Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro Chatter: The BRICs wobbly currencies


A shopkeeper holds a 500 rupee note at a roadside food stall in Mumbai on May 7, 2012.


Indranil Mukherjee

Need to know:
The EU brain trust is scheduled to meet this week, and the world is eagerly waiting to hear what they have to say. 

In recent days: Spain moved closer to picking up its bank bailout euros. Fitch cut Cyprus' credit rating.

Greece got a new coalition government in place that’s trying to push back its deadline to meet EU budget deficit targets. 

Chatter about a banking union is growing louder, and everyone from George Soros to Mario Monti has been speculating on how long the euro has to live.  

Want to know:
There’s big currency trouble in emerging markets, Bloomberg reported.

Emerging market currencies including Brazil’s real, Russia’s ruble and India’s rupee are quickly losing value as investors are turning a cold shoulder to what were until recently the world’s hottest markets.

Each of these countries has more than just currency troubles, Bloomberg noted.

Brazil’s consumer default rate is at its highest level in three years. Prices for Russian oil are at an 18-month low, India’s budget deficit is growing as policy continues to hamper growth prospects and even China’s economic boom is cooling.

Dull but important:
India may have a plan to catch its falling rupee.

India’s finance ministry and central bank are expected to announce efforts to allow companies to invest more in local bond markets to help prop up the currency, the Wall Street Journal reported

Just because:
Victims of Bernie Madoff are set to get a little relief.

Clients of hedge fund manager J. Ezra Merkin are in line to receive a combined $405 million to cover a fraction of their losses.

Merkin’s funds lost more than $1 billion dealing with Madoff. Merkin is accused of deceiving clients by collecting management fees on money he handed off to Madoff instead of managing himself.

Strange but true:
Don’t have your own wine cellar? Never fear, a fake is near.

Meet the Corkcicle, a $25 gadget that SmartMoney said keeps wines at the ideal 55 degree temperature for about an hour. Just freeze it, slip into the bottle and hope nobody asks for a cellar tour.