The (early) Lunch Wrap | FT Alphaville

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York,

NEWS

US consumers are buying new cars at the fastest pace since the beginning of the financial crisis. Some 1.5m vehicles were bought last month, a 17 per cent yearly increase. Annualised, August’s pace of 16.09m compared with 16m sold in December 2007, and 17.4m in 2000 (Wall Street Journal).

Japan’s economy is “recovering moderately” according to the BoJ, in an upbeat revision of its outlook. Inflation expectations “appear to be rising,” it added, months into its new programme of quantitative easing designed to meet a 2 per cent target (Financial Times).

Jumbo mortgage rates in the US are falling below those on conforming, government-backed loans for the first time. The average rate for a 30-year ‘superpremium’ fixed-rate mortgage was 4.71 per cent last week, compared to 4.73 per cent for a conforming peer. Higher guarantee fees levied by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on lenders, and interest-rate volatility, are behind the change (Wall Street Journal).

The Netherlands has offered to renegotiate loopholes in nearly two dozen taxation treaties among G20 measures to tackle corporate tax evasion. The Dutch government also said it would improve transparency and tighten up on shell companies using the Netherlands for tax purposes. The G20′s meeting in St Petersburg is expected to endorse the automatic exchange of tax information between countries (Financial Times).

Ireland would receive support from official lenders for exiting its bailout in the near future, the Eurogroup chief said. “I can’t give you any details on the way that will be formed yet … but there will be support to make sure that it is a good exit and not a temporary exit,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the European Parliament (Reuters).

US privacy advocates have accused Facebook of a “data power grab”. The site’s newest policies on its users’ data violate the terms of a 2011 privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, by allowing names and images to used for advertising without consent, six privacy organisations said. (Financial Times).