This week in finance, the G20 summit in Seoul took place, initial sales are in for a popular video game and a very generous cancer patient and her husband gave away $11 million in lottery winnings. In other news, a new record was set for the first 24-hours of a video games sales – and the company whose record was broken doesn't mind a bit. (For more, check out Wall Street History: Dow 1000, Death And Taxes.) IN PICTURES: Top 7 Biggest Bank Failures
Like A G20
The world was focused on the fifth G20 summit, which took place in Seoul, South Korea, November 11-12. This gathering focused on the financial and economic crisis of 2008, according to G20.org. According to the official website, the G20 summit will "double its efforts in 2010 to help the world make a successful transition from global recovery to stronger, more sustainable and balanced growth".
One of the outcomes from Friday's discussions was an agreement to review the relationship between banking regulation and trade finance, according to a Reuters article by Jonathan Lynn. The world leaders also discussed the need to facilitate trade finance in lower income countries. There was also a focus on introducing financial models that would help small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets move up from microfinance lenders. (Learn more about how new businesses get funding in The Who, What And How Of Microfinance.)
Host country South Korea is the first non-G8 country to host a G-20 summit. South Korea and the United States were unable to resolve their stalled trade agreement.
Is China Faking It?
A prevailing sentiment in international affairs this week was the attempts to scrutinize China's economic policy. China has been accused many times, and at various volumes, of intentionally suppressing their currency in an effort to boost its exports, some say, at the expense of U.S. jobs. According to an article from The Telegraph, China is equally angry about the recent $600 billion U.S. stimulus, claiming that President Barack Obama is the pot calling the kettle black.
Stocks took a hit late last week, as China's government announced that it would be tightening its economic policy even further to counter inflation.
In other market news, an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that stocks have "surrendered all gains since Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives, and the Federal Reserve announced its much-anticipated bond-buying program".
Boeing (NYSE:BA) was the worst Dow performer on Friday, according to the article, dropping 3.5%, while Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) rose 5.1% to claim top spot. (To learn more, see Why The Dow Matters.)
IN PICTURES: Top 6 Most Tradable Currency Pairs
In Less Technical News
For those less concerned with international finance, Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq:ATVI) reported that first-day sales for "Call Of Duty: Black Ops" totaled an estimated $360 million, beating their own record set last year by "Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2". This makes the latest installment in the popular franchise the biggest entertainment launch ever, according to the company.
What would you do if you won the lottery? If you are like elderly Canadian couple, Violet and Allen Large, you give most of it away. The Nova Scotia couple who won $11.25 million say they have everything they need, so they put a small amount (about 2%) away just in case, took care of their family, and donated the rest to various charities, including institutions where Violet has undergone cancer treatment. How's that for truly not caring about personal wealth? (For more, check out The Top 8 Most Generous Canadian Provinces.)
The Bottom Line
The questions surrounding China's currency policies will no doubt continue, as will equal concerns about the U.S. stimulus package and its efficacy. The important thing is that no matter the state of the economy, we will still buy any game that contains the words "Call Of Duty" in its title.
Missed out on last week's news? Read Water Cooler Finance: Lions And Diapers And Dows, Oh My!