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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.81%. Major European indices are all lower, and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. See 10 Unusual Stocks Attracting Huge Interest In The Pre-Market Right Now >
- China announced an increase in reserve requirements this morning of 50 bps, the latest in a string of tightening measures. The measures are aimed at confronting the country’s growing inflation problem. Here’s the inflation deluge about to hit the world >
- Federal Reserve Chaiman Ben Bernanke criticised China and other states that manipulate their currencies this morning in a speech in Frankfurt. He also defended the Fed’s quantitative easing program as a measure intent on protecting the global recovery. Check out the full speech here >
- ECB President Trichet suggested the bank will not wait to raise interest rates, saying long-term low rates can do economic damage. Trichet’s comments come as fringe eurozone members continue to cope with crisis like conditions in sovereign debt markets.
- IMF officials are now in Dublin discussing the proposed details of a support package for Ireland. The negotiations centre around the costs of propping up the country’s banking sector and Ireland’s low corporate tax rate, which Germany and France want to see raised. For background, here’s how Ireland got to this point >
- Volkswagen is targeting Toyota with a series of new investments worth $71 billion. The investments will be made over a 5-year time period, and are for new production facilities, research, and development.
- PIMCO is putting together a new, $1 billion fund aimed at buying distressed assets from banks. The fund will target banks selling assets trying to meet new regulatory requirements.
- Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney is aiming to set up her own ratings agency to rival Moody’s and S&P. She doesn’t plan any radical changes to the industry’s revenue model, however, and companies will still pay for ratings.
- Dell surprised in Q3, with revenue surging 19%. Corporate sales drove the surge, while the company may have cut down on retail sales in order to keep margins high.
- The Stuxnet worm suspected of causing problems at Iran’s first nuclear reactor might have been designed to target nuclear centrifuges. The worm has been found on computers in Iran, India, and other countries. Here are the geopolitical risks the U.S. Air Force is really worried about >
- Bonus: Angelina Jolie cast husband Brad Pitt as an extra in her new film on the Bosnian war.