A Weekly Digest of The World's Financial Press

Forbes

If Latin America and Canada adopted the dollar, it could benefit the United States

THE VALUE of a dollar should not be lessened because of political mistakes. Dollarising the Americas would place an obligation on us to keep the buck steady. Bluntly put, the Federal Reserve uses no reliable gauge to determine if it is providing the markets with a sufficient, non-inflationary or non-deflationary supply of money.

The price of gold is as good a gauge as any. Today's price is 18 per cent below two years ago. The Fed is inadvertently putting its thumb on the world's windpipe. This is one reason we are seeing global currency turbulence and low commodity prices.

- Comment

Barron's

On the factors behind the Dow Jones' surge towards the 10,000 mark last week

WHAT FUELLED the surge last week were growing signs that crude producers were feeling enough pain to firm up oil prices. And when oil prices popped, so did oil and oil-service stocks. Just in time to take up the leadership slack created by the faltering techs.

[But] higher oil prices have a dark side as well, notably for fixed- income securities. When oil prices go up, fears of inflation stir and bonds sag. We don't want to be a party pooper, but a rally in yields might not be precisely the right stuff for a continuing rally in stocks.

- Alan Abelson, Up & Down Wall St

Business Week

On why the banana wars between America and Europe are not a joke

A UNIFIED Europe must shoulder global responsibilities commensurate with a new global attitude. Right now, the US is the sole economic locomotive for growth. Its huge trade deficit absorbs the exports of Asia and Latin America. Europe, in contrast, is running a $100bn trade surplus. It is unseemly therefore for the EU to defy World Trade Organisation rulings with a wink and a nod. It may be that the WTO should streamline its enforcement mechanisms. But in its short life, it has proved its value time and again. End the banana war before something serious happens.

- Editorial

Wall St Journal

From Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders in the Berkshire Hathaway investment company

THERE IS an intriguing disclosure in the annual report of Mr Buffett's publicly traded investing vehicle: CitiGroup, the huge financial concern formed in October through the merger of banking giant Citicorp and insurer Travelers Group, didn't make the list of Berkshire's largest stockholdings.

The omission means that during 1998 Berkshire either dumped at least some of its billion-dollar Travelers holding in advance of the merger, or, alternatively, sold some or all of the roughly 1 per cent Citigroup stake it received when the merger closed.

- Heard on the Street

Financial news

On why internet-based `day traders' are not to blame for overvalued stock markets

SMALL PRIVATE investors trading online cannot significantly move share prices. It is the institutions which, with their vast reserves of cash, cause markets to move.

Agreed, there may be some private online traders who effectively gamble on stocks, as they would at the roulette wheel. In any event, gamblers limit their influence. If they win, no one complains.

If they lose, they remove themselves from the game. The only losers who do not get removed are the ones bailed out by Alan Greenspan's Federal Reserve.

- Alpesh Patel

Newsweek

Oskar Lafontaine's resignation as German Finance Minister will change the EU's direction

LAFONTAINE saw the EU as powerful enough to turn back the tide of raw capitalism. But as Germany's business leaders know, the market's power grows by the day. Their competitors keep pushing them. And so they pushed Lafontaine.

Look for the EU experiment to return quickly to the conservative lines of tight budgets and extremely low inflation. Expect a third way that is less social and more market-oriented. Think of it as the `2.1 way' - a slightly updated version of the familiar capitalist software.

- Richard Medley, chairman of Medley Global Advisors

The Economist

BNP's hostile bid for two other French banks does not herald consolidation in the industry

IN AMERICA and Britain, once banks have launched a merger, they can set about closing branches and sacking staff; this, indeed, is often the rationale for the deal. This is not the case in most European countries. Hence the pains to which Societe Generale and Paribas went to emphasise there would be few, if any, job cuts domestically. And hence the pains that BNP has gone to now to say the same. Every European country seems to want strong banks, but until they can live with lay-offs, foreign shareholders and less nationalistic regulation, they will be disappointed.

- Leader column

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003