FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

Archive for November 11th, 2008

EE.UU. DONARÁ 44,4 MILLONES DE DÓLARES PARA COMBATIR LA GRIPE AVIAR – Estados Unidos proporcionará 44,4 millones de dólares EE.UU. adicionales a favor de la campaña de la FAO para prevenir y combatir la gripe aviar, según anunció hoy la Organización de la ONU.

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11/11/2008

FAO – Con estos nuevos fondos de la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID), la ayuda de EE.UU. al programa de gripe aviar de la FAO alcanza un total de 112,8 millones de dólares. Estados Unidos sigue siendo el principal donante para la lucha de la FAO contra la gripe aviar, con actividades en más de 96 países.

Los fondos están destinados principalmente a combatir la gripe aviar en Afganistán, Bangladesh, Camboya, China, Egipto, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistán, Asia meridional, África central y occidental y Viet Nam, así como las campañas a nivel mundial. Indonesia, Viet Nam y Egipto serán los principales beneficiarios.

“A pesar de que muchos países han logrado con éxito mantener la gripe aviar bajo control, el virus sigue estando presente en diez países, y se ha afianzado en algunos como Egipto, Indonesia y Viet Nam. Los fondos adicionales de EE.UU. permitirán a la FAO seguir trabajando en apoyo de países que luchan todavía para mantener el virus bajo control”, señaló el Veterinario Jefe de la FAO, Joseph Domenech.

“La sólida asociación con la FAO es parte integral de nuestro esfuerzo a nivel internacional para controlar la gripe aviar altamente patógena en su origen en los animales”, subrayó el Embajador Gaddi Vasquez, de la Representación de EE.UU. ante la FAO.

Los principales donantes del programa de gripe aviar de la FAO, que en la actualidad alcanza 282,7 millones de dólares EE.UU. son: Estados Unidos, Suecia, Australia, Japón, la Comisión Europea, Reino Unido, Canadá, Alemania, el Banco Mundial, el Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, el Banco Asiático de Desarrollo y Francia. El programa recibe también fondos del Programa de Cooperación Técnica de la FAO.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

Advertisements

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, MEAT, USA | Leave a Comment »

RECHAZO EUROPEO PARA EXTRAER DE LOS AHORROS DE SU PRESUPUESTO UN FONDO PARA AYUDAR A LOS AGRICULTORES DE PAÍSES POBRES – Los países de la Unión Europea han rechazado extraer de los ahorros de su presupuesto agrícola un fondo de mil millones de euros para ayudar a los agricultores de países pobres, por lo que ahora deben buscar otra vía para poder hacer realidad dicha donación.

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11/11/2008

EFE – Aunque los Estados comunitarios apoyan la idea de aumentar los apoyos a la producción agrícola de los países en desarrollo, dentro de la UE no hay el acuerdo suficiente para que esa ayuda proceda del dinero ahorrado de la Política Agrícola Común (PAC), tal y como propuso Bruselas.

Según ha declarado hoy la secretaria de Estado española de Cooperación Internacional, Soraya Rodríguez, “no ha sido posible encontrar un consenso” y finalmente los países se inclinan por conceder los mil millones de euros a los agricultores en el tercer mundo “por otras vías”.

La Comisión Europea (CE) planteó crear un fondo de mil millones, provenientes del dinero ahorrado de la PAC en 2008 y 2009, con el fin de ayudar a los agricultores de países en desarrollo, por ejemplo a la compra de semillas o fertilizantes: este año se extraerían 750 millones y el próximo, 250 millones de euros.

En este sentido, Rodríguez ha señalado que las instituciones de la UE buscan sacar ese dinero de otros capítulos del presupuesto comunitario y que esa propuesta se tratará en el Consejo de ministros de Economía y Finanzas de la UE (Ecofin).

España “apoyó la propuesta de la CE (para transferir ahorros de la PAC) tanto en el Consejo de ministros de Desarrollo como en el de Agricultura y lamentamos que no haya salido”, ha señalado Rodríguez, al término de un Consejo de ministros de Desarrollo de la UE.

La secretaria de Cooperación ha afirmado que “ahora la UE tiene que dar una respuesta satisfactoria” y dar esa ayuda de emergencia, porque se comprometió en foros internacionales como la ONU o con el anuncio por parte del presidente de la CE, José Manuel Durao Barroso en el Consejo Europeo de junio.

Ante estas dificultades, el fondo de mil millones para ayudar a los agricultores de los países en desarrollo no valdrá para la cosecha 2008-2009 y ahora se trata de que se haga realidad para la campaña 2009-2010.

Los ministros de Desarrollo de la UE han aprobado hoy un documento de conclusiones en la que reafirman su “preocupación” por la crisis alimentaria mundial e insisten en su voluntad de ayudar a los países más afectados por sus consecuencias.

Rodríguez ha remarcado que los efectos de la crisis en 2009 “están por venir y es necesario mantener los compromisos para evitar hambrunas y situaciones de necesidad” en lugar de esperar a tener que recurrir a conferencias de donantes para buscar después soluciones de emergencia.

Según otras fuentes comunitarias, la presidencia francesa de turno de la UE baraja extraer los mil millones o una parte de apartados del presupuesto relacionados con Asuntos Exteriores o reservas de urgencia; también estudia que en lugar de otorgarse en dos años se concedan en tres.

Otra dificultad que ha dificultado que salga adelante el traspaso de fondos de la PAC a los países pobres ha sido el rechazo en la comisión de Presupuestos del Parlamento Europeo.

El Consejo de ministros de la UE y la Eurocámara tratarán de encontrar una vía para que se haga efectiva la ayuda en la reunión que celebrarán el día 21 con el objetivo de consensuar el presupuesto europeo del año que viene.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMY, EUROPE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, INDUSTRIAL SUBSIDIES, INTERNATIONAL, THE EUROPEAN UNION | Leave a Comment »

PENSER L’IMPENSABLE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Novembre 2008

Serge Halimi

Ainsi donc tout était possible. Une intervention financière massive de l’Etat. L’oubli des contraintes du pacte de stabilité européen. Une capitulation des banques centrales devant l’urgence d’une relance. La mise à l’index des paradis fiscaux. Tout était possible car il fallait sauver les banques.

Pendant trente ans, la moindre idée d’une altération quelconque des fondements de l’ordre libéral afin, par exemple, d’améliorer les conditions d’existence de la majorité de la population s’était pourtant heurtée au même type de réponse : tout ceci est bien archaïque ; la mondialisation est notre loi ; les caisses sont vides ; les marchés n’accepteront pas ; savez-vous que le mur de Berlin est tombé ? Et pendant trente ans, la « réforme » s’est faite, mais dans l’autre sens. Celui d’une révolution conservatrice qui livra à la finance des tranches toujours plus épaisses et plus juteuses du bien commun, comme ces services publics privatisés et métamorphosés en machines à cash « créant de la valeur » pour l’actionnaire. Celui d’une libéralisation des échanges qui attaqua les salaires et la protection sociale, contraignant des dizaines de millions de personnes à s’endetter pour préserver leur pouvoir d’achat, à « investir » (en Bourse, dans des assurances) pour garantir leur éducation, parer à la maladie, préparer leur retraite. La déflation salariale et l’érosion des protections sociales ont donc enfanté puis conforté la démesure financière ; créer le risque a encouragé à se garantir contre lui. La bulle spéculative s’est très vite emparée du logement, qu’elle transforma en placement. Sans cesse, elle fut regonflée par l’hélium idéologique de la pensée de marché. Et les mentalités changèrent, plus individualistes, plus calculatrices, moins solidaires. Le krach de 2008 n’est donc pas d’abord technique, amendable par des palliatifs tels que la « moralisation » ou la fin des « abus ». C’est tout un système qui est à terre.

Autour de lui déjà s’affairent ceux qui espèrent le relever, le replâtrer, le ripoliner, afin que demain il inflige à la société quelque nouveau tour pendable. Les médecins qui miment l’indignation devant les (in)conséquences du libéralisme sont ceux-là mêmes qui lui fournirent tous les aphrodisiaques — budgétaires, réglementaires, fiscaux, idéologiques — grâce auxquels il s’est dépensé sans compter. Ils devraient se juger disqualifiés (lire « Les disqualifiés »). Mais ils savent que toute une armée politique et médiatique va s’employer à les blanchir. Ainsi, MM. Gordon Brown, l’ancien ministre des finances britannique dont la première mesure fut d’accorder son « indépendance » à la Banque d’Angleterre, José Manuel Barroso, qui préside une Commission européenne obsédée par la « concurrence », Nicolas Sarkozy, artisan du « bouclier fiscal », du travail le dimanche, de la privatisation de La Poste : ces trois-là s’emploient, paraît-il, à « refonder le capitalisme »…

Cette effronterie découle d’une étrange absence. Car où est la gauche ? L’officielle, celle qui a accompagné le libéralisme, déréglementé la finance pendant la présidence du démocrate William Clinton, désindexé les salaires avec François Mitterrand avant de privatiser avec MM. Lionel Jospin et Dominique Strauss-Kahn, taillé à la hache dans les allocations versées aux chômeurs avec M. Gerhard Schröder, n’a à l’évidence d’autre ambition que de tourner au plus vite la page d’une « crise » dont elle est coresponsable.

Soit, mais l’autre gauche ? Peut-elle à un moment pareil se contenter de dépoussiérer ses projets les plus modestes, utiles mais tellement timides, sur la taxe Tobin, une augmentation du salaire minimum, un « nouveau Bretton Woods », des fermes éoliennes ? Pendant les décennies keynésiennes, la droite libérale a pensé l’impensable et profité d’une grande crise pour l’imposer. Dès 1949, Friedrich Hayek, le parrain intellectuel du courant qui enfanta Ronald Reagan et Mme Margaret Thatcher, lui avait en effet expliqué : « La principale leçon qu’un libéral conséquent doit tirer du succès des socialistes est que c’est leur courage d’être utopiques qui (…) rend chaque jour possible ce qui, récemment encore, semblait irréalisable. »

Alors qui proposera la mise en cause du cœur du système, le libre-échange (1) ? « Utopique » ? Aujourd’hui tout est possible quand il s’agit des banques…

(1) En août 1993, le « Prix Nobel » d’économie ultralibéral Gary Becker expliquait : « Le droit du travail et la protection de l’environnement sont devenus excessifs dans la plupart des pays développés. Le libre-échange va réprimer certains de ces excès en obligeant chacun à rester concurrentiel face aux importations des pays en voie de développement. »

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

CLICK HERE FOR THE SAME ARTICLE TRANSLATED TO PORTUGUESE

PUBLISHED BY ‘LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE’ (France)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ITALIA, PIL TRIM3 INDICHERÀ RECESSIONE TECNICA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11/11/2008 20.00

I segnali giunti dalle indagini congiunturali e dal settore industriale non lasciano scampo: il dato sulla crescita del terzo trimestre in arrivo venerdì 14 sarà negativo e, unito all’analogo dato dato del trimestre precedente, attesterà recessione tecnica per l’Italia, lasciando poca speranza anche per i mesi a venire. Lo prevedono gli economisti.

Alcuni di loro hanno ulteriormente peggiorato l’outlook dopo che ieri Istat ha pubblicato dati peggiori delle attese per la produzione di settembre e ha tagliato le statistiche relative ai mesi estivi. “Ci aspettiamo almeno tre trimestri negativi per la crescita italiana, dal secondo al quarto di quest’anno”, dice Paolo Mameli di Intesa Sanpaolo. “La vera ripresa, se arriverà, sarà solo a fine 2009 o inizio 2010”. La mediana emersa dal sondaggio indica per il Pil del terzo trimestre -0,2% dopo -0,3% dei tre mesi precedenti. Su base tendenziale la previsione mediana indica -0,4% dopo -0,1%.

“Dopo gli ultimi numeri per la produzione industriale, sono emersi maggiori rischi al ribasso, anche se le nostre previsioni rimangono nel range tracciato in precedenza” dice Holger Schmieding di Bank of America, che la scorsa settimana aveva indicato per il Pil -0,2% e -0,3% su trimestre e su anno.

Gli economisti di Unicredit sono diventati, invece, più pessimisti, e, se le previsioni fossero raccolte oggi, punterebbero su flessioni del Pil di 0,4% su trimestre e 0,6% su anno, mentre Merrill Lynch le limerebbe lievemente a -0,2% e -0,4%.

Per gli economisti cercare di individuare il punto di minimo del ciclo italiano è un esercizio ozioso. Il messaggio è che l’economia è in crisi a causa di una domanda interna in contrazione e di una situazione internazionale molto difficile.

“Dal lato della domanda c’è un quadro di marcata debolezza per la domanda interna: per il terzo trimestre ipotizziamo un forte calo degli investimenti fissi che andrà a sommarsi alla contrazione dei consumi” dice Marco Valli di Unicredit. “Anche il canale estero darà un contributo negativo, mentre avremo un accumulo di scorte e una spesa pubblica positiva”.

A settembre l’indice di produzione industriale ha segnato un calo di 2,1% su mese dopo un aumento di 0,4% di agosto, rivisto al ribasso da +1,4%. “La produzione è calata, ma gli ordini sono scesi di più, quindi le scorte stanno aumentando in maniera indesiderata e la produzione dovrà essere tagliata in modo ancora più aggressivo nei prossimi mesi” dice Valli.

Anche Mps Finance scommette su un contributo del canale estero negativo, mentre Bank of America e Intesa Sanpaolo non escludono che la recessione abbia frenato le importazioni, portando a un lieve rimbalzo delle esportazioni nette. Anche se l’Italia non è stata colpita più duramente degli altri paesi europei dalla crisi finanziaria, gli economisti sottolineano come gli shock esterni portino nuovamente alla luce le difficoltà storiche del paese.

“L’Italia, quando è scoppiata la crisi, era già in una situazione difficile. Il paese è entrato in stagnazione ormai due anni fa: è questo il problema” commenta Schmieding di Bank of America. I dati preliminari per la crescita italiana saranno pubblicati venerdì alle 10,00 italiane, mentre la stima flash sulla zona euro arriverà un’ora dopo. Anche per i Quindici l’attesa è di una variazione congiunturale del Pil di -0,2% che significherebbe recessione per tutta l’area monetaria.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MILANO FINANZA’ (Italy)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

AIG GETS $150 BILLION GOVERNMENT BAILOUT; POSTS HUGE LOSS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:28pm EST

by Mark Felsenthal and Lilla Zuill

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The government restructured its bailout of American A man walks out of the main entrance of the headquarters of American International Group Inc. (AIG) in New York, November 10, 2008 - REUTERS - Mike SegarInternational Group Inc, raising the package to a record $150 billion with easier terms, after a smaller rescue plan failed to stabilize the ailing insurance giant.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced the new plan on Monday as AIG reported a record third-quarter loss of $24.47 billion, largely from write-downs of investments.

The new package, at least $27 billion more than was previously extended, will leave the government exposed to billions of dollars of potential losses.

AIG, once the world’s largest insurer by market value, nearly collapsed after being forced to post large amounts of collateral related to exposure to complex derivatives known as credit default swaps.

Many of these securities were linked to the performance of residential mortgages, and lost value as the U.S. housing downturn mushroomed into a global credit crisis.

“We cannot continue to hemorrhage cash in the two areas of securities lending and credit default swaps,” Chief Executive Edward Liddy said on a conference call. “We need to stop that, and we need to stop it now.”

Under the new plan, the government will get a $40 billion equity stake in AIG, spend as much as $30 billion on securities underlying the insurer’s credit default swaps, and spend up to $22.5 billion to buy residential mortgage securities.

It will also reduce a previously announced credit line to $60 billion from $85 billion, and lower interest rates on borrowings. AIG will also accept curbs on executive pay, including a freeze of bonuses for its top 70 executives.

“The restructured bailout should give AIG the flexibility to sell assets in an orderly manner for closer to their intrinsic values rather than fire-sale prices,” CreditSights Inc analyst Rob Haines said. “Moreover, we believe that it will help to restore confidence in AIG’s global franchise.”

Shares of AIG were up 26 cents, or 12.3 percent, at $2.37 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The cost of protecting AIG debt against default declined, indicating that investors see less risk.

‘ROBUST DISCUSSIONS’

AIG will issue preferred shares to the government that carry a 10 percent dividend. The government American International Group Inc. (AIG) corporate headquarters in New York, November 10, 2008 - REUTERS - Mike Segarwill maintain its roughly 80 percent stake in AIG, making it the biggest beneficiary of the revised bailout.

In an interview, Liddy said it’s possible the ownership stake could fall as AIG gets its finances in order.

“Once all of this is repaid, and we don’t need that (credit) facility anymore, I think we will have some rather robust discussions about that ownership percentage,” he said.

He acknowledged the possibility, though, that even $150 billion might not be enough. “There is more breathing room, but the answer is, ‘What do you think is going to happen to capital markets?'” he said. “Under any normal scenario, I think we are in pretty good shape. But you can never say never.”

The $40 billion equity infusion comes from the $700 billion financial bailout package passed into law last month.

That package was originally intended for banks, and AIG is the first company other than a bank to get money from it. It was created after the government announced the original $85 billion bailout package for AIG on September 16.

“Today’s action was a one-off event,” Neel Kashkari, the Treasury Department’s interim assistant secretary for financial stability, said at a conference in New York. “It is not the start of a new program.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said “AIG, being clearly within that financial service sector, is what Congress had in mind when it passed the rescue package.”

She called AIG “a large, interconnected firm,” and said the new package “will allow AIG to continue to restructure themselves in a way that will not hurt the overall economy.”

A Treasury Department official said a member of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team was briefed on the transaction Sunday night.

The $60 billion credit line will mature in five years, while the $85 billion line was set to mature in two years.

A longer maturity could reduce the potential that AIG would have to quickly sell assets at depressed prices to help repay the government. The Fed slashed the interest rate on the credit line by 5.5 percentage points, to 3 percentage points above the three-month Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate).

BIG QUARTERLY LOSS

The revised plan depends on the government being able to convince holders of securities underlying AIG credit default swaps to sell them to the government, likely at a discount.

“The biggest questions attached to these new vehicles are who is going to take how big of a haircut, and when,” said Donald Light, an analyst at Celent LLC in San Francisco.

Struggling automakers General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC have also requested tens of billions of dollars in government help.

AIG posted a quarterly loss of $24.47 billion, or $9.05 per share, compared with a profit of $3.09 billion, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $898 million from $29.8 billion, reflecting the write-downs. AIG also had $1.39 billion in catastrophe losses, primarily from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Credit default swaps led AIG to $18 billion in losses in the nine months ended June 30.

The cost of protecting $10 million of AIG debt against default for five years fell on Monday to $1.9 million up front plus $500,000 annually, according to Markit Intraday. The upfront payment was $4.9 million on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Jonathan Stempel in New York; and John Crawley and David Lawder in Washington; Writing by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, John Wallace and Jeffrey Benkoe)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘REUTERS’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

BRAZIL AUTO INDUSTRY GETS 4 BLN REAIS CREDIT LINE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:12am EST

SAO PAULO, Nov 11 (Reuters) – The São Paulo state government said on Tuesday it would extend a 4 billion reais ($1.8 billion) credit line to the automotive industry to help it ride out the current financial crisis, which is putting the brakes on Brazil’s economy.

The state’s finance secretariat said in a statement that the money would be lent by state-controlled bank Banco Nossa Caixa, which will offer loans with maturities of up to 18 months to vehicle financing units.

Sales of new cars and trucks in Brazil slumped 11 percent in October, hurt by a severe retraction in the availability of credit due to the global financial crisis.

The slowdown follows three years of torrid growth in Brazil’s auto market, which has benefited from a credit boom that helped fuel a surge in consumption. But the availability of credit has evaporated in the last two months, threatening to derail one of the fastest-growing industries in Brazil.

The federal government has also instructed state-run Banco do Brasil to make a available a total of 4 billion reais so that vehicle financing units can increase lending and spur sales.

Brazil has become a crucial market for global automakers such as Italy’s Fiat, Germany’s Volkswagen AG and U.S.-based General Motors Corp and Ford Motor Co . Asian and French manufacturers are also relying increasingly on the Brazilian market to compensate for a slowdown in sales at home.

The recent slump in sales has prompted several automakers to cut back on production by reducing shifts and ordering factory workers to take periods of paid leave so as to avoid building up costly inventories. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr., Writing by Todd Benson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘REUTERS’

Posted in BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIA AUTOMOTIVA, INDÚSTRIAS, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, O SISTEMA BANCÁRIO - BRASIL, ORÇAMENTO NACIONAL - BRASIL, OS GOVERNADORES, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, SP | Leave a Comment »

PROTESTERS ATTACK NISSAN’S SPANISH HQ OVER LAYOFFS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:05pm EST

MADRID, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Several hundred people protesting against Nissan’s NISSAN'S LOGO (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to lay off staff at its plant in Spain threw bottles, fireworks and fencing at the Japanese company’s offices in Barcelona on Tuesday.

Reuters pictures showed the demonstrators gathering in central Barcelona to protest at Nissan’s decision to cut 1,680 jobs at its factory in the city because of weak demand.

The protests coincided with demonstrations against the closure of a shipyard in Gijon, northern Spain, where protesters barricaded streets with burning tyres and set off fireworks.

When Nissan announced the layoffs in October, it said the global economic crisis had caused a dramatic drop in vehicle sales, and new environment laws had cut demand for all-terrain vehicles made at the plant in eastern Spain.

Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Ford (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have also announced layoffs at their factories in Spain in recent weeks because of falling demand.

Car sales in the European Union fell 4.4 percent in the first nine months of the year from a year earlier, according to the manufacturers association ACEA.

Spain’s Socialist government had hoped that improvements in productivity would help the car manufacturing sector, but Spain has borne the brunt of the sector-wide production cuts seen in Europe because of the economic slowdown. (Reporting by Jonathan Gleave, Albert Gea in Barcelona and Eloy Alonso in Gijon; editing by Tim Pearce)

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘REUTERS’

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, SPAIN, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

UAE AND INDONESIA AIM TO BOOST TRADE RELATIONS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Published: November 11, 2008, 00:11

by Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Indonesians in the UAE are thrilled with the increasing number of professionals among them.

“When I reached Abu Dhabi nine years ago, I didn’t find many Indonesian engineers. Now, our Indonesian artists perform Gamelan, a traditional instrumental music from Java and Bali islands.association of petroleum engineers has more than 250 members”, Irfan Hendrawan , a petroleum engineer told Gulf News.

“Even a construction company working on an Island in the capital alone recruited 600 Indonesian engineers recently”, said Mohammad Loekito Slamet, Vice-President of UAE chapter of Society of Indonesian Petroleum Engineers.

“Among the 75,000 strong community, majority of them are housemaids but I was surprised to find about 160 engineers and their families in Ruwais, a remote town, 250 kilometres away from the capital”, M.Wahid Supriyadi, Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE told Gulf News.

“I met them as part of my efforts to form Indonesian Business and Professional Organisation in the Abu DhabiUAE “, said Supriyadi who took charge as the ambassador six months ago. “We expect more than 2,000 professionals and business men to be the members of the organisation”.

The ambassador and community members spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the embassy as part of Indonesian national day celebrations on Sunday evening.

“Although national day was on August 17, we set aside the celebrations to this month, for the convenience of the community”, said the ambassador.

Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, was the chief guest.

A group of Indonesian artist played Gamelan, traditional instrumental music from Java and Bali islands, which touched the hearts of guests and the community members. Traditional dance also added colour to the celebrations.

A special corner of Indonesian food gave a new experience to the guests.

The ambassador said that being moderate Muslim countries, both are enjoying a very strong political relation and are trying to expand trade and people to people contact.

“The UAE has committed to invest $6.2 billion in our country as part of growing trade relations. Both countries have found new areas of opportunities which were ignored in the past”, said Supriyadi.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’

Posted in ASIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDONESIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, PETROL, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Leave a Comment »

STATOILHYDRO INKS $3.4B SHALE GAS DEAL WITH CHESAPEAKE – StatoilHydro ASA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

StatoilHydro, the second largest natural gas supplier to Europe, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the largest US natural gas producer, have announced the signature of a strategic agreement to jointly explore unconventional gas opportunities worldwide.

Under these agreements StatoilHydro will initially acquire a 32.5% interest in Chesapeake’s Marcellus shale gas acreage covering 1.8 million net acres (7,300 square kilometers) in the Appalachia region of the northeastern USA for $3.375 billion. StatoilHydro’s share equals approximately 0.6 million net acres (2,400 square kilometers) of this leasehold.

StatoilHydro will pay a consideration of US $1,250 million in cash and a further US $2,125 million in the Marcellus Shaleform of a 75% carry on drilling and completion of wells during the period 2009 to 2012. In order to earn this carry, Chesapeake is required to maintain a significant level of drilling activity.

The agreement will cover more than 32,000 leases in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Ohio. Chesapeake plans to continue acquiring leases in the Marcellus shale play. StatoilHydro has the right to a 32.5% participation in any such additional leasehold.

With this transaction StatoilHydro has acquired future, recoverable equity resources in the order of 2.5-3.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). StatoilHydro’s equity production from the Marcellus shale gas play is expected to increase to at least 50,000 boepd in 2012 and at least 200,000 boepd after 2020. .

In the leaseholdings StatoilHydro will have the same 87% net revenue interest as Chesapeake. StatoilHydro expects a net positive cash flow from 2013.

Helge Lund, President and CEO of StatoilHydro, stated, “I am pleased that we today have made a strategically important move by joining forces with Chesapeake which is the leading US gas player. We are establishing a strong platform for further developing our gas value chain business and growing our position in unconventional gas worldwide. Furthermore, we are adding significant resources to our portfolio. The agreement we have entered into with Chesapeake provides us with a solid position in an attractive long-term resource base at competitive terms.”

Mr Lund added, “This deal adds a major building block to the gas value chain position we have established in the US, the world’s largest and most liquid gas market. This is a significant step in strengthening our US gas position, building on our existing capacity rights for the Cove Point LNG terminal, our gas trading and marketing organisation and the gas producing assets in the US Gulf of Mexico.”

Chesapeake’s Chief Executive Officer, Aubrey K. McClendon, said, “We are honored to establish a business relationship with StatoilHydro and are excited about the mutually beneficial nature of our transaction with them. We believe this transaction creates substantial value for both companies and unique opportunities for international growth with one of the leading international oil and gas companies. Jointly we can export our world class unconventional gas technology for further long term growth.”

Both companies believe that the development program could support the drilling of 13,500 to 17,000 horizontal wells over the next 20 years with a continuous program using up to 50 drilling rigs. The expected cost for each well is estimated at approximately US $3.5 million with an ultimate recovery of approximately 560,000 boe per well.

The transaction is expected to close by year end.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, EUROPE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL GAS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

DUBAI MARKET DROPS OVER 7 PER CENT ON FEARS OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Last updated: November 11, 2008, 14:44

Gulf News Report

Photo – It’s the fourth straight session of declines for the Dubai Financial Market. Shares have lost more than 16 per cent since Sunday, when the trading week opened – Ahmed Ramzan – Gulf News.

Dubai: Markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi fell sharply on Tuesday with the Dubai index dropping more than 7 per cent, led by banking and property stocks.

Incidentally, Dubai is bearing the brunt of the regional and global market weakness.

“Even in days when other regional markets recover, Dubai has consistently underperformed and is also much weaker than its Abu Dhabi peer,” says Khaled Masri, executive partner at Rasmala Investments. “The market perception is that Dubai is seen as the ‘weakest link’ within the GCC in this environment. This is due to the very high percentage of market capitalisation being represented by real estate related stocks and a perception within the market that Dubai and its companies have very high levels of leverage.”

Emaar Properties dropped 9.88 per cent and Deyaar tumbled 9.57 per cent.

Among banks, Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank fell 4.85 per cent and 9.77 per cent, respectively.

In Qatar, the index fell 6.25 per cent while Kuwait’s benchmark slipped 2.16 per cent.

The Muscat bourse retreated 1.99 per cent and Bahrain shed 2.74 per cent.

– With inputs from Gaurav Ghose, Financial Features Editor

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIES, PETROL, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Leave a Comment »

VODAFONE CUTS FULL-YEAR REVENUE FORECAST AGAIN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008 at 7:46 AM EST

Article by Kate Holton – Reuters

LONDON — — Mobile phone group Vodafone cut its full-year revenue outlook for the second time in VODAFONEfour months on Tuesday but said it would maintain profits and boost free cash flow by cutting £1-billion ($1.6-billion U.S.) of costs.

Investors welcomed the focus on cost controls and on improving performance, instead of on growth by expansion, and sent its shares up 7 per cent to 115.8 pence by 0910 GMT in a falling wider market.

Vodafone Group Plc also reported first-half results that met expectations, but said conditions would be challenging.

The world’s largest mobile phone group by revenue now expects full-year group revenue to be between £38.8- billion and £39.7-billion. It had already cut its expectations in July to the bottom of a previous forecast range of £39.9-billion to £40.7-billion.

It slightly raised its free cash flow forecasts.

“Operating conditions are expected to continue to be challenging in Europe, given ongoing competitive Vodafone Group PLCand regulatory pressures and recent economic conditions in certain markets,” the group said.

“Whilst the current economic environment is also impacting emerging markets, increasing market penetration is expected to continue to result in overall strong growth for the EMAPA (emerging markets) region.”

The group raised its interim dividend 3.2 per cent and said it would introduce a “progressive” dividend policy.

First half revenue was slightly ahead of expectations, up 17.1 per cent at £19.9-billion, and core profit matched analysts’ average forecast.

Most analysts said the revenue cut had been expected, and welcomed the comments on free cash flow and dividend policy.

Vodafone said it remained comfortable with its liquidity and committed to its single A credit rating.

“Given our credit rating and the current level of cash flow and dividends, this leaves limited debt capacity,” it said.

“We expect to reduce current operating costs by approximately £1-billion per year by the 2011 financial year to offset the pressures from cost inflation and the competitive environment and to enable investment in revenue growth opportunities.”

Vodafone is rated A- by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings and Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service.

Vodafone said it had reviewed its strategy after entering into a more difficult macroeconomic environment and said it would focus on growing mobile data, and on its execution in emerging markets.

It will also focus on driving operational performance and strengthening capital discipline.

“We are already represented in most of the key emerging markets, where significant growth is expected in the coming years,” it said. “Our principal focus now will be on execution in these markets.”

Analysts at Cazenove said the new strategy made sense and most welcomed the suggestion that Vodafone would focus on its current markets rather than chase further acquisitions.

But Society Generale said investors should sell into strength and said the results benefited from favourable currency movements.

“This is a large downgrade pre-currency and highlights the cyclicality of Vodafone,” it said in a note.

Telecoms groups had previously been seen as resilient to a downturn, but so far this year the European telecoms shares have not done any better than the wider market.

German rival Deutsche Telekom AG reiterated its 2008 profit forecast last week, while Telekom Austria said on Monday it would cut around 1,250 jobs in 2009.

Vodafone declined to say whether it would make job cuts yet.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’

Posted in COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, STOCK MARKETS | Leave a Comment »

UN: WORLD CEREAL PRODUCTION TO HIT RECORD HIGH BUT NEW PRICE SURGE COULD BE AHEAD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Last update: November 6, 2008 – 5:19 AM

by MARTA FALCONI , Associated Press

ROME – World cereal production is expected to hit a record high this year, but the global financial turmoil could trigger a new price surge and unleash more severe food crises, a U.N. agency said Thursday.

Cereal production, which is forecast to rise 5.3 percent from last year to 2.24 billion tons, was boosted by increased plantings encouraged by high prices and good weather, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

However, the Rome-based agency warned in a new report that farmers in developing countries burdened by the rising cost of seed, fertilizer and other farm inputs may be unable to expand or keep up with production next year.

“The financial crisis of the last few months … has contributed to tighten credit markets, and introduced greater uncertainty about next year’s prospects,” said Concepcion Calpe, one of the report’s main authors. “Many producers are adopting very conservative planting decisions,” she said.

For the first time in four years, world cereal production is likely to cover short-term needs and help replenish much depleted global stocks.

However, Calpe said that should the current price volatility continue in 2008-2009, “output could be affected to such an extent that a new price surge might take place in 2009-2010,” causing even more severe food crises than those that sparked riots and protests worldwide early this year.

The agency said in the report that this year’s cereal production recovery centered mainly in rich countries while farmers in developing nations experienced more difficult access to credit and high prices of inputs.

FAO said the food price surge in past months pushed the number of hungry people to 923 million worldwide. The agency has estimated that 75 million more people were undernourished in 2007 and another 25 million people will be thrown into hunger this year.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CORN, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, GRAINS, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

BARCLAYS BUYS ITALIAN MORTGAGE BUSINESS, INCREASING ITS MORTGAGE BOOK BY $1.4 BILLION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Last update: November 6, 2008 – 5:17 AM

Associated Press

LONDON – Britain’s Barclays bank said Thursday it has bought the Italian residential mortgage business BARCLAYS GOES SHOPPING IN ITALYof Australia’s Macquarie bank.

Barclays PLC, which raised 7.3 billion pounds ($11.8 billion) from Middle Eastern investors last month, is not disclosing the amount it paid Macquarie Group Limited for the business.

The purchase increases the value of Barclays mortgage book by 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) — or nearly 10 percent. Before this deal, Barclays mortgage book was worth roughly 12 billion euros ($15 billion).

“Our existing Italian mortgage business has grown through the combination of a prudent lending policy and careful management of customer relationships,” said Frits Seegers, chief executive of Barclays retail and commercial banking arm. “This acquisition augments that business.”

Barclays shares fell 4 percent to 187 pence ($2.98).

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

OFICIALIZA BOLIVIA SOLICITUD PARA EXTRADICIÓN DE EX PRESIDENTE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11/11/2008

La Paz, 11 nov (PL) El gobierno boliviano solicitó oficialmente a Estados Unidos la extradición del ex Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, acusado de genocidio en Boliviapresidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, acusado de genocidio en este país andino.

La demanda también incluye a Carlos Sánchez y Jorge Berindoague, ministros del gabinete durante la segunda gestión ejecutiva del otrora mandatario (2002-2003), señaló la Agencia Boliviana de Información (ABI).

De acuerdo con la fuente, el pedido fue presentado este lunes en Washington al director de asuntos andinos del Departamento de Estado, Kevin Whitaker.

Hemos hecho oficial la entrega del requerimiento para la extradición de los tres, aseguró la encargada de negocios de la embajada boliviana en el país norteño, Erika Dueñas, citada por la ABI.

Autoridades, activistas por los derechos humanos y organizaciones sociales de Bolivia consideran a Sánchez de Lozada responsable por los casi 70 muertos y 400 heridos dejados por la represión policial a una protesta en defensa del gas ocurrida hace cinco años.

En los sucesos del llamado Octubre Negro de 2003 también estuvieron involucrados los referidos ex ministros y otros funcionarios y militares que no pudieron escapar de esta nación suramericana.

La solicitud de extradición supone la culminación de un proceso iniciado en octubre de 2004 por el Congreso, recordó la ABI.

El mes pasado, Sánchez de Lozada y los antiguos miembros de su gabinete comparecieron ante un tribunal de Miami, Estados Unidos, hacia donde viajaron sobrevivientes y familiares de víctimas de la matanza con el fin de establecer una demanda legal.

Sin embargo, la mayoría de los entendidos consideraron poco probable que tal recurso prospere.

Hasta el momento la cooperación de Washington en el caso ha sido nula, lamentó Dueñas.

Bolivia y Estados Unidos tienen un tratado de extradición vigente desde 1996.

jf/wmr PL-23

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PRENSA LATINA’ (Cuba)

Posted in BOLIVIA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, SOUTH AMERICA, USA | Leave a Comment »

PRODUCEN ACEITES DIELÉCTRICOS A PARTIR DE CRUDO AVILEÑO (Cuba)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

(Actualizado 5 de noviembre de 2008, 9:00 am)

por Lubia Ulloa Trujillo (AIN)

La obtención de aceite dieléctrico a partir del crudo avileño se consolida en Cuba después de 10 meses La refineria Sergio Soto, en Sancti Spiritus sin necesidad de importar ese producto.

Rafael de la Grana León, director general de la refinería Sergio Soto, en Sancti Spíritus, informó que al cierre del 2008 la Isla habrá ahorrado más de un millón de dólares por ese concepto, gracias a la calidad del combustible que se extrae de los pozos de Ciego de Ávila.

La producción del lubricante garantiza la demanda que exigen los 12 000 equipos que elabora la fábrica de transformadores cubanos marca Latino, aseguró el directivo.

Por cada tonelada de aceite adquirida en el exterior el Estado cubano desembolsaba 1 975 dólares, mientras que procesarlo en el territorio nacional cuesta menos del 50 por ciento de ese precio, explicó el especialista.

La refinería de Sancti Spíritus asimila todo el crudo que los petroleros del municipio de Majagua, en Ciego de Ávila, extraen de los cuatro yacimientos, pues es el único que sirve para alcanzar este tipo de grasa dado su bajo porcentaje de azufre, que oscila entre 1,9 y 2,0.

Además del hidrocarburo de Ciego de Ávila se logra diésel, keroseno, aceites básicos demandados en la industria y en la agricultura, así como también la nafta, que se emplea para obtener gasolina y como reductora de viscosidad.

La Sergio Soto, que cumplirá 61 años de fundada el próximo diciembre, fue la primera de las cuatro refinerías nacionalizadas en Cuba y la que inició el procesamiento del crudo soviético que entró al país cuando Estados Unidos suspendió su entrega.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘INVASOR’ (Cuba)

Posted in CHEMICALS (processed components), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CUBA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ENTREVISTA A NOAM CHOMSKY – “LA CRISIS FINANCIERA MARCA EL FIN DE UN MODELO CULTURAL CUYA DOCTRINA ES EL FUNDAMENTALISMO DEL LIBRE MERCADO”

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

[08.11.2008]- Actualización 9:40 am de Cuba

Agencia Reforma

La crisis financiera actual representa también la crisis de un modelo cultural que tiene como principal NOAM CHOMSKYdoctrina al fundamentalismo del libre mercado, aseguró en entrevista Noam Chomsky (Philadelphia, 1928), calificado como el intelectual más influyente del planeta por las revistas Foreign Policy y Prospect Magazine en 2005.

“Donde la liberación financiera ha tenido lugar, a menudo resulta ser desastrosa, un hecho que debe ser suficientemente familiar en América Latina”, dijo el lingüista y profesor emérito del Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts.

“Este modelo intelectual ha sufrido un duro golpe. Ha sido modificado radicalmente por la intervención del Estado, el mismo tipo de intervención que ha sido prohibida para los países pobres. El modelo será objeto de nuevas modificaciones de acuerdo a los intereses de los centros de poder económico que en gran medida controlan la política estatal”.

Estados Unidos (EU) ha destinado 700 mil millones de dólares para salvar a los bancos, el ex presidente de la Reserva Federal Alan Greenspan dijo que cometió un error al confiar en el libre mercado, el Premio Nobel de Economía Joseph Stiglitz comparó la caída del sistema financiero con la caída del Muro de Berlín, a diario pierden las bolsas de valores y se dice que lo peor está por llegar.

-¿Cuál es la magnitud de la actual crisis económica?

Nadie sabe qué tan grave será. Y no es una sola crisis: hay varias. Una es la crisis financiera que se encuentra en las primeras páginas. Otra es la recesión en la economía real, es decir, la economía productiva. Una tercera, en EU, es la inminente crisis del ineficiente y costoso sistema privado de atención a la salud, que socavará el presupuesto federal a menos que se aborde en serio. Estos interactúan de manera compleja.

No veo ninguna utilidad en compararla con el Muro de Berlín. Ese fue un paso crucial para la caída de la URSS. No hay indicios de que las instituciones del Estado capitalista estén enfrentando un destino similar, excepto sectores como los bancos de inversión y algunas otras en el sector financiero, y por muy diferentes razones, sectores industriales como el automotriz en EU.

-¿Cuáles son las lecciones de esta crisis?

La más inmediata es que el fundamentalismo de mercado fue un desastre, lo cual no debería sorprender a los latinoamericanos o a otros sometidos a esta disciplina. Más específicamente, la liberalización financiera conduce al desastre. También, que la liberalización es un serio golpe c ontra la democracia. Otra lección subraya la sensible observación del principal filósofo social estadounidense del siglo 20, John Dewey: la política es “la sombra que las grandes empresas proyectan sobre la sociedad”.

-¿Será el ocaso del poder de los Estados Unidos y el inicio de la hegemonía de China o la India?

Es muy poco probable, a pesar de que la crisis puede llevar adelante el proceso de diversificación de la economía mundial. Los EU tienen enormes ventajas, aparte de su abrumador poderío militar. Europa tiene una economía de escala comparable, pero es heterogénea, y ha sido renuente a dar un paso adelante en los asuntos mundiales, prefiere permanecer bajo la sombra de EU. China y la India han estado creciendo, al igual que otros países de Asia que desafían la ortodoxia neoliberal, pero tienen enormes problemas internos. Un indicador está dado por el Índice de Desarrollo Humano de la ONU: China ocupa el lugar 81; India, el 128 (apenas por encima de Laos y Camboya). Y eso es sólo la superficie.

-¿Es la crisis de las finanzas o la crisis de un modelo cultural?

Es la crisis de un “modelo cultural” si por esto nos referimos a un sistema doctrinal: el fundamentalismo del libre mercado. Pero, a pesar de las pretensiones, esa doctrina nunca fue aceptada por los mismos centros de poder occidentales, pese a que fueron felices en predicarlo a los demás. Esto es un patrón histórico que se remonta por siglos, y es un importante factor en la creación del Tercer Mundo en las regiones colonizadas.

Autor de “Hegemonía o supervivencia. La estrategia imperialista de EU”, Chomsky menciona que Ronald Reagan, quien es reconocido como el “sumo sacerdote de los libres mercados”, incrementó el tamaño del gobierno, rescató el Continental Illinois Bank y fundó el consorcio Sematech para salvar a la industria de semiconductores estadounidense, entre otras acciones.

La crisis económica también ha evidenciado el “desmantelamiento” que sufre la democracia a causa del sistema del libre mercado, consideró Chomsky, quien se ubicó en la onceava posición de la lista de junio pasado sobre los intelectuales más influyentes del mundo. En la lista elaborada por Foreign Policy, editada por el Fondo Carnegie para la Paz Internacional, los primeros 10 fueron musulmanes. “En una democracia, las organizaciones populares, sindicatos, partidos políticos y otros, podrían estar formulando soluciones y presionando a los representantes políticos para ponerlas en práctica y no hay ninguna señal de eso”, sostuvo.

Es sorprendente, agregó el icono de la izquierda internacional, que los principales medios de comunicación estadounidenses insistan en invertir recursos públicos para salvar a los bancos, sin ningún tipo de control público, mientras que condenan el rescate de la industria automotriz.

Los empleados de la industria del auto ganan 56 mil 650 dólares al año, casi lo que gana en un día Robert Rubin, actual presidente del Comité Ejecutivo de Citigroup, y uno de los responsables del actual desastre económico, en su calidad de ex Secretario del Tesoro de Bill Clinton, apuntó.

-¿Qué puede esperar el mundo y Estados Unidos si Barak Obama gana las elecciones?

Las bases de Obama parecen ser las de un demócrata centralista, tal vez no como Clinton. Un análisis más detallado tendría que considerar caso por caso.

-¿Qué representa el que un afroamericano pueda llegar a ser presidente de EU?

Es bastante significativo, como el hecho de que en las elecciones del partido Demócrata los candidatos fueron una mujer y un negro. Hace 40 años habría sido prácticamente inconcebible. Este es uno de los muchos indicios de la militancia popular de la década de 1960 y sus secuelas.

-¿Cuáles serán las consecuencias de la crisis económica en el ámbito cultural?

Eso es impredecible. Las crisis económicas a menudo se han visto acompañadas por la aparición del gran arte.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EL ECONOMISTA’ (Cuba)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTIONS 2008 - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

VERMILION’S PRODUCTION DOWN IN THIRD QUARTER, CRUDE OIL INVENTORY LEVELS UP VERMILION ENERGY TRUST

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vermilion Energy Trust has reported its interim operating and unaudited financial results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2008.

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

Recorded production of 31,927 boe/d in the third quarter of 2008 as compared to 33,743 boe/d in the second quarter of 2008. Previously announced shut-in production in the Netherlands, combined with scheduled downtime in Australia were the primary drivers behind the production decline.

Production was relatively flat as compared to 32,172 boe/d recorded in the third quarter of 2007, and is expected to remain stable over the balance of the year. Vermilion had projected softer production levels in the second half of 2008 and has maintained its 2008 production guidance unchanged between 32,000 and 33,000 boe/d.

Generated fund flows from operations of $131.8 million ($1.73 per unit) in the third quarter of 2008 compared to $190.3 million ($2.50 per unit) in the second quarter of 2008. A significant draw on crude oil inventories in the second quarter of 2008 was the principal reason for the higher cash flow in the second quarter, as compared to the third quarter of 2008. As only two shipments of crude occurred in each of Australia and the Aquitaine Basin in France, Vermilion’s crude oil inventory levels increased to 390,000 barrels at the end of the third quarter compared to 114,000 barrels at the end of the second quarter.

Vermilion distributed $0.57 per unit in the quarter, equivalent to 30% of fund flows from operations, representing the lowest cash payout ratio in its peer group of oil and gas income trusts. Since converting to a trust in January 2003, Vermilion has distributed more than 100% of the initial unit price at the time of conversion and has never decreased its distribution payments.

Total payout comprising of net distributions, capital expenditures, reclamation fund contributions and asset retirement costs incurred was 68% of fund flows from operations in the third quarter of 2008 and 50% year to date in 2008.

Vermilion further reduced its net debt from the second quarter by approximately $63 million to $222 million, equivalent to approximately 0.4 times annualized third quarter 2008 fund flows from operations. Vermilion’s existing line of credit of $675 million is expected to be an important tactical advantage as Vermilion continues to pursue acquisitions.

Vermilion drilled 14 Drayton Valley and central Alberta wells in the third quarter of 2008, and continued its workover and recompletion programs in Canada and France. On October 22, 2008, Vermilion began drilling the first of two wells at its Wandoo Field in Australia. The plan is to drill both wells concurrently and Vermilion expects both wells will be drilled, completed and tied-in before year-end.

On September 8, 2008, Verenex Energy Inc., in which Vermilion holds approximately 18.8 million shares representing a 42.4% equity interest, announced that it has initiated a process to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic alternatives available to Verenex to maximize shareholder value.

Vermilion is well positioned to weather a prolonged global economic downturn and believes the distressed markets may provide the opportunity to acquire producing properties at attractive metrics. The Trust’s conservative business model and low payout ratio are expected to provide a significant cushion in a low commodity price environment, which should enable Vermilion to maintain its current distribution levels for the foreseeable future.

OUTLOOK

Vermilion expects fourth quarter production volumes will remain stable near 32,000 boe/d. Normal production declines in Canada, France and the Netherlands will be offset by slightly higher Australian volumes as no significant downtime is planned at Wandoo in the fourth quarter. Accordingly, Vermilion is maintaining production guidance between 32,000 and 33,000 boe/d for 2008. New production from the two wells that are currently drilling at Wandoo is expected to be tied-in near the end of 2008 and will not have a significant impact on fourth quarter 2008 volumes. Production from each of these wells is expected at approximately 1,000 boe/d.

Capital expenditures in the fourth quarter are projected at approximately $85 million, with roughly half of that amount aimed at the Wandoo drilling program. Vermilion expects year-end net debt to approach $260 million, representing less than six months trailing cash flow.

Vermilion anticipates a capital expenditure program of between $175 million and $250 million for 2009. The Trust believes one of its primary responsibilities is to maintain a stable stream of distributions for unitholders, and Vermilion does not anticipate any change in distributions in 2009. Management also believes that the Trust’s strong balance sheet provides a good opportunity to pursue acquisitions in a more favourable ‘buyer’s market’ for property transactions.

In 2009, Vermilion is projecting record activity levels in France and the Netherlands and a slight slowdown in western Canadian activity. Australian capital spending in 2009 will be limited to maintenance capital spending as the trust assesses the performance of the 2008 drilling activity.

Approximately one-third of Vermilion’s 2009 capital expenditure program is geared towards non-reserve-additive activities, including long term studies related to the waterflood and enhanced oil recovery programs, seismic and land expenditures and subsurface and facilities maintenance. This portion of the capital program is focused on the potentially significant expansion and long-term sustenance of Vermilion’s existing reservoirs.

Approximately 40% to 45% of Vermilion’s 2009 capital program will be focused in France, where Vermilion anticipates drilling six to ten wells in its most active program in France since 1998. Besides new wells in the Champotran/La Torche field, drilling plans include a water injection well at Les Mimosas to support oil production from that field. New drilling in the Parentis field is being temporarily deferred until commodity prices rebound. Vermilion will continue with a robust workover and recompletion program in the Chaunoy, Cazaux and Parentis fields.

Approximately 25% to 30% of the capital program is earmarked for Canada, where Vermilion will maintain its successful natural gas drilling, workover and recompletion program in Drayton Valley and a smaller coalbed methane and shallow gas program in Central Alberta.

In the Netherlands, subsidence concerns led Vermilion to shut in approximately 1,000 boe/d of production in July 2008. Vermilion has applied to re-instate 150 boe/d and is reviewing new reservoir data, but has not made any decision regarding the balance of this production. Approximately one quarter of the 2009 capital program is aimed at the Netherlands, where Vermilion hopes to drill four to five wells in 2009. None of the drilling will be in the area affected by subsidence concerns. Potential additional production volumes from this drilling program are excluded from Vermilion’s 2009 guidance figures, as drilling is not expected to begin until the third quarter of 2009 with tie-in expected at year-end.

Preliminary production estimates reflect average volumes in 2009 of between 31,500 and 33,000 boe/d.

Verenex Energy Inc., in which Vermilion holds approximately 18.8 million shares representing a 42.4% equity interest, announced that it has initiated a process to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic alternatives available to Verenex to maximize shareholder value. The company continues to achieve positive drilling results in Libya. On November 6, 2008 Verenex announced that its two most recent wells have also encountered hydrocarbons in the target zones. To date, Verenex has drilled sixteen wells, all of which encountered hydrocarbons. Eleven of these wells, which include nine new field exploration wells and two appraisal wells have been tested at combined rates of 98,000 boe/d of production. The company is developing a commerciality application that contemplates an initial production phase of up to 50,000 boe/d.

On November 3, 2008, Verenex reported that DeGolyer and McNaughton (“D&M”), an independent engineering firm, provided an updated assessment of oil and gas resources in Verenex’s discoveries and portfolio of exploration prospects in Area 47. In summary, the aggregate of D&M’s updated September 30, 2008 best estimate of gross contingent resources and risked mean estimate of gross prospective resources, on an oil equivalent basis, has increased by 36% to approximately 2.15 billion barrels.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, CANADA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, NETHERLANDS, PETROL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

CIRCUIT CITY FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Posted on Tue, Nov. 11, 2008

by Jane M. Von Bergen – Inquirer Staff Writer

Pressured by its vendors and pummeled by weak consumer demand, Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for Circuit City store in South Portland, Maine. Tweeter Home Entertainment filed its petition last week. Photo - Pat Wellenbach - Associated Pressbankruptcy yesterday – the second consumer electronics chain to file for bankruptcy in less than a week.

Circuit City filed for reorganization relief in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., where it is based.

Liquidation sales are already in full swing at Tweeter Home Entertainment stores, including those in the Philadelphia region. The Canton, Mass., company filed its bankruptcy petition last Tuesday in Wilmington.

“There’s not a whole lot of jumping up and down with happiness,” said Bob Cole, expressing concern for those companies’ affected employees. Cole owns Bob & Ron’s World Wide Stereo, a Circuit City and Tweeter competitor with stores in Ardmore and Montgomeryville.

“At the same time,” he said, “it’s just a little bit convenient in this market to have fewer competitors.”

Circuit City’s filing comes a week after it announced plans to close 155 stores and renegotiate leases. None of 17 stores within 40 miles of Center City Philadelphia is on the chopping block. The firm operates 770 stores in Canada.

With yesterday’s filing, the company said it would cut an additional 700 headquarters and regional positions – reducing its workforce a total of 20 percent, or as many as 7,300 employees.

Circuit City said it filed for bankruptcy to assure vendors shipping for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season that they would get paid. Their payments will come from the chain’s $1.1 billion debtor-in-possession financing revolving-credit facility negotiated to provide working capital.

The company, which said it had $3.4 billion in assets and $2.32 billion in liabilities as of Aug. 31, is hoping to exit court protection by early summer 2009. Its biggest creditors are its vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony, Zenith and Toshiba.

Circuit City, which will operate 566 stores in the United States after the closings, has been struggling for several years. Its shares fell 15 cents to 10 cents a share yesterday before trading was halted.

In 2007, Circuit City made headlines in human-resources trade magazines when it announced that, to save money, it would lay off 3,400 of its highest-paid salespeople, replacing them with lower-cost hourly workers.

Tweeter, which has 94 stores in 19 states, including eight in this area, is on its second bankruptcy. It filed its first in June 2007 and was bought by a private-equity firm.

In 1996, Tweeter entered the Philadelphia market by acquiring Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video, a long-standing local company with 13 stores.

Last weekend, workers carrying signs promoting liquidation sales with 40 percent reductions were pacing the roads outside some of the Tweeter stores, Cole said.

“I’ve been in business for 30 years, through three recessions, and I never cheer for people to go out of business,” he said. “It’s not good for the industry. I’m hanging in, but it’s hard.”

——————————————————————————–

A Timeline

1949: Samuel S. Wurtzel opens Wards Co., in Richmond, Va.

1961: Wards goes public, selling 110,000 shares at $5.375 each.

1984: The name changes to Circuit City Stores Inc

1990: Sales hit $2 billion.

Yesterday: The company files for bankruptcy.

SOURCE: Associated Press

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

MORE HOUSING WORRIES SEND STOCK FUTURES LOWER (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Posted on Tue, Nov. 11, 2008

by Madlen Read

The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Wall Street looked to open lower Tuesday after homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. said it couldn’t project a profit for 2009 and Starbucks Corp. reported earnings that missed Wall Street expectations.

With the government and bond markets closed for Veterans Day, no economic reports are scheduled. Instead, investors will examine earnings reports for direction during the session. And the Toll Brothers and Starbucks reports pointed to ongoing problems in two of the market’s greatest areas of concern: housing and consumer spending.

Toll Brothers said fourth-quarter revenue fell 41 percent from the year-ago period. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Toll said in a statement the company was “upended by the past month’s financial crisis,” and that the economic uncertainty made it difficult to predict a profit next year.

Meanwhile, Starbucks reported lower sales across the coffee chain led to a profit that fell below analysts’ expectations. The quarter’s results came at the end of a transition year for the coffee retailer, in which former Chief Executive Howard Schultz returned as CEO and chairman.

Stock futures indicated a lower start for the markets. Dow Jones industrial futures shed 187 points, or 2.10 percent, to 8,700; Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 17.20, or 1.87 percent, to 910.00; and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 20.50, or 1.63 percent, to 1,236.00.

On Monday, stocks had a relatively calm day, although an early 215-point gain the Dow gave way to a loss of 73 by the close. But analaysts are still warning that the market, while it may in the process of forming a bottom after October’s huge losses, will still see volatility for some time to come.

The financial sector will likely come under scrutiny again Tuesday. Soon after ailing insurer American International Group Inc. got more money from the U.S. government, American Express Co. won approval late Monday from the Federal Reserve to become a commercial bank. That will allow the credit card giant to accept deposits and permanently access government financing that’s been used by other banks amid the credit crisis.

The nation’s automakers are also a big source of anxiety for the market. General Motors Corp., whose shares plunged on Monday to their lowest point in 60 years, late Monday said it would cut 1,900 factory jobs on top of the 3,600 cuts announced Friday. Some industry analysts predict the automaker will collapse without a government bailout.

Investors are also waiting to find out if the government will send another round of stimulus checks to consumers, who have been curbing their spending , and not just discretionary spending , in the face of lost jobs, plunging home prices, and tight credit.

Third-quarter earnings declines from Vodafone Group PLC, the world’s biggest mobile phone company by sales, and InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, the owner of the Holiday Inn hotel chain, revealed sharp pullbacks in consumer spending.

Oil prices sank below $60 a barrel Tuesday for the first time in about 18 months as optimism waned that a huge economic stimulus plan in China will avert a prolonged slowdown in the global economy. Light, sweet crude for December delivery was down $2.98 at $59.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 4.77 percent. In European trading, Britian’s FTSE 100 was down 2.49 percent, Germany’s DAX gave up 2.72 percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 2.95 percent.

****

On the Net:

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

EU MOVES TO REGULATE RATING AGENCIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

November 10, 2008 – 4:22pm

by Aoife White – AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – European Union officials are moving toward imposing significant new EUROregulatory burdens on credit ratings agencies, saying they are too important for the stability of the world’s financial markets for EU officials to ignore any longer.

The European Commission will propose on Wednesday how regulators should start getting in the game, with a set of rules that go beyond U.S. proposals amid a sense that banks and others relied on top ratings given to mortgage-based securities that turned out to be far riskier than they appeared.

The EU regulatory focus could mean big changes for New York-based Standard & Poor’s, a business segment of publisher McGraw-Hill, and Moody’s Corp., in order to keep working in Europe. Most investments require two ratings, and these two companies mop up the bulk of the market.

“This business is much too important for the stability of the financial markets for us to sit by and watch from the sidelines,” the EU’s financial services chief, Charlie McCreevy, said recently.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy went even further in one of many recent volleys on the need for a radical overhaul of the world’s financial system that hinted he wouldn’t object to doing away with rating agencies entirely.

“Do we keep them?” he asked. “What do we replace them with. … Should they only be American?”

Once the EU rules are published, they will need to be approved by EU governments _ who said in July they wanted more oversight _ and the European Parliament. Rules could enter into force as early as 2010.

The U.S. regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, is tackling the issue of the agencies’ role in the subprime credit crisis with draft rules demanding more disclosure about the debt they rate and potential conflicts of interest, and even the gifts they get from clients.

But the EU wants to go farther with stringent rules, aiming to make the agencies prove they are competent and independent enough for the financial industry to rely on. It will likely demand the agencies register in the EU for the first time, may hold their ratings up to scrutiny and will require them to show their analysts are sufficiently well-trained and experienced to understand the risks they are assessing.

They would also need to prove that analysis is not swayed by conflicts of interest, because agencies are paid by the banks who issue the debt they rate. Within a company, that might mean separating sales staff from analysts and measures to deter analysts leaving an agency to immediately start work at a client bank.

The EU rules could also end their lucrative consultancy businesses that help banks structure investments _ packaging risky and safer debt together _ to win a top rating.

The U.S. also is considering banning rating agencies from doing consulting work for issuers of debt. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox told a U.S. Senate committee earlier this year that he saw no reason why such work “could not be prohibited.”

Neither S&P, Moody’s or Fitch Ratings Inc., which has headquarters in London and New York, would comment on the EU’s draft rules until they are published. S&P has spoken out before, saying it believed that the EU is going too far and the new rules would give regulators the possibility of quizzing analysts to see how they decide on ratings.

“Effectively this is an open door for interference with the content of the rating and this causes us an enormous amount of concern,” Ian Bell, S&P’s senior European legal counsel, said in a speech to the Eurofi financial services conference in September.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘WTOPnews’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, USA | Leave a Comment »

CHINA STIMULUS PLAN FUELS HOPES FOR NEW INVESTMENT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Posted on Mon, Nov. 10, 2008

by Joe McDonald

The Associated Press

BEIJING – China’s $586 billion stimulus package is its “biggest contribution to the world,” Premier Wen China's $586 billion stimulus package is its 'biggest contribution to the world'Jiabao said Monday, as hopes rose that heavy spending on construction and other projects would help support global growth by fueling demand for imported machinery and raw materials.

The massive Chinese spending plan , the largest ever undertaken by the communist leadership , was motivated by growing alarm at an unexpectedly sharp downturn in the country’s fast-growing economy that raised the threat of job losses and social unrest.

Sunday’s announcement staked out a bold position as President Hu Jintao prepares for next weekend’s meeting in Washington of leaders of 20 major economies to discuss a response to the global financial crisis.

Wen, the country’s top economic official, said the plan is meant to boost investment and consumer spending, maintain export growth and promote corporate competitiveness and financial reform.

“We must implement the measures to ensure a fast and stable economic development,” Wen told a meeting of government leaders, according to a report on state television. “They are not only the needs of the development of ourselves, but also our biggest contribution to the world.”

The plan calls for higher spending through 2010 on airports, highways and other infrastructure, more aid to the poor and farmers, and tax cuts for exporters. That could boost demand for iron ore from Australia and Brazil, factory and construction equipment from the United States and Europe, and industrial components from throughout Asia.

“Faster growth in China will be better for its neighbors. For every country in the region, it’s either their top trading partner or is on the way to becoming the top,” said Tim Condon, Asia regional economist for the Dutch bank ING.

On a global scale, “countries that supply capital equipment look like they will be the front-line beneficiaries of this package,” he said.

Asian stock markets surged Monday on news of the plan, but world markets were mixed later in the day. Wall Street erased an early rally as enthusiasm for the Chinese package gave way to anxiety about how U.S. companies will survive a severe pullback in spending.

China’s economic growth slowed to 9 percent in the last quarter, down from last year’s stunning 11.9 percent and its lowest level in five years. Export orders have fallen sharply as global demand weakens, leading to layoffs and factory closures.

Analysts have slashed forecasts of next year’s economic growth but said Monday that with the new stimulus it should be at least 8 percent.

China’s announcement came as economic officials from the Group of 20 leading economies, which includes major wealthy and developing nations, called Sunday for increased government spending to boost the troubled global economy.

The United States has allocated $168 billion this year for tax rebates to individuals and tax breaks for businesses, in addition to the $700 billion to bail out troubled financial institutions.

Unlike China’s plan, it includes no spending on capital projects, though President-elect Barack Obama has supported an additional $50 billion stimulus package for infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, intended to create jobs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Congress last week to approve a stimulus bill before the end of the year.

Meeting in Brazil, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors said emerging economies deserve a prominent role in talks to overhaul the world financial system.

Hu plans to press that demand in Washington at the leaders’ meeting on Saturday, a Chinese government spokesman said last week.

Still, Beijing’s announcement appears to exaggerate the size of its plan by including projects already under way, such as reconstruction from the devastating May earthquake in China’s southwest, said Sheridan Chan, an economist for Moody’s Economy.com.

“The exaggeration highlights the government’s desperation to revive sentiment, which is perhaps the key factor to sustaining growth amid global turmoil,” Chan said.

Beijing’s stimulus package represents another drastic step away from lending curbs and other anti-inflation measures it imposed over the past three years, but has been rolling back since mid-2008 as growth slowed.

Wholesale inflation eased in October, which gives authorities more leeway to stimulate the economy without igniting new price rises, according to data reported Monday. The government said producer prices rose 6.6 percent in October from a year earlier, down from August’s 12-year high of 10.1 percent.

China switched its official goal in mid-2008 from a single focus on fighting inflation to a dual target of ensuring fast economic growth while also containing price rises. It has cut interest rates three times in recent weeks and lifted limits on how much each Chinese bank can lend.

The new stimulus plan depends heavily on getting the country’s companies to invest, economists said.

Beijing might supply as little as one-quarter of the announced spending, or $145 billion, with the rest coming from state companies, bank lending or bond sales by local authorities, said Ting Lu, a Merrill Lynch economist.

That might require regulators to ease lending and investment curbs, said UBS Securities economist Tao Wang.

“With this strong signal that comes from this package that the government will put its own money on the line, that could bring about matching bank lending and promote corporate investment,” Wang said.

****

Associated Press researcher Bonnie Cao in Beijing contributed to this report.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in ASIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | 1 Comment »

AFRICAN MIGRANTS STORM BORDER OF SPANISH CITY – Police use tear gas to keep them from crossing into Melilla from Morrocco

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Updated 11:32 a.m. ET Nov. 10, 2008

Associated Press

MADRID, Spain – African migrants armed with sticks and rocks stormed the border of a Spanish enclave in North Africa on Monday but police using tear gas repelled them, the Spanish Interior Ministry said.

Border guards repelled two waves totaling about 200 Africans in the fifth and largest such attempt to reach the Spanish city of Melilla from Morocco in less than a month, said Gregorio Escobar, the ministry’s top representative in Melilla.

No migrant managed to cross into the Mediterranean city of some 70,000 people.

Moroccan authorities detained most of the 150 Africans who tried to rush a border crossing in a first attempt. Less than an hour later, a group of about 60 turned violent as they tried to force their way across and Spanish authorities used riot gear and tear gas to keep them out, Escobar said.

Police officers suffer minor injuries

Two Spanish police were slightly injured and six other officers were treated after inhaling tear gas, he said.

Thousands of African migrants seeking a better life in Europe try to enter Spain each year. Most try to reach the Canary Islands by boat and others try enter Melilla or Ceuta, another Spanish enclave on Morocco’s coast.

Police have prevented migrants from crossing into Melilla on all the previous attempts over the past weeks except on one occasion when 37 migrants got through. They were later detained on Spanish soil.

Each time, migrants tried to get through a section of border fence damaged in torrential rains in late October. On Monday, however, they targeted a regular border crossing used daily by thousands of people.

Migrants wait on Moroccan side

The migrants often spend weeks or months living in a forest on the Moroccan side of the frontier as they await a chance to cross into Melilla.

The rains in October washed away most of their belongings and made living conditions even worse, said Khalil Jemmah, the head of Morocco’s Association of Victims of Illegalized Migration.

“They’re desperately trying to cross because they’ve got nothing left to lose,” Jemmah told the Associated Press late Saturday after a group of 50 sub-Saharan migrants fought with Moroccan police protecting the breached fence.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MSNBC’ (USA)

Posted in AFRICA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - ILLEGAL, INTERNATIONAL, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, MOROCCO, SPAIN, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

UNEMPLOYMENT ACCELERATING (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

First Posted 01:50:00 11/11/2008

by Ron Nathan

Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES IN the US for the past two months were awful but this was expected Unemployment line - USAand short sellers made money. For October, the figure was 240,000, about 40,000 more than expected, but the September figures were revised upwards dramatically to 284,000 so last month’s figure might well be revised to 300,000 next month. The percentage increased from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent and the total for the first 10 months was almost 1.2 million. This rate is likely to increase over the next few months as 41,000 companies are laying off workers and many more have indicated further reductions.

I would guess that secretly, McCain is pleased to have lost the election because the problems facing Obama are daunting. The transition time is 10 weeks so expect him to name his treasury secretary and other key positions this week. In the meantime, both parties will strive to work out a stimulus package of $150-$300 billion. This will not solve the unemployment situation nor the mortgage problem but it will buy time to grasp the problems and formulate measures to alleviate some of them. Unemployment benefits are certain to be extended.

The simultaneous collapse of the US, the Eurozone and Japan has never happened before and the recession is likely to be protracted. At best, it might end in the second half of 2009 but it could well run on into 2010. The intraday bottom of 7,882 on the Dow might hold for the time being and there will be sharp short rallies but I think that the ultimate low has not yet been seen. No president has ever been tossed into such a bad situation. It will take a great economic team including Bernanke plus global cooperation to get us out of it eventually. Fortunately, we are seeing unprecedented cooperation between blocs and countries. After the Fed cut the base rate by 50 basis points to 1 percent, Japan cut 20 basis points to 0.3 percent, the European Central Bank 50 basis points to 3.25 percent and the Bank of England by a whopping 150 basis points to 3 percent. Other countries such as Australia joined in and Libor has been dropping steadily. Unfortunately, this has not yet had the desired effect of unfreezing liquidity. Banks just don’t want to lend, even though they have plentiful access to cheap money through the rediscount window.

China has also participated by cutting interest rates twice and indicating two more cuts this year. In addition, they have released 2 percent of the bank deposit and promised more to come. They have just announced a $586-billion stimulus package and this has sent the Chinese, Hong Kong and Japanese markets surging. The growth rate of 9 percent, down from 11.4 percent, is worrying the Chinese government and they don’t want to see it fall below 8 percent. Commodity prices have been hammered and with many steel producers closed, demand for nickel, manganese, copper has almost come to a halt. However, this should be temporary because Beijing factories closed down ahead of the Olympics so that the air would not be polluted. They reopened a month ago and the stockpiles should be used up by the Chinese New Year so I expected to see some recovery by then.

As the market lurches from crisis to crisis, battered by the housing market, credit crisis and increasing unemployment, consumer spending is certain to decline. Stores are selling goods at large discounts well ahead of Christmas. Wal-Mart is surviving but more expensive stores like JC Penney are suffering. In England, Marks and Spencer produced bad results.

Foreign brokers continue to sell equities, bonds and currencies of emerging markets so most of them are losing ground against the temporarily strong dollar. Price targets of stocks worldwide have been slashed and the Philippines has not escaped. Banks, except for BPI, have been downgraded and their target prices slashed by a third. Properties have come in for similar treatment and the price target for MEG was reduced from P1.64 to P1.24. In telecoms, TEL’s price target was cut from P3,200 to P2,600 and GLO from P1,725 to P1,315. AC, FLI, AP and AC are all raising money.

Vista Land fell from its IPO price of P7.50 to P1.04 on news that the buyback program would be extended for another 6 months. Its net asset value has been cut from P8.50 to P4 and its price target to P1.90 but the decline seems overdone. Most of its OFWs are in the Middle East. It is critical that the share price stays above P1, a major psychological support level. Once FLI broke P1, it collapsed to 38 cents and when MEG failed to hold P1, it dropped to 58 cents. The PSE has deferred for three years a new accounting rule that bars a developer from booking sales until a project is completed. This is good news for the property sector. Macquarie has downgraded SMPH from P10.50 to P7.50 and Credit Suisse said the stock looked expensive. AGI and SM look less attractive now that a Las Vegas casino is losing money. IPVG and ATRK have reduced the price of their rights issues.

There does not seem anywhere to invest one’s money. Mine is under the mattress and I have to climb a stepladder to get into bed.

* * *

HERE is an interesting item: A man bought a donkey from a farmer for $100 and the farmer agreed to deliver the next day. The following day, he drove up and said, “I am sorry son but the donkey is dead. I can’t give you your money back because I have spent it.” The man said, “OK, just bring me the dead donkey.” The farmer asked, “What are you going to do with him?” The man replied, “I will raffle him off.” “You can’t raffle off a dead donkey.” “Sure, I can. I won’t tell anyone he’s dead.”

They met a month later and the farmer asked, “What happened to the dead donkey?” The man said, “I raffled him off at $2 a ticket, I sold 500 tickets and made a profit of $998.” The farmer asked, “Didn’t anyone complain?” The man replied. “Only the guy who won so I gave him back his $2.” The man now works as a consultant to Goldman Sachs.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILLIPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

GOV’T WANTS TO CHANGE COURSE OF FOREST EXPERIMENTS (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Nov 11, 2008 4:14 AM (1 hr 30 mins ago)

by Jeff Barnard. AP

DURHAM, N.C. (Map, News) – For more than a decade, the federal government has spent millions of Ram Oren, an associate professor of ecology at Duke University, stands atop an observation tower overlooking the Duke Forest in Durham, N.C., Sept. 29, 2008, where he oversees a long-standing experiment measuring how elevated levels of carbon dioxide expected under global warming will affect forests. The U.S. Department of Energy is changing course on the research, prompting some climate scientists to say an opportunity is being missed to improve the accuracy of climate change models. (AP Photo - Jeff Barnard) dollars pumping elevated levels of carbon dioxide into small groups of trees to test how forests will respond to global warming in the next 50 years.

Some scientists believe they are on the cusp of receiving key results from the time-consuming experiments.

The U.S. Department of Energy, however, which is funding the project, has told the scientists to chop down the trees, collect the data and move on to new research. That plan has upset some researchers who have spent years trying to understand how forests may help stave off global warming, and who want to keep the project going for at least a couple of more years.

“There has been an investment in these experiments and it’s a shame we are going to walk away from that investment,” said William Chameides, an atmospheric scientist at Duke University, where one of the experimental forests is located. “There is no question that ultimately we want to cut the trees down and analyze the soil. The question is whether now is the time to do it.”

Ronald Neilson, a U.S. Forest Service bio-climatologist in Corvallis, Ore., said the experiments should continue because they still have potential to answer key questions about how rainfall and fertility affect how much carbon a forest will store long-term – essential to understanding how forests may soften the blow of climate change.

But the Energy Department, following the advice of a specially convened panel of experts, believes that chopping down the trees and digging up the soil will allow the first real measurements of how much carbon the leaves, branches, trunks and roots have been storing, said J. Michael Kuperberg, a program manager with the agency.

Ending the experiments will also allow the funding to be devoted to new research that will look at the effects of higher temperatures, changes in rainfall, and variations in soil fertility, Kuperberg said.

“What we are trying to do here is balance the time to get optimal results out of the existing experiment with our desire for a new generation of experiments that we feel is more likely to realistically represent future climate scenarios,” Kuperberg said.

Some scientists, though, believe ending the long-term research may be a mistake.

“If we stop these experiments now, it could cost many years to get back to this point, time we may not have,” Kevin Lee Griffin, associate professor of environmental sciences at Columbia University, wrote in an e-mail.

The research program, Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE), consists of rings of tall white plastic pipes with holes along their length that emit once-liquified carbon dioxide in carefully metered doses. The loblolly pines planted in 1994 at Duke in North Carolina are located behind gates several miles from campus.

There are also experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Harshaw Experimental Forest in Wisconsin. The carbon dioxide levels around the trees are about 50 percent higher than current levels – the amount expected 40 to 50 years from now.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Biological & Environmental Research has informed those managing the experiments that their current research will be phased out by 2011. They are to get the definitive measurements on how tree growth, which represents stored carbon, was influenced, and should design new experiments to get rolling by 2012.

The panel found that the current experiments had a useful life of 10 to 12 years, and in a few more years the results would become invalid, in part because the trees were nearly taller than the pipes delivering the carbon dioxide.

Results so far indicate that elevated levels of carbon dioxide make forests grow more quickly, said Ram Oren, associate professor of ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and principal investigator on the experiments there.

But unless forests are on fertile ground – hard to come by because of development – growth will be in leaves, needles, and fine roots, which die off and decompose in a year or two, releasing the carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere, Oren said.

The Duke experiment recently began looking at fertility, and a couple of more years will give them better data on how forests react differently to drought and plentiful rainfall, he said.

“To stop an experiment that cost $55 million, $10 million before it reaches its real conclusion makes no sense to me,” Oren said.

Rich Norby, who oversees the tree experiment at Oak Ridge, said he had thought it had run its course, but emerging trends indicate the new wood growth from increased carbon dioxide tapers off due to limitations of nitrogen – fertilizer – in the soil.

“This comes up in all sorts of long-term experiments – when is the right time to say, `Enough,'” Norby said. “There’s no good answer to that.”

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EXAMINER.COM’ (USA)

Posted in ENVIRONMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

AIRLINES FREAK OUT, OFFER HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

November 10, 3:27 PM

Susan Finch by Susan Finch, New York Budget Travel Examiner

While holiday travel is looking grim for both travelers and airlines looking to keep money in their pocket, prices are easing up more than I thought they would. Since the economic downturn, travelers are cancelling plans and opting to drive, stick closer to home, or wait it out.

Seems like the airlines are responding by having a bit of a freak out.

According to Farecompare.com, the industry is bracing for one of the biggest sales they’ve had in the past 18 months. Airlines are looking to quickly fill empty seats, hold onto dear life for any profits they can squeeze, and create a budget stir.

Keep in mind there’s an even higher chance for overbooking in terms of both holiday travel and fare ** FILE ** An Air France jumbo jet rolls behind the tail of a KLM Royal Dutch airliner at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, north of Paris, in this Sept. 30, 2003, file photo. Air France-KLM, the world's largest airline by revenue, said Thursday Nov. 22, 2007 that second-quarter profit almost doubled thanks to 'dynamic' demand for long-haul flights to Asia and North America. (AP Photo - Remy de la Mauviniere)mania, so use it to your advantage by making up your mind to take the bump and earn yourself a free travel voucher.

Looking for fares under $200? Here are just a few discount fares currently found on Orbitz.com:

New York City to Atlanta $183
New York City to Baltimore $176
New York City to Boston $125
New York Cityto Buffalo $165
New York City to Burlington, VT $185
New York City to Charlotte $124
New York City to Cleveland $173
New York City to Columbus, OH $195
New York City to Dayton $193
New York City to Detroit $145
New York City to Fort Lauderdale $169
New York City to Indianapolis $197
New York City to Jacksonville, FL $195
New York City to Madison $193
New York City to Miami $159
New York City to Milwaukee $164
New York City to Myrtle Beach $171
New York City to New Orleans $195
New York City to Newport News $111
New York City to Orlando $175
New York City to Pittsburgh $181
New York City to Portland, ME $164
New York City to Raleigh/Durham $125
New York City to Richmond $125
New York City to Rochester, NY $165
New York City to San Antonio $196
New York City to St Louis $195
New York City to Syracuse $165
New York City to Tampa $199
New York City to Washington, DC $155
New York City to West Palm Beach $175

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EXAMINER.COM’ (USA)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FRANCE, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

RISING DEMAND MAKES INDIA A SUGAR IMPORTER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11 Nov 2008, 0152 hrs IST, Prabha Jagannathan, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: India, the world’s largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar, is turning into a India, the world’s largest consumer and second-largest producer of sugar net importer of the sweetener as growth in population and household incomes leads to higher consumption and forces the country to meet domestic demand from other nations.

Sugar consumption has increased by two million tonnes in the past two years, pushing up the annual domestic consumption to about 23 mn tonnes from only 19 mn tonnes in 2005-06. Consumption is growing by over 4% annually, but the government prefers to keep tightlipped about it and pegs the annual sugar consumption at only 21 mn tonnes.

This means domestic consumption will surpass the projected output (22 mn tonnes at present) for the 2008-09 year, paving the way for sugar imports and sharpening domestic sugar prices for both industrial and retail consumers. Analysts have already projected that India will be a sugar importer from the 2009-10 sugar year.

In February this year, the core platform for private sector sugar units, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), hiked its domestic consumption figures from 19 mn tonnes to 21 mn tonnes, against an overall production level of 28.4 mn tonnes. It also projected domestic sugar consumption levels for 2007-08 sugar year to at least 22.5 mn tonne, up from the official figure of 21 mn tonnes.

Keeping domestic sugar consumption level low would mean that the carryover stocks from last year would be lower by two million tonnes, at about 9 mn tonnes. Compared to the lower government figures, industry estimates for 2007-08 sugar year (Indian Sugar, September 2008) are that internal consumption was a whopping 22.5 mn tonnes (against production of 26.3 mn tonnes and availability, including carryover stocks, of 35.5 mn tonnes) compared to 21 mn tonnes in 2006-07 and 18.5 mn tonnes in 2005-06.

Lower carryover stocks and the projected low sugarcane output projected for 2008-09 could spell high domestic sugar prices, something that the poll-bound UPA government would prefer not to face in the first half of next year when general elections are held.

Sugar prices are among the most sensitive of election issues and the fact that the domestic prices have shot up from around Rs 15/kg in the retail market earlier this year to around Rs 20/kg now has already forced the Centre to pull out all stops to boost open market availability and drag down or at least hold prices.

Ironically, most recent studies show that sugar consumption has gone up significantly on account of industry (such as ice creams, soft drinks, pastries, chocolates and the pharma sector) and not on account of domestic consumption by the economically weaker sections for whom the government commands 10% of the production by mills for levy sugar.

That domestic sugar consumption was growing at a rapid pace was acknowledged as early as the Mahajan committee report, which showed progressive increase from 11.2 mn tonnes (1991-92) to 13.0 mn tonnes (1995-96), except for 1993-94 when there was steep fall in output. Consumption, the report held, increased by 64.78% between 1984-85 and 1995-96 at a healthy 4.31% per annum.

The report also observed a fall in the share of expenditure on sugar in rural areas and a much higher increase in sugar expenditure in urban areas. And that was a whole decade or more from today, when the consumption of processed foods and soft drinks has more than doubled.

More recently, the Tuteja committee report also observed that India’s consumption went up annually in a marked manner — from 16.7 mn tonnes in 1999-00 to a significantly higher 17.4 mn tonnes in 2000-01 and to 17.9 mn tonnes in 2001-02. Between 1996-97 and 2001-02, India’s consumption of sugar as a percentage of world consumption went by from 12.4% to 13.4%.

In June 2007, a KPMG report held that in the share of total sugar consumption, the share of gur and khandsari declined. Industrial (dairy, confectionery, bakery and beverages which accounted for 5.26 mt or 30% of non-levy share), small business and high-income household segments accounted for 74% (13 mn tonne) of the total non-levy sugar consumption of 17.52 mn tonne in 2006-07.

According to the report, per capita sugar consumption, which went up with rise in per capita income, stood at an average 2.2 kg/month at the lowest income level, while at the highest income levels, the average household sugar consumption was at 5.11 kg per month.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDIA TIMES’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ASIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, SUGAR | Leave a Comment »

GOLD JUMPS 4% ON CHINA’S BAILOUT PACKAGE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

11 Nov 2008, 0155 hrs IST, REUTERS

LONDON: Gold rose more than 4% on Monday as dollar weakness and sharp gains across commodities Photo - WN - Periasamysharpened appetite for the precious metal, but retreated from highs as the dollar recovered some lost ground against the euro. A near $600-bn economic stimulus package announced by China on Sunday helped allay risk aversion and fuelled gains in equities as well as oil and base metals, carrying gold higher.

In London, spot gold touched an intraday peak of $767.80 an ounce, before easing back to $751.10/753.10 by 21:30 pm IST, against $735.95 in New York on Friday. US December gold futures rose more than 2% and were trading at $751.30, up $17.10.

In Mumbai, a major gold hub in India, the price of yellow metal hardened further on the back of stockists’ buying, supported by a rally in international markets. Standard and pure gold rose by Rs 70 and Rs 80 to Rs 11,785 and Rs 11,850 per 10 gm, respectively.

“The weakness in the US dollar… and the rise in crude oil and industrial metals reflect the announcement made by Chinese government on Sunday for a stimulus package of roughly $568 bn,” said Dresdner Kleinwort consultant Peter Fertig. “

This should spur investment in housing and infrastructure in the next two years, which will (lead to) stronger demand for energy and base metals. This is also a supportive factor for gold.”

China launched its stimulus plan on Sunday, pledging nearly $600 bn in extra spending by the end of 2010. Base metals jumped in response to the plan, with copper surging nearly 10%, nickel 13% and zinc around 7% following the news. All the metals have lost substantial ground in recent months.

At a G-20 meeting in Brazil, finance ministers and central bankers representing 90% of the world’s economy said they will take “all necessary measures” to normalise the financial markets and counter the backlash to the credit crisis.

The dollar weakened against the euro as risk appetite improved. A recovery in the stock markets prompted investors to move into higher-yielding currencies such as the euro and the yen.

A softer dollar tends to benefit gold, which is often bought as a hedge against weakness in the US currency. The currency’s recovery from lows against the euro later led gold to pare gains. Among other precious metals, silver tracked gold higher to a peak of $10.51 an ounce, up 5%, before settling back to $10.29/10.39 an ounce from $9.99.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in ASIA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GOLD, INTERNATIONAL, PRECIOUS METALS | Leave a Comment »

PETROBRAS DEVE TER LUCRO TRIMESTRAL DE AO MENOS R$ 9 BILHÕES – Ações da empresa, no entanto, continuarão a oscilar de acordo com os preços internacionais do petróleo. (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

10.11.2008 – 09h13

por Marcelo Gutierres

Portal EXAME A Petrobras deverá divulgar nesta terça-feira um lucro líquido de 9,2 bilhões a 10,1 bilhões de reais no terceiro trimestre, segundo estimativas de três corretoras. A Ágora, a corretora mais otimista, espera um lucro de 10,1 bilhões de reais, com um crescimento de 82,9% sobre o mesmo período do ano passado. Já na comparação com o trimestre anterior, os analistas dizem que a elevação será de 16%. “O resultado financeiro [da Petrobras] será positivamente impactado no trimestre pela valorização de 20,25% do dólar contra o real, impulsionando o lucro líquido da empresa”, dizem analistas da corretora. Eles prevêem uma margem Ebitda (lucro antes de impostos e amortizações) de 29,6%, ou 0,4 ponto percentual maior que o do terceiro trimestre de 2007 e 3,6 pontos percentuais menor do que o segundo trimestre de 2008.

O Banco Fator apresenta estimativas mais modestas. O lucro líquido estimado é de 9,2 bilhões de reais, uma elevação de 68,1% ante o terceiro trimestre de 2007. O Fator diz que haverá uma queda da margem Ebitda quando comparados os dois últimos trimestres: de 33,2% para 31,3% (- 1,9 ponto percentual). Para o banco, embora o petróleo venha caindo desde julho, a Petrobras manterá números próximos dos registrados em igual período do ano passado, quando a matéria-prima estava mais valorizada. Os aumentos da gasolina em maio e de outros derivados terão um impacto positivo no resultado desta terça-feira. O Fator recomenda a compra de ações da empresa.

Já o Santander calcula um lucro líquido da Petrobras no terceiro trimestre deste ano de 10 bilhões de reais, 82% maior do que a marca de 2007. A corretora do banco espanhol estima queda de 5,8 pontos percentuais no Ebitda de entre o segundo (33,2%) e o terceiro trimestre (27,4%) deste ano.

Queda do petróleo

A provável divulgação de um lucro expressivo não deve ser suficiente para as ações da Petrobras se recuperarem do tombo dos últimos meses porque o mercado está mais de olho na queda dos preços internacionais do petróleo. Segundo a Itaú Corretora, se o barril permanecer no atual patamar de 60 dólares durante 2009, o lucro da estatal no próximo ano vai cair para 12,7 bilhões de reais. Caso a cotação média do barril seja de 50 dólares, o lucro líquido despencaria para apenas 1,97 bilhão de reais. A corretora, entretanto, vê como mais provável um petróleo cotado a 70 dólares, o que levaria a um lucro de R$ 22,5 bilhões no próximo ano – ainda assim uma queda de 27% sobre o resultado projetado para 2008 (29,9 bilhões de reais).

O principal problema da Petrobras é que suas despesas cresceram 89% nos últimos três anos. Em tempos de petróleo caro, o mercado acabou ignorando esse fato. Com as cotações em patamares mais modestos, no entanto, as margens de lucro serão corroídas. A Itaú Corretora considera que um ponto-chave para evitar uma forte queda do lucro em 2009 é a manutenção dos preços da gasolina e do diesel, produtos que respondem por 40% das receitas da empresa. O atual preço da gasolina contém um ágio de mais de 40% em relação aos valores praticados internacionalmente. Já o diesel está cerca de 30% mais caro.

Para a Itaú Corretora, é provável que o governo adie a redução dos preços pelo menos até o próximo ano. No entanto, é possível que a inflação dê sinais de aceleração nos próximos meses devido à escalada do dólar. Nesse cenário, o Banco Central passaria a ser pressionado para retomar a alta dos juros em um momento de desaceleração da atividade econômica externa e interna. Para evitar o aperto monetário, uma medida possível seria a redução do preço dos combustíveis – o que prejudicaria a Petrobras.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL EXAME’ (Brasil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, PETRÓLEO | 1 Comment »

DESACELERAÇÃO DA ECONOMIA MUNDIAL EM 2009 É CONSENSO ENTRE BANCOS CENTRAIS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Segunda-Feira, 10/11/2008, 20:14h

SÃO PAULO (SP) – Os presidentes de bancos centrais que participaram do encontro anual do Banco Internacional de Compensações (BIS, na sigla em inglês), em São Paulo, admitem que a economia mundial vai passar por um processo de desaceleração no ano que vem.

A informação é do presidente do Banco Central do Brasil, Henrique Meirelles, que concedeu entrevista coletiva hoje (10) no intervalo das reuniões do encontro.

“Há um consenso de que a economia mundial vai se desacelerar substancialmente em 2009”, afirmou Meirelles. “É esperado, inclusive, que países industrializados tenham uma contração de seus produtos [Produto Interno Bruto]. Já os emergentes devem crescer, mas com taxas menores.”

Segundo Meirelles, no encontro do BIS, “o banco central do bancos centrais”, a crise financeira internacional foi o principal tema. Os representantes avaliaram a situação global e também de alguns países, em específico, e chegaram a um segundo consenso: o pior já passou, mas o momento ainda é preocupante.

“A situação dos mercados melhorou. Mas ainda está longe da normalidade”, disse o presidente do BC.

Outro consenso que saiu do encontro diz respeito à regulação. Meirelles contou que há uma opinião comum entre os representantes de bancos centrais de que é necessário um controle maior sobre as operações do mercado.

“Todos concordam que há necessidade de se fazer, de fato, uma supervisão mais rigorosa, e que as normas prudenciais têm que ser mais rígidas, principalmente, no que se refere à alavancagem”, disse Meirelles, citando a possibilidade de estabelecer limites para operações de crédito. “Há certos países, onde o total de empréstimos e outros ativos têm valor muito grande em relação ao patrimônio da instituição.”

Da reunião, sairão recomendações para o fortalecimento do Fórum de Estabilidade Internacional (FSF, na sigla em inglês), inclusive com mais participação de países emergentes em instância decisórias, e também para a convergência de normas entre bancos centrais. (Agência Brasil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO PARÁ’ (Brasil)

Posted in BANCO CENTRAL - BRASIL, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

MERCADO BUSCA 113 MIL TRABALHADORES TEMPORÁRIOS (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

Segunda-Feira, 10/11/2008, 18:34h

BRASÍLIA (DF) – O aumento do consumo, alavancado pelas festas de fim de ano, deve gerar 113 mil novos postos de trabalho no Brasil, segundo estudos coordenados pela Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Serviços Terceirizáveis e de Trabalho Temporário (Assertem). Em crescimento há dois anos, o índice de contratações temporárias deverá crescer 8% em relação a 2007. A pesquisa estima ainda que 37% dos trabalhadores deverão ser efetivados após o fim do contrato temporário.

Os números da pesquisa reafirmam a previsão do ministro do Trabalho e Emprego, Carlos Lupi, que, ao anunciar os dados do Cadastro Geral de Empregados e Desempregados (Caged) em outubro, disse que a empregabilidade no País vai continuar forte, mesmo com a crise internacional. “A crise americana não deve afetar as contratações, pois o Brasil apresenta uma economia com base muito sólida, crescendo em todos os setores e regiões, e por isso vai haver menor número de demissões em dezembro.Fato que não impedirá que a contratação temporária cresça e que o Brasil feche 2008 com mais de 2,1 milhões de novos postos formais de trabalho”, explica Lupi.

A facilidade de crédito, a abertura de novos pontos de venda e o crescimento do trabalho formal são alguns dos fatores que, na avaliação da Assertem, impulsionarão a contratação de temporários. As funções mais solicitadas são as de fiscal de loja, empacotador, atendente, estoquista, etiquetador, operador de Telemarketing, auxiliar de crédito e analista de crédito. O primeiro emprego representa 29% das vagas temporárias, uma vez que a faixa etária predominante fica entre 18 e 24 anos.

As estimativas para efetivação, após o término do contrato temporário, também são positivas. A pesquisa aponta que 42 mil brasileiros deverão ter a Carteira de Trabalho assinada após o período de festas de fim de ano, um acréscimo de 3%. O setor industrial é o que mais efetiva (49%), seguido do comércio (39,5%), serviços (41,5%), finanças (37,5%) e telecomunicações (43,5%).

Segundo dados da Assertem, existem no Brasil 1.506 empresas de trabalho temporário no Brasil, a maior parte delas no sudeste 1.002 e no Sul 278.

Por região – Com 55,35% do total nacional, a Região Sudeste lidera as contratações de trabalhadores temporários. A Região Sul ocupa a segunda posição (20,34%), seguido do Nordeste (12,21%), Centro-Oeste (8,08%) e Norte (4,02%).

Segundo números da Relação Anual de Informações Sociais de 2007 (Rais) divulgados pelo ministro Carlos Lupi nesta quinta-feira (07), 232.984 trabalhadores temporários com remuneração média de R$747,83 foram contratados no País.

A Secretaria de Relações do Trabalho do TEM alerta que o trabalho temporário é uma oportunidade para quem está desempregado, mas aconselha o candidato a cobrar seus direitos trabalhistas durante e após o período da contratação.

Lei 6.019 – A lei que rege o trabalho temporário é a de nº 6.019, de 1974. Ela define como aquele prestado por pessoa física a uma empresa, para atender à necessidade transitória de substituição de seu pessoal regular e permanente ou devido o acréscimo extraordinário de serviços.

O contrato de trabalho temporário é considerado modalidade de contrato a termo. Portanto, cabe saque do Fundo de Garantia de Tempo de Serviço (FGTS) ao fim do contrato, mas não há multa rescisória, já que não é dispensa sem justa causa, a não ser que o contrato seja encerrado pela empresa antes do prazo definido.

Direitos do Trabalhador Temporário – O empregado é contratado pela empresa de trabalho temporário, de quem recebe suas parcelas contratuais, mas presta serviços a outra empresa. Caracterizando legalmente, uma típica intermediação de mão-de-obra é a única situação de terceirização lícita em que se permite a pessoalidade e a subordinação direta do trabalhador terceirizado perante o tomador de serviços.

O trabalhador temporário deve ter seu contrato de trabalho anotado na Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social (CTPS), onde estará registrada a condição de temporário.

Entre seus direitos está a remuneração equivalente à recebida pelos empregados da categoria da empresa tomadora, calculado à base horária, garantido o pagamento do salário mínimo; a jornada de oito horas; adicional de horas extraordinárias não excedentes de duas, com acréscimo de 50%; férias proporcionais de 1/12 por mês de serviço ou fração igual ou superior a 15 dias, exceto em caso de justa causa e pedido de demissão; repouso semanal remunerado; adicional por trabalho noturno; seguro contra acidente de trabalho e proteção previdenciária.

Empregador – Segundo a lei, a empresa que oferece trabalho temporário deve ter registro no Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego (MTE) e firmar contrato por escrito com a empresa tomadora, constando o motivo da demanda de trabalho temporário, assim como as modalidades de remuneração da prestação de serviço, nível de experiência e todos os direitos conferidos por lei aos trabalhadores. O contrato entre as duas empresas é denominado Contrato de Prestação de Serviço Temporário e tem natureza civil. Qualquer alteração nesse contrato deve ser feita por termo aditivo.

Esse contrato não poderá exceder o período de três meses em relação ao mesmo empregado, mas pode ser prorrogado por mais três meses, segundo a Instrução Normativa 07/2007 do MTE. Para tal, a empresa tomadora ou cliente deverá protocolizar, no órgão regional do MTE, o requerimento de prorrogação do contrato de trabalho temporário, previsto em Portaria, devidamente preenchido, até quinze dias antes do término do contrato.

A Instrução Normativa Nº 8, de 2008, esclarece que a empresa de trabalho temporário somente poderá exercer suas atividades nas unidades da federação dos estabelecimentos relacionados no verso do certificado emitido pelo MTE. Ou seja, a empresa somente poderá atuar nos Estados em que possuir estabelecimentos registrados neste Ministério. (Ascom/MTE)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO PARÁ’ (Brasil)

Posted in MINISTÉRIO DO TRABALHO E EMPREGO, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL | Leave a Comment »