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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Thursday, #44: Merry Christmas

Note: This is the last news brief of the year, unless Europe explodes over the holidays.

Hungary is not feeling the festive vibe and is on collision course with Brussels. The FT got hold of a letter exchange between Jose Manuel Barosso, president of the European Commission and Viktor Orban, Hungarian prime minister. The debate concerns financial support for Hungary, whose borrowing costs have risen above those of Italy and Greece. But the country is overly protective of its independence and thus very sensitive to Barosso’s demand for compliance with EU laws. Yet, Hungary, which joined the EU in 2004, is asking Brussels [and the IMF] for unconditional financial support. read article

Come 2012, airlines will increase their prices for flights within or into Europe: As of January 1st, a new EU regulation introduces charges for carbon emissions [which is different from the fuel surcharge that is already accounted for in plane tickets]. The bankruptcy of American Airlines was a reminder that the airline business is not exactly profitable (here’s Planet Money’s explanation), so some of the costs will have to be passed on to the passengersread article

I grew up in a country in which the middle class is widely perceived as the backbone of a thriving economy and a functioning state. Now, I happen to live in a country in which the middle class is mistaken to be the rich upper class, the working class perceived as the standard, and the actual middle [class] essentially left out [or so it seems]. How did that difference come about? Maybe all the talk about the 99% and the 1% just distracted from a question much closer to home: Who is the middle class? read article

From a while back, but nonetheless fantastic, JP Morgan explains who the key eurozone players are with legoread article

And finally, in the spirit of holiday gluttony, the Economist’s big mac index, which shows that the purchasing power of the dollar and the yuan has never been closerview graphic

Merry Christmas!

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3 Responses

  1. […] #49: Hating on Hungary and hedge funds Hungary (which already worried everyone before Christmas) is seeking financial support from the IMF. This morning, their chief negotiator Thomas Fellegi […]

  2. […] other news, you may remember that flying will get more expensive this year, as the EU is imposing a new emission tax on flight into and within Europe. Now […]

  3. […] the vote and even more skeptical of the state of democracy in Hungary following the change. In December 2011, there was a letter exchange between Jose Manuel Barosso, President of the European Commission, and […]

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