World economy

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Billions of sterling pounds under the mattress

LONDON | The second estimate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 confirmed the forecast of a contraction of 0.2pc, according to the latest UK Statistical Bulletin. However, the breakdown showed positive contributions from household expenditure (following four consecutive quarterly falls) and from net trade, with negative contributions from inventories and business investment. The British government said this presents a more positive picture of the expenditure side of the economy…


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Bank of China arrives to Spain for more than just sovereign debt

MADRID | As the daily newspaper El Economista published Friday, China has been intensifying its landing in Spain and has set its sight, among many other things, on the financial sector. A year and a half after the first bank of the Asian giant landed, the Bank of China, which ranks the third, has set its first step in Spain. The entity has obtained the authorisation to operate through its division established…


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New offshore discovery in Sierra Leone upgrades Repsol’s resources in Africa

A partnership joined by Repsol announced Tuesday it had made a new hydrocarbons discovery offshore Sierra Leone. The Jupiter-1 well was drilled in an area that already has produced successful results in 2009 and 2010, confirming the significant potential of this region in Africa. Repsol owns a 25% stake in the consortium, while the operator Anadarko has a 55% participation and Tullow Oil 20%. They drilled the Jupiter-1 well in block…


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The US campaign’s expense reports

NEW YORK | All presidential candidates and the people who run all independent political action committees must file campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission. These Reports and statements filed by political committees may be inspected and copied by anyone. You can check them at: http://www.fec.gov/disclosure.shtml. Now that every candidate is relying on Super PACS, a type of political group that can raise and spend unlimited funds, the key is…


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Weekend read | Greece shows Euroland inability to run a monetary union

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Greek politicians’ sheer incompetence and the stiff resistance of its population to renounce living beyond its means are branded as evidence of that country unavoidable failure. Yet it only shows European leaders’ blindness in grasping how a monetary union should work. Their diagnosis on where the problem laid has proved to be utterly wrong. Obsession about budgetary targets, they knew beforehand to…


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US apprehension over Greece

NEW YORK | The US are anxious over Greece. Wall Street fell on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest one-day decline this year. Treasury 10-year note yields traded below 2 percent as European leaders work on an eventual €130 billion financial bailout for Athens at their next meeting on February 20. Investors did not hide their worries:  “As much as we’d like to ignore Greece and…


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Deutsche Börse, NYSE Euronext turn to Madrid after failed merger attempt

MADRID | According to Capital Madrid, Deutsche Börse’s executives as well as NYSE Euronext’s are already seeking other growth options, after the European Commission blocked their merger earlier this month. The fact is that the initiative has turned differently in both parts of the Atlantic. As the Germans have sped up the negotiations held with other European stock markets, the New Yorkers are trying to convince investors that they are able…


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Tough: UK is under negative outlook, no need to blame the euro

LONDON | Will Moody’s tear out the British triple-A badge before those precautionary 18 months go? If the rationale of the warning issued by the financial risk ratings agency to the Coalition government is that the European neighbourhood may in the near future find even harder to charm investors and so will drag the island’s economy with them towards deeper recession, then the top award became meaningless long ago. Markets know this, but still,…


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Obama chooses debt… and hopes for growth

NEW YORK | While Europe is determined to cut the deficit now and see what happens later, the Obama administration has chosen the other way: spend now, cut in the long term. As the president has just put it “[We] can’t just cut our way into growth.” Not willing to risk the improvement the US economy is experiencing, he has sent to Congress a $3.8 trillion budget for the fiscal…


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Super PAC’s: Incredibly loud, extremely powerful

NEW YORK | They call it Obama’s reluctant blessing: the US president has given top bundlers the green light to raise cash for the political organization that supports him, Priorities USA Action. Barack Obama was an outspoken critic of the 2010 Supreme Court’s decision that allowed these so called super Political Action Committees (Super PAC’s) to raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions or individuals. An increasingly big group…