European Union (EU) leaders formally endorsed Italy's Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB) on Friday. "The European Council has just agreed on the appointment of Mario Draghi as new president of the European Central Bank," EU President Herman Van Rompuy said in his twitter posting. Securing decisive support from EU leaders, Draghi, current Italian central bank governor, would take the reins of the ECB during the next eight years after Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet ends his term in October. EU finance ministers were expected to finalize the approval procedure in July. The appointment was approved after France and Italy resolved a dispute concerning the ECB's six-member executive board in last-minute talks. With Draghi's appointment, the ECB's executive board would have two Italians, but there would be no French. Paris had pressed for an early departure of Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, another Italian currently on the board, whose eight-year term should end in … [Read more...] about EU leaders endorse Mario Draghi as ECB president
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A rally in U.S. crude oil prices recently has put the market on its firmest footing since the rout started in 2014, with the spread between prices for near-term delivery and future delivery narrowing, suggesting the worst of the supply glut may be over. Used oil barrels are seen outside a garage in Cuevas del Becerro, near Malaga, southern Spain February 16, 2015. Oil prices in global markets have been lifted in the past week by news of falling U.S. production and output disruptions in Canada and Nigeria. The production cuts are seen helping to rebalance a market awash with excess crude oil, pushing up prices for NYMEX June futures delivery CLc1 up as much as 11 percent in the last four days. It settled on Monday at $47.72 a barrel. Traders are watching the relationship between futures contracts expiring later this year and similar contracts … [Read more...] about Oil rally suggests supply worries wane, but for how long?
For China and India, 2015 should be a pivotal year. Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have for months been making grand pronouncements about structural change, while moving only timidly to fulfill them. With oil dropping below $50 a barrel, some of the urgency to implement those painful reforms is sure to fade away. So too, however, will the excuses for not acting. Across Asia, the lowest crude prices since 2009 are an almost unmitigated boon. Already, they've given Indonesia and Malaysia room to curb budget-busting fuel subsidies (although Malaysia, an energy exporter, will suffer from a drop in oil revenues). In Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, sliding energy costs stand to boost disposable incomes, household demand and corporate profits. Economist Glenn Maguire at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group thinks this "confidence multiplier" will lead to higher-than-expected growth. The drop in oil prices so … [Read more...] about Cheap oil is rich opportunity for Asia
Chinese President Xi Jinping is pushing changes that may be the most sweeping since Deng Xiaoping’s liberalization to loosen government controls in everything from energy pricing to banking. Chinese President Xi Jinping said the nation needs to adapt to a “new normal” in the pace of economic growth and remain “cool-minded” amid a slowdown that analysts forecast will lead to the weakest expansion since 1990. China’s growth fundamentals haven’t changed and the country is still in a “significant period of strategic opportunity,” Xi said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report on the central government website on May 10. At the same time, the government must prevent risks and take “timely countermeasures to reduce potential negative effects,” he said. China’s policy makers are trying to keep economic expansion from slipping below Premier Li Keqiang’s 2014 target of about 7.5 percent while reining in a … [Read more...] about Xi says China must adapt to ‘new normal’ of slower growth
Credit Suisse is the largest bank to plead guilty to criminal charges in 20 years after a long-running case against the Swiss bank for helping Americans skip out on taxes. Conway G. Gittens of Reuters reports. Credit Suisse on Monday became the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a US criminal charge, and will pay a $2.5 billion fine to authorities for helping Americans evade taxes, Attorney General Eric Holder said. But the Swiss bank escaped the worst for its business - its top management stayed in place, and the New York state bank regulator said it had decided not to revoke the bank's license in the state. US prosecutors said the bank helped clients deceive US tax authorities by concealing assets in illegal, undeclared bank accounts, in a conspiracy that spanned decades, and in one case began more than a century ago. "This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law," Holder said at a news conference in Washington. The … [Read more...] about Credit Suisse escapes worst as it pleads guilty to US charges