the iPhone and smart phones in general have taken the world by storm. When the iPhone 4s made its debut earlier this year shoppers, though disappointed that the it wasn’t the 5 and the design remained the same, were again queuing to get their hands on Apple’s latest software. What to expect from the new model? Rumour has it the new phone will have a larger, 4 inch scream – a dilemma for app producers who will need to adjust their software to make it compatible. Rumours of a faster processor and a redesign of the wretched antenna which caused so many problems are on the cards. Apart from that, as expected, Apple’s directors are playing on the suspense they can created and we can but wait till its anticipated release in 2012.
Kim Jong-Il’s Funeral
So, North Korea is the latest country to lose a leader. It’s been quite a shakeup of the world politics recently, Libya saw a bloody end to the regime of Gaddafi, February 2011 saw the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, 2010 marked a change in British politics from a Labour-led government to the Conservatives, and who can forget the assassination of terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden? But, what does this mean for the world? Pictures across the media today show North Koreans weeping uncontrollably at the death of what many called “the Father”, but, whilst it is difficult to declare with any great certainty the human rights record of NK due to its secretive nature, are North Koreans suffering from “Stockholm syndrome”? Have they really grown to love their oppressor? Many think not!
European Bonds – is Italy heading in the right direction? Italy has dominated much of the European crisis related news recently. However, are there signs of things easing? Italy raised 7 billions-euros at auction for its debt at rates that are marginally lower than before (dropping from 7.89 to 5.82% for 3-year bonds and an even more marginal drop for 10-year bonds). However, markets have not rejoiced at this. In fact, the Euro is trading at a 10 year low compared to the Yen, the strength of the Yen hence causing Asian markets to wobble. But, much is to be owed to the European Central Bank providing a large pot of loan capital to European Banks at around half the recent interest rate, the liquidity has said to have encouraged demand to buy up Italian debt. So, Italy’s debt is in demand and bond yields have dropped slightly, but is this enough? It has been noted that Italy’s problem is not predominantly the lack of trade, in fact, Italy trades well with luxury goods exported at high prices, Italy’s problem is in fact to do with its “welfare oriented economy”, meaning it spends too much. So, the recently approval given to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s deficit reducing plan by Parliament could in fact be damaging. Monti’s plan seeks to levy a high tax on luxury goods and primary residences and increase the cost of fuel. Many claim such measures will deepen Italian cuts and led the country into a further recession. Much is to be seen.