Sunday, 2 September 2012

Weekly Update - September 2.2012

Weekly update

Well, it’s been an interesting week before the Americans put away their white shirts and everyone prepares for what the French call “la rentrée” – going back to school and returning from vacation.
  • Gold prices continued to increase ($ 1691.50/ barrel) given the speculation that the Feds will be expanding their stimulus to combat unemployment.
  • Oil rose to $96.47 a barrel as the threat of Hurricane Isaac moves toward the Gulf of Mexico and an explosion which closed Venezuela’s largest refinery. Commodities are soaring as they have beaten equities, the dollar and bonds for a second consecutive month.
  • China is showing signs of slow down as manufacturing orders have shrank and banks have reported a 27% jump in overdue loans at the five biggest banks.  This could be the first time that the growth target (7%) set by the Communist Party might be missed – a phenomenon that has not happened since 1998.
  •   In the States the battle to secure votes between Obama and Romney continues as Romney challenged Obama’s failure to create jobs given the 8% unemployment rate in the states.  Obama countered criticism by emphasizing Romney’s “big on platitudes but short on ideas”campaign as Romney is offering rate cuts but failing to provide details.
  • Romney's Bain Capital on the other hand has been under the scrutiny of New York's attorney general into an investigation on whether it has deprived the state of tax revenue. 
  • The European crisis continues to affect Spain (25% unemployment) and its ability to borrow money.  The country is unable to fund itself at the current cost of borrowing (6.83%) according to Rajoy, Spanish Prime Minister.  Higher taxes are inevitable and austerity measures will equal 15% of GDP by 2014. 
  • On a lighter note but still serious note, as students are preparing to go back to school, about 125 students at Harvard University are being investigated for cheating on a final take-home exam earlier on the year.  The class is “ Government- Introduction to Congress” and it is suspected that electronic communication is part of the plagiarizing.
  • Speaking of technology and cheating, Apple accused Samsung of copying its products and infringing Apples’s patents.  What exactly are these partents one might wonder..Well, it’s things such as “pinch to zoom, rounded edges on phones, apps listed in a grid format”.  In any case, Samsung owes Apple over $1 billionin damages.

On that note, students - cheating is not worth it! 

Anna Nepravishta.

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