Good Economic News out of China? (Bloomberg)
The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics released economic performance figures today for the world’s second-largest economy. In a mild surprise, China’s economy grew by 7.5 percent, right in line with the median forecast of 45 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The figure was surprising in that many analysts have been sounding the alarm for investors to flee China — claiming that it’s only a matter of time before at least one of the bubbles building in the country blows. Yet, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.6 percent year over year, not far off of the 7.7 percent figure forecast by another survey of analysts by Bloomberg. While the figures coming out of China point to an economy that’s plugging right along, there still is one over-riding factor to be considered… those figures are coming out of China itself. In the end, then, it’s up to you whether you trust China and its numbers… Good luck with that.
SEC Takes on Goldman’s Big Bad Wolf (Reuters)
Next up on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s hit list is Fabrice Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs trader who has been likened to the Big Bad Wolf’s bag man. U.S. District Judge Kathrine Forrest said this about the case against Tourre: he “handed Little Red Riding Hood an invitation to grandmother’s house while concealing the fact that it was written by the Big Bad Wolf.” What she meant is that Tourre was leading the sales effort for a Goldman mortgage-backed security product from John Paulson, without revealing that Paulson was actually shorting that same leveraged product. The case represents the first time that the SEC has gone after an individual concerning the investments that led to the global financial collapse of 2008. If successful in bringing charges against Tourre, the SEC will, in effect, seek to redeem itself by placing blame for the crisis on an individual, and thereby restore a semblance of investor trust in the federal agency.
The Most Powerful Testimonial in the World (YahooFinance)
For companies invited to the Coronation Festival in England, the last four days can be likened to winning the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka. For these companies have been granted a “Royal Warrant of Appointment,” which can be likened to an individual Knighthood, but for businesses. Or, if you prefer, it’s the world’s greatest testimonial, for these companies have been acknowledged as good enough for the Royal Family. And according to Richard Peck, secretary of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, Royal approval plays a huge role in the global export market, “In the Far East, they realize that if the company is supplying the royal household, they have to be good, because the royal household demands a higher standard.” For investors, these Warrant-receiving companies are worth a look, especially now, as this is the first year that these businesses have been allowed to tout this acclaim to win business worldwide. And who wouldn’t want to buy something that is good enough for the Queen of England?