Hot Trends: March 31

Light touch for the big, heavy hand for the small: Porsche landed a $9 billion windfall from its share options in Volkswagen, which it used to screw every hedge fund in the universe during the first half of its fiscal year. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, according to Bafin. -[]- Peer-to-peer lending should be regulated, say regulators. Peer-to-peer lending being the online version of hitting up a friend you don’t like much for a loan you swear you’ll pay back in two months.

These things take time: The Asia Development Bank cut its 2009 GDP outlook to 7% from 8.2%, basically due to the unreadiness for shovels of Beijing’s stimulus package. But in 2010, it sees China’s GDP at 8%. Be wary of these downward revisions. They seem to come in twos, a first one to take into account a few mitigating factors. A second one to reflect a mega-recession. See, for instance, the World Bank’s latest call on Russia’s GDP — from a 3% rise to a 4.5% contraction. -[]- While it waits for the effects of the first one to go through, Japan plans a second stimulus.

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