World
China drives steel production growth in February

As per World Steel Dynamics, inventory restocking should continue in China on a broader level as 2012 saw a large destocking of inventory which is still getting replenished

The Chinese crude steel production momentum remains strong since October 2012 and has grown in double digits for the last four months, observes Nomura Equity Research in note.

 

China produced 61.8 million tonnes of crude steel in February 2013, up 10.6% year-on-year. These observations are reflected in the higher inventory of steel, as trader inventory in China has now increased to 20.8 million tonnes, from 13.2 million tonnes in December 2012. The trader inventory is now close to the March 2012 level. However, as per World Steel Dynamics, inventory restocking should continue in China on a broader level as 2012 saw a large destocking of inventory which is still getting replenished.

 

Global crude steel production grew by 1.8% year-on-year during February 2012 and 3.4% year-on-year for the first two months of the year. On a seasonally adjusted run rate, production growth was higher, at 7.6% year-on-year. Global capacity utilization at current levels would be about 80%. The production growth has been driven primarily by strong Chinese production (10.6% growth year-on-year to 61.8 million tonnes). However, weak production in the US (down 11.8% year-on-year), European Union (down 3.5% year-on-year) and CIS countries (down 9.7% year-on-year) were key drags on the overall growth.

 

Crude steel production at both the US and EU has been weak during February 2013 with year-on-year declines of 11.8% and 3.5%, respectively. While EU steel production has remained weak for the last 12-15 months, US steel production numbers have started to fall for the last six months. EU production has been impacted primarily by weak production in Italy (it produces 15% of total EU crude steel output), which declined by 15% year-on-year. However weaker steel production in the US is mainly on account of the high base last year (crude steel production growth during July 2011 to May 2012 was about 10% and in February 2012 was 12.8%).

 

As per recent data, steel inventory with traders and service centres has further increased in March 2013 – Chinese trader inventory has increased to 20.8 million tonnes from 12.2mt in Dec-2012, while global inventory has increased to 39.8 million tonnes from 30.3 million tonnes in December 2012.

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Our Internet surveillance state

Maintaining privacy on the Internet is nearly impossible. We consumers have no choice in the matter. All the major companies that provide us with Internet services are interested in tracking us

I am going to start with three data points.
 

One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.
 

Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.
 

And three: Paula Broadwell, who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels -- and hers was the common name.
 

The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.

 

Continue reading
 

(Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist and author. Described by The Economist as a ‘security guru’, he is best known as a refreshingly candid and lucid security critic and commentator)
 

Courtesy: http://www.schneier.com/

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FSLRC recommends merger of SEBI, FMC, IRDA and PFRDA into single agency

Apart from an agency created by merging SEBI, FMC, IRDA and PFRDA, there should be six other agencies in the financial system including three new ones, suggests the FSLRC

 
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) has recommended creating a unified financial authority (UFA) by merging the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Forward Markets Commission (FMC), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The recommendation of creating UFA looks revolutionary on paper, but is neither practical nor of any use. From the consumers’ perspective, the track record of these regulators is a huge disappointment. In fact, there is hardly an example about an investor or saver receiving satisfactory redressal of his grievances from these regulators.
 
The FSLRC has said, “The unified financial authority will implement the consumer protection provisions and micro-prudential provisions for the entire financial system, apart from banking and payments. This would yield benefits in terms of economies of scope and scale in the financial system. It would reduce the identification of the regulatory agency with one sector and it would help address the difficulties of finding the appropriate talent in government agencies.” 
 
The FSLRC was set up by the ministry of finance to review and rewrite the financial sector legislations to bring them in tune with the current / emerging requirements under the chairmanship of Justice BN Srikrishna.
 
“This proposed UFA would also take over the work on organised financial trading from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the areas connected with the bond-currency-derivatives nexus, and from the FMC for commodity futures, thus giving a unification of all organised financial trading including equities, government securities, currencies, commodity futures, corporate bonds, and so on.”
 
“The unification of regulation and supervision of financial firms such as mutual funds, insurance companies and a diverse array of firms that are not banks or payment systems would yield consistent treatment in consumer protection and micro-prudential regulation across all of them,” the FSLRC said.
 
The FSLRC said financial regulatory architecture suitable for Indian conditions should consist of seven agencies, including the RBI and UFA. “RBI will only regulate and supervise banks and payment system and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) will be regulated and supervised by UFA,” it said.
 
The FSLRC said RBI will continue to exist, although with modified functions while the existing SEBI, FMC, IRDA, and PFRDA will be merged into a new UFA. The existing SAT will be subsumed into the FSAT and existing DICGC will be subsumed into the Resolution Corporation. A new FRA and PDMA will be created and the existing FSDC will become a full-fledged statutory agency, with modified functions. Here are the seven agencies proposed by the FSLRC…
 
RBI: The RBI will perform three functions—monetary policy regulation and supervision of banking in enforcing the proposed consumer protection provisions; the proposed micro-prudential provisions; and regulation and supervision of payment systems.
 
UFA (Unified Financial Authority): The Unified Financial Authority will implement the consumer protection provisions and micro-prudential provisions for the entire financial system, apart from banking and payments. 
 
FSAT (Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal): The present Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) will be subsumed in FSAT, which will hear appeals against RBI for its regulatory functions, the Unified Financial Authority, decisions of the Financial Redress Agency (FRA), against the central government in its capital control functions and some elements of the work of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) and the Resolution Corporation.
 
Resolution Corporation: The present Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC) will be subsumed into the Resolution Corporation, which will work across the financial system.
 
FRA (Financial Redress Agency): The FRA is a new agency which will have to be created in implementing this financial regulatory architecture. It will set up a nationwide machinery to become a one-stop shop where consumers can carry complaints against all financial firms.
 
PDMA (Public Debt Management Agency): An independent Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) is envisioned.
 
FSDC (Financial Stability and Development Council): The existing FSDC will become a statutory agency and have modified functions. 
 
 

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COMMENTS

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

I have a feeling that Action can be taken at any time if the report is there, we all have to weigh the pros and cons before deciding.The report is for merger, if merged cannot be demerged easily.

ABHA CHAWLA MOHANTY

4 years ago

,,,,,,,,,,,,RIPE TIME.....ACTIONABLE!

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to ABHA CHAWLA MOHANTY 4 years ago

Further Dear Sir, what action in favour of merger or against

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

I doubt it, will this govt. really work for consumers or trying to look as if they are worried about the economy which they have spoilt.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

They cannot control one Dept. thinking of creating a giant with very very heavy corruption on the cards.

Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

First & foremost the FSLRC was headed by B.N. Srikrishna; J; which submitted its report to FinMin last week, posted on its website on 28th.

Who will head the FSLRC? Russell’s Paradox.

In which manner the eleven financial sector laws, institutions by statute can be got under UFA?

When the enabling amendments can be done? Enacting UFA!?
Without regulatory scatter, including SBI.

A good proposal to regulate coop Banks; micro prudential regulations. A must.

It is obvious that the Govt. `get a greater say in fixing monetary policy, the RBI domain.

Post budget, I had heard PC commenting on rate policy in an interview that ‘the advisory committee’ [of RBI] should advise the Guv; the appropriate steps initiated in the Fin.Bill’13. [meaning fiscal & CAD.]

Guv. D. Subbarao, an independent thinking a person [like his predecessors] was not directly addressed by PC.

However on March 26, his st. from Mauritius, ‘need to move towards MPC structure’.

When do we move towards ‘monetary policy committee structure’? & HOW?
Under FSLRC what is the norm?

Yes, it was also suggested by C.Rangarajan earlier, the committee he headed.
Nothing new in it. MPC welcome, as is the practice in many countries.

Why MPC should not have RBI members in majority? Why only the RBI Gu?
Yes the Guv; can override MPC in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Who is the FinMin to set quantitative policy? This silent objective is yet taking ‘baby steps’ in other advanced economies since 90’s. They have controlled inflation, no clear results related to economic growth.

In UK, nine member MPC has four outside, US, quasi MPC, none.

Apart from independent RBI, can we practice fixed exchange rate like China with 1% variation?
The yuan is at 19yr high [6.2689/$].

Our CAD will further depreciate the INR, w/o resulting in exports growth.
RBI, precluded non-intervention forex mkt. policy, a great aspect.

The present Guv; is astutely handling it, irrespective of the FinMin, credible.
Last week reserves stand at $292.3B.

If EPFO gets into the ambit of FSLRC, it will guarantee the protection.

When GST will be there? When DTC will be there? Not FSLRC concern.

It is expected that at least FSLRC will define in policy similar to the Finance Bill.

Open in the public domain & accordingly enacted as law.

We wait & watch, tho’ rightful cast aspersions, in a way.

Regards,


REPLY

ABHA CHAWLA MOHANTY

In Reply to Vinay Joshi 4 years ago

WHAT BILLS AND LAW HAVE DONE TO FINANCE SECTOR??........THE POLICY MAKER NEED TO CLOSE, AND, COLOR MARKERS GREY ......

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to ABHA CHAWLA MOHANTY 4 years ago

But, will not because they are neck in deep, RBI could not be controlled so cutting its wings

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to Vinay Joshi 4 years ago

Well summed up
Regards

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

Very much like Lego.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

Mr DSouza is correct, it is new wine in old bottle,
IN case the Govt. fixes time bound clearances if not, will be deemed to be cleared, you will find hell lot of change in the working and logging should be on line so that the date on which logged is not tampered with.

Ubaldo C DSouza

4 years ago

The first sentence says it all - new wine in old bottles. How can we do away with the "pillar to post" mentality? The various temples of authority can be juggled around but we must have them for different kinds of "pujas". The "One window" phrase seems to be the current infatuation but it can never be implemented.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

will it be able to stop the rot prevalent in stock market and other markets. Or it is a ploy to merge and then what has been done before next govt. will not be able to get previous information.

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