By Tomasz Janowski
Optimism that Japan’s economy will bounce back from a post-quake slump and pessimism about its long-term prospects is the prevailing message of economists addressing the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit.
Last week, President Obama went to Cleveland to meet with small business owners to hear about their successes and setbacks. One of the prominent themes of that meeting was innovation. In his closing remarks from the forum, Obama cited multiple examples of innovation in companies he sees moving the economy forward, such as Ashlawn Energy, a company that Obama says is "poised to manufacture a next-generation energy storage system in Painesville [Ohio] that will improve efficiency."
By Neil Chatterjee
The U.S. has promised it will hunt down tax evaders.
And it seems tax evaders are on the run.
DBS bank, based in the growing offshore financial centre of
Singapore, told Reuters it had been approached by U.S. citizens
asking for its private banking services. But when told they would
have to sign U.S. tax declaration forms, the potential clients
Swiss banks also approached DBS on the hope they could
offload troublesome U.S. clients to a location that so far has
not been reached by the strong arms of Washington or Brussels.
DBS said no thanks. In fact many private banks and boutique
advisors now seem to be avoiding U.S. clients.
Will this spread to other nationalities, as governments
invest in tax spies and tax havens invest in white paint?
Is this the end of offshore private private banking?
Reuters Central European Investment Summit, September 28-30, 2009
The former Communist countries of central Europe have been the last to be hit by the global economic crisis, but th e hit they took was among the hardest. Only big neighbour Russia’s deep plunge into recession is rivaling the sharp fall from record economic growth that’s in store this year for the economies between the former Soviet Union and Western Europe.
The global paper industry has struggled for more than six years to claw its way out of a slump, as soft demand and overcapacity have kept prices down, leading to poor earnings, production curtailments and layoffs.
From the start, “green shoots of recovery” was not necessarily the British government’s wisest choice of words and after a few months of being on everyone’s lips, has given way to a more lowly metaphor.
Business Minister Baroness Vadera raised the hackles of the political opposition in January when she spotted “a few green shoots” on a day of large-scale job losses and collapsing share prices.
Evidence of economic revival is still elusive, but there are ever louder hints that we have at least seen the worst — or bottomed, to use the mot du jour.
Bottom as a noun and a verb was widely brandished by speakers attending Reuters Global Energy Summit this week, who based on their analysis on a slight increase in available credit, a tentative pick up in energy demand and rising commodity prices.
OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri has an interest in spotting the kind of confidence that has driven oil prices up from a low below $35 a barrel in December to almost double that.
“I have no doubt that the recession has bottomed out, but is it a V shape or a U shape?” he asked during a Reuters summit session.
Others were less convinced and the most bearish of them all was a representative of the very oversupplied tanker market, where freight rates have sunk to their lowest levels in decades, with not a green shoot in sight.
“We have seen lower than the bottom,” said Erik Ranheim, a manager at oil tanker association Intertanko.
The sprouting of privately-held alternative trading venues has seriously mucked up the trading landscapes in the United States and elsewhere, or so says Thomas Caldwell, chairman and chief executive of Caldwell Financial.
Caldwell, founder of a major exchange investment firm, sees a world that has quickly evolved into one of nimble, electronic players coupled with more and more trading venues with the proliferation of alternative trading systems, or ATSs.
(They’re also called electronic communications networks (ECNs) in the United States and multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) in Europe).
These new venues, which can include the ominously-named dark pools, or alternative venues, where they can secretly match buy and sell orders, leads to, among other things, “deeply flawed” pricing for market participants, in Caldwell’s view.
The idea of bank-backed stock trading venues is also suspect, says Caldwell.
“Publicly-owned exchanges, open and visible trading, an auction market environment,” he said during the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York.
“These are centerpieces if you really want an economy to grow and you want to encourage entrepreneurs with access to capital. The more we get into gamesmanship and side products and all this other stuff it depletes from this.”
(Posted by Jennifer Kwan)