Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Deja vu? EU ministers meet on Greece

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou kisses French counterpart Christine Lagarde

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou kisses French counterpart Christine Lagarde

 

How many meetings does it take for the European Union to
solve a problem? Quite a few — at least in the case of Greece’s
debt crisis
and preventing it from spreading to other euro zone
countries.

There was a definite sense of “deja vu” when the bloc’s 27
finance ministers met on Sunday to approve measures aimed at
ring-fencing Greece’s debt problems.

They were pretty much tackling the same problems as the
leaders of the 16-country euro zone had dealt with at talks on
Friday. The leaders had met to approve what Eurogroup finance
ministers agreed five days before at talks that were called to
build on agreements at a series of EU and euro zone meetings
this year.

from Emily Flitter:

A spiral for Europe?

Quelling the European debt crisis will take more than just a bailout package for Greece, says one expert in financial contagion. Other countries with shaky fiscal profiles need to get their finances in order--and fast. 

 Lasse Pedersen, a professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business, has made a close study of liquidity spirals in financial markets, and he sees parallels between his work and the European crisis. 

Greece gets help, but debt quicksand is all around

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After five months of struggling to stay afloat in the quicksand of a debt crisis, Greece has finally asked the European Union and the IMF to throw it a lifeline

Some might think that’s the end of it — Greece now has access to up to 45 billion euros in special funds, it can finance its deficit and refinance its debts at better rates, and speculators (who have metaphorically been stepping on Greece’s head while it thrashes around in the quicksand) have to beat a retreat.

Head scratching over EU plans for EMF, helping Greece

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IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn

It was no great surprise that the managing director of the International Monetary Fund looked perplexed when asked during a visit to Brussels to comment on proposals to create a European monetary fund.

 ”I would be very happy to comment if I knew what it was,” Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a committee in the European Parliament.

What flesh will be put on the bones of an EMF?

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In the space of a few weeks, the idea of creating a European Monetary Fund to rescue financially troubled EU member states has gone from being a high-level brainwave from a pair of economists to a major policy initiative backed by powerbroker Germany. In EU terms, that’s Formula One fast.

Yet while German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be behind the concept, even if she has concerns about a possible need to change the EU’s treaty, no one has put much flesh on the bones of the idea apart from the original proponents — Daniel Gros of the Centre for European Policy Studies and Thomas Mayer, the chief economist of Deutsche Bank.

Should Norway bail out Iceland?

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icesaveWhile not exactly pocket change, Iceland’s $5.5 billion Icesave debt to Britain and the Netherlands amounts to just 1.2 percent of the value of Norway’s offshore wealth fund. For Iceland, it’s more than $15,000 per citizen.

Given the two countries’ close historic links — Norwegian Vikings discovered the Atlantic island where people still speak a version of “old Norwegian” — speculation about Oslo coming to the rescue has Reykjavik licking its lips.

from UK News:

Ghost of past failure haunts G20

Stopping off in New York during a marathon, 18,000-mile diplomatic offensive before next week’s G20 summit in London next week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recalled a conference held in eerily similar circumstances in London 76 years ago.

Sixty-six nations gathered for the June 1933 London Monetary and Economic Conference which was aimed at lifting the world’s economy out of the Depression.

from Africa News blog:

Forgiveness in paradise?

If you lived on an archipelago that defined paradise with palm-fringed white sand beaches and emerald green waters, you would expect a relaxed, lazy pace of life.

Lazy would be a generous description of the Seychellois soldier’s wave at the entrance to State House as I arrived with my local colleague George Thande - who is admittedly a regular visitor here.

China, and the slowdown showdown

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America caught a cold and now China has one too. 

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Monday that the Fund could cut its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2009 to around  5 percent. To think that only last year China was galloping at a double-digit clip. It’s staggering, and it’s worrying.

Worrying, for one thing, because  - as the Heritage Foundation’s Derek Scissors puts it - ”the American economic slump is running into the Chinese economic slump, creating the conditions for a face-off between Beijing and the U.S. Congress, possibly leading to destabilization of the world’s most important bilateral economic relationship”. 

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

“Plan C” – Pakistan turns to the IMF.

Pakistan has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $7.6 billion emergency loan to stave off a balance of payments crisis. 

Shaukat Tarin, economic adviser to the prime minister, said the IMF had endorsed Pakistan's own strategy to bring about structural adjustments. The agreement is expected to encourage other potential donors, who are gathering in Abu Dhabi on Monday for a "Friends of Pakistan" conference.

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