FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

Archive for December 8th, 2008

SINDICATO DOS METALÚRGICOS DO ABC NÃO ACEITARÁ DEMISSÕES POR CONTA DA CRISE FINANCEIRA (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Segunda-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2008, 15:55

por Carolina Lopes – Diário OnLine

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO GRANDE ABC’ (Brasil)

O presidente do Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos do ABC, Sérgio Nobre, afirmou nesta segunda-feira, durante entrevista coletiva em São Bernardo, que o forte crescimento do setor automobilístico nos últimos anos não permite que as montadoras promovam demissões sob a justificativa da crise financeira internacional.

“Desde 2003, tem havido um ”boom” na produção da indústria automobilística no País [que, segundo dados do sindicato, passou de 1,83 milhão de unidades em 2003 para 3,27 milhões este ano]. Por isso, acreditamos que não há sentido fazer demissões nesse momento. Nós temos mecanismos para atravessar 2009 inteiro sem que haja demissões, mas isso se as empresas tiverem responsabilidade social. A montadora que demitir sem buscar alternativas vai comprar briga conosco”, afirmou Nobre.

Mesmo se a crise se agravar no Brasil e as empresas começarem a registrar queda na produção, Nobre explicou que outras medidas poderão ser adotadas para preservar o emprego dos trabalhadores.

“As montadoras podem dar férias normais ou coletivas, podem suspender o contrato de trabalho temporariamente para realizar treinamentos com os funcionários, podem liberar banco de horas e, ainda, reduzir a jornada de trabalho. Mas aqui, infelizmente, antes de as empresas usarem esses mecanismos, elas já começam a falar em demissões”, reclamou.

Para ele, quem promover cortes agora pode perder competitividade. “Isso porque existe a possibilidade de a crise não se confirmar no País. Assim, as empresas que demitirem terão de contratar novos funcionários e treiná-los. Como o setor é extremamente competitivo, nesse intervalo elas poderão perder mercado”, disse.

Impactos – De acordo com o presidente do Sindicato, os três primeiros meses do ano são um período, sazonalmente, mais fraco em relação à produção das indústrias automotivas. Por esse motivo, apenas no final do primeiro trimestre de 2009 é que o setor terá uma visão clara dos impactos da crise.

“Qualquer coisa que se fale agora sobre a crise é especulação, profecia. Apenas no final do primeiro trimestre é que ficará claro qual o real impacto dela no setor. Em um ambiente de crise, esse período será de incertezas e dificuldades, mas temos de trabalhar com racionalidade”, afirmou.

Menos afetada – Segundo a entidade, o nível de emprego na indústria automobilística em São Bernardo cresceu 4,5% entre 2003 e 2008, enquanto em todo o País o incremento foi de 37,8%. Com base nesses dados, o presidente do Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos do ABC acredita que, caso ocorram demissões no ano que vem, a região será menos afetada.

“Houve um crescimento saudável do emprego em São Bernardo. Isso é bom porque, em momentos de crise, caso haja uma freada brusca no setor, o impacto não será tão forte na região quanto no interior de São Paulo e em outros Estados”, afirmou Nobre.

De acordo com o presidente da entidade, a média histórica de homologações das demissões realizadas pelo Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos do ABC é de 450 por mês e, pelo menos por enquanto, não houve alteração nesse número por conta da crise.

“Cada um deve cumprir seu papel” – Sérgio Nobre afirmou que a falta de crédito foi o primeiro impacto da crise no setor automotivo, que depende de financiamentos para se manter. Por isso, ele ressaltou a importância das intervenções do governo para irrigar a economia e estimular o consumo.

“A situação está mais difícil para o consumidor. Antes, ele conseguia comprar um carro com uma entrada mínima e financiava o restante em 60 meses. Agora ele precisa dar 30% de entrada e só consegue parcelar em 36 vezes. Por isso, acredito que as intervenções têm de ser feitas. É preciso garantir crédito e animar o consumidor, pois se ele achar que tudo está perdido, tende a poupar e se retrair”, afirmou.

Entretanto, segundo ele, a ajuda não deve partir apenas do governo. “Não só a ajuda dos governos federal e de São Paulo, que já liberaram R$ 8 bilhões, será importante. Os empresários devem manter os investimentos e fazer promoções, enquanto os novos prefeitos da região devem continuar investindo em obras de infra-estrutura. O País tem tudo para sair bem dessa crise, mas apenas se cada um fizer o seu papel”, concluiu.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO GRANDE ABC’ (Brasil)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDÚSTRIA AUTOMOTIVA, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O MUNDO DO TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO MUNICIPAL, OS PREFEITOS, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, SETOR EXPORTADOR, SINDICATOS DAS CATEGORIAS PROFISSIONAIS, SP, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

CAUTIOUS TRADING SEEN (Phillipines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

First Posted 19:17:00 12/07/2008

Editorial

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

MANILA, Philippines – Investors will likely maintain a cautious stance this week with little news to spark life into the stock market.

One positive development is a rebound in US stocks Friday despite data showing employers slashed jobs by a higher-than-expected 533,000 last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 259.18 points or 3.09 percent to close at 8,637.09 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite gained 63.75 points (4.41 percent) to 1,509.31.

The US Department of Labor reported Friday that the American economy lost 533,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.7 percent, a 15-year high.

The number of job losses far exceeded the 325,000 expected by private forecasters, while the jobless rate was a touch better than the consensus estimate of 6.8 percent. US analysts said the bleak data sparked talk the Bush administration would step up measures to contain the effects of the recession.

“The market may continue to be weak since there is no liquidity. The crisis is still fresh in our minds even if the Dow seems to look stable. Investors are just modestly accumulating at this point,” Campos Lanuza & Co. said in a research comment.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (India)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | 2 Comments »

WHY US HOLDS KEY TO GLOBAL RECOVERY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

8 Dec 2008, 0000 hrs IST, ET Bureau

Editorial

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

The conventional wisdom holds that economic ups and downs are transmitted across THE TRACKS OF A TROPICAL CYCLONEcountries by financial and trade flows. This does not seem sufficient to explain why, when the US economy fell of a cliff after October, other emerging market economies are falling off a cliff too. The bankruptcy of Lehman brothers was a watershed in the US. It suddenly created fear of counter-party risk, and financial markets of all sorts froze out of fear.

This freeze hit the real economy: producers could not get credit, and consumer credit plunged too. Fear of recession led consumers to cut spending, producing a sharp slump in GDP that still has some distance to go. Now, we in India were blase‚ when the US subprime mortgage problem arose in mid-2007. Our banks had virtually no subprime exposure, and the high leverage of the US financial sector had not been repeated here.

GDP growth continued strong, averaging almost 7.7% in the first half of the financial year. This was seen as evidence that our economy had decoupled from the west’s in substantial measure, though not wholly. That now looks a complete illusion. Since October, emerging markets have collapsed almost simultaneously with the US economy.

How do we explain the instant transmission of the US collapse globally? Had the transmission mechanism been trade or financial flows, we would have seen a time lag. In fact there was no time lag because of a new channel of transmission — fear. When Indian bankers heard that markets in the US had frozen, they feared the worst in India, and so virtually froze lending here too.

Consumer fear swept across the world, and Indian consumers slashed spending as in the US. INDONESIAN FARMERS PROTESTING IN JAKARTA - 2007The internet, TV and other electronic channels transmitted fear from the US to the rest of the world instantly. The lesson: recovery from the recession is likely to be transmitted by global mood change too. Optimists think the recovery will begin first in a string of emerging markets like China and India. Maybe so, but the last two months suggest that the epicentre of economic transmission remains the US. Bernanke may determine our recovery more than Subbarao.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

US ECONOMY ‘WEAKER IN ALL AREAS’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

The Federal Reserve Board has painted a bleak picture of the US economy in its influential Beige Book, a report used to help determine US interest rates.

It says economic activity has weakened across the US in the past two months, with retail sales, and vehicle sales in particular, “down significantly”.

It also reports weak service and manufacturing sector activity, and falling prices in weak housing markets.

The anecdotal report follows a series of bad US economic figures.

The book, based on information collected before 24 November, also says that consumer spending has weakened, while lending has contracted.

The labour market and tourism, it says, also slowed.

Earlier on Wednesday figures from the Institute of Supply Management showed that service sector activity in the US dropped to a record low in November.

“The data today tells you the recession is as severe as most people fear it is at this point,” said Marc Pado at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed that the US entered recession in December 2007.

The Beige Book is compiled eight times a year and is based on reports and comments from businesses across the US.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE, HYPOCRISY AND PRIVATE LIVES (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Talal Nizameddin wrote this article for THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

First person by Talal Nizameddin

I am suffering from a total state of agnosia. Is this the same Michel Aoun who angrily vowed that he would break the head of the Syrian regime? Is this the same Syrian regime that pacified the Lebanese Army soldiers fighting under Aoun’s command and waged a ruthless campaign for 15 years to marginalize the idealistic Free Patriotic Movement supporters? At least I am almost sure that I haven’t been afflicted by amnesia. I remember when the Lebanese felt the thrill of defiance when they beeped their car horns driving through the Nahr al-Kalb tunnel leading to Jounieh from Beirut.

Letting bygones be bygones and forgiveness is a treasured feature of human nature and being an optimist, I say whatever breaks the ice and allows people to move on from a painful past should be welcomed with open hearts. But the process of forgiveness is a long and arduous one. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam it must begin with honesty, leading to confession and then as a final step absolution becomes meaningful. On a human level, in a one-to-one conflict, a discussion must take place that expresses the pain of each side so that there is an understanding of the hopes and fears of the other side before saying sorry reaches a level beyond words and touches the human within us.

It is said that since the end of the Cold War we have been living in the age of the clash of civilizations and the dialogue of faiths. In the Western and pro-Israeli media, Islam is the culprit, with the image of bloodthirsty mad Muslims rampaging through Mumbai killing randomly all those around them the latest episode of terror that does nothing to the great religion they claim to be fighting for. Among Arabs and Muslims it is the Jews who have manipulated the Holocaust tragedy to inflict suffering on Palestinians and Arabs. The Christian West is also blamed for a low-burning decadence that over time has led to the collapse of the world financial markets due to greed and the neglect of the poverty and misery of the so-called Third World.

What is strikingly noticeable about Aoun’s visit is the tour of the historic churches of Syria. The message clearly states that Christianity is safe from the harm of Muslim fanatics in secular Syria. But the manipulation of the clash of civilizations idea has been even better fine-tuned because there is now a distinction between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam that has been dispersed in our media outlets like a wave of cluster bombs. Thus we have inter and intra-civilization clashes if we are to believe our political experts and TV commentators. Aoun and his supporters have played further on Lebanese Christian emotions, maliciously highlighting the difference between the Shiites, true Lebanese patriots who are fighting Israeli occupation and the Sunnis, bad people who are paid by the Saudis to turn Lebanon into a Wahhabi extension. Even by local standards Lebanese politics has descended to a truly low level.

In fact, the Saudi monarch courageously endorsed a United Nations gathering to promote dialogue among the world’s great religions despite criticisms from no other than Aoun and his comrades in March 8. Despite the good intentions, the Saudis may however be wasting their time. By entering into such discussions the world risks mirroring the same Lebanese facade that religious belief somehow lies at the source of conflict. It evades the powerful economic explanations and the fact that there is a huge gap in wealth between states and between individuals in the world we live in. It also, and just as importantly, diverts attention from the lack of representation, the lack of personal freedoms and the lack of human rights most people in the world endure on a daily basis. Blatant injustice, economic and political, creates extremism and not religions.

The West should not feel too self-satisfied about its state when there are calls for more social justice and greater freedoms. In Britain, as an example of an advanced European country, the state has been shown to fail time and time again in protecting children with one in four children according to a recent study suffering from sexual abuse. Crime is rampant and ethics are barely visible in the business and political realms. As in the United States, a philosophy of “grabbing hands grab what they can” has reigned for decades. Support for oppressive regimes, particularly here in the Middle East, is justified in the name of good diplomacy but the arming of parties fuelling regional conflicts is also considered good business sense.

If most sensible people agree that finding a solution to the Palestinian problem, which has nothing to do with religion, will make the Middle East and the world a better place, why on earth has it been so difficult for the world’s only superpower to convince Israel to accept a neighboring viable Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza? If the United States is truly a democracy, then I must concur with the people I despise the most, the religious fanatics, that blaming the elected leader of the United States is futile because the American people must shoulder their moral responsibility to force their government into a strategic change in their approach. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a political problem with a human dimension. It is simply about national self-determination and not religious fanaticism or civilizational clashes. Palestinians and Jews belong to the same religious family chart, whether they like to admit or not although undoubtedly their historic experiences have diverged.

Nowhere has the mythology of sectarian and religious warfare been more prevalent than in Lebanon. I am still surprised how many Western observers take for granted the cliches about Muslim-Christian divisions characterizing Lebanese society. In reality, Lebanon is more of a clan-based system, with chiefs of clans or communities often but not necessary being defined by their religious beliefs. It just so happens that the sect is an important form of self-identification that is manipulated for conflicts, whether it is over land or political power. That is why within Lebanese sects there are often more than one chief. Take the Maronites as an example of multiple chiefs or zaims, Suleiman Franjieh, Samir Geagea, Michel Aoun, Amin Gemayel and Dori Chamoun all godfathering their own loyal communities. Even the ideological Hizbullah recognizes the need to respect the independence of the unruly clans of Baalbek in return for acknowledgement.

In Lebanon inter-communal relations and divisions are far more complex than simple religious divides. The downside of this system is that the individual is forced into belonging into a clan, because the collective of clans are far more powerful than the formal state. Only the community can protect the individual. In Lebanon, individuals do not have private lives, as is the case in the West, because they are the property of the family, the village, the community. The pattern is the same among all of Lebanese sects. But then again, free from the regional political conflicts, the interference from outside and the flaws in the internal political system, why should we accept that the community is a lesser entity than the state in its value?

Some Western political theorists have even called for a return to communalism as a result of the social failures of the modern state. The Lebanese model offers the opportunity of creating a political system that safeguards communities and also protects the rights of individuals living within them because the hypocritical and simply false pretense of a unified centralized state has been unworkable and shows no signs of succeeding. The Lebanese want their personal liberty, social justice and their community at one and the same time. It is no easy task but where there is a will there is a way and Lebanon could present the world with an example to be emulated around the world. Lebanon’s greatness and loyalty from its citizens could be reinforced by the historic achievement of harmonious and fraternal communal cohabitation. The first step is liberation from the old slogans and working for the common good without playing on communal fears to achieve personal ambitions. When a zaim such as Aoun tours with an open heart the various neighborhoods of Beirut rather than the churches of Syria we would have began reaching the final step toward that sacred goal.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in AL QAEDA, CHRISTIANISM, EUROPE, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAM, JUDAISM, LEBANON, PALESTINE, RELIGIONS, SAUDI ARABIA, SYRIA, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

LEBANESE ECONOMY EVADES EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CRISIS – REPORT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lebanon This Week, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: In its first report on Lebanon’s economy since the global financial crisis, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) indicated that there were no noticeable direct effects of the global financial turmoil on Lebanon and sovereign spreads have increased less than in other emerging markets in October and November 2008, according to Byblos Bank’s Lebanon This Week.

The report said that Lebanese banks have few direct links to foreign counterparts affected by the current financial market turmoil, and that the sector’s regulatory framework has limited banks’ exposure to structured products that have been at the core of the global crisis.

It added that the banking system remains well-capitalized and highly liquid.

The IIF added that macroeconomic developments have improved significantly since the Doha accord last May, but warned that the main risk to the outlook comes from a potential deterioration in the political and security situation in the run up to the May 2009 parliamentary elections.

It projected economic growth at 5.5 percent in 2008 and at 3.5 percent in 2009, adding that the spillover from the global economic slowdown could adversely affect tourism and construction activity.

It also noted that consumer price inflation peaked in July 2008 at 14 percent year-on-year, reflecting the sharp rise in commodity prices, and then declined to 10 percent in September. It expected inflation to average 12 percent in 2008.

The IIF considered that fiscal performance improved in 2008 and estimated the primary surplus to slightly exceed 2 percent of GDP this year.

But it cautioned that the overall fiscal deficit, while narrowing, remains very large due to the continued large interest payments on the public debt, and projected a deficit of 9.8 percent of GDP in 2008. The report forecast a fiscal deficit of 9 percent of GDP for 2009.

The IIF said Lebanon’s large public debt remains the country’s core macroeconomic challenge. It added that the government faces sizeable gross financing needs of $5.5 billion in 2009.

The report also predicted public debt to decline to 165 percent of GDP by the end of 2008.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE | Leave a Comment »

BEIRUT BOURSE TRACKS LOSSES ABROAD (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

BlomInvest, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: With the deepening world recession, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) continued to mimic the performance regional Arab stock exchanges that on average have fallen around 43 percent from the start of the year.

On a weekly basis, total volume of trades increased 48 percent to 1.29 million shares as investors rushed to liquidate their portfolios. But the corresponding value decreased 33 percent to $10.29 million on declining share prices that sank the BLOM Stock Index to a 52-week low of 1,183 with a year-to-date drop of 21 percent.

Of the 26 listed stocks on the Beirut Stock Exchange, 11 stocks exchanged hands this past week, of which 2 went up and 9 decreased. Solidere stocks represented 64.9 percent of the total value traded.

The banking sector accounted for the remaining 35.1 percent. In the banking sector, BLOM GDR dropped this week by 2.08 percent to $68.4 after trading 7,830 shares at $533,187. Audi Bank’s GDR stock went down by 3.65 percent to close at $54.1 following trades of 9,460 shares with a value of $518,676. Byblos Bank’s common stock increased slightly this week by 0.61 percent to $1.65 recording a volume of 566,400 shares valued at $939,953. On the other hand, its preferred stock class 2008 dropped by 2 percent to $97.9. Solidere stocks remained vulnerable this week as its A shares dipped 4.58 percent to close at $16.66, Solidere B also dropped 2.65 percent to $16.87.

As described last week, the overall situation on the Beirut Stock Exchange remains volatile and vulnerable to the ongoing financial crisis.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in ALGERIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, LYBIA, MIDDLE EAST, MOROCCO, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

IRAN TESTS NEW MISSILE FROM WARSHIP: REPORTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Sun Dec 7, 1:52 am ET

Reporting by Hashem Kalantari, writing by Edmund Blair

PUBLISHED BY ‘YAHOO NEWS’ (USA)

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s military test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile from a warship as part of exercises along a strategic shipping route, state media reported on Sunday.

Iran launched six days of naval war games on Tuesday in the Sea of Oman and the Gulf region amid tension with the United States and Israel, which have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to end a row over Tehran’s nuclear work.

Iran has said that, if pushed, it could close the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf and through which about 40 percent of the world’s traded oil passes.

“The surface-to-surface Nasr-2 missile was tested in the (Sea of) Oman operational region,” state radio reported, adding that the test took place on Saturday.

“The Nasr-2 was fired from a warship and hit its target at a distance of 30 km (19 miles) and destroyed it,” the official news agency IRNA said, adding it was the first test of the new, medium-range missile.

The West accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear warheads, a charge Tehran denies. It insists that it wants to master nuclear technology to generate electricity so that it can export more of its huge oil and gas reserves.

Washington, which has its navy Fifth Fleet based in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain, has pledged to keep shipping lanes open. Experts say Iran’s navy would be no match for U.S. technology but could still create havoc in the waterway.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘YAHOO NEWS’ (USA)

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

EDITOR’S NOTE – ECONOMY IS NOW ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Posted on Monday, 12.08.08

by Lisa Gibbs – Executive Business Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIAMI HERALD’ (USA)

Reading about the crowds at Sawgrass Mills the midnight after Thanksgiving (I’m too timid to have headed out there and braved that scene for myself), you might have wondered, recession? What recession?

But of course, we are in a recession, and we knew that even before the National Bureau of Economic Research told us last week.

When the hard numbers came out, seemed most of the crowds packing the malls over Black Friday weekend were only buying the bargains. Retailers had their worst month since at least 1969, and predictions call for retailers to resort to ever-steeper discounts.

How much consumers spend and what they buy will be scrutinized even more microscopically than usual this season, as we try to get a handle not just on how long and how bad this downturn will be but who will emerge as winners and losers throughout all this.

We talk a lot about the economy’s ”big” issues – whether banks are lending, companies are laying off workers, the health of the automakers. We probably don’t give enough attention to the psychology of everyday folks.

Obviously, how people spend depends entirely on their own personal situation – and their perception of their financial future. Last week’s Florida consumer confidence survey from the University of Florida reported that an index of Floridians’ perceptions of their personal finances fell to the lowest on record.

As survey director Chris McCarty told me, consumers decide to pull back on spending for different reasons. Most importantly, they conserve because they’re worried about losing their jobs, their declining retirement accounts, their shrinking home values.

They also don’t buy because they see prices fall and don’t want to get stuck buying something, only to see the cost drop. That’s particularly true in housing, McCarty says, where people are sitting on the sidelines afraid to jump in.

In economic parlance, we need what’s called ”price discovery,” where people finally figure out what houses, mortgage-backed securities and other related assets are actually worth.

Once that happens, people will know where they stand. Lenders will issue home equity lines of credit again because they will know how much equity there is. And people – particularly baby boomers counting on their homes as retirement assets – will be able to evaluate their situation and know how to plan.

Then, finally, the sightseeing at the malls may turn into actual buying.

How are you cutting back – or are you? Let us know.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIAMI HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

INDIA-RUSSIA NUCLEAR DEAL SIGNED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Friday, 5 December 2008, 11:35 GMT

FOLHA ONLINE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a key deal to build four nuclear power plants in India.

President Medvedev signed the accord in the Indian capital, Delhi, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The deal follows the landmark civilian nuclear accord between India and United States earlier this year.

In September, the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted a ban that had stopped India from getting access to the global nuclear market.

The Russian agreement is part of a series of deals, including ones on space and defence sales.

Third country

Russia will now build four nuclear energy reactors at Kudankulam in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Russia is already building two other reactors at the Kudankulam site.

Russia becomes the third country to sign a nuclear deal with India after the signing of the India-US agreement which allows India access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel.

France has also signed a co-operation pact with Delhi.

Moscow and Delhi also signed a deal under which Russia will assist India in its space programme, including sending Indian astronauts into space.

And India will buy 80 military helicopters from Russia, cementing a relationship that dates back to the Cold War.

President Medvedev also pledged to support India’s fight against terrorism following last week’s Mumbai attacks.

The Russian president is on a three-day visit. On his arrival in Delhi, he was welcomed with a full military salute at the presidential palace.

Later, he visited the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation.

India and Russia have been traditional allies and around 70% of India’s military hardware comes from Russia.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NUCLEAR ENERGY, RUSSIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | 1 Comment »