MM’s top financial news of 2011

23rd December 2011

The European debt crisis

Lord Lawson called it a slow motion train wreck bound to end in tears – it hasn't yet but there's little doubt the euro zone will continue to struggle in 2012 with the fact that some of its members haven't been as fiscally responsible as others.

 

Downgrade of US credit rating

The Standard and Poor's downgrade of the AAA rating of the USA took a lot of people by surprise not least stock markets –  it came after an 11th hour deal to raise the debt ceiling in August.

 

Death of Steve Jobs

The man who popularized the personal computer and created the iPod, iPhone and iPad, passed away on October 5 2011.

 

Occupy Wall Street Movement

On Sept. 17 hundreds of protesters gathered at a small plaza about a block from the New York Stock Exchange. They slept in tents, ate donated meals and protested income inequality and the influence of money in politics. The movement also inspired protesters around the world

 

Global stock market volatility

Volatility in global markets especially during the second half of the year had echoes of the 2008 financial crisis. That the Dow Jones had a record number of consecutive 400 point swings in 2011 proves the point.

 

Political brinkmanship in Congress

Stock markets punished Washington for its lack of leadership over the debt ceiling, budget cuts, taxes and entitlements.

 

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The human loss was tragic and still lingers. The business effects remain as well. Auto companies, including Toyota and Honda, were hit hardest. Inventory of certain models also fell short.

 

Movement of Gold and Sliver

Not only the movement up but also the volatility within the metal market itself as investors sought for safety and yield.

 

Social Media IPOs Pop

It's wasn't quite the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, but 2011 saw a flood of Internet companies offering shares on the financial markets. LinkedIn, Groupon and Pandora all lead the way.

 

Bankruptcy of MF Global

Brokerage firm MF Global was forced to file for bankruptcy protection on Halloween after trading partners and investors got spooked. It was soon discovered that $1.2 billion in customer money was missing.

 

More from Mindful Money:

Mindful Money Movies: Film and TV Review of 2011

MM's top 20 financial books of 2011

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