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ECONOMY & FINANCE
by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:05:22 AM EST
Page F30: Norway's electric car maker Think has 2000 vehicle orders and no capital
Norway's Think is an electric car maker that has a product called the Think City that is pretty close to perfect for an electric vehicle at current technology that the average person can afford. It looks nice enough, costs under $20,000, goes 210 km on a single charge, has a maximum speed of 105 kph (the only highway certified electric car besides the ones Tesla makes). If you've never seen this car before first take a look at these two videos. The first one is in English and gives a good introduction to the car and the company's aspirations in the United States, and the second is in Dutch and simply shows what it's like to drive it.
by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fran:
costs under $20,000

Should probably read: "would cost under $20,000 assuming sales of n hundred thousand units/year for ten years".

Otherwise it's vaporware.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 03:51:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AP sources: Obama wants Fed to be finance supercop

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve could become the supercop for "too big to fail" companies capable of causing another financial meltdown under a proposal being seriously considered by the White House.

The Obama administration told industry officials on Friday that it was leaning toward making such a recommendation, according to officials who attended a private one-hour meeting between President Barack Obama's economic advisers and representatives from about a dozen banks, hedge funds and other financial groups.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other officials made it clear they were not inclined to divide the job among various regulators as has been suggested by industry and some federal regulators. Geithner told the group that one organization needs to be held responsible for monitoring systemwide risk.

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prince Albert II of Monaco faces rebellion over tax haven reforms - Telegraph
His 32,000 well-heeled subjects have generally been among the most loyal of any royal ruler's - not least for tax reasons.

But while the Riveria may not quite have the whiff of revolution, Prince Albert II of Monaco seems to be losing favour with the Ferrari-driving, casino-going, yacht-owning "commoners" over whom he rules.

The statelet's playboy ruler, known officially as his Serene Highness, is facing a "declaration of war" over the way he has dealt with international pressure to tighten Monaco's opaque tax rules. Residents, who effectively cede political authority to him in exchange for paying zero income tax, have accused his government of an "astonishing" failure to consult on what they regard as the key issue for the "future of the country".

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 02:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SMITH/BERLAU: Obama's financial unilateralism - Washington Times

In fact, by some criteria, the United States could be considered a "tax haven." It does not tax interest from foreign-held American bank accounts, as it does interest earned by its own citizens. Nor does it routinely report such interest payments to the financial authorities of foreign bank customers' home countries.

And individuals from all over the world can incorporate in Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s home state of Delaware, under the names of registered agents.

Like all countries, the United States shares information with other countries via tax treaties and other arrangements, but such agreements are usually crafted to reduce criminal activity, not hinder tax competition. Moreover, such bilateral treaties are generally between nations that share common values, in particular democratic safeguards to protect the rights of their citizenry.

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 03:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
until my kidneys recover but I couldn't resist this.  Enjoy.

Dilbert.com

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 04:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the news is informing me how pissed off people are that brown spent £6000 on a cleaner.

right... never mind the billions in a black hole, focus on clutching pearls at those awful, terrible, scandalous, yawn little petty cash pilferings.

oh the sanctimony, cameron at least fessed right up pronto.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 08:28:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Luxury brands look to China for cushion in crisis
... By 2015, China will have more than 4 million households with annual income above 250,000 yuan ($37,000), McKinsey predicted in a recent report. That will make it the world's fourth-largest country in terms of its number of households with substantial purchasing power after the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. McKinsey said the benchmark was adjusted for purchasing power parity for each country.

And most of that money likely will be spent in China. McKinsey said its research found wealthy Chinese do 70 percent of their luxury spending at home, contrary to the industry wisdom that Chinese people make at least half their purchases abroad.

<...>

Companies are expanding inland to cities like Chengdu to reach customers "who can already afford and who will aspire to the image projected by luxury brands," said Bain's D'Arpizio.  ...



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 09:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who should head the U.S. probe of the financial meltdown?   May 10, 2009  LA Times

The list of possible candidates to chair a federal investigation of the financial-system debacle now includes retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt, Bloomberg News reports, citing unnamed sources.

Congress wants to name a panel modeled on the one that investigated the cause of the early-1930s market crash that fed the Great Depression. That probe, spearheaded by Senate counsel Ferdinand Pecora in 1933, led to major financial reforms including the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Along the way it also made for great theater as Pecora called in the leading bankers of the era, including Charles E. Mitchell and Albert H. Wiggin, to testify about their roles in the meltdown.

The House and Senate have passed separate bills to create a commission, but still have to reconcile their differences before sending the legislation to President Obama.

From Bloomberg:

    Discussions over who will lead the panel, as well as the group's other members, continue and no decisions have been made, people familiar with the matter said.

    The commission is likely to have the power to subpoena witnesses and spend more than a year delving into the issue.

A lot of things can change in a year.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Switzerland 'to hit back' at OECD in tax row - News - Muzi.com
Switzerland is considering further measures against the OECD in the row over how much the country is doing to reform its policy on tax havens, media reports said Sunday.

The Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) quoted Swiss officials as saying they might block progress in cooperation with China, India and other emerging countries in protest against being placed on the OECD's "grey list".

On Wednesday Switzerland blocked a payment of 136,000 euros (180,000 dollars) to the OECD, a 30-member organisation of major industrialised countries.



The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 06:08:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trichet Says Global Economy Is Near Turning Point (Update1) - Bloomberg.com
"As far as growth is concerned, we're around the inflection point in the cycle, that's the sentiment," Trichet said today at a press conference at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. A number of recent reports are "encouraging, but it's no time for complacency."

...

"Insistence is put on the exit strategy, on the medium- term path that permits us to go back to a normal situation, a sound and sustainable situation," he said. At the same time, central banks will "do what is necessary in terms of extraordinary measures, as long as necessary," he added.

What does he mean going back to a sound and sustainable situation? Did the crisis fall out of the sky or was there an unsustainable bubble situation?
"There is a general sentiment, as regards a number of risk premia, a number of features such as spreads" that "we came back to the pre-Lehman situation," he said. "It's particularly true when you concentrate on money-market spreads."
So now the pre-Lehman situation, the 12 months of seized markets, liquidity and credit crunches, etc from September 2007 to September 2008, is good enough?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 08:56:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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