Sunday, October 30, 2011

Discussion Topic for 10/31/2011 (Mon)

1.       Sluggish income growth led U.S. households to cut back on saving in September to raise their spending, showing the economy's recovery remains fragile. (from Reuters)

Question 1:

Any comments, opinions? How would you predict the 4th quarter personal income growth rate?

2.       Emerging market debt was one of the last shoes to drop when Europe’s simmering sovereign debt crisis once again turned into a full-blown panic this summer, but when it finally did, it landed with a thud. (from Financial Times)

The head of Europe's rescue fund sought to entice China on Saturday to invest in the facility by saying investors may be protected against a fifth of initial losses and that bonds could eventually be sold in yuan if Beijing desires. (from Reuters)

Question 2:
Do you think the EU Debt Crisis is an opportunity for emerging countries to go global?
Question 3:
Assume Beijing buy the yuan dominated EU bond, do you think it’s a sign that the Chinese yuan is becoming an international currency?

3.       MetLife Inc. (MET), the insurer whose plan for a dividend increase was rejected by the Federal Reserve, said third-quarter profit surged more than 10-fold on gains in the company’s derivative bets. (from Bloomberg)

Question 4:
Give an introduction about the MetLife and the insurance industry.
Question 5:
As some big companies are reducing their package for employee insurance, how do you see the future individual insurance service?

4.       Meg Whitman wants Hewlett-Packard Co. to sell personal computers after all, a dramatic about-face by the H-P chief executive only five weeks into the latest chapter of her sweeping career. (from WSJ)

Question 6:
Compare the PC business of H-P with Dell’s.
Question 7:
Do you think the tablet is a substitution of the laptop?

Lorena Li

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