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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Lower inflation ≠ fewer worries

Standard&Poor’s, the David Cameron of rating agencies (“if you hate me already, I got nothing left to lose”),downgraded the EFSF yesterday evening, from AAA to AA+. Germany and France refuse to care [publicly]. More importantly, Japan is still buying EFSF bonds like they’re on sale. Up until now, bonds worth €3.535bn are owned by the Japanese government. Now, there is a little bit of a cat fight about who should increase their contributions to the fund: the countries that are doing comparably well, or those that were downgraded. Increasing the burden vs. penalties. The EFSF holds €440bn, €211bn of which were contributed by Germany. read article

But S&P won’t stop here and is going to launch a downgrade fest for banks and insurance companies today.

Meanwhile, Greece is still on the brink of default and talks about a debt swap remain suspended. Greek workers are striking against the interference of the EU and the IMF in the country’s finances. Absurd.

UK consumer price inflation fell by 0.6% in December. Now at 4.2%, that is 1 percentage point less than in September of last year. It is mostly due to the slow economy, which is depressing prices. Also, last year in January, a new sales tax was introduced, which gave retailers an incentive to up their prices. As that effect is wearing off, prices are likely to decrease further throughout 2012. read article

Overall eurozone inflation declined as well and reads 2.7% in December (down from 3% in November), while unemployment remains higher than ever and oil prices are on the rise since October. read article

Finally, Felix Salmon discusses for-profit vs. not-for-profit education and runs into the obvious problem of lacking efficiency benchmarks. read article

So long.

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