Finance news. My opinion.

October 22, 2014

Ukraine, Russia end gas talks without breakthrough

Filed under: lenders, mortgage — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 1:03 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday failed to get a decisive breakthrough in their standoff over gas supplies to Kiev and will resume European Union-sponsored talks next week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukraine counterpart Petro Poroshenko had agreed on a broad thrust of a deal on Friday, but the issues on how, when and how much Ukraine should pay continued to divide the sides.

Kiev asked the EU for an additional loan of 2 billion euro ($2.5 billion) as it struggles to cope with the implications of its energy needs.

“We have made some important progress,” said EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. “We hope they will reach an agreement on a winter package for Ukraine.”

Oettinger added a long-term solution could wait until after the crucial cold months.

The EU Commission said that the Ukraine request for the 2 billion euro loan will be “evaluated in consultation with the IMF and Ukrainian authorities.” However, it insisted that the EU’s executive office “remains very committed to supporting Ukraine in line with earlier commitments payday loans.”

This year already, the EU has agreed on an aid package of 11 billion euros ($14 billion) to boost the economy of a divided nation as it faced fighting in the east and the breakaway of its southern Crimea region to integrate with Russia.

The Russian energy company Gazprom said Friday’s tentative agreement included a promise that Kiev would pay back $3.1 billion by the end of the year. This is where further EU help could be vital.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in the summer over unpaid bills, raising the risks that Ukraine would siphon off gas from the pipeline passing through its territory from Russia to Europe.

Europe is concerned that if Ukraine would do that, Russia could cut off all flows through Ukraine, leaving parts of Europe without supplies in the dead of winter, as has happened in the past.


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October 18, 2014

Harper warns Canadians about spread of Ebola at polio award ceremony

Filed under: business, lenders — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 7:03 pm

Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned about the potential for the spread of Ebola at an award ceremony in Toronto today, saying that much like polio the disease must not be underestimated.

Harper said the current situation with Ebola reminds us that in an age of globalization, global trade and travel, a problem that was once far away from Canada “could arrive at our shores very quickly.” The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa.

Harper was presented with the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication Champion Award for his efforts to eliminate polio globally, and said that in many countries, including Canada, polio was once a “devastating illness” for thousands of people every year but has now been virtually eliminated as a common concern bad credit payday loans.

Harper accepted the award on behalf of the Government of Canada, which he says has championed polio eradication for 25 years and added the world is close to fully eradicating the disease.

He said it was the generosity and support of Canadians that has led to great progress toward the elimination of polio, due to the fact that Canadians have supported the initiative and related efforts on maternal and child and newborn health generously over the past few years.


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October 12, 2014

US says some nations not doing enough on economy

Filed under: debt, legal — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 7:12 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States expressed frustration that a number of countries were not doing enough to boost growth in their economies as finance ministers from the world’s largest economies conveyed determination to prevent a slide into another global recession.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew complained that governments in Europe, Japan and China were failing to deliver needed support.

“European leaders should focus on recalibrating policies to address persistent demand weakness,” Lew said in comments prepared for a session of the policy-setting committee of the International Monetary Fund, which was scheduled to conclude its discussions Saturday.

The policy-setting committee of the World Bank also was to meet, and both groups were expected to return to addressing the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Lew said Japan’s outlook was uncertain with growth projected to remain weak this year and next. He said Japanese officials needed to carefully calibrate budget reductions and “move decisively to implement requisite growth-boosting structural reforms.”

He said China’s economy remained strong but risks had risen and the country needed to put more emphasis on consumption-led growth.

Lew did not mention Germany by name, but it was clear that his remarks on Europe focused on that nation’s reluctance to do more to stimulate growth. “Countries with external surpluses and fiscal flexibility” needed to do more to boost growth, he said. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, ran a large trade surplus last year.

Even some of Germany’s European partners have said countries in the 18-nation euro zone should shift away from the deficit-cutting policies Germany has championed and boost investment spending to avoid being stuck in Japanese- style stagnation.

It was against that background that G-20 finance ministers and central bank presidents met for two days of talks that wrapped up Friday in advance of the IMF-World Bank meetings.

After those discussions, the ministers unveiled plans for a global initiative to build roads, ports, railways and other infrastructure projects to help boost world growth by $2 trillion over the next five years and create millions of jobs.

The G-20 was being led this year by Australia, which was scheduled to host a leader’s summit next month in Brisbane. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who chaired the finance discussions, told reporters that the plan the G-20 group developed involved more than 900 individual initiatives with the potential to lift growth by 1.8 percent over the next five years. He said details would be disclosed at the leaders’ summit.

While developing the five-year plan for infrastructure projects, the G-20 financial officials were less successful in their efforts to deal with immediate threats from slowdowns in Europe, Latin America and China. The group did not issue a communique, but individual ministers said economic problems were discussed in the G-20 sessions.

“We as a group do not want to settle for mediocre growth,” Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver told reporters after the end of the G-20 sessions. “We don’t think we have to.”


Associated Press writers Paul Wiseman and Matthew Pennington contributed to this report.


October 4, 2014

Report: UBS faces $6 billion fine in France

Filed under: loans, marketing — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 4:56 am

BERLIN (AP) — Shares in UBS AG are down after reports the Swiss bank could face a fine of 4.88 billion euros ($6.16 billion) if found guilty of facilitating tax evasion and money laundering in France.

Geneva daily Le Temps on Friday cited prosecution documents obtained by French investigative news site that put the potential penalty for UBS significantly higher than a 1.1 billion euro bond it has had to deposit in the case.

The bank last month accused French authorities of staging “a highly politicized process” that had “not followed elementary facets of the rule of law cash advance no faxing.”

The bank has denied allegations that it helped rich French clients dodge taxes. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

UBS shares were down 1.4 percent at 16.09 Swiss francs ($16.80).


September 30, 2014

Filed under: legal, money — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 10:47 pm

As development has leapfrogged the Greenbelt area north of the GTA into the fast-growing area around Barrie, many farmers have been playing a lucrative game of musical chairs.

They’ve been selling off valuable spreads for development that their families have farmed, in some cases for generations, and been snapping up cheaper land within an hour’s drive where they start all over again.

That double demand, of sorts, for farmland in the South Simcoe area has been “extraordinary,” according to ReMax’s annual farm report released Tuesday. That high-demand stretch, largely along Highway 400, includes Barrie, Tottenham, Innisfil, Springwater and Bradford.

There developers have paid up to $54,000 an acre for hay fields that can be converted to housing. Just down the road – in areas where land is designated solely for farming – prices have also been escalating, but to a relatively affordable $10,000 to $12,000 per acre, says ReMax.

That’s encouraged some long-time farmers to even split their businesses, says former farmer and now ReMax farm specialist George Atkinson: Dad maintains some of the valuable old parcel and sells off the rest to help the kids buy up new, cheaper farms within easy commuting distance so they can share costly farm equipment.

In Kitchener-Waterloo, where prices have started to level off, farmland is now amongst the priciest in the province — $14,000 to $18,000 per acre. That’s also lead to relocations, with some Mennonite families moving to Quinte and Renfrew counties to the northeast. There farmland is a more affordable $8,000 to $12,000 per acre, notes ReMax.

For the most part, the price of farmland across Canada has largely held steady or increased just slightly over 2013, says the report, after years of substantive price escalation.

Alberta, however, has been plagued with the same inventory problem now driving up prices in the Toronto house market: Bidding wars caused by too much demand for too little supply.


September 29, 2014


Filed under: finance, term — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 8:07 am

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September 24, 2014

Deer are pests for airports, threats to pilots

Filed under: money, news — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 11:03 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aviation and wildlife experts say soaring deer populations are nuisances for airports and threats to pilots, especially at this time of year.

Whether driven by hunger or just crazy for love, deer will do seemingly anything to get onto airport grounds and runways, including leaping over tall fences or squeezing under them. But put a deer and a plane together on a runway and both can have a very bad day.

A recent government report says that from 1990 to 2013, there were 1,088 collisions between planes and deer, elk, moose and caribou. Most of the planes suffered damage, and some were destroyed. One person was killed and 29 others injured. About a third of the collisions took place during the October-November mating season.


September 16, 2014

Yellen Rate Raises Seen as Gradual in Survey as Inflation Muted - Bloomberg

Filed under: lenders, marketing — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 8:31 am

Even after five years of steady economic growth, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is likely to raise interest rates only gradually between 2015 and 2017 as inflation remains muted, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Fifty-six percent of 61 economists said the median of policy makers

September 13, 2014

Apple finds Canadian geography confusing

Filed under: house, online — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 2:31 am

TORONTO— Apple seems to be a little confused when it comes to Canadian geography.

Consumers who hit to pre-order one of the company’s new iPhones and clicked on a link about delivery timelines saw an error-riddled map of Canada.

Apple appeared to have mixed up the nation’s capital and Ontario’s capital, and placed Ottawa roughly where Toronto should be on the map paydayloans.

Edmonton is also seen to be northwest of Calgary, instead of northeast.

And Quebec City is mistakenly labelled as Quebec.


September 11, 2014

MasterCard loses EU court battle over fees

Filed under: business, house — Tags: , , , — Professor @ 11:43 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s highest court has thrown out an appeal by MasterCard against a decision by the bloc’s antitrust authority to scrap some of its fees charged to merchants.

The ruling by the 28-nation bloc’s Court of Justice on Thursday closes MasterCard’s seven-year-old battle against a decision made by the EU’s competition watchdog.

The judges in Luxembourg confirmed a 2012 ruling against by a lower EU court, saying the relevant fees cannot be seen as “objectively necessary” since the card system remains “capable of functioning without those fees.”

The so-called multilateral interchange fees on every card transaction were retained by the card-issuing bank and charged to merchants.

MasterCard is based in Purchase, New York.


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