* As exports cool in Asia, so does inflation (Reuters America)
BANGKOK : Inflation in Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan fell more than expected in December as domestic consumption and oil prices eased, pointing to another round of interest rate cuts as governments in the region try to prop up struggling economies.
* Short View: Price fright (John Authers, The Financial Times)
The deflation scare that hit the world last year seems almost to be over. But markets disagree over whether this is the prelude to another inflation scare.
* Don’t worry, some consumer prices are still soaring! (Baltimore Sun)
Economists worry about deflation a persistent, broad decline in consumer prices that sometimes accompanies severe recessions.
* Will U.S. bank crisis match Japan’s? (Charlotte Observer)
TOKYO The Obama administration is committing trillions of dollars to rescuing banks, but veterans of Japan’s banking crisis have three words for the Americans: more money, faster.
* January retailer sales up (Bloomberg News)
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in January for the first time in seven months, reflecting higher gasoline prices and more spending on items such as clothing and food.
Last year, with 101 dollar billionaires on the Finans’ rich list, Russia trailed only the US as a home for the mega-rich, as record oil and metals prices fuelled a decade-long economic rise.
* China exports drop on weak demand from U.S., Europe (Bloomberg News)
China’s exports fell by the most in almost 13 years as demand dried up in the U.S. and Europe and imports plunged by a record, signaling a deepening slump in the world’s third-biggest economy.’
* European output plunges, Japan frets (Reuters America)
LONDON/TOKYO – Euro zone industrial output plunged and Spain reported its worst economic contraction in 15 years on Thursday, heralding the dire GDP data expected on Friday from Europe’s biggest nations.
* The Stabilization Bill (Philip Klein, American Spectator)
McClatchy quotes investment analyst Ed Yardeni as saying that “nothing would have been better” than the stimulus package currently being rushed through Congress.” He continued, “It’s unfocused. That is my problem. It is a lot of money for a lot of nickel-and- dime programs. I would have rather had a lot of money for (promoting purchase of) housing and autos. Most of this plan is really, I thin…
* Bowles to review grade trends (News & Observer)
CHAPEL HILL — A recent report detailing grade inflation at UNC-Chapel Hill has caught the eye of UNC system President Erskine Bowles, who said Friday that he plans to soon review the issue.