The Eurozone Crisis

The eurozone is in deep debt turmoil. The debt crisis that has hit almost all 17 member states is spiraling out of hand; there is single solution in sight. In fact, the euro skeptics brigade is increasing by the day; most believe that eurozone may not survive as a single unit beyond this year.

The Economist has an interesting interactive feature on the current status of the debt crisis in the eurozone.
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The Economist says that: “GDP rose in most countries during 2011, though there were marked differences in performance. Germany’s economy grew by a sprightly 3% according to its statistics office. The countries nearby with which Germany trades most heavily also fared well—though signs of incipient recession were visible towards the end of the year. By contrast GDP in Greece and Portugal has crashed under the weight of austerity. Greece’s economy may have contracted by as much as 6% in 2011. And the crisis is sapping the strength of even the so-called “core” euro-zone countries, such as Germany and France. The strains of the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis make a recession in the early part of 2012 likely.”
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Predictions for 2012: Fear, Greed and Volatility by DOW JONES

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The 2012 year opens with perhaps more uncertainty than any previous year in recent memory. The economies around the world are weak at best, Iran is test firing missiles in the Gulf and it’s an election year in the United States. The weak economy and US election year point to QE3 sometime before midyear not necessarily because it will actually do anything but psychologically it could give the impression the president is trying to do something to get the economy back on track prior to the election. The two basic factors that drive all investments fear and greed will cause more volatility than ever before. With that in mind here are several predictions for the stock market, oil and natural gas, precious metals and commodities. Keep in mind the volatility will likely cause a larger number of short term swings of +/-3-5% such as the DOW jumping +/-300 points at a time which has driven many small investors away from the markets.

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Chart show the DOW in another tight range for the year of between 10,836 and 13,200(more). I expect 2012 is going to be one of the most volatile economic years in recent history. The US dependence on foreign Oil Price is a wild card in any type of economic recovery. Oil prices over $120 per barrel will have a significant dampening effect on any type of recovery.

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BREAKING NEWS: GDP at 6.9%

BREAKING NEWS: The second quarter GDP number came in at 6.9% compared to 7.7% in the same period last year

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Economy News : JSW Steel

TOKYO: India’s third largest steelmaker JSW Steel Ltd. is in talks with to take a stake in the Japanese firm in a bid to strengthen their ties, a report said on Monday.

Sajjan Jindal, vice chairman and managing director of JSW, told the Nikkei business daily that his company aims to hold an interest of less than five per cent in the JFE Holdings Inc. unit within one to two years.

The two companies have already begun talks on the planned capital investment, Jindal said, adding that JFE Steel said it was ready to accept JSW’s offer.

Talks are also covering technological assistance in such fields as steel sheets used in electrical equipment, Jindal said, adding that JSW may boost its production capacity by forming a joint venture with JFE.

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JFE Steel, the nation’s second-largest steelmaker, declined to confirm the report, saying in a statement: “Nothing has been decided on this issue.”

The firms formed an alliance in November 2009, with JFE spending around 90 billion yen (1.1 million dollars) to buy a stake of just under 15 per cent of JSW and agreeing to provide technology for auto steel sheets and steel mills.

Through the capital investment, JFE plans to boost ties with JSW and expand businesses in , where demand for crude steel is expanding rapidly.

JSW currently has a crude steel output capacity of 7.8 million tons a year, but plans to more than quadruple this to 32 million tons by 2020 through the expansion of current facilities and by building new mills in the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand.

The Indian steelmaker will spend four billion dollars to fire up the West Bengal mill by 2014 with annual production capacity of five million tonnes.