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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Monday, #45: Happy new year, this is what you’ve missed

Over the holidays…

Brazil overtook the UK as the 6th largest economy in the world by GDPread article

Spain did the math and realized that its budget deficit is 8% and not 6% (target). The deficit target for 2012 is 4.4%. This year, income and property taxes will rise and raise (hopefully) about €6bn. Additionally, there will be spending cuts worth about €9bn.

Matthew Yglesias (Slate) and Felix Salmon (Reuters) were fighting about pension funds and more importantly what to do with the money collected in them: stock market vs social security boost.

FT Alphaville does moral philosophy [with trolley cases and everything!] and explains why it’s our own fault that finance is getting increasingly more complex. (Hint: we’re just too smart.) read article

More recently (yesterday), it was the 10th anniversary of the euro as a printed currency. No further comment required.

Today, David Cameron decided that after his clumsy “defense” of the City against the eurozone-crisis [that nobody had asked for], it is now time to change course and tackle excess payment in financial services. Just to put this in perspective, the Netherlands introduced a 100% bonus tax for banks that were bailed out by the government in spring 2011. The tax is a claw-back of all bonuses paid since 2008, i.e. since the bail-out.

And as for the future, the EU-summit-dance continues: Monti is going to Paris on 6 January and Sarkozy is expected in Berlin on 9 January to talk about the new treaty. Moreover, until April, around €160bn worth of debt will be due for repayment in the eurozone (says UBS). Italy is responsible for a €53bn slice of that pie. read article

So long.

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