Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told CNBC that a debt deal was still “very possible” following the talk between Reid and McConnell. “I’ve had some good conversations early this morning. It is between Mitch and Harry. And I think people want to see that come to fruition,” said Corker, who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to meet Congressional leaders at 8 p.m. London time. In European news, the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the euro zone countries met on Monday to discuss, among other topics, Greece and banking supervision. In Ireland, the government is preparing to soften its line on austerity for Tuesday’s 2014 budget proposals, despite warnings that it would be better to stick to its targets. Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny triumphantly declared an end to the “era of the bailout” on Saturday. He said Ireland would become the first euro zone country to exit its bailout, and it may even do so without a financing backstop from the rest of Europe. (Read More: Ireland risks long-term pain for short-term gain ) Meanwhile, the Ernst and Young ITEM Club said in a new report on Monday that the U.K. government’s “Help to Buy” mortgage guarantee scheme would lead to a rapid improvement in prospects for the housing market, and added that fears of a housing bubble were unfounded. Japan and Hong Kong were shut for public holidays on Monday. U.S bond markets were also closed for the Columbus Day holiday.
Europe prepares to come clean on hidden bank losses
Demand at regional market leader Volkswagen AG (VOW) climbed 5.8 percent. Improving Market The industrywide gain in September, which included one more working day than a year earlier, was the biggest since a 7.8 percent jump in August 2011 and the third for this year. Still, deliveries — which include European Union members as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland — are set to contract in 2013 for a sixth consecutive year and hit a two-decade low. The situation is clearly improving, Carlos Da Silva, a Paris-based analyst with IHS Automotive, said in an e-mail. Europe is not in brilliant shape, yet the underlying trend of the market is calling for a certain dose of optimism. Among the regions five biggest markets, Spain posted the largest increase. Sales rose 12 percent in the U.K., where consumer confidence was at a six-year high in September, and climbed 3.4 percent in France . Registrations fell 1.2 percent in Germany, Europes biggest economy, and 2.9 percent in Italy . Dacias Surge Renaults deliveries were helped by a 40 percent surge at the no-frills Dacia brand, which entered the U.K. in 2013. Dacia in the last two years has introduced new versions of the Sandero hatchback and Logan sedan, while the namesake marque has brought to market its first compact crossover, the Captur, as well as a revamped Clio hatchback. Daimlers delivery gain was propelled by a 14 percent jump at the Mercedes-Benz brand, which added the CLA four-door coupe in April as part of a compact-car push. The vehicles include a new version of the van-like B-Class and a redesigned A-Class hatchback. The German carmaker also presented an overhauled S-Class sedan in May and brought a revamped upscale E-Class to market in April. Growth last month at Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen included gains of 2.1 percent at the main VW brand, 3.2 percent at the luxury Audi division, 17 percent at the Skoda unit and 16 percent at Spanish nameplate Seat. New versions of VWs best-selling Golf hatchback and Audis Q3 and Q5 sport-utility vehicles helped boost sales.
“The effectiveness of this exercise will depend on the availability of necessary arrangements for recapitalizing banks … including through the provision of a public backstop,” Mario Draghi said on Friday. “These arrangements must be in place before we conclude our assessment,” he said. But the ministers’ talks face an additional hindrance because Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, is not expected to attend the two-day Luxembourg meeting. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, in talks to form a new government. During the region’s debt turmoil, the European Union conducted two bank stress tests, considered flops for blunders such as giving a clean bill of health to Irish banks months before they pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The ECB’s new checks are seen as the last chance to come clean for the euro zone as the bloc tries to set up a single banking framework, known as banking union. The debate opens amid ebbing political enthusiasm for banking union – originally planned as a three-stage process involving ECB bank supervision, alongside an agency to shut failing banks and a system of deposit guarantees. It would be the boldest step in European integration since the crisis. “We have to find a solution now,” said Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner in charge of financial regulation, urging faster progress in the slow talks. “The next financial crisis is not going to wait for us.” ANGLO-GERMAN AXIS?
Europe needs to rethink tourism to stay on top
Marketing campaigns devised from Europe have fallen short when it came to taking into account the real expectations of tourists before they leave home. “It should be done the other way around,” said Eduardo Santander, head of the European Tourism Commission. The ETC, tasked with promoting the continent’s charms, has opted to poll potential tourists in their home countries. In particular it is focussing on China, the world’s top emerging market where the ranks of the middle class are swelling. “When the Chinese tourists come to Europe, they don’t just want to visit the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum. They also want to see a beautiful blue sky” Santander explained. ETC research in China underlined that residents of its megacities face a constant battle with pollution — a simple fact that enables Europe’s tourism industry to add pure-aired Alpine stops to group travel itineraries. The study also said that Chinese travellers place great store in feeling at ease and safe, with language barriers a leading concern. “The Chinese are looking for very safe destinations because many of them don’t speak a European language. They want to see more adaptation. It means that hotels or restaurants should provide them more brochures or menus translated into Chinese,” Santander said. Increasing use of social media in emerging markets makes it crucial to understand what tourists want, because they are increasingly likely to write reviews of their experience online. Industry officials underline that it is also important to understand the needs of Chinese tourists and counterparts from emerging powers India and Brazil, given that competition is getting tougher with destinations such as Florida, Las Vegas or Dubai. “In Dubai, tourism is not just an extra, it’s not just a nice thing to have.