Business confidence declines worldwide
World wide business confidence has fallen back to its financial crisis lows, according to CNBC. A recent survey by Markit, which interviews 11,000 global manufacturers and service providers, found that business optimism dropped in the first half of the year. The net balance of companies predicting rising business activity over the next twelve months fell to 30 percent in June, a low reached only twice before: in late 2009 and October 2012. Optimism in both the US and China has declined.
China’s economic growth slows to 7.5 percent
The Financial Times is reporting that the Chinese economy slowed to 7.5 percent growth in the second quarter, due to lower exports, sluggish retail sales and softer investment. There is a risk that the Chinese economic growth for 2013 will fall below the 7.5 percent target set by the government. The Chinese government has not missed its target since the Asian financial crisis 15 years ago. The government, however, has showed limited concern about the slowdown.
Boeing 787 Fire Cause still unclear
UK regulators are still seeking the cause of laws week’s fire on a Boeing 787 parked at London’s Heathrow airport. According to Bloomberg, a link to the battery that caused blazes on the Dreamliners earlier this year has not been found. The fire renewed safety concerns about Boeing’s newest plane and caused its stock to drop dramatically last week. The Ethiopian Air Dreamliner, which had been parked for hours before the fire and had no one on it, sustained extensive heat damage in the upper portion of its rear fuselage. Ethiopian Air continues to operate its other 787s.
Apple hires fresh talent to develop iWatch
Apple has embarked on an aggressive hiring spree to hire engineers to design the iWatch. According to the Financial Times, the timing of the hiring spree suggests that the iWatch will not be ready for launch until the latter part of next year. There is significant pressure because this is the first product to be launched since the death of Steve Jobs. Recruitment has caused Apple to hire Paul Deneve, the outgoing chief executive of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Apple’s stock price remains low and it is seeing increasing competition in the market and in hiring by its rivals in Silicon Valley.
Madoff investors await settlements; Sue bank
Investors who invested with Bernie Madoff are charging that Connecticut Community Bank should have been aware of the Ponzi scheme years before it was discovered. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank held money as custodian for about 100 customers and invested about $60 million in Mr. Madoff’s firm. The bank has been sued individually by many of the clients as well as by the trustee overseeing the liquidation on behalf of all of the investors. The bank had $39 million in capital as of March 31 but lost $21 million since 2009. It has no liability insurance and has been sanctioned by the Comptroller for unsafe and unsound banking practices. The settlements are being discussed as the first case is about to deliver closing arguments.
News sites on high alert awaiting royal baby
When the royal baby is born it is predicted to be a media event like no other. According to the New York Times, ABC has a whole royal baby section prepared for its site and NBC News has a site called RoyalBabyGuess.com, asking for predictions about name, birth time and weight. Those with the closest guesses may appear on the Today show. Tradition requires that the duchess’s doctors will sign a birth notice which will be hand-carried to a car. The car will be driven to Buckingham Palace. The notice will be placed on an easel in the forecourt of the palace, informing the world of the baby’s birth and possibly of his or her name. A helicopter will follow the progress of the car. News producers have been holding meetings with palace officials about the staging of the announcement for the past several months.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.