Japan’s mulls cash for IMF
Japan is considering lending about US$60 billion to the IMF to help strengthen a global firewall against contagion from the European sovereign debt crisis, Kyodo news agency said yesterday. Tokyo is talking with some other key members of the IMF— such as China and European nations — to finalize their possible contributions to the multilateral lender, ahead of the G20 finance chiefs’ meeting this week in Washington. China is expected to offer a similar amount, leading other emerging economies, some of which are still calling for additional efforts by European leaders to help themselves.
N. Korea rocket impacts risk
Seoul will closely monitor financial markets and review contingency plans after North Korea’s failed rocket launch brought the peninsula’s geopolitical risk back into focus, the finance ministry said yesterday. The launch of the long-range rocket on Friday had “limited” impact on the South’s financial markets and the economy, according to an e-mailed statement from the finance ministry. Seoul will take necessary steps to prevent any sudden market changes, the statement said. Officials, including Vice Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon, the vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission, Choo Kyung-ho, and Park Won-shik, the senior deputy governor from the Bank of Korea attended yesterday’s meeting to review impact of the North’s actions, according to the statement.
Soros faults Germany
US billionaire investor George Soros has called on Germany to contribute more to help save the euro, according to an interview published in the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag. “The Germans should decide if they want the euro or not. If so, they have to carry out financial transfers. If not, they should leave the eurozone,” said Soros, who is also a major philanthropist and author. If Germany chooses to quit the eurozone, its exports would suffer as the “new German currency would find itself at a high value.” Soros blamed the German government and Bundesbank for putting the euro in peril over their insistence on austerity and price stability.
Anderson, Richie owe a lot
Pamela Anderson and Lionel Richie owe the US government money. California tax authorities have put Anderson on the latest list of the state’s biggest income-tax delinquents. The Franchise Tax Board said the former Baywatch star owes US$524,241 in state income taxes. Meanwhile, E! Online reports that Richie, a music legend, owes the federal government US$1.1 million in unpaid taxes and that a lien has been issued warning that the singers’ assets may be seized if he does not pay up in a timely manner.
Total works on rig leak
French energy giant Total said on Saturday it had made progress on plans to fix the gas leak at its stricken North Sea rig. “Total has made significant progress in the past week towards stopping the gas leak on well G4 on its Elgin platform,” the group said in an official statement. The Elgin platform, 240km off Aberdeen on Scotland’s east coast, has been spewing a cloud of gas since March 25. All staff were evacuated when it began leaking more than two weeks ago.