Global markets tumble as G20 dithers and Hungary threatens debt default (+ analysis); Israel rejects Sir Geoffrey Palmer's flotilla inquiry; North Korea reshuffles officials preparing for succession; Germany cuts welfare, jobs and increases taxes; and more
Top of the Agenda: Global Markets Fall on EU, US Worries
European and Asian markets fell sharply (NYT) Monday due to continued fears about Europe's debt and the strength of the US economic recovery. Disagreements among finance ministers at the weekend meeting of the Group of 20 added to market jitters. Officials offered mixed opinions on whether fiscal stimulus should be continued and on the merits of a global bank levy. Hungary upset investors Friday by suggesting it could default on its debt, which many European banks hold. Hungary's centre-right government later backtracked on the comments. In the United States, the job market grew more slowly than economists predicted, adding to concerns about a possible double-dip recession.
Hungary's government called an emergency session over the weekend to draw up an economic plan aimed at restoring confidence (WSJ) in the country's creditworthiness.
The G20 communiqué stated the group no longer thinks fiscal spending is sustainable or effective in fostering recovery because investors are no longer confident (FT) about some countries' public finances.
On FTAlphaville, PIMCO's Mohammad El-Erian says the G20 made no meaningful progress in providing "a unifying magnet for increasingly disparate and uncoordinated national policy approaches."
In Fund Strategy, Daniel Ben-Ami says the eurozone may stave off collapse, but it has already split into a two-tiered institution.
Read the G20 communiqué (PDF) in full.
PACIFIC RIM: North Korea Shuffles Top Posts
North Korea shuffled (WSJ) its top officials during a rare parliamentary session, in a move that appears to consolidate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's power before transferring it to his son, Kim Jong-Un.
China: China's coastal factories are raising salaries; local governments are hiking minimum wage standards; and an expected rise in the value of China's currency against the US dollar is likely to raise the cost of Chinese manufacturing, all resulting in higher global consumer prices (NYT).
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org