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ECONOMICS – FINANCE – WORLD NEWS – GREEK DEBT

Pope to resign; China beats US as biggest global trader

First things first, the Pope will resign on 28 February due to health issues. NYTimes op-ed tomorrow, leaving drinks Friday. Here the odds on who’s up next.

China has become the world’s largest trading nation in 2012, surpassing the US by $50bn with $3.87tn. Overall, however, the US economy dwarves that of China, being almost double in size. In 2011, America’s GDP totalled $15bn, while China only reached $7.3bn. For 2012, China expects inflation-adjusted GDP to reach $8.3bn. read article

In the old world, the Eurogroup is meeting in Brussels today. On the agenda: Cyprus and Greece and Italy and Spain. Later this week the G-20 will meet in Moscow and discuss further action.

With regard to Cyrpus, a new rescue plan may even be decided at today’s meeting, according to a confidential memo that made it into the hands of the FT.

The proposal for a “bail-in” of investors and depositors, and drastic shrinking of the Cypriot banking sector, is one of three options put forward as alternatives to a full-scale bailout. The ministers are trying to agree a rescue plan by March, to follow the presidential election sin Cyprus later this month.”

If foreign depositors and investors chip in, the size of the bailout could be reduced from €16.7bn to €5.5bn. By nation, Russia is one of the largest foreign depositors in Cyrpus, Russia’s personal Guernsey. Although the G-20 meeting is held in Moscow due to the current Russian presidency, this makes the choice of location more interesting than usual.

Last week Friday, President re-elect Hugo Chavez announced the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar by 32%, causing a buying frenzy over the weekend. One result: Venezuela’s mountain of debt shrunk from $42.9bn to $29.3bn. Another one: home appliances are more or less equivalent to gold now. Yet, some say the currency remains overvalued and the government intervention would have needed to be more drastic. read article

In other news, Obama is giving the State of the Union address tomorrow, which will be centered around unemployment and economic issues. read article

Have a good week.

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3 Responses

  1. desert voice says:

    The U.S. should help Venezuela instead of constantly quarrelling and bashing each other! There must be ways to revitalize that market, benefitting both nations!

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