Obama’s tough talk on Iran lowers world markets
President Obama said in a speech on Sunday that he would not hesitate to attack Iran to keep it from getting a nuclear bomb, hoping to dissuade Israel from launching a unilateral strike. According to the Associated Press, President Obama indicated that sanctions were working and that they should be allowed to run their full diplomatic course. Asian markets were mostly lower on Monday. European markets are down. The Dow closed down 2 points on Friday ending at 12,977.
Chinese cut growth targets to boost their own consumer demand
China cut its 2012 growth target to an 8 year low of 7.5 percent, according to Reuters. The primary reason for the cut was to boost their own consumer demand rather than rely upon external demand and foreign capital. China would like to grow its own medium and small businesses, in an effort to redistribute income to lower income families. The 7.5 percent growth target is the lowest since 1990.
BP Settlement Just the Beginning of a Bigger Brawl
Last week BP settled with thousands of residents and businesses along the Gulf Coast for damages incurred due to the oil spill in the amount of $7.8 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, the size of the settlement suggests that if criminal environmental penalties are pursued, the amounts could reach $17 to$40 billion. BP has set aside $37.2 billion for spill related costs. So far it has spent about $22.1 billion.
New iPad to be released on Wednesday
Ipad sales are expected to hit 100 million as Apple releases a new iPad this week which will be faster and sharper than previous models, according to USAToday. It is anticipated that 60 million iPads will be sold this year. In addition to the 40 million already sold, total iPads will pass the 100 million mark. The new iPad is expected to have better resolution, 4G internet reception, improved processor and camera, and the Siri personal digital assistant. Experts predict that tablets will become more popular than computers in the next few years. In another positive Apple note, its App Store has topped 25 billion downloads of apps, according to the Financial Times. The apps have created a new industry as developers seek to build new apps. Today there are more than 550,000 apps.
GM to build pickups fueled by natural gas
GM is announcing that it will make two pickup trucks that can run on both natural gas and gasoline, according to USAToday. This is the first auto maker to equip its vehicles with a fuel that is clean, cheap and domestically produced. The bi-fuel trucks are built with a specially designed engine and will be available for order next month.
Greek bond swap deal teetering
Greece has until Thursday night to get 75 percent of its private bondholders to swap their bonds for a package of bonds and cash that would knock off 100 billion euros of Geek debt. It must get 75 percent of holders to participate. According to the Financial Times, many of the bondholders need their own boards to react to the deal prior to the swap. The challenges are primarily with the non-institutional bondholders who hold about 206 billion euros in Greek bonds.
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.