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RAIL CAR MAKER (FREIGHTCAR AMERICA INC.) TO IDLE 40 PERCENT OF WORKERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

by Jeff Sturgeon

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ROANOKE TIMES’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ROANOKE TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

BERKSHIRE BUYS 4.3 MILLION BNSF CORP. SHARES (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 21, 2009

Jan 20, 2009 8:59 PM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EXAMINER’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

PALACE ORDERS COMPLETION OF 9 RAILWAY PROJECTS (Philipines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

by Genalyn D. Kabiling

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, PHILIPPINES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

U.S. REGULATORS APPROVE CN’S DEAL TO BUY EJ&E (Canada)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CANADA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, USA | Leave a Comment »

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLANS SPRING UP AROUND WORLD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Tuesday, December 2, 2008

THE WASHINGTON POST

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

WASHINGTON — In a bid to jump-start the beleaguered global economy, countries around the world are introducing massive public spending programs aimed at creating millions of jobs, boosting the use of green energy and modernizing infrastructure in a way that could transform urban and rural landscapes.

The viability of some of the plans remains unclear. But observers say the number of countries moving in tandem underscores the perceived severity of the coming global recession and the view that governments must at least temporarily pick up the slack as the hard-hit private sector sheds jobs and cuts spending.

It is time “to invest massively in infrastructure, in research, in innovation, in education, in training people, because it is now or never,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a recent public address.

World leaders are pursuing various strategies to tame the economic crisis, including moves to unclog credit markets, strengthen financial institutions and ease monetary policy. But fiscal stimulus packages, in particular, have emerged as a favorite tool of policymakers.

Worldwide, economists say, the increase in public spending, if executed wisely, could add as much as 1 percent or 2 percent to global growth next year, perhaps easing recessions in the United States, Europe and Japan while cushioning the slowdown in the developing world, which until recently had seen red-hot growth.

Yet if the promise of combating a global recession with public funds is big, so too, experts say, is the danger that billions worth of taxpayers dollars could be spent in vain.

Analysts point out that the pitfalls of growth-by-spending were exposed by Japan, which launched a huge infrastructure program in the 1990s. To spur expansion after stock market and real estate crashes, the Tokyo government spent billions on new public works projects.

Those projects not only failed to prevent a decadelong economic slump but also produced a herd of white elephants that included new, but little-used, airports and ports, as well as a $250 million bridge to Kourijima Island. Population: 361.

“There is a huge danger of bridges to nowhere, and as Japan showed us, that is no way to get out of a recession,” said Grant Aldonas, a former high-level Bush administration trade official and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

While China and Japan enjoy a surplus of reserves, spending increases will drive the United States, Britain and many other European countries deeper into debt. The cost of raising cash on world markets by some rich nations, such as Ireland, has surged as investors grow increasingly skeptical of their fiscal health, limiting their options to spend more now.

“In normal times, we would be telling countries, ‘Please reduce your debt,'” said Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, which has taken the unusual step of calling on nations to raise public spending by 2 percent of gross domestic product to combat a global recession. “But these are not normal times.”

A snapshot of how governments plan to increase spending is emerging. Those plans include not only the building of more bridges and roads but also the introduction of measures to put more cash into the hands of strapped consumers.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have moved to boost consumer spending and lower home mortgage rates, committing as much as $800 billion to make it easier for Americans to borrow money for cars, tuition and homes.

The British said they would slash the national sales tax from to 15 percent from 17.5 percent. The Germans are set to offer temporary tax incentives to consumers buying cars or renovating homes. The Japanese are giving out cash rebates to taxpayers.

Some of the projects being proposed are pre-existing infrastructure plans that are being accelerated. Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that only about half the “new projects” in Beijing’s $586 billion package amount to previously unplanned spending. “But that is still a great deal of money,” Lardy said.

A number of countries are gearing up for projects that offer long-term benefits, both economic and environmental.

In a move that may offer a guide to helping the ailing Big Three automakers in Detroit, the French are in the early stages of plans to assist their hard-hit auto industry by awarding government grants to boost research into hybrid and battery-power technology.

In comments last week, president-elect Barack Obama suggested that an expansion of wind and solar power generation would be part of his stimulus plans. Obama also cited a plan being circulated by environmental groups that would offer government loans to help schools update their heating and cooling systems, creating quick construction jobs and stimulating demand for building materials.

“I think the fervor in which (the Obama team) is seeking suggestions right now tells me that this kind of spending is something they are very serious about,” said Carl Pope, executive director the Sierra Club.

Some countries in Europe, such as Germany, appear more concerned about overspending. That is at odds with the leadership in France, where Sarkozy has seen the crisis as an opportunity to boost the role of government.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BIOFUELS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, MARITIME, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOLAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

AFRICA’S CHINESE CONNECTION AND THE DOWNTURN (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Posted to the web on: 27 November 2008

by Greg Mills – (*)

YOU know that it’s a globalised world when the man in front of you on the flight from Hong Kong THE GREAT WALLto Beijing starts a conversation, across several rows of seats, about the fast-bowling merits of Dale Steyn versus those of Morne Morkel — in Afrikaans.

Yet this very phenomenon — of an increasingly integrated world of trade, technology, skills and capital — is not only seen to be under threat due to the global economic crisis, but in the eyes of some is the cause of the crisis.

But that’s not how China sees things, in spite of some loss of export markets because of the credit crunch.

The formula for global economic growth has, over the past two decades , in simple terms, comprised western consumption of cheap Asian goods fuelled by access to cheap credit produced in turn by high Asian savings.

The cheapness of Asian goods relates to their productivity, which is related once again to the number of workers that are joining the global economy — 20-million annually from China’s rural to urban areas, at the last estimate.

Once in the cities they produce (up to three times) more and save more.

The downturn in demand for manufactured goods is likely to hit China hard — just as it has depressed commodity prices, the third leg of the western consumption-Asian thrift formula.

The supply of African oil and minerals has driven up continental growth rates, of course, and radically changed the level of external interest in African affairs.

China has been in part responsible for “globalising” Africa.

In doing so, it has certainly shown African prospects in a different light to the one shone by western firms and governments.

This relationship is represented in a plethora of statistics: In 1980, China’s share of world trade was less than 1%. By 2003 it had risen to 6%, where exports make up one-third of China’s gross domestic product. In 1980 China’s exports were worth less than $20bn. Last year, they exceeded $1-trillion. Such trade largely involves China’s processing of raw materials and the assembly of parts.

China’s trade with Africa has dramatically increased from $11bn in 2000 to $56bn in 2006 and $73bn last year, much of the increase due to oil.

Beijing has an African trade target of $100bn by 2010.

The second-largest global energy importer behind the US, China imported more than 6-million barrels of oil per day in 2006. This figure is expected to double in the next 15 years.

With only half of its energy needs now supplied by domestic sources, Angola has become China’s largest suppler of oil, while Sudan and Nigeria are important investment partners.

China today receives about one-third of its oil imports from Africa, comprising just less than 10% of the continent’s total oil exports. By comparison, the US purchased one-third of a percent of Africa’s total oil exports in 2006.

By 2006, more than 800 Chinese state-owned enterprises were active in Africa, with Chinese firms investing more than $6bn in 900 projects. The following year, China invested $4,5bn in African infrastructure projects alone.

Yet current figures put the downturn in manufacturing order books by more than 50% worldwide. China’s third-quarter growth has dipped to 9% from 12% last year. A loss of markets and growth, potentially compounded by rising labour costs depressing productivity, is a spectre that no Chinese politician fancies.

Beijing believes it will cope with the credit crisis by focusing on substituting its internal market for those lost overseas. Hence the announcement of a $586bn infrastructure stimulus package.

For example, the Chinese government has committed, in the short-term, an extra R1-trillion to railway infrastructure. That will buy a lot of steel, and much else, at current prices.

For this reason, for the moment, China aims to continue with its strategy to secure raw materials from Africa at source, in so doing managing the prospect of input price inflation.

This offers further prospects to African businesses with an appetite for partnership in exploiting the long-term trend of increasing global flows of capital to emerging markets.

But despite its strategy to beef up internal demand, China retains a big stake in globalisation.

Without sizeable external markets it cannot provide for its citizens, with all the economic fallout and political instability that would denote.

For experience teaches that large numbers of job seekers cannot be absorbed by government, or to satisfy local demand. For China, as in Africa, if they cannot find a place for themselves in the global economy, many will not be able to find a place at all.

(*) – Dr Mills heads the Brenthurst Foundation and has been researching in China.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

CHINA TO INVEST $18 BLN IN 2ND RAILWAY FOR XINJIANG

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 26, 2008

UPDATED: November-26-2008

Construction is expected to begin next year, with investment from the central and local governments and other sources

China will spend 120 billion yuan (17.6 billion U.S. dollars) to build a second railway linking the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with inland cities, according to information from a meeting of the Xinjiang committee of the Communist Party of China on Tuesday.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with investment from the central and local governments and other sources.

The new line will be parallel to the existing Lanxin Railway linking Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang. Only passenger trains will run on it.

When the new line is completed, the old Lanxin railway, running1,892 kilometers, will be used by cargo trains only.

Xinjiang, a vast region in China’s far west, boasts rich oil, coal and other resources and is the country’s major cotton producer. Lanxin is currently the only railway linking Xinjiang and other parts of China.

Railway officials said the new rail line will break the bottleneck of transport for Xinjiang in its economic development, ease the pressure on the Euro-Asian continental bridge and facilitate exchanges between China and its west neighbors.

Another 100 billion yuan would be injected to improve Xinjiang’s highway network between 2009 and 2013, according to information from the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BEIJING REVIEW’ (China)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK TO LOAN ANGOLA $1B

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

Nov 20, 2008 1:35 AM

The World Bank will loan an estimated $1 billion to Angola between 2009 and 2013 to help the oil-rich WORLD BANK LOGOAfrican nation diversify its economy, the World Bank’s director for Angola said.

“Between June of 2009 and June of 2013 we will make available an estimated $1 billion in loans to the Angolan government to help diversify the economy away from oil,” Alberto Chueca told Reuters.

“Angola is beginning to diversify its economy, but it still has a long way to go,” he added.

Angola rivals Nigeria as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest petroleum producer, with oil making up over 80 percent of the southwestern African nation’s exports and a projected 58 percent of gross domestic Secretary-General with Joao Bernanrdo de Miranda FM Angolaproduct in 2008, according to the World Bank.

Angola’s government, however, is keen to boost investment and production in non-oil sectors, including agriculture and banking, as it rebuilds an economy shattered by a 27-year civil war.

Luanda has received billions in oil-backed loans and credit from China to help rebuild ports, railways, roads and other infrastructure damaged by the conflict, which ended in 2002.

Source: Reuters

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ONE NEWS – TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANGOLA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CHINA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MARITIME, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, ROAD TRANSPORT, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

CRECERÁN FERROCARRILES URBANOS EN CHINA EN 3 MIL KILÓMETROS – Hacia 2015, unos mil 700 km de líneas adicionales de trenes urbanos operarán en 15 ciudades del país asiático

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

12/11/2008 04:31

PL

Las líneas de trenes urbanos de China crecerán en los próximos años en unos tres mil kilómetros en las redes de casi 40 ciudades de todo el país, de acuerdo con un estudio difundido hoy.

El Centro de Investigaciones del Desarrollo del Consejo de Estado (gabinete) analizó los sistemas de metro y ferrocarriles suburbanos que están en ejecución o en fase de proyecto, y los consideró como una obra a escalas sin precedentes.

Dicho estudio concluyó que el conjunto de todos los proyectos tendrá un costo de alrededor de 88 mil millones de dólares, aunque esta cifra podría elevarse en el futuro por el incremento de los costos.

Hacia 2015, unos mil 700 kilómetros de líneas adicionales de trenes urbanos estarán operativos en 15 ciudades chinas, en tanto otras esperan la luz verde del gobierno central para iniciar las obras.

Algunos especialistas vaticinan un precio mayor de estos proyectos durante la próxima década.

Ya en la actualidad un kilómetro del metro en Beijing tiene un costo de 120 millones de dólares, en comparación con 15 millones de dólares años atrás.

En la medida en que los costos suben en espiral se hace más urgente que las ciudades de más de cuatro millones de habitantes emprendan la construcción de metros o trenes ligeros a la mayor brevedad, dijo una fuente del Ministerio de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano y Rural.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘TRABAJADORES’ (Cuba)

Posted in CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INTERNATIONAL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »