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Archive for January 28th, 2009

U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE STRUGGLES TO REVIVE ECON GROWTH

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The US Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday focused on new tools to revive a moribund economy that has so far failed to respond to its zero-interest rate policy.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was being held six weeks after the central bank slashed its base-lending rate to a range of zero to 0.25 percent and predicted “exceptionally low” rates to persist.

An announcement was due around 1915 GMT Wednesday.

Joseph Balestrino at Federated Investors said he expected some clues from the Fed on additional efforts to get credit flowing in the economy.

“There’s not much more the central bank can do on the monetary policy front after having lowered its target federal funds rate to a record low,” he said.

“What may be worth noting is the language the Fed uses to describe the state of an economy that, since the two-day meeting that ended December 16, appears to have worsened on most every front.”

Balestrino said Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues “are likely to be more explicit about their plans for quantitative easing—that is, using measures such as direct injections into banks and purchases of debt securities to pump more capital into ailing institutions and the markets.”

Sacha Tihanyi, analyst at Scotia Capital, said the market expects the Fed to take further action to help fire up growth.

“With rates going nowhere for some time, the market’s focus will be on whether the Fed will be looking to buy government—or corporate—securities in the near future,” Tihanyi said.

“This is a highly controversial step and some see this as somewhat of a high-risk policy but on the other hand, it is one of the few avenues the Fed has left open to it with regard to further easing monetary conditions.”

Despite the zero-rate policy, Bernanke and others have repeatedly said the central bank is not out of ammunition to fight the crisis. But Bernanke avoided the use of the term “quantitative easing,” saying the Fed has engaged in what he called “credit easing” to spur more lending activity.

The Fed “has already done a lot and will continue to do a lot” in addition to moving on interest rates, said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.

The central bank has already offered exceptional aid to banks and other firms, and has been buying up mortgage-backed bonds and commercial paper to help unfreeze credit in those areas.

Analysts say this has helped somewhat but that credit markets remain under stress, with lenders and consumers skittish about taking on new risks.

Morgan Stanley economist Ted Wieseman said he expected nothing dramatic from the Fed meeting.

“Obviously rates have already been cut about as low as they can go,” he said.

“If long-end [Treasury bond] yields continue surging higher, the Fed will undoubtedly eventually step in and start buying, but such an announcement probably wouldn’t come in an FOMC statement.”

Economist Joseph LaVorgna at Deutsche Bank said the Fed might not yet be ready for direct purchases of US Treasuries.

“Even though we believe the Fed will eventually be forced to purchase Treasuries in an attempt to cap their yields we do not believe the Fed is going to announce those intentions today,” he said.

He said some members might be uncomfortable with what could be seen as a drastic step.

“Rather, we expect the Fed to repeat the ‘committee is evaluating the potential benefits of purchasing longer-term Treasury securities.’”

Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates, said each word of the Fed statement would be weighed and parsed carefully.

“The wording of the policy statement will signal future intentions,” he said.

“In each statement, the Fed describes its economic outlook. A darkening in that outlook would likely mean that further stimulus efforts are coming. A brighter outlook would suggest that policy will become less accommodative.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

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SAN MIGUEL CORP. SELLS BEER ASSETS TO DOMESTIC BREWERY SUBSIDIARY – SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) ANNOUNCED IT WOULD SHED ITS ASSETS IN THE BEER BUSINESS (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

by Chino S. Leyco – Reporter

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

AFTER creating two new wholly owned subsidiaries, Southeast Asia’s largest food and beverage firm said on Wednesday that it is selling those units to San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB).

In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, SMC said its board has approved the sale of domestic beer brands, related intellectual property rights and “know-how” to SMB for P32 billion.


The SMC board also told the local bourse that the land used in the beer operations would be sold to SMB for P6.8 billion. Another parcel would be sold to SMB Retirement Plan for P239 million.

Last year, SMC formed Brewery Properties Inc. and Iconic Beverages Inc. as part of its restructuring program. Earlier this month, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. said it entered into exclusive negotiations with SMC to buy a 43.25-percent stake in SMB. Kirin held 27 percent of SMC at end-December last year.

With its looming investment in SMB, Kirin said this will significantly contribute to the further growth of its alcohol business in Asia and Oceania.

SMB produces beer at five manufacturing facilities in the Philippines for sale in the local market.

Last year, SMC offered 5.75 percent of its shares in its domestic brewing business in an initial public offering. In the first nine months last year, the conglomerate’s profit rose on the back of non-recurring gains from SMB’s maiden share sale.

For the same nine-month period, SMB posted a 10-percent growth in revenues to P35.2 billion, resulting in a net income improvement of 23 percent to P7 billion year-on-year.

Besides carving out its beer operations, SMC has acquired a substantial stake in the Philippines’ largest electricity distributor, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). The conglomerate also forged an option agreement with the Ashmore Group of UK for a 50.1 percent stake in Petron Corp. Besides the power sector, SMC is also eyeing the telecom industry, by signing a joint venture with Qatar Telecom QSC for a possible foray in to wireless broadband and mobile telecoms.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

OBAMA COMMITTED TO ‘GREEN’ ECONOMY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

by Xinhua

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

LOS ANGELES: The Obama administration is pushing forward with plans to aggressively limit greenhouse gas emissions PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMAand fight global warming, US media reported.

The plans would include a cap-and-trade initiative to limit greenhouse gases and raise the cost of pumping more carbon into the atmosphere, the Los Angeles Times said Sunday (Monday in Manila).

Under the initiative, the government would set limits on carbon emissions by power plants, factories and other installations, but allow those who emit more to buy or trade permits with companies and facilities that emitted less than the prescribed limit, according to the newspaper.

But the move would amount to a tax, raising energy costs. And several independent studies have suggested that emissions limits would only increase energy price and be a drag on economic growth, at least in the short term.

Despite such fears, the Obama government believed that a “clean energy economy” move would spur competition and promote investment in renewable alternatives to imported oil.

Two-pronged plan

The administration is expected to move forward with a two-pronged effort to stimulate renewable energy supplies and ensure demand for the megawatts they would produce, the newspaper reported.

The first part is to invest heavily in wind power, solar power and biofuels through the massive stimulus bill, while the second is to help those forms of energy compete with cheaper fossil fuels by pumping up fossil fuel costs to reflect the potential economic damage from global warming, according to the paper.

“If we don’t put a price on carbon,” said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We’ll never get these clean energy sources on line.”

Instead of dragging the economy, the plan to limit greenhouse emissions would stimulate the economy and “allow polluters to transition from a high-polluting environment to a low-polluting environment,” said Andy Stevenson, a former hedge fund manager who is now a finance advisor for the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in AEOLIC, AGRICULTURE, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, GLOBAL WARMING, HEALTH SAFETY, HYDROELECTRIC ENERGY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATURAL GAS, POLLUTION, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

EMPRESÁRIO FAZ DURAS CRÍTICAS À CONSTITUIÇÃO BOLIVIANA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

27/01/2009 16:24

por José Dirceu

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

Numa entrevista ao jornal O Globo, publicada hoje, o gerente-geral do Instituto Boliviano de Comércio Exterior (IBCE), Gary Rodríguez, desfia um festival de críticas contra a Constituição de seu país, aprovada por ampla maioria da população no referendo promovido pelo presidente Evo Morales no último domingo.

Entre outras pérolas, o empresário dirigente do IBCE – uma espécie de FIESP de lá – ao responder sobre quais setores da economia do país a nova Carta prejudica, respondeu fulminante: “Praticamente todos”.

Gary Rodriguez prosseguiu: “o setor rural, por exemplo, terá dois problemas imediatos. O primeiro é a questão do direito das comunidades indígenas ao seu território. O segundo é quanto à execução dos dispositivos que determinam se tal propriedade cumpre sua função social ou se há exploração de mão-de-obra ou escravidão. Todas estas decisões estarão nas mãos apenas do Executivo. É o Executivo que vai decidir, por exemplo, se uma dívida de um trabalhador com o patrão é escravidão e, portanto, passível de desapropriação”.

Empresário está inconformado com direitos sociais

Vejam, o empresário está assustado e inconformado com o fato de a Carta dar direito às comunidades indígenas de terem o seu território! E mais contrariado, ainda, com o fato de haver um poder que pode definir se a propriedade cumpre função social e se uma dívida do trabalhador com o patrão é escravidão ou não! É o fim do mundo.

A experiência brasileira e de outros países revela que fazer cumprir a função social da propriedade rural, como manda a Constituição, e combater o trabalho degradante, infantil e escravo, não só é possível como não tem nada a ver com o mau funcionamento da economia.

Pelo contrário, deve ser uma condição para o funcionamento de uma economia que mereça esse nome. A não ser que queiramos legalizar a escravidão, o trabalho infantil e o degradante, e mais, deixar a propriedade privada sem normas e sem regulação.

Bem, mas aí, acabamos de ver isto no setor financeiro. E vemos e sentimos o custo que pode ter não só para a economia, mas para todos os setores e para o mundo todo.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU

Posted in - UNCATEGORIZED | Leave a Comment »

STATE FARM TO STOP PROVIDING PROPERTY INSURANCE (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

January 27, 2009

by Russel Ray – The Tampa Tribune

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TAMPA BAY ONLINE’ (USA)

State Farm, the STATE FARM INSURANCEsecond-largest property insurer in Florida, said today that it will stop providing property insurance statewide, a move that would affect more than 1 million policyholders.

State Farm’s plan to drop policyholders was submitted to the Office of Insurance Regulation, which has 90 days to review the proposal.

“Nothing will happen until that review is complete,” said State Farm spokesman Chris Neal.

The plan calls for dropping policyholders over a two-year period beginning in November. State Farm has nearly 100,000 homeowner policies in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

The move comes two weeks after Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty rejected State Farm’s request to raise rates 47 percent on average statewide.

State Farm said operating costs have risen along with the number of claims. What’s more, the insurer said state-mandated discounts for homeowners who strengthen their homes against hurricanes have slashed the company’s revenues.

“This is not an action we wanted to take, but one we must take given the realities of the Florida property insurance market,” Jim Thompson, president of State Farm Florida, said in a statement. “We regret the impact this will have on our customers, employees and agents in Florida.”

Kevin McCarty

The move comes after Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty recently rejected State Farm’s request to raise rates 47 percent on average statewide.

The cancellation of more than 1 million policies could deepen Florida’s insurance crisis and is sure to increase the policy count at state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s so-called insurer of last resort and the largest property insurer in the state.

“We have been hearing for months of possible plans to make such a move in Florida,” McCarty said in a statement. “I will do everything within my power to protect Florida consumers from unnecessary destabilization of the insurance market that this might cause.”

Reporter Russell Ray can be reached at (813) 259-7870

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TAMPA BAY ONLINE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, REAL ESTATE INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

FUGITIVE INVESTOR (ARTHUR NADEL) TURNS HIMSELF IN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

January 28, 2009

by Elaine Silvestrini – News Channel 8 reporter Krista Klaus contributed to this report

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TAMPA BAY ONLINE’ (USA)

TAMPA – Arthur Nadel, the hedge fund manager from Sarasota who disappeared recently, turned himself in Tuesday, an FBI spokesman said.

Before disappearing, Nadel wrote to his wife, instructing her to take money out of credit and other accounts before the authorities blocked access, a criminal complaint states.

The funds Nadel controlled were nearly empty, but Nadel had homes in Sarasota and North Carolina and owned 500 acres of a development in North Carolina and three private planes, the complaint states.

Nadel, 76, surrendered at 9:45 a.m. at the Tampa field office, FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier said. Two lawyers, Barry Cohen and his partner, Todd Foster, were with him.

Nadel appeared in court Tuesday afternoon with shackles on his hands and feet. Several family members, including his wife, sat in the courtroom spectator section but declined to talk to reporters.

Cohen told U.S. Magistrate Mark Pizzo that Nadel is “suffering some emotional problems” and has been “visiting with a psychiatrist the past week.” Nadel wanted to check himself in to a hospital but turned himself in at the insistence of the U.S. attorney’s office, Cohen said.

Cohen didn’t say where Nadel has been the past 13 days but told Pizzo his client “came back when he was notified of a warrant.”

Nadel initially will be prosecuted in the Southern District of New York, said Couvertier, who said the Tampa and New York offices of the FBI are working together. He said Nadel has victims around the world.

A federal criminal complaint out of New York charges Nadel with securities and wire fraud. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, along with financial penalties.

Nadel is accused of misleading investors by exaggerating the level of money in his investment funds and by inflating their investment returns, according to the U.S. attorney’s office complaint and a similar civil court complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investigators also allege that Nadel transferred millions of dollars of investors’ money to bank accounts he controlled.

A court-appointed receiver overseeing Nadel’s investment companies says in a court filing that Nadel’s “scheme” dates at least to 2003.

Nadel’s family reported him missing Jan. 14.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TAMPA BAY ONLINE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »