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Archive for December 9th, 2008

CEMENT COMPANIES CUT PRICES (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

10 Dec 2008, 01:29 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

NEW DELHI: Major cement manufacturers, including ACC, Ambuja Cements and Shree Cement, on Tuesday announced CEMENT FACEprice cuts by up to Rs 7 per bag in response to the government’s move to reduce CENVAT by 4%. The companies, however, have not passed on the entire benefit of excise duty cut due to hike in railway freight by about 8% from Monday.

Led by the country’s largest manufacturer ACC, leading firms like Ambuja, JK Lakshmi, JK Cement, Dalmia Cement and Shree Cement have slashed their rates. Cement is available between Rs 150 and Rs 250 across the country.

ACC cut the prices by up to Rs 5 per bag, while Ambuja Cements reduced by up to Rs 6 per bag at different places across the country.

“The Indian Railways have increased the freight tariff by changing the classification for coal and cement which is expected to push the prices of cement up by Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 per bag. After factoring in the increased railway tariff, the price of our cement is expected to go down by Rs 4 to Rs 6 per bag from today,” Ambuja Cements said.

The maximum amount of reduction was announced by Delhi-based JK Lakshmi Cement by up to Rs 7 a bag.

The company’s whole time director Shailendra Chouksey said the highest quantum of reduction would take place in Uttarakhand, while in Delhi it would come down by Rs 5. “We are also evaluating the freight charge hike by the Railways. This reduction (in cement prices) has been done considering that fact also,” Chouksey said.

Other manufacturers like JK Cement, Shree Cement and Dalmia Cement have also reduced cement prices between Rs 4 and Rs 5 across the country.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’ (UK)

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Posted in CEMENT, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RUPEE (India) | Leave a Comment »

INDIGENOUS RIGHTS ROW THREATENS RAINFOREST PROTECTION PLAN – Green groups accuse US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada of deleting lines on indigenous peoples’ rights in draft agreement in Poznan on climate change and deforestation

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Tuesday December 9 2008 – 18.06 GMT

by David Adam – guardian.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Talks aimed at finding ways to protect tropical forests in a new global deal on global warming hit problems today after a row over the rights of indigenous people.

Green groups accused the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada of deleting a line about indigenous peoples’ rights from a draft agreement due to have been published tonight, as part of UN talks on climate change.

The original confidential draft, seen by the Guardian, talked of “noting the rights and importance of engaging indigenous peoples and other local communities”.

The amended version mentions only “recognising the need to promote the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities”. The change sparked protests at the Poznan meeting by delegates representing indigenous groups from Panama and the US.

Campaigners said the suggested change would leave indigenous people across the world vulnerable to exploitation under proposals to pay tropical nations not to cut down forests.

A joint statement from groups including Friends of the Earth and the Rainforest Foundation condemned the change as “totally unacceptable”. It said: “The forests being targetted… are those which indigenous peoples have sustained and protected for thousands of years. The rights of forest peoples to continue playing this role, and being rewarded for doing so, has to be recognised.”

Talks continue, but the row threatens to derail attempts to agree a rulebook for forest-protection schemes, which was supposed to have paved the way to include them in a new global climate deal to succeed the Kyoto protocol. Deforestation causes almost a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Negotiators had said such an agreement on forests was one of the few breakthroughs expected at the Poznan talks, which are largely a preparatory meeting for more serious negotiations next year.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, CANADA, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, INTERNATIONAL, NATIVE PEOPLES, NEW ZEALAND, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

PERPETRATORS SAVED – VICTIMS LOST – FINANCE SYSTEM CORRUPT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Tuesday, 09 December 2008

by Rene Delavy (Berlin and Bournemouth)

PUBLISHED BY ‘WORLD NEWS’

Best of Perpetrators

There is a secret about the junk papers that were issued world-wide by Investment Banks in New York and London. There is a secret about how Hedge funds and other criminals dispersed over 100 trillion Dollars all around the Globe – and where these zero values are.

The very first to discover the junk securities in their balance sheets were UBS and CS of Switzerland: Why? Because they have the most sophisticated control and auditing systems of all banks in the world. And so, these banks could at a early time of this breakdown of Finance Industry, ask for supplemental equity from Arabian and Singapore funds. In addition UBS requested for further 60 billion Dollars rescue help from the Federal Counsel of Switzerland and CS is supposed to come later on. It is not clear, if by these actions, the greatest Swiss banks are saved – but at least, they seem to know what they are doing.

Lousiest of Perpetrators

The lousiest are naturally the U.S. Government, GW Bush and his Kitchen Cabinet and FED of Greenspan and non existing SEC and auditors in America. And lousiest are all Hedge Funds with their idiotic Dynamite Prize Holders.

But let’s go a step down – to the Investment bankers Merry Lynching, Liar-men Brothers, Goldman Sex, Morgan low IQ Standard and some other greedy Investment Idiots at Wall Street, Singapore and City of London. They woke up only when lots of folks wanted their money back. Lehman Brothers got bankrupt and is by now the only bank, world-wide, where the disaster of zero value securities in the accounting scheme became evident, all of a sudden – even in Germany and France.

The rest of banks, that were rescued by governments, the evident losses of trillions in lost values, are not yet known. But for all these investment banks, just as for all other banks, insurances, investments funds etc. in the whole world, no auditors or governmental control agencies have discovered to this very day – and re-valuated the scrap and forced new Balance Sheets in ten thousands of entities, world-wide, to be presented to the victims, all of us, being now the real blind mice.

Same goes for insurance companies: AIG is nothing but a little peak of an iceberg that was forced to ask for cash from U.S. congress and tax-payers and such leaving in the shadow thousands of other insurers, not yet forced to check their portfolios.

The Victims – all ordinary folks – world-wide

Primary and major victims are all workers and employees, world-wide, in fact all ordinary folks as far as they have values to get from banks, insurance, investment and hedge funds, old age and pension funds or all other millions of personal depots, when asking their money back and discovering that great part of it just had vanished.

Secondary victims are all banks, insurances, re-insurances, investment funds, pension funds, depots of nations or companies – in short, wherever for over 100 Trillions of dollars in ABS (Asset-Backed Securities), CDO (Collateralized Debt Obligations), CDS (Credit Default Swaps) and other sorts of Junk Papers with zero value was invested. The residual values behind that junk, the real background of given assets – true or false – to cover those values, is still to be invested in time and found out in millions of hours of work, by auditors and experts in accounting, for all those papers, hanging around in ten thousands of finance institutions, all around the globe.

NO victims at all are the governments of USA and England inclusive their FEDs, who are the real neo-liberal junk of the world. And Putin and Hu and Wen and all other governments of the Globe are right when pretending that such scrap should be put in jail, all at once, for the crimes they committed to the detriment of billions of normal folks on this planet. And Obama must be careful, with his odd Kitchen Cabinet, not to be the next major perpetrator …

How do I know about the huge Damages, not yet discovered?

First, I was a top accountant and consultant for the biggest entities of the world and as such, I know all logics, logistics, accounting rules, company laws, real and false mechanics etc. in banks, insurances, investment funds and all the rest of industry, communes and else.

Second, I found out about the immense stupidity of average accountants, auditors, controllers in national agencies, CEO, members in Boards of Directors and theorists and experts in economics. They will never see anything, until they tumble over it. This was so with Enron, Argentina, Swissair, Arthur Andersen and thousands of other quasi bankrupt firms, the mess only was seen by the ignorant “experts”, when billions in values were gone and lost.

Third: You can read the figures in any newspapers – NYT, Times, Economist, Spiegel, Die Zeit, even NZZ of Zurich. They tell you that the TURNOVER of rotten Papers, based alone on valueless real estate, bets on charts, bets on currencies, raw material, food, any Las Vegas Junk you could think of, reached by 2006 an annual figure of 50’000 trillions (not billions) of dollars. The NET OUTSTANDING amounts still in books of perpetrators and victims, amount roughly to 50 trillions, but be sure that this is only valid for part of the zero papers handled. The true figure must exceed by far over 100 trillions of dollars, world-wide.

Fourth: There is either ignorance or a plan of governments, especially of the U.S. men around Barack Obama, to keep quiet on the real risks and damages, our USA have thrown in the world during the last 20 years. They will not tell us the truth about the volume of undiscovered losses in all finance companies and funds, throughout our Globe.

When will the immense Losses become evident?

Here comes the reason why I am writing this article. To let each reader of this letter know, what he would never read in a normal media of Murdoch or Berlusconi – which means 99 percent of world media:

The losses of far over 100 trillions of dollars do not become evident unless – and here we have to make distinctions:

a. Investment and other banks: With Lehman Brother, the losses become immediately evident because of bankruptcy. For the U.S. and other rescued Investment Banks, the damage will only become evident – and this goes for all banks in the world – when either the banks get in bankruptcy too, are liquidated or else, clients ask all money back. In these cases, the CASH would first come from normal investments of the banks in ordinary shares, bonds, real estate (from mortgage creditors) etc. – but by the end, the bulk of ABS, CDO and CDS and all other scrap would remain in the records. AND NOW – All banks will discover that their auditors did not ask for re-evaluation of all scrap items in their accounting sheets.

b. Insurance and re-insurance companies: Same logics as for banks. Only evidence, if liquidated, got in bankruptcy or damage-claims towards insurance become so high, that they are forced, not only for transformation into cash of the valuable normal shares of “real market” and real estate, but also for Junk Papers of Hedge Funds, they bought before from Investment bankers.

c. Investment funds: Same problem. Evidence when liquidated or when going into bankruptcy. Under normal conditions – investments funds will pay cash back to part-holders on valuable elements in their books – first. But “the last investors will be bitten by the dogs” (den Letzten beissen die Hunde) – when the late-comers ask for their money back, and by then, the trillions of “non-valeurs” would become evident.

d. Old Age Pension funds: Here the problem is even more cunning, because the first workers and employees asking for pension will again see their money, as long as good items in the funds’ portfolios are sold. However, the last workers and employees going in pension, will get scrap instead of money.

Why do we know almost nothing about this financial Disaster?

The major reason is the incredibly high stupidity of politicians, bankers, CEO, investors and other normal scrap. But here, this is a normal behaviour when we think how complex the CHAOS of the world has become and how low the average intellect of most VIP is in fact.

More astonishing is the incredible truth that the experts, the accountants, the rating experts, the auditors, the consultants, the officers of State and control devices in FED, SEC, all national banks and governmental control agencies, don’t have the slightest idea, about 20 years disaster going on and on – and still today don’t get, what happened at the front of Finance Industry, kept under cover by the U.S. government around Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, GW Bush, Alan Greenspan, Cox and all CEO of all Investment and other Banks of the whole world, but especially at the source of the World Economy Clash, the famous Wall Street with the bloody banner of USA on top of the Greek columns – as a sign, how patriotic and dull all VIP out of USA have always been and always will be – and Obama is just another false number in this game of hegemony and cheating the rest of world.

And so we could say: Whatever security you may assume to have, guaranteed by hedge funds, investment funds, shares and bonds in banks, insurances, any company or nation in the world – you will never know how much worthless scrap you are buying for your personal depots or – done in your name – by the administrators of your old age funds, until the last of scrap paper has been analysed and found out, what true values on rotten real estate, Casino bets of nothing, but even on real values in down-valued other shares of “real industry”, should be set in the accounts of your perpetrators.

Therefore, you may never realize what is going on, not before at least one auditor would be able to levy the curtain on a financial mess, as it has never before existed, in trillions of dollars, making the world tumble into an overall bankruptcy, the finest and deadliest since Adam and Eve – or the worms, Darwin, very much to the anger of Bible belt and Rome’s Pope, letting develop what is better known as capitalistic, greedy, growth-sick and planet destructing Homo non-sapiens.

Rene Delavy – Author of “CHAOS” / “Rotten finances – rotten nations – rotten future” / “Breakdown of Systems – Kitchen Cabinet of Obama tumbling into the dark” etc. www.rene-delavy.comwww.pladesniekant.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘WORLD NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

CBCP CALLS FOR HALT TO MINING IN RP (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

First Posted 20:46:00 12/09/2008

by Dona Pazzibugan – Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church leadership said on Tuesday the Arroyo administration should immediately halt mining operations due to the “uncontrollable plunder” of the country’s natural resources.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) made the call in a pastoral letter it issued on December 8 titled, “Upholding the Sanctity of Life.”

It has been 20 years since the CBCP last issued a pastoral letter on the environment which was titled, “What is happening to our beautiful land?”

In its latest pastoral letter, which would be read in all Church masses, the CBCP called for a moratorium on mining activities “until the government and the mining companies learn to uphold the rights of the indigenous peoples, compensate the affected communities for past damage and ensure responsible mining activities.”

The CBCP assailed the mining industry for its “poor record of community accountability.”

It said mining companies “have systematically engaged in the rape of Mother Earth and left a legacy of impoverished communities and environmental despoliation.”

Hitting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the CBCP said most of the mining projects were given an environmental compliance certificate “without securing the free prior and informed consent of the affected communities.”

The bishops said the government compromised the country’s long-term development goals due to its “uncontrolled and poorly regulated exploitation” of mineral resources.

“The Mining Act of 1995 encourages the exploitation by granting priority access rights to water and timber. Communities are slowly eased out of their land as expansion sites granted with mining permits and clearances affect considerable portions of land utilized for agriculture,” the CBCP said.

The CBCP also called for a stop to illegal logging and “multisectoral cooperation” would be necessary to stop the threat to the country’s forests.

It said most of the country’s watersheds have been denuded through land conversion that was aggravated by slash-and-burn farming and illegal logging.

The CBCP called on the government to enforce a total commercial log ban and to intensify efforts to reforest denuded areas vulnerable to earthquakes, landslides and floods.

The CBCP also supported making use of healthier and less destructive sources of energy such as those from wind and solar energies, water and geothermal resources.

“The challenge to preserve our beautiful land may be difficult but not impossible,” the CBCP said, adding “no material gain can equate with the value of life.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (USA)

Posted in CATHOLICISM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, NATIVE PEOPLES, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE WORKERS | 1 Comment »

BRAZIL GDP GROWTH SPEEDS UP TO 1.8 pct IN 3rd qtr

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

12.09.08, 06:23 AM EST

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Writing by Todd Benson; (+55/11 5644-7703); Reuters Messaging: Todd Benson, Editing by Walker Simon – Thomson Financial News

PUBLISHED BY ‘FORBES’

SAO PAULO, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Brazil’s economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to 1.8 percent in the third quarter from the second, the government said on Tuesday, as the country showed signs of resisting the global downturn.

The expansion of the gross domestic product was faster than the 1.6 percent expansion in the second quarter from the first, the government’s statistics agency IBGE said.

GDP had been expected to grow 1.2 percent in the third quarter, according to a median forecast of 17 economists polled by Reuters. Estimates ranged from 0.4 percent to 1.4 percent growth.

On an annual basis, GDP expanded a robust 6.8 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2007 , after posting a revised year-on-year growth of 6.2 percent in the second quarter.

The result was stronger than the the 5.6 percent year-on-year GDP median growth forecast in the Reuters poll. Estimates ranged from 4.2 percent to 6.0 percent.

Copyright Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘FORBES’ (USA)

Posted in BRASIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, PROGRAMA DE ACELERAÇÃO DO CRESCIMENTO (PAC), RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR | Leave a Comment »

MANUFACTURERS STEP ON THE BRAKES – PRODUCERS SAY THE RECESSION HAS KNOCKED THEIR WHEELS OFF, AND THE NEAREST TOW IS AT LEAST A YEAR AWAY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Last update: December 8, 2008 – 9:06 PM

by Dee DePass (612-673-7725) – Star Tribune

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

The U.S. manufacturing recession steamrollered through the third quarter, setting the stage for one of the worst global recessions in recent history, according to a report released Monday by the Manufacturers Alliance (MAPI), which tracks 27 industries.

“There was a sudden and acute acceleration of the decline in the industrial sector in September and October,” said report author Daniel Meckstroth, the trade group’s chief economist.

“The vicious circle of financial crisis, decline in wealth, consumer spending cuts and job loss continues to spiral into a severe recession – certainly the worst since the early 1980s,” Meckstroth said.

Manufacturing industrial production dropped 4.4 percent in the second quarter and 7.8 percent in third. The trade group now predicts a decline for the entire industrial sector this year and next before showing some marginal improvement in 2010. The organization expects manufacturing production to fall 1.4 percent in 2008 and 4.2 percent in 2009; production is expected to grow a modest 0.9 percent in 2010.

The report comes as no surprise to scores of struggling manufacturers, who have severely slashed employee ranks in the last few weeks.

Maplewood-based 3M will cut 2,300 workers in the fourth quarter, on top of 1,000 cuts in the third quarter.

AT&T, which announced 4,600 job cuts in April, said Friday that it will lay off 12,000 more. Dow Chemical said Monday that it will close 20 plants and cut 5,000 full-time workers and 6,000 contractor jobs. DuPont is cutting 2,500 jobs, General Motors, 2,000. And Ford continues to lower production and has shut its Ranger truck plant in St. Paul through December because of declining sales, idling about 770 workers.

The downward spiral of the auto industry has sent the chiefs of all three U.S. auto giants to Congress seeking $35 billion in aid.

“The financial crisis in the United States has spread to most other regions of the world, creating a global downturn,” Meckstroth said. “A recession among our trading partners has weakened the outlook for exports, which is one of the few remaining pillars providing positive support to the economy, particularly to the manufacturing sector.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHEMICALS (processed components), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

EURO-ZONE’S TOP CENTRAL BANKER SAYS ECONOMY WOULD HAVE SLOWED WITHOUT FINANCIAL CRISIS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Last update: December 8, 2008 – 10:58 AM

by Aoife White – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Don’t blame the financial crisis for the current economic downturn, says the euro-zone’s top central banker.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Monday the slowdown was inevitable after high growth in recent years and a spike in oil prices that sent inflation soaring and braked business activity and household spending.

“Even without the financial crisis we would have had a slowing down in the economy after long years of very active growth at the global level and after the oil shocks that we had to cope with,” Trichet told the European Parliament’s economy committee in Brussels.

“That had a very powerful depressive effect on every economy in the world,” he said.

Oil prices hit a new record of $147 a barrel in July as demand for energy grew rapidly in emerging economies such as China and Brazil while suppliers remained tight. Prices have since sunk by two-thirds to hit a four-year low of $40.50 on Friday on worries of a world downturn.

The United States entered a recession last December, joined by the 15 nations that use the euro in the second quarter. Job losses are mounting and will likely rise further in coming months.

Trichet acknowledged that “exceptional tensions in the financial sphere” that froze bank lending had worsened the downturn.

He said the euro-zone central bank expects the global economy and “very sluggish” household demand to remain weak in the next few quarters — warning that a fragile recovery could be damaged by worse financial turmoil, protectionism and sudden changes to global account deficits.

He called on European governments to move fast to restore confidence in the banking sector by pushing forward with banking rescue plans that should ease lending. France said Monday it would start a recapitalization program within days after it won EU approval to give out large subsidies to banks.

Trichet did not give any hint of a future interest rate cut that would bring euro borrowing costs below the current 2.5 percent. The ECB reduced rates from 3.25 percent last week as falling inflation gave it more room to stoke growth in a slowing economy.

Economists speculate that the ECB may cut rates again in January to 2 percent. That would match current rates charged by the Bank of England and Sweden’s Riksbank.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

THE BIG THREE NEED A SHAKEOUT, NOT A BAILOUT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

by Keith Fitz-Gerald – Investment Director

PUBLISHED BY ‘MONEY MORNING’

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

I don’t know about you, but my jaw literally hit the floor when the chief executives of Detroit’s “Big Three” begged for a taxpayer-funded bailout. Never mind that General Motors Corp (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler LLC are now seeking an aggregate $34 billion – which is up 36% from the $25 billion the Big Three was seeking just two weeks ago – or that they “drove” to Capitol Hill in a caravan of new hybrids so shiny they could’ve made the Keystone Cops green with envy.

And now that negotiations are under way to “advance” the three U.S. automakers $15 billion from an existing loan program, I don’t know whether to laugh … or to cry, since the total amount actually needed may be north of $150 billion.

The bottom line: Detroit doesn’t need a bailout.

It needs a shakeout.

How to Really Assess the Big Three’s Health

Nothing drove that point home more than when Ford CEO Alan R. Mulally who, after admitting “big mistakes,” attempted to sway Congressional members by saying that “we’re really focused now.”

I may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch here, but it seems to me I’ve heard this same mea culpa before – several times. Indeed, wasn’t that what the Big Three said:

– Back in the 70s, after Japanese-made cars that were better made and more economical started grabbing huge swaths of U.S. market share.

– Back in the 80s when U.S. quality began to suffer badly.

– And again back in the 90s when they tossed their lot in with SUVs and trucks.

But I really have to question whether GM, Ford and Chrysler were “really focused” after supposedly beating back each of these challenges, since the Big Three has seen its market share drop from more than 70% then to less than 50% today.

They’re so “focused” I can’t stand it. And I can only wonder what they’ll say when Chinese automakers hit our shores in the next few years, rolling out cars that sell for 30% less than it costs Detroit to make cars for.

Even at their new salaries of $1 a year, the Big Three’s top leaders are overpaid in my book – but I digress.

The so-called Big Three are nowhere near the anchor of American industry that Detroit would have us believe. And the arguments they’re using are superficial – at best. Maybe that’s good enough to bamboozle some people, but I believe that the American public is smarter than that. I can’t speak for our elected leaders who seem hell bent for leather on sticking band-aids on all our serious problems, but that, too, is another story for another time.

Essentially, the carmakers’ case boils down to this: Each of the Big Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, and directly or indirectly employ three million Americans. Thus, by allowing any or all of the automakers to fail, lawmakers would be making a major economic misstep.

That might be true, but not for the reasons the automakers have stated.

The Big Three are manufacturers. You don’t measure their success or failure by how much they purchase. You measure it by how much they sell, whether their market share is rising or falling, and what customers are saying about the quality and functionality of the finished product.

Economics 101

That brings us to the basics of supply and demand. If you recall your freshman-level Economics 101 course, “supply” is the total amount of goods and services (in this case cars and related support services) available for purchase. Demand is the amount of a particular good or services that a consumer or consumers will want to purchase at a given price.

Demand curves are normally downward sloping because consumers typically buy less of an item as its price increases. Similarly, supply curves are upward sloping because producers are willing to supply increasing amounts of their wares at increasingly higher prices. A bit of an oversimplification, perhaps, but it makes the general point.

In their rush to portray their industry as an economic linchpin and supplier of key future technologies – not to mention as a “victim” of the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression – the U.S. automakers are forgetting that their failure will not bring about a total destruction of demand. History is literally littered with failed companies. Demand for cars won’t fall off because the Big Three go under anymore than folks would stop buying beer if Annheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. (the maker of Budweiser that’s now Annheuser-Busch InBev NV) were to collapse and disappear.

What’s far more likely to happen is that Japan’s Honda Motor Co. (ADR: HMC) and Toyota Motor Co. (ADR: TM), India’s Tata Motors Ltd. (ADR: TTM), Germany’s Daimler AG (DAI) and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., and other companies from around the world will happily fill the void.

In fact, I’m certain that these companies will not only absorb key elements of the purchasing chain, but the workers, too. History shows that industry consolidation is actually a positive influence for the remaining companies and their workers. History also demonstrates that during periods of industry consolidation, there really isn’t anything other than short-term loss in business activity.

In short, if the demand is there, other firms will move in.

What Detroit is actually seeking is a bailout that preserves the status quo, and that implicitly rewards 40 years of inept management, bad decisions and poor quality. But to my way thinking, it makes no sense whatsoever to throw $34 billion at businesses that are losing $6 billion a month.

Like the other federal bailouts that I’ve opposed (as a proponent of free markets and the Austrian school of economics, I believe that bailouts are fundamentally wrong), a taxpayer-funded bailout of the U.S. auto sector would do nothing to improve Detroit’s competitive position. Instead, the capital would serve as little more than a punitive tax on such successful companies as Toyota and Honda, just to name two of the most obvious that would suffer. It would also allow Detroit to come back for more money after they blow through whatever we give them now. In the end, that will hurt both the consumer and the taxpayer – in most cases, one and the same.

Congressional sources are saying that that before the Big Three gets a cent, they would each have to make concessions similar to those extracted from the U.S. financial-services sector. Not only would the automakers have to eradicate their dividends and guarantee repayment, they’d also have to willingly submit to government control, just in case things didn’t play out as planned.

Maybe I’m the only one who sees a problem with this but such a change would mean that the same people who have been running the U.S. Postal Service would not be in charge of both Wall Street and one of our major manufacturing industries.

No thank you.

There are still plenty of strong automobile companies operating in the U.S. market that are able to offer of successful products that range from ultra-plain utilitarian models to all sorts of luxury vehicles, with to large-scale trucks in between.

And if the Big Three were to fail, still more auto firms will come to the United States, as their many foreign predecessors did in the years before.

So here’s to the natural order of things and, hopefully, a levelheaded Congress that will let the markets take their natural course and force a shakeout – and not a bailout.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MONEY MORNING’

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, GERMANY, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

LUFTHANSA SUPERVISORY BOARD APPROVES ACQUISITION OF AUSTRIAN AIRLINES – Lufthansa will initially acquire the 41.56 per cent share in Austrian Airlines AG

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

by Tatiana Rokou

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRAVEL DAILY NEWS’

Lufthansa will initially acquire the 41.56 per cent share in Austrian Airlines AG held by Osterreichische Industrieholding AG (OIAG). This share package is to be acquired at a price of EUR 366,000. In addition to this, a debtor warrant will be arranged, of which Lufthansa will pay a sum of up to EUR 163m depending on Austrian Airlines’ economic performance and the Lufthansa share outperforming its competitors.

In the course of the period specified by Austrian takeover law, Lufthansa will also make a public takeover bid to Austrian Airlines’ free float shareholders. The company is applying to the Austrian Takeover Commission for an extension of the notification period to the longest permissible time. The bid price will correspond to the average weighted market price of the Austrian Airlines share over the six months preceding this announcement. Subject to an examination by the Takeover Commission, this figure will be EUR 4.44 per share. In total, some EUR 215m will be offered to private and institutional free float shareholders as part of the takeover bid.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chief Executive Officer Lufthansa Group, said: “Gaining the support of our Supervisory Board for the acquisition of Austrian Airlines is an important step which paves the way for OIAG, the government in Vienna and the European Commission to make their decisions following due consideration of the transaction. Our bid is fair. It takes the interests of all those concerned into account and shares the encumbrances and risks fairly. The consequences of the financial markets crisis and its effects on the real economy also have a major impact on the aviation industry. Structural changes increase the likelihood of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines sharing a brighter future.”

The OIAG Supervisory Board meeting to approve the proposed transaction is to be held on 5 December 2008. The parties then intend to sign the appropriate contracts. Execution of these contracts is subject, inter alia, to the conditions precedent of anti-trust approval and the approval of a EUR 500m restructuring grant to be made by the Republic of Austria, both of which must be granted by the European Commission. Furthermore, Lufthansa must hold 75 per cent of the shares in Austrian Airlines – including those transferred by OIAG – after the end of the regular acceptance period for the public takeover bid.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRAVEL DAILY NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

US FACES DEEP PROBLEMS, OECD SAYS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

December 08, 2008 Monday – Zilhaj 9, 1429

by Steve Schifferes – Economics reporter, BBC News

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

The US economy is still facing “sharp downside risks” to growth, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Paris-based organisation warns that the credit squeeze has been spreading to other forms of lending, and other financial firms could become insolvent.

It says that another fiscal stimulus could be needed if things get worse.

But it warns that longer term problems, including health care reform and the US budget deficit, must be tackled.

Obama’s challenge

The OECD paints a grim picture of the challenges facing the incoming Obama administration, which takes office on 20 January.

It says that “the US economy is going through an exceptionally difficult period” and despite major policy interventions, it is likely that “activity will get worse before it gets better”.

The OECD suggests that the weakness will continue well into 2010.

It also warns that “house prices appear to have further to fall, and foreclosures are widely expected to rise.”

The decline in household wealth of about 20%, due to falls in the stock and housing markets, is likely to affect spending and household consumption.

The OECD broadly endorses the need for a further stimulus plan, saying that “macroeconomic policy should stand ready to provide a renewed stimulus”.

But it warns that, “given the underlying fiscal situation, the package should aim to be strictly temporary, timely and targeted” – an approach that appears to differ from the plan for big infrastructure projects that President-elect Obama has talked about.

And it adds that in the longer term, “the ageing of the population and other trends put the Federal budget on an unsustainable course” and says that increased tax revenue and controls on spending will be needed.

Financial disruption

The OECD says that “resolving the financial crisis could be a long drawn-out process”, which could require substantial government spending just as in previous banking crises.

It says that the “full effects of the forceful easing of monetary policy will only be felt after financial market conditions normalise”.

So it argues that big rate cuts by the US central bank, the Fed, “appear to be roughly appropriate in light of the adverse effect on real activity” of the credit squeeze, and says that “monetary policy should remain highly accommodative for quite some time to support the economy and the financial system”.

However, it warns that in the long run, the regulatory system needs to be fundamentally reformed, or else the rescue of troubled financial institutions “could inadvertently serve to encourage imprudent behaviour” in the future.

“A major overhaul of regulatory and supervisory policy is necessary to remedy the deficiencies in oversight that the crisis revealed,” the report says.

It also calls for reform of the supervision of mortgage brokers, underwriters and credit agencies to protect borrowers and investors.

And it says, more controversially, that in the long-term “it would be preferable to leave the securitisation of mortgages to the private sector,” eliminating or reducing the role of the big government-sponsored agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were effectively nationalised by the government earlier this year.

Health care reform

The OECD report has a special chapter highlighting the problems of the US health care system, which was much debated during the recent election campaign.

It points out that, despite spending 15% of GDP, “the health status of the US population does not appear to fare well by international comparison”.

The OECD endorses the goal of the Obama administration in making progress towards providing health care insurance for all Americans.

However, it appears to give support to the plan proposed by his electoral rival, John McCain, to replace tax subsidies to employers with subsidies to individuals to choose their own health plans that would not be tied to their jobs.

It says the current system is regressive and encourages people to buy expensive plans, as well as reducing job mobility.

But it also suggests that reforms suggested by president-elect Obama, such as a requirement to have health insurance, and regulating insurance companies more tightly so they must accept all applicants, “are likely to be necessary to expand coverage substantially”.

And it warns that the government will have to take tough measures to control costs in state-run Medicare system of health insurance for older people.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HEALTH SAFETY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD), RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

SUBPRIME FIASCO AND DEREGULATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

December 08, 2008 Monday – Zilhaj 9, 1429

by Hasan Tariq Ghani

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

SUB-PRIME borrowers are defined as borrowers with a “bad credit history”. These borrowers have lesser credibility as compared to the normal conventional “prime borrowers”. Sub-prime borrowers also face high default risk, since some/most of them have faced bankruptcy in the past or have not been able to meet their debt obligations.

The broad category of these borrowers also incorporates the ones who have had lesser experience with debt and have a credit score (FICO score) below 620 (the score ranges from 300 to 850).

It is due to this high default risk on part of the borrowers that lenders demand greater compensation in form of higher interest rates. Sub- prime loans come in a variety of forms including sub-prime mortgages, car loans and credit cards. The most popular from among these aforementioned credit lines have indeed been sub prime mortgages. These mortgages are based on adjustable rate mortgages (arms) and are denoted by symbols such as 3/27.

The sum of the two numbers quotes the tenure or the time period of the mortgage (which in this case is 30 years), with the first number representing the number of years for which the interest rate on the mortgage remains fixed, regardless of market rates, while the subsequent number denotes the number of years for which the interest or the sub prime rate is adjusted according to a benchmark index.

According to the Wall Street Journal published in 2006, 61 per cent of the borrowers receiving the sub prime mortgages had FICO/ credit scores high enough to qualify as normal “prime borrowers”. But given the low interest rates for the first couple of years and an initial down payment lesser than $10,000, the “prime borrowers” were lured into taking on these risky sub-prime mortgages.

After the catastrophic events occurring on 9/11, the Federal Reserve (the American central bank), in an attempt to revive the collapsing American economy, started slashing the Fed Funds rate (inter bank lending rates), so as to increase consumption and spending by increasing money demand. Things were however running smoothly and the low interest rates were reaping the desired benefits for the American economy till the fear of inflation, or a persistent increase in the general price level, crept in.

In order to curb inflation, the Federal Reserve started increasing interest rates. This led to a proportional increase in the floating/adjustable part of the sub prime rates, which are linked to the benchmark interest rates and adjusted accordingly. This sudden and unexpected hike in the interest rate triggered massive foreclosures (seizure of property held as collateral by the lending bank) in the American mortgage industry.

The highly inflated so-called “real estate bubble”, which is very similar to the one currently being created in Dubai, finally exploded as the number of foreclosures in the American mortgage sector started picking pace. It was only a matter of time before the large investments made by mortgage firms and investment banks started going down the drain. To make matters even worse, a large portion of these “sour” mortgages were cut off into tranches, and sold off to investment banks, commercial banks and even the general public in the form of mortgage backed securities, after getting approval from different credit rating agencies, with the whole process being known as “securitisation”.

The originators(lenders) of these bad mortgages eventually thought that a bunch of hot shot investment bankers from Wall Street, by unleashing their creative skills, would come up with something innovative, that would help mitigate the risk of holding these “sour” mortgages by transferring the risk from their balance sheet on to a third party. This is a glimpse of how the process of securitization originated.

Some investment banks even went on as far as transferring their portfolios of “bad” mortgages to their fake off shore counterparts. One might wonder as to how these investment bankers were able to get good or at least decent ratings from credit rating agencies for the mortgage backed securities. Putting it in simple words, these highly qualified bankers were actually out “shopping” for credit ratings.

The rating agencies, after being intimidated by these investment giants, were forced to assign good ratings to their mortgage backed securities. After the formal window dressing process, these junk securities were sold off to investors, who unfortunately, were under the wrong impression of having sensibly invested their savings in lucrative ventures. Little did they realise that they would soon be weeping for having made the wrong investment decisions. It is also worth mentioning that some of these “dishonest” credit rating agencies are the same ones that have been very particular in downgrading our country’s credit ratings and making claims that we are on the verge of bankruptcy.

High rates of default by the sub prime borrowers led to the banks facing a liquidity crunch(severe shortage of cash), due to which they were unable to pay returns/interest to the holders of mortgage backed securities. Soon, the liabilities of many of these banks exceeded their assets, and once declared insolvent, many of these banks filed for bankruptcy.

The Federal Reserve played a key role in bailing out these distressed investment giants by acting as the lender of the last resort. But was it a wise decision to use hard earned tax payers money in providing temporary relief to those greedy banks that took on such risky investments? The $700 billion bail out plan by the Federal Reserve and the presence of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), seem to promote a phenomenon known as “moral hazard”.

Lets say hypothetically that a person gets a health insurance as well as a car insurance. Now this person is highly likely to drive recklessly and risk his life, given the fact that he knows that he is insured and will be compensated in the event of a loss or an injury. This explains the presence of moral hazard. Similarly, if the regulators keep on coming to the rescue of these banks who made certain reckless investment decisions by putting their shareholder’s and depositor’s money at stake, the banks are bound to behave in this fashion.

These private sector banks are the ones who have been favouring more of deregulation and comparing regulation with strangulation. But once in distress, they are the first ones to approach the government and the regulators for their assistance. A valuable lesson to be learned from the crisis is that a high level of deregulation can lead to a misery. In reality, there is no perfect example of a free market, or a market where there is no government intervention.

Certain checks and balances are necessary at the micro level in every sector of the economy to ensure it’s smooth functioning. The absence of a state can lead to anarchy and total chaos, which is exactly what we have observed in the sub prime debacle.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, DUBAI, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INFLATION, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, USA | Leave a Comment »

AUTO BAILOUT MAY DEEPEN RECESSION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Published: December 08, 2008, 23:32

Bloomberg

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Southfield, Michigan: US automakers’ pledges for more payroll cuts to win federal aid may deepen the recession after they had already eliminated more than 100,000 jobs in the past three years.

While the loans may spare General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC from collapse, shrinking their workforces would sap an already weak economy, said Paul Ballew, chief of consumer insight and analytics for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co in Columbus, Ohio, and an adviser to the Federal Reserve.

“The degree of restructuring is much broader and much deeper than people assume,” said Ballew, a former GM sales analyst. The industry has endured ‘a tough slog for the past few decades, and this is the next phase of restructuring that is probably going to be more severe.’

Even a successful industry rescue of the automakers would hurt suppliers and dealers along with governments and industries as disparate as railroads that haul autos and broadcasters dependent on car ads.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice a piece to save the whole,” said Kim Rod-riguez, a principal at accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP. “Regardless of the funding you’re going to have major plant closures, major brand cuts, and there is unfortunately going to be a loss of jobs.”

Automakers say the alternative would be a domino effect in which the failure of one company likely would topple the others. GM has said it needs $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion) to keep operating through the end of this year.

Aid plan

Congress and the Bush administration are now working on a $15 billion aid package for GM, Ford and Chrysler, after the companies requested $34 billion in loans in exchange for retrenching to stem losses amid a dwindling US market. The rescue plan as outlined may do little to revive auto sales, which exceeded 15 million a year from 1996 to 2007. US sales probably will total $13.3 million in 2008, Standard & Poor’s said on November 24. Annual totals may not reach $13 million over the next four years, according to GM’s worst-case scenario. “Even if the companies succeed in getting a bailout plan enacted, the restructuring is going to be costly in terms of jobs lost,” said Robert Scott, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based research group aligned with unions.

Because the industry’s employees are among the best-paid in the US, the elimination of one auto worker amounts to erasing 1.7 jobs because of the loss of purchasing power, Scott said.

GM told Congress it projects trimming its workforce by as many as 30,000 employees by 2012, or 33 per cent. Dealers for the biggest US automaker would fall to 4,700 from about 6,500. Job losses at the dealerships might be 100,000, Scott said. “That will hit a lot of local economies, including money dealers often give to local institutions.”

The motor-vehicle and parts industry employed about 827,700 people as of November, down 15 per cent from a year earlier, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Ford and Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler didn’t project future employment in their survival plans. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said it expects $1 billion in operating-cost reductions in 2009, while Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli told Congress the third-largest US automaker has pinpointed $4 billion savings from its restructuring.

Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said yesterday that GM CEO Richard Wagoner should be replaced as a condition for federal aid and Chrysler may have to merge to survive.

“You’ve got to consider new leadership,” Dodd said on CBS’s Face the Nation. Wagoner, he said, “has to move on.”

Nothing obvious

Television stations and advertising agencies likely would suffer from GM’s strategy to focus on just four of its eight brands and Ford’s push to emphasise its namesake nameplate.

“If the dealers go out, that is the biggest local advertiser in virtually every market, with nothing obvious to replace it,” said Kip Cassino, research director at consulting firm Borrell Associates in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Local television stations get 25 per cent or more of their advertising from automakers, dealers, and dealer associations, Cassino said. Fewer brands and models will translate into more pressure on suppliers’ employment, which fell 18 per cent through June to 590,000, according to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

LIBYA EYES 10% STAKE IN ITALY’S OIL GIANT ENI AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE VENTURES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Published: December 07, 2008, 23:31

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Rome: Libya would be interested in buying up to 10 per cent of Italian oil giant ENI, one of a number of investments it is PRESS CONFERENCE BY FRANCO FRATTINI
considering in Italy, the North African country’s ambassador to Italy was reported as saying.

The investment, which at ENI’s closing price of 15.39 euros on Friday would entail spending more than 6 billion euros, would make Libya ENI’s second-biggest shareholder after the Italian state, which has a 20.3 per cent stake.

In comments about other potential investments published in Italian newspapers on Sunday, Hafed Gaddur said he was not interested in the telecommunications sector.

“We have in mind five to six operations, among which I exclude telecommunications,” he was quoted as saying in business daily Il Sole 24 Ore. Other newspapers had him speaking of four to five operations.

Although he did not elaborate, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Reuters on Friday that Libya was interested in the transport, tourism and infrastructure sectors.

Important partner

Gaddur spoke to newspapers after Italy’s government said on Saturday that Libya was interested in buying a stake in ENI.

Just as sovereign funds from developing countries have recently made investments in US and European companies, Libya has emerged as a leading source of capital for Italian companies and an important energy partner.

It recently acquired nearly 5 per cent of Italian bank UniCredit.

Gaddur said the accord signed by Libya and Italy last August had made it easier for Libya to invest in Italian companies without provoking a hostile reaction.

On August 30, the countries signed an accord under which Italy would pay compensation for misdeeds during its colonial rule of Libya.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi hailed the accord as opening a new era of cooperation.

“It allows for something that in different times would have been absolutely impossible, such as a foreign state that enters with a stake of 5 to 10 per cent in your national oil company, which is what we would want to do,” he was quoted by La Repubblica as saying.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GASOLINE, HISTORY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ITALY, MACROECONOMY, PETROL, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

SCHWARZENEGGER TELLS U.N.: GREEN RULES HELP MARKETS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

December 8, 2008

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Matthew Jones

PUBLISHED BY ‘SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN’ (UK)

POZNAN, Poland (Reuters) – Green regulations will help both the environment and ailing economies, California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a 187-nation U.N. climate conference on Monday.

“Of course, there are some people who say that we can’t afford the fight against global warming while our economies are down,” he said in a video message on the sidelines of the December 1-12 U.N. meeting in Poznan, western Poland.

“But the exact opposite is true,” he said.

California, which is the world’s fifth biggest economy on its own, has been leading other U.S. states in the fight against climate change.

“The green rules and regulations that will help save our planet will also revive our economies,” the governor aid.

The Poznan talks are reviewing progress toward a new global pact to fight climate change meant to be agreed at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen. The talks have been overshadowed by the global financial crisis.

Schwarzenegger also said he would attend the Copenhagen talks to support U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

The Poznan talks are a step on the way to agree a new worldwide climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it runs out in 2012. The United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified the Kyoto treaty.

President George W. Bush said Kyoto was unfair because it did not set caps on emissions by emerging nations like China and India and he reckoned it would be too costly for the U.S.

Obama has promised much tougher action on fighting climate change and intends for the U.S. to be more involved in environmental efforts when he takes over the presidency in January.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN’ (UK)

Posted in BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009 | Leave a Comment »

NO ROOM FOR WISHFUL THINKING – THE SLUMP IS HERE WITH A VENGEANCE (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Saturday December 6 2008

by Larry Elliott, Economics Editor – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

The shocking jobs data from the US yesterday should remove the last doubt about the potential of the current crisis to turn into the most serious economic shock to the global economy since the 1930s.

The fact that the world’s biggest economy shed 533,000 jobs last month smacks of a slump. While it is unlikely to prove as long and as deep as the Great Depression, more jobs were lost last month than at any time since 1974, when the decision by Opec to turn off the oil taps brought the postwar boom to a shuddering halt.

To make matters worse, the jobless figures for September and October were revised sharply higher so that payrolls were down by 1.25 million over the latest quarter.

Some analysts saw hope in the fact that the unemployment rate rose only modestly from 6.5% to 6.7%. But that was because more than 400,000 people left the labour force altogether last month, presumably on the grounds that there was no prospect of finding work.

Nor was this a temporary shakeout precipitated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Revisions to the back data show payrolls were down by more than 400,000 in September, before the escalation in the financial crisis had any effect.

Apart from any impact on shares, bonds and the dollar, yesterday’s woeful jobs data will have three consequences. If 1.25 million people suddenly stop earning a wage, there will be an impact on consumer spending. And if consumers are not spending, companies are not going to invest – even assuming that they can get the finance. We are likely to see output contract at an annual rate of about 4% in the fourth quarter – and it could be even worse. And what happens to America matters to everybody else, especially the big exporting nations: China, Germany, South Korea, Japan.

The second effect will be social. America does not have the generous welfare nets enjoyed in Europe, so unless those made jobless can quickly find work, there will be hardship, poverty and the threat of disorder.

The need to put people back to work leads to the third consequence. There will be further interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and other “unconventional” measures to drive down long-term rates. There will be suggestions that America can’t wait for the $500bn fiscal stimulus the president-elect is planning. And there will be help for the motor industry. One of the few Americans likely to have found hope in yesterday’s report will be Rick Wagoner, the boss of General Motors.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH KOREA, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

NEWS ANALYSIS: TAKING RISKS WITH BAILOUT FOR AUTOMAKERS (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Published: December 9, 2008

by David E. Sanger

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

WASHINGTON: When President-elect Barack Obama talked on Sunday about realigning the American automobile industry he was quick to offer a caution, lest he sound more like the incoming leader of France, or perhaps Japan.

“We don’t want government to run companies,” Obama told Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press.” “Generally, government historically hasn’t done that very well.”

But what Obama went on to describe was a long-term government bailout that would be conditioned on government oversight. It could mean that the government would mandate, or at least heavily influence, what kind of cars companies make, what mileage and environmental standards they must meet and what large investments they are permitted to make — to recreate an industry that Obama said “actually works, that actually functions.”

It all sounds perilously close to a word that no one in Obama’s camp wants to be caught uttering: nationalization.

Not since Harry Truman seized America’s steel mills in 1952 rather than allow a strike to imperil the conduct of the Korean War has Washington toyed with nationalization, or its functional equivalent, on this kind of scale. Obama may be thinking what Truman told his staff: “The president has the power to keep the country from going to hell.” (The Supreme Court thought differently and forced Truman to relinquish control.)

The fact that there is so little protest in the air now — certainly less than Truman heard — reflects the desperation of the moment. But it is a strategy fraught with risks.

The first, of course, is the one the president-elect himself highlighted. Government’s record as a corporate manager is miserable, which is why the world has been on a three-decade-long privatization kick, turning national railroads, national airlines and national defense industries into private companies.

The second risk is that if the effort fails, and the American car companies collapse or are auctioned off in pieces to foreign competitors, taxpayers may lose the billions about to be spent.

And the third risk — one barely discussed so far — is that in trying to save the nation’s carmakers, the United States is violating at least the spirit of what it has preached around the world for two decades. The United States has demanded that nations treat American companies on their soil the same way they treat their home-grown industries, a concept called “national treatment.”

Yet so far, there is no talk of offering aid to Toyota, Honda, BMW or the other foreign automakers that have built factories on American soil, employed American workers and managed to make a profit doing so.

“If Japan was doing this, we’d be threatening billions of dollars in retaliation,” said Jeffrey Garten, a professor at the Yale School of Management, who as under secretary of commerce in the 1990s was one of many government officials who tried in vain to get Detroit prepared for a world of international competition. “In fact, when they did something a lot more subtle, we threatened exactly that,” referring to calls for import restrictions.

Garten said he was stunned by the scope of the intervention that Washington was now considering. “I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like this since the government told the automakers what kind of tanks to make during World War II,” he said. “And that was just for the duration of the war — this could be for much, much longer.”

It is hard to measure just what kind of chances Obama may be taking with this plan, in part because so many parts of it are still in motion.

In the short term, Democrats are floating the idea of linking $15 billion in immediate loans to the designation of a “car czar” who, in doling out the money, could require or veto big transactions or investments — essentially a one-man board of directors. The White House indicates that President George W. Bush, who has spent his entire presidency proclaiming that the government’s role is to create an environment that spurs free enterprise and minimizes government regulation, would very likely sign the rescue plan.

The first $15 billion and the car czar who oversees it, however, are only the beginning. “After that, we’re in uncharted water,” said Malcolm Salter, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School who has studied the auto industry for two decades and, until a few years ago, was an adviser to General Motors and Ford. “Think about this: Who in the federal government would have the tremendous insight needed to fix this industry?”

Depending on how the longer-term revamping of the industry proceeds, Washington could become a major shareholder in the Big Three, it could provide loans, or, in one course that Obama seemed to hint at on Sunday, it could organize what amounts to a “structured bankruptcy.” In that case, the government would convene the creditors, the unions, the shareholders and the company’s management, and apportion a share of the hit to each of them. If that “consensus building” sounds a lot like the role of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry in the 1970s and the 1980s, well, it is.

To promote the Japanese car industry on the way up, the trade ministry nudged companies toward consolidation, and even tried to mandate which parts of the market each could go into. (Soichiro Honda, the founder of the company, rebelled when bureaucrats told him he was supposed to limit himself to making motorcycles.) By the 1980s, Congress was denouncing this as “industrial policy,” and arguing that it put American makers at a competitive disadvantage — and polluted free enterprise.

Now, it is Congress doing exactly that, but this time as emergency surgery. Other nations will doubtless complain, or begin doing the same for their own companies. “We’re at this moment in history, in which the Chinese are touting that their system is better than ours” with their mix of capitalism and state control, said Garten, who has long experience in Asia. “And our response, it looks like, is to begin replicating what they’ve been doing.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, 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 | 1 Comment »

GROUP SAYS FINANCE CRISIS SHOWS TRANSPARENCY VITAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Published: December 8, 2008

by Peter Apps – editing by Charles Dick – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Lack of transparency in the banking sector helped cause the global financial crisis and multinational companies, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations must do more to open up, a report said on Monday.

In its annual Global Accountability Report, the London-based One World Trust rated 30 corporations and organisations from Goldman Sachs to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR but found only one met what it described as minimum standards.

The overall worst performers were UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), defence alliance NATO and in bottom place the International Olympic Committee (IOC), all accused of lacking openness and accessibility to those their actions affected.

“The credit crunch and global financial crisis shows just how important transparency is in all sectors,” said trust deputy head of research Letitia Labre. “Companies and organisations are not doing enough to be accountable to those they affect.”

The impact from bad debts in the US mortgage market spread through the global financial system, with banks no longer trusting each other to lend money, prompting a credit crunch and worldwide slump in markets and economic growth.

Critics blame banks and other investment institutions for packaging and selling financial products they did not fully understand, with little clarity on who would take responsibility and with mutual mistrust now paralysing markets.

The report, which focuses on a representative sample of organisations each year, rated only one private sector bank — one of the few surviving Wall Street banks, Goldman Sachs. It put the bank in the bottom third of the list.

AFFECTING EVERYONE

In contrast, mining firm BHP Billiton and oil giant Shell — representatives of industries often criticised for their lack of transparency in negotiating contracts with developing world governments – were among the best performing corporates.

Transparency campaigners have praised the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for improving the transparency of mining and similar firms, although say colossal problems still remain.

The International Foundation for Organic Agriculture topped the table followed by multilateral lender the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), World Bank group member of the International Finance Corporation and UN children’s fund UNICEF.

They were followed by aid agencies and non-governmental groups Plan International, Transparency International, Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief.

The poor performance of organisations such as the IAEA and International Olympic Committee were particularly worrying, the trust said.

“These are very powerful bodies which have the ability to affect the lives of all of us,” said Labre.

The report graded the organisations according to four dimensions of accountability: transparency, participation of stakeholders, evaluation of performance and scalability and response to complaints.

Researchers examined documents provided by the organisations, interviewed their key officials and examined publicly available information as well as talking to stakeholders and experts on each of the organisations.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, NATO, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | 2 Comments »

WAL-MART INAUGURA 2ª LOJA EM CAMPO GRANDE NO DIA 11 (MS – Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Segunda-feira, 08 de Dezembro de 2008 18:38

por Ângela Kempfer

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (MS – Brasil)

Divulgada como loja de “atacarejo”, o grupo Wal-Mart inaugura no dia 11 de dezembro o Maxxi Atacado em Campo Grande, como parte do projeto de expansão da rede no País.

A propaganda é de oferta de produtos com preços para as classes C e D, oferecidos tanto a comerciantes quanto aos consumidores finais. A expectativa é de que 60% das vendas sejam para empresas e 40% para famílias.

A loja funciona em sistema semelhante ao de supermercados como o Macro e o Atacadão, mas o grupo garante que a diferença está na diversidade de marcas disponibilizadas nas prateleiras.

O grupo Wal-Mart garante que os descontos aos comerciantes serão de até 5%, para garantir valores mais baixos que a média dos outros atacadistas da região.

Para o consumidor final, a promessa é de preços até 15% menores, em comparação a concorrência.

O Wal-Mart comprou a rede Maxxi em 2005, da Sonae Distribuidora, empresa forte na região sul. Com o plano de expansão anunciado em meados deste ano e que prevê investimentos de R$ 80 milhões, o número de lojas deve saltar para 25, com a inauguração de unidades nas regiões Nordeste, Sudeste e Centro-Oeste.

Na próxima quarta-feira o vice-presidente do Maxxi, Luiz Martinelli, fará uma apresentação do empreendimento à imprensa na Capital e na quinta será aberto ao público às 9 horas.

Na nova loja do grupo em Campo Grande foram investidos R$ 30 milhões, com abertura de 180 empregos diretos.

A loja foi construída na Avenida Coronel Antonino, próximo ao Educandário Getúlio Vargas.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (MS – Brasil)

Posted in BRASIL, CIDADES, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, MS, POLÍTICA REGIONAL | 1 Comment »

PREFEITO CASSADO TERÁ CARGO NA DIREÇÃO DA AGEPAN (MS – Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Segunda-feira, 08 de Dezembro de 2008 10:53

por Aline dos Santos e Paulo Fernandes

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (MS – Brasil)

Nomeado para o governo desde a última quarta-feira, o ex-prefeito de Ribas do Rio Pardo, José Domingues Ramos, o Zé Cabelo, vai ocupar um dos quatro cargos na direção da Agepan (Agência Estadual de Regulação de Serviços Públicos). “Ele vai fiscalizar a obras na BR-262”, antecipou o governador André Puccinelli (PMDB) nesta segunda-feira.

Zé Cabelo foi cassado da prefeitura em 2002, após denúncia de compra de votos. Conforme Puccinelli, hoje à tarde será definido o nome do novo diretor-presidente da agência estadual. O atual presidente Anízio Thiago terminou seu mandato de dois anos. O governador não revelou o nome do escolhido para presidir a Agepan.

A agência é responsável por fiscalizar os serviços de energia, transporte e saneamento.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (MS – Brasil)

Posted in A CORRUPÇÃO NO APARELHO DO ESTADO, A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, ATIVIDADES CRIMINOSAS - BRASIL, BRASIL, CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, CORRUPÇÃO NA POLÍTICA, MS, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, O SETOR DOS TRANSPORTES, OS GOVERNADORES, OS TRIBUNAIS REGIONAIS ELEITORAIS, PARTIDO DO MOVIMENTO DEMOCRÁTICO BRASILEIRO (PMDB), POLÍTICA REGIONAL, SANEAMENTO BÁSICO | Leave a Comment »

NOW IS THE TIME FOR POLITICS – MORE GOVERNMENT IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM, AND KEY TO SOLVING WORLD POVERTY (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

DECEMBER 2008 – FEBRUARY 2009

by Luis Inácio Lula da Silva

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA) – SPECIAL EDITION – ISSUES 2009

The world today is experiencing turbulence unlike anything we’ve seen in decades. The U.S. credit crisis has contaminated the international economy, and financial systems have been shaken to the core, undermining economic doctrines once treated as absolute truths.

As I told the UN. General Assembly in September, now is the time for politics, for governments to use public control and oversight to halt the economic anarchy. I welcome the actions that other countries have taken. But it will be some time before their initiatives kick in. That means more steps are needed in the meantime to safeguard the world’s most vulnerable: workers whose jobs and purchasing power are on the line, simple folk trying to save for the future, the poor who depend on the state.

The abuses and errors coming to light daily are all evidence that our existing system of international economic governance has broken down. To develop a better one, the world’s major developing countries should be called on to join the debate. We have plenty to contribute. Take Brazil. We are ready to do our part, and our economy is better prepared than most to confront the crisis. We have said no to macroeconomic adventurism. Inflation is under control and we are growing steadily. We have plenty of foreign reserves and owe nothing to the International Monetary Fund. This gives us the tools and the peace of mind to withstand the turbulence the crisis will bring.

Brazil is also better prepared to deal with the social and economic dislocation that may ensue. Consider: since I took office in 2003, more than 10 million Brazilians have joined the workforce. Some 20 million have risen out of absolute poverty. Our internal market is expanding, giving us an important economic cushion. Above all, we are redistributing income and reducing social inequality. These advances have nothing to do with luck or a favorable environment. They are the result of hard work by the Brazilian people and their government.

Weaving a broad social safety net is a central part of this endeavor. Our income-transfer program now distributes benefits to 11 million poor families nationwide, on the condition that mothers get prenatal care and parents keep their children in school and vaccinated. Our success shows that individual governments can and must play a vital role in reducing poverty and inequality. And our example in health care and education is already being made available to other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia facing similar challenges.

That said, no state will escape this crisis on its own. Coordinated actions are needed. Yet they will succeed only if international decision making is redesigned in accordance with new realities; the institutions set up after World War II reflect a balance of power that’s long been superseded. This challenge actually goes far beyond the immediate financial storm. Other threats loom, such as hunger and poverty, the rising price and scarcity of food, the energy crisis and climate change. World commerce remains distorted, and the best means of addressing that—die Doha round of trade talks — could collapse.

Still, none of these obstacles is insurmountable. We all know the solutions, and we have the tools and the resources to succeed. Too often what we lack is political will. Many people today are comparing our current situation with the Great Depression. But we should take those parallels further and should summon the spirit of solidarity that helped create the New Deal, harnessing it to forge a new global pact to roll back poverty and extreme inequality. Contrary to what so many believe, globalization has only increased the economic and social responsibilities of governments. We must renew our commitment to strong multilateralism and we must make that multilateralism more democratic, in order to build agreements that reflect the legitimate interests of all nations. This means, among other things, enlarging the U.N. Security Council and revamping the IMF to provide effective financial support to countries in need.

The United States-by virtue of its size and its economic prowess—is and will continue to be a key player in the global search for common solutions. Washington has played such a decisive role since the end of World War II. Given the challenges and opportunities facing us today, we in the developing world hope that we can once again count on the American people to come to the defense of multilateralism, equality and justice. This is not the time for protectionism, but for progressive action born of generosity and solidarity that will forge collective answers to 21st-century challenges.

Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva is the President of Brazil.

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', A PRESIDÊNCIA, AFRICA, ASIA, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CENTRAL BANKS, CIDADANIA, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, G20, HISTORY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, IMF, INDÚSTRIA DA CONSTRUÇÃO CIVIL, INFRAESTRUTURA - BRASIL, INSTITUIÇÕES DE FOMENTO NACIONAL, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LATIN AMERICA, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, MACROECONOMY, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, OS TRABALHADORES, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SOUTH AMERICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

LULA DIZ QUE GOVERNO TRABALHA PARA QUE NÃO FALTE CRÉDITO ÀS EMPRESAS QUE GERAM EMPREGO (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

segunda-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2008, 17:07

por Yara Aquino – Repórter da Agência Brasil

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGÊNCIA BRASIL’

Brasília – Garantir o fluxo de crédito para que as empresas continuem produzindo e gerando emprego é uma das prioridades do governo para enfrentar os efeitos da crise financeira internacional. Hoje (8), em discurso no almoço de confraternização com os oficiais-generais das Forças Armadas, o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva disse que o governo irá “fazer com que as empresas que geram emprego tenham crédito necessário para que a gente possa vencer essa batalha”.

Lula também fez uma previsão para o fim da crise que atinge a economia mundial. De acordo com o presidente da República, a partir de 2010 a crise “será coisa do passado”.

“Estou convencido que a partir de 2010 esta crise será coisa do passado aqui e em outros países”. Segundo ele, o governo tem feito todo o esforço e tomado as medidas necessárias para evitar que a crise tenha aqui o mesmo efeito sentido em países como Estados Unidos e Japão.

Lula também aproveitou a presença dos oficiais-generais, dos comandantes das três forças e do ministro da Defesa, Nelson Jobim, para anunciar que o Plano Estratégico de Defesa Nacional será apresentado ao Conselho de Defesa Nacional na próxima quinta-feira (11).

Lula destacou, ainda, o trabalho das Forças Armadas em Santa Catarina, quando teve papel fundamental nas operações de socorro às vítimas e no transporte e distribuição de alimentos para os desabrigados.

“Posso dizer a vocês como presidente da República, mas poderia dizer como simples brasileiro que as Forças Armadas brasileiras viraram motivo de orgulho pela brilhante atuação que tiveram salvando vidas, levando comida, roupas, remédios”, disse.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘AGÊNCIA BRASIL’

Posted in A PRESIDÊNCIA, AS FORÇAS ARMADAS, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INSTITUIÇÕES DE FOMENTO NACIONAL, INTERNATIONAL, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | Leave a Comment »

GOVERNO DE SÃO PAULO LANÇA AGÊNCIA PARA ATRAIR INVESTIMENTOS (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

segunda-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2008, 17:07

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO GRANDE ABC’ (Brasil)

O governo do Estado de São Paulo lançou nesta segunda-feira a Investe São Paulo (Agência Paulista de Promoção de Investimentos e Competitividade), com o objetivo de atrair novos investimentos, expandir empresas já instaladas no Estado e colaborar para o aumento da competitividade da economia paulista.

“Hoje não há a sistematização dos projetos entregues pelos prefeitos. Não há organização para tratar das questões tributárias de financiamento, de infra-estrutrura, que normalmente, os investimentos grandes exigem. A Investe São Paulo vai racionalizar essas ações em parceria com a iniciativa privada”, destacou o governador José Serra.

A agência vai herdar da Secretaria de Desenvolvimento do Estado de São Paulo uma carteira de R$ 10 bilhões distribuídos em 40 projetos de investimentos de diversos setores da economia. Segundo o governo, a idéia é que a estruturação possa dobrar esse número.

A Investe São Paulo será presidida pelo economista Cláudio Vaz, 61 anos, e contará com até três diretores e um conselho deliberativo composto por secretários de Estado e representantes de entidades empresariais.

“A Investe São Paulo nasce em um momento da economia mundial em que é imprescindível potencializar e promover a competitividade do Estado de São Paulo de forma planejada. Somente com ações neste sentido poderemos enfrentar a atual crise financeira e manter o desenvolvimento sustentável do nosso Estado com benefícios para a população paulista”, afirmou o vice-governador e Secretário de Desenvolvimento Alberto Goldman.

A agência também vai auxiliar os municípios paulistas no atendimento ao investidor e estabelecer intercâmbios com outros organismos semelhantes, nacionais ou internacionais.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO GRANDE ABC’ (Brasil)

Posted in AGRICULTURA, BRASIL, CIDADES, DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIAS, INTERNATIONAL, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, OS GOVERNADORES, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, SP, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | Leave a Comment »