Volcker: Taxes likely to rise eventually to tame deficit

The US should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker has announced. Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax “was not as toxic an idea” as it has…

Southeast Asia could grow 5.6% this year – ASEAN

Southeast Asian economies will grow up to 5.6 percent this year but the expansion could be jeopardised if economic stimulus is withdrawn too early, according to a report by a regional body. Nevertheless, the governments of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) need to design an orderly exit strategy to show that they…

China’s influence silences Asia on yuan peg

China’s increasing regional influence will keep Asian governments from pressuring the world’s fastest growing economy into letting its currency strengthen for fear of economic or political repurcussion. China has repeatedly said a decision on unshackling the yuan would depend on domestic conditions, after effectively pegging it to the US dollar for the past 20 months,…

Taiwan using China trade deal to sell foreign FTAs

Taiwan has leveraged its goal of a landmark trade deal with China to open talks with Japan, the US and other powers on free trade deals expected to boost the long-isolated island economy, officials have declared. Appealing to countries that have been barred by Taiwan’s political rival China from signing FTAs with the island, Taiwan…

Dubai in $9.5bn debt offer, no new Abu Dhabi aid

The Dubai government unveiled plans to recapitalise its indebted Dubai World flagship and repay Nakheel bonds in full, injecting what it said was $9.5bn in new funding, but without new aid from Abu Dhabi. In a statement, the government said $5.7bn in remaining funds from a loan made by Abu Dhabi would provide the lion’s…

Central bank autonomy in spotlight post-crisis

Here and there around the world, governments are urging central banks to ease the pain of belt-tightening – and ward off the risk of an economic relapse – by taking their time to shrink balance sheets that have billowed during the financial crisis. The risk for markets is clear: if supine central banks are unwilling…

China official rejects US complaints on currency

Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, in Washington at a time of heightened US-China trade and political tensions, told business leaders that changing the exchange rate was not the way to fix a huge bilateral trade imbalance. “Revaluing the renminbi is not a good recipe for solving problems,” he told the US Chamber of Commerce,…

Ghana sees $800m annual budget boost from oil

The figures, in a website survey asking Ghanaians how the windfall should be used, underline that proceeds from output at its Jubilee field due to start late this year will only transform the poor West African state if used carefully. Using a 10-year average price of oil at $65 barrel, the ministry predicted that annual…

Japan scales back privatisation of behemoth bank

The Japanese government has scaled back its privatisation plan for Japan Post to hold more than a third of its shares, keeping a grip on the mammoth state-owned financial conglomerate that is the single largest holder of government bonds. Japan Post is the country’s biggest financial institution, with financial assets of about ¥300trn ($3.3trn) –…

UK, Germany to press for global bank risk tax

Months after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown fronted a range of ideas for getting banks to pay for their own rescues, his Finance Minister Alistair Darling said more countries now agree on the need for an international systemic tax on banks. “This must be brought forward quickly, as I will urge international finance ministers in…