Posts Tagged ‘Travel and Tourism’

Betting On The FED

In High Frequency Trading, Law & Regulations, Quantitative Finance on 11.10.10 at 21:55

European credit indices comfortably outperformed their equity counterparts, Monday, in a session where volumes were diminished by the Columbus Day holiday in the US. Spreads continued to feel downward pressure amid expectations that the next stage of quantitative easing is close to a formality, according to Markit Financial Information.

“The Greek bailout was unpopular with the prudent German public, and Chancellor Angela Merkel would probably be wary of granting Greece any more leeway.”

Gavan Nolan

“An unsatisfactory outcome from the weekend IMF meeting had little impact on spreads. China categorically rejected criticisms of its exchange rate policy, instead highlighting the loose monetary policy of the US. But the prospect of a currency war and beggar-thy-neighbour policies has less resonance with investors than the FED’s liquidity pump, though this may well change if the rhetoric becomes more aggressive.” vice president Gavan Nolan at Markit Credit Research writes in his daily alert.

A weaker than forecast non-farm payrolls report on Friday – not normally a catalyst for spread tightening – only served to firm up the consensus that the Federal Reserve will further expand its balance sheet before the end of the year.

The IMF was also at the centre of the main notable movement today.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF managing director, says that the agency might be willing to extend its bailout loans to Greece beyond 2013.

Germany quickly issued a statement that made it quite clear that they would be unhappy with such an extension.

“The Greek bailout was unpopular with the prudent German public, and Chancellor Angela Merkel would probably be wary of granting Greece any more leeway,” Nolan notes.

Nonetheless, the news caused Greece’s spreads to tighten significantly and the sovereign market performed strongly throughout most of the day.

  • Markit iTraxxEurope 97.75bp (-4), Markit iTraxx Crossover 454bp (-15)
  • Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe 141.5bp (-4.5)
  • Markit iTraxx Senior Financials 119bp (-4.5)
  • • Sovereigns – Greece 695bp (-25), Spain 208bp (-9), Portugal 383bp (-13), Italy 177bp (-7), Ireland 425bp (-5), Belgium 123bp (-1)
  • BP 141bp (-1)


Name Sector Volume Turnover €
NYSE EURONEXT Financials 134,000 2,767,803
STHREE Industrials 306,519 1,082,256
LONDON MINING PLC Basic Materials 160,995 600,862
MUNTERS Industrials 72,709 594,258
NOVAE GROUP Financials 109,369 434,557
REPOWER SYSTEMS Industrials 3,009 352,655
TOM TAILOR HOLDING Consumer Goods 24,350 339,454
CARL ZEISS MEDITEC Health Care 26,852 327,594
JUMBO Consumer Goods 60,000 318,000
A.G. BARR Consumer Goods 20,377 278,735

Top 10 ETF

Name Volume Turnover €
DJ STOXX 600 OPTIMISED BANKS SOURCE ETF 1,484,920 105,929,455
DB X TRACKERS – DJ EURO STOXX 50 ETF 683,510 19,329,663
DB X-TRACKERS ETF DJES50 1C EUR NPV 500,000 14,965,000

Top 10 Trades

Name Sector Volume Turnover €
BBVA Financials 30,000,000 298,198,786
BANCO SANTANDER Financials 10,000,000 94,300,003
GECINA Financials 1,000,000 86,000,000
BAYER Basic Materials 627,772 33,410,027
UMICORE Basic Materials 1,000,000 33,410,000
BANCO POPULAR ESPANOL Financials 6,500,000 30,225,001
SNAM RETE GAS Oil & Gas 5,461,000 20,383,183
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Telecoms 2,000,000 19,827,999
DEUTSCHE POST Industrials 1,500,000 19,755,000
NOKIA Technology 2,500,000 19,400,001

Major Movers

Name Sector Volume Volume (T-1) % Change
BBVA Financials 70,895,504 4,217,845 1581%
BANCO POPULAR ESPANOL Financials 13,864,888 1,397,678 892%
INFINEON TECHNOLOGY Technology 8,062,722 1,363,419 491%
TELECOM ITALIA Telecoms 22,312,682 7,974,433 180%
HIKMA PHARMACEUTICALS Health Care 3,769,365 1,350,926 179%
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Telecoms 9,896,973 4,574,373 116%
DEUTSCHE POST Industrials 5,059,129 2,665,023 90%
BT Telecoms 6,625,224 3,844,888 72%
ITV Consumer Services 14,370,746 9,156,002 57%
SNAM RETE GAS Oil & Gas 31,393,314 21,017,338 49%

Welcome To The Euro, Estonia! Here's Your 4,5% Extra Risk Premium

In Financial Markets, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 25.06.10 at 00:00

As some might have noticed, the euro zone – also known as EZ16 – has now become EZ17. It happened last week, as Estonia officially joined the European disaster zone. And the financial markets gave their official approval this week by kicking the price on Estonian CDS’ up by 4,45%. The Baltic Euro newbee moves straight in among the Top 8 countries with the highest risk of default.

“Joining the euro is a status issue for countries seeking to cement their position at Europe’s top table.”

Simon Tilford

The funniest thing is that the first, and almost the only, newspaper outside the Baltic region  reporting the historical event was The New York Times; on Thursday June 17th the representatives of the 27 European countries hailed the sound economic and financial policies that had been achieved by Estonia in recent years, and signed the paper that authorize Estonia to shift from the kroon to the euro on January 1th 2011.

For the leaders of the bloc, expanding the euro zone to 17 nations is tantamount to a show of confidence at an inauspicious time for the battered euro, which has lost about 13 percent of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year, James Kanter writes in the NYT,

With a debt crisis that appears to be spreading from Greece to Spain, membership for the country, Estonia, might seem more like a curse than a blessing.

There has been speculations about the countries might change its mind and abandon the single currency, and some have doubts that Estonia is even ready for the move.

“Maintaining low inflation rates in Estonia will be very challenging,” the European Central Bank warned last month.

Still, the euro remains among the strongest currencies in the world, and membership opens the door to a club with global influence.

For small and unsure countries on the fringes of the European Union, it doesn’t get much better than this – no matter the mounting downsides for countries already on the inside.

Political Prestige

Estonia becomes the third ex-Communist state to make the switch to the euro, after Slovenia and Slovakia, and the first former Soviet republic to do so.

Membership is also an important signpost that a country is on the way to achieving Western European standards of living, an important goal for a former Soviet republic like Estonia that has long been eager to develop.

“It’s a great day for Estonia,” Andrus Ansip, the Estonian prime minister, told Latvian state radio in an interview.

“We prefer to be inside, to join the club, to be among decision makers.”

And Estonia’s central bank governor, Andres Lipstok, will now be able to take a seat on the European Central Bank’s powerful council that sets interest rates.

Sheer Bloody-Mindedness

“Joining the euro is a status issue for countries seeking to cement their position at Europe’s top table,” says Simon Tilford, chief economist for the Center for European Reform, a research organization based in London.

“But you also could call it sheer bloody-mindedness of Estonia to join now with the outlook for the currency so uncertain,” Tilford says according to NYT.

With a total output of about $17 billion, the Estonian economy is tiny.

It’s placed as the sixth poorest country among the (now) 28 EU nations.

Public debt in Estonia is currently estimated at an annual 7.2% of GDP –  a tiny deficit compared to most other countries in the bloc.

And right now it looks like the Estonian government will be able to keep its pledge to the euro.

But note; it looks like it.

According To Schedule

Just two days before the deal was to be sign in Brussels, the Estonian Ministry of Finance published it’s budget figures for the first five months of 2010.

The Ministry of Finance estimated that the Government sector budget deficit by the end of April was 5.1 billion kroons,  or 2.39% of the projected GDP of the year 2010, reports, quoting LETA/Postimees Online.

In five months of 2010 the State budget collected 32.5 billion kroons in revenue while the expenses amounted to 34.6 billion kroons.

The biggest State budget spending in five months are mainly social benefits – 15.3 billion kroons.

2.4 billion kroons were spent on investments. The payments on investments in the first few months of the year were by 10% higher than in the past couple of years due to improvements in the use of foreign aid.

Estonia’s operating expenses in total as well as the human resources spending have fallen, the Ministry of Finance says. And the State’s benefits paid to individuals, the private sector and to other Government authorities are on the same level as last year.

Now – compare that with the projections charted below:

The Estonian unemployment rate has increased by more than 150% between September 30th 2009 and February 19th 2010, to 14,3%, according to Index Mundi.

In addition, the Estonian credit agency, Krediidiinfo, estimates that the number of companies that will go bankrupt this year could amount to 1,700, especially in the construction business, accommodation business and catering business.

That’s up by 700, compared with the 1000 bankruptcies in 2009.

Just to put the topping on the cake; Estonian overdue loans rose in May to the highest level since at least 2008 as troubles in the commercial property industry outweighed improvements in mortgage asset quality, Bloomberg reports.

The share of loans overdue for more than 60 days rose to 7 percent of total credit issued to companies and individuals, compared with 6.7 percent in April, central bank says, according to the

According To Schedule?

In For A Shock?

For the first time in many years, the average wages in Estonia fell (about 5%) in 2009.

Kalev Petti, head of research at Faktum & Ariko, says that othewise optimistic Estonians may become more pessimistic in January 2011 when Estonia adopts the euro.

“When the euro arrives, people and especially older population, will understand how poor they are.”

Petti says that while there were few other factors that are increasing pessimism among the older generation, it must be their feeling about the upcoming euro adoption and fear of prices continuing to rise. Pensioners are uneasy about the euro and the actual transition may cause psychological depression for many, the writes.

I guess the following statement made by Estonia’s prime minister, Andrus Ansip, in a radio interview will not help the situation:

“Our banknotes are more beautiful than euro banknotes.”

According to economists, the preparation to join the euro zone created some disadvantages for Estonia compared with neighboring countries, which enjoy a relative larger degree of flexibility by hanging on longer to their legacy currencies.

Wrong Place – Wrong Time

But that seems to be very, very short-term advantages.

Since last week the price of insuring the Estonian Medium Term Loans has jumped 4,45%, and the spread compared to German CDS’ has widened to nearly 8%.

The price on Estonian Sovereign CDS is now 113,01 basis points. That makes the insurance of Estonian government debt the sixth most expensive in Europe.

Source: Zero Hedge

Still, it a long way to go reach the Greek level that soared to nearly 1.000 basis points today.

Estonia is also an export-driven economy that quickly could be overshadowed by financial difficulties, particularly if the euro zone remains unstable, and neighboring countries like Poland and its Baltic neighbors insist on hanging on to their currencies.

“Investors will only be willing to lend to Estonia on favorable terms if Estonia can continue to compete,” Mr. Tilford, the London economist, says.

“That is where the biggest risks for Estonia now lie.”

Tallin In Trouble

And as all of the above is not enough; the Estonian capital – Tallin – is set to become the European Culture Capital in 2011.

But now, it turns out, that the city may lose 23.5 million kroon granted by the European Union because it has failed to provide Brussels guarantees for financing the culture capital programme, ERR reports, according to

The so-called Mercour prize in the amout of 23.5 million kroons, a direct EU grant, has already been included in this year’s budget revenues of the city, but right now that payment is doubtful.

According to Brussels, if Tallinn wants to secure the funds it needs to submit guarantees by 28 June at the latest when Tallinn is visited by Sir Bob Scott, chairman of the assessment committee.

This is unlikely to happen since the government has not plans to issue any such guarantees before September.

Estonian Minister Laine Jänes, on the other hand, claims that the commission has been informed of such circumstances.

Welcome to the euro disaster zone, Estonia.

And good luck!

Related by the Econotwist:

Estonia: Banks Lost USD 23 million in Q1

Estonia: Something Doesn’t Seem Right

Estonian Newspapers Protesting With Blank Front Page

Businessman To Declare Hunger Strike If Not Paid

An Estonian Mystery

Swedbank Buy Greek Bonds With Estonian Money

Estonia Put Pressure On Journalists


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Goldman Sachs: Good Morning Europe!

In Financial Markets, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 21.06.10 at 10:31

Goldman Sachs seem to have found a new wonder-boy, and perhaps a heir to chief economist Jan Hatzius, in its new Europe analyst Erik Nielsen. At least he got style, a sense  of humor and is just as crazy about soccer as most Europeans. He also show some profound insight on the diversified European economy. Here’s Mr. Nielsen’s thoughts on Europe on a fine Saturday evening in Chiswick.

“With no particular reference to Denmark’s fine victory this evening, I am just wondering what European football would look like had it not been for the smaller countries.”

Erik F. Nielsen

“With no particular reference to Denmark’s fine victory this evening, I am just wondering what European football would look like had it not been for the smaller countries – be it Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, or Serbia … Its certainly difficult to see much hope in England, France, Spain or Italy – or in Germany after that last performance.”

Away from football, these are my thoughts on Europe on this fine evening in Chiswick:

We are through another week of good real-economy data releases and (grudgingly) improving markets.

The EFSF has been formally established. Along with the Commission’s and IMF money, I think it’s a serious defence mechanism which ought to help further stabilise markets.

Stress tests for the banking system will be published next month. Good, because that’s what the market demands, but I worry we might be heading into a disappointment because markets might expect testing against extreme tail-end risks considered as absurd by policymakers.

The ECB has now bought €47bn worth of sovereign debt – still peanuts in any reasonable comparison, but I think they may be looking to wind down the purchases once the EFSF is up and running in July.

The IMF spoke this past week on Greece (okay with program); Spain (happy with policy reforms); and France (marginally critical on fiscal – too polite).

G20 meeting this coming week; I wonder if the heat will turn on Germany now that China has announced a re-introduction of some FX flexibility.

We are heading into PMI-week in the Euro-zone; we are looking for slight improvements.

The UK will see the government’s emergency budget on Tuesday; big budget cuts on their way.

The Swiss National Bank will publish its May balance sheet this week confirming their huge FX-interventions.

In Sweden we’ll get the key KI/NIER economic tendency survey on Wednesday. It’s already at its highest level since August 2007, but we remain shamelessly optimistic.

Poland holds presidential elections tomorrow with a likely second round on July 4. Outcome very important for policies.

The central banks in Norway, Hungary and the Czech Republic will all meet this week to consider their interest rates; we expect all three to leave rates unchanged.

The IMF arrives back in Ukraine on Monday for a week’s talk on how to restart the program. We do not expect agreement this week.

Here’s a copy of the detailed analysis, provided by Zero Hedge.

Related by the Econotwist:

DnB NOR Finds Markets Participants EURNOK Expectations “Remarkable”

Global Economy On Fast Track To Disaster

2010 EU Deficit Exceed 7% – Commission Suggest “Cold Showers”

Fitch: Spanish House Prices To Fall Another 20%

Deficit Crisis: Cyprus, Denmark And Finland Join The Watchlist

Pressure On Spain To Cut More

EU Officials Fears Second Depression And War

EU Prepares For Spanish Bailout, Newspaper Says

EU Deficit Increased By14 Billion Euro In First Quarter Of 2010


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Fitch: Spanish House Prices To Fall Another 20%

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 18.06.10 at 01:29

Fitch Ratings comments today that Spanish house prices will likely continue to decline over the near-term and remain under pressure, at least until 2012. From the peak in 2008, Spanish home prices have declined 11,2% – according to the Fitch analysts the slide is moving towards 30%.

“Fitch estimates that there are over one million units of housing stock available for sale throughout Spain.”

Fitch Ratings

Fitch maintains its forecast of a 30% decline in Spanish residential property values, on average, from the peak recorded in 2008. The agency therefore expects that declining home prices will negatively affect existing Spanish RMBS transactions due to lower recoveries on defaulted loans over the near-term.

“Fitch believes that Spanish house prices remain over-valued relative to income thresholds and need to decline further to improve affordability dynamics,” says Rui Pereira, Managing Director and Head of Fitch’s Spanish Structure Finance in Madrid.

“The supply overhang of unsold homes, more pro-active sales strategies by financial institutions, and reduced credit availability are also expected to weigh on Spanish home prices over the near-term.”

Spanish house prices have gone through a nominal adjustment that statistics from the Ministry of Housing place on a national average of 11.2% for the period Q1 2008 to Q1 2010.

However, Fitch believes this aggregate data does not appropriately reflect current market conditions as the market has become increasingly illiquid.

Compared to their peak in mid-2006, home sales had declined 48% at the end of 2009 on a quarterly basis.

Market illiquidity is weighing on home prices and individuals forced to sell in the current environment are incurring significantly higher price declines than those suggested by the government index.

Fitch’s home price projection, which was included as a baseline scenario in the agency’s RMBS criteria addendum for Spain published on 23 February 2010, was developed based on the evolution of affordability measures in Spain, the house price long term equilibrium and the imbalances of demand and supply.

(For further information, please see the 23 February 2010 criteria addendum, entitled ‘EMEA Residential Mortgages Loss Criteria Addendum-Spain’, which is available at

Spanish borrower affordability suffered significantly during the boom, with the number of years of gross household income necessary to acquire a property growing to 7.7 at the peak of the market from around 3.9 years in 1995-2000.

While there are unique factors in Spain to support a higher income multiple relative to other jurisdictions, including a high home ownership rate at approximately 80%, affordability measures look stretched in absolute and relative terms.

Affordability should be in the range of 5 years of gross household income in order to be sustainable, which would result in a 30% price correction from the 2008 market peak.

Despite a sharp contraction in housing starts, there is a significant oversupply of properties, which will take considerable time to clear. Fitch estimates that there are over one million units of housing stock available for sale throughout Spain.

This overhang results from years of overbuilding, particularly in coastal areas and city suburbs, and banking system housing inventory growth.

Fitch believes there will be significant variations around its average house price decline expectation, reflecting regional housing and economic differentials.

Markets along the Mediterranean coast, with a heavy second home component, are likely to experience the sharpest adjustments.

Here’s a copy of the press release.


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MoonTalk: Want To Buy A Greek Island?

In Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 04.03.10 at 20:44

German politician Josef Schlarmann says Greece should sell some of their 6000 islands, of which only 227 are inhabited. The Greeks are of cource not too found of the idea. What do you think? Should Europe start selling off bits and pieces to the Republic of China?

“We give you money. You give us Corfu.”


Greece could sell some of its islands to raise money to pay off its debt is, several members of the German parliamentarians thinks. “Those that are insolvent must sell everything they have to pay creditors. Greece owns the buildings, businesses and uninhabited islands that could be sold to pay debts,” German politician Josef Schlarmann says.

Vice Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas is not impressed with the proposal to sell some of the 6 000 Greek islands, of which only 227 are inhabited.

“I have heard the proposals. Such proposals are not appropriate at this time,” he told the German television channel ARD television.

What do you think?

Should a bankrupt state be able to sell off land to pay their debt?

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Norway's GDP Fall For First Time In 20 Years

In Financial Markets, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics on 18.02.10 at 16:10

Norway‘s annual gross domestic product (GDP) measured in constant prices fell for the first time in 20 years. Both GDP and GDP Mainland fell by 1.5 per cent from 2008 to 2009, the national bureau of statistics, SSB, reports.

“Increased activity in general government contributed positively throughout 2009 and helped offset the downturn in the Norwegian economy.”

Statistics Norway

The downturn in the mainland economy started in the 3r d quarter of 2008 and continued throughout the 1st quarter of 2009. The drop in activity seized in the second quarter, and the last three quarters of 2009 shows a slight increase in economic growth.

From the 3rd to the 4th quarter, the growth in GDP Mainland Norway was 0.3 per cent. Export led industries and wholesale and retail trade contributed strongly to the drop in activity in the beginning of 2009, while business services was the main source of dampened growth in the second half of the year.

“Increased activity in general government contributed positively throughout 2009 and helped offset the downturn in the Norwegian economy,” the Norwegian bureau of statistics, SSB, says in it’s quaterly national accounts report, Thursday.

Increased Goods Production

Value added in manufacturing rose by 1.0 per cent in the 4th quarter, with production of basic chemicals and metals being the main contributors.

A decline beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2008 and continuing throughout the 2nd quarter of 2009 however, led to a fall in manufacturing by 5.8 per cent for 2009 as a whole.

“The decline may be tied to a drop in both domestic and foreign demand. The exemption was record high investments in oil and gas extraction which fuelled activity in parts of manufacturing industries.”

An increase in the production of electricity as well as fishing and fish farming contributed to a growth rate of 0.9 per cent in the production of other goods in the 4th quarter. Reduced activity in construction dampened the growth.

For 2009 as a whole, value added in production of other goods was reduced by 3.8 per cent.

Slowdown In Service Activities

Production in service producing industries fell by 0.1 per cent in the 4th quarter and dampened growth of GDP Mainland Norway. Financial intermediation and business services were the main sources of the negative numbers, while transport industries and wholesale and retail trade contributed positively.

“For 2009 as a whole, growth in service industries dropped by 1.0 per cent, mainly due to a sharp decline in business services, wholesale and retail trade and transport industries.”

Link: Statistics Norway

Protracted, But Moderate Recession

Activity in the Norwegian economy is likely to continue picking up, but no clear upswing is anticipated before the end of 2012. ” Several years of increased unemployment and only moderate wage growth are therefore in the cards,” the Norwegian bureau of statistics writes in a trend analysis.

The financial crisis, which hit with full force in the autumn of 2008, led to a major slump in the global economy and intensified the downturn in Norway. The decline was however limited by strong political intervention in the finance markets and expansive monetary and fiscal policies.

“Both the Norwegian and the global economies have been growing for a while now, but there is not expected to be a strong recovery in the next few years.”

Here’s the full analysis.

Related by the Econotwist:

Central Bank of Norway raise interest rate again

Norway’s Prime Minister Fears Social Unrest

Update: 1920-similarities

Norwegian Up- and Downgrades

Fighting The Reality

Fear Of Norwegian Housing Market Collapse

Norway Economic Update – “Partly Grim”

Norway: Key Policy Rate Remains Unchanged

Fears “Dutch Disease” In Norway

Nordic Central Banks Agree On Baltic Bank Bailout

The Northern Lights (And Dark)

How To Make A Rat Look Like A Puppy

Final Words Of A Central Banker

DnB NOR: “Comprehensive System Failure”

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Extreme Weather Around The Globe

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 05.01.10 at 22:55

The last 24 hours reports on extreme cold and snowfall has been coming from all over the world – from The Sunshine State in the U.S. to the tropic streets of Seoul. Energyprices are rising, future contracts on orange juice are surging and people are starting to burn old books to keep warm.

“The spiralling cost of energy means heating homes has become a luxury rather than a necessity for many people – particularly the elderly, low paid and unemployed.”

Ruth Davison

(Article in Norwegian, links to sources in English)

Det meldes om rekordkulde fra Florida til Seoul. Det ekstreme været får nå sosiale, kulturelle og økonomiske konsekvenser. Energiprisene skyter i været, transportsystemer lammes, og folk er begynt å brenne gamle bøker for å holde varmen.

Det siste dagene er det kommet meldinger fra så å si alle deler av verden om ekstrem kulde og rekordstore snømengder.

I solstaten Florida meldes det om mulighet for nattefrost. Noe som er svært uvanlig.

Florida er verdens nest største produsent av appelsinjuice. Frost i jorden – bare noen timer – kan gjøre store ødeleggelser i appelsinavlingene. Prisen på fremtidskontrakter for frossen appelsinjuice fra Florida hoppet 90 prosent på derivatbørsen i Chicago mandag, melder Bloomberg News.

Også energiprisene stiger på spekulasjoner om større forbruk.

Se gårsdagens værmelding fra CNN her.

Stanser transport

Flere store flyplasser verden over har måtte stenge i perioder på grunn av rekordstore mengder snø.

I nordlige Kina nærmere det seg den laveste tempereaturen på 50 år.

I Bejing er det ventet er temperatur på minus 16 grader (C).

Flere skoler er stengt på grunn av voldsomt snøfall og snøen har skapt problemer for transporten av kull til flere store kullkraftverk.I Shandong-provinsen har man bare energi for ni dagers forbruk.
Fra Seoul i Sør-Korea meldes om det kraftigste snøfallet på 75 år. Flytrafikken og annen trasport har store problemer. 3600 sivile og 5000 soldater er kalt ut for å rydde snø, ifølge AP.

I løpet av mandag falt det 28 centimeter snø, det meste siden målingene startet i 1937.

Her er en rapport fra India.

(Kilde: Al Jazeera)

Svake rammes

Det meldes om en lang rekke dødsfall, de fleste trafikkrelaterte.

Men det meldes også om folk som er uten vann og strøm, og som tar nye metoder i bruk for å holde varmen.

En bruktbokhandler i Swansea i England melder at stadig flere pensjoniser strømmer til butikken for å sikre seg gamle stor tykke bøker som brensel fordi det er mye billigere enn kull.

“Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves. A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night,” forteller en bustikkassistent til

En bok på en halv kilo kan kjøpes for så lite som 5 pence, mens en 20 kilos sekk med kull koster 5 pund.

Ruth Davison i den britiske National Housing Federation sier at de økende energikostnadene gjør at oppvarming er blitt mer luksus enn nødvendighet for mange folk, spesielt blant elder og lavtlønnede og arbeidsledige.

Les også kommentaren: “Øko-logisk regnefeil?

This commentary was written about a year ago, and published first time in the Norwegian weekly paper “Ukeavisen Ledelse” 12th. of February 2009.

“Eco-logical Miscalculations?” (Google-translation in English).

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Den Store Spillegalskapen

In Financial Markets, Health and Environment, International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Views, commentaries and opinions on 03.10.09 at 20:00


For et år siden løfte en rekke prominente forretningsfolk sine moralske pekefingre og fordømte casino-mentaliteten som preget aktørene I finansmarkedet. Siden har spillegalskapen bare økt. Nå driver  pensjonister, studenter og arbeidsledige egne hedgefond fra sofaen hjemme i stuen  med laptoppen på fanget.

Det minner om en global epidemi.  En pandemi av spillegalskap som begynner å få langt større konsekvenser enn noen tapte tusenlapper for dem som er så uheldig å slukke PC’en på feil tidspunkt.

En daytrader er en privatperson som kjøper og selger valuta eller verdipapirer kontinuerlig for å spekulere i de daglige svingningene på børsen. En typisk daytrader gjennomfører rundt 50 transaksjoner på en dag, men antallet kan lett bli mye høyere.

Daytrading er ikke lenger en aktivitet som bedrives av en liten gruppe semiprofesjonelle investorer med en viss grad av kunnskap og erfaring med børs og finans.

102 handler på én dag

Direktør Bjørn Sibbern hos intenettmegleren Etrade forteller til Berlingske Tidende om en dansk daytrader som gjorde 102 handler i Statoil på én dag – det vil si; han kjøpte og solgte den samme aksjen 51 ganger.

The Forex , eller Foreign Exchange er betegnelsen på det uregulerte valutamarkedet som i dag er flyttet ut av gamle banklokaler og meglerhus, og over i cyberspace hvor ingen tilsynsmyndighet i verden aner hva som foregår.

Det er her veksten i nye daytraderne er størst.

Verdens største casino

Valutamarkedet er verdens største marked. I USA er Forex større enn både aksjemarkedet og obligasjonsmarkedet til sammen.

Ifølge nettstedet ligger omsetningen i Forexmarkedet på rundt 1 900 milliarder i døgnet.

Valutahandelen foregår via elektroniske handelsplattformer som knytter sammen banker, meglere og investorer i ett stort nettverk.

Forex-markedet er også i ferd med å utvides til å omfatte både aksjer, fondsandeler, opsjoner og futures.


I USA samles stadig flere arbeidsløse på kaffebarene rundt et par datamaskiner for å spille Forex, rapporterer amerikanske medier.

Pensjonister bytter ut lottokupongene med ny software og hard valuta.

Universitetsstudenter bruker ettermiddagene til å jakte på noen ekstra slanter for å spe på et stadig trangere studiebudsjett.

Men tendensen er global. Over hele verden foregår det i øyeblikket en massiv markedsføring av Forexhandelsprogrammer til hjemmecomputere rettet mot en helt ny målgruppe; arbeidsledige, familieforsørgere, studenter, pensjonister og andre som har liten markedskunnskap, men som lett lar seg lokke av garantier om flere hundre prosent.

Økning på 400 prosent

Det store fokuset på letttjente penger i forbindelse med finanskrisen, og det voldsomme aksjerallyet vi har hatt i år, har ført til at enda flere har kastet seg inn i jakten på lettjente penger.

Tall fra de tre største internettmeglerne i USA viser at transaksjoner utført av daytradere økte med cirka 10 prosent fra i fjor til i år.

Ifølge rapporter fra nettmeglere forskjellige steder i verden står daytradere for mellom 15 og 20 prosent av den totale omsetningen i aksjemarkedet.

CMC Markets norske kunder gjorde 30 000 CFD-transaksjoner (Contract of Difference) i april i år.

Det er en økning på 400 % sammenlignet med april 2008.

CDF-kontrakter er en derivatkontrakt som brukes til å spekulere i aksjekursene. Kjøp av en CDF innebærer at selger må betale kursforskjellen på det underliggende verdipapiret på et avtalt tidspunkt i fremtiden. Hvis differansen blir negativ må derimot kjøper betale denne  til selger.

Da Dansk Aktionærforening  arrangerte sin årlige aksjemesse denne uken måtte de stenge dørene fordi det rett og slett ikke var plass til flere mennesker, forteller direktør Charlotte Lindholm til MetroXpress.

–          Også vår ”aksjeskole” er for tiden fullbooket, legger hun til.

Start ditt eget hedgefond

Forex-annonsene finner du nå på hvert eneste kommersielle nettsted.

Alle med hjemmedatamaskin og internett-tilgang kan delta .

Dataprogrammene kommer med ferdiglagede strategier. Noen fungerer i praksis som et  hedgefond ved å handle opsjoner og skifte mellom kjøps- og salgsopsjoner i takt med indeksenes bevegelser.

Det eneste du trenger å gjøre er å trykke ”enter” når du vil inn eller ut av markedet.

Eller du kan prøve deg som analytiker og spille på enkelt-aksjer.

(Datamaskinen blinker grønt når markedet stiger og rødt når det faller).


Det er en vanlig oppfatning blant eksperter at disse rendyrkede spekulantene har en funksjon i markedet ved at de skaper omsetning og likviditet.

Finanseksperten Gregory J. Millman i investeringsmagasinet Barron’s sammenligner daytraderne med åtseletende mark. Selv om de er ekle, gjør de en god jobb med å fjerne ”daukjøttet”  som er de ”ineffektive” elementene som sinker og svekker markedet, hevder han.


Selv om de utskjelte spekulantene får skylden for det meste, er de en viktige inntektskilde for eiere av markedsplasser og meglere.

Det blir hevdet at på børsene er det en håndfull aksjer som ofte har kurssvingninger på mellom 10 og 20 prosent. De betegnes som ”lotto-aksjer”  – uten innhold og uten fremtid.

– Det er rene spilleaksjer. En type aksjer som kun interessant for dem som er gode til å vinne i lotto, sier konulent Bjarne Jensen.

– Noen investerer for underholdningens skyld. Der er derfor et marked for denne typen aksjer, sier analytiker Henrik Henriksen i Jyske Bank.

Skaper uro

Det blir også hevdet at økningen i daytrading er årsaken til at markedene svinger så mye som de gjør for tiden.

Når et par millioner datamaskiner sender ut kjøps- eller salgsordrer samtidig er det logisk at det får en effekt på priser, samt øker styrken på oppturer og nedturer.

Forskning fra University of Washington bekrefter at det er en sammenheng mellom daytrading og markedsvolatilitet, men ekspertene er uenige om hvor stor effekten er.

Den nye elektroniske High Frequency Trading som de store bankgigantene nå satser stort på har trolig like stor betydning for bevegelsene i markedet som alle de små privatinvestorene til sammen.

Storbankenes HFT-virksomhet er for øvrig en garanti for at daytraderne taper når markedet gjør større bevegelsene.

Skaper spilleavhengighet

Psykiater Hans Olav Fekjær har fått påfallende mange henvendelser fra pårørende som oppfatter at deres nærmeste er spillavhengige av aksjer.

Ifølge Fekjær er det flere fellestrekk mellom spilleavhengige daytradere og andre misbrukere.

Blant annet er en tidlig gevinst ofte en utløsende faktor.

–          De aksjespekulantene jeg har fått henvendelse om har, på samme måte som spillavhengige, gjentatte ganger lovet sine nærmeste å slutte.  Men drømmen om en kvikk løsning på store pengeproblemer har vondt for å slippe taket, så derfor har de «sprukket» igjen, sier han

Ifølge The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) er daytrading den mest avhengighetsskapende formen for spill som finnes.

Skaper tragedier

De er mange eksempler på at daytrading har ruinert folks liv; studenter har måtte droppe studiene etter å ha opparbeidet en enorm gjeld , bestemødre har måtte pantsette alle sine eiendeler for å betale for sin avhengighet og forretningsfolk har begynt å selge narko på si for å dekke sine tap.

–          Vår bekymring går på at det ikke er noen advarsel på ”sigarettpakken”, sier direktør Pat Fowler i FCCG.

Forhandlerne av automatiske Forex-programmer reklamerer med stor fortjeneste, men opplyser ikke noe om risikoen.  Og den er stor.

Situasjonen minner mye om den vi hadde for noen år siden da bankene drev råsalg av kompliserte spareprodukter som ingen skjønte et pip av.

Igjen er myndighetene fullstendig bakpå når det gjelder utviklingen i finansmarkedet.

Resultatet kan bli en uhyggelig økning i antall personlige tragedier.