Monday, January 14, 2008

More Good News! (Depending on your positions)

Citigroup is learning a small lesson in operating in different economies internationally, with an emphasis on command economies. The Chinese government, according to the English reporting from Reuters, is sticking its fingers in the pie, so to speak, and putting the brakes on any capital infusion from China Development Bank (CHDB). According to this report (Chinese, 中文) from, the Deputy Chairman of the PRC's Ministry of Finance, Li Yong (李勇) indicated that he was not previously informed of the deal, but that it would be decided upon in the same manner as similar investments. On Sunday, Mr. Yong admitted that he had no understanding of the situation surrounding this type of investment, but that China Investment Corp. (中文) should not meddle in the business decision-making of the CHDB. This signal from the Finance Ministry will probably mean that the deal will be delayed slightly, pending further developments. As of publishing Citigroup was down and trading very actively. Oh, and the Mighty "C" is looking to save $10 billion in cash, lay off about 20,000 workers, and make $24 billion more in writedowns!

The deal is certain to escalate the debate over whether overseas sovereign wealth funds should be allowed to take a more active role in the financial markets in the form of capital infusions. However, considering the cash-strapped situation domestically, there are few alternatives, lest large financial institutions flirt with insolvency.

Add Sears to the list of retailers who didn't have a great holiday season. How much more coal is there to go around? And what does 2008 bode?

What will the Fed decide today? Will they go for broke and announce a full point decrease in the rate to defy analysts' predictions, or will it be a, relatively conservative at this point, .5% increase? Inflation will be the key word at the meeting today, so they might be hesitant to play fast and loose with M3 growth during a recession.

Also, here is a look at the bubbly nature of the economy and why this bubble is more dangeerous this most.

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