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Archive for December 3rd, 2008

PUXEU CREE QUE SOBRE LOS PREACUERDOS DE JULIO DE LA OMC PODRÍAN CERRARSE ESTE MES – El secretario de Estado de Medio Rural y Agua, Josep Puxeu, ha señalado hoy que tras el mandato del G-20 de reabrir las negociaciones de la Ronda de Doha de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, si se parte de los preacuerdos de julio podría cerrarse un acuerdo antes de que acabe el mes (Spain)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008


03/12/2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

EFE- Durante la inauguración de las Jornadas Internacionales sobre gestión de riesgos en la agricultura europea, que celebra hoy y mañana la organización agraria UPA en Madrid, Puxeu ha destacado que la Unión Europea está en condiciones de afrontar nuevamente la Ronda de Doha, que se reúne a partir del 15 de diciembre en Ginebra.

Ha añadido que ahora que está cerrado el chequeo médico de la Política Agraria Común que define y legitima los apoyos al sector agroalimentario comunitario y se ha obtenido la apuesta clara de la Comisión Europea, respaldada por 24 Estados miembros, de mantener una PAC fuerte más allá del horizonte presupuestario de 2013, la UE afronta con fortaleza las negociaciones de la OMC.

Ha indicado que ya en julio la UE estuvo cerca de cerrar el acuerdo adaptando los apoyos a la agricultura con la liberalización comercial que permitiera el desarrollo de los países emergentes y que siempre que se parta de los preacuerdos alcanzados en julio la predisposición de la UE se mantendrá, en caso contrario se reafirmará en sus premisas.

Puxeu considera que toda vez que la OMC respete los apoyos a la calidad diferenciada, a la seguridad alimentaria, la condicionalidad y el desarrollo rural queda legitimada la PAC y con ello un marco estable de apoyos al sector.

Además ha destacado el importante papel del sistema español de seguros agrarios como apoyo y garantía de las rentas de los agricultores y ganaderos y ha anunciado que se estudiará la petición del sector de incluir líneas que garanticen unos ingresos que cubran los costes de producción o unas rentas mínimas.

En este sentido el secretario general de UPA, Lorenzo Ramos, ha valorado el reconocimiento que de los seguros agrarios subvencionados ha hecho la UE en la reforma de la PAC.

Ha destacado la necesidad de que los agricultores y ganaderos se conciencien de que este mecanismo es una forma de garantizar sus rentas, de momento sólo ante eventualidades climáticas o sanitarias.

Ha demandado a la Administración que estudie la posibilidad de introducir además líneas que cubran a los productores de riesgos derivados de los vaivenes del mercado, como los vividos el pasado año en sectores como el lácteo o el de las materias primas, para poder garantizar unas rentas.

Ha insistido en que ya en su momento se estudió la posibilidad de adoptar un seguro que garantizase unos ingresos que cubrieran los costes de producción y no fue posible, por lo que ha reiterado esfuerzos a la Administración para posibilitar su implantación.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

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Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

MALAYSIA INVESTS $14B IN IRAN ENERGY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Thu, Dec 04, 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE IRAN NEWS DAILY’

TEHRAN — Malaysia is investing up to 14 billion dollars in development of Golshan and Ferdosi fields as well as a liquefied Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hussein Nozari arriving on March 05, 2008 for a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its Vienna headquarters. OPEC was set to leave oil output unchanged despite fresh calls by US President George W. Bush for an increase in supply to help bring down soaring energy prices.natural gas project, Minister of Oil Gholam-Hussein Nozari has said.

He added that meanwhile since 60-70% of the project’s value is finalized based on the price of goods; following the finalization of tender bids the final value of contract is specified.

“Iran and Malaysia have formed strategic relations and the two countries’ economic ties have been appropriate, to date. Meanwhile, with the conclusion of three cooperation deals and two memoranda of understanding, these economic ties will be reinforced and boosted more than ever.”

Meanwhile, in a meeting with the Iranian minister of oil, the former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohammad, for his part, said that the two countries have reached agreements over development of a refinery in Malaysia with the capacity of 250,000 barrels; export of 120,000 barrels of CNG to Malaysia; development of a natural gas field in Iran; joint construction of refineries in Syria and Indonesia; and a number of other projects.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE IRAN NEWS DAILY’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GASOLINE, INDONESIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, MALAYSIA, PETROL, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, SYRIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

NEW GAS EXPORT STRATEGIES (Iran)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Thu, Dec 04, 2008

by Majid Karimi

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE IRAN DAILY’

The trilateral meeting between the leaders of Turkmenistan, Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan was held at It is difficult to predict the final stance of Turkmenistan toward the Nabucco pipeline, as nothing official has yet been made public.Turkmanbashi, Turkmenistan, on Friday.

Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, Abdullah Gul and Elham Aliev respectively discussed cooperation in the field of energy.

The meeting followed Berdymuhammedov’s visit to Germany and Austria, and negotiations for exporting gas to Europe. Of course, he has not made explicit comments regarding exports of gas to Europe via Nabucco or the trans-Caspian project.

The trans-Caspian project has not yet materialized due to ambiguities surrounding the Caspian legal regime, rift between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan over a gas field and environmental problems.

Diversification

After the Turkmanbashi meeting, Financial Times reported Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have reached an agreement about new strategies for exporting the Caspian Sea energy to consumer markets to curb the dependency of European states on Russian gas.

Based on this report, the European Union (EU) and the US have urged Turkmenistan to join the Nabucco pipeline project for transporting gas via Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

After meeting his Azeri counterpart, Berdymuhammedov said, “Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, which are rich in hydrocarbon resources, have reached an agreement on diversifying the export routes for energy to the global markets.“

He emphasized that his country is keen on participating in the Nabucco pipeline project, but is under pressure for exporting its gas via Russia, which is the main market for Turkmen gas.

“Turkmenistan has signed a contract for supplying gas to China via the pipeline which is presently under construction,“ he said.

On the threshold of this trilateral meeting, Berdymuhammedov visited Germany and Austria during Nov. 13-19. In these visits, issues pertaining to the transport of Caspian Sea gas bypassing Russia were examined.

Manager of Azerbaijan’s Oil Projects Research Center Ilham Shaban noted that negotiations between the presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan hints at more extensive cooperation among them in the energy sector than the Nabucco project alone.

Future meetings are not expected to focus on the gas project for building a pipeline through the Caspian seabed because at the presidential level, projects in their preliminary stages are not examined.

“So far, a few meetings have been held between representatives of Turkey and Turkmenistan in which the import of electricity and transport of gas via Iran were discussed. But, the last case did not materialize,“ he said.

The Azeri official noted that till now, no trilateral meeting was held between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.

“I should mention a similar case regarding how things proceeded regarding energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Since November 2002, negotiations took place between Baku and Astaneh at different levels. This eventually led to an intergovernmental agreement between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan regarding oil transport via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Hence, the meeting in Turkmenistan is another step to this end,“ he said.

Since the Commonwealth of Independent States gained their independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has had good economic ties with Turkmenistan and Turkey.

“I personally believe that in future negotiations between the presidents of these countries, more issues will be examined,“ he said.

Shaban further said it is difficult to predict the final stance of Turkmenistan toward the Nabucco pipeline, as nothing official has yet been made public, except a communiquŽ expressing Turkmenistan’s desire to diversify its gas supply.

“Interestingly enough, it has been mentioned that gas will be transported to China from fields located above Amudarya, from northern Dolatabad to Russia via the pipeline alongside the Caspian Sea and whatever is found in the western part of Turkmenistan will be transported to the West,“ he said.

It seems that Turkmenistan has determined, after 17 years of independence, where and how gas should be transported in a viable manner.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE IRAN DAILY’

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, KAZAKHSTAN, NATURAL GAS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, UZBEKISTAN | Leave a Comment »

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLANS SPRING UP AROUND WORLD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Tuesday, December 2, 2008

THE WASHINGTON POST

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

WASHINGTON — In a bid to jump-start the beleaguered global economy, countries around the world are introducing massive public spending programs aimed at creating millions of jobs, boosting the use of green energy and modernizing infrastructure in a way that could transform urban and rural landscapes.

The viability of some of the plans remains unclear. But observers say the number of countries moving in tandem underscores the perceived severity of the coming global recession and the view that governments must at least temporarily pick up the slack as the hard-hit private sector sheds jobs and cuts spending.

It is time “to invest massively in infrastructure, in research, in innovation, in education, in training people, because it is now or never,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a recent public address.

World leaders are pursuing various strategies to tame the economic crisis, including moves to unclog credit markets, strengthen financial institutions and ease monetary policy. But fiscal stimulus packages, in particular, have emerged as a favorite tool of policymakers.

Worldwide, economists say, the increase in public spending, if executed wisely, could add as much as 1 percent or 2 percent to global growth next year, perhaps easing recessions in the United States, Europe and Japan while cushioning the slowdown in the developing world, which until recently had seen red-hot growth.

Yet if the promise of combating a global recession with public funds is big, so too, experts say, is the danger that billions worth of taxpayers dollars could be spent in vain.

Analysts point out that the pitfalls of growth-by-spending were exposed by Japan, which launched a huge infrastructure program in the 1990s. To spur expansion after stock market and real estate crashes, the Tokyo government spent billions on new public works projects.

Those projects not only failed to prevent a decadelong economic slump but also produced a herd of white elephants that included new, but little-used, airports and ports, as well as a $250 million bridge to Kourijima Island. Population: 361.

“There is a huge danger of bridges to nowhere, and as Japan showed us, that is no way to get out of a recession,” said Grant Aldonas, a former high-level Bush administration trade official and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

While China and Japan enjoy a surplus of reserves, spending increases will drive the United States, Britain and many other European countries deeper into debt. The cost of raising cash on world markets by some rich nations, such as Ireland, has surged as investors grow increasingly skeptical of their fiscal health, limiting their options to spend more now.

“In normal times, we would be telling countries, ‘Please reduce your debt,'” said Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, which has taken the unusual step of calling on nations to raise public spending by 2 percent of gross domestic product to combat a global recession. “But these are not normal times.”

A snapshot of how governments plan to increase spending is emerging. Those plans include not only the building of more bridges and roads but also the introduction of measures to put more cash into the hands of strapped consumers.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have moved to boost consumer spending and lower home mortgage rates, committing as much as $800 billion to make it easier for Americans to borrow money for cars, tuition and homes.

The British said they would slash the national sales tax from to 15 percent from 17.5 percent. The Germans are set to offer temporary tax incentives to consumers buying cars or renovating homes. The Japanese are giving out cash rebates to taxpayers.

Some of the projects being proposed are pre-existing infrastructure plans that are being accelerated. Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that only about half the “new projects” in Beijing’s $586 billion package amount to previously unplanned spending. “But that is still a great deal of money,” Lardy said.

A number of countries are gearing up for projects that offer long-term benefits, both economic and environmental.

In a move that may offer a guide to helping the ailing Big Three automakers in Detroit, the French are in the early stages of plans to assist their hard-hit auto industry by awarding government grants to boost research into hybrid and battery-power technology.

In comments last week, president-elect Barack Obama suggested that an expansion of wind and solar power generation would be part of his stimulus plans. Obama also cited a plan being circulated by environmental groups that would offer government loans to help schools update their heating and cooling systems, creating quick construction jobs and stimulating demand for building materials.

“I think the fervor in which (the Obama team) is seeking suggestions right now tells me that this kind of spending is something they are very serious about,” said Carl Pope, executive director the Sierra Club.

Some countries in Europe, such as Germany, appear more concerned about overspending. That is at odds with the leadership in France, where Sarkozy has seen the crisis as an opportunity to boost the role of government.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BIOFUELS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, MARITIME, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOLAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

USDA: MORE ACRES TO CORN IN 2009 (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Wednesday – December 3, 2008

BLOOMBERG NEWS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Farmers will increase corn planting by 4.8 percent to about 90 million acres next year as demand rises and lower costs make the grain more profitable, said Joe Glauber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top economist.

“We’re going to go into next year tighter than we did this year,” Glauber said Tuesday at an agricultural conference in Washington.

Inventories are expected to drop 31 percent to 1.124 billion bushels by Aug. 31 of next year, he said.

He did not offer 2009 planting forecasts for other crops.

Corn futures in Chicago have fallen 56 percent from a record earlier this year. Soybeans are down 48 percent and wheat 61 percent from all-time highs. Global recession and larger crops have fueled the drop, which will keep prices next year lower than this year, Glauber said.

Rabobank Group analyst Luke Chandler said he expects slumping grain prices to rebound next year because of smaller world crops and economic stability that will boost demand for food, animal feed and biofuels.

His outlook for grains:

– Corn may rise to average $4.50 a bushel in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $3.80 this quarter.

– Soybeans may gain 13 percent to an average $10.20 a bushel in the fourth quarter next year from $9 this quarter.

– Wheat prices may rise 9.1 percent to an average of $6 a bushel in Chicago in the fourth quarter next year, compared with $5.50 in the current quarter.

“South American production and exports also appear under pressure with a combination of seasonal and financial influences expected to lower production expectations in coming months,” Chandler said in a report to clients. “Short-term price direction over the next six to 12 months will remain heavily influenced by the broader financial, currency and energy market situation.”

Smaller crops in Australia and Argentina should lead to a cyclical low early in the first quarter of 2009, he said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL FOOD, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CORN, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ETHANOL, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

THE ECONOMY – DEAR MR. BUSH

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008

Posted by Dr. Zen

PUBLISHED BY ‘Dr. ZEN – WordPress’

I’m glad you finally got the memo on the state of the economy. With the slow speed of communications these days, I am totally relieved that the memo finally got to your office. This gives me great confidence that terrorists have not disrupted communications. I know the news about the economy is not exactly what you wanted to hear, but I am glad to hear that you are genuinely concerned.

There are a few things that I do not understand about economics. Since you are the leader of our country, I’m sure you can explain them in terms that I can understand. I’m sure you can set the story straight for me.

The first question I have is about borrowing money. If I borrow money, do I have to pay it back? It seems that paying back borrowed money is optional these days, but I may be confused. A long time ago I heard they used to put people in jail for not paying back money that they borrowed. Is that true? Or perhaps it is just a rumor. I went into my bank and asked for one of those loans that I don’t have to pay back. They said they could not help me. Help me out here, tell me which banks are offering those loans that do not have to be paid back.

I understand that banks loan money to people so they can buy houses. If the people don’t pay the bank every month, the bank comes and kicks them out and sells the house to someone else. That seems pretty simple. It seems that banks are kind of stupid because they are really good at giving out money, but not very good at getting it back. I could be a little naive, but maybe banks should hire smarter people to manage all that money. I think maybe the bankers should be collecting something a little easier instead, like trash, since they are not very good at collecting money. Do you agree?

Oh, one other thing about about getting money back after it is loaned. The Mafia doesn’t seem to have a problem with getting people to pay back money they borrowed. These are men whose word is as good as gold. They are down to Earth good business men. I bet if you turned the mortgage crisis over to these men, there would be no more crisis.

Another thing that is confusing to me is why the leaders of big corporations make 15 million dollars a year when their company is losing money. I am no corporate genius, but something may just be wrong here. Since they make so much money, maybe they can kick in a few bucks to avert the financial crisis that you talk about. Or maybe the answer is even simpler – the executives get paid too much, especially since the company they run can’t seem to make any money. Seems like these Ivy League business men aren’t soo smart after all.

I am not too familiar with the car industry. I do, however, get an automobile magazine in my office. There was an article in there that said the Ford Model T got 25 miles per gallon. I am no expert, but it seems that, over the years, with all this new technology, fuel economy should be a little bit better by now. By the way, did you watch Saturday Night Live on November 30th? They did a skit on the auto bailout. In the skit, they showed how the big three U.S. auto manufacturers were going to ask for even more than 25 billion dollars. Well, I guess it really wasn’t a skit after all. Or … maybe the auto executives watched Saturday Night Live, got the ball and ran with it. They also did a skit on Sarah Palin running for President in 2012. The people at Saturday Night Live seem to know more than you might think.

Thank you very much in advance for your enlightenment on these issues. I look forward to your responses.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘Dr. ZEN – WordPress’

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

RECORD NUMBER OF STATE’S RESIDENTS ON FOOD STAMPS – 8 percent increase since January reflects tight economy (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

12-03-2008

by Erik Schelzig – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘KNOX NEWS’ (USA)

Nearly 1 million people participated in the recently re-branded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in October, up more than 8 percent compared with January’s figures.

Monthly costs increased 22 percent over that period to $112 million, all of which is covered by the federal government.

“Food stamps absolutely trend with the economy,” said Department of Human Services spokeswoman Michelle Mowery Johnson. “And when the economy is doing poorly, we get really busy.”

Tennessee has avoided some of the larger increases experienced in other states because of the department’s previous success rate in signing up eligible families, she said.

National data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows 3.8 million more people were on food stamps in September compared with the beginning of the year, a 13.8 percent increase. October numbers were not yet posted on the USDA’s Web site.

Tennessee food stamp use began setting new state records in January when food stamps were issued to more than 900,000 people for the first time. About 977,000 people received food stamps in October.

Food stamp usage was highest in West Tennessee, where 324,000 people, or 21 percent of the grand division’s population of 1.55 million, were receiving assistance. Similar numbers of people received food stamps in the other two divisions of the state, but since their populations are larger the rates came in at 15 percent in East Tennessee and 14 percent in Middle Tennessee.

Food stamps contribute an average of about $230 to each person’s monthly food budget and is available to those who earn less than 1.3 times the federal poverty rate. For example, a family of four earning less than $27,560 a year would qualify.

Tennessee’s highest food stamp rates were in Hancock, Scott and Grundy counties, where about one in three people received assistance. At least a quarter of the people in six other counties received food stamps.

The almost 200,000 people on food stamps in Shelby County made up the highest number of individuals receiving assistance in the state. But the rate of 22 percent of the county’s 911,000 people on food stamps ranked Shelby County 19th in the state.

A little more than 11 percent of the people in Knox County were on food stamps.

The lowest rate was in affluent Williamson County, where only 3 percent received assistance.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘KNOX NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in COMMERCE, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

IRAN STAGES WAR GAMES IN PERSIAN GULF

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

News number: 8709131608 18:12 – 2008-12-03 – Defence

PUBLISHED BY ‘FARS NEWS AGENCY’ (Iran)

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian naval forces started five days of war games in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

“The aim of this maneuver is to increase the level of readiness of Iran’s naval forces and also to test and to use domestically-made naval weaponry,” Admiral Qasem Rostamabadi said.

The maneuver started yesterday with the deployment of troops in and around the strategic Straight of Hormoz and the troops officially started their drills on Wednesday.

The naval maneuvers would cover an area of 50,000 square miles, including the Sea of Oman off Iran’s southern coast.

“In this six-day long maneuver there will be more than 60 combat vessel units,” Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the navy, said.

They would include destroyers, missile-equipped battleships, submarines, special-operations teams, helicopters, and fighter planes, he said.

Iran often stages exercises or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by the United States or Israel against its nuclear sites.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.

A US attack on the Syrian village of Sukkariyah on October 26, has also raised speculation about the likelihood of a US unilateral strike on the Islamic Republic.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran’s progress in the field of nuclear technology.

Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.

Strait of Hormoz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route.

An Iranian naval commander last week said the country’s navy could strike an enemy well beyond its shores and as far away as Bab al-Mandab, the southern entrance to the Red Sea that leads to the Suez Canal.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities “is unlikely” to delay the country’s program.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘FARS NEWS AGENCY’ (Iran)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WAR EXERCISES | Leave a Comment »

How Long Will The Recession Last? – And why this doesn’t matter for President-Elect Obama

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

By dueconsideration

PUBLISHED BY ‘DUE CONSIDERATION’

 

The best place to start when answering this question is the past. Once we can see what’s happened before, we can begin to assess what might happen next.

The following statistics come from the US National Bureau of Economic Research.

America’s Business Cycle Dates. Duration in Months

Peak                Trough           Peak to          Trough           Trough            Peak

                                                Trough           to Peak           to Trough       to Peak

 

Feb 1945         Oct 1945         8                      80                    88                    93

Nov 1948        Oct 1949         11                    37                    48                    45

Jul 1953           May 1954       10                    45                    55                    56

Aug 1957        April 1958       8                     39                    47                    49

April 1960       Feb 1961        10                    24                    34                    32

Dec 1969         Nov 1970       11                   106                  117                  116

Nov 1973        Mar 1975        16                    36                    52                    47

Jan 1980          Jul 1980           6                     58                    64                    74

Jul 1981           Nov 1982       16                    12                    28                    18

Jul 1990           Mar 1991        8                     92                   100                  108

Mar 2001         Nov 2001        8                    120                  128                  128

As you can see quite clearly, America, like most countries, spends much more time growing (Trough to Peak) than shrinking (Peak to Trough). However, those periods of expansion and contraction vary considerably from business cycle to business cycle.

Americas ten year expansion from March 1991 to March 2001 was the longest for at least 150 years – the length of time the National Bureau has data for.

So, to answer the original question, how long is this recession likely to last? The maximum length of a Peak to Trough in the last 60 years has been 16 months. If we hope that this recession is no worse than that, and there seems to be no evidence that specific factors are going to cause an abnormally long recession (indeed with globalisation, the World’s economy is more diversified than ever and so should be more robust), and given that the National Bureau have decided that the Peak of the Cycle was December 2007, then the Trough should be around March 2009.

Although the US economy will start growing from that point, people probably won’t start feeling the benefit for around another year as the slack (that has developed in the recession) gets taken out of the economy. This slack is measured in unemployed people and companies producing less than their capacity.

Whatever does happen, it won’t matter for Obama – the recession can be blamed on President Bush and by the time his re-election comes around in 4 years the economy will be growing again, probably strongly, making him a shoe-in. The only thing that could stop this happening is if he manages to become generally unpopular in the meantime for unforeseen policy mistakes.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DUE CONSIDERATION’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

ALL STAKEHOLDERS BEING INVOLVED IN PLANNING: TARIN (Pakistan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 03, 2008 Wednesday Zilhaj 4, 1429

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin 2: Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin said on Tuesday that the government was operating on a modern concept of associating all stakeholders in planning and implementation and also a periodic review of how the plans were being implemented.

“Modern management concepts are being introduced in government,” the adviser said while inaugurating the 11th Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) Convention 2008 here.

He said the government faced a challenge of unprecedented nature and was almost in an “act or die” situation when it was voted into power.

“The government accepted the challenge and acted to overcome the crisis,” he informed the audience while recalling that the fiscal deficit at one time last fiscal year had touched almost 10 per cent level.

It ended at 7.5 per cent fiscal deficit and 8.4 per cent current account deficit.

He added that when the government took over, the world had come under impact of an unprecedented global financial crisis and Pakistan’s access to international finance market was also blocked.

The government took tough decisions of cutting down heavily on energy subsidies to contain expenditure budget and narrow down budgetary imbalance and reduce dependence on State Bank of Pakistan borrowing.

“The rupee-dollar parity had gone up from Rs62 to Rs84 and foreign exchange reserves had dropped down to a level where these were sufficient for hardly few weeks import when I took over as adviser,” he recalled.

“We went to International Monetary Fund with our home-grown strategy to stabilise the economy in the short- and long-term,” he said.

Mr Tarin raised a question before his audience as to why Pakistan confronts an economic crisis after every decade.

His own answer to this question was to prepare a long-term plan with consultation of stakeholders and then a periodical review.

It is in context of this concept, he said, the Planning Commission is being given a new shape by brining all stakeholders — intellectuals, all relevant government agencies and private sector — at one table to prepare a strategy.

He said the nine-point agenda on which the government was working was a consensus strategy. It would be reviewed quarterly by a body headed by the prime minister.

The nine-point agenda takes care of budgetary and current account imbalance, raising tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 per cent in next five years, provision of safety nets for the poor that include direct government intervention in the form of Benazir Income Support Programme, protecting budgetary allocations for education and health, promotion of productive sector agriculture and industry.

He said the trade and industry were fragmented and needed consolidation which was being taken up.

He blamed all previous governments of ignoring agriculture which has brought down its productive capacity.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL SUBSIDIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PAKISTAN, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ECC APPROVES GAS LOADSHEDDING (Pakistan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 03, 2008 Wednesday Zilhaj 4, 1429

by Mubarak Zeb Khan

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

ISLAMABAD, Dec 2: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet approved on Tuesday a new schedule for load-management of natural gas for winter to overcome a possible shortfall.

The shortfall may exceed 500 million million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in December and February and 600 mmcfd in January.

A meeting of the ECC, presided over by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, approved a summary prepared by the petroleum ministry aimed at maintaining uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic consumers, independent power producers and CNG stations for the transport sector.

Under the schedule, gas supply to the cement sector will be suspended from December to February and to the industrial sector it will be reduced by 50 per cent.

While fertiliser companies will carry out their annual maintenance, no gas will be provided to Wapda during the three months.

The schedule was finalised by a committee in consultation with the stakeholders.

The ECC asked the petroleum ministry to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to domestic consumers. The burden of reduced supply will be shared by the power sector and industry.

On the recommendation of the ministry of water and power, the meeting approved a proposal to extend the tariff provisions of the 2002 power policy and the mechanism developed by Nepra to hydropower projects under the 1995 hydel policy with minimum changes in project agreements.

For increased availability of power, the ECC allowed rental power projects the same tax treatment as applicable to rental power projects under Wapda’s jurisdiction.

The meeting also approved a market intervention price of Rs1465 per 40kg for seed cotton during the 2008-09 season on the basis of current export parity price. The ministries of food and agriculture and commerce have been asked to work out an efficient procurement plan that benefits small farmers and keeps the price stable. The food and agriculture ministry has been asked to make timely announcement of the intervention price.

The ECC allowed procurement of 750,000 tons of additional wheat with better specifications and in a manner that domestic requirements were met satisfactorily and the wheat stock position remained adequate.

The ECC approved a credit guarantee scheme for small banks to help them maintain liquidity through availability of credit facilities from the State Bank. The scheme will be implemented by the SBP which will ensure its effective utilisation and sound operation of the banking system.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FERTILIZERS, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL GAS, PAKISTAN, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WATER, WHEAT | Leave a Comment »

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR GAINS DESPITE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 03, 2008

Article from: Australian Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

THE Australian dollar was higher at noon after a positive finish on Wall Street improved risk sentiment, and despite figures THE AUSSIE DOLLAR - AUD - AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR which showed the economy had grown at the slowest pace in eight years.

At 12noon (AEDT), the Australian dollar was trading at $US0.6416/20, up from yesterday’s close of $US0.6357/60.

During the morning, the local unit traded between a low of $US0.6389 and a high of $US0.6456.

The Australian dollar rose strongly after opening the local session at $US0.6393/97 at 7am AEDT, climbing above $US0.6400 in line with a rally on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.31 per cent, the S&P500 index advanced 3.99 per cent and the Nasdaw ended the New York session up 3.70 per cent.

A positive start on local stock markets helped the unit hold above $US0.6400.

The currency was little changed after the latest gross domestic product figures showed the Australian economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the September quarter, for an annual pace of 1.9 per cent.

Easy Forex senior dealer Francisco Solar said the Australian dollar “held up quite well” to the news the economy grew at its slowest pace in eight years.

“If you look at the expectations, they were expecting a number less than the previous quarter and that’s exactly what came in,” Mr Solar said.

“A lot of the doom and gloom, the acceleration in the financial calamity that we’ve seen of late has been in the last part of that quarter into where we are now.”

Mr Solar said although economic data continued to point to a weakening global economy, market sentiment rather than fundamentals was providing direction for currency markets.

“Had this occurred maybe last year, the Aussie would have actually plummeted quite substantially,” Mr Solar said.

“It just goes to show how the markets are really looking for a change in sentiment to drive markets further.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CURRENCIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

HSBC PRIVATE BANKING PART OF US PROBE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

BenjaminScent

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

The US Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether HSBC’s (0005) private banking division illegally helped American clients avoid paying taxes by hiding their money in undeclared offshore bank accounts, according to media reports.

The investigation began in September and is looking into whether HSBC and Credit Suisse helped rich Americans squirrel away up to US$30 billion (HK$234 billion) in offshore accounts that were not declared in US tax filings, The New York Times quoted two sources as saying.

A London-based spokesman for HSBC declined to comment.

Meanwhile, HSBC said it is cutting 500 jobs from its British operations. The cuts, which account for less than 1 percent of HSBC’s 58,000 workers in the country, are mostly in London. No frontline staff in retail branches or call-center staff are impacted, according to a statement.

Separately, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) confirmed it is cutting 200 staff in the SAR, with the layoffs spread across different departments and different seniority levels. The bank started notifying the affected staff yesterday, a spokeswoman said. The layoffs account for about 4 percent of Standard Chartered’s staff in Hong Kong.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HONG KONG, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SPAIN, TAX EVADING, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

BOJ EXPANDS LENDING FOR FIRMS (Japan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

The Bank of Japan said it will expand lending by about 3 trillion yen (HK$250 billion) to help companies tide over a year-end BANK OF JAPAN - SPAINcredit squeeze and accept lower rated corporate bonds as collateral for loans.

The central bank, which kept rates steady at 0.3 percent at an emergency meeting yesterday, said it plans to accept triple B-rated corporate bonds as collateral which would make it easier for banks, scarred by the global financial crisis, to lend to companies.

The move in Japan came as a private nonprofit group of economists said the United States is now in recession and the US economy may be in the midst of the longest slump in the post-World War II era as job losses mount and credit dries up. The economic slump began in December 2007, the National Bureau of Economic Research said.

The Federal Reserve might buy Treasury securities to spur growth.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA, YEN (Japan) | Leave a Comment »

CIC DOES NOT DARE INVEST IN FINANCIAL COMPANIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 – (1 hr 2 mins ago)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

China Investment Corp.

Chairman Lou Jiwei said he would not dare invest the sovereign wealth funds money in foreign financial firms after losing US$6 billion on stakes in Morgan Stanley and Blackstone Group.

“I dont dare to invest in financial institutions now,” Lou said at a conference in Hong Kong. “The policies of the developed nations on these institutions are not clear. Until they are clear, I don’t dare to invest in them. What if they go bust? I will lose everything.”

CIC, with US$200 billion, last year invested US$5 billion for 9.9 percent of New York-based Morgan Stanley and US$3 billion in Blackstone, the world’s largest private-equity firm. Morgan Stanley has lost 77 percent of its market value since then while Blackstone, also based in New York, has shed 85 percent.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

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

OIL PRICES REBOUND AHEAD OF INVENTORY DATA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 – (37 mins ago)

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Oil prices rebounded but remained about US$100 (HK$780) below record highs reached less than five months ago, as the market awaited key energy inventory data from the United States.

On London’s InterContinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose 54 cents to US$45.98 a barrel.

Light sweet crude for January rose 41 cents to US47.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The market was gearing up for the latest weekly snapshot of energy inventories in the United States, the world’s biggest consumer of oil.

Crude futures have plunged since striking record highs of above US147 in July as a global economic slowdown weighs on demand. Prices had shot higher earlier in the year on worries of supply disruptions.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, USA | Leave a Comment »

HSBC DRIVES UP COST OF GETTING MORTGAGE (China)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

by Alfred Liu

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp has announced it will raise mortgage rates drastically for new home buyers by 50 to 75 basis points.

New customers who take out a HK$1 million home loan will pay HK$5,000 to HK$7,500 more per year in interest as a result.

HSBC raised its mortgage rate, regardless of loan size, to between prime minus 1 percent and prime minus 1.5 percent – equivalent to 3.5 percent and 4 percent, on a new mortgage – with effect from yesterday.

The plan includes a cash rebate of 0.5 percent.

It has now cleared its original dividing range of HK$1.5 million loans and unified mortgage rates for loans of all sizes. The rate increase follows the same move by its peers, the bank said.

“Hongkong Bank may want to maintain its profitability at a reasonable level,” said Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) (0349) executive director Stanley Wong Yuen-fai.

“The net interest margin for the whole banking mortgage market is 2 percent now. Banks even had to pay interest rate differences when interbank lending rates were very high previously.”

The rate hike is expected to hit improved property market sentiment.

“I predict the transaction volume of secondary residential units will decrease 10 to 20 percent in December compared with November,” said Ricacorp Properties head of research Patrick Chow Moon-kit.

Hong Kong Property chief executive Fredy Wu Yat-fat said the impact would be limited as flat prices have been falling and he expects the move to accelerate home purchases before other banks raise their mortgage rates.

Property market sentiment improved after Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) sold about 580 apartments at its two new projects, Peak One and La Grove, which were launched on Friday.

Major mortgage players, including Bank of China (Hong Kong) (2388), Hang Seng Bank (0011) and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), said they have no plans to increase mortgage rates.

Top player HSBC increased its share of the local mortgage market to 26.1 percent as of the end of October, up from 22.4 percent at the end of September, according to mortgage brokerage mReferral.

The brokerage’s chief economic analyst, Sharmaine Lau Yuen-yuen, said she sees the mortgage rate hike as a strategy and predicts more lenders may follow.

“I expect mortgage rates to fall to a level of prime minus 0 early next year,” she said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STANDARD’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, YUAM RENMIMBI (China) | 1 Comment »

MITSUBISHI MATERIALS CORPORATION ADVANCES $28.75 MILLION FOR COPPER MOUNTAIN PROJECT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 2, 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘CNW GROUP’ (Canada)

TSX: CUM – VANCOUVER, Dec. 1 /CNW/ – Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (“CMMC” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (“Mitsubishi”) has agreed to advance up to Cdn$28.75 Million by way of a bridge-loan to Similco Mines Ltd. (“Similco”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. Similco holds the assets of the former Similco mine, which the Company plans to re-develop into a producing mine (the “Project”). The funds will be used for development activities necessary to achieve the planned production start for the Project at the end of 2010. The Company and Mitsubishi continue to work on the definitive agreements in accordance with the MOU announced on October 1, 2008 and it is anticipated that the definitive agreements will be finalized as soon as possible. Mr. O’Rourke, Chief Executive Officer of the Company stated: “I am extremely pleased that Mitsubishi agrees to help us develop this Project by the bridge-loan in a very challenging financial time. Despite the current economic turbulence, we have added confidence that the project will be developed within the budget and schedule. We are taking a long term positive view on the price of copper and expect an improvement in the global economic situation by 2011 when the mine is scheduled to be operating.”

About Mitsubishi Materials Corporation:

Established in 1950, Mitsubishi is one of the world’s largest diversified materials companies and is a leader in metal smelting and refining, cement products, fabricated metals and advanced materials for electric components. Mitsubishi has invested in 4 (four) copper mines now under operation, namely Los Pelambres, Escondida (both in Chile), Huckleberry (Canada) and Batu Hijau (Indonesia). Mitsubishi’s high-level research and development programs are instrumental in enabling it to maintain its dominant position in key markets. Mitsubishi comprises 227 subsidiaries and affiliates in 25 countries, employing 19,467 people.

About Copper Mountain Mining Corp.:

CMMC is a BC resource company that owns 100% of the Project located 15 km south of the town of Princeton in southern British Columbia. The Company recently completed an independent feasibility study that confirmed the viability of restarting this past open pit copper and precious metal producer. Development is based on the construction of a new 35,000 tonne per day concentrator to produce approximately 100 million pounds of copper per year in a copper concentrate with gold and silver credits by the end of 2010. The mine resource includes; a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource of 186 million tons averaging 0.411% Cu containing 1.5 billion lbs copper and an Inferred Resource of 92 million tons averaging 0.344% Cu containing 0.6 billion lbs copper (see press release July 28, 2008). A copy of the Independent 43-101 Technical Report pertaining to the interim resource estimate and a video presentation on the Copper Mountain Project may be found on the company’s website. The Company’s common shares currently trade on the TSX Exchange under the symbol CUM and additional information is available on the Company’s web site at http://www.CuMtn.com.

On behalf of the Board of COPPER MOUNTAIN MINING CORPORATION

“Rodney A. Shier”

Rodney A. Shier Chief Financial Officer

Note: This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents, filed by the Company on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts’ expectations or estimates or, subject to the requirement of securities laws, to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statement.

For further information: Don Graham: Director, Investor Relations, (604) 682-2992 ext. 224, Email: don@CuMtn.com, Website: http://www.CuMtn.com, or B&D Capital, (604) 685-6465

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CNW GROUP’ (Canada)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, COPPER, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EKU TO EXPLORE MAKING FUEL FROM CELLULOSE (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008 – 3:45 PM EST

by Bradley S. Klapper – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS FIRST OF LOUISVILLE’ (USA)

Researchers at Eastern Kentucky University and San Diego, Calif.-based General Atomics Corp. announced Monday that they plan to look into making fuel from cellulose-based materials such as corn stover, forestry waste, switchgrass and sorghum at the new Eastern Kentucky University Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies.

The center is being funded in part with $4 million in federal money.

The research it will undertake is vital to farmers who want a cash crop that can replace tobacco, as well as to lessening the state’s carbon footprint, EKU president Doug Whitlock said in a news release.

“This project is different in that it will be focused on production of biodiesel and ultimately jet fuel using non-food cellulosic materials in a process that will utilize algae to convert the biomass into bio-oils,” Whitlock said. “The research at EKU will determine both the optimal ‘recipe’ of cellulosic material and the economic feasibility of the project.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS FIRST OF LOUISVILLE’ (USA)

Posted in BIOFUELS, BIOMASS, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

CANADA HAULS US TO WTO OVER COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING FOR BEEF, PORK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Last update: December 2, 2008 – 5:58 AM

by Bradley S. Klapper – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

GENEVA – Canada filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization on Tuesday over a new U.S. law that requires retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling for fresh beef and pork, officials said.

The Canadian government said it was concerned the U.S. rules were discriminating against Canadian agricultural exporters, who have lobbied hard for a legal challenge at the WTO.

“We believe that the country-of-origin legislation is creating undue trade restrictions to the detriment of Canadian exporters,” Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day said in a statement.

The WTO confirmed receipt of Canada’s complaint.

Canadian farm groups say a growing number of meat plants in the U.S. are refusing to accept Canadian cattle and hogs for processing since the Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) law went into effect on Oct. 1.

Under country of origin labeling, Canadian cattle and pigs must be segregated in U.S. feedlots and packing plants, prompting some firms to only deal with American livestock. Canadian animals are also required to have more documentation about where they come from and, in the case of cattle, must have tags that indicate they are free of mad cow disease.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington could not immediately comment.

Ottawa’s filing at the Geneva-based trade referee initiates a two-month consultation period between the North American neighbors. If they fail to reach a settlement, Canada can ask the WTO for a formal investigation. Such trade disputes can result in punitive sanctions, but usually after years of litigation.

Canada and the U.S. are the world’s biggest commercial partners, but have battled for years over trade issues involving beef, corn, dairy and wheat. In 2006 the two countries signed an accord on softwood lumber, a key component in home-building, ending a decades-long dispute that once fueled talk of an outright trade war.

“We are committed to a respectful working relationship with our American neighbors,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said, “but have always made it clear that these new regulations must not discriminate against Canadian producers.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in CANADA, CATTLE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PORK, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

ETHIOPIA STARTS COFFEE EXCHANGE – Ethiopia, Africa’s largest coffee producer, has started trading the crop on a national commodity exchange

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

In a move aimed at both increasing quality and the amount farmers get paid for their beans, coffee is being traded on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.

Replacing the previous, more informal, system of sales through middlemen, farmers will now be able to get direct access to current market prices.

The exchange has set up a network of warehouses to collect the beans.

Dominant crop

The Ethiopian government, which is backing the move, hopes it will prevent fraud, such as traders passing off beans from a lesser growing area as being those from a higher quality region.

Although the largest growers and co-operatives will be able to continue to sell directly to the global coffee firms, everyone else will have to use the electronic exchange.

Set up earlier this year, the exchange already trades in maize, wheat, sesame seeds and haricot beans.

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee cultivation and the crop continues to account for more than a third of its export earnings.

It earned $525m (£354m) from coffee exports in the 2007-08 financial year.

However, Ethiopia still remains one of the world’s poorest nations, and is ranked 170 out of 177 on the United Nation’s Human Development Index.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COFFEE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ETHIOPIA, INTERNATIONAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

ALGERIA URGES RUSSIA, NORWAY, MEXICO TO JOIN OPEC – Energy minister calls on three countries to join cartel or cut their output to show solidarity to group

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02 – Updated 2008-12-02 16:05:18

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

ALGIERS – Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, the current president of OPEC, on Tuesday urged Russia, Norway and Mexico to join or cut their crude production to show solidarity with the group.

“What we really want is for these countries to become members of OPEC,” Khelil said on the sidelines of a conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algiers, according to APS news agency.

“I don’t see why Russia can’t be a full-fledged member of the organisation. It’s the best way to express solidarity,” he said.

If the three countries refuse to join OPEC, they should reduce oil production, Khelil said.

“We don’t need an agreement to stand by countries that share the same goal. If they have problems (joining OPEC), they should just apply their intended reductions.”

Russia, a top world oil producer, is not a member of OPEC, but has held regular consultations with the organisation.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin last week said Moscow had prepared a draft memorandum on cooperation with the 13-member cartel.

OPEC secretary general Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Monday the cartel may decide on a “major” output cut when it meets in Oran, Algeria, on December 17.

OPEC has already slashed output twice this year by a total of two million barrels per day in response to plunging prices but fears remain that a global recession could ravage demand for energy.

Oil prices have fallen under 50 dollars a barrel.

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1000 JEWISH EXTREMISTS ATTACK HEBRON PALESTINIANS – Tel Aviv under alert as Israel assassinates Palestinian fighter, blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02

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HEBRON, West Bank – At least 13 Palestinians were wounded overnight as more than 1,000 ultra-nationalist Israelis hurled rocks at residents, homes and police jeeps in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron which under Israeli occupation.

The rioting broke out as rumours spread that security forces were set to evict 100 Jewish settlers from a house the Israeli high court has ordered evacuated.

Young settlers, backed by right-wing supporters hurled rocks for several hours at Palestinian homes and police vehicles.

At least 13 Palestinians were wounded and significant damage was caused to homes in Hebron, medics and witnesses said.

In the northern West Bank, dozens of settlers clashed with Palestinians and border police, and blocked roads in a show of support for the Israelis living in the Palestinian Hebron house.

The Israeli High Court on November 16 ordered the settlers to leave the Hebron house in which they have lived since March 2007, but security forces have not enforced the order to date.

The settlers insist they have bought the house, but the court said the sale was not completed.

The settlers have been involved in several clashes since the eviction order was issued, and have desecrated a mosque and a Muslim cemetery.

With more than 170,000 Palestinian residents, Hebron is the largest city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank apart from annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

It has long been a flashpoint because of a settler enclave of around 600 hardline Jews in the heart of the city, and a further 6,500 settlers living in Kiryat Arba on the outskirts.

Tel Aviv under alert

Israeli police were on high alert Tuesday in Tel Aviv following fears of a Palestinian attack, a police source said, as citizens were warned to steer clear of the city until further notice.

The police set up barricades at entry points into Tel Aviv, sparking huge traffic jams while radio stations urged Israelis not to visit the city until the alert was lifted.

It was the first time in seven months that an Israeli city was put under such tight security.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian

Israeli soldiers captured and fatally shot a member of a Palestinian resistance group Monday in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

The 27-year-old Mohammed Kenan was killed by a special Israeli unit wearing civilian clothing as he boarded a vehicle that carried him to the Palestinian Authority prison where he was locked up every night. An Israeli army spokesman said Kenan was killed as he was trying to flee, despite warning shots.

According to witnesses, Kenan, a local official with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – an armed offshoot of the Fatah Party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas – had been carrying a pistol.

At least 555 people, most of them Palestinians, have been killed since November 2007.

Israeli warships block Libyan aid boat near Gaza

Israeli warships on Monday prevented a Libyan cargo vessel from reaching the Gaza Strip, the impoverished Palestinian territory under a crippling Israeli blockade.

The ship, laden with 3,000 tonnes of goods, was stopped several kilometres (miles) off Gaza’s shores and ordered to return to the Egyptian port of El-Arish, said Palestinian MP Jamal Khodary, who heads an international campaign against the Israeli sanctions.

“Navy ships approached the Libyan boat and ordered it on the radio to turn back, and so it did,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Hamas said turning the Libyan boat back “showed the true, criminal face of the occupation.”

A spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhum, also urged Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing. “Its closure will enter into history as a crime committed by all those who besiege Gaza,” he said in a statement.

In Tripoli, an official said the ship’s crew was in contact with the Libyan authorities.

“The crew has told us Israeli warships were conducting harassment measures even though it is a civilian vessel loaded with humanitarian aid,” the official said.

The source said that the crew will have no option but to return to Libya as the goods cannot be unloaded in Gaza.

The Libyan attempt to deliver aid to Gaza was the first such effort by an Arab state to defy the blockade, although European and other humanitarian peace activists have made three trips from Cyprus since August without being intercepted by the Israeli navy.

The Qatar Charity Organisation said in Doha on Monday it plans to ship one tonne of medical aid to Gaza this week in a bid to break the blockade.

Its vice president Abdallah al-Nimaa said the ship is set to sail from Doha on Friday, but that he expects the Israeli authorities to stop the vessel.

The Libyan consignment consists of 1,200 tonnes of rice, 750 tonnes of milk, 500 tonnes of oil, 500 tonnes of flour and 100 tonnes of medicine, said the Libyan Fund for Aid and Development in Africa, which chartered the vessel.

Most of the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip depend on foreign aid.

Libya, the only Arab state on the 15-member UN Security Council, has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has frequently criticised it over the situation in Gaza.

Israel, which wants to crush any Palestinian liberation movement, responded to Hamas’s win in the elections with sanctions, and almost completely blockaded the impoverished coastal strip after Hamas seized power in 2007, although a ‘lighter’ siege had already existed before.

Human rights groups, both international and Israeli, slammed Israel’s siege of Gaza, branding it “collective punishment.”

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists had also accused Israel of committing “genocide” through its crippling blockade of the Strip.

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, Gaza’s sole border crossing that bypasses Israel, rarely opens as Egypt is under immense US and Israeli pressure to keep the crossing shut.

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Posted in CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »