Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lagarde Confident In Euro

Christine Lagarde,the French finance minister,thinks political leaders will have to take a helicopter view of things for the good of our economies.The Greek population and government are really demonstrating a commitment to deliver.They are doing it.The work is being done.The Greeks are taking it much more seriously than the markets feared.
Solving the debt crisis is a joint effort of the International Monetary Fund,the Euro-zone and the European Central Bank.The Euro can absolutely survive.This whole thing was built on the back of wars.In the 1960s,Europe decided they had to build something better,Ms.Lagarde said in her excellent English.
At least a minority of citizens are not going along with the new fiscal regime. Protests have erupted this week in Spain and Greece,with rioting in Athens and a rail strike in Madrid.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Citigroup Back To Basics

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit says they are back doing what they should be doing.The economic imbalances are still there.Until the market sees credible plans for dealing with all these things,you're gonna have volatility.He believes you're gonna get real financial reform,and that's good.We've got to take a long term perspective on derivatives reform.Longer term,a safer system will benefit all of us.
Corporations need loans.The question is,how do you fund them?You've got to have a deposit base to fund them.That's the main business of a bank.Frankly,proprietary trading isn't core to Citi's business.They'll still be able to commit capital to work for their clients' behalf under the proposed Volcker Rule,although not for Citi's own behalf.
The volume of work is lower today,but Citi is doing the same work they've always done.As for the European debt crisis,the Euro's here to stay.The European Central Bank and others are making an appropriate response to the crisis.On stress tests of European banks,Mr.Pandit thinks anything you can do to put some of the questions and the issues behind us is good.The stress tests of U.S. banks restored confidence,Vikram Pandit observed.
Citigroup does business in more than 100 countries.Almost 50% of its business is non-U.S.,with nearly 35% of it in the emerging markets.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Defining Financial Reality

Asia in general is the strong point of the global economy,says Michael Yoshikami,Chief Investment Strategist at YCMNET Advisors.He's thinking investors are getting over their initial panic over Greece.Not everything is going wrong,though Europe is essentially seen as an economy that's going to be struggling for years and years.He doesn't think the U.S. and China are gonna destroy each other.They're gonna work together to succeed.
If you're in a trading range,you watch for opportunities now that every thing's been trashed.There's way too much concentration on BP;Exxon Mobil and Chevron have some promise as investments.You have to get away from seeing the market as reality.The market is reaction plus sentiment.The economic fundamentals are reality,Mr.Yoshikami believes.
BP plc(BP),Exxon Mobil(XOM),Chevron(CVX)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Citigroup's Emerging Markets Strategy

Geoffrey Davis of Citigroup Global Markets says the concern of Europe is now whether the global market will go into a double dip.Citi tends to think that will not be the case.What people worry about in the emerging markets is too much growth-but these are better concerns to have.
China is not Citi's favorite.Property prices may come down and interest rates may go up.Taiwan,South Korea and Russia are among their favorites.These are a good buying opportunity over the next 6-12 months.
Citi has downgraded their European outlook.The worst case scenario for a global double dip would be a big rise in U.S. unemployment or a major slowdown in China.That's what Citi would be looking for.In that case,you would go more into cash.Having already seen an 18% pullback in the emerging markets,however,Citi thinks investors should be looking another way,Mr.Davis noted.
China has indeed begun reigning in bank lending and real estate prices,fearing an overheated economy.The latest report shows a big jump in exports from China.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chinese Workers Get Raise

Workers at the huge Fox Conn electronics factory in mainland China will reportedly be getting a 30% salary increase.The factory has been troubled by a cluster of worker suicides lately.There have been 12 attempts at suicide,10 of them successful.Terry Gou,Taiwan's wealthiest man,owns Fox Conn,which does work for tech titans Apple,Hewlett Packard and Dell.
Asked why there were so many suicides at his plant,Mr.Gou replied that he didn't know why.Each individual had a different story.There are 300,000 workers in the vast factory.One of them said he works 12 hours a day,with two hours off for lunch.He described it as a boring job and said some workers have romantic problems,but he didn't think that was enough to cause suicides.One victim's family has been protesting outside the factory for more than three months,determined to continue until they are satisfied.
Mr.Gou bowed in a public apology for the tragic events at his enterprise.He spoke in a humble tone of voice,seeming genuinely concerned.Fox Conn has been criticized as being a sweat shop,and workers at a Honda plant have been complaining about poor wages.
Mental health has been much in the news in China in recent months.In addition to the worker suicides,there have been a series of brutal attacks on children,resulting in many deaths.