China Moves To Curb Housing Without Repeating ’08 Mistakes

China’s housing market, barely alive a year ago amid too-tight credit and a global recession, has shifted into overdrive.

Now the nation’s central bank is trying to throttle down the pace, curbing bank lending to keep home prices from rising too fast  without stalling the key growth engine again.

{loadposition in-article}

Prices have jumped 10% to 30% or more in some of the major cities. In January, they rose 9.5% from a year earlier in 70 large and midsize cities.

China is running hot by several measures. Real estate is just one target of the central government’s attempt to cool the overall economy, which is growing more than 10% a year.

On Feb. 12, for the second time in a month, the central bank raised reserve requirements on banks.

Regulators had already boosted down-payment requirements from 20% to 40% for second and luxury homes. [Read the full article]

Business is starting to creep upward at some small companies. And employees who have gone without raises or had their salaries cut over the past two years are hoping that more money coming in will lead to a raise in the near future.

But owners who need to rebuild their businesses may not be able to give those raises. They may need to put the revenue toward equipment purchases they’ve had to put off. Or they may need to travel to more trade shows to prospect for new customers.

It’s not an easy decision, especially in a company whose employees have sacrificed for the good of the company.

“It’s a really tough call. You have to have a motivated work force,” said Jill McBride, who owns a six-person public relations firm, JZMcBride & Associates, in Cincinnati. She’s trying to decide whether to give raises or add staff as business improves. [Read the full article]

Asset allocation has long been the mantra of financial advisers and smart investors intent on minimizing risk through diversification. Now, with the specter of higher taxes on income, qualified dividends, and long-term capital gains looming in 2011 and beyond, the idea of “asset location” for tax purposes is likely to become equally pervasive. “Location” in this sense means where an asset finds its most suitable home: a taxable account, or a tax-deferred portfolio such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account (IRA). This year, investors need to get ready for expiration of the Bush Administration’s tax cuts and position their portfolios accordingly, says John Nersesian, head of Chicago-based Nuveen Investments’ wealth management team, which works with financial advisers. At the margin, the top 35% income bracket will likely climb to 36% and 39.6%, while qualified dividends and long-term capital gains — on securities held for more than one year — will go from 15% to 20%. [Read the full article]

Layoffs are a growing share of cuts to Louisiana’s government work force, as agency chiefs are finding that shedding jobs through early retirements, attrition and hiring freezes don’t always balance the books when the state shrinks spending.

Prison guards, health workers, attorneys, pilots, nuisance animal trappers, pharmacists, clerical staff and midlevel bureaucrats have gotten pink slips since budget cuts deepened over the last year and a half. More jobs will be lost in the upcoming budget year that begins July 1.

Gov. Bobby Jindal proposes eliminating 2,976 positions from the state’s work force in the 2010-11 budget year.

More than 1,100 of those jobs are currently filled, mainly in the health department, according to data provided to The Associated Press by agencies this week. Another 400 were filled until midyear budget cuts forced layoffs at the health and social services departments. [Read the full article]

You may also like...