Wall Street is questioning how long it will take Citigroup and Bank of America to free themselves from the shadow of the global financial crisis after the banks reported fourth-quarter earnings below expectations. Citigroup's profit rose 25% and Bank of America reported a 63% drop, but both results were undercut by mortgage settlements and other legal costs.
Global investment in clean-energy sources will reach $1.9 trillion between 2012 and 2018 as demand for power rises, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. More investment will be made in the sector if governments enact policies to promote low-carbon sources, says Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program. "Industry has said very clearly to us, 'What we need is we need to have certainty,' " Cuttino said.
Adding to evidence that China's economy is picking up momentum, gross domestic product increased 7.9% in the fourth quarter, up from 7.4% expansion in Q3. Retail sales jumped 15.2% last month compared with December 2011. For 2012, GDP increased 7.8% compared with 2011, the lowest rate since 1999.
America's practice of sending jobs to foreign lands is waning, but the demise of offshoring is no cause for complacency about the labor market, according to The Economist. "The shift of jobs back to developed countries is an encouraging sign that the flow of jobs need not be one-way," the magazine notes. "But only if governments and people in prosperous places invest heavily in building up skills will the workforces there properly benefit."