This Week in Finance: Friday, August 14, 2009

Here is a recap of important finance news from around the world.

Summary: Overall mixed signals from the economy, another major bank fails, more AIG jobs are cut, some Asian and European countries are pulling out of the recession and the health care reform is still a mess.

Hong Kong Pulls Out of Recession
Hong Kong is officially out of its recession as the trade and banking-reliant country saw marked improvements in the second quarter. It joins many Asian and European countries that saw improvement after massive global downturn.

Crude Oil Demand Remains Weak
Contracts for US crude oil futures fell 4% Friday amid slowing global demand. Oil supplies remain high and OPEC will not seek to increase production.

Nigeria Central Bank Fires 5 Bank CEOs
Nigeria central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi fired 5 chief executive officers due to the growing debt concern the country is facing. Sanusi assures the financial system there remains stable and will inject $2.6 billion into those banking institutions.

AIG Finance Cuts 900 Jobs
American International Group’s consumer finance unit eliminated 900 jobs and closed 145 branch locations due to another losing quarter. 11% of their workforce has been eliminated so far this year.

Colonial BancGroup Fails: 6th Largest Bank Failure in US History
A federal judge ordered Colonial BancGroup to freeze its assets, and another report surfaced that rival BB&T will purchase the assets. The potential failure of Colonial will be the biggest bank failure of 2009.

US Industrial Production Rises First Time in 9 Months
US industrial output rose for the first time in July since last October. Although vehicle assemblies grew, it had little to do with the recent cash for clunkers plan to get rid of inefficient vehicles.

‘Death Panels’ Scrapped from Health Care Revision
A senate panel has pulled advanced care planning consultations from its health care reform proposal following increased speculation and fear of government ‘death panels.’ The Senate committee insists it was due to misinterpretation.