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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

The EU feels like the ‘German Union’ again

The Empire State Building is now being publicly traded on the New York stock exchange. Well, not exactly. But the company that owns it, the Empire State Realty Trust, filed for an IPO yesterday. The documents show that the Empire State Building made $156.7m in revenue between January and September 2011. So that’s where the $20 go that they charge you to use an elevator… read article

UK inflation fell from 4.2% in December to 3.6% in January. That is the lowest rate 14 months, but it is largely due to the diminishing effect of a rise in sales tax in early 2011. read article

At the same time, Moody’s warned it might downgrade Britain due to its inability to reduce its debt. Moody’s is the first rating agency to [openly] consider cutting the UK’s rating. Other countries under re-evaluation are France and Austria. Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Portugal and Slovakia were each downgraded a notch, Spain was downgraded two notches. Germany’s AAA rating was confirmed. read article

And there were more good news for Germany: the ZEW index, a monthly economic survey, showed that investor confidence is rising, predicting the German economy do perform better in the coming six months. Bloomberg says this is a sign of an “abating” European debt crisis. read crisis

Alphaville dug out a working paper from the European Central Bank, outlining the correlation between the FIFA world cup and trading: “[…] when the national team was playing, trades dropped by 45% […]” read article

Otherwise, Nicolas Sarkozy is planning on introducing a financial transaction tax (Tobin tax) possibly within the next month, says the Financial Times. Germany is supporting the tax, but is not as close to implementing it as France. That is partly because, Sarkozy is campaigning, while Merkel is not (yet). read article

Finally, and probably most importantly, here are 14 ways an economist says ‘I love you’. read article

So long.

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