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Chinese banks issued 551.6 billion yuan ($85.1 billion) of new loans in May, down from 739.6 billion yuan in April and below economists’ expectations of 650 billion yuan, central bank data showed Monday.

[CECON]

Drought Risks Inflation Deluge It will take more than a washed-out holiday weekend to put a smile back on the faces of European farmers—and policy makers. Dry weather in the continent’s northern regions has seriously harmed potential crops, and the feed-through to overall inflation levels is getting harder to ignore.

In Greece, Some See a New Lehman Some warn that a Greek restructuring would set off investor panic, as Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy did in 2008, while others say banks and other institutions can bear any potential losses. The thinking goes like this: though banks and other investors have done much to pare their Greek holdings in the last year, if they are forced to take a loss, and the ratings agencies declare Greece in default, investors would start selling in a panic. And they would not sell just the bonds of countries struggling with debt — Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. In a hasty retreat into cash, traders would unload more liquid assets as well, everything from high-grade corporate bonds to American and emerging market equities — as occurred in 2008 after Lehman failed. (See also LEHMAN’S GREEK BROTHER)

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