Maserati To Merge With Chrysler

Maserati is one of the most famous names in car manufacturing, and has always had its niche, which nobody expected to change. However, the company seems to be coming Americanized, to the surprise of many observers and industry insiders. Partly, this is because many car companies are consolidating, which is the only way they can survive in today’s often competitive and uncertain economic climate. Maserati’s parent company of Fiat has announced plans to merge with the American car company, Chrysler. Developing and marketing a luxury Maserati SUV in Detroit is the first project that both companies will be involved in.

Of course, part of the appeal of the Maserati brand is that the cars have always been produced in Italy, a country well known for its sense of design, and the word Italy tends to evoke style and elegance. The US has always produced fine cars, but nothing with the allure of some of the Italian cars. Fiat announced that the new luxury vehicle would be made on the underpinnings of a Jeep model, specifically the Grand Cherokee, and the news came as something of a shock to many people. Based on the costs of other Maserati cars, you can probably expect to pay at least $100,000, and probably more than that. However the Grand Cherokee retails for around $30,000 so it does not really seem compatible with the more luxurious Maserati name.

A reason for this venture was given by the CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, when he explained that driving a Jeep across the United States was a wonderful experience, and would be even better with a luxury car. More expensive cars often use the underpinnings of cheaper models, so this arrangement is not unusual and Fiat points out that the other materials will come from the usual Maserati sources. A Maserati SUV may be just what is needed to keep the company strong, despite the fact that the merger is unexpected, to say the least.

World Bank Urges Developing Countries to Brace for Long Term Volatility

The World Bank is urging developing countries to brace for the possibility of more economic turmoil in Europe. In its Global Economic Prospects Report, the bank advises emerging market economies to strengthen fiscal positions and develop medium-term strategies to protect their economies.

Emerging market economies may have weathered the 2008 financial crisis better than more advanced countries, but the World Bank warns — it could happen again.

Senior bank economist Andrew Burns says anything is possible right now in Europe.

“Although we don’t see it as a baseline scenario, it certainly is possible that the situation in high-income Europe deteriorates significantly. And if it did, that would have very serious impacts for developing countries,” Burns said.

With borrowing costs still rising in Spain and Italy, and an upcoming Greek referendum that could forever alter the Eurozone — Burns predicts a bumpy ride.

But even with the most recent bailout in Spain – economist Peter Morici says the problems facing Greece and Spain are very different.

“Spain’s problem is one of a banking crisis. Greece’s problem is one of a government crisis,” Morici said.

Either way, Morici says the crisis has the potential to plunge the world into another recession, reducing global trade and exports dramatically.

The World Bank says developing nations need to focus on enhancing domestic productivity and boosting infrastructure development — while reducing debt.

“What we suggest is that countries take the time now to try and replenish some of those cushions, some of those buffers they used in 2008 – 2009 so successfully to recover from that crisis. Try and rebuild those now by bringing policy to a more neutral stance, reducing fiscal deficits so that they have the ammunition to respond if a crisis, a second crisis, announces itself,” Burns said.

Despite an over-abundance of caution, Burns is optimistic about a full-fledged global recovery – one led by emerging economies in Central Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.