Links and Reading for April 7th

Some of the more interesting and important items for April 7th :

  • Portugal finally asks EU for help – MarketWatch – Portugal’s prime minister, Jose Socrates, told the nation that the assistance was “inevitable” after parliament rejected an austerity plan. Portugal now looks set to join Greece and Ireland in receiving bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
  • Bank of Japan holds steady, unveils loan facility – MarketWatch – TOKYO (MarketWatch) — The Bank of Japan said Thursday that its policy board unanimously voted to keep its overnight call rate range from zero to 0.1%, and it also established a special lending facility for financial instituations in areas hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The BOJ said it plans to lend a total of 1 trillion yen ($12.3 billion) in one-year loans at 0.1%, and it said it would also broaden the range of eligible colateral for its money-market operations, "with a view to securing sufficient financing capacity of financial institutions in disaster areas." The central bank also downgraded its broad economic assessment after the disasters, saying in a statement that "Japan's economy is under strong downward pressure, mainly on the production side."
  • Equities debate swirls as ECB prepares hike – MarketWatch – LONDON (MarketWatch) — Rate hikes are supposed to spell trouble for equities, but some European investors say they won’t be running scared as the European Central Bank prepares Thursday to tighten monetary policy for the first time since 2008.
  • Malls Face Surge in Vacancies – – Even as the economy picks up steam, many of the nation's malls and shopping centers are suffering a hangover due to changing consumer habits and the fallout from a massive building boom.
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