US Economy

Is there life after being a superpower?

No better time for US to be a home of the brave

The future of the United States seems bleak. The optimism for which Americans are known comes less readily. The prevalence of pessimism today is spread by the realisation that the country's position of global superpower may soon be lost.

Tuesday, 8 January, 2013, 4:43am

How they see it, January 6, 2013

US President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (above) failed to work out a deal for the fiscal cliff after repeated attempts spanning 18 months. Photo: AP

The battle for agreement on the fiscal cliff deal

6 Jan 2013 - 2:51am

US job market shrugs off fears of 'fiscal cliff'

People seeking jobs  at an employment fair in New York. Photo: AFP

The US job market proved resilient in December despite fears that a budget impasse in Washington would send the economy over the fiscal cliff and trigger growth-killing tax hikes and spending cuts.

Employers added 155,000 jobs last month, roughly matching the solid but unspectacular monthly pace of the past two years.

5 Jan 2013 - 11:31am 1 comment

Labour data eases fears over Fed plans to end QE

The jobless rate held at 7.8 per cent. Photo: AFP

Most US stocks inched up yesterday after fresh data showed steady gains in jobs while the jobless rate stayed at a level that's unlikely to hasten the end of the Federal Reserve stimulus.

5 Jan 2013 - 3:13am

2012: How Wall Street got it wrong

In a year of financial mis-forecasting, Morgan Stanley predicted Standard & Poor's 500 Index would lose 7 per cent in 2012. Photo: Bloomberg

From hedge fund manager John Paulson's call for a collapse in Europe to Morgan Stanley's warning that US stocks would decline, Wall Street got little right in its prognosis for the year just ended.

5 Jan 2013 - 3:13am

Small steps are enough

Vice-President Joe Biden negotiated a compromise deal when President Barack Obama's own talks with Republicans failed. Photo: Bloomberg

The just-in-time budget deal the US Congress passed on New Year's Day calls to mind Samuel Johnson's observation about dogs that walk on their hind legs: "It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

4 Jan 2013 - 2:48am

We're all at the mercy of this US circus

The 113th Congress convenes Thursday fresh from the year-end fiscal cliff fiasco. Photo: AFP

Some choice words have been used to describe the brinkmanship across a US Congress that led us to the edge of the American "fiscal cliff" - "shenanigans", "circus", "omnishambles". Certainly few are pretending that it represents the festival of democracy envisaged by America's higher motives.

4 Jan 2013 - 3:26am 1 comment

US economy faces bumpy ride despite budget deal

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday as stocks soared on news of the last-minute budget deal. Photo: Reuters

The United States may have averted a financial calamity with a last-minute budget deal but continued political bickering threatens to shake the fragile economy well into the coming year.

3 Jan 2013 - 8:59am

Global economy needs Washington to rediscover compromise

US President Barack Obama said he had fulfilled a campaign promise to make the US tax system fairer with a deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis that passed after a fierce duel in Congress. Photo: AFP

For the second time in 18 months the US has pulled back from the brink of economic crisis. A last-minute bipartisan deal between the White House and Congress late on Tuesday (US time) headed off across-the-board tax rises and public spending cuts worth more than US$600 billion.

3 Jan 2013 - 4:21am

All eyes on Republicans as House set to vote on 'fiscal cliff' deal

Late night at the Capitol. Photo: AP

The dramatic deal struck by the White House and top Republicans to avert huge new year tax rises and postpone automatic spending was heading to the House of Representatives this morning (Hong Kong time).

2 Jan 2013 - 9:33am

Banking chief Benjamin Hung warns of 'turning point' in interest rates

Benjamin Hung Pi-cheng

Hong Kong's banking association has warned that the risk of higher interest rates will rise as the US economy improves and the Federal Reserve links the unemployment level with its short-term interest rate policy.

2 Jan 2013 - 10:22am

US fiscal cliff deal will hit growth, say economists

The budget deal struck by the White House and US Senate Republican leaders, if it becomes law, would probably slow the US economic recovery without stopping it.

2 Jan 2013 - 4:24am

Hang Seng counts down to upbeat start

The US Senate has passed a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Photo: EPA

Hong Kong stocks are expected to rise when the market opens today for the first time this year, following the fiscal cliff deal in the US Senate and new signs that manufacturing is picking up on the mainland.

2 Jan 2013 - 4:24am

Republicans reach out to Joe Biden to help resolve 'fiscal cliff'

Vice-President Joe Biden gives two thumbs up following a Senate Democratic meeting about the "fiscal cliff". Photo: AP

The Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decided it was time to deal directly with the White House when Senate budget talks stalled three days ago - though not with President Barack Obama.

"I needed a dance partner," McConnell said. "So I reached out to the vice-president."

2 Jan 2013 - 5:15am

Stock markets rally despite global economic malaise

Stock markets rally despite global economic malaise

You had perfectly good reasons for being cowardly about the stock market in 2012, but caution didn't serve you well.

2 Jan 2013 - 4:24am