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Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 efficient methods to get rid of credit card debts

If your credit card debt is escalating rapidly everyday and you're unsure how to pay-off your debts, then it's the perfect time to get a credit card debt management program. These programs offer you easy to implement plans which can be implemented by anybody to eliminate credit card debt and start to accumulate some money.

The following are the three methods by which you can pay-off your credit card debts -

1. Debt snowball method: It is the method where the debtor pays off the accounts with the smaller balances first proceeding to the larger ones later. The basic steps of this method are -

• Commit to pay the minimum balance on every debt. Analyze how much more you can pay to the smallest debt.

• Pay the smallest debt alongwith the extra amount to the smallest debt until it is paid off and proceed to the second smallest debt.

• Add the payment of your last debt alongwith the minimum payment of this debt and pay it to the second debt.

• Continue this process untill all your debts are paid off.

2. Debt avalanche method: It is the method where the debtor pays off the accounts with the
highest interest rates proceeding to the lowest rates. The basic steps of this method are -

• Commit to pay the minimum balance on every debt. If you've an emergency fund, try to add all your unused income after paying your expenses to this debt.

• Continue paying this way till the debt is paid off and then proceed to the next highest debt.

• Continue this process untill all your debts are paid off.

3. Debt snowflake method: This method is similar to the Snowball method. The only
addition is that you need to save small earnings and make a little extra payment, after
making the minimum payment to each account. You can earn extra money by doing extra
jobs, online business, etc.

In order to get out of debt, you can follow any of these three credit card debt management program mentioned above, after choosing the one that will suit you the best.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

EU Pledges $15 Billion for Climate Change

BRUSSELS - EUROPEAN Union leaders said they have agreed to commit 7.2 billion euros (S$14.7 billion) over three years to an international global warming fund, a deal that should boost efforts to help poorer nations cope with climate change.

The offer, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, 'puts Europe in a leadership role in Copenhagen'. All 27 members of the EU agreed on the figure after two days of difficult talks at a summit in Brussels.

The 'fast start' money of 2.4 billion euros a year until 2012 is part of a global annual fund of US$10 billion (S$13.9 billion) that rich nations are targeting as short-term help, until the new climate agreement kicks in.

'It is less expensive to protect the planet now than to repair it later,' said EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

The pledge was praised by United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer, who described it as a 'huge encouragement' to the talks unfolding in Copenhagen.

Europe's leaders hope to encourage more generosity through their own voluntary pledges, and had earlier proposed to make 100 billion euros available to poorer nations annually by 2020.


Greek Finance Problem affects EURO

The EU summit was grappling with a Greek financial crisis which threatens the euro and risks destabilising other economies.

Athens is already facing possible sanctions from Brussels for running a deficit way above the 3% maximum of GDP permitted under the eurozone stability rules.

But the true scale of the problem is worse than expected - at nearly 13%.
Greek government debt is also off the eurozone scale at well over 100% of GDP - compared with the maximum permitted debt ceiling of 60%.

Summit host Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister, has put the issue on the Brussels summit agenda at the last moment, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting that all EU leaders must "share responsibility" for the Greek situation.
But there was little sign of the hat being passed around the summit table for cash contributions towards a Greek bail-out.

"The economic situation in Greece is serious, for sure", said one EU official, "but it cannot be resolved by financial pledges at this summit. We already have mechanisms and targets in the eurozone for limiting public deficits and Government debt, and Greece is not the only country by a long way which has fallen significantly outside those margins."

Far from being bailed out, Greek prime minister George Papandreou might come under attack for his treasury's failure to reveal the scale of the crisis. Earlier this year the European Commission was caught unawares when it calculated a Greek deficit outside the 3% limit - but nothing like the 12.7% figure which was revealed when Athens issued a "revised projection".

Mr Karamanlis will tell his summit colleagues what his government said on Wednesday - that there will be drastic action to cut spending and restore stability. If not, the Commission could theoretically impose hefty financial penalties on the Greek government.

However, that is unlikely, as one Commission official suggested: "The problem we have faced in the past is that if you slap big fines on countries struggling with debt, you get accused of simply making matters worse."


Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Finance Minister will boast oil for Mexico

Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s decision to appoint Social Development Minister Ernesto Cordero as finance minister may hinder the government’s ability to cut its dependence on oil revenue because he lacks the experience to build support in Congress, according to Barclays Capital.

Cordero, 41, may struggle to persuade Congress to pass laws broadening Mexico’s tax base, Barclays analysts Roberto Melzi and Jimena Zuniga said. Fitch Ratings last month cut Mexico’s rating to BBB, the second-lowest investment grade, citing a need for fiscal changes. Standard & Poor’s may decide on whether to lower it this month.

Calderon yesterday named Cordero to replace Agustin Carstens, who in turn he nominated central bank chief.

“Cordero’s nomination may bode ill for the passage of reforms, as Carstens’s ability to build consensus behind the scenes will be hard to match,” Melzi said in a note to clients.

Calderon, half-way through a six-year term, is seeking to reduce Mexico’s dependence on oil funds, which account for about 40 percent of the budget, after Congress raised taxes this year less than the president wanted. Calderon’s National Action Party, known as PAN, holds 143 of the lower house’s 500 seats.

‘Not the Best Man’

“We believe Cordero is not the best man for the finance minister post: he is a PAN loyalist and will be a less effective negotiator with Congress,” Nick Chamie, head of emerging-market research at RBC Capital Markets, said yesterday.

The peso fell as much as 0.8 percent after Calderon announced his decision to replace Carstens. The currency erased its decline and rose 0.2 percent by the end of the day to 12.8941 per dollar.

The yield on Mexico’s benchmark bond fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage pmoint, to 8.13 percent. The price of the 10 percent security due in December 2024 rose 0.10 centavo to 116.17 centavos per peso, according to Banco Santander SA.

“Markets would prefer Carstens stay as finance minister, as the next year will be very challenging in terms of budgetary and overall economic policy,” said Win Thin, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. “Such a move is not a good one for the peso.”

Carstens led Mexico’s response to the global financial crisis in 2008 and efforts to win approval this year for the tax increases aimed at offsetting falling oil revenue. If ratified, he’ll guide policies amid inflationary pressures from those tax increases and an economy recovering from a recession.

Deputy Minister

Cordero, who earned a masters degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, was deputy finance minister for spending from December 2006 to January 2008, when he was named to his current post, according to the presidential Web site.

Before joining the finance ministry, he served in 2003 as deputy energy minister responsible for planning and technology development.

Cordero’s advantage in the post will be the personal relationship he has built with Calderon, Allyson Benton, a Latin America analyst with the Eurasia Group in New York, wrote in a report yesterday.

The new minister will have to contend with quickening inflation and a budget deficit forecast to grow to 2.75 percent of GDP in 2010, the widest since 1989, according to JPMorgan. The deficit was 2.1 percent of GDP in 2009. Latin America’s second-biggest economy is forecast to grow as much as 3.5 percent next year and may shrink 7 percent this year, outgoing Central Bank Governor Guillermo Ortiz said Dec. 2.

‘Accentuated Weaknesses’

“The global economic and financial crisis and falling oil production have accentuated weaknesses in the sovereign’s fiscal profile,” Fitch Ratings said in a Nov. 23 statement.

The central bank on Dec. 2 raised its inflation forecasts for 2010 and said that consumer prices may rise as much as 5.25 percent on an annual basis in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, exceeding policy makers’ 3 percent target.

Mexico spent $1.17 billion to buy oil hedges for 2010 to protect against lower-than-expected production and a decline in prices. Mexico purchased put options that give it the option, not the obligation, to sell its oil for $57 a barrel next year, the Finance Ministry said in a Dec. 8 statement.

Carstens, who was chief economist at the bank from 1994 to 1999, said yesterday that his mandate at the central bank will be to promote a stable currency. He said Dec. 8 in New York that S&P will probably decide against lowering the rating on Mexico.

The bank will raise its 4.5 percent key lending rate in May, according to the median forecast of economists in a survey released Nov. 19 by Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit. The bank paused in August, September and October after cutting borrowing costs by 3.75 percentage points during the first seven meetings of this year.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

6 Months not enough to restructure Dubai Debt

Six months is too short to restructure the debt of Dubai World and the company could be forced to sell some of its overseas assets to reduce its debt mountain, Dubai's finance chief said this morning.

Abdulrahman al-Saleh, Dubai's finance minister, told Al Arabiya televison that the Dubai Government would support the state-controlled conglomerate “as an owner” in repaying $60 billion (£36.5 billion) in debts but that it would not sell off government assets.

Mr al-Saleh said that it was too early to discuss cash injections into Nakheel, the group’s property developer. The six-month period would focus on sorting out the debt of Dubai World, he said.

"The main goal of the restructuring of Dubai World is to ensure the continuation of its operation as a viable commercial entity. The question is the future of the company," UAE news sources quoted the finance minister as saying.

The Dubai Financial Market fell 6.5 per cent this morning to a five-month low. The index has fallen by 22 per cent since the group requested a six-month extension on its debt repayments two weeks ago.

Dubai World met its six main creditors, including four British-listed banks, on Monday to discuss its request to delay repayment of $26 billion but no deal has yet been announced.

Dubai World owns a 20 per cent stake in Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian circus, as well as other assets including P&O. the ferry operator; Barney's, the luxury retailer in New York, and the QE2 liner.


Disagreements about Finance in Copenhagen summit

Copenhagen, Denmark - As international delegates arrive at the United Nations climate summit today, developing-country negotiators are waiting for the industrialized world to clarify how much money will be on the table.

European Union leaders stated in October that the world's wealthy countries should provide €100 billion ($150 billion) each year by 2020 to help poorer countries transition to a low-carbon development path and adapt to the damages of climate change.

European, U.S., and Japanese negotiators are divided, however, on whether the money will come from new or existing aid budgets.

"The question is: should double-counting be allowed or not," said Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow with the International Institute for Environment and Development.

An EU negotiating text obtained by The Guardian this week reveals that the European Union plans to oppose any requirements that climate funds be additional to or separate from current development aid.

Developing-country leaders and United Nations officials are insisting that climate funds be additional to existing aid deals. If not, they say, health, environment, and security programs that are already under-financed may be compromised.

"There are real concerns that we might miss Millennium Development Goals because of the climate change agenda," said Roberto Bertollini, environment and health policy coordinator with the World Health Organization.

The European countries that support a separate climate fund, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, regularly meet the international target of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product committed to official development assistance.

Countries that struggle to meet their development-aid targets would prefer that aid programs be repackaged into new climate funds. France and Germany, for instance, committed less than 0.4 percent of their GDP to development aid in 2007, and both want existing aid to be allocated to climate.

Last month, United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposed a "Copenhagen launch fund" that would run from 2010-2012 and accumulate $22 billion by 2013. The funding would be split evenly between mitigation and adaptation activities. He did not state whether the funding would be additional to existing aid.

"The British contribution to the $10 billion figure would be roughly about £800 million [$1.3 billion] - for which we've already budgeted," Brown said at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.

The United States has included $1.2 billion of international climate aid in its 2010 budget. Legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and currently being debated in the Senate would raise funds for international climate aid from the sale of emission permits as part of a cap-and-trade system.

John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, requested that President Barack Obama's administration increase funding for mitigation and adaptation aid in the 2011 budget.

"I urge you to include $3 billion in international climate finance in the fiscal year 2011 budget to support our short-term climate finance obligations and create the necessary glide path to enable our federal agencies to fully and effectively utilize the increased resources Congress will make available to them through climate change legislation," Kerry wrote on Tuesday in a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Negotiators offered various proposals to raise new funds at the U.N. summit in PoznaƄ, Poland last year. A Norwegian plan to generate revenue from auctioning national cap-and-trade permits received general support from industrialized nations. The negotiating bloc of least-developed countries suggested that airlines place a flat tax of $10-$15 on all international tickets. Mexico proposed a "World Climate Change Fund" that would collect money based on each country's unique situation of greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth.

Public and private funds have provided some $8 billion annually in recent years for developing countries to form low-carbon economies and $1 billion annually for adaptation programs. Estimates of how much money developing countries will need range from $140 billion to $675 billion each year for mitigation and $30 billion to $90 billion each year for adaptation, according to the World Bank.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

UK Minister to EU - Leave London alone!!!

Britain's Finance Minister on Wednesday warned the European Union's new French finance chief not to interfere with the City of London.

Writing in the Times of London ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers, Alistair Darling said it would be a "recipe for confusion" if institutions were supervised by the EU as well as national watchdogs and that Britain would not accept new laws that could lead to taxpayers picking up the bill for bailouts ordered by Brussels.

He said it was essential that national regulators like Britain's Financial Services Authority retained responsibility for supervising individual companies. He warned any change would drive financial services out of Europe.

"As Michel Barnier, the new EU Single Market Commissioner, takes over the reins of financial regulation, the stakes are high," he wrote. "Regulatory reform throughout the world is imperative, and Europe, home to the world's largest single market in financial services, has a particular responsibility.

"If we get it right, we have the potential to be the safest and strongest marketplace in the world, our regulatory framework a competitive advantage. Get it wrong and we risk losing business to less regulated jurisdictions. Nothing would be more self-defeating."

On Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy blamed the current financial crisis on a discredited Anglo-Saxon model, and that Barnier's appointment was a victory for European financial ideals.

"Do you know what it means for me to see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]?" he asked reporters.

"I want the world to see the victory of the European model, which has nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism," he said.

However, Barnier appeared to take the sting out of Sarkozy's comments in a radio interview Monday. "I know the importance of the City. I know the importance of this major financial center for growth in Britain and for all of Europe's economy," he told Europe 1 radio, in quotes carried by Britain's Telegraph.

"It's not my job to be nice or nasty. I have to work in Europe's interest to draw lessons from the crisis, including in the City's interest to support this financial center, as well as others including Frankfurt and Paris."

Darling added that London can not be judged in the same way as other European financial centers.

"It is too simplistic to argue that financial centers in Europe are just competing among themselves," he said.

"The reality is the real competition to Europe's financial centers comes from outside our borders. And that London, whether others like it or not, is New York's only rival as a truly global financial center."