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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Leadership: Obama’s 2nd term and maybe Merkel’s last

There won’t be a newsletter tomorrow, Tuesday, 22 January 2013.

In the US, which is closed for Martin Luther King day today, President Obama has officially been sworn in againcommencing his second term in the Oval Office. read article

Overall, this week is full of high profile meetings, with the Eurogroup coming together in Brussels today and tomorrow and the World Economic Forum kicking off in Davos on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, David Cameron will hold his long anticipated speech on the UK’s future in the EU.

There will also be some economic data out of Spain, where Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy just celebrated his anniversary in office. One of the figures likely to emerge, 26% unemployment, with 6 million Spaniards out of work. read article

As a taster for the general elections scheduled for September, the German state of Lower-Saxony held elections on Sunday. The coalition of social democrats and the Green Party defeated the incumbent conservative-liberal coalition by just one seat. For Angela Merkel, who is running for a third term to lead the EU Germany, this means a much harder campaign than she might have hoped for. read article

In other EU matters, Cyprus bailout package has been delayed again, and while the Cypriot government says it’s due to a review of capital needs conducted by PIMCO, it now becomes apparent that the IMF demands more debt relief before doing a thing (or Halloumi as collateral). So far, Cyprus’ clockwork hasn’t stopped because Russia has agreed to a delayed repayment of a €2.5bn loan. Thanks Russia, maybe you’d like to launder some money here in return. read article

And while Starbucks is offering cheap mediocre coffee on this morning’s free London newspapers, the company continues to serve as the scapegoat for corporate tax avoidance in the UK, which, according to HMRC, has risen by 48% in 2012. read article

In other news, Bejing is trying to get its air pollution problem under control by targeting the real culprits: outdoor BBQers, and Mario Monti has launched his re-election campaign in Italy.

So long.

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