Stella's Feed
Mar 25, 2012

The next dance is with Europe

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – European politics can
move like a waltz, though rarely as gracefully. Leaders take one
step forward, one sideways and the occasional twist as they make
gradual progress toward resolving the euro-zone sovereign debt
crisis.

The next date on their dance card is Copenhagen the end of
this week where European Union leaders will meet to discuss
increasing the size of Europe’s new bailout fund.

Mar 18, 2012

This time it’s different

WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) – Call it spring fever.
For the third year in a row, optimism is spreading that growth
in the United States could be poised to accelerate and drive the
economy into sunnier pastures.

Claims for first-time jobless benefits dipped to a four-year
low last week as layoffs slow. Factory output is steadily
expanding. Retail sales have picked up the past two months. And
Europe no longer looms as an immediate threat since Greece
restructured its debt and won more bailout money.

Mar 11, 2012

U.S. retail therapy needed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The spending power of the American consumer is the secret sauce for turbo-charging a world economy that has entered an uncomfortable soft patch.

China last week cut its growth outlook for 2012 to 7.5 percent from 8.0 percent, the weakest pace since 1990 and barely strong enough to keep its huge labor force employed.

Feb 24, 2012

Bankers urge G20 growth strategy, delay regulations

By Stella Dawson

(Reuters) – International bankers called on the world’s top finance leaders on Friday to step up their efforts to promote economic growth, warning that risks from the euro zone remain and excessive bank regulation could undermine recovery.

While the latest Greek rescue package is “a major step forward” and will help reduce uncertainty, the sovereign debt crisis is still unresolved and cutting spending too quickly could damage growth, the Institute of International Finance said on the eve of the Group of 20 finance meetings here.

Feb 24, 2012

Bankers urge G20 growth strategy

By Stella Dawson

(Reuters) – International bankers called on Group of 20 finance leaders on Friday to step up their efforts to promote economic growth, warning that spillover risks from the euro zone remain.

While the latest Greek rescue package is “a major step forward” that will help reduce uncertainty, the sovereign debt crisis remains unresolved and overly rapid fiscal cutbacks damage the short-term outlook, the Institute of International Finance said on the eve of the G20 finance meetings here.

Feb 19, 2012

Greece and the bridge of fools

By Stella Dawson

(Reuters) – The isosceles theorem put forward by the Greek mathematician Euclid became a test in medieval times of one’s ability to master more difficult matters. Greece this week faces such a test.

It must convince the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank of three things: fiscal measures will put its debt load onto a sustainable path heading toward 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020; Greek politicians will abide by deep budget cuts even after their April elections; and a 200 billion euro debt swap with private creditors can be completed by March 20, the deadline for Greece to make 14.5 billion euros in debt payments.

Feb 14, 2012

Greece must meet all terms to stay in euro zone: Frieden

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Failure by Greece to meet all the conditions laid down by Europe and the International Monetary Fund for new bailout funds would lead to its exit from the euro zone, Luxembourg’s finance minister said on Monday.

Markets have adjusted and sufficient firewalls have been erected in Europe to limit the financial damage should Greece decide to default and leave the monetary union, Luc Frieden said.

Feb 13, 2012

Tough calculus for Obama in Chinese leader’s election-year visit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as he greets China’s vice president in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Barack Obama is quietly overhauling U.S. economic policy toward Beijing, looking for new ways to extract results on issues such as market access and currency manipulation that have bedeviled him and his predecessors.

Obama’s need to boost U.S. exports and show he can be firm with China, and his simultaneous hopes for a smooth start with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is due to become China’s leader in 13 months, illustrate the conflicting tugs on Washington’s China policy.

Feb 12, 2012

Budgets: The last cut is the deepest

Feb 12 (Reuters) – Greece is cutting its minimum wage
by 22 percent to win bailout money and Italy is raising its
pension age to 67 in a taste of the harsh spending cuts that lie
ahead for many advanced countries with huge budget deficits.

Yet central bankers and economists in the United States and
Japan are renewing their warnings that severe fiscal contraction
at this stage of their tentative economic recoveries could
prolong the pain and slow return to strong growth.

Feb 1, 2012

Aging America creates demand for health-care workers

By Stella Dawson

(Reuters) – The graying of America and a booming Hispanic population is driving major changes in the structure of the U.S. workforce and the types of jobs that will be available over the next decade, a new government report shows.

Health care and social assistance jobs will be the fastest-growing sectors, accounting for one quarter of the 20.2 million new jobs the economy is expected to generate by 2020.