Friday, April 27, 2012

Canada's Ontario Downgraded

Moody’s Investors Service’s downgraded Canada's Ontario, following a sharp warning and dimmer outlook one day earlier by Standard & Poor.

The downgrade reflect the provinces very high debt and dim prospects for improvement.

The Globe and Mail says that Moody’s downgrade of the province’s debt rating to Aa2 with a stable outlook from Aa1 with a negative outlook brings the agency’s score more in line with S&P and DBRS, which both downgraded Ontario by one notch in the fall of 2009. DBRS, which also weighed in Thursday on Ontario’s fiscal state, decided to maintain its “stable” outlook on its debt rating for Canada’s largest province, saying the government’s increased focus on controlling spending was “an encouraging step in the right direction.”

But DBRS, too, struck a note of caution. Limiting debt growth will be very challenging and require a “significant pickup in fiscal resolve,” DBRS analysts Travis Shaw and Eric Beauchemin said in a report to clients.

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Spain Downgraded Again: Shocking?

Not a real topic for the "shocked" investor since there is nothing shocking here, it was all expected.

S&P downgraded Spain’s rating by two notches due to “mounting risks to Spain's net general government debt as a share of GDP in light of the contracting economy”.

Spain's GDP is expected to shrink by 1.5% in 2012 and 0.5% in 2013. 

The US-based ratings agency is also worried Spain’s troubled banking sector will require fiscal support from the government.

Now the country is rated at the same level as Ireland and Italy, which are also struggling with debt problems.
Meanwhile experts believe the Spanish economy is likely to show some improvement in the next few years.

But the country probably won’t meet its 2012 budget deficit target of a 5.3%. 

Spain said that borrowing costs surged despite a 27.3B euro austerity program announced by the government late last month.

The country’s authorities pledge Spain won’t follow Greece and ask for financial help.


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Monday, April 23, 2012

France Elections: Hollande and Sarkozy Battle for 1st, But Anti Euro Protest Votes Steals The Show

The 1st round of the french election was a show of the protest vote. Centre-left Hollande narrowly beat the conservative Sarkozy in Sunday's 10-candidate first round by 28.6% vs 27.1%, with 99% of votes counted.

 She wants France to abandon the euro currency

 Le Pen, the far right candidate daughter of former paratrooper and National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen stole the show by surging to 18.0%, the strongest result for a far-right candidate.

First Round Totals

  • Hollande: 28.6%
  • Sarkozy: 27.1%
  • Le Pen: 18%
Le Pen's "breakthrough mirrored advances by anti-establishment Euroskeptical populists from Amsterdam and Vienna to Helsinki and Athens as anger over austerity, unemployment and bailout fatigue deepen due to the euro zone's grinding debt crisis".

 "The battle of France has only just begun," She said: "We are now the only real opposition."

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stunning Natural Gas Drop to Below $2: 1 Handle is Here

A '1' handle was reached today, simply amazing:

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Golds Repeats the 2008 Period: You Know What Happened Afterwards

Gold has been dropping lately, but that is a very short term view. Please see the various cycles of gold prices:

In particular, the 5 and 10 year charts show a very similar period during the 2008 crisis.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Effects of Eurozone Constraints On Greece: Greek Federation of Athletism Suspends All Operations

This is not good for sports, for young people, and for the kids in Greece. The Greek Federation and Athletism today suspended all its operations after performing an emergency meeting. The decision was made because of cuts in government funding and represents the last act in the financial crisis facing the country over the past three years.

A text of the decision on Wednesday, released after the emergency meeting of the federation board, explained that the suspension is indefinite. The decision suspending all athletics competitions in the country, including a competition that was scheduled for May 12.

Initially, the suspension does not affect international competitions such as the London Olympics, but members of the federation will meet again in two weeks, when they can harden their position if the government fails to act. "We call the sports leadership to intervene and avoid the deadlock and economic disintegration of athletics," the federation said in a statement.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Spain's Youth Unemployment Now Exceeds 50%

The unemployment rate in Spain is the largest in all Europe, and among young people it has exceeded 50%, Something that had not happened since at least 1986, from which the data of this research are available on Eurostat's office statistics of the European Union.

More than half (50.5%) of the Spaniards up to 25 years were unemployed in February. This figure shows that the labor market for young people in Spain is already so difficult as those of Greece, where the rate is 50.4%.

Unemployment map, for both youth and general population:

Chart from O Estado de Sao Paulo.

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