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from MacroScope:

Portugal, ECB, Turkey — trials and tribulations

How to pull defeat from the jaws of victory in one easy lesson; look no further than Portugal.

After the resignation of both finance and foreign minister last week, Prime Minister Paolo Passos Coelho salvaged things by making the latter – Paulo Portas – his deputy and putting him in charge of dealing with the country’s EU/IMF/ECB lenders.

That could have created tensions and problems but we never got to find out because the president then rocked the political class to its foundations by throwing the deal out.

Instead he demanded a sort of grand coalition to unite behind the bailout programme, including the opposition Socialists who are distinctly cool about the government’s austerity drive and have been calling for snap elections.

from George Chen:

Banking on a Triple-A rating (Part 2)

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

Who is perhaps the most hated man in Washington as well as on Wall Street these days?

Your guess? Not Muammar Gaddafi, not some Al-Qaeda extremist, not Kim Jong-il, but a man named David Beers. You may never have heard of David Beers but every financial policymaker in the world knows his name.

from George Chen:

Banking on a Triple-A rating

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

You may think I am overly cynical today but let me first ask you a simple-yet-complicated question -- what is fair?

Global ratings agency Moody's said yesterday that the United States will retain its top AAA credit rating after President Barack Obama signed a bill to raise the federal debt ceiling. However, we heard very different opinions from China on the credit rating of the world's No.1 economy.

from Funds Hub:

A change of Mood

Rating agency Moody's has updated its hedge fund ratings process in the wake of the Madoff fraud and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

rtrctsgThe firm, which rates hedge funds on their operational risks, is putting more emphasis on certain aspects which it thinks could be key to investors.

from The Great Debate UK:

A reality check from Standard & Poor’s

REUTERS-- Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Standard & Poor's could have chosen a better day to kick the British economy, by placing the UK onto "negative outlook", the usual precursor to a downgrade of S&P's rating of an issuer's debt.

The move came minutes before the Debt Management Office closed its massive auction of 5 billion pounds of 2014 stock, and minutes after the release of figures showing the Public Sector Net Borrowing Requirement leaping to 8.5 billion pounds in April, a sum which not long ago would have been considered high for a whole year.

from The Great Debate UK:

Bank of Ireland shares welcome debt buyback

REUTERS -- Margaret Doyle is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

Investors valued Bank of Ireland's stock at 12 cents apiece in March, placing it firmly in the 99 percent club -- those that had lost nearly all their value. After the results on Tuesday, they were changing hands at almost 12 times that level. If anything, the outlook for the Irish economy has worsened since then.

from UK News:

The little white lie that could spell financial ruin

cash.jpgA little white lie never hurt anyone, right? Wrong: it could have serious financial implications for your future. A growing number of people are getting into financial difficulty at a younger age and are then telling lies on applications forms to obtain credit, insurance and other products, according to CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service.

The number of application fraud cases filed on the CIFAS database increased from 62,000 in 2004 to 77,000 in 2007, an increase of more than 24 percent. In each of these cases, people told "material falsehoods" on application forms or supplied false or altered documents to support them. The lies most frequently told included trying to conceal a poor credit history or exaggerating the length of time resident at a particular address in the belief that stability increases creditworthiness.

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