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RUSSIA, CHINA BLAME WOES ON CAPITALISM – SPEECHES CRITICIZE INAPPROPRIATE POLICIES, FOCUS ON DOLLAR’S ROLE; YET PUTIN SENDS OBAMA CONCILIATORY SIGNAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 29, 2009

JANUARY 29, 2009

by Marc Champion in Davos, Switzerland; Andrew Batson in Beijing and Greg White in Moscow

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

The premiers of Russia and China slammed the U.S. economic system in speeches Wednesday, holding it responsible for the global economic crisis.

Both focused on the role of the U.S. dollar, with China’s Premier Wen Jiabao calling for better regulation of major reserve currencies and Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calling over-reliance on the dollar “dangerous.”

Speaking on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, they both urged more international cooperation to escape the downturn. They also talked up the abilities of their own economies to ride out the recession. Mr. Wen said he was “confident” China would hit its 8% growth target for this year even though that was “a tall order.” (See the full text)

The Russian and Chinese leaders also called for cooperation with U.S. President Barack Obama, but it was a chilly reception for the new administration that reflected growing anger in economies that are now getting hit hard by a financial crisis that began with subprime mortgages sold in the U.S.

Mr. Putin was characteristically blunt. He called for the development of multiple, regional reserve currencies in addition to the dollar. “Excessive dependence on a single reserve currency is dangerous for the global economy,” Mr. Putin said. (See the full text)

The Russian leader mocked U.S. businessmen who he said had boasted at last year’s Davos meeting of the U.S. economy’s fundamental strength and “cloudless” prospects. “Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Wen called for an expansion of regulatory “coverage of the international financial system, with particular emphasis on strengthening the supervision on major reserve currencies.”

While Mr. Wen never named the U.S., his critique of its failings was as sweeping as Mr. Putin’s. The financial crisis, he said, was “attributable to inappropriate macroeconomic policies of some economies and their unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption; excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit” – and other excesses.

“The entire economic growth system, where one regional center prints money without respite and consumes material wealth, while another regional centre manufactures inexpensive goods … has suffered a major setback,” Mr. Putin said.

Mr. Wen’s comments came just days after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner accused China of manipulating its currency for economic gain. The Chinese premier gently, but firmly warned that if Washington and Beijing chose confrontation, both would be losers.

But the different tones of the two speeches, and the fact that Mr. Wen didn’t call for replacing the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency but regulating it, reflect crucial differences in the important emerging economies.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department declined to comment on the remarks in the speeches. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Many of the attendees at Davos took the remarks from Mr. Putin and Mr. Wen in stride. “The sad thing is is that we might have scoffed at this a while ago. But we really dragged the world down” economically, Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said in an interview after the speeches.

The rapid collapse of oil and commodities prices has hit Russia hard on top of the ripples of the financial crisis. The government now forecasts the economy will shrink for the first time in a decade this year, after growing 6% last year.

“In a very real sense Russia has been kicked to the margins, while China has become pivotal to any resolution of the financial crisis,” says Bob Lo, Director of the Russia and China programs at the Center for European Reform in London.

Mr. Putin’s government has spent $200 billion of hard currency reserves to defend the Russian currency, the ruble. It has spent as much again in a bailout package that amounts to 15% of gross domestic product, one of the largest responses to the financial crisis in the world. Unlike China, Russia’s economy is too dependent on commodities exports and too small to play a significant role in any global recovery, says Mr. Lo.

Russia also has negligible trade with the U.S., while Chinese exports are heavily dependent on U.S. consumers and Beijing holds $2 trillion in U.S. debt, prompting a much more cautious approach towards Washington and the dollar in Beijing.

The net effect of falling oil prices and the downturn, however, has been to make Russia more vulnerable and the Kremlin weaker, analysts say. Russian officials have begun to send out more conciliatory signals to the new U.S. administration.

“We wish the new team success,” Mr Putin said Wednesday, calling on it to cooperate.

China, too, is suffering from the downturn. Many independent economists, including economists at the International Monetary Fund, question whether Beijing will be able to meet its 8% growth target this year.

Developed nations are increasingly calling for China to do more to stimulate its own economy. On Wednesday, Mr. Wen gave a detailed account of the four trillion yuan ($585 billion) investment program China announced in November. “As a big responsible country” China was actively boosting domestic, and particularly consumer demand, said Mr. Wen.

The headline sum in the program would likely be equivalent to around 3% of gross domestic product in 2009 and 2010. But even government officials aren’t promising that much of a boost to the economy. Zhang Ping, the head of the National Development and Reform Commission, in November estimated it would add about one percentage point to GDP growth this year and next.

That may have seemed like a lot at the time, but expectations for global and Chinese growth have rapidly deteriorated since then. Mr. Wen said growth slowed to 6.8% in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier. That’s a little more than half the 13% gain in 2007, at the height of the boom. Some economists believe China could grow by as little as 5% this year, too little to provide jobs for the graduates flooding into the labor market from Chinese universities and schools each year and a further drag on the global economy.

Less noticed in Mr. Geithner’s repetition of Mr. Obama’s campaign-trail assertion that China “manipulates” its currency last week was his argument that the long U.S.-Chinese dispute over currency didn’t matter as much as getting China to do more to boost its economic growth.

“Given the crisis the immediate focus needs to be on the broader issue of stabilizing domestic demand in China and the U.S.,” Mr. Geithner said in his written response to questions during his Senate confirmation process. “A further slowdown in China would lead to a substantial fall in world growth (and demand for U.S. exports) and delay recovery from the crisis.”

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A6

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

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.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, 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 WORK MARKET, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR NEAR 13-YEAR LOW AGAINST YEN (Japan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 22, 2009

22 Jan 2009, 1325 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, RECESSION, YEN (Japan) | Leave a Comment »

MARKET DROP HAS RANCHERS FEELING DOWN (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

Jan 17, 2009 4:00 AM

Joanne Kelley – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FARMING DEBTS, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

ISSUES CANNOT BE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY: OBAMA (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

0600 PST, Monday, January 19, 2009

The International News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS’ (Pakistan)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FRAUD, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HEALTH CARE - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, PENSION FUNDS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STATE TERRORISM, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA, WAR CRIMES, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR EXTENDS LOSSES VERSUS EURO AFTER CPI DATA (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reporting by Wanfeng Zhou and Nick Olivari – Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

THE BUSH LEGACY OUT OF AMERICA: AS BARACK OBAMA PREPARES FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, A REVIEW OF HIS PREDECESSOR’S EIGHT YEARS IN POWER SHOWS HE WAS THE LEAST SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENT EVER. HOW DID IT GO SO WRONG?

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Sunday, 11 January 2009

by Rupert Cornwell

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HEALTH CARE - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR SLIDES ON BLEAK CORPORATE OUTLOOKS (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

Wed, Jan. 7, 2009

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, 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 »

MARKET TIPS: DOLLAR FACES BIG BEAR, $1.60 VS. EURO – DESPITE THE DOLLAR’S TWO-DAY RALLY AGAINST THE EURO AND THE YEN, EXPERTS TELL CNBC THE GREENBACK’S POSITIVE RUN MAY BE OVER SHORTLY, AS A FAST RECOVERY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY SEEMS MORE UNLIKELY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

06 Jan 2009 – 04:26 AM ET

CNBC.com

PUBLISHED BY ‘CNBC.COM’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CNBC.COM’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, 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 »

ECONOMY IN GRIP OF RECESSION, REPORTS SHOW (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009

Martin Crutsinger – Associated Press – Economics Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

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

REAL ESTATE – SMALL HOUSE, BIG LOAN SPELLS TROUBLE – WOULD YOU PAY $103,000 FOR THIS ARIZONA FIXER-UPPER? – THAT WAS MS. HALTERMAN’S MORTGAGE ON IT; ‘UNFIT FOR HUMAN OCCUPANCY,’ CITY SAYS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

JANUARY 3, 2009, 11:38 A.M. ET

by Michael M. Phillips

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

VENEZUELA SLASHES US DOLLAR QUOTA – THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT HAS CUT THE OFFICIAL NUMBER OF DOLLARS VENEZUELANS CAN SPEND ABROAD WITH THEIR CREDIT CARDS FROM $5,000 TO $2,500 A YEAR

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

10:55 GMT, Thursday, 1 January 2009

BBC News

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, VENEZUELA | Leave a Comment »

ADD UP THE DAMAGE – DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE GEORGE W. BUSH IS?

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

December 29, 2008

by Bob Herbert – Op-Ed Columnist – The New York Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW YORK TIMES’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW YORK TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FOREIGN DEBTS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, FRAUD, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HEALTH CARE - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE WORK MARKET, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

EURO UP AGAINST DOLLAR, BUT SET FOR FULL-YEAR FALL – EURO GAINS BUT SET FOR FIRST YEARLY DROP SINCE 2005 – DOLLAR SEEN ON SHAKY FOOTING HEADING INTO 2009 – POUND DOWN 27 PCT VS DLR, WORST SINCE GOLD STANDARD ENDED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 31, 2008

Wednesday December 31 2008

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

ANÁLISE: GIRO CURTO ANTECIPA FESTA DO ESPECULADOR (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 30, 2008

30/12/2008 08:07

Luiz Sérgio Guimarães – Valor Econômico

PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ON LINE’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ON LINE’ (Brazil)

Posted in A BOLSA DE VALORES, BANCO CENTRAL - BRASIL, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, O MERCADO FINANCEIRO, REAL (Brasil), RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, TAXA DE CÂMBIO - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ASIA BENEFITS FROM DOLLAR WEAKNESS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

13:27:00 12/29/2008

by Kevin Yao – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

OIL IS UP, THE DOLLAR IS DOWN, AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THE END OF 2008

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

December 29, 2:57 PM

by Dale Horn, Finance Examiner

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

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

POTENTIAL COLLAPSE OF US AUTOMAKERS CAPS TURBULENT YEAR

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, DEPRESSION, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

PHILIPS SHEDS TELEVISIONS FOR HIGH-END LIGHTS, HEALTH CARE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

December 25, 2008 6:26 p.m. PT

by Eric A. Taub – The New York Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’ (USA)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, DIGITAL INDUSTRIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, HEALTH CARE, HEALTH CARE - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, NETHERLANDS, OUTSOURCED WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

US DOLLAR LOWER VS EURO IN THIN TRADES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

11:44:00 12/27/2008

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION CRIMINALLY LIABLE FOR ITS LAWLESSNESS? – THE CULPABILITY FOR FLOUTING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AGAINST TORTURE AND SPYING IS SHARED AND IS BEING ADDRESSED BY THE PROPER INSTITUTIONS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

December 24, 2008

L.A. TIMES – Editorial

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

US RECESSION GATHERS PACE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 – 06:13 Mecca time, 03:13 GMT

Agencies

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL DEBT - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

CÂMBIO FAZ A DÍVIDA INTERNA SUBIR R$ 1 BI (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

22/12/2008

Jornal Cruzeiro do Sul

PUBLISHED BY ‘JORNAL CRUZEIRO DO SUL’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘JORNAL CRUZEIRO DO SUL’ (Brazil)

Posted in ÍNDICES ECONÔMICOS - BRASIL, BRASIL, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, REAL (Brasil), RECESSION, TAXA DE CÂMBIO - BRASIL | Leave a Comment »

APÓS FED, DÓLAR REFLETE NO MERCADO DOMÉSTICO QUEDA GLOBAL (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

17/12/2008 – 16h29

por Jenifer Corrêa

PUBLISHED BY ‘BRASIL ON LINE’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BRASIL ON LINE’

Posted in CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMY | Leave a Comment »

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR CLOSES STRONGER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

7:41PM Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

Australian Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

EURO RISES ON DOLLAR TO $1.4075

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

Wed, Dec. 17, 2008

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EURO, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR LOWER, GOLD FALLS IN EUROPEAN AFTERNOON TRADING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

December 15, 2008 – 11:10 AM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

LONDON – The U.S. dollar was lower against other major currencies in European trading Monday afternoon. Gold fell.

The euro traded at $1.3650, up from $1.3371 late Friday in New York.

Other dollar rates:

_ 90.67 Japanese yen, down from 91.12

_ 1.1599 Swiss francs, down from 1.1767

_ 1.2341 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2432

The British pound was quoted at $1.5303, up from $1.4969.

Gold traded in London at $826.00 per troy ounce, down from $826.50 late Friday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in CANADA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

POUND SLUMPS TO RECORD LOW OF £1.11 AGAINST THE EURO AS CURRENCIES EDGE TOWARDS PARITY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

4:55 PM on 15th December 2008

by Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

The pound slumped to fresh lows against the euro today as the two currencies edged closer to parity.

At its low, one pound bought just 1.1102 euros – its latest in a series of record plunges against the single European currency in recent days.

Some holidaymakers travelling to Europe are reportedly already receiving less than one euro for their pound at bureaux de change, where commission is charged.

Sterling has dropped around 13 per cent against the euro in the past two months as the Bank of England has slashed interest rates in its attempt to stave off a deep and prolonged recession.

UK rates have dropped to 2 per cent, below those in the eurozone after a 1.5 per cent cut in November and a 1 per cent cut earlier this month, which has compounded the pound’s woes.

The weaker currency could provide a boost to UK exporters but the economic woes of major export markets such as the U.S. and Europe is hitting demand.

It is thought short-selling – where investors sell assets such as shares or currencies in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price and pocketing the difference – is also behind the pound’s slide.

The pound has also suffered big recent falls against the dollar but was holding steady at just under 1.50 U.S. dollars today.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

Posted in CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, EUROPE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

POUND CONTINUES FALL AGAINST EURO – Sterling has fallen to a fresh record low against the euro, while the value of the dollar has declined on talks about possible US rate cuts

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

Monday, 15 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

The pound touched a record low of 1.1084 euros, which made one euro worth 90.22p, before recovering slightly to 1.1196 euros.

Meanwhile, the dollar fell as analysts predicted the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates on Tuesday.

The dollar fell to $1.3662 against the euro and $1.5294 against sterling.

POUND STERLING v EURO: 15 December 2008

Sterling has now hit record lows against the euro for six trading days in a row.

“Sterling remains under pressure on continued UK economic weakness,” said Geoff Kendrick at UBS.

Bail-out factor

The dollar declined on Monday on worries over the strength of the US economy, and on the uncertainty surrounding the bail-out of US carmakers.

“An interim bail-out plan for US automakers by the Bush administration is certainly weighing on the dollar, with many being sceptical as to how the industry can cope in the longer term and instead thinking that letting the market take its course would be a preferred route,” said currency analyst James Hughes at CMC Markets.

The euro was supported by suggestions from European Central Bank officials that interest rates in the eurozone might not fall too much further.

Interest rates are at 2.5% in the eurozone, compared with 2% in the UK and 1% in the US.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, EUROPE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR HITS 13-YR LOW VS YEN AS AUTOS BAILOUT FAILS – Dollar dives below 89 yen, hits 13-year low

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

by Kaori Kaneko – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’

The dollar hit a 13-year low against the yen on Friday after the U.S. Senate failed to agree on a bailout for U.S. automakers.

The U.S. Senate failed on Thursday night to reach a last-ditch compromise to bail out U.S. automakers, effectively killing any chance of congressional action this year.

The $14 billion legislation officially died in the Senate late on Thursday after supporters failed to get enough support in a procedural vote.

“It has become really severe for the prospect of the bailout plan,” said Mitsuru Sahara, senior manager at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsuibishi UFJ.

Traders said there were fewer market participants, making market swings larger, pushing the dollar below 89.00 yen for the first time in 13 years.

The dollar fell as low as 88.40 yen, the lowest since 1995.

The euro declined 0.4 percent to $1.3313.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, JAPAN, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, YEN (Japan) | Leave a Comment »

BULGARGAZ WANTS NATURAL GAS PRICES UP BY 21% FROM JANUARY 1, 2009 – Bulgaria’s gas monopoly Bulgargaz wants a 21,31% increase in the natural gas prices in Bulgaria starting January 1, 2009

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

10 December 2008, Wednesday

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

The company, which is already part of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, submitted Wednesday its suggestion for the new gas prices to the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).

The Bulgargaz proposal provides for a natural gas price of BGN 653,46 for 1 000 cubic meters, with the 20% value-added tax not included, which is an increase by BGN 114,80. The new price would include a transit fee of BGN 19,73.

Bulgargaz justifies its proposal with the more expensive US dollar, whose value increased has increased by 15,39%. In addition, the statement of the monopoly reminds that the DKEVR did not approve its suggestion to increase the natural gas prices by 36% in the fourth quarter of 2008, and voted for a 24% increase instead.

Bulgaria’s DKEVR will decide on the new natural gas prices during its session on December 22 or 23, when it will also become clear how much the central heating costs would increase as the heating prices depend primarily on the natural gas prices.

On December 5, the Bulgarian cabinet decided to allocate BGN 160 M to Bulgargaz as part of a BGN 400 M anti-crisis package for the Bulgarian Energy Holding.

The funds would be used to cover Bulgargaz’s expenses for deferring the natural gas payments owed to it by Bulgarian businesses until the 300% decrease of the global oil prices kicks in, and brings down the natural gas prices of the Russian provider Gazprom.

According to the present scheme, Gazprom’s natural gas prices for Bulgaria are formed on the basis of the oil prices nine months ago. Thus, the present price levels are still based on the peak oil prices from the summer when a barrel of oil reached USD 147 on the world market.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’ (Spain)

Posted in BULGARIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, RUSSIA | Leave a Comment »

US ECONOMY ‘WEAKER IN ALL AREAS’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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

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

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

12-03-2008

by Erik Schelzig – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘KNOX NEWS’ (USA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘KNOX NEWS’ (USA)

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

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

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

By dueconsideration

PUBLISHED BY ‘DUE CONSIDERATION’

 

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

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

America’s Business Cycle Dates. Duration in Months

Peak                Trough           Peak to          Trough           Trough            Peak

                                                Trough           to Peak           to Trough       to Peak

 

Feb 1945         Oct 1945         8                      80                    88                    93

Nov 1948        Oct 1949         11                    37                    48                    45

Jul 1953           May 1954       10                    45                    55                    56

Aug 1957        April 1958       8                     39                    47                    49

April 1960       Feb 1961        10                    24                    34                    32

Dec 1969         Nov 1970       11                   106                  117                  116

Nov 1973        Mar 1975        16                    36                    52                    47

Jan 1980          Jul 1980           6                     58                    64                    74

Jul 1981           Nov 1982       16                    12                    28                    18

Jul 1990           Mar 1991        8                     92                   100                  108

Mar 2001         Nov 2001        8                    120                  128                  128

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DUE CONSIDERATION’

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

ALL STAKEHOLDERS BEING INVOLVED IN PLANNING: TARIN (Pakistan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

December 03, 2008 Wednesday Zilhaj 4, 1429

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

By Our Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

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

BOJ EXPANDS LENDING FOR FIRMS (Japan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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

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

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

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

The Federal Reserve might buy Treasury securities to spur growth.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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

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

MORE SUBURBS, MORE CARS – THE RIGHT’S WAR ON REGULATORS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

by Alan Farago PUBLISHED BY ‘COUNTERPUNCH’

“Anatomy of a CARTOON BY FRED HUBNERMeltdown” in the recent edition of The New Yorker ((Dec 1, 2008) begins, “Some are born radical. Some are made radical. And some have radicalism thrust upon them.” The article goes on at length to explore the rapid evolution of the federal response to the financial crisis, through which formerly free market acolytes in the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve responded with the most sweeping federal intervention in US economic history. It occurs that the point about radicalism is largely missed.

The radicalism distilled through the last decade is the idea that government is the problem. It is an idea that hacked at the foundation of democracy; in the conduct of war, in the repression of individual freedom, in the safety of our air and water, and America’s standing in the world.

The idea that government is the problem is at the heart of the Republican Reformation that began in the 1994 Congressional mid-term elections and propelled Bush political fortunes in Tallahassee and Washington, DC. Its dominant strain defined Republican values; a cause for war against government lead by Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and conservative foundations that still supply bankrupt ideas as intellectual capital.

Then Florida Governor Jeb Bush articulated the cause for war in his 2003 inauguration address when he said: “There will be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; as silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or THE REGULATORS - Stephen Kingcould adequately fill.”

The workers he meant to get rid of– the meaning was clear to the invited audience– were regulators. And, mainly, environmental regulators. The Bush assault against environmental regulations represented the high water mark for a Forty Year War; exhausting itself not through any act of environmentalism but because of the financial crisis, triggered by the suppression of regulations. Still, the war is visible most clearly in places like South Florida where the trampling of rules and intimidation of regulators goes on throughout local government without criticism or penalty.

Today General Motors Corp.’s board is meeting in Detroit to discuss a rescue plan to present to Congress that may determine, according to Bloomberg News, “if Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner can save the company and keep his job.” I wonder why the board of directors of GM should keep their jobs.

Among GM’s board of directors is Miami’s Armando Codina, who brought Jeb Bush into the real estate industry where he made his fortune and is one of George W. Bush’s strongest supporters. Codina joined the GM board in 2002. According to the GM website, Codina is also a board director of Merrill Lynch.

The fall of GM has its roots in a business model that no one dared to criticize beyond environmentalists who for decades pleaded with Congress and the states to clamp down on selling private ownership of cars and trucks by the pound of metal; the more pounds, the more profit for auto manufacturers, oil producers and gasoline distributers, and production home builders.

More suburbs, more cars. What this easy-to-grasp formula fails to capture is how fiscal stewardship of the largest publicly owned corporations used the mantra “government is the problem” to avoid regulation and spurn protections of the environment while encouraging the proliferation of unsustainable credit based on toxic derivatives; the undoing of Merrill and trillions of value now disappeared.

Today, the Wall Street Journal speculates on whether Rick Wagoner, GM chief, will be able to keep his job. Its fretting is directed to the legacy cost of pensions, healthcare, executive compensation and union agreements hammered out in times when even union leaders could ignore the peril of financial gerrymandering. If taxpayers bail out GM, its board of directors should be asked to leave by Congress, as should the boards of any publicly held that receive the blessing of free market economic ministers now turned radical government interventionists.

Alan Farago writes on the environment and politics from Coral Gables, Florida

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FOR A BETTER FINANCIAL ORDER – Chinese leaders and scholars suggest reforms to strengthen the international financial system

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 26, 2008

November-26-2008 NO. 48 NOV. 27, 2008

by Ding Ying

As the international financial crisis plunges many countries into economic turmoil, China’s relatively stable economic growth is reassuring to the international community.

As a result, the world is paying more and more attention to China’s opinions about the ongoing crisis and possible solutions. Chinese leaders and economists recently made a series of suggestions for reforming the current international financial system.

China’s efforts

Chinese President Hu Jintao participated in the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy held on November 15 in Washington, D.C., where he delivered a speech calling for international cooperation to get through this “difficult moment.”

In his speech, Hu clearly stated the Chinese stance on international financial reform. “Reform of the international financial system should aim at establishing a new international financial order that is fair, just, inclusive and orderly and fostering an institutional environment conducive to sound global economic development,” he said.

The Chinese Government has taken many measures to safeguard economic development and financial stability. After the crisis began, China made timely adjustments to its policies and strengthened macroeconomic regulation, Hu said. These adjustments included lowering the bank required reserve ratio, lowering interest rates and easing corporate tax burdens. Hu also promised to play a “constructive role” in restoring the international financial system and suggested four key reforms: increased international cooperation in financial supervision, reform of international financial organizations, increased regional financial cooperation and diversification of the international monetary system.

As the world’s most populous developing country, China would make an important contribution to international financial stability and world economic growth simply by maintaining steady economic growth, the president said. Several days before the summit, China announced a 4-trillion-yuan ($586 billion) economic stimulus plan. Observers believe that the plan, which concentrates on stimulating domestic consumption in China, may restore confidence in world economic development.

In a November 16 Xinhua report, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi outlined five achievements that came from Hu’s participation in the financial summit. First, he met with other G-20 leaders to discuss the root causes of the financial crisis and possible solutions and reforms, which they described in a joint statement. Second, Hu introduced measures the Chinese Government has taken to safeguard economic growth and financial stability. Third, he helped guide the direction of international financial reform. Fourth, Hu called for international efforts to help developing countries. Finally, Hu promoted China’s bilateral relationships with several countries by meeting with their leaders during the summit.

Cooperation, not competition

Chinese economists also had opinions on the current world economic situation. They provided suggestions for reforming the international financial system and maintaining economic and financial stability in China.

Zhang Ming, a researcher from the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in World Affairs on November 16 that there were resemblances between the current international economic and financial situation and the Great Depression. The U.S. dollar has been greatly weakened by the subprime mortgage crisis, but the euro is struggling as well. “The supreme financial structure is on the edge of collapse,” he said.

The countries affected by the crisis have two options, Zhang said. One is to unite and cope with the crisis together by building new international financial and monetary systems, which could cushion the U.S. dollar’s fall. The other is for each country to look out for itself, which might cause discord and competition among the largest economies and lead the dollar system to collapse completely.

“The latter way further undermines the global economic and financial order. Then a new crisis, or even wars, will break out,” said Zhang, arguing the world must join hands to deal with the current financial crisis.

Regarding international monetary reform, independent economist Xiang Songzuo said in Elite Reference on November 16 that there is little possibility the International Monetary Fund will be recast as the world’s central bank. Instead, the crisis might cause new regional currencies to emerge. “Influential currencies, like the euro, yen and the renminbi, can play an important role in stabilizing regional economies,” he said.

Su Jingxiang from the Center for Globalization Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said in People’s Daily that since the financial sector is the weak point of the Asian economy, Asian countries must enhance both regional and global cooperation. He said that based on the foreign reserves held by China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN members, Asia could become a leader in international financial fields. “Only through strengthened cooperation can China protect its interests well and perform its function better in the international cooperative system,” Su said.

“China’s top priority is to deal with the crisis with caution and run its own business well,” said Xiang Lanxin, an observer of world affairs, in Global Times. Xiang urged China to promote domestic demand over exports in its response to the crisis. Massive exports could push other countries into trade protectionism and make China a target of international criticism.

Highlights of the G-20 Financial Summit

Leaders attending the G-20 financial summit agreed on an action plan to combat the current financial crisis on November 15 in Washington, D.C. After discussing the reasons behind the current crisis, the leaders issued a statement pledging to “enhance our cooperation and work together to restore global growth and achieve needed reforms in the world’s financial systems.”

The leaders agreed that the current financial system has vulnerabilities such as weak underwriting standards, unsound risk management practices, increasingly complex and opaque financial products, and consequent excessive leverage.

Further, inconsistent and insufficiently coordinated macroeconomic policies, inadequate structural reforms and unsustainable global macroeconomic outcomes are the combined elements that resulted in the current financial crisis.

The leaders stressed that free market principles, including the rule of law, respect for private property, open trade and investment, competitive markets, and efficient, well-regulated financial systems, are essential to economic growth.

They vowed to take “strong and significant actions” to reform current financial systems, stimulate their economies, provide liquidity, strengthen the capital of financial institutions, protect savings and deposits, address regulatory deficiencies, unfreeze credit markets and ensure that international financial institutions can provide critical support to the global economy.

The plan is based on five principles: strengthening transparency and accountability, enhancing sound regulation, promoting integrity in financial markets, reinforcing international cooperation and reforming international financial institutions. The principles have been broken down into immediate and medium-term actions to be taken by March 31, 2009.

The leaders also agreed to meet again by April 30, 2009, to review the plan’s implementation.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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MERKEL WARNS 2009 WILL BE ‘YEAR OF BAD NEWS’ FOR ECONOMY (Germany)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

November 23, 2008 – 12:28AM

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that 2009 will be “a year of bad news” for the economy, while a ANGELA MERKELGerman regional bank announced it had secured Saturday up to 30 billion euros in state loan guarantees.

“We must expect that next year will be a year of bad news, at least in the first months,” Merkel was quoted as saying in an interview to be published in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.

She said it was harder than before to predict the progress of the international and German economic situations.

“We have stabilised the financial markets thanks to a series of measures for the banks, but confidence still has to be found again and the interbanking market must become functional again,” Merkel said.

Berlin’s Financial Markets Stabilisation Fund offers up to 400 billion euros in guarantees to get the interbank lending market functioning again, and up to 80 billion euros in direct cash infusions to bolster banks’ balance sheets.

Merkel’s comments came as HSH Nordbank announced it had obtained up to 30 billion euros (38.5 billion US dollars) in loan guarantees, the largest chunk yet allocated from the special fund which was set up last month.

Based in the port of Hamburg and the state of Schleswig-Holstein, the regional public bank had requested government aid earlier this month.

“We are working on a series of concrete measures that will allow us to advance the future strategy of HSH Nordbank,” interim chief executive officer Dirk Jens Nonnenmacher said after the deal was agreed late Friday. ANGELA MERKEL

Shareholders will “ensure that the bank benefits from equity accordingly,” the bank said in a statement, adding that it had “different tools” at its disposal, with the elimination of assets a top target.

The board of directors and shareholders will meet in the coming weeks to discuss their options, the statement said.

The former head of Nordbank, Hans Berger, resigned on November 10 due to the financial crisis.

Announcing its plans on November 3 to seek state loan guarantees, the bank said it had recorded a net loss of 360 million euros in the third quarter of 2008.

It also wrote down the value of its assets by around one billion euros in the same period owing to the bankruptcy of US investment bank Lehman Brothers and financial turmoil in Iceland.

Nordbank’s announcement came after Germany’s biggest state-owned regional bank, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), said Friday it may seek between 10 billion and 15 billion euros in loan guarantees from the government.

LBBW also said its owners – the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the city of Stuttgart and local savings banks – would provide five billion euros (6.3 billion US dollars) in fresh capital. ANGELA MERKEL - caricature by Paddy

Regional bank BayernLB was the first one to tap into the rescue package, getting a 5.4 billion euro capital injection from the government and one billion more euros from its regional shareholders.

Hypo Real Estate, Germany’s biggest financial crisis casualty to date, said on Friday it has been given more help from Berlin with 20 billion euros (25 billion US dollars) in loan guarantees.

© 2008 AFP

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EL DÓLAR PIERDE SU ATRACTIVO – La debilidad del billete verde convierte al euro en la moneda favorita de modelos, deportistas y altos ejecutivos a nivel internacional, que ya quieren cobrar sus honorarios en divisa europea.

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 21, 2008

Domingo, 11 de Noviembre de 2007, número 394

por María Canales

El dólar está de capa caída. Desde hace un tiempo, los fajos de billetes verdes están dejando de acumularse en las cajas fuertes. Su valor ya no es el que era. Incluso los grandes bancos centrales del mundo, como el de China, han empezado a cambiar parte de sus reservas de dólares por euros. La divisa, considerada por muchos años una de las más fuertes en los mercados internacionales y un valor refugio, ha visto cómo el euro le ha superado por mucho en los últimos años. Mientras que en julio de 2002, las cotizaciones de la moneda europea y la estadounidense estaban igualadas, el viernes, un euro se pagaba al récord histórico de 1,46 dólares.

Poco a poco, y según los expertos, el euro se está convirtiendo en la moneda favorita no sólo de los inversores, sino también de los ejecutivos, de los deportistas de élite, de los actores y de las modelos a nivel internacional, que ven que es más rentable cobrar en moneda europea.

Así lo manifestaron la semana pasada fuentes cercanas a la modelo brasileña Gisel Bündchen, la mejor pagada del mundo, con unas ganancias de 30 millones de euros (20,5 millones de euros) hasta julio de 2007. Según el semanario brasileño Veja, Bündchen habría pedido a la estadounidense Procter&Gamble cobrar sus honorarios en euros por ser la imagen de su filial de productos para el cabello Pantene. Y lo mismo habría exigido a los italianos Dolce&Gabana por promocionar su perfume.

La supermodelo no es la única que vela por hacer caja en euros. Según el departamento de prensa de la PGA (Asociación Profesional de Golf), en los últimos dos años ha aumentado en un 30% el número de golfistas estadounidenses, australianos y latinoamericanos que participan en el circuito europeo. Jugadores famosos como el estadounidense Scott Verplank -estuvo entre los 20 primeros del mundo- han pasado de jugar de manera permanente uno o dos torneos en Europa en una temporada, a siete. Se gana más dinero.

La Asociación de Tenistas Profesionales (ATP) trata desde hace años de proteger tanto a los jugadores como a los torneos ante las fluctuaciones de las divisas poniendo premios de similar valor, según Jorge Salked, agente del jugador español Tommy Robredo. «Hay que recordar que hace unos años la cosa estaba al revés, el dólar valía mucho más». Los grandes torneos asiáticos pagan en dólares, y algunos como el de Dubai -el que más reparte en premios, 1,4 millones de dólares, después de los cuatro Grand Slam y los nueve Masters Series-, se quedan cortos al convertir los cheques a los ganadores en euros. Al cambio, Dubai reparte 976.000 euros, sólo 300.000 más que el Conde de Godó en Barcelona.

Al futbolista David Beckham no le importa cobrar billetes verdes, aunque cuando firmó el contrato para jugar en el equipo de Los Angeles Galaxi el verano pasado exigió que se le pagara en dólares la misma cantidad que cobraba en el Real Madrid en euros (cerca de ocho millones netos).

Por puro «sentido común», la subida del euro tendrá también su efecto en el sueldo de los altos ejecutivos, según los expertos. «No cabe duda de que si esto se mantiene será algo que se demande por parte de los directivos, sobre todo de nueva contratación. Los expatriados, los embajadores, etcétera serán los primeros en pedir sus sueldos en moneda europea cuando sus puestos estén fuera de la zona euro», asegura Begoña Benito, socia directora general de la consultora Watson Wyatt. Según Benito, será un tema en el que ganen las dos partes, por convertirse en un incentivo de compensación.

La caída del dólar está afectando también a los resultados de empresas. El viernes, Repsol YPF anunció que su beneficio neto de 2.448 millones de euros en los nueve primeros meses del año había caído un 7,7% respecto al mismo periodo de 2006, debido en parte a la depreciación del dólar frente al euro. Por su parte, el consorcio aeronáutico EADS apuntó que su facturación registrará una leve reducción al cierre del ejercicio en comparación con 2006.

¿Cotizará el barril de brent algún día en euros?

En los últimos días, la cotización del euro frente al dólar y la del crudo han batido nuevos récords. Mientras que la divisa europea alcanzó los 1,47 dólares, el barril de Brent rebasaba los 95 dólares y se acerca peligrosamente a la cifra psicológica de los 100 dólares. Sin embargo, el propio Banco Central Europeo reconocía esta semana que un euro tan fuerte suavizaba la subida del crudo.

En los últimos cinco años, el dólar se ha devaluado más de un 30% con respecto al euro. Y el precio del petróleo ha pasado de los 22,6 dólares de noviembre de 2002 a los 95 actuales. Devaluando este precio un 30% resultaría el equivalente a 66,5 dólares de principios de 2006, por lo que la gran parte de esta subida, según los expertos, sería debida a la pérdida de valor del dólar contra el euro y no a problemas de suministro.

La posibilidad de que el petróleo cotice en euros en lugar de en la moneda estadounidense es algo que viene de largo y que muchos países de la OPEP llevan tiempo pidiendo. De hecho, Irán ya vende crudo en euros a China.

Sin embargo, esta iniciativa, de momento, es bastante inalcanzable, según los analistas. «Pese a la presión política para cambiar la referencia del crudo a otra moneda, el tema no es tan fácil. Además de que el coste sería enorme, se da la circustancia de que la profundidad del mercado en dólares es muy superior al mercado en euros», afirma José Luis Martínez, estratega de Citigroup. «Una cosa es que la moneda se aprecie y otra distinta es que la moneda siga siendo fuerte. El dólar continúa siendo una moneda fuerte en términos de intercambio. La gente va todavía a Oriente Medio con dólares, no con euros. Tiene aún valor como moneda refugio, como moneda de reserva, de intercambio. Además, la oferta de dólares tiene entre otras cosas razón de ser en la fuerte demanda de activos internacionales de la economía americana. Es decir, consumen muchos productos asiáticos y crudo, por lo que hay una correspondencia entre la oferta y la demanda de dólares», asegura Martínez.

El experto cree que hoy no hay un mercado lo suficientemente profundo que sustituya al dólar.

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CHINA PASSA JAPÃO COMO MAIOR CREDOR DOS ESTADOS UNIDOS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 19, 2008

Publicação: 19/11/2008 08:53

FolhaNews

USA AND CHINA TALK MONEY

Em meio a sua pior crise financeira em décadas, os EUA vêem uma troca de guarda na posição de seus principais credores individuais. Segundo o relatório mais recente do governo, de setembro, a China passou o Japão como maior detentor de papéis do Tesouro americano, numa ascendente que começou seis meses atrás.

Agora, a China detém US$ 585 bilhões em “treasuries”, como são chamados os títulos da dívida pública dos EUA, ante US$ 573,2 bilhões do Japão, que mais vendeu do que comprou os papéis em quatro dos últimos seis meses. No total, estrangeiros detêm US$ 2,86 trilhões de títulos do governo americano, ou o dobro do PIB brasileiro.

A notícia é agridoce para os EUA. Por um lado, o país vê reafirmada a confiança dos mercados mundiais e a crença de que o governo terá condições de honrar seus compromissos.

Por outro, vê sair do topo da lista de credores seu principal aliado na Ásia para dar lugar a seu maior competidor comercial mundial. A política de compra dos títulos pela China é agressiva: o país dobrou o valor investido desde julho de 2005.

Brasil em 4°

Já o Brasil continua em quarto lugar, posição que ocupa há mais de um ano. Mas diminuiu sua exposição, passando de US$ 146,2 bilhões em agosto para US$ 141,9 bilhões em setembro. À frente do país, além de China e Japão, estão Reino Unido e dois agrupamentos, de exportadores de petróleo, formado por 15 países, e dos paraísos fiscais do Caribe, formado por seis países.

A diferença entre compra e venda de papéis foi de US$ 66,2 bilhões em setembro, mês em que as Bolsas tiveram grandes perdas -reflexo do estopim da atual fase da crise financeira, detonada pela decisão do governo dos EUA de não socorrer o banco de investimentos Lehman Brothers, que quebrou.

O Tesouro informou ainda que investidores estrangeiros compraram US$ 143,4 bilhões em ativos americanos em setembro, a maior entrada de capital em quase três anos.

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RUPEE GAINS ON HOPES OF DOLLARS’ INFLOW (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 Tuesday Ziqa’ad 19, 1429

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Nov 17: Rising hopes for inflow of foreign exchange changed the exchange market A FIFTY RUPEES BILLsentiments and reduced speculations which strengthened the rupee significantly against the dollar on Monday.

The Saturday’s announcement on $7.6 billion IMF loan package for Pakistan supported the factors resisting the free fall of rupee and the local currency gained 35 to 40 paisas in the inter-bank market.

The dollar was traded at as low as Rs79.80 while it was at Rs80.20/25 on Saturday. This was a big slide of dollar which gained over 24 per cent since January 2008.

If the IMF board approves the agreement which is yet to be signed, Pakistan could get $4 billion in one year and that would fill the balance of payments gap.

The advisor to prime minister on finance had stated recently that the IMF loan would help Pakistan fill gaps (imbalances) of two years.

It was also announced that friends of Pakistan were ready to support, but they want endorsement of the IMF.

“The government’s announcement and IMF’s response largely impacted the market which cautiously moved in favour of rupee,” said Atif Ahmed, a currency dealer in the inter-bank market.

The currency dealers were cautious to predict about further recede of dollars against rupee, but said that the rupee may get more strength once dollars practically reach Pakistan and build the reserves.

“The speculative and panic elements will find it difficult to get place once reserves reach up to $12 billion and more,” said Atif.

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“LOS COLOMBIANOS VEN LAS NOTICIAS Y SALEN A VENDER SUS ACCIONES A PRECIOS QUE NO DEBERÍAN” – Y llegó la crisis – Las señales de recesión en Estados Unidos tienen temblando al mundo. Mientras los índices de las bolsas de valores caen estrepitosamente, las economías emergentes se preparan para el chaparrón

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Sábado, 15 de Nov de 2008 – 21 Ene 2008 – 4:32 pm

Por: Angélica Gallón Salazar

Esta semana, la información económica estuvo en la primera página de todos los diarios y logró que muchos desprevenidos que suelen cambiar de canal cuando empiezan las noticias económicas, se llevaran las manos a la cabeza ante los graves anuncios. Los medios llamaron la atención del mundo entero con el aviso de que Estados Unidos oficialmente había entrado en la tan temida y anunciada recesión.

La actual crisis económica estadounidense empezó a fraguarse justamente después de las medidas de ayuda que tomó la Reserva Federal para superar la crisis de 2001, cuando reventó la burbuja de las empresas de internet. Con unas tasas de interés por el suelo y con el repunte histórico de los precios de la finca raíz, varios bancos empezaron a prestarle dinero a gente que no tenía historia crediticia o que estaba reportada.

En medio de la confianza y la tranquilidad, los bancos financiaron hasta el 100% de las hipotecas a cambio de unos puntos más de intereses con los que podrían cubrirse los riesgos. “Los bancos decidieron sacar bonos sobre esos créditos y así obtener una rentabilidad extra, que a la vez los habilitaba para seguir prestando”, explica el analista Álvaro Camaro, de la comisionista de bolsa Stanford.

Camila Pérez, analista de Valores Bancolombia, complementa: “Lo novedoso fue que esos créditos se empaquetaron y se emitieron papeles que con una calificación triple A se ofrecieron como una inversión con un retorno muy bueno”.

El problema empezó a vislumbrarse cuando la gente se atrasó en sus pagos porque la burbuja de la construcción (que hizo que muchos se volcaran a adquirir vivienda alentados por la idea de que al mes siguiente iban a venderla por un 20% más) empezó a desinflarse y los precios a estancarse. “Adicionalmente, el Banco Central había subido las tasas de interés y encareció las hipotecas y la gente tuvo menos posibilidad de refinanciar a menores precios”, asegura Camaro.

Empezó así una gran bola especulativa. La gente no pagaba, y si había un retraso en la cartera, los títulos que se habían emitido sobre esos prestamos empezaron a no poder responder. Pero además, como el riesgo se había transferido de tal manera que, por ejemplo, un crédito que valía un dólar lo convirtieron un papel de 4 ó 5 dólares, no se pudo cuantificar exactamente el monto de las pérdidas. “Hasta ahora empezamos a saber cuáles son los castigos en los balances de los bancos, se habla de US$100 billones”, añade el analista.

Con los precios de la vivienda cayendo, con una pérdida de liquidez del sistema financiero y con una tasa de desempleo del 5%, se terminaron de prender las alarmas, que además, coincidieron con el negro panorama mundial de los precios del petróleo, que llegaron a los US$ 100 por barril; eso, sin contar con la alta devaluación del dólar frente a otras monedas.

“Toda esta coincidencia, más el inicio de reporte de utilidades de los bancos que empezó esta semana, es lo que causa la crisis. El mercado está esperando que se reúna la Reserva Federal a finales de mes y recorte las tasas mínimo en 50 puntos básicos, pero podría ser más agresivo. Eso aliviaría un poco la situación de los mercados”, puntualiza Pérez, de Valores Bancolombia.

El gran dominó

Uno de los primeros efectos visibles ante la inminencia de que Estados Unidos decrezca es que los norteamericanos, por el efecto pobreza, se van a mostrar más austeros y van a consumir menos (el 70% del PIB de EE.UU. está sustentado en el consumo). Si eso sucede, consecuentemente el país empezará a importar menos y, teniendo en cuenta que Estados Unidos es uno de los grandes compradores del mundo, “los precios de las materias básicas como el oro, los alimentos y el petróleo van a bajar; las exportaciones van a valer menos y el nivel de las ventas al exterior de los países emergentes decaerá. Es el gran dominó”, explica Juan Carlos Echeverri, de la firma EConcept

Camaro, por su parte, asegura que en la medida en que países como Colombia empiecen a exportar menos hacia su gran socio estratégico, el déficit de la balanza comercial va a ser cada vez más grande, “con un agravante: que este año el Gobierno colombiano va a hacer una importación de tipo militar de US$ 1.600 millones; luego el hueco se va a hacer gigante y, de ser prolongada la crisis, el déficit de la cuenta corriente en la balanza comercial va a hacer que el tipo de cambio explote”.

El efecto de la recesión sobre los mercados bursátiles también se ha dejado sentir con fuerza. Las GLOBAL MELTDOWNbolsas de Tokio, Australia y Singapur han mostrado números en rojo, igual ha pasado con bolsas como las de Perú y Colombia, que registran caídas del 10% en lo corrido del año. “El efecto en el mercado bursátil colombiano es completamente de contagio psicológico”, explica Camila Pérez, “porque los flujos de los mercados extranjeros hacia Colombia son mínimos en la bolsa (menos del 2% de las transacciones diarias), pero la gente se asusta. Los colombianos ven las noticias y salen a vender sus acciones a precios que no deberían”, explica la experta.

“En Colombia tenemos un entorno muy ridículo”, asegura tajantemente Camaro, porque “tenemos acciones cayendo estrepitosamente, la deuda pública desvalorizándose y la plata yéndose quién sabe para dónde, porque a diferencia de Brasil y México, acá nadie está comprando dólares”. Lo que el analista de Stanford ve que se está dando en el país, es una preferencia por liquidez. “Cuando la gente tiene miedo, se dedica a tener la plata en los bolsillos, en las cuentas de ahorros o corrientes, pero la consecuencia de esto es una devaluación del tipo de cambio”, vaticina Camaro.

Mientras se espera que el Banco Central de Estados Unidos baje las tasas de interés, el analista Juan Carlos Echeverri prevé dos efectos. “El primero es que como en Colombia la inflación va para arriba y las tasas han subido, es posible que los capitales extranjeros busquen tasas de interés más altas y en esa medida migren con fuerza hacia el país”. Pero también se puede dar el efecto contrario, que en teoría se conoce como ‘escape hacia la calidad’, “que consiste en que en los momentos de recesión e incertidumbre, los inversionistas mundiales buscan estar en sitios seguros, y los más seguros, paradójicamente, son los bonos del tesoro americano. Eso implicaría que los capitales salen de los países emergentes para posarse en Estados Unidos”.

Blindaje, ¿efectivo?

Ante la inminencia de la crisis, que sin duda tiene la potencia de afectar a todas las economías del mundo, el Gobierno colombiano ha tomado algunas prevenciones, como la colocación que hizo hace algunas semanas de US$ 1.000 millones a través de bonos, con lo que consiguió, sumado a las US$ 300 millones que traía del año pasado, financiar el 50% de sus necesidades externas para 2008. “En la medida en que el Gobierno tenga menos necesidades de financiar su déficit con requerimiento del exterior, va a ser menos vulnerable a las hostiles condiciones externas”, asegura Álvaro Camaro. Adicionalmente, el Gobierno viene sustituyendo la deuda externa por deuda interna, lo que permitirá que “el día que haya una devaluación muy grande su contribución no se dispare de una manera incontrolada”, añade el analista.

Otra de las estrategias es la consecutiva alza en las tasas de interés, que busca tener un efecto de enfriamiento en el loco consumismo en el que ha entrado el país. Sin embargo, y a pesar de todas estas medidas, los analistas consultados hacen un llamado al Gobierno para que equilibre sus cuentas fiscales (todavía el déficit del Gobierno central es de más de tres puntos del PIB) y promueva la libertad de comercio con otros países. Aunque algunos expertos, menos ortodoxos, le sugieran que “aguante el chaparrón y rece, porque todos dependemos de que China no caiga y Venezuela no nos castigue más”.

¿Qué es una recesión?

“Técnicamente, una recesión es una corrección de las decisiones que se tomaron con base en unas expectativas muy altas que no resultaron tan buenas. También se corrigen las pérdidas que trajeron los riesgos que se tomaron con esas falsas expectativas”, explica Juan Carlos Echeverri, analista de EConcept. La recesión también está ligada a las continuas caídas de los indicadores de crecimiento económico y cuando los empresarios y las familias pierden confianza en el país, lo que afecta las inversiones, el gasto y la demanda.

La Bolsa, en picada

Según los analistas, la precipitada caída de la Bolsa en Colombia no sólo está afectada por el difícil panorama internacional. Además del efecto causado por los continuos aumentos de las tasas de interés, otro de los grandes agravantes tiene que ver con la cantidad de acciones que se han comprado a crédito. “Ahora muchos compradores de acciones a crédito ven que no tienen con qué pagar o muertos de pánico están saliendo a vender acciones como las de Ecopetrol a precios ridículos”, señala el analista Álvaro Camaro.

Los nuevos dueños del mundo

La gran crisis económica de Estados Unidos ha despertado un interesante fenómeno. Los pocos países que tienen capital de sobra para prestar, como Arabia Saudita, Corea del Sur, Singapur y Kuwait, “están comprando por la puerta de atrás a las empresas norteamericanas insignias”, dice el experto Álvaro Camaro.

Ante la inminente necesidad de capitalización de las empresas norteamericanas (Citigroup recibió US$ 14.500 millones de varios inversionistas; Merrill Lynch, la mayor casa de corretaje, recibirá US$ 6.600 millones), los países árabes y asiáticos están encontrando un destino muy atractivo para sus recursos. “Lo que vemos es que los ricos orientales terminaron siendo socios capitalistas de las empresas occidentales a mucho pesar de todos. Habrá que ver el impacto en el manejo de la propiedad de las empresas norteamericanas en unos años”, expresa el analista.

Contra la recesión

El ministro de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, Luis Guillermo Plata, hace un diagnóstico sobre las consecuencias de la crisis estadounidense.

¿Cuáles son las estrategias del Gobierno para afrontar la recesión en Estados Unidos?

La primera estrategia se concentra en la oferta exportable, buscando el aumento de exportaciones con mayor valor agregado y el aprovechamiento del acceso preferencial que se logra con los acuerdos comerciales (se espera culminar las negociaciones de Canadá y EFTA y lograr una implementación de los TLC con Chile y el Triángulo Norte Centroamericano). La segunda estrategia busca el desarrollo de sectores muy dinámicos en los mercados internacionales.

¿Las crisis afectarán la meta de crecimiento del 5% para este año?

Justamente las estimaciones están recogiendo el menor crecimiento de economías como Estados Unidos y el menor crecimiento de las exportaciones a Venezuela. Sin embargo, no podemos predecir de qué tamaño sean las coyunturas que se registran en el mundo, pero sobre el terreno el Gobierno Nacional irá aplicando los correctivos necesarios.

¿Qué estrategia deben seguir los exportadores para enfrentar la coyuntura?

Es un tanto irreal pensar que se debe reorientar el 50% de nuestras exportaciones. De hecho, sería una tarea imposible de lograr en un corto plazo. En el caso de Estados Unidos se prevé una reducción de la tasa de crecimiento en este año, y no un cierre del mercado; por lo tanto, es posible que se reduzca temporalmente la demanda de algunos productos y que ella se recupere posteriormente.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘EL ESPECTADOR’ (Colombia)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, COLOMBIA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

POUND SINKS TO RECORD LOW AGAINST THE EURO – First property. Then shares. Now sterling is slumping. Sean O’Grady explains what the decline means for us

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Friday, 14 November 2008

In July, £1 would still buy $2; lower than its recent record of $2.11 set last November, but healthy THE POUND - Getty Imagesenough for shopping trips to New York to make sense. Yesterday, sterling was trading at about $1.48, a six-year low. Macy’s and Sachs of Fifth Avenue may soon notice a sharp decline in the number of British accents at the tills.

Our currency has also been bouncing along the bottom against the euro, which is now worth about 84p, its highest since the single currency was launched in 1999.

Suddenly the idea of parity – £1 = €1 – hoves into view. Broadly speaking, sterling has had a more violent battering in recent months than it endured after it famously fell out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism on “Black Wednesday”, 16 September 1992. The pound has fallen 25 per cent against the dollar and 15 per cent versus the euro this year. It has, you might say, had a bit of a pounding.

The reasons for sterling’s weakness are not difficult to see. To some extent, it is simply an adjustment to the way the pound has been overvalued for years: its fair value is about $1.50, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

What’s more, the UK is evidently headed for recession and the Bank of England is predicted to cut interest rates to historically low levels, maybe even below 1 per cent over the course of next year – the lowest level since the Bank was granted its charter in 1694. Such meagre prospective rewards for investors and the general belief that sterling assets have further to fall has prompted a sharp sell-off in the currency.

Both the Governor of the Bank, Mervyn King, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted on Wednesday that the country was facing a sharp, if short, recession. Few independent economists believe the UK will recover quite as quickly as the authorities forecast – or that this country is well placed to cope with the downturn. The IMF says that the UK’s will be the most marked contraction in output – down 1.3 per cent – among the major advanced economies. Unemployment stands at 1.8 million, and will almost certainly climb to two million by Christmas and three million by 2010.

Yesterday, Europe’s largest economy, Germany, the engine of the UK’s largest market, the eurozone, confirmed it had entered its worst recession in 12 years or more. Investors are also becoming alarmed by the size of the British Government’s budget deficit, predicted by the Chancellor to top £90m before long. The prospect of a large quantity of UK government securities being issued to pay for the shortfall and various bank rescues has raised concerns about the way the economy is being run and longer term worries about inflation and growth.

There is also a positive dollar story. One of the consequences of the recent financial turmoil was a flight to safety, with short-term (one week, say, or one month) US Treasury securities, the favoured haven of international capital, with the reassurance of the US government behind them; the Swiss franc was another notable beneficiary of this trend. Sterling has not enjoyed that same prestige. The Australian dollar has also languished unloved, a victim of the fall in commodity prices and the slowing Chinese economy.

Should the depreciation of sterling turn into a rout, we may even see the current policy of aggressive cuts in interest rates by the Bank of England suspended, if not reversed. For the moment, the Bank seems content to watch sterling fall. Although economic theory teaches that a weak pound could lead to inflation, the very poor state of the domestic demand limits the scope of manufacturers and others to pass on price increases in the shops.

Nor has the pound declined by enough to transform our balance of trade. Export orders remain weak, despite the low level of sterling, because demand in Britain’s main markets – the rest of Europe, North America, Japan and China – remains so feeble. It will, in other words, need an even more savage discounting of the dollar/euro/yen prices of Scotch whisky, Range Rovers and Richard Rogers’ buildings to stimulate demand for them and generate more foreign exchange earnings.

However, the Bank of England has pledged to act if sterling’s fall becomes uncontrollable. A pause in the Bank’s policy of slashing interest rates would have a depressing impact on the wider economy – with house prices falling further, consumer confidence staying low and the credit crunch again restricting the supply of credit for businesses and consumers.

Against a basket of currencies weighted according to the UK’ s trade, sterling is down about 20 per cent on this time last year, a “pretty hefty” depreciation, in the words of the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy, Charles Bean.

It is one of the more severe of the many bouts of weakness the pound has suffered since the Second World War.

It may be many years before a shopping trip to Manhattan or a Swiss skiing break seems quite the bargain it used to be.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EURO, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain) | Leave a Comment »

JAPAN PM UNVEILS ANTI-CRISIS STEPS AHEAD OF SUMMIT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

14 Nov 2008, 09:43 hrs IST

REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Japan proposed a raft of steps on Thursday to help overcome the global financial crisis and avoid a future meltdown, including offering to boost the IMF’s firepower and calling for tougher supervision of credit rating agencies.

In a position paper released ahead of a leaders’ summit of the Group of 20 industrialised and emerging nations in Washington, Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tokyo would continue to support the dollar-based currency system despite market concerns about its outlook as U.S. economic power declines.

Japan, which holds the world’s second-largest foreign reserves at $980 billion, would be ready to lend up to $100 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist emerging economies if the Washington-based lender finds itself with insufficient funds, he said.

Behind the prime minister’s comments is a view in Tokyo that Japan had to learn its lesson the hard way from its prolonged response to tackling its own financial crisis in the 1990s.

He said other nations should also consider clarifying management responsibility when injecting public funds into banks, and adopt fair valuation and early disclosure of non-performing loans.

“At present, capital flows have become so global that they can occur instantaneously to take advantage of any differences that may exist among the regulations of various countries,” he said. “Concerted action to help converge each country’s various policy efforts to prevent a recurrence of the financial crisis is now an unavoidable challenge.”

On the role of the IMF, he somewhat distanced himself from some European views that the Washington-based lender should be entrusted with primary responsibility over financial regulation.

Instead, he said the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) should be given a clear status above standard-setting international organisations such as the Basel Committee, adding that the forum’s work with the IMF should be reinforced.

He said more emerging nations should belong to the FSF, whose members include international bodies and the Group of Seven nations plus Australia, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland.

In a proposal that may not sit well with the U.S. free-market focus, he said there should be discussions on providing legal authority to government officials over rules on credit rating agencies. He also called for fostering local credit rating agencies, such as in Asia, and to further develop a regional scheme to help provide dollar funding as in Asia’s web of currency swap agreements called the Chiang Mai Initiative. But he stressed that “open regionalism complements globalism in a positive sense.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in ASIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL STABILITY FORUM (FSF), IMF, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

UNEMPLOYMENT ACCELERATING (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 11, 2008

First Posted 01:50:00 11/11/2008

by Ron Nathan

Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES IN the US for the past two months were awful but this was expected Unemployment line - USAand short sellers made money. For October, the figure was 240,000, about 40,000 more than expected, but the September figures were revised upwards dramatically to 284,000 so last month’s figure might well be revised to 300,000 next month. The percentage increased from 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent and the total for the first 10 months was almost 1.2 million. This rate is likely to increase over the next few months as 41,000 companies are laying off workers and many more have indicated further reductions.

I would guess that secretly, McCain is pleased to have lost the election because the problems facing Obama are daunting. The transition time is 10 weeks so expect him to name his treasury secretary and other key positions this week. In the meantime, both parties will strive to work out a stimulus package of $150-$300 billion. This will not solve the unemployment situation nor the mortgage problem but it will buy time to grasp the problems and formulate measures to alleviate some of them. Unemployment benefits are certain to be extended.

The simultaneous collapse of the US, the Eurozone and Japan has never happened before and the recession is likely to be protracted. At best, it might end in the second half of 2009 but it could well run on into 2010. The intraday bottom of 7,882 on the Dow might hold for the time being and there will be sharp short rallies but I think that the ultimate low has not yet been seen. No president has ever been tossed into such a bad situation. It will take a great economic team including Bernanke plus global cooperation to get us out of it eventually. Fortunately, we are seeing unprecedented cooperation between blocs and countries. After the Fed cut the base rate by 50 basis points to 1 percent, Japan cut 20 basis points to 0.3 percent, the European Central Bank 50 basis points to 3.25 percent and the Bank of England by a whopping 150 basis points to 3 percent. Other countries such as Australia joined in and Libor has been dropping steadily. Unfortunately, this has not yet had the desired effect of unfreezing liquidity. Banks just don’t want to lend, even though they have plentiful access to cheap money through the rediscount window.

China has also participated by cutting interest rates twice and indicating two more cuts this year. In addition, they have released 2 percent of the bank deposit and promised more to come. They have just announced a $586-billion stimulus package and this has sent the Chinese, Hong Kong and Japanese markets surging. The growth rate of 9 percent, down from 11.4 percent, is worrying the Chinese government and they don’t want to see it fall below 8 percent. Commodity prices have been hammered and with many steel producers closed, demand for nickel, manganese, copper has almost come to a halt. However, this should be temporary because Beijing factories closed down ahead of the Olympics so that the air would not be polluted. They reopened a month ago and the stockpiles should be used up by the Chinese New Year so I expected to see some recovery by then.

As the market lurches from crisis to crisis, battered by the housing market, credit crisis and increasing unemployment, consumer spending is certain to decline. Stores are selling goods at large discounts well ahead of Christmas. Wal-Mart is surviving but more expensive stores like JC Penney are suffering. In England, Marks and Spencer produced bad results.

Foreign brokers continue to sell equities, bonds and currencies of emerging markets so most of them are losing ground against the temporarily strong dollar. Price targets of stocks worldwide have been slashed and the Philippines has not escaped. Banks, except for BPI, have been downgraded and their target prices slashed by a third. Properties have come in for similar treatment and the price target for MEG was reduced from P1.64 to P1.24. In telecoms, TEL’s price target was cut from P3,200 to P2,600 and GLO from P1,725 to P1,315. AC, FLI, AP and AC are all raising money.

Vista Land fell from its IPO price of P7.50 to P1.04 on news that the buyback program would be extended for another 6 months. Its net asset value has been cut from P8.50 to P4 and its price target to P1.90 but the decline seems overdone. Most of its OFWs are in the Middle East. It is critical that the share price stays above P1, a major psychological support level. Once FLI broke P1, it collapsed to 38 cents and when MEG failed to hold P1, it dropped to 58 cents. The PSE has deferred for three years a new accounting rule that bars a developer from booking sales until a project is completed. This is good news for the property sector. Macquarie has downgraded SMPH from P10.50 to P7.50 and Credit Suisse said the stock looked expensive. AGI and SM look less attractive now that a Las Vegas casino is losing money. IPVG and ATRK have reduced the price of their rights issues.

There does not seem anywhere to invest one’s money. Mine is under the mattress and I have to climb a stepladder to get into bed.

* * *

HERE is an interesting item: A man bought a donkey from a farmer for $100 and the farmer agreed to deliver the next day. The following day, he drove up and said, “I am sorry son but the donkey is dead. I can’t give you your money back because I have spent it.” The man said, “OK, just bring me the dead donkey.” The farmer asked, “What are you going to do with him?” The man replied, “I will raffle him off.” “You can’t raffle off a dead donkey.” “Sure, I can. I won’t tell anyone he’s dead.”

They met a month later and the farmer asked, “What happened to the dead donkey?” The man said, “I raffled him off at $2 a ticket, I sold 500 tickets and made a profit of $998.” The farmer asked, “Didn’t anyone complain?” The man replied. “Only the guy who won so I gave him back his $2.” The man now works as a consultant to Goldman Sachs.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILLIPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

OIL UP OVER 4 PCT, TOPS $64 ON CHINA STIMULUS, G20

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 10, 2008

by Fayen Wong – Reuters – (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Published: Sunday, November 09, 2008

PERTH (Reuters) – Oil leapt more than $3 to over $64 a barrel on Monday, fueled by top exporter Saudi An oil pump is seen on the shore near Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba June 5, 2008. REUTERS - Claudia DautArabia’s plans to cut December supplies to Asia, a weaker dollar and hopes that global economies’ plans to lift growth could avert recession.

Saudi Arabia has told refiners in Asia it would cut December supplies by 5 percent, providing the most visible evidence yet that it is adhering to OPEC’s agreement last month to reduce output.

U.S. light crude for December delivery rose $2.96, or 4.55 percent, to $64.00 a barrel by 7:59 p.m. EST, after rising as much as $3.26. London Brent crude rose $1.85 to $59.20.

The proposals made at the G20 meeting and the relief package out of China really helped the markets this morning,” said Mark Pervan, a senior commodities analyst at the Australia & New Zealand Bank.

“The message over the weekend was supportive and it is clear that governments around the world will do all it takes to prevent a deep global recession.”

At the G20 group’s annual meet in Brazil, finance ministers and central bank governors representing 90 percent of the world’s economy vowed to take all necessary measures to get financial markets back on their feet and counter the credit crisis.

China went a step further and launched a huge stimulus plan on Sunday worth nearly $600 billion, kicking off what could be a round of big spending or interest rate cuts by leading economies to stave off a recession in many countries.

China’s solid government spending package to boost domestic demand is “good news” that will help the global economy ride out the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director said.

The U.S. currency weakened broadly after data on Friday showed the U.S. economy shed more jobs than expected in October. But the yen fell against the dollar and euro on Monday as Asian shares were lifted by strong Wall Street gains and by China’s launch of its huge stimulus plan.

Oil lost nearly 10 percent last week and dipped below $60 the previous week, its lowest since March 2007, after a string of dismal economic data from the United States sharpened fears of a protracted global recession and growing U.S. energy stockpiles underscored falling demand in the world’s top energy consumer.

Government data on Friday showed U.S. employers cut payrolls by 240,000 in October. In addition, the Labor Department said the U.S. unemployment rate shot up to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent in September, the highest since March 1994.

Oil’s tumble from July highs has already spurred OPEC to rein in supply from November 1, and some members of the cartel are talking of reducing production further.

OPEC will cut oil output again if the trend toward lower prices and slowing demand growth are unchanged when the group meets in December, Iran’s OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters on Sunday, adding to comments by Venezuela’s oil minister Rafael Ramirez last week that OPEC should act again to reduce output by at least 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

Iran’s Khatibi added that the credit crisis and economic slowdown could shave as much as 3 million bpd from global crude demand.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘OTTAWA CITIZEN’ (Canada)

Posted in ASIA, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, G20, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, OPEC, PETROL, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA | Leave a Comment »

CRISE MANTERÁ PETRÓLEO EM BAIXA, DIZ PRESIDENTE DA OPEP – Previsão de Chakib Khelil leva em conta abalo nos mercados e baixa do dólar frente a outras moedas

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

02/11/2008 | 16h41min

O ministro da Energia argelino e presidente em exercício da Organização dos Países Exportadores de Chakib Khelil - Algerian Energy and Mines Minister, gestures during a press conference at the governmental newspaper El-Moudjahid's press center in the center of Algiers 20/10/2007. Khelil, who is the vice president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said, then, that petrol prices would stay high until the second trimester of 2008Petróleo (Opep), Chakib Khelil, disse neste domingo que os preços da commodity podem continuar sua tendência de baixa caso persista a crise financeira e o dólar não se recupere frente a outras divisas.

— Tudo depende da situação econômica mundial. Caso continue se deteriorando fica claro que a demanda de petróleo percebida pelo mercado diminuirá, o que manterá a tendência de baixa — disse Khelil a uma rádio argelina.

No entanto, o ministro não descartou que o preço do petróleo, estabelecido em dólares, possa voltar a subir “se a moeda americana se debilitar em relação a outras”.

— É o impacto de todos estes elementos o que vai decidir o preço do petróleo a curto prazo — assinalou.

Em todo caso, o presidente da Opep previu que os preços se recuperarão em dois ou três anos, “já que há um desinvestimento e muitos projetos (no setor petrolífero) foram suspensos”.

Segundo ele, a decisão da Opep adotada na última reunião de Viena de cortar a produção “vai precisar de muito tempo para ter seus efeitos” sobre o preço do petróleo, já que o mercado não integrou ainda a redução da oferta.

Khelil explicou que vários países, entre eles Argélia, Emirados Árabes, Irã e Nigéria, anunciaram já o corte de sua produção e que se espera que os demais membros da Opep informem a seus clientes “para avaliar o impacto no mercado da decisão adotada em Viena”.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CLIC RBS’ (Brasil)

Posted in AFRICA, ALGERIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, NATURAL GAS, NIGERIA, OPEC, PETROL, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Leave a Comment »