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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

China’s official data isn’t always helpful. But the earnings statements of foreign multinationals give a good alternative reality check on the Chinese economy. Leaf through recent numbers from those with big businesses in the People’s Republic, such as Yum Brands, Siemens or Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, and three trends emerge.

Consumer companies tell a tale of rising prices. Yum, the parent group of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is just one struggling to pass through rising costs to Chinese customers. Same-store sales rose by 21 percent in the fourth quarter, but food, wages and rent hikes helped drag down margins to 16 percent from 18 percent a year earlier. Yum plans to raise prices again in 2012, after a small 2 percent increase in September. So much for inflation being under control.


Duncan Niederauer, NYSE Euronext‘s chief executiveBRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Wednesday blocked the Deutsche Boerse’s planned merger with NYSE Euronext, a $10 billion deal that would have created the world’s largest financial exchange operator.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said it was ruling against the merger because the combined exchange would have controlled 90 percent of the trading in European derivatives – complex but highly profitable financial products that allow investors to bet on areas like interest rates or the price of oil. It said that dominance of that market would have made it almost impossible for competitors to offer rival trading systems.


Stevenomics: A guide to economic directions 2

OMG it’s 2008 all over! Why it’s not and the over hysteria
Greetings fellow traders.
Hope fingers didn’t get sliced from those trying to catch all those falling knives the past 10 days. A crazy 1500 point plus drop in 12 days will get the heart going. Of course, the calls of a 2008 redux have started but the parameters just aren’t there for a repeat. Here we go

    The difference now:

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S&P president: Obama knows the problem is serious

S&P president: Obama knows the problem is serious

By Katie Benner August 9, 2011: 9:48 AM ET
Following the historic U.S. credit downgrade, Standard & Poor’s president Deven Sharma talks about the market sell off, the president’s response and why the Treasury might be taking this all so hard. Continue reading

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