Greece Complains About Schaeuble in Deepening Conflict
(Bloomberg) -- Greece's war of words with Germany deepened as Greece renewed demands for war reparations and formally complained about Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
Germany and Greece confirmed Thursday that the Greek ambassador in Berlin made an official protest late Tuesday to the German Foreign Ministry over comments made by Schaeuble.
Schaeuble and his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis have traded barbs in recent weeks, with Schaeuble suggesting on Tuesday that Varoufakis needed to look more closely at an agreement Greece signed in February and commenting on his fellow minister's communication strategy. Schaeuble said Thursday that any suggestion he had insulted Varoufakis was "absurd."
Oil helps Asian central banks stray from Fed's shadow
Reuters) - Asian central banks are running their own race on monetary policy for the first time in decades, cutting interest rates with a breezy confidence that is absent from other big emerging markets, thanks largely to weak oil prices.
As recently as 2013, when the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted that it would start tapering its loose money policy, which would typically suck capital out of emerging markets and into dollar assets, Asian central banks rushed to raise rates to keep hold of that money.
But now, even with a U.S. rate rise looming, central banks in the region, including those in Singapore, China, India and Indonesia, have on eight occasions this year announced unexpected easing measures.
Apple Watch Could Make Gold Cool Again
(Bloomberg) -- If anyone could make gold jewelry fashionable to Americans and Europeans, it's Apple Inc.
U.S., U.K. and Italian demand for baubles made from the metal has been cut in half over the past decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the World Gold Council, as shoppers favored white-colored metals such as silver and platinum. Apple's status as the arbiter of cool means its new $10,000 gold watch and yellow iPhones and MacBooks may entice consumers to buy other gold ornaments, said Neil Meader, a precious metals consultant at Metallis Consulting Ltd.
Apple, which called gold "uniquely luxurious" in its advertising, has a history of swaying consumer tastes with its designs for touch-screen phones and portable music players. While the watch won't move the price of gold, the publicity benefits the metal that in the U.S. and Europe suffers from a reputation as old-fashioned, Meader said.