Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Greek debt talks fail to find solution

The International Monetary Fund annual meetings wrapped up in Washington on Sunday with widespread concern over the eurozone sovereign debt crisis but no immediate consensus on the solution.

Participants said they were waiting for the ratification of the action plan agreed on July 21 by the eurozone, particularly by the German Bundestag this week, before starting serious negotiations on increasing the rescue fund's firepower or asking for a bigger writedown in private sector holdings of Greek debt.

Meanwhile, Greece continued to insist it would not default, despite widespread private pessimism among attendees at the meetings.

Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, on Sunday criticised suggestions among some G20 officials about revisiting a planned rescheduling of private bondholdings -- a central part of a planned second eurozone-IMF rescue package for Greece agreed in principle on July 21. more
0 Comments | More→

Greek finance minister: 'Whatever it takes' (to rob the citizens blind?)

Speaking in Washington at an international banking conference, Evangelos Venizelos said Sunday that his country will do "whatever it takes" to meet its financial obligations.

"Greece wants to make it and will make it," Venizelos told members of the Institute of International Finance. "We are ready to take the necessary initiatives, at any political cost."

But the cost is "very expensive," he added, saying that Greece should not be a "scapegoat" for the broader sovereign debt problems in Europe.

Greece has been struggling to dig itself out a deep hole for well over a year, with limited success. The government in Athens came to the brink of default last year, and again in July, before being rescued by other European nations and the International Monetary Fund.

While then nation's debt load is nearly twice the size of its economic output, Venizelos said Greece makes up a tiny fraction of the overall debt burden of the overall euro-zone. more
0 Comments | More→

Gold dispensing ATMs arrive in China

China’s wealthy now can get up to 2.5 kilograms of gold via ATMs in the city’s upscale clubs and private banks, state media reported.

The machines made their debut in a Beijing shopping district on Sunday, according to AFP. Limit for maximum withdrawal is set at 1 million yuan, or about $157,000 worth of gold. Cash or credit card accepted.

The machines, manufactured by TG-Gold-Super-Markt.De in Germany, first debuted in Europe in 2009 and by late 2010 arrived in the U.S.

Since the credit crisis, the value of gold has skyrocketed as a safe haven investment choice, selling for just over $500 an ounce in 2007 to recently cresting near a record high of $1,900 per ounce in August.

However, the timing of the new ATMs for China’s nouveau riche could be better. In recent days gold prices have plummeted, dropping $100 on Friday alone – the steepest drop since 1980. more
0 Comments | More→