The Syrian civil war officially began with demonstrations as part of the Arab Spring protest movement in March 2011. Forces opposed to the government, such as the Free Syrian Army, have been seeking to oust the Ba’ath Government and defend the violence against opposition protesters. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have died in this conflict.
At the time of writing, available odds for this Tuesday’s RBA meeting are $1.40 for rates to remain unchanged, $2.20 for a decrease of up to 25 basis points and then a respectable $19 for a cut between 25 and 50 basis points. Any increase in the cash rate pays $34 but putting money on that would surely be the equivalent of backing a horse with a broken leg – unless it is called Black Caviar perhaps.
Recently China’s president Xi Jinping was quoted in saying that China’s GDP growth will be subdued in the foreseeable future, relative to the rapid growth in the past decade. China’s official newspaper Xinhua has put the internal target at 7.5% p.a. for 2013 from a 7.8% p.a. actual figure achieved in 2012, and many are undoubtedly aware that this is a 13-year record low. Exactly how much has the world’s second largest economy grown by and how has China done it?
If we remember back to the days of the global financial crisis, one of the earliest and hardest hit countries in the European area was Iceland. Iceland was also the only country which made the fateful decision to not bailout the three largest banks in their country. This was not because they simply said ‘no’ like they did afterwards to the demands of the creditors of these banks in the UK and the Netherlands, but they simply could not afford to bailout these banks which held 10 times GDP worth of assets. By choosing not to bailout the banks it didn’t mean the domestic financial payments system collapsed as well, and without good reason detailed further in the article.