Martin Cej – Is third time the charm on Greece? - BNN Blog
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Is third time the charm on Greece?

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will learn this morning whether he can stay in office when a judge hands down a decision on allegations Ford broke the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Ford has defended himself by testifying that he never read the act, therefore he had no idea he couldn't vote in council on whether he should personally repay $3,150 in donations collected for his football charity. City reporters have their fingers crossed for a decision in Front-Page Ford's favour.

- European finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund are meeting today in their third attempt in three weeks to release emergency aid to Greece. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said a short time ago that he's confident the group will arrive at a solution for Greece while Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaris said his country has fulfilled its part of the deal, so make with the loans already! The negotiations have been stalled over how Greece's debt can be cut to sustainable levels within 8 - 10 years. Without agreement on the long-term plan, the IMF has rejected payments to Greece since there is no guarantee for when emergency payments would stop. The key sticking point is whether the euro zone will need to write off some of the loans. Why does this matter to Canadian investors? If the lenders disburse the 31-billion-euro aid package, it could bolster optimism that another important step - this one in the right direction - has been taken to solving the broader European debt crisis, which is good for sentiment for consumers to investors to company CEOs to governments. Now, about that U.S. fiscal cliff…

- U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a modest decline at the start of trading as investors return to their desks and politicians to their pulpits after the Thanksgiving holiday. Congress will resume its debates over how to avoid sending the U.S. economy over the fiscal cliff, the $600 billion US in automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to come into force in 2013. If progress in Brussels can be matched by progress in WashingtonD.C., the stage might be set for a stock market rally into the end of the year.

- Research In Motion shares have climbed as much as 5 percent in early trading after the stock received another analyst upgrade over the weekend. CIBC analyst Todd Coupland raised RIM to "Sector Outperfomer - Speculative," arguing that with a firm launch date for the Blackberry 10 system and phones, positive feedback from carriers, "RIM looks materially undervalued."

- Onex, meanwhile, is out there doing deals. The Canadian private equity firm said it will buy U.S. insurance brokerage firm USI for $2.3 billion. Calls are in to the principals.

- Hudson's Bay sold shares to the public last week after cutting the price a wee bit. The stock begins trading on the TSX today. We'll ask some investors today whether this stock should be under your tree this holiday season.

- Headline will focus today on whether Canadian financial market regulators are doing a good job looking out for the little guy. The debate begins at 1:00 pm Eastern. What do you think? Tweet me at @martycej or email us your thoughts.

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