August 12, 2012 |
HONG KONG - Gloomy economic reports from Asian nations show that Europe's debt crisis and the global downturn are weighing on the region even as governments respond with extra spending and lower lending rates. Hong Kong and Singapore, financial centers highly exposed to global trade, reported weak second-quarter GDP on Friday, the same day figures from China showed its trade slowed more than forecast in July. China, the world's second-biggest economy, said its export growth slumped to 1 percent in July from the previous month's 11.3 percent in a sign of global weakness.
August 10, 2012 |
LONDON - Europe's biggest economies are showing weakness, a sign that the struggles of their heavily indebted neighbors are spreading. The central banks of France and Britain, Europe's second- and third-largest economies, made grim forecasts on Wednesday, while data from Germany, its largest economy, showed a weakening in manufacturing. Europe - including the 17 countries that use the euro - has struggled for three years as economies face deepening recessions. Spain and Italy are threatened with a financial collapse and could soon join Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Cyprus in seeking financial assistance.
August 4, 2012 |
DETROIT - A big loss in Europe dragged down General Motors Co.'s second-quarter profit. The automaker's net income from April through June fell 41 percent to $1.5 billion, $1 billion less than in the same quarter a year earlier, GM said Thursday. A $361 million loss in Europe, coupled with $19 million of red ink in South America, pulled down strong performances in North America and Asia. In last year's second quarter, GM made $102 million in Europe before taxes. European nations are struggling to contain a debt crisis and are dealing with weak economies and high unemployment, which have sapped car buying in the region.
August 3, 2012 |
Barack Obama is on stage, bathing in an ocean of jubilance. Two hundred thousand people are cheering for him, many chanting, "Yes, we can" — although what none of them can do is vote for him. It's July 24, 2008, and in the middle of Berlin, Obama is enjoying one of the most impressive moments of his presidential campaign. Four years later, Obama's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has just finished visiting Europe. But his trip did not give the world any images comparable to those from Berlin four years ago — not even close.
July 28, 2012 |
Pharmaceutical companies, like banks, are more dependent upon governments than many people realize, and the European economic crisis that has worried global bank-watchers for several years is increasingly causing concern for drug executives. Governments in the United States, Europe, and much of the world pay many of the bills for pills and other medicine. Government budget-tightening, whatever the cause, has meant reductions in prices paid to drug manufacturers, and that has shown up this week in quarterly earnings reports.
July 25, 2012 |
Americans mourn the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting. In Europe, too, there is grief, mingled with incomprehension. The media chorus: How many more massacres before America adopts European-style gun control? Christoph Prantner of Austria's Der Standard bemoans American insistence on Second Amendment rights, "even when this freedom occasionally has a very high price and, in a bloody perversion, fatally impairs the freedom of others. " I can't disagree. I just wish Prantner had noted that James Holmes was allegedly wielding Austrian weaponry when he barged into that darkened theater: specifically, a .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock pistol.
July 10, 2012 |
NEW YORK — Edgy investors sent stocks lower Monday on Wall Street ahead of U.S. corporate earnings reports and amid more signs of instability in Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 36.18 points at 12,736.29. It was the Dow's third straight day of declines. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.22 points to 1,352.46 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 5.56 points to 2,931.77. Health-care stocks rose the most, while stocks of materials companies fell the most.
June 4, 2012 |
The Chamber of Commerce audience looked like deer in the headlights as Gov. Corbett's secretary of revenue, Dan Meuser, droned through a Power Point presentation the other day in Montgomery County showing how Pennsylvania's CEO was showering businesses with tax breaks. Charts detailed a Corbett-designed austerity plan in its second year that is generous to business but that falls hard on the state's public schools, which are buckling under enormous funding pressures as we speak.
May 27, 2012 |
BAKU, Azerbaijan - Sweden's Loreen clinched the top spot at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with her dance hit "Euphoria," pushing aside competition from a sextet of Russian grannies and a Serbian balladeer. Juries and television viewers from across Europe awarded Loreen a total of 372 points, handing her an easy win in an event that ended in the early hours Sunday in host country Azerbaijan. Sweden will take over hosting duties next year. Softly spoken Loreen, a 28-year-old of Moroccan-Berber descent, thanked her fans for their support.
May 20, 2012 |
Europe's a puzzle. People over there stopped having babies — but they don't like immigrants, either. Who do they think will staff their nursing homes? Or pay for them? Seventeen European countries swore to stay on a budget if the rich Germans agreed to back a powerful united currency, the euro, so even Irish and Portuguese could afford German-built Mercedes sedans and Siemens gadgets and SAP software. But some of those countries lied! Now they can't agree to spend more, or less, to get things moving again.