Monday, December 22, 2008

Roundup: December 22


Japanese exports were down 27% YoY in November. Japan announced $54bn of fiscal stimulus; Canada has given $3.3bn of emergency loans to the Big Three automakers to keep Canadian plants open. Toyota has warned it may see its first yearly operating loss ever this year after the yen strengthened and Japanese vehicle exports to the US fell by 44% YoY in November.

The Irish government has put EUR5.5bn into its three largest banks and will tak a 75% stake in Anglo Irish Bank.
The WSJ reports today that commercial property developers are seeking a little piece of TARP for themselves. Data from the OCC shows that 55% of modified mortgages redefault within 6 months. The NYT runs a story pointing out that the "ownership society" was financed by subprime lenders.

EconomPic has a dramatic illustration of the collapse in bank values over the past year -- and the insanity of the LBO boom at its height.

An HSBC banker has hung himself.

Bank of America points out that US quantitative easing is outpacing Japanese so far.


Riots in Russian cities including Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok over a proposed import duty on foreign cars have been put down violently by police. Gideon Rachman says the Russian government may find itself tempted to raid its remaining foreign reserves to support ordinary spending. The Russian parliament has approved a bill to extend the presidential term to 6 years. Bloomberg writes on the financial woes of the oligarchs as they pledge their shareholdings for loans from the state.

Ukraine PM Yulia Tymoshenko is accusing President Viktor Yushchenko of betting against the hryvnia last week, the latest move in their ongoing battle for control of the country.

A US envoy made remarks on Sunday which are being interpreted to indicate the US will not support a unity government in Zimbabwe that includes Robert Mugabe.

The US is planning to send an additional 20k to 30k troops to Afghanistan over the next year and a half.

The Belgian governing coalition has collapsed on disputes over the rescue of Benelux bank Fortis.

Thomas Schweich warns in the Washington Post of military "mission creep" into formerly civilian functions of government.

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