November 12 2008
By Jeremy Gaunt and Alex Richardson
A number of deals designed to cure the global financial crisis were in danger of unravelling on Wednesday, with losses mounting at banks and economies deteriorating.
The International Monetary Fund withheld official backing for a $6 billion (4 billion pounds) bailout plan for Iceland, the Financial Times reported, putting loans to the North Atlantic island nation at threat.
Some of banking giant Barclays’ biggest shareholders have threatened to vote against a planned 7 billion pound capital raising unless it improves the terms of the deal, British newspapers said.
The latter follows a row over the crisis-driven planned purchase of lender HBOS by Lloyds TSB with leading banking figures arguing a more competitive deal should be sought.
Aides to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, meanwhile, were playing down reports of tension with the Bush administration over help for the stricken car industry.
A feud within Japan’s cabinet over whether rich people should get payouts as part of a stimulus package looked set to be put aside after delaying the plan for weeks.
Questions are also beginning to be asked about just how much help governments can give.
“The U.S.’ financial resources are already stretched and a flood of news demands may overwhelm a government already staring down at a record budget deficit next year,” UBS economists said in a note.
Financial markets were rocked again under the combined pressure of a global economic downturn and the worst financial crisis in 80 years.
European shares rose 1.6 percent after losing more than 4 percent on Tuesday, reflecting the sharp volatility currently infecting investors.
There were more corporate profit warnings with General Motors shares falling on Tuesday to levels not seen since World War Two.
“Whether it’s economic indicators or company news, it’s just too awful,” said Takashi Ushio, head of the investment strategy division at Marusan Securities in Tokyo.
DECLINE AND FALL
The financial industry showed more pain with Dutch group ING posting its first-ever quarterly loss as impairments on stocks and bonds, counterparty losses and property writedowns ate into its income.
ING Group NV had projected the loss in October before agreeing to a 10 billion euros (8.2 billion pounds) cash injection by the Dutch government to shore up its core capital.
Its net loss for the third quarter was 478 million euros, after writedowns totalling 1.5 billion euros. ING posted a profit of 2.3 billion euros a year earlier.
Insurer Swiss Life said third-quarter premium volumes fell 11 percent to 3.075 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion pounds) and warned it would not meet its full-year net profit guidance.
This came against a background of continuing decline in world economies.
China’s retail sales data on Wednesday pointed to slowing consumption and the World Bank said more countries were seeking its help. The head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Angel Gurria, said there was room for further interest rate cuts in the stagnating euro zone.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick said global trade may drop next year for the first time in more than a quarter of a century as the worldwide credit crisis cuts into trade financing.
“It is our estimate that trade could actually fall, not grow more slowly or have growth fall, but actually fall next year, for the first time since 1982,” Zoellick said in an interview with Reuters ahead of a meeting of world leaders.
Zoellick said the bank expected its lending to increase to $35 billion this year from $13.5 billion last year, adding that countries such as Mexico, Indonesia and Colombia were tapping its contingency financing fund amid worries about access to credit.
Investors, meanwhile, were looking to a summit of world leaders in Washington on Saturday for solutions.
President-elect Obama, however, is steering clear of the meeting.
“I think he wants to have a free hand after the inauguration,” Dale said. “If he gets too closely associated with the summit, he might find himself associated with views with which he might not necessarily agree,” said Reginald Dale, a scholar at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
(Editing by Elizabeth Piper)
My rant for the day.
For all the Geniuses in the Financial Field, I really have to wonder if they know anything at all. They pretend to be such experts, but it seems they aren’t such geniuses.
This mess was created in the US, so their experts are not so brilliant. That speaks for itself.
Their advice should be scrutinized very carefully.
We should trust them because???????????? ,
Why so they can drag us into yet another one if their capitalistic nightmares.
Their rhetoric and propaganda is nauseating to say the least.
George Bush and all his so called advisors are not to be trusted.
Free Trade, deregulation, pandering to profiteering Corporations, listening to lobby groups and the cost of war have all played a great part to the demise of the US economy.
The so called experts fail to actually see the problem as a whole.
All countries around the world should be taking care of their people.
America is not the most wonderful place in the world.
They do not have the most intelligent people taking care of them.
They do not take care of their people. They just pretend a lot.
Over the years and observing the ups and downs of America and their leaders the two most intelligent people I have noted to date are Ron Paul and Barack Obama.
One of the notes I have taken on both of them is they actually seem to care about the people. When they speak they actually know what they are talking about.
That is special. Considering some of the slop we have had to listen to over the years.
When Bush or Cheney open their mouths, I want to scream at the stupidity of it all.
Hide under my bed in fear of yet another war.
Their wisdom is not wisdom at all it’s just full blown ignorance.
Their fear mongering and rhetoric should have been stopped years ago.
Instead everyone pandered to their garbage.
They turned America into the most hated nation in the world and with good reasons.
They threaten, course and lie. We are trapped on the planet with them until January 2009.
They should be in jail for crimes against humanity yet they are still allowed to run free and attempt to destroy what is left of the world with their so called expert advice.
Spare me the agony.
The Bush Administration has done little or nothing to improve the lives of the American people. They certainly are very adept at destruction not only of their own people but in destroying the rest of the world, whether is be through war of the financial blundering of this administration.
Their advice is not to be trusted. If they are such experts why is their country where it is today?
Their Health Care leaves a lot to be desired. It is horrible, costly and doesn’t serve the people only the profiteering, insurance companies.
Their wars are destroying millions of lives.
Their financial crisis is destroying the world.
Oh yes they are very cleaver indeed.
Their free trade agreements are more like give the profiteering, Corporations cheap, slave labour, massive profits and if they pollute no big deal. They want to take over the naturel resources of each and every country. They want to steal their water and privatize everything they can get their grubby hands on to the demise of the people in said country as well. Live becomes unaffordable for many and poverty rises as does the cost of living.
Privatization is just profiteering at the expense of people. Free Trade agreements drive farmers out of business as it does other homegrown businesses.
The Corporations move in and take over. This practice has to be addressed by all countries. Those who fight back are called evil among other things.
The American media more times then not jump on the propaganda band wagon.
Ensuring the American people never get the truth.
Universal Health Care is apparently a horrible thing in the US. Just ask any one.
Well the American people have been lied to for years over that one.
Michael Moore has tried to tell the Americans things could be different.
He had the guts to go up against the propaganda machine.
When one takes that one Example and really thinks about it that alone says a lot about the lies Americans have been told.
If America cared one iota about their citizens it would have given them Universal Health care years ago. Instead they were spoon fed propaganda and lies. Their media has played in great part a very large role in this and they of all should be telling the American people truth. That is apparently their job. Apparently they are not doing their job very well. .Instead they pander to the insurance companies. They pander to the Government officials who gets loads of money from insurance companies. How very disappointing it all is.
The Bush administration reminds me of a two year old temper tantrum throwing, brat that should be given a good sound spanking and have their privileges taken away.
If my child behaved in such a manner I would ground them for years.
Should they be trusted? They are like and infectious disease. Spreading their illness world wide. Much like the plague.