Meeting to probe LIBOR
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King was to lead a meeting of global central bankers yesterday as they grapple with the collapse in confidence in LIBOR, the benchmark rate for more than US$500 trillion of securities. At least a dozen banks are being probed by regulators worldwide for potentially rigging the London interbank offered rate. King was scheduled for talks with counterparts from the world’s largest economies in Basel, Switzerland, from yesterday. The meeting is held every two months under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements. King called the gathering in July after Barclays PLC was fined ￡290 million (US$462 million) for its role in manipulating LIBOR.
Populism summit proposed
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Saturday proposed a special European summit to confront growing populism in the face of the continent’s financial crisis. “We are in a dangerous phase,” Monti said on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum on Lake Como after meeting with EU Council President Herman van Rompuy. He said a divisive populism is present in nearly all eurozone countries and that it aims to divide nations at a moment when the impetus is for greater integration to help safeguard the euro currency and restore health to the EU’s economy. The prime minister offered Rome as a venue for a summit. Van Rompuy said he supported the proposal.
Steelworkers may have pact
The United Steelworkers have announced a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with ArcelorMittal USA covering about 14,000 workers. The union told members on Saturday that they would be getting details soon, as well as dates and locations of informational meetings before a ratification vote. Officials say the current contract, which expired on Sept. 1, would be extended until then. The statement says healthcare for retirees was one of the most important issues, and union officials believe they have negotiated a framework that will protect both current and future retirees. The union says it won wage increases and improved healthcare, rejected management’s calls for two-tier wage and pension systems, and maintained seniority rights and protections against the use of outside contractors.
India gets Dreamliner
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner landed in New Delhi on Saturday, ending a four-year wait by struggling national carrier Air India to add the next-generation jet to its fleet. The plane, painted in the red and yellow livery of Air India, took 15 hours of flying time from Boeing’s Charleston factory in South Carolina to Delhi, plus a 90-minute stopover at Frankfurt for refueling, said the commander of the aircraft, Captain A.S. Soman. The plane’s arrival — the first of 27 Dreamliners ordered by Air India — was delayed since 2008 because of production problems at Boeing.
Vietnam Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, Western Commercial Joint-Stock Bank and Mekong Development Commercial Joint-Stock Bank have “limited competitiveness,” according to a posting on the government’s Web site. The three banks were placed in the lowest of four groups ranked by competitiveness in a government-backed report written in part by economists from local universities, according to the posting.