Credit Suisse on Thursday became the latest major bank to report a strong second quarter showing as its net profit rose by 29 percent to 1.57 billion Swiss Francs ($1.41 billion.) In a statement the Swiss banking giant attributed its performance to a “reduced-risk business model providing the basis for more sustainable, high-quality, lower volatility earning.” Its Investment banking arm, which incurred much of the blame for the bank’s record losses last year, weighed in with pre-tax profits of 1.66 billion Swiss Francs ($1.55 billion). Overall earnings rose by 10 percent to 8.6 billion Swiss Francs ($8.07 billion) from 7.7 billion Swiss Francs ($7.2 billion) a year earlier.
Unemployment in Japan rose to 4.8 percent in March, its highest level in four years and a nearly half-point rise from February, the government reported Friday. Household spending in the world’s second largest economy fell 0.4 percent in March, as the government predicted unemployment could rise to 5.2 percent in the next fiscal year.
Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso announced a historic ¥15 trillion ($150 billion) stimulus package Friday aimed to turn around the recession in the world’s second largest economy.
Steeped in a recession, with a surge in bankruptcies and sentiment among its largest manufacturers at a record low, Japan is expected to announce ¥15 trillion ($150 billion) in extra spending Friday. The stimulus plan is meant to keep Japan’s economy from cracking open, coalition party officials told CNN.
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Faced with ubiquitous signs of global economic meltdown, investors sold stocks in force on Tuesday, dragging the broad market indexes down near the lows reached last November. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, weighed down by financials, fell 4.56%, while the Dow Industrials sank 3.8%, falling to within a fraction of its November 2008 low. Among the hardest hit sectors were bank stocks, down 10%, oil service stocks, down 8.2%, and semiconductor stocks, which fell 6.7%