Financial News and Notes 9/12/11 – 9/17/11

Economy

-Merkel reassured markets by announcing that Greece would not be forced into bankruptcy or to leave the Euro-zone.  9/14
-Median household income fell for the third year in a row to $49,445 in the U.S. and when adjusted for inflation approximates the 1996 level.  The amount of Americans living below the poverty line increased to 15.1% of the population.  9/14
-August retail sales were flat adding more support for the global slowdown.  9/15
-Manufacturers’ production increased 0.5% in August.  9/16
-Economist now put the chance of the U.S. falling into another recession at 33%.  9/16
-Initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week by 11,000.  9/16
-Inflation rose 0.4% in August. 9/16
-The worlds’ top central banks collectively offered Europe’s banks easy access to dollars to subdue concerns that Europe’s banks could fall victim to the sovereign debt crisis.  9/16
-U.S. firms continue to stockpile cash in the second quarter, while household’s net worth dropped.  The two items are seen as two of the larger items holding back the economy.  9/17

Corporate

-European banks have tapped the ECB for US dollars to fund loans to US consumers and companies and past borrowings.  Meanwhile some clients began to look beyond banks outside the Euro-zone for loans on concerns of their health.  9/15
-Moody’s downgraded French banks Credit Agrilcole’s and Societe Generale’s long term debt with a negative outlook.  9/15
-Research in Motion’s earnings plummeted 59% over their most recent quarter as BlackBerrys and their tablet computer fell short of projections.  9/16
-A trader at UBS caused a $2 billion loss for the investment bank, which is one of the largest losses due to trading ever.  Questions arose about the risk management measures in place at the firm and whether UBS would attempt to spin off the investment bank.  9/16
-A 31 year old trader was charged with fraud by UK authorities after an alleged trading scheme went unfound for 3 years.  UBS upped the estimated losses on the trades to $2.3 billion.  9/17

Market

-Global equity markets rose for the 4th straight day on news of world central bank support for Europe.  The Dow and S&P 500 rose 1.7%.  9/16
-Jefferson County Alabama was able to reach an agreement that will avoid the largest Municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  9/17
-U.S. stocks surged over the week amidst increased hopes that Europe will be able to contain the debt crisis.  The Dow rose 4.7% for the week.  The Nikkei was up 1.4% and Europe was up 2.5%.  9/17

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