Reuters blog archive
It wasn't just the Nikkei. Euro zone government bonds rallied following Japan's announcement of a massive new monetary stimulus. That sent yields on the debt of several euro zone countries to record lows on bets that Japanese investors might be switching out of Japanese government bonds into euro zone paper, or might soon do so.
The Bank of Japan on Thursday announced extraordinary stimulus steps to revive the world's third-largest economy, vowing to inject about $1.4 trillion into the financial system in less than two years in a dose of shock therapy to end two decades of deflation.
Austrian, Dutch, French and Belgian borrowing costs over ten years fell to record lows as investors piled into euro zone debt offering a pick-up over Germany. The bond rally was led by 10- and 30-year maturities after the BOJ said it would double its holdings of long-term government bonds.
According to one trader:
There is no question that Asian demand for semi-core is quite strong and I think, in light of yesterday's BOJ move, the expectation is that that's going to continue.
from Photographers Blog:
By Francois Lenoir
My first big assignment after a few weeks off was to cover convicted Belgian serial killer and child molester Marc Dutroux, who was appearing in court in Brussels on February 4 to request his release. Benelux chief photographer Yves Herman was covering the exterior of the courthouse waiting for the arrival and the departure of the convoy carrying the serial killer. We also had a photographer at the Nivelles prison.
Heavy security measures surrounded the building. Police officers were placing fences inside the palace to prevent people from looking into the hearing through the windows. No pictures were allowed inside.
from Photographers Blog:
By Denis Balibouse
If I had my dream life as a photographer, it would be a mix of working like Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna and Hirochi Sugimoto, contemplating nature and shooting landscapes in black and white. However, I am a photojournalist, and I cover news: mostly sport, politics and finance, but sometimes heart-breaking events.
Last week in Sierre, western Switzerland, a bus carrying 52 people crashed in a tunnel, killing 6 adults and 22 children.
from The Great Debate UK:
In addition to the economic meltdown, there is another political story in Europe at present - Belgium.
I’m not referring to the recent release of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Adventures of Tintin’ movie - though it might be argued that Captain Haddock bears a passing resemblance to several much-missed British political figures, thanks to the trademark slur.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Honey, I have a surprise!
An entire museum of fries!
Let's order a malted,
And everything salted,
Then leave, before anyone dies!
Blog Guy, I read your item about the Ramen Museum in Japan, which sounds kind of boring. Are there any really great food-themed museums?
from Environment Forum:
At the U.S. Energy Department's Solar Decathlon, visitors can try on -- OK, tour -- these avant garde houses, knowing at least that they're supremely energy efficient. And with the solar power industry on the defensive after the Solyndra bankruptcy, it's a decent showcase for new technologies.
Europe's debt problems had thus far been largely contained to the so-called periphery, places like Greece, Ireland and Portugal. But increasingly, doubts are rising about countries once seen as insulated -- Spain, Italy, even Belgium and France.
Bond markets are not painting a pretty picture. Ten-year Italian and Spanish yields are now firmly trading above 6 percent -- 7 percent is considered the point of no return, the level above which funding costs become unsustainable.
from The Great Debate UK:
By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.
Here we go again - the same sickening feeling, as stock markets reel amid a flight to “safety”. For months, there have been worries about contagion from the Greek imbroglio, and now the nightmare seems to be coming true, as one after another the weak European economies are put to the sword.
First came Greece and Ireland, then Portugal, now it’s the big league – Spain and, even bigger, Italy (and don’t forget Belgium, an accident waiting to happen for many years now, not very important in pure economic terms, but psychologically significant as the home of the whole sorry euro disaster).
Belgians molested by Catholic priests will go ahead with their legal proceedings against the Vatican for damages despite an offer by local bishops to compensate them, their lawyers said on Wednesday. Pope Benedict enjoys diplomatic immunity but other Vatican officials and Belgian bishops will be summoned to testify in the case, lawyer Walter van Steenbrugge said.
Belgium's politicians and prelates are looking to Pope Benedict to help end a clerical sexual abuse crisis that is crippling the local Catholic Church and frustrating judicial authorities unable to resolve it.
Calls to punish former Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who shocked Belgium last week by publicly excusing abuse cases that caused his downfall last year, have come from the Belgian prime minister, justice and foreign ministers and several senior politicians. Belgian bishops have denounced Vangheluwe, 74, who quit as bishop of Bruges after admitting to molesting his nephew, and several bishops have made clear they want swift punitive action from the Vatican, which took control of his case this month.