new UN report claims.

Chinese emissions could more than double in the next two decades, warns the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Individual tradeable quotas for fisheries could help make fishing sustainable, a study in Nature says.

The Bush Administration has proposed relaxing rules that forbid "mountaintop removal" mining techniques in Applachia.

A new plastics recycling technique could drastically cut down on the amount of water used in recycling.

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