Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/12 - Debt Costs Swell in China, Gold Smuggling Rises in 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11:16 AM

Economy

France risks ‘serious blow’ to financial credibility

He said France’s debt level was in the “danger zone”, adding that a 1 percentage point rise in interest rates would add €2bn a year to an annual interest charge already running at €52bn.

More arrests in Venezuela protests, Maduro slams 'coup-seekers'

Maduro, who constantly says conservative U.S. politicians are fomenting plans to topple him, vowed to use decree powers granted by parliament against his domestic foes.

"I'm going to look for very strict norms so that anyone involved in these coup-seeking adventures can never participate as a candidate for anything again," he said.

Puerto Rico economy shrinks for 13th straight month - govt data

Puerto Rico's economy in December contracted for a 13th straight month compared to a year earlier, government data showed on Tuesday, suggesting the island is no closer to exiting a multi-year recession.

Perils Mount As Debt Costs Swell in China

Driven by a surge in borrowing in recent years, Chinese companies amassed an estimated $12.1 trillion of debt at the end of last year, according to Standard & Poor's.

In June 2012, Evergreen paid 4.64% when it borrowed 400 million yuan ($66 million) for one year. Seven months later, issuing one-year debt cost it 6.13%. In December, it had to pay 9.90% to borrow the same amount,

'Backdoor bailout' boosts Puerto Rico's revenues

Those totals are roughly equal to the interest costs on Puerto Rico's $70 billion in outstanding debt, said Kotok. "Imagine what would happen if it didn't get the subsidy," he said, calling the arrangement uncertain. "How can you expect anyone to make an investment?"

S&P Outlook Portends Mounting Risk to Fund Flows: Turkey Credit

Turkey may be one downgrade away from losing access to billions of dollars in bond flows.

Standard & Poor’s reduction of Turkey’s credit outlook to negative last week signals mounting risk that Moody’s Investors Service or Fitch Ratings will return the country to junk. The loss of an investment-grade ranking from either could trigger selling by funds that track bond ratings, according to Cagdas Dogan at BGC Partners Inc.

Gold smuggling rises in 2013-14, no plans to cut duty: Govt (India)

The enforcement agencies during the first nine months of 2013-14 have seized 1,074.41 kg of gold as against 326.23 kg seized during the entire 2012-13 fiscal, Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Detroit's bankruptcy pension deal could dim golden years

In the late 1990s, the number of retirees surpassed the number of active employees in Detroit. Now, there are 9,400 city workers, less than half the number of retirees. The city’s tax base has plummeted to $9.4 billion from $14.7 billion in 1980.

“I don’t think the question ever arose: Was this system sustainable? It isn’t,” she said.

Can the government get us to save more for retirement?

Last year, 46% of workers had less than $10,000 saved for retirement, according to a 2013 report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Meanwhile, around half of all workers and the majority of part-time workers didn't receive any retirement benefits at all from their employer, making it even more difficult for them to save.

Crashes rise at red-light camera spots, report shows (Florida)

The report also found that fine collections have increased 200 percent since 2010, with the state and local governments taking in $119 million in the last budget year. Some $56 million of that total goes to city and county governments, which share the revenue with the red-light camera companies.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/11/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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