Liberal economist says accepts finance minister post

Egyptian Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi has been holding meetings with candidates for his new cabinet, which is expected to be formed in the next few days. Nabil Fahmy, a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States, had earlier said he accepted the post of foreign minister. Senior Judge Mohamed Amin el-Mahdy also said he agreed to take the post of justice minister. (Writing by Yasmine Saleh, editing by Mike Collett-White)

Muthoot Finance may turn 2000 gold-loan outlets into bank branches

But trimming the goods and services tax – while politically popular – has made balancing the books even more challenging, with the two-percentagepoint cut eroding upwards of $14 billion annually from federal coffers. “Cutting the GST was a big mistake and should be discussed as part of his negative legacy,” Lee added. One of Flaherty’s greater achievements so far, he argued, was helping restructure the Canadian economy using the budget, including retooling Old Age Security, reforming employment insurance and encouraging labour mobility. But Nelson Wiseman, political scientist at the University of Toronto, says he’s a bit baffled by the “so-called great reputation” Flaherty has earned, saying he has few remarkable achievements and his decisions have helped drive Canada back into deficit.

Flaherty’s time as finance minister may be over, but any successor faces PM oversight

“We are confident of getting a banking licence from the Reserve Bank, given our reach in rural markets and our over a century of experience. In fact, our experience is the biggest asset and we are better suited than many other applicants in this regard,” Muthoot Finance managing director George Alexander Muthoot told PTI from the headquarter in Kochi. Many of its branches are in tier 2,3 & 4 towns and they can be immediately converted into a full-fledged bank branches. Muthoot said 4,200 branches, large existing customer base and strong brand image makes it an eligible candidate. With 74 years in gold financing, the company has over 4,200 gold loan outlets across 21 states and four Union territories, and employee strength of over 25,000 with a gold loan portfolio over Rs 26,000 crore as of last fiscal.

Progress on Housing Finance Reform

Other possible outcomes for housing finance reform are to maintain the status quo in which Fannie and Freddie are controlled by the government and there is no private capital, or to move to a private system in which government involvement is limited to the small share of loans made with the involvement of agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration that work with targeted groups of borrowers. Both of these alternatives are flawed. The current government-dominated system exposes taxpayers to needless risk and stifles the possibility of beneficial competition and innovation. Not moving forward with reform would lock in this unfortunate situation. A move to a fully private system seems desirable, but it is difficult to see this as a stable outcome or one that actually protects taxpayers in the event of an inevitable future crisis. This is because the government will feel compelled to intervene in the face of any future housing market collapse, regardless of promises that the system was private.

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