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Archive for December 6th, 2008

MAKE LOANS EASY FOR CORE COS, PSBS TOLD (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

6 Dec 2008, 0000 hrs IST

by Niranjan Bharati – ET Bureau

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

NEW DELHI: The government has asked banks to consider giving cheaper loans to the infrastructure sector even beyond the prescribed sectoral limits.

The move comes even as three of the country’s leading public sector banks — State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Uco Bank — have indicated that further reduction in their lending rates is possible provided the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduces the key policy rates, repo rate and the cash reserve ratio (CRR).

Repo rate is the rate at which the central bank provides short-term lending to the commercial banks and CRR is the ratio of cash balances the banks are required to keep with RBI.

“We have decided to give loans to certain sectors beyond their sectoral limit in extreme circumstances. The facility would be available especially for our existing borrowers and the decision would be taken on a case-to-case basis,” Uco Bank chairman and managing director S K Goyal told ET, after the meeting of the chief of public sector banks with the finance secretary.

Also, the public sector banks have said they would relax the borrowing procedure for loans to real estate, steel, auto and export sectors apart from easing norms for loans to small & medium enterprises (SME). Each bank has internal limit on the exposure it can have in a particular sector.

“There is pain in some sectors like realty, export and SMEs. We have decided to consider the matter sympathetically,” PNB chairman K C Chakrabarty said. On reducing interest rates, Mr Chakrabarty said his bank has been the front-runner in reducing rates and it would further cut rates on appropriate signals from RBI.

Mr Goyal of Uco Bank said the bankers and finance secretary Arun Ramanathan discussed issues related to reducing the rate of interest and providing financial assistance beyond the prescribed norms to specific sectors.

“Some sectors like steel and automobiles have been giving presentations to the prime minister for cheaper and easier loans. The prime minister has referred the matter to the finance secretary to find a solution in the wake of the stimulus package likely to be announced soon,” Mr Goyal said. He also said that Uco Bank would consider a further cut in its prime lending rate (PLR) — the rate at which banks give loans to their prime borrowers — if RBI reduced the short-term borrowing rates.

A senior official in SBI said the bank’s asset-liability committee is considering a revision in its lending rates and a decision may be taken soon after RBI decision to reduce the repo rate. Banks are expecting a 100-150 basis point reduction in repo rate by RBI.

Most of the public sector banks have PLR in the range of 12.75-13.25%. PNB, however, has the lowest PLR among all banks at 12.50%. PLRs of private sector banks are in the range of 16-17%.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BRITISH HOUSE PRICES PLUNGE AT RECORD ANNUAL PACE: SURVEY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

4 Dec 2008, 1723 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

LONDON: British house prices slumped by a record 14.9 percent in the three months to November compared to a year earlier, the country’s biggest provider of home loans said Thursday in the latest sign of a growing recession.

Prices also fell 2.6 percent on a monthly basis from October to November, cutting the average price of a house to 163,605 pounds ($237,650, 188,760 euros), said the Halifax, which is part of British bank HBOS.

The annual figure was the largest drop since the series was launched in 1983, while the monthly decline was the biggest since September 1992.

“The combination of high house prices in relation to earnings, constraints on householders’ incomes and spending power and the decline in the availability of mortgage finance since the summer of 2007 has curbed housing demand,” said Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis.

“These factors are major contributors to lower house prices and activity.”

Lower house prices, however, mean that a key housing affordability measure, the ratio of house prices to earnings, was at its most favourable for more than five years, the Halifax said.

Despite recent sharp house-price falls, the average home costs 124 percent more than ten years ago, when it was worth just 73,129 pounds, the bank added.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

VIRGIN SEEKS TO DELAY FLEET DELIVERY – VIRGIN BLUE IS ASKING BOEING TO DELAY DELIVERY OF SOME OF ITS 777s BECAUSE OF A STRIKE BY BOEING MACHINISTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

December 06, 2008

by Steve Creedy – Article from The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

The industrial action has meant the launch of Virgin’s V Australia has been pushed into the traditionally quiet post-holiday period.

The airline is due to get two of Boeing’s aircraft shortly and might beat its revised launch date for its international offshoot of February 28.

Virgin Blue had originally planned to launch in mid-December to take advantage of the Christmas peak, but was forced to push the date back when a machinists strike at Boeing meant it was unable to get its planes in time.

The delay is understood to have cost the airline about $3million, as it was forced to rebook passengers on alternative flights and keep staff employed without revenue coming in. It has also been forced to cut the price of tickets to reflect the fact it is now launching in a period of lower consumer demand.

It now wants to delay delivery of aircraft three and four to give it time to bed down its initial operations.

Chief executive Brett Godfrey said the airline was talking to Boeing about delivery dates and was seeking flexibility from Boeing given the pain the US aircraft maker had caused it.

He said it was asking for a delay so the first four planes were not delivered so closely together.

“We’re going to have our aeroplanes but I just don’t want them here all at the same time before we launch,” he said.

“So the work I have to do before Christmas is firm up that we can hopefully slide some of the later ones a little bit back. But we’re very much on track for the end of February.”

Mr Godfrey said Virgin did not have the resources to take four aircraft within the space of time proposed by Boeing.

“And secondly I’d like to get into the market first before we ramp ourselves up to full production,” he said.

“Which is what the plan was in December. If you recall, we were going to launch Sydney-LA on December 15 and not look at any further capacity until we launched Brisbane on March 1.”

Mr Godfrey said the airline was still looking at capacity cuts on domestic routes but said it was not panicking.

He said he was somewhat reassured by third-quarter figures and was now focused on what was going to happen this quarter.

Mr Godfrey said he believed Australians would still travel, but stay closer to home.

“I’m still a firm believer that retail sales are not a reflection of aviation any more,” he said. “People will put off a car right now, they’ll put off a white good or a flat screen TV.

“But they still want to travel at Christmas time and they’ve still got used to the fact that travel has become so affordable that it’s become part of their everyday lives.”

Meanwhile, figures released this week suggest budget travellers in Australia are in for a good Christmas, with the lowest airfares at a record low for December. Figures show that the best discount fares at the start of the month were 25 per cent cheaper than in December last year. Tourism groups are urging travellers to take advantage of the low fares and catch domestic flights.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

UNIONS SEEK ALTERNATIVES TO MASSIVE MINING RETRENCHMENTS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

December 4, 2008

by Justin Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Johannesburg – Trade unions in the mining sector are fighting to avert the devastating impact of retrenchments across the industry, which could swell to include more than 12 932 permanent and contract positions.

Lesiba Seshoka, a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson, said the union did not yet have specific alternative measures to stop the retrenchments, but it was part of a task team that would look at ways to avert the job losses.

The task team was established earlier this week by representatives of mining trade unions, the Chamber of Mines and the department of minerals and energy to find solutions that would avoid the lay-offs or mitigate their effects.

Jaco Kleynhans, a Solidarity spokesperson, said: “Solidarity is extremely concerned about the effect that the retrenchments of several thousand mine workers will have on social welfare conditions in the mining communities in particular.

“According to our calculations, about eight people live on one mine worker’s salary. Solidarity is tremendously concerned about the survival of the towns whose lifeblood will be cut off if the retrenchments are implemented.”

Kleynhans said that what the unions had available during the restructurings was the 60-day consultation process required by the law.

During this period the union would seek to provide companies with alternatives to the restructurings they had announced, to prevent or minimise retrenchments, he said.

Solidarity was in the process of compiling documents on companies’ financial status and other information.

Seshoka said it was possible that the NUM would seek the intervention of the state.

However, he said, it was difficult to justify using taxpayers’ money to help private companies keep jobs.

Seshoka said the NUM had ended its strike at Lonmin’s Limpopo platinum mine following the issuing of a section 189 notice of restructuring at the operation.

“We are talking to the company about the retrenchments,” he added.

Lonmin said on Monday that 1 500 permanent jobs were likely to be lost at the Limpopo operation. This followed Friday’s announcement that 4 000 jobs were at risk at its Marikana mine.

Regarding DRDGold’s East Rand Propriety Mines (ERPM), the NUM has hired geologist Peter Camden-Smith as a consultant in an effort to avert the loss of 1 700 jobs at the mine on Gauteng’s East Rand.

James Duncan, a DRDGold spokesperson, said the firm had started the restructuring process at ERPM and a facilitator from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had been appointed to the process and accepted by all parties.

The first session of the CCMA procedure had started, Duncan added.

He said that DRDGold had decided last month that the R115 million cost of pumping at the mine, which would take 12 months to complete, was “not affordable”. During that time the total workforce could not be kept on full pay, especially in light of the losses that ERPM had been sustaining over the past year.

ERPM contributed almost 80 000 ounces of gold, or a quarter of DRDGold’s production, in the year to June.

Duncan said DRDGold had received no expressions of interest from parties that might want to acquire the mine.

“This was not surprising, given the state of the markets,” he added.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

ALCOA SCRAMBLES TO STAY VIABLE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

By The Wall Street Journal

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PITTSBURG-TRIBUNE REVIEW’ (USA)

Alcoa Inc., which had been Alcoa Warrick Operations employee of 36 years Fred Westbrook, 59, of Evansville, Ind. inspects the finished rolls of aluminum as they comes off the last stage of the production line in this April 7, 2006, at the Alcoa Warrick Operations in Newburgh, Ind. (AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore, File)counting on obtaining discarded aluminum assets from a merged BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto PLC, has fewer strong options to improve its prospects amid one of the worst aluminum markets in decades now that the deal has collapsed.

With aluminum inventories just shy of record levels, prices at their lowest level in 2008 and nearly half of the world’s aluminum production unprofitable, Alcoa is scrambling to cut capacity and find buyers for some of its downstream businesses, which is proving more difficult given the tight capital markets and reluctance of many companies to take on debt.

Neither of those efforts, however, addresses the company’s fundamental challenge: Alcoa remains the high-cost producer of the world’s major aluminum makers when compared with Rio Tinto’s Alcan and Russia’s United Co. Rusal. Knowing that BHP wasn’t keen on the aluminum market, Alcoa had been hoping to buy all or part of Alcan, which has lower energy costs, after BHP bought Rio Tinto.

With that prospect off, speculation is mounting that Alcoa will look at other avenues.

“Everybody understands the current economic situation in the world” requires certain steps, said Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery. “In the interim, we are taking steps to reduce costs and taking steps to position ourselves so we will be stronger than competitors. That is what we are focusing on.”

John Tumazos, an analyst with Very Independent Research, said the company has few good options as its influence in the commodities world is nowhere as solid as it once was. “They need to idle more smelters than they have cut,” he said.

So far, Alcoa is keeping a lid on its options, but industry observers say it could deepen its existing relationship with its partner Aluminum Corp. of China, also known as Chinalco. The two companies own a 9 percent stake in Rio Tinto that they jointly purchased for $14 billion in January. The stake is valued at about 80 percent less since BHP’s planned takeover of Rio collapsed last month.

Alcoa could increase its existing stake, betting on a rise in commodity prices. It could sell its stake, which would bring about $200 million in cash to its coffers and represent a huge loss from its initial $1 billion investment.

The two companies could combine into a single entity. Such a deal, while in no way an easy task because it would result in Chinese ownership of a key U.S. company, could work for both sides. A combined Alcoa and Chinalco would make it one of the biggest producers of aluminum and both alumina and bauxite, necessary ingredients for aluminum production.

In addition, a combined company would be able to better rationalize expensive smelters and other production facilities in Europe, the United States and China, leaving just the lowest-cost facilities to compete with Rio Tinto and UC Rusal.

Tumazos said Alcoa’s sagging stock price, which is hovering around $10, makes the company a fairly inexpensive purchase. “Chinalco could buy Alcoa for about $8 billion plus a premium,” he said. “That is less than it paid for a stake in Rio.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PITTSBURG-TRIBUNE REVIEW’ (USA)

Posted in ALUMINUM, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | 1 Comment »

SWIMMING UP STREAM

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

Friday, Dec 05, 2008

REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CUBA’

REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL

Following Obama’s speech, on May 23 this year, to the Cuban American National Foundation established by Ronald Reagan, I wrote a reflection entitled “The Empire’s Hypocritical Policy”. It was dated on the 25th of the same month.

In that Reflection I quoted his exact words to the Miami annexationists:

“[…] together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba; this is my word and my commitment

[…] It’s time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime.

[…] I will maintain the embargo.”

I then offered several arguments and unethical examples of the general behavior of the Presidents who preceded the one who would be elected to that position on the November 4 elections. I literally wrote:

“I find myself forced to raise various sensitive questions:

1 – Is it right for the President of the United States to order the assassination of any one person in the world, whatever the pretext may be?

2 – Is it ethical for the President of the United States to order the torture of other human beings?

3 – Should state terrorism be used by a country as powerful as the United States as an instrument to bring about peace on the planet?

4 – Is an Adjustment Act, applied as punishment on only one country, Cuba, in order to destabilize it, good and honorable, even when it costs innocent children and mothers their lives? If it is good, why is this right not automatically granted to Haitians, Dominicans, and other peoples of the Caribbean, and why isn’t the same Act applied to Mexicans and people from Central and South America, who die like flies against the Mexican border wall or in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific?

5 – Can the United States do without immigrants, who grow vegetables, fruits, almonds and other delicacies for Americans? Who would sweep their streets, work as servants in their homes or do the worst and lowest-paid jobs?

6 – Are crackdowns on illegal residents fair, even as they affect children born in the United States?

7 – Are the brain-drain and the continuous theft of the best scientific and intellectual minds in poor countries moral and justifiable?

8 – You state, as I pointed out at the beginning of this reflection, that your country had long ago warned European powers that it would not tolerate any intervention in the hemisphere, reiterating that this right be respected while demanding the right to intervene anywhere in the world with the aid of hundreds of military bases and naval, aerial and spatial forces distributed across the planet. I ask: is that the way in which the United States expresses its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights?

9 – Is it fair to stage pre-emptive attacks on sixty or more dark corners of the world, as Bush calls them, whatever the pretext may be?

10 – Is it honorable and sound to invest millions upon millions of dollars in the military industrial complex, to produce weapons that can destroy life on earth several times over?”

I could have included several other issues.

Despite the caustic questions, I was not unkind to the African American candidate. I perceived he had greater capacity and command of the art of politics than his adversaries, not only in the opposing party but in his own, too.

Last week, the American President-elect Barack Obama announced his Economic Recovery Program.

Monday, December 1st, he introduced his National Security and Foreign Policy teams.

“Vice President-elect Biden and I are pleased to announce our national security team […] old conflicts remain unresolved, and newly assertive powers have put strains on the international system. The spread of nuclear weapons raises the peril that the world’s deadliest technology could fall into dangerous hands. Our dependence on foreign oil empowers authoritarian governments and endangers our planet.”

“…our economic power must sustain our military strength, our diplomatic leverage, and our global leadership.”

“We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships […] American values are America’s greatest export to the world.”

“…the team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that.”

“…these men and women represent all of those elements of American power […] they have served in uniform and as diplomats […] they share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

“I have known Hillary Clinton…,” he says.

I am mindful of the fact that she was President-elect Barack Obama’s rival and the wife of President Clinton, who signed the extraterritorial Torricelli and Helms Burton Acts against Cuba. During the presidential race she committed herself with these laws and with the economic blockade. I am not complaining, I am simply stating it for the record.

“I am proud that she will be our next Secretary of State,” said Obama. “[she] will command respect in every capitol; and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world. Hillary’s appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment…”

“At a time when we face an unprecedented transition amidst two wars, I have asked Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of Defense…”

“[…] I will be giving Secretary Gates and our military a new mission as soon as I take office: responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control.”

It strikes me that Gates is a Republican, not a Democrat. He is the only one who has been Defense Secretary and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, that is, he has occupied these positions under both Democratic and Republican Administrations. Gates, who is aware of his popularity, has said that first made sure that the President-elect was choosing him for as long as necessary.

On the other hand, while Condoleezza Rice was traveling to India and Pakistan under Bush’s instructions to mediate in the tense relations between these two countries, two days ago, the minister of Defense from Brazil gave the green light to a Brazilian company to manufacture MAR-1 missiles, but instead of one a month, as it had been the case until now, it will produce five every month. One hundred of these missiles will be sold to Pakistan at an estimated cost of 85 million euros.

In a public statement, the minister said that “these missiles that can be attached to planes have been designed to locate ground radars. They allow the effective monitoring of both the ground and air space.”

As for Obama, he continued unflappable his Monday statement: “And going forward, we will continue to make the investments necessary to strengthen our military and increase our ground forces to defeat the threats of the 21st century.”

On Janet Napolitano, he indicated: “[she] offers the experience and executive skill that we need in the next Secretary of Homeland Security…”

“Janet assumes this critical role having learned the lessons – some of them painful – of the last several years, from 9/11 to Katrina […] She understands as well as anyone the danger of an insecure border. And she will be a leader who can reform a sprawling Department while safeguarding our homeland.”

This familiar figure had been appointed a District Attorney in Arizona by Clinton in 1993, and then promoted to State Attorney General in 1998. Later on, in 2002, she became a Democratic Party candidate and then governor of that bordering state which is the most common incoming route used by illegal immigrants. She was elected governor in 2006.

About Susan Elizabeth Rice, he said: “Susan knows that the global challenges we face demand global institutions that work… We need the UN to be more effective as a venue for collective action – against terror and proliferation; climate change and genocide; poverty and disease.”

On National Security Advisor James Jones he said: “[…] I am convinced that General James Jones is uniquely suited to be a strong and skilled National Security Advisor. Generations of Joneses have served heroically on the battlefield – from the beaches of Tarawa in World War II, to Foxtrot Ridge in Vietnam. Jim’s Silver Star is a proud part of that legacy […] He has commanded a platoon in battle, served as Supreme Allied Commander in a time of war, (he means NATO and the Gulf War) and worked on behalf of peace in the Middle East.”

“Jim is focused on the threats of today and the future. He understands the connection between energy and national security, and has worked on the frontlines of global instability – from Kosovo to northern Iraq to Afghanistan.”

“He will advise me and work effectively to integrate our efforts across the government, so that we are effectively using all elements of American power to defeat unconventional threats and promote our values.”

“I am confident that this is the team that we need to make a new beginning for American national security.”

Obama is somebody we can talk to anywhere he wishes since we do not preach violence or war. He should be reminded, though, that the stick and carrot doctrine will have no place in our country.

None of the phrases in his latest speech shows any element of response to the questions I raised last May 25, just six months ago.

I will not say now that Obama is any less smart. On the contrary, he is showing the mental faculties that enabled me to see and compare his capacity with that of his mediocre adversary, John McCain, who was almost rewarded for his “exploits” merely due to the traditions of the American society. If it had not been for the economic crisis, television and the Internet, Obama would not have won the elections against the omnipotent racism. It also helped that he studied first in the University of Columbia, where he graduated in Political Sciences, and then in Harvard where he graduated as a lawyer. This enabled him to become a member of the modestly rich class with only several million dollars. He is certainly not Abraham Lincoln, nor are these times similar to those. That society is today a consumer society where the saving habits have been lost while the spending habit has multiplied.

Somebody had to offer a calm and serene response even though this will have to swim up the powerful stream of hopes raised by Obama in the international public opinion.

I only have two more press dispatches left to analyze. They all carry news from everywhere. I have estimated that only the United States will be spending in this economic crisis over $6 trillion in paper money, an amount that can only be assessed by the rest of the peoples of the world with their sweat and hunger, their suffering and blood.

Our principles are the same as those of Baraguá. The empire should know that our Homeland can be turned to dust but the sovereign rights of the Cuban people are not negotiable.

Fidel Castro Ruz

December 4, 2008 – 5:28p.m.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CUBA’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, CUBA, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - ILLEGAL, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, MILITARY CONTRACTS, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE WORK MARKET, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »