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September 27, 2011

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID,JAKARTA–Presiden AS Barack Obama pada Senin mengeluh bahwa krisis keuangan Eropa adalah menakutkan dunia dan berakar pada kegagalan zona euro untuk memperbaiki perbankan.

Dalam sebuah tanda baru frustrasi AS tentang situasi yang banyak ditakutkan Washington, lebih lanjut dapat menggagalkan pemulihan AS, Obama menyebutkan gejolak zona euro sebagai salah satu faktor asing yang telah membantu memperlambat ekonomi Amerika.

“Di Eropa … Anda tahu, mereka belum sepenuhnya sembuh kembali dari krisis 2007 dan tidak pernah sepenuhnya menangani semua tantangan yang dihadapisistem perbankan mereka,” kata Obama di sebuah forum yang diselenggarakan oleh jaringan sosial LinkedIn.

“Sekarang sedang diperparah dengan apa yang terjadi di Yunani. Jadi mereka akan melalui krisis keuangan yang menakutkan dunia. Dan mereka berusaha untuk mengambil tindakan yang bertanggung jawab, namun tindakan tersebut tidak cukup secepat yang mereka perlukan.”

Setelah berminggu-minggu mengatakan Eropa memiliki kapasitas untuk mengatasi krisis utang negara, para pejabat AS telah menunjukkan tanda-tanda meningkatnya ketidaksabaran dengan pemimpin politik Uni Eropa karena kekhawatiran penyebaran penularan dari krisis zona euro.

Menteri Keuangan AS Timothy Geithner mengatakan pekan lalu bahwa Amerika memiliki taruhan besar di Eropa untuk membantu menemukan “strategi yang lebih efektif” untuk mengatasi krisis keuangannya.

Saham Eropa dan AS naik pada Senin dengan spekulasi dana bailout lebih ambisius untuk zona euro dan default (gagal bayar) teratur Yunani, meskipun kurangnya rincian dan penolakan oleh pejabat terus membuat perdagangan bergejolak.

Tapi Jerman menembak jatuh langkah untuk meningkatkan dana penyelamatan utang Eropa, dan Yunani merana tanpa tanggal untuk kembalinya auditor yang memblokir pinjaman yang mereka butuhan untuk menghindari default.

http://www.republika.co.id/berita/internasional/global/11/09/27/ls5m3u-obamakrisis-eropa-menakutkan-dunia

Sumber : REPUBLIKA.CO.ID
Geithner Predicts Europe Will Move With More Force
By Ian Katz – Sep 26, 2011

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner predicted that European governments will step up their response to their region’s debt crisis after a chiding from counterparts around the world.

“They heard from everybody around the world” at meetings in Washington last week, Geithner said in an interview today on ABC television’s “World News With Diane Sawyer” program. “This was really hurting — starting to hurt growth everywhere, in countries as far away as China, Brazil and India, Korea. And they heard the same message from us they heard from everybody else, which is it’s time to move.”

Speculation that policy makers will intensify their attempt to contain a crisis that threatens to send Greece into default and undermine prospects for the survival of the euro in its current form spurred a gain in stocks. European Central Bank officials have indicated they will consider expanding liquidity provisions when they meet Oct. 6.

National benchmark indexes rallied in all 18 western European markets today, except Greece and Norway, and the euro rose for a second session. The currency was down 0.3 percent at $1.3498 as of 8:56 a.m. in Tokyo.

Geithner set the tone at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund by warning that failure to combat the Greek-led turmoil threatened “cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk.” People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at the talks that the euro area crisis “needs to be resolved promptly.”
Need to Escalate

European leaders “recognized the need to escalate,” Geithner said in the ABC interview. “They’re going to have to put a much more powerful financial framework behind this. I really believe that you’re going to see them do that, but we wanted to make sure they do it as quickly as they can and as definitively as they can.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sept. 25 that euro- region leaders must erect a firewall around Greece to avert a cascade of market attacks on other European states and said expanding the powers of the region’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, was necessary to avoid contagion.

The challenge of debt sustainability in Europe is in part a consequence of the 1999 inception of the euro as a single currency, the U.S. Treasury chief signaled.
Euro’s Legacy

European governments took advantage of the lower interest rates “that came with monetary union, and they borrowed a lot. And they spent too much. And the governments got very big. Benefits got very generous,” he said.

Turning to the U.S., Geithner said ‘‘there’s a very good chance’’ Congress will approve President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs proposal. The plan, incorporating payroll-tax cuts and a $105 billion infrastructure program, is designed to help pull down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

Earlier today Geithner was in Louisville, Kentucky, to meet with leaders from businesses including Ford Motor Co. (F) to discuss the jobs proposal and to tour operations of package-delivery company United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)
Wall Street Positif Dipicu Rencana Bailout ECB

Oleh: Agustina Melani
Pasar Modal – Selasa, 27 September 2011 | 06:04 WIB

INILAH.COM, New York – Bursa saham Wall Street naik pada perdagangan Senin (26/9) yang didorong harapan pemimpin Eropa akan menemukan jalan memotong utang Yunani dan menyelamatkan bank Eropa.

Indeks Dow Jones naik 272,38 poin atau 2,53% ke level 11.043,86. Indeks S&P 500 naik 26,52 poin atau 2,33% ke level 1.162,95. Indeks Nasdaq naik 33,46 poin atau 1,35% ke level 2.516,69.

Saham bergerak rally menjelang penutupan setelah ada laporan untuk rencana leverage dari European Financial Stability Facility. Investor tidak mengharapkan komitmen jangka panjang karena laporan konflik ada atau tidak pemimpin Eropa menyiapkan aksi untuk menyelesaikan krisis.

“Orang tertarik dengan rumor tak jelas sehingga aksi apapun akan diterima,” ujar Michael Church, Presiden of Addison Capital di Yardley seperti dikutip dari yahoofinance.com.

Pasar sangat begitu sensitif dengan usaha Eropa untuk menyelesaikan krisis utang Eropa. Minggu lalu, Dow Jones mencatatkan penurunan paling tajam pada Oktober 2008 sementara S&@ turun 6,6%.

Saham keuangan mencatatkan performa baik dengan indeks KBW Bank naik 5,3%. JPMorgan Chase and Co naik 7% ke level US$31,65 sementara Citigroup Inc naik 7% ke harga US$26,72.

Meski begitu, keuntungan Nasdaq terbatas setelah Apple menyatakan memotong beberapa order. Pembicaraan rencana 50% menurunkan utang Yunani dan meningkatkan dana penyelamatan zona Eropa dinilai pembicaraan prematur.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index turun 5,4% tetapi indeks ini naik lebih dari 20% pada September.

Saham Apple turun 0,3% ke level US$403,17 setelah analis mengatakan, Apple telah memotong order dari supplier untuk bagian iPad. Sementara itu, saham Boeing Co naik 4,2% ke level US$62,01.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc akan melakukan buyback saham setelah investor komplain saham telah undervalued. Saham Berkshire Hathaway aktif diperdagangkan hingga ke level harga US$72,09.

Volume perdagangan saham sekitar 8,75 miliar saham di bursa saham New York, American Stock Exchange, dan Nasdaq di atas rata-rata perdagangan saham sebesar 8,47 miliar saham.

Berlin

Eyeing Early Launch of Permanent Bailout Mechanism
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to talk show host Günther Jauch about the euro crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to talk show host Günther Jauch about the euro crisis.

The German government is considering bringing forward the launch of the planned permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, to 2012 from 2013, SPIEGEL has learned. Meanwhile Chancellor Angela Merkel, facing a crucial parliamentary vote on Thursday on the temporary rescue fund, has warned that a Greek default would “destroy the confidence of investors.”

The European Stability Mechanism, the permanent bailout fund for the euro zone, may be introduced sooner than planned, SPIEGEL has learned.

According to the German finance ministry, led by Wolfgang Schäuble, the government in Berlin is considering launching the ESM next year, rather than waiting until 2013. If all participating parliaments have ratified the agreement for the new international financial institution, it makes sense for them to start their work immediately, according to the ministry.

An expedited start would have a number of advantages; above all, future calls for collateral in return for aid, as Finland is currently demanding from Greece, would be unnecessary. The ESM will have capital of 80 billion euros (107.4 billion dollars) paid up-front at its disposal to serve as collateral.

In the meantime, a solution for the Finns’ controversial demand for security could be on the horizon. They will get their security, but only if they pay their share of the ESM capital, amounting to almost €1.5 billion ($2 billion ) in one go. This possibility would be made available to all the other participating countries as well.

No one in Berlin, however, expects anyone to emulate the Finns. Most countries, including Germany, will pay their contributions to the ESM in five equal annual instalments, as originally planned.

Merkel Tries to Reassure Germans on Euro

Separately, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) appeared on German TV on Sunday night to reassure the public over the euro crisis and defend her government’s course of action. Speaking on public TV station ARD, she insisted that a Greek default was not an option. It would destroy investor confidence in the euro zone and might spark contagion like that experienced after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, she argued.

We need to take steps we can control,” Merkel said, drawing a parallel between the Greek situation and that of Lehman Brothers, whose bankruptcy helped trigger the global financial crisis. “What we can’t do is destroy the confidence of all investors mid-course and get a situation where they say that if we’ve done it for Greece, we will also do it for Spain, for Belgium, or any other country. Then not a single person would put their money in Europe anymore.”

The main thrust of her hour-long appearance opposite talk show host Günther Jauch was simple: The situation is serious but under control. Athens must enforce its reforms; otherwise there will be no more aid. But removing Greece from the euro is not an option. She said there was no alternative to reforming the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the temporary bailout fund, and that the ESM, which is set to supersede the EFSF and make state insolvencies possible, was equally essential. In future there must be a better mechanism for sanctions against countries which cannot maintain stability. And for European financial and economic policy, that means: Yes to better coordination, no to a common financial government.

Merkel Plays Down Need for Own Majority in Vote

Merkel said she was confident the law will be passed, and that she did not regard it as essential that her center-right coalition musters its own absolute majority. Opposition parties have said they will back the law, so it is virtually certain to go through. But a failure by Merkel to rally enough of her own coalition MPs to secure an own majority, which would in effect make her reliant on opposition votes, would be seen as a major blow to her authority. In recent weeks, some two dozen MPs from her conservatives and their junior coalition partner, the pro-business FDP, have threatened not to back the law. Her coalition has a 19-seat majority in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

Radical steps such a as a debt haircut for Greece or a return to the deutschmark for Germany were ruled out by Merkel. A debt haircut may sound easy, Merkel said, but it could cause a massive loss of investor confidence across the entire euro zone, with incalculable consequences. And a return to the deutschmark would make German exports too expensive.

A debt haircut may sound easy, Merkel said, but it could cause a massive loss of investor confidence across the entire euro zone, with incalculable consequences. And a return to the deutschmark would make German exports too expensive.

Merkel, however, referred specifically to the importance of establishing the possibility for an orderly state bankruptcy in the ESM. “I am convinced we need that.”

— SPIEGEL with wires
Mixed Reaction to Europe’s Talk of Bolstering a Bailout Fund
By JACK EWING AND STEPHEN CASTLE
nytimes
FRANKFURT — Wedged between impatient financial markets and restive voters, European political leaders struggled on Monday to formulate a bolder response to the sovereign debt crisis, including possibly expanding the firepower of the euro zone’s bailout fund.

European officials said a plan was in the works that would enlarge the bailout fund’s borrowing power but not the amount that countries were contributing. The proposal was met guardedly by German officials, who are already struggling to swing public opinion in favor of the more modest aid plan they agreed to in July, let alone any new initiatives.

As finance ministers and central bankers trickled back to Europe from meetings in Washington over the weekend, markets were clearly eager for a plan that would isolate Greece’s problems from the rest of the Continent and ensure that Italy and Spain did not also fall victim to the debt crisis.

The main stock indexes in Europe rose Monday, in part because of expectations that a more robust response to the problem was in the works.

A more potent bailout fund would not remove the need for other changes, like strengthening the banking system and improving decision making by the European Union, said Nicolas Véron, a senior fellow at Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels. But it would help, he said.

“I don’t think one measure can solve it all, but it would make a significant difference in market sentiment,” said Mr. Véron, who testified in Washington last week before the Senate Banking Committee on the debt crisis. Meanwhile, Finland appeared to be closer to resolving an impasse that had threatened to hold up deployment of the existing bailout fund. Alexander Stubb, the Finnish minister for European affairs, said the country’s Parliament was likely to approve a plan agreed to by leaders in July.

Finland is also close to resolving a dispute about its demand for collateral in return for granting more aid to Greece. The dispute illustrated how political opposition in just one of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro can block initiatives.

“I’m very confident we will get the package through Parliament,” Mr. Stubb said by phone. He declined to give details of how the collateral dispute might be resolved.

In Brussels, Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio, a spokesman for the European Commission, confirmed that discussions were under way on methods to extend the effectiveness of the bailout fund, called the European Financial Stability Facility.

Olli Rehn, the commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, had made clear at meetings in Washington that the euro zone was “contemplating further leveraging” of the stability fund, Mr. Altafaj-Tardio said. That option has been urged by United States officials.

Separately, leaders tried to quash rumors that Greece and its creditors had discussed the possibility of banks’ taking a larger cut in the value of their Greek bond holdings — perhaps as much as 50 percent — to reduce the government’s debt burden to a more manageable level.

Such a move remained highly controversial and was opposed by the large banks as well as the European Central Bank, which owns Greek bonds with a value of as much as 60 billion euros, or $80.8 billion. Any Greek default would probably also require a coordinated bailout of banks holding large amounts of Greek debt.

As has often been the case, European leaders seemed to have different perceptions of what was being discussed and how likely it was that the proposals would find support.

Martin Kotthaus, a spokesman for the German Finance Ministry, said in Berlin there was no need to expand the size of the bailout fund by giving it more money than already agreed. There is fear that pumping more money into the fund might threaten the credit rating of countries like France by increasing their liabilities.

But German officials did not appear to be opposed to increasing the rescue fund’s power to leverage its government guarantees. They wanted only to avoid any discussion until Parliament votes this week on a proposal to expand the size of the fund to 780 billion euros. That plan was agreed to by European leaders on July 21. Some analysts have said that the fund needs to be two to three times as big to convince markets that it could handle a wider crisis.

On Monday, a senior official in the Greek Finance Ministry, responding to persistent default rumors, said no such event was imminent. And on Sunday, Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, said in Washington that the government’s plan to exchange some existing bonds for new, longer-term securities remained on track.

The debt exchange would impose a relatively modest 21 percent loss on the face value of the affected bonds. It is regarded as a good deal for investors because they would receive more solid paper in exchange. Greek creditors must still indicate their willingness to participate.

Policy makers want to put Greece on a path toward reducing its debt load to just below 100 percent of its gross domestic product within this decade so that it can wean itself off taxpayer bailouts. The hope is that much of that reduction would come through revived economic growth.

But those prospects seem distant given the deep recession into which Greece has fallen and stricter belt-tightening measures being demanded by international creditors.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany rejected the idea of a Greek default, telling a television interviewer late Sunday that such an event could deliver a shock to the financial system similar to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

“We can only take steps that we can really control,” she said on ARD, a public broadcaster. If Greece touched off another financial crisis, she said, “then we politicians will be held responsible.”

Under one option being discussed, the bailout fund would be able to absorb losses sustained by the European Central Bank on its purchases of Greek and other government bonds, according to an European Union official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the delicacy of the issue.

There is, one official said, no preferred model and it remained unclear whether such moves would be possible without further legal changes. Some officials say they think such steps could be constitutionally difficult, particularly in Germany.

“Further enhancement could require treaty reform,” said the European Union official.

Resistance to new plans to strengthen the rescue fund might also be forthcoming from the central bank, which has been trying to reduce its bond-buying program.

Attention will focus this week on Greece and negotiations on the release of the next portion of international aid, worth 8 billion euros. Without the money, Greece would default next month.

A mission by officials of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund was expected to leave for Athens this week. Mr. Altafaj-Tardio said that a decision on the release of the next aid installment was not expected by the time euro zone finance ministers meet next Monday.

Opposition to more aid to Greece remains deep in Germany among the public, mainstream economists and the president of the German central bank, Jens Weidmann.

Speaking in Washington on Monday, Mr. Weidmann said that aid had already weakened incentives for countries to behave responsibly.

“Contrary to what is actually needed in order to overcome the sovereign debt crisis, we risk seeing the propensity for excessive deficits rise even further in the future,” he said.

Jack Ewing reported from Frankfurt and Stephen Castle from Brussels. Liz Alderman contributed reporting from Paris and Landon Thomas Jr. from London.

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