FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

Archive for the ‘WORLD BANK’ Category

WORLD BANK BARS SEVEN FIRMS, 3 FROM RP (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

10:08:00 01/15/2009

by Lesley Wroughton – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | 1 Comment »

WORLD BANK BARS DEALS WITH UNIT OF INDIA’S WIPRO

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Mon, Jan. 12, 2009

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WICHITA EAGLE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WICHITA EAGLE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK BANS SATYAM FOR 8 YEARS (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

23 Dec, 2008, 16:34 hrs IST

Indiatimes Infotech

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, DIGITAL INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

AFRICA: FARMERS NEED A FINANCIAL UMBRELLA SAYS WORLD BANK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 19, 2008

Friday 19 December 2008

IRIN (humatarian and news analysis)

PUBLISHED BY ‘IRIN NEWS’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘IRIN NEWS’

Posted in AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, RECESSION, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK RENEWS ENGAGEMENTS WITH KENYA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

Tue, Dec 16, 2008

by PMPS

PUBLISHED BY ‘KENYA BROADCASTING CORPORATION’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘KENYA BROADCASTING CORPORATION’

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, KENYA, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK TO AID INDIA BANKS IN NEW LENDING PLAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

15 Dec 2008, 0934 hrs IST

REUTERS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

BLAIR, HEAD OF WORLD BANK, IMF, WARN ISRAEL AGAINST RESTRICTIONS CASH FLOW TO GAZA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

3:25 AM EST, December 15, 2008

by Karin Laub – Associated Press Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSDAY.COM’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSDAY.COM’ (USA)

Posted in ECONOMY, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK PLAN BLAMED FOR FOOD CRISIS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008

by Alison Fitzgerald and Helen Murphy

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

The silo, which once held thousands of tons of beans and cereals, is now empty. It was abandoned in 1991 after the bank told Salvadoran leaders to privatise grain storage, import staples such as maize and rice, and export cash crops including cocoa, coffee and palm oil.

Outside, at a food stand propped against a tower wall, price increases for grains have whittled business down to 16 customers a day from 80.

“It is a monument to the mess we are in,” says stall owner Rosa Chavez.

About 40 million people joined the ranks of the undernourished this year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN said this week, bringing the estimate of the world’s hungry to 963 million of its 6.8 billion people.

In addition to natural causes, the recipe for famine included corrupt governments and companies that profited on misery. Another ingredient was the World Bank’s free market policies, which have brought poor nations like El Salvador into global grain markets, where prices surged.

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute, said: “The World Bank made one basic blunder, which is to think that markets would solve problems of such severe circumstances. But history has shown you need to help people to get above the survival threshold before the markets can start functioning.”

Created in 1944, the World Bank spent much of its first 35 years dispensing low-interest loans, grants and advice to poor countries with an eye toward promoting self-reliance.

In 1980, the bank’s executives began attaching conditions to loans that required “structural adjustments” in the recipients’ economies.

The mandates were designed to get poor countries to cut import tariffs, reduce the government’s role in enterprises such as agriculture and promote cultivation of export crops to attract foreign currency.

The philosophy, known now as the Washington Consensus, assumed that importing basic grains would be inexpensive and that poor farmers could earn more producing exports.

Food prices had fallen for years and few economists thought that would change, said Mark Cackler, the manager of the bank’s agriculture and rural development department.

Then in 2007 and the first half of 2008, an index of 60 food commodity prices compiled by the FAO rose 82 percent. Costs have since eased, but were still 20 percent higher on November 1 than at the end of 2006.

The spike hit hard in countries that that took structural adjustment loans, like El Salvador. Its central bank said the sum total of loans was “not available”, but the agriculture ministry did give a gauge of their effects. The country was an exporter of rice 20 years ago; now it imports more than 75 percent of its needs.

Consistently wrong

East Timor’s president, Jose Ramos-Horta, said the World Bank gave “consistently wrong advice”. The 1996 Nobel peace prize winner added: “It is their advice – that buying externally is cheaper than producing – that has resulted in this.”

Current and former World Bank officials say small countries hurt their own agriculture industries by suppressing prices, taxing farms, inflating exchange rates and favouring urban development. They reject the assertion that structural adjustment loans hurt self-sufficiency.

World Bank spokesperson Geetanjali Chopra said the institution did not agree that “this crisis was caused by these policies. This crisis was caused by much more than underinvestment in agriculture.”

Still, FAO data show imports of basic grains climbed in nations such as Honduras and Ghana after they eliminated agricultural subsidies, sold off grain stores or cut tariffs to get World Bank loans in the 1990s.

In Honduras, 23 000 rice farmers went bankrupt after the government cut import duties, according to human rights group Oxfam International. Honduran farms now supply 17 percent of the domestic demand for rice, down from 90 percent before.

In Ghana, the World Bank required a tariff reduction on rice to 20 percent from 100 percent. Imports tripled, said Raj Patel, a scholar at the University of California.

Uma Lele, a World Bank economist between 1971 and 2005, said the free market policies were a sharp turn from the bank’s earlier efforts to develop poor countries’ agriculture and self-reliance.

Former bank president Robert McNamara introduced the structural adjustment concept in 1979 as he urged rich nations to open their markets to poor countries’ exports.

“Developing countries will need to carry out structural adjustments favouring their export sector,” he said in a speech in Manila.

Pierre Landell-Mills, a bank economist at the time, said officials were frustrated that their farming investment through the 1970s was not paying off, especially in Africa.

The “preferred solution”, he said, was to dismantle state marketing boards, shrink governments and remove barriers to entrepreneurship.

McNamara approved the first three structural adjustment loans in 1980. By 1985 they made up more than a quarter of the World Bank’s total lending, according to Kyle Peters, its country services director.

Free market principles were on the rise in the US and the UK, the bank’s major funders. Alden Clausen, appointed by the US to succeed McNamara in 1981, was sure “you could fight poverty better if you get the policies of a country right. I loved structural adjustment loans, and I made a lot of them,” he said.

As these loans grew, the portion of the World Bank’s lending devoted to agriculture fell, to 8 percent in 2000 from 30 percent in 1980. Last year, farm-related loans made up 12 percent of its $24.7 billion book.

“One of the reasons we have problems today is because of the cuts in agriculture,” said Montague Yudelman, the director of the bank’s agriculture unit under McNamara. “If they’d made a continuously high level of investment, we’d have been in much better shape.”

By the late 1980s critics began saying the bank was fostering poverty and dependence.

In 1995, just 30 days into his tenure as bank president, James Wolfensohn promised changes. In a meeting with 12 non-profit organisations, he heard their argument that 15 years of adjustment lending had wiped out small farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

A different way

“I am looking for a different way of doing business,” Wolfensohn, who led the bank until 2005, told them.

The bank’s commitment to free-market principles didn’t waver.

In 2000, as a condition for a $6.8 million agriculture loan in East Timor, the bank demanded that state-funded agricultural service centres be privatised and rejected money for a public grain silo, according to Tim Anderson, a political economy lecturer at the University of Sydney.

In 2001 several non-profit groups released a report saying the policies “have undermined the viability of small farms, weakened food security and damaged the environment”.

In August 2004, James Adams, the World Bank’s head of operations policy, declared the end of structural adjustments, saying the bank had “abandoned the prescriptive character of the old policy”.

The next year, the bank demanded that Niger privatise its irrigation systems, according to a report by non-profit coalition Eurodad. The condition “has seriously damaging effects on poor farmers’ access to a precious resource”, says the 2007 report. The group found economic policy conditions were attached to 71 percent of loans and grants.

In this year’s World Development Report, the bank acknowledges that limiting state participation in agriculture has hurt small farmers.

Bank president Robert Zoellick has promised to double agriculture spending while touting free trade as a solution to rising food prices.

Poor countries remain sceptical. In world trade talks in Geneva in July they insisted on their right to raise tariffs to protect domestic agriculture, stalling the negotiations.

El Salvador, meanwhile, has invested about $240 million in agriculture since 2004. Agriculture minister Mario Salaverria said: “The World Bank had a very short-term vision. It could not have been more wrong.”

His country must regain self-sufficiency, he said. “We can stop using our cars because of price increases, but we cannot stop eating.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), GRAINS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

POLAND WILL SELL ITS EMISSION CREDITS – Poland has entered an agreement with Ireland and the World Bank to sell both parties greenhouse gas emission rights under the Kyoto Protocol

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

11th December 2008

Source: Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘WARSAW BUSINESS JOURNAL'(Poland)

Ireland and the World Bank have entered into an agreement with Poland to purchase its carbon emissions rights, a move that will allow the country to invest in sustainable energy.

Ireland has signed a letter of intent to buy Poland’s carbon emission allowances worth €15 (zł.59.5) million, while World Bank signed a separate deal to purchase 10 million tones of emissions. According to a source that’s familiar with the transaction and who did not want to be named, “The price is around €10 (zł.39.6) a tonne.”

Under Kyoto, nations that are far below their emissions targets may sell excess quotas to other countries under the Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). Although Poland relies heavily on coal, World Bank said in a statement that Poland has a surplus of AAUs, since its greenhouse gas emissions have been decreasing since 1990.

Meanwhile, the proceeds from the deals allow Poland to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which will be co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘WARSAW BUSINESS JOURNAL'(Poland)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, POLAND, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

CONGRESO AUTORIZA ENDEUDAMIENTO POR US5,000 MILLONES EN 2009 – BM ABRE LA CARTERA PARA MÉXICO; PONE A DISPOSICIÓN US3,000 MILLONES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

11 Diciembre, 2008 – 17:16

APR

PUBLISHED BY ‘EL ECONOMISTA’ (Mexico)

El Banco Mundial (BM) está dispuesto a otorgar a México hasta 3,000 millones de dólares en financiamiento para 2009, anunció el director de la institución para México y Colombia, Axel Van Trotsenburg.

En rueda de prensa conjunta con funcionarios de la Secretaría de Hacienda y el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, destacó que la cifra supera los 2,400 millones de dólares que en total prestará este año al país, de los cuales 400 millones canalizará la próxima semana.

“El Banco Mundial tiene una relación privilegiada con México en el último año y medio”, situación que permite al organismo multilateral definir su relación con países medios.

Por su parte, el titular de la Unidad de Asuntos Hacendarios Internacionales de la Secretaria de Hacienda, Ricardo Ochoa, informó que el Congreso autorizó para 2009 un endeudamiento externo neto por 5,000 millones de dólares.

Esos recursos se utilizaran para el desarrollo de infraestructura, vivienda, medio ambiente y programas sociales, precisó.

Ochoa recordó que el nivel de endeudamiento externo aprobado para el presente año fue de 1,500 millones de dólares.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EL ECONOMISTA’ (Mexico)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, MEXICO, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

GLOBAL FORECAST BECOMES BLEAKER AS CANADA ENTERS RECESSION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AFP

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The World Bank offered a grim 2009 outlook Tuesday of just 0.9 percent growth for the global economy, while a recession was declared in Canada and a rescue for US automakers hung in the balance.

In its “Global Economic Prospects” report, the World Bank sharply cut its growth forecast and predicted world trade volume would fall 2.1 percent as a worldwide credit crisis hits rich and poor nations alike.

Developing countries’ economies would likely expand at a reduced annual pace of 4.5 percent while wealthier, developed economies are expected to contract 0.1 percent, the multilateral development lender said.

“The global economy is at a crossroads, transitioning from a sustained period of very strong developing country-led growth to one of substantial uncertainty as a financial crisis rooted in high-income countries has shaken financial markets worldwide,” said World Bank chief economist Justin Lin.

In Canada, the central bank lowered its key interest rate Tuesday by 0.75 point to 1.50 percent and said the Canadian economy had slid into a recession amid the global financial crisis.

“The outlook for the world economy has deteriorated significantly and the global recession will be broader and deeper than previously anticipated,” the bank said in a statement.

In Washington, the White House demanded that Detroit automakers prove their “long-term viability” in return for a $15-billion rescue bailout but said a deal with Congress was in sight.

President George W. Bush’s administration is making “good progress” in its talks with congressional leaders over legislation to shore up General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.

“We are still working through a number of issues, some of them just small and technical, and other ones a little bit more meaty in scope, but, all in all, making sure we’re headed in the right direction,” she said.

In Geneva, the International Air Transport Association forecast that airlines would likely lose $2.5 billion (1.9 billion euros) in 2009 due to the economic crisis.

“The outlook is bleak,” said Giovanni Bisignani, the association’s director general and chief executive.

“We face the worst revenue environment in 50 years.”

In Britain meanwhile, data showed manufacturing output sank 1.4 percent in October from September, the eighth monthly drop in a row, and was down 4.9 percent on a 12-month basis, the Office for National Statistics said.

The monthly fall was the largest decline since March 2005 and marks the country’s longest consecutive contraction in manufacturing output since 1980.

In Japan, Sony said it would cut investment in its electronics business by 30 percent, cut 10 percent of its manufacturing sites and exit unprofitable businesses to cope with the downturn.

The announcement came just hours after Tokyo said the Japanese economy shrank 0.5 percent in the third quarter—1.8 percent on an annualized basis—even worse than initially estimated.

“The data suggests that the economy is contracting faster than previously thought, and the depth of the recession will be more severe,” said Glenn Maguire, chief Asia economist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CANADA, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

CHINA REAFFIRMS YUAN POLICY, WILL CUT TAXES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008 at 6:42 AM EST

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE & MAIL’ (Canada)

BEIJING — China’s top leadership wrapped up a three-day strategy meeting on Wednesday with a pledge to ramp up public spending and cut taxes to promote domestic demand in the world’s fourth-largest economy.

The Central Economic Work Conference, judging that the economy was heading into rougher waters as the global financial crisis spread, set the pursuit of steady growth as the top priority for 2009, state radio reported.

“The general requirements for next year’s economic work are maintaining stable but rapid economic growth by boosting domestic demand,” the radio summarized the meeting as concluding.

It said the leadership reaffirmed China’s long-standing policy of maintaining the yuan’s exchange rate basically steady at a reasonable, balanced level.

However, the meeting agreed on the need to take measures, which were not spelled out, to stabilize external demand.

China earlier on Wednesday reported unexpected declines in both exports and imports in November from year-earlier levels as the economy suddenly slumped.

“At present, China’s economic operation is facing greater difficulties,” the radio said. “Downward pressure on the economy is increasing.”

The report made no mention of a numerical target for growth in 2009, but state media have said the authorities would do all they could to “protect eight” – a reference to the 8 per cent growth rate widely thought to be necessary to create enough jobs for the millions of people entering the work force every year.

The economy expanded 11.9 per cent in 2007, its fifth straight year of double-digit growth. But the pace has slowed sharply in recent months and the World Bank is forecasting just 7.5 per cent growth in 2009.

To prop up growth, the government launched a 4-trillion yuan ($586-billion U.S.) stimulus plan on Nov. 9 and the central bank followed up on Nov. 26 by slashing interest rates by 1.08 percentage points – four times its usual margin.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE & MAIL’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, WORLD BANK, YUAM RENMIMBI (China) | Leave a Comment »

ARAB ECONOMIES TO GROW DESPITE SETBACKS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

December 1, 2008 at 9:10 AM EST

OXFORD ANALYTICA – Exclusive – PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’ (Canada)

SUBJECT: The impact of the world economic downturn on Arab economies.

SIGNIFICANCE: In contrast to the severity of the downturn in other parts of the world, the Arab world appears likely to experience relatively moderate losses. However, certain countries may be particularly vulnerable.

ANALYSIS: The IMF’s latest downward revisions of growth rate projections for 2009 place Arab countries in third place at 5.3 per cent after China and India at 8.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively, although World Bank figures are somewhat less optimistic. Positive growth prospects reflect two key factors:

Macroeconomic fundamentals are positive, in particular the prospects for sustained investment growth, which will be driven by accumulated oil revenues and continuing oil incomes.

Regional capital markets, which have been hit by the crisis, are among the smallest and least significant in emerging markets.

Investment. Buoyant investment activity is now and will continue to be supported by oil income and wealth: The current account surplus of oil economies is expected to double to some $132-billion (U.S.) in 2008 against $77-billion in 2007.

Arab sovereign wealth funds possess at least $1.53-trillion in assets, with considerably more in reserves and accumulated private wealth.

Despite the slashing of oil revenues due to the present fall in oil prices, accumulated assets are likely to make up the difference from a regional standpoint – although particular countries may suffer.

Intra-Arab foreign direct investment has been rising steadily, from $8.8-billion between 1985-1995, to nearly $17-billion between 1995-2002, to $77-billion between 2002-07, with $14-billion in 2007 alone: FDI accounts for 12 per cent of regional capital formation compared to 7.8 per cent in developing countries as a whole.

GCC investors are now investing around 25 per cent of their oil wealth in the region compared to 15 per cent in 2003.

In oil, gas and energy, $520-billion worth of projects are planned for 2009-2013, down from a projected $650-billion before the crisis; even if only $400-billion worth are financed, $8-billion to $10-billion a month of investment will take place.

The crisis in Europe and the United States will strengthen the need for geographic diversification, and will confirm intra-Arab investments as a key category in Arab portfolios.

Investors will likely diversify away from real estate and tourism into other sectors such as food, transport, and medical diagnostics.

There have been official promises to maintain intra-Arab capital and investment flows, although the use of resources in domestic bailouts may limit the fulfilment of such commitments.

Market losses. The four largest markets – Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – have lost up to half of their value, mirroring heavy losses elsewhere. Another four markets – Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman – registered relatively moderate losses of 20-40 per cent. All had fallen from historical highs in summer, 2008.

There are a number of channels of contagion from global financial markets:

Exits by non-Arab investors have most seriously affected the more open Arab stock markets, namely those of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Exposure to the US prime and sub-prime markets has affected players in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

A more significant channel is heightened fear and uncertainty about the unfolding global recession; the region’s markets, whose trends have been dominated by excitement and herd behaviour, joined the global panic.

Negative sentiment overwhelmed the effects of positive fundamentals, including the strong results of many listed corporations for the first half of 2008.

Mitigated impact. Yet there are good reasons to believe that the falls in Arab markets will be less enduring, and have less negative broader impact, than in markets elsewhere:

The fall in OECD financial markets is the most severe in decades; in contrast, wild swings in the region are common.

Arab stock markets are highly volatile, narrow and illiquid; only a small proportion of total capitalization is traded.

The dominance of financial institutions in market indices made their fall in the present crisis inevitable; financials constitute 56 per cent of the S&P’s Pan Arab index, compared to 16 per cent in the Latin America index and 36 per cent for Africa.

Remarkably, the four smallest markets – Beirut, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunis – retained gains, indicating that intra-Arab investments have constituted a successful portfolio diversification strategy.

Arab markets are still constructing operational and regulatory structures. Gaping holes remain in corporate governance rules and practices, and the culture of retail investors is still underdeveloped. In 2007-2008 a series of investigations targeted insider dealings and share manipulation. Fines were handed to listed firms, brokers, and investment companies in Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. However, the relative unsophistication of markets and their lesser significance in the broader economies has shielded Arab countries from the worst effects of the financial crisis.

Slowdown. The downside risks are not to be underestimated in a deep and complex world crisis: Oil revenues will be dented by declining world demand, forcing oil-rich countries to engage in belt-tightening and possibly threatening FDI flows to other Arab countries.

The cost of finance, in terms of spreads, has already risen to all-time highs, and all types of capital raised are below 2007 levels.

Falls in exports will cause losses across the region; many once-booming industries such as petrochemicals and fertilizers are now faced with sliding markets.

Falls in tourism will hit players such as Morocco, Egypt, and Dubai; falls in remittances will hit North African countries.

Dubai’s fall is likely to be the sharpest, linked as it is to the bursting of an enormous real estate bubble; mortgage lending had quintupled in the last five years, and government debt is high at around $70-billion.

Egypt, which is poor and heavily indebted, is likely to be hit hard by declines in the stock market, oil and gas income, and Suez revenues; even a moderate downturn is likely to feed growing public discontent.

CONCLUSION: Losses on Arab stock markets have wiped out abnormally high returns, but not the prospects of solid positive returns. The region is finally drawing on what has long underpinned East Asian and European growth: domestic and intra-regional investment. Supported by ample reserves and SWF resources, this strength should help the region to weather a world recession. Growth prospects are therefore dented, but remain positive.

From the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief

Copyright 2008 – Oxford Analytica Ltd. All rights reserved.

Founded in 1975, Oxford Analytica’s 1,000+ analysts provide international organizations with monitoring, research and consultancy services that explore the strategic implications of policy, economic, financial, industry, trade and security developments around the world.

www.oxan.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EGYPT, ENERGY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, IMF, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAMIC BANKS, ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, LYBIA, MACROECONOMY, MOROCCO, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

CHINA SIGNS GREEK PORT DEAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Nov 26, 2008 6:38 AM

Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed to increase maritime investment in GREEK PROTESTERS - ReutersGreece after the signing of a 3.4 billion euro deal to run the country’s largest port, despite protests from dockers.

Hu and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis witnessed the signing of the contract by state-controlled China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco) to operate the container port of Piraeus (OLP) for 35 years, part of Greece’s privatisation agenda.

“Our priorities are to widen our economic cooperation … to strengthen maritime cooperation and investments,” the Chinese leader told journalists, during a three-day state visit.

Greece controls one fifth of the world’s merchant fleet. Its ship owners have profited from a huge boom in demand for iron ore, oil and grain from China in recent years, and they are the largest clients for Chinese shipbuilding yards.

Until a collapse in freight rates earlier this year, the boom helped Greece’s economy grow by 4% a year for a decade.

“The agreement between OLP and Cosco signals a new important chapter,” said Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. “Greek ports can become transit points for Chinese goods to the EU and southeast Europe, as well as the Mediterranean.”

Several hundred dockworkers, carrying a banner reading “Cosco Go Home” and waving black flags, marched past the Greek parliament before the signing, saying the deal would mean job losses and tougher labour conditions.

“They must not sell the ports. OLP is a profitable business … it doesn’t make sense,” said Manolis Gemeliaris, 54, an engineer at the port. “When Cosco comes, we will lose our jobs.”

The Chinese company has insisted that it will create 1,000 new jobs at the port for Greek workers and more than double its capacity by 2015.

Hu, who toured the ancient temples of the Acropolis in central Athens with his wife, has insisted during his visit that China’s economy is still experiencing “significant growth” and he would cooperate with international efforts to tackle the global economic downturn.

However, the World Bank said in a report published Tuesday that China’s economic growth would slow to 7.5% next year, its lowest rate since 1990, despite a 4 trillion yuan ($US586 billion) stimulus package.

Despite the opposition of Greece’s restive unions, the conservative government is pressing ahead with privatisations and has put loss-making Olympic Airlines on the block.

The ruling New Democracy party, whose parliamentary majority was cut to one seat this month by the expulsion of a rebel deputy, has fallen behind in opinion polls for the first time since winning power in 2004 amid discontent at its economic policies. Many analysts expect an early election next year, ahead of a 2011 deadline.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Posted in CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, GRAINS, GREECE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRON ORE, MARITIME, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PETROL, SHIPYARD INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

IMF TERMS PACKAGE A STRONG SIGNAL TO DONORS: $3BN TO BE RELEASED INITIALLY, $13BN NEEDED FOR ‘STABILISATION’ (Pakistan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 Wednesday Ziqa’ad 27, 1429

by Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON, Nov 25: The executive board of the International Monetary Fund has approved a $7.6 billion loan for Pakistan under a programme that also requires Islamabad to reduce its fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent of the GDP and bring down inflation to six per cent.

“By providing large financial support to Pakistan, the IMF is sending a strong signal to the donor community about the country’s improved macroeconomic prospects,” said IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato. The programme was approved at a board meeting at the IMF headquarters in Washington on Monday.

“The programme aims to restore the confidence of domestic and foreign investors with a tightening of fiscal and monetary policies, while maintaining social stability through targeted spending,” the IMF said.

Hours after the approval, IMF’s mission chief to Pakistan, Juan Carlos Di Tata, told a news briefing on Tuesday that most of the adjustments for reducing fiscal deficit would come from eliminating fuel and electricity subsidies and from eliminating exemptions on income and agriculture taxes.

The government has already withdrawn fuel subsidies, while its efforts to increase electricity rates caused widespread protests this summer. Any measure that leads to an increase in fuel prices or electricity rates is bound to cause more violent reactions and may further reduce the already depleting popularity of the current government.

But the IMF assured the people of Pakistan that “expenditure on the social safety net will be increased to protect the poor through both cash transfers and targeted electricity subsidies”.

While many in Pakistan questioned the government’s wisdom in going to the IMF, the Fund’s mission chief for the country warned that Pakistan was not out of the woods yet. He said the country needed as much as $13 billion during the current financial year to stabilise its economy.

Mr Di Tata spelled out some of the conditions attached to the loan, but said the IMF had not asked Pakistan to reduce defence spending because it was for the government to determine how it wanted to bring down its expenditure.

He said that out of the $7.6 billion pledged on Monday, Pakistan would get a total of $4.7 billion during the current fiscal year. The rest will be disbursed after quarterly reviews during the next 23 months.

“The regular monitoring of the economy … will show how the macroeconomic objectives set by the government are being met and whether they need to be adjusted in the light of changing circumstances,” the IMF said.

Besides the IMF, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank will also give $3.8 billion to Pakistan during the current fiscal year, while $4.5 billion will come from the Friends of Pakistan club and other donors.

Earlier, the IMF issued a statement saying that Pakistan would get immediate access to $3.1 billion from the $7.6 billion pledged and this amount may be deposited into Pakistan’s account at the US Federal Reserve in New York as early as Thursday.

The IMF expects Pakistan’s economic growth to slow to 3.4 per cent in the current fiscal year from 5.8 per cent the previous year. It is forecast to recover to five per cent next fiscal year.

The Fund expects the country’s budget deficit to be reduced to 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product in the current fiscal year and 3.3 per cent the following year — from 7.4 per cent at the end of June.

“The reduction will be achieved primarily by phasing out energy subsidies, better-prioritising development spending and implementing tax policy and tax administration reforms,” Mr Kato said.

The State Bank of Pakistan, which recently conducted a two-percentage point hike in the discount rate, is expected to bring down inflation and shore up reserves, the IMF said. The central bank is also expected to stop financing the government.

The programme includes measures to improve monetary management and enhance the SBP’s bank resolution capacity, and avoid the use of public resources to support the stock market.

Mr Di Tata noted that the reduction in expenditures would create room to increase spending on the social safety net.

The fiscal programme for 2008-09 envisaged an increase in spending on the social safety net of 0.6 percentage points of GDP to 0.9 per cent of GDP, the IMF said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GASOLINE, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, MACROECONOMY, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PAKISTAN, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | 1 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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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 »

WORLD BANK CHIEF: BETTER TIES WITH RUSSIA A MUST

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 20, 2008

Nov. 19, 2008, 2:53PM

by George Frey Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press

BERLIN, — Russia’s ties with the United States and the European Union must be improved to ensure ROBERT ZOELLICKstability, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Wednesday.

Zoellick said it is widely recognized that weak states export trouble — including economic problems, refugees and even narcotics and crime.

“I hope relations with Russia will be guided by a farsighted vision that can create durable, peaceful, mutually beneficial ties,” Zoellick said at a speech at Berlin’s Humboldt University.

Zoellick said the global economic crisis shows that the world needed “reinvented global frameworks, to weather the storms of economic changes or climate or insecurity.”

“Today’s financial crisis could be an opportunity to develop sounder economic relations that might be a foundation, with Russia’s help, to build cooperation in solving common problems,” he said.

Zoellick added that Russia’s actions domestically would shape the nature of its relationships with its neighbors.

“President (Dmitry) Medvedev has spoken of Russia’s need to build a rule-of-law society and his own task to develop ‘civic and economic freedoms,'” Zoellick said.

He said recent summits of G-20 leaders and the G-20 finance ministers were examples of the kind of action needed to stabilize the world economy, and emphasized the need to include developing countries.

“As the financial crisis has shown, we need more than the Group of Seven to address today’s 21st Century problems,” he said. “Rising economic powers such as China, India, and Russia must be part of the solution.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

Posted in COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

BRASIL É UM DOS PAÍSES QUE TERÁ VOZ ATIVA NA ECONOMIA MUNDIAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 19, 2008

17 de Novembro de 2008

As soluções para a crise financeira internacional devem ser encontradas com a ajuda dos países em ANDREW JACKSON AND MAO ZEDONGdesenvolvimento e não mais apenas pelas sete nações mais ricas do mundo – como era antes da reunião do último final de semana em Washington, na qual participaram 20 lideranças de países que somam mais de 85% do PIB mundial. Segundo o presidente da República, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, uma das decisões consensuais tomadas pelos líderes é a necessidade da participação não apenas dos países mais ricos do mundo, mas dos emergentes, dos países em vias de desenvolvimento, que têm uma grande população. “Já não é mais o G-8. Agora é o G-20”, afirmou Lula no programa de rádio Café com o Presidente, realizado nesta segunda-feira (17).

Segundo o presidente da República, há uma grande afinidade de posições e compromisso de todos os governantes do G-20, em torno das medidas para resolver a crise financeira internacional. A primeira delas é restabelecer a liquidez e restaurar a confiança no mercado financeiro, pois fica muito difícil a economia funcionar sem crédito. “No Brasil, já adotamos medidas nesse sentido. Faz 30 dias que estamos adotando medidas para permitir a irrigação do sistema financeiro e garantir que se tenha crédito para que o consumo continue acontecendo, para que as empresas continuem produzindo, o comércio vendendo e o povo comprando. É isso que vai ativar a economia”, avalia o presidente.

Anti-recessão – A segunda medida aprovada pelos líderes foi a adoção de políticas anti-recessivas para evitar uma grande desaceleração do crescimento econômico mundial, especialmente uma queda abrupta e significativa do crescimento, que já está acontecendo em alguns países europeus. O terceiro ponto importante, segundo o presidente, é a regulação do sistema financeiro de modo a conter a especulação descolada da economia real e do mundo do trabalho. “O sistema financeiro tem que ajudar o setor produtivo para que ele gere os empregos necessários, para que o comércio cresça, para que o consumo cresça e para que a sociedade viva uma vida digna e decente”, explicou o presidente. Para ele, a falta de controle de alguns países foi a causa da crise financeira. “As medidas que tomamos, por unanimidade, são extremamente importantes para que a gente possa controlar o sistema financeiro e evitar que eles continuem a prática do cassino”, disse Lula.

Um dos resultados mais importantes da reunião, segundo o presidente, foi o clima de cooperação internacional. “Finalmente, todos os países se colocaram de acordo que nós precisamos tomar decisões coletivas para evitar que uma tomada de posição em um país possa prejudicar outro”. Como parte desta política de cooperação, está a retomada da Rodada de Doha, para desenvolver o comércio mundial.

Na opinião do presidente da República, a reunião de Washington foi um marco na história do século XXI. “Participei da reunião mais importante entre líderes de países, de tantas que eu já fiz”, contou o presidente. Segundo ele, o encontro foi marcado pelo consenso de que o grupo de 20 países deve trabalhar junto. “Na hora de tomar as grandes decisões, o G-20 se transformou num fórum importante. Daí a minha crença de que estamos no caminho certo para debelar essa crise e para evitar outras crises”, afirmou.

FMI – O ministro Guido Mantega disse durante a reunião de ministros da Fazenda, que essa crise é o momento de aperfeiçoar e democratizar as instituições financeiras internacionais, como o Banco Mundial e o Fundo Monetário Internacional. Para o ministro, as Metas do Milênio, que têm por objetivo a redução da desigualdade, devem ser o centro das políticas econômicas. “Não podemos nos esquecer dos enormes desafios da humanidade, como a pobreza, a fome e as mudanças climáticas”, disse o ministro.

Editado pela Secretaria de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República
Nº 728 – Brasília

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EM QUESTÃO’ (Brasil)

Posted in A PRESIDÊNCIA, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, G8, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, MINISTÉRIO DA FAZENDA, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

HAY QUE ROMPER CON EL MODELO NEOLIBERAL Y EL SISTEMA CAPITALISTA – Sentenció Evo Morales al intervenir ante Naciones Unidas

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

17/11/2008

NACIONES UNIDAS, 17 de noviembre. – El presidente boliviano, Evo Morales, planteó este lunes romper EVO MORALES AT THE UNcon el neoliberalismo y el sistema capitalista, además de reformular las normas de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) para salir de la crisis financiera mundial, informó ABI.

“Para salir de la crisis hay que romper con el modelo neoliberal y el sistema capitalista”, afirmó el mandatario ante el pleno de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.

En Bolivia, dijo, se ha comenzado a cambiar la política neoliberal dignificando al Estado y resolviendo los problemas sociales, lo que ha permitido sobrellevar los efectos de la crisis financiera global.

“El comercio injusto implementado por algunos organismos internacionales no es la solución para mi país”, señaló Morales, quien apuntó, además, que para salir de la crisis financiera hay que cambiar las reglas de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC).

El sistema financiero mundial debe ser reestructurado por los 192 países que forman las Naciones Unidas y no solo por los 20 más desarrollados, declaró en referencia a la Cumbre del G-20 celebrada hace poco en Washington.

De igual forma, se debe reestructurar el Banco Mundial (BM) y el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), señaló Evo.

Criticó que en menos de 15 días los países que integran el G-20 hubieran otorgado 30 veces más dinero a los bancos del Wall Street que a los recursos que se destinan para conseguir los Objetivos del Milenio, entre ellos acabar con la pobreza.

Según EFE, durante su intervención, el Jefe de Estado también agradeció a la comunidad internacional el apoyo a su gestión en la crisis política que vivió Bolivia recientemente.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GRANMA’ (Cuba)

Posted in BOLIVIA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, G20, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE UNITED NATIONS, WORLD BANK, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

BLIND LEADING THE ONE-EYED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

Nov 18, 2008

by Chan Akya

My worst fears about the weekend gathering in Washington of world leaders to discuss the financial THE PARABLE OF THE BLIND - painting by Bruegelcrisis were realized overnight when the statement after their meeting was released. It contained a host of generic fluff and very little mention of the specific actions required to tackle the gargantuan economic problems of today.

The statement accompanying the meeting, held under the Group of 20 (G-20) banner, could have been put together by a bunch of first-year economics students. It probably was, but that’s not what worries me about the initiative. In the opening part of the statement, the following section seemed positive: “Our work will be guided by a shared belief that market principles, open trade and investment regimes, and effectively regulated financial markets foster the dynamism, innovation, and entrepreneurship that are essential for economic growth, employment, and poverty reduction.”

After paying lip service to the idea of free market principles in the introduction, every aspect of the statement from then on relates to market, fiscal and monetary intervention on an epic scale by the assembled bureaucrats. In the next section on “root causes of the current crisis” is the following gem:

Major underlying factors to the current situation were, among others, inconsistent and insufficiently coordinated macroeconomic policies, inadequate structural reforms, which led to unsustainable global macroeconomic outcomes. These developments, together, contributed to excesses and ultimately resulted in severe market disruption.

Right there you have the prevailing notion that government intervention is what will help the global THE PARABLE OF THE BLIND - by the Greenwich Workshopeconomic system recover; indeed it was the absence of dialogue between these super-smart folks that led us to the current swamp. In related news, pigs were seen flying over Washington all day, but I digress.

Discussing “Actions taken and to be taken”, the statement goes on to say the following, laying the grounds for justifying pretty much any action by any government anywhere in the world but more importantly also bringing in the widely discredited multilateral agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back into the global picture: “As immediate steps to achieve these objectives, as well as to address longer-term challenges, we will:

– Continue our vigorous efforts and take whatever further actions are necessary to stabilize the financial system.

– Recognize the importance of monetary policy support, as deemed appropriate to domestic conditions.

– Use fiscal measures to stimulate domestic demand to rapid effect, as appropriate, while maintaining a policy framework conducive to fiscal sustainability.

– Help emerging and developing economies gain access to finance in current difficult financial conditions, including through liquidity facilities and program support. We stress the International Monetary Fund’s important role in crisis response, welcome its new short-term liquidity facility, and urge the ongoing review of its instruments and facilities to ensure flexibility.

– Encourage the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to use their full capacity THE PARABLE OF THE BLIND - A Belgian stampin support of their development agenda, and we welcome the recent introduction of new facilities by the World Bank in the areas of infrastructure and trade finance.

– Ensure that the IMF, World Bank and other MDBs have sufficient resources to continue playing their role in overcoming the crisis.”

Right here we have the makings of a return to the world economic order of yore, namely for the governments of the Group of Seven (G-7) leading industrialized nations to continue their spendthrift ways banking on the savings of emerging countries, while the latter remain happy in their role as supplicants to the global economy rather than assuming a leading role as is warranted by current fundamentals.

The return of international finance’s Terrible Twins is further proof of a hankering for the orthodoxy of export-oriented emerging economies securing access to financing as arranged by these shoddy bankers. It is amazing to me that countries like South Korea, Brazil and India signed up to this nonsense despite the very real structural problems created by these very programs in the recent past for these countries by the IMF.

Against these ideas there is an alternative of emerging countries floating their currencies and relying on internal consumption, which would predicate increased capital inflows for emerging countries at the cost of increasing capital costs for G-7 members. This option was apparently never even brought up in the meeting.

Secondly, the idea that emerging countries face multiple tariff barriers that keep millions in poverty was also not sufficiently discussed in the Washington meeting. To wit, Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is singularly responsible for the poverty, starvation and malnutrition of millions of people in Africa and Latin America, yet there was not a mention of this unfair trade barrier in the Washington meeting. Instead, the idea of circling back to the status quo in one form or another appears to have taken precedence.

Reforming financial markets

Something must have gone wrong in Washington because the next section of the statement relating THE PARABLE OF THE BLIND - by Shannon Larrattto financial system reforms actually makes sense in places. I am guessing this was simply an oversight by the assembled officials; actual implementation will probably fail to follow any of the principles laid down. Paragraph 9, which details the common principles of reform, has the following five guiding headlines:

1. Strengthening transparency and accountability.

2. Enhancing sound regulation.

3. Promoting integrity in financial markets.

4. Reinforcing international cooperation.

5. Reforming international financial institutions.

I am really happy to note in this section that European attempts to reduce disclosure on financial assets by banks have come to naught. The 2009 leadership of Brazil, the United Kingdom and Korea to implement a series of recommendations will coordinate the G-20 Finance Ministers Group. Personally, I found that trio an odd choice, with only Brazil having a functioning financial system not overwhelmed by near-term liabilities. Then again, finding countries with relatively unstressed financial systems is a fairly difficult matter and perhaps the assembled leaders wanted to have people with sufficient experience of pain – for example the UK – participating in the recovery plans. That seems fine overall. The specific areas of recommendations being laid out are as under:

“Mitigating against pro-cyclicality in regulatory policy.

Reviewing and aligning global accounting standards, particularly for complex securities in times of stress.

Strengthening the resilience and transparency of credit derivatives markets and reducing their systemic risks, including by improving the infrastructure of over-the-counter markets.

Reviewing compensation practices as they relate to incentives for risk taking and innovation.

Reviewing the mandates, governance, and resource requirements of the IFIs [international financial institutions].

Defining the scope of systemically important institutions and determining their appropriate regulation or oversight.”

The next section on Open Global Economy isn’t worth reading, containing as it does platitudes about the World Trade Organization, the Doha round and so on without any substantive discussion on handling current conflicts on tariff barriers and capital flows.

The rest of the document deals with specific recommendations relating to the implementation of the five principles of reform as laid out previously. Of these, the move towards accounting standardization will help resolve a number of capital flow constraints, regulatory arbitrage and other egregious misuses of fiduciary principles in the financial markets.

Another welcome initiative in the financial market section is the reform of the over-the-counter market for credit default swaps (CDS), which will almost surely move to an exchange-traded or electronic trading format in the next few months. The need for this market is paramount more now than ever before, and I am happy that the G-20 has understood the rationale for a continued broadening of this market, rather than a reversal or even a shutdown as was suggested by a number of government officials in the US and Europe of late.

Missed opportunity

Overall, the G-20 meeting strikes me a missed opportunity for discussing a broadening of the world’s economic engine by inculcating stronger measures towards consumption in emerging countries and moving them away from the IMF-orthodoxy of remaining suppliers of cheap goods to developed countries.

Failures in the financial system need to be addressed, but the root cause of a misallocation of capital ONE-EYED ILLYfrom high-growth areas to lower-growth areas, that is from savers in countries like China, Brazil and India to the overextended consumers and pensioners of the US and Europe, was not discussed let alone addressed.

The coming wave of Keynesian spending across the world will only intensify this misallocation of capital as emerging countries continue to hold nearly worthless pieces of government debt issued by G-7 countries in return for vacuous promises of continued economic growth.

Then again, perhaps it is not the G-7 countries that are to blame for suggesting ways of keeping themselves economically relevant; such moves after all reflect their self-preservation instinct. What galls me is that leaders of countries such as Brazil, China and India bought into this malarkey.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ASIA TIMES’ (Hong Kong – China)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, G20, IMF, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NORTH AMERICA, SOUTH KOREA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

EL PARTO DE LOS MONTES – La reunión de Washington

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

Noviembre 16 de 2008 – 4 y 12 p.m.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Bush se mostraba feliz con tener a Lula a su diestra en la cena del viernes. A Hu Jintao, al que respeta por el enorme mercado de su país, la capacidad de producir bienes de consumo a bajo precio y el caudal de sus reservas en dólares y bonos de Estados Unidos, lo sentó a su izquierda.

Medvédev, a quien ofende con la amenaza de ubicar los radares y la cohetería estratégica nuclear no lejos de Moscú, fue ubicado en un asiento distante del anfitrión de la Casa Blanca.

El rey de Arabia Saudita, un país que producirá en un futuro próximo 15 millones de toneladas de petróleo ligero a precios altamente competitivos, quedó también a su izquierda, al lado de Hu.

Su más fiel aliado en Europa, Gordon Brown, Primer Ministro del Reino Unido, no aparecía cerca de él en las imágenes.

Nicolás Sarkozy, descontento con la arquitectura actual del orden financiero, quedó distante de él, con el rostro amargado.

Al Presidente del Gobierno español, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, víctima del resentimiento personal de Bush y asistente al cónclave de Washington, ni siquiera lo vi en las imágenes televisadas de la cena.

De esa forma fueron ubicados los asistentes al banquete.

Cualquiera hubiera pensado que al día siguiente se produciría el debate de fondo sobre el peliagudo tema.

Temprano en la mañana del sábado, las agencias informaban sobre el programa que tendría lugar en el National Building Museum de Washington. Cada segundo estaba programado. Se analizarían la actual crisis y las medidas a tomar. Se iniciaría a las 11 y 30 hora local. Primero, sesión gráfica: “fotos de familia”, como las llamó Bush; veinte minutos después, la primera plenaria, seguida de una segunda a la mitad del día. Todo rigurosamente programado, hasta los nobles servicios sanitarios.

Los discursos y análisis durarían aproximadamente tres horas y 30 minutos. A las 3 y 25, hora local, almuerzo. De inmediato, a las 5 y 5, declaración final. Una hora después, a las 6 y 5, Bush marcharía a descansar, cenar y dormir plácidamente en Camp David.

El día transcurría, para los que seguían el evento, con la impaciencia por conocer cómo en tan breve tiempo se abordarían los problemas del planeta y de la especie humana. Estaba anunciada una declaración final.

El hecho real es que la declaración final de la Cumbre se elaboró por asesores económicos preseleccionados, bastante afines al pensamiento neoliberal, mientras Bush en sus pronunciamientos pre y pos cumbre reclamaba más poder y más dinero para el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el Banco Mundial y otras instituciones mundiales que están bajo riguroso control de Estados Unidos y sus más cercanos aliados. Ese país había decidido inyectar 700 mil millones de dólares para salvar a sus bancos y empresas transnacionales. Europa ofrecía una cifra igual o mayor. Japón, su más firme pilar en Asia, ha prometido una contribución de 100 mil millones de dólares. Esperan de la República Popular China, que desarrolla crecientes y convenientes vínculos comerciales con los países de América Latina, otra contribución de 100 mil millones procedentes de sus reservas.

¿De dónde saldrían tantos dólares, euros y libras esterlinas como no fuera endeudando seriamente a las nuevas generaciones? ¿Cómo se puede construir el edificio de la economía mundial sobre billetes de papel, que es en lo inmediato lo que realmente se pone en circulación, cuando el país que los emite sufre un enorme déficit fiscal? ¿Valdría la pena tanto viaje por aire hacia un punto del planeta llamado Washington para reunirse con un Presidente al que le quedan sólo 60 días de gobierno, y suscribir un documento que ya estaba diseñado de antemano para ser aprobado en el Washington Museum? ¿Tendría razón la prensa radial, televisiva y escrita de Estados Unidos al no concederle atención especial a ese viejo rejuego imperialista en la cacareada reunión?

Lo increíble es la propia declaración final, aprobada por consenso de los participantes en el cónclave. Es obvio que constituye una aceptación plena de las exigencias de Bush, antes y durante la cumbre. A varios de los países participantes no les quedaba otra alternativa que aprobarla; en su lucha desesperada por el desarrollo, no deseaban aislarse de los más ricos y poderosos, así como de sus instituciones financieras, que constituyen mayoría en el seno del Grupo G-20.

Bush habló con verdadera euforia, usando palabras demagógicas, leyó frases que retratan la declaración final:

“La primera decisión que tuve que tomar —dijo— fue quiénes venían a la reunión. Decidí que teníamos que tener a las naciones del Grupo de los 20, en lugar de solamente el Grupo de los Ocho o el Grupo de los Trece.

“Pero una vez que se toma la decisión de tener al Grupo de los 20, la pregunta fundamental es con cuántas naciones de seis diferentes continentes, que representan a diferentes etapas de desarrollo económico, es posible alcanzar acuerdos que sean sustanciales, y me complace informarles que la respuesta a esa pregunta es que lo logramos.”

“Estados Unidos ha tomado algunas medidas extraordinarias. Ustedes, que han seguido mi carrera, saben, yo soy un partidario del libre mercado, y si uno no toma medidas decisivas, es posible que nuestro país se suma en una depresión más terrible que la Gran Depresión.”

“Recién empezamos a trabajar con el fondo de 700 mil millones de dólares que está comenzando a liberar dinero a los bancos.”

“De manera que todos entendemos la necesidad de promover políticas económicas a favor del crecimiento.”

“La transparencia es muy importante para que los inversionistas y los reguladores puedan saber exactamente qué está pasando.”

El texto del resto de lo que dijo Bush es por el estilo.

La declaración final de la Cumbre, que requiere por su extensión media hora para leerlo en público, se define a sí misma en un grupo de párrafos seleccionados:

“Nosotros, los líderes del Grupo de los 20, hemos celebrado una reunión inicial en Washington el 15 de noviembre entre serios desafíos para la economía y los mercados financieros mundiales¼ ”

“¼ debemos poner las bases para una reforma que nos ayude a asegurarnos de que una crisis global como esta no volverá a ocurrir. Nuestro trabajo debe estar guiado por los principios del mercado, el régimen de libre comercio e inversión¼ ”

“¼ los actores del mercado buscaron rentabilidades más altas sin una evaluación adecuada de los riesgos y fracasaron¼ ”

“Las autoridades, reguladores y supervisores de algunos países desarrollados no apreciaron ni advirtieron adecuadamente de los riesgos que se creaban en los mercados financieros¼ ”

“¼ las políticas macroeconómicas insuficientes e inconsistentemente coordinadas, e inadecuadas reformas estructurales, condujeron a un insostenible resultado macroeconómico global.”

“Muchas economías emergentes, que han ayudado a sostener la economía mundial, cada vez más sufren el impacto del frenazo mundial.”

“Subrayamos el importante papel del FMI en la respuesta a la crisis, saludamos el nuevo mecanismo de liquidez a corto plazo y urgimos a la continua revisión de sus instrumentos para asegurar la flexibilidad.

“Animaremos al Banco Mundial y a otros bancos multilaterales de desarrollo a usar su plena capacidad en apoyo de su agenda de ayuda¼ ”

“Nos aseguraremos de que el FMI, el Banco Mundial y los otros bancos multilaterales de desarrollo tengan los recursos suficientes para continuar desempeñando su papel en la resolución de la crisis.”

“Ejercitaremos una fuerte vigilancia sobre las agencias de crédito, con el desarrollo de un código de conducta internacional.”

“Nos comprometemos a proteger la integridad de los mercados financieros del mundo, reforzando la protección del inversor y el consumidor.”

“Estamos comprometidos a avanzar en la reforma de las instituciones de Bretton Woods, de forma que puedan reflejar los cambios en la economía mundial para incrementar su legitimidad y efectividad.”

“Nos reuniremos de nuevo el 30 de abril de 2009 para revisar la puesta en marcha de los principios y decisiones tomadas hoy.”

“Admitimos que estas reformas sólo tendrán éxito si se basan en un compromiso con los principios del libre mercado, incluyendo el imperio de la ley, respeto a la propiedad privada, inversión y comercio libre, mercados competitivos y eficientes y sistemas financieros regulados efectivamente.”

“Nos abstendremos de imponer barreras a la inversión y al comercio de bienes y servicios.”

“Somos conscientes del impacto de la actual crisis en los países en desarrollo, particularmente en los más vulnerables.

“Mientras avanzamos, estamos seguros de que mediante la colaboración, la cooperación y el multilateralismo superaremos los desafíos que tenemos ante nosotros y lograremos restablecer la estabilidad y la prosperidad en la economía mundial.”

Lenguaje tecnocrático, inaccesible para las masas.

Pleitesía al imperio, que no recibe crítica alguna a sus métodos abusivos.

Loas al FMI, Banco Mundial y las organizaciones multilaterales de créditos, engendradores de deudas, gastos burocráticos fabulosos e inversiones encaminadas al suministro de materias primas a las grandes transnacionales, que son además responsables de la crisis.

Así por el estilo, hasta el último párrafo. Es aburrida, plagada de lugares comunes. No dice absolutamente nada. Fue suscrita por Bush, campeón del neoliberalismo, responsable de matanzas y guerras genocidas, que ha invertido en sus aventuras sangrientas todo el dinero que habría sido suficiente para cambiar la faz económica del mundo.

En el documento no se dice una palabra de lo absurdo de la política de convertir los alimentos en combustible que propugna Estados Unidos, del intercambio desigual de que somos víctimas los pueblos del Tercer Mundo, ni sobre la estéril carrera armamentista, la producción y comercio de armas, la ruptura del equilibrio ecológico, y las gravísimas amenazas a la paz que ponen al mundo al borde del exterminio.

Sólo una frasecita perdida en el largo documento menciona la necesidad de “afrontar el cambio climático”, cuatro palabras.

Por la declaración se verá cómo los países presentes en el cónclave demandan reunirse de nuevo en abril de 2009, en el Reino Unido, Japón o cualquier otro país que cuente con los requisitos adecuados —nadie sabe cuál—, para analizar la situación de las finanzas mundiales, con el sueño de que las crisis cíclicas nunca vuelvan a repetirse con sus dramáticas consecuencias.

Ahora les corresponderá a los teóricos de izquierda y de derecha opinar fría o acaloradamente sobre el documento.

Desde mi punto de vista, no fueron rozados ni con el pétalo de una flor los privilegios del imperio. Si se dispone de la paciencia necesaria para leerlo desde el principio hasta el final, podrá apreciarse cómo se trata simplemente de una apelación piadosa a la ética del país más poderoso del planeta, tecnológica y militarmente, en la época de la globalización de la economía, como quienes ruegan al lobo que no se devore a la Caperucita Roja.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GRANMA’ (Cuba)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, CUBA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, G20, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

MIRZA AZIZ TURNS DOWN WB’S PLEA TO CUT FARM SUBSIDY – The farmers will not be able to use adequate inputs like fertiliser if the agricultural subsidy is withdrawn (Bangladesh)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 16, 2008

Sunday November 16 2008 11:34:06 AM BDT

Finance and planning adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has turned down a donor agency suggestion to cut Newly appointed Advisor for Ministry of Finance, Planning, Commerce and Posts and Telecommunications Dr. A B Mirza Azizul Islam was born in Sujanagar, Pabna on 23 February 1941. He studied BA (Hons.) and MA in Economics from Dhaka University. He studied M A in Development Economics at Williams College, Masachusetts, USA in 1975. He also obtained Ph.D in Economics from Boston University, USAagricultural subsidy saying “it would be risky in the prevailing global situation”.( The Financial Express)

“I am afraid that’s not a feasible option unless we have the land reforms done,” he said at a launching session of the two-day South Asia regional conference on managing food price inflation in a city hotel Saturday.

“The farmers will not be able to use adequate inputs like fertiliser if the agricultural subsidy is withdrawn. It will bring down the production. The country’s food security will be affected,” Dr. Aziz said in response to a suggestion made by World Bank (WB) in the conference.

WB South Asia Regional Director Sadiq Ahmed said a country like Bangladesh should address food security concerns by focusing on farm productivity rather than through subsidised inputs.

“The saved subsidy could be redirected to areas that support farm productivity including spending on rural infrastructure, farm technology, research and extension,” Mr. Ahmed said.

The World Bank and local research firm Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) jointly organised the conference.

Economists, policymakers, bureaucrats, agriculture experts, and political leaders from six South-Asian THE MEANING OF SUBSIDIES IN THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIEScountries, and representatives from donor agencies spoke at the function, with economist Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud in the chair.

Mirza Aziz said: “We can think on the issue of diverting subsidy fund to develop the rural infrastructure. But it could be a long-term programme. At this moment, we can not take the risk of withdrawing subsidy from agriculture.”

About the food inflation, the finance adviser said: “Agricultural credit growth during the last financial year has lifted the retention capacity of the farmers. It has been affecting the domestic food price despite bumper boro production.”

He, however, said the government will encourage the growth of the agricultural credit in future days.

The adviser said food stock in the country is satisfactory as it now stood at over 1.4 million tonnes compared to 0.4 million tonnes that this government inherited.

Senior economists Prof. Mahmud said: “Adequate food stock does not mean that the price will come down in the market. I think the prices of rice and wheat will not decline to the level that prevailed a AUSTRALIA AND THE EUROPEAN SUBSIDIESyear ago.”

“In the open market economy there are some complexities. Prices of food grain are not down despite adequate supply.”

“The market price depends on the purchase price of stock by the businessmen. I think the businessmen stock-piled at high prices. For this reason, the food price in local market is still high,” he said.

Prof Mahmud suggested raising the employment opportunities and wages of poor people for establishing balance between food inflation and entitlement to foods.

“Apart from food inflation, another risk of global recession has emerged recently. So, the government will have to take prudent steps for future food security,” he said.

Former education minister Osman Farruk said: “The donors always press the government to withdraw agricultural subsidy. But it is an effective measure to improve the productivity of foodgrain and income SUBSIDIES IN THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES - GETTING PAID FOR NOT DOING ANYTHINGtransfer to the rural poor farmers.”

Former Agriculture Minister MK Anwar said: “If we want to keep the farmers in the field, we need to ensure agriculture as a profitable venture.”

Awami League leader Abdur Razzak laid emphasis on adequate supply of agricultural inputs to the farmers in time and at reasonable prices.

The Financial Express

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWS FROM BANGLADESH (NFB)’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BANGLADESH, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FARMING SUBSIDIES, INTERNATIONAL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA, WORLD BANK, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

LOS LÍDERES MUNDIALES ACUERDAN MAYOR TRANSPARENCIA Y REGULACIÓN FINANCIERA – Proponen crear un organismo que controle los grandes bancos y reforzar el papel del Fondo Monetario y el Banco Mundial

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 16, 2008

16.11.2008

por Mercedes Gallego – Corresponsal, Washington

La reforma de los mercados financieros y mayor transparencia y regulación de los mismos son algunos Oxfam campaigners prepare to welcome world leaders to Washington DCde los acuerdos genéricos alcanzados ayer por los líderes del G20 además de España, Holanda y la República Checa -añadidas bajo la bandera de la Unión Europea- en una cumbre celebrada en Washington que pretende conjurar la crisis financiera que azota al mundo desde hace un año y que amenaza con transformarse en una debacle económica a escala planetaria. Entre las medidas concretas decididas está la creación de un ‘colegio de supervisores’ que controlará los principales bancos del mundo y cuya lista deberá estar elaborada antes del final de marzo.

«Estamos decididos a mejorar nuestra cooperación y trabajar juntos para restaurar el crecimiento global y lograr las reformas que necesita el sistema financiero del mundo». Así comienza la declaración final suscrita ayer por los líderes de los países que generan el 90% del PIB mundial, en una ardiente defensa del capitalismo y el libre mercado, cuyos cimientos se han tambaleado con la crisis crediticia.

Lo conseguido ayer ha sobrepasado las esperanzas de algunos especialistas, que no confiaban en compromisos importantes ante el vacío de poder estadounidense. En cualquier caso, el texto supone El presidente George Bush, en el centro, con Zapatero a su espalda, en el momento en que los dirigentes mundiales abandonan el estrado tras la foto de familia antes de la cumbre - REUTERSuna victoria personal para Bush, que ha logrado que el mundo rinda pleitesía a un sistema en crisis. La declaración advierte de que un sobreproteccionismo por exceso de regulación pondría en peligro al sistema que tan ardientemente defienden como el generador de la riqueza y la prosperidad mundial. «Subrayamos la importancia crítica de rechazar el proteccionismo y no volvernos hacia adentro en tiempos de incertidumbre financiera», dice el texto.

Estímulos fiscales

Los líderes analizan en el documento las raíces de la crisis, se congratulan por las medidas adoptadas de forma global para atajarla y se comprometen a favorecer el dinamismo económico, la creación de empleo, el crecimiento, la innovación y la reducción de la pobreza. Algo que pretenden lograr con estímulos fiscales a escala nacional, que España se ha comprometido a apoyar, además de reforzar el papel del Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Banco Mundial como instrumentos de rescate para los países en crisis.

El documento aboga porque todas esas medidas se pongan en marcha antes de que acabe el próximo mes de marzo de 2009, con el fin de que puedan ser evaluadas en una próxima cumbre, a celebrar antes del 30 de abril, en un lugar todavía sin determinar, y a la que ya asistirá el nuevo presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama.

La declaración atribuye a cada país la responsabilidad de fortalecer la regulación. Entre los objetivos de esa nueva política estarán la vigilancia de los fondos de alto riego (hedge funds) y de las firmas de calificación de riesgo, propuestas defendidas por los representantes europeos.

Principios básicos

La nueva era abierta ayer en el sistema financiero internacional, según el texto final de la cumbre, debe descansar sobre cinco principios: mayor transparencia contable, mejora de la regulación, promoción de la integración de los mercados, refuerzo de la cooperación global y reforma de las instituciones financieras.

También se apuesta por promover la integridad ética de los mercados financieros y proteger a los consumidores, evitando los conflictos de intereses y previniendo la manipulación ilegal, las actividades fraudulentas y los abusos.

En la declaración final, los mandatarios alzan la voz en contra del proteccionismo comercial, e instan a una conclusión de la Ronda de Doha, de la Organización Mundial de Comercio (OMC).

En Londres

Nicolas Sarkozy propuso que la próxima cumbre del G20 se celebre en Londres, con motivo de la presidencia de turno de Gran Bretaña de este grupo.

Ahora, «el G20 es visto como el organismo relevante» para hacer frente a los problemas que surgen a raíz de la crisis financiera, dijo el mandatario francés en el encuentro con la prensa, al que acudió acompañado del presidente de la Comisión Europea, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

El G20 está integrado por la Unión Europea (UE), el Grupo de los Siete (EE UU, Canadá, Japón, Alemania, Reino Unido, Italia y Francia) y Corea del Sur, Argentina, Australia, Brasil, China, India, Indonesia, México, Arabia Saudí, Sudáfrica, Turquía y Rusia.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EL COMERCIO DIGITAL’ (Spain)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, G20, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

G20 DEFENDE NOVA REGULAÇÃO DO SISTEMA FINANCEIRO INTERNACIONAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 12, 2008

10 de Novembro de 2008

Os países do G20 concluíram que é preciso fortalecer o Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI), o Banco G20Mundial e o Fórum de Estabilidade Financeira (FSF) e que não há necessidade de se criar uma nova instituição para estabelecer políticas a serem adotadas pelo sistema financeiro internacional. “A posição do G20 é de que a crise exige uma mudança de postura destes organismos, com a criação de novos mecanismos de regulação financeira e uma maior coordenação”, disse o ministro da Fazenda, Guido Mantega, neste domingo (9), após presidir a reunião plenária do G20, em São Paulo. Para Mantega, o G20 é um forte candidato a coordenar ações contra a crise, devido a importância que os emergentes adquiriram nos últimos dez anos.

O ministro relacionou outros pontos de consenso entre os integrantes do G20. Segundo ele, todos concordaram que, diferentemente da crise asiática ocorrida nos anos 90, a atual, iniciada nos países avançados, “colocou todas as nações no mesmo barco” e agora há necessidade de uma ação coordenada para enfrentar a turbulência financeira global. Ele reafirmou que o aumento do poder decisório dos emergentes está ancorado no fato de que estes países são responsáveis por 75% do crescimento da economia mundial. “Por isso, o G20 deve ter um papel mais destacado e ser transformado numa instituição mais relevante”.

Ajuda – Outros pontos de consenso foram de que os países devem adotar políticas anti-cíclicas fiscais e monetárias para combater a crise financeira e que os países avançados precisam ajudar os emergentes que perderam liquidez devido à saída de fluxo de capitais.

No que se refere às políticas monetárias, os bancos centrais manifestaram preocupação com a inflação e defenderam que as medidas de combate à crise não devem ameaçar o equilíbrio monetário dos emergentes. Conforme o ministro Guido Mantega, de outro lado, o G20 discutiu os perigos da deflação provocada com as fugas de capitais. “Embora seja um movimento passageiro, houve desvalorização das moedas e a tendência e de deflação, acompanhada da diminuição dos níveis de atividade”.

Mantega não detalhou as propostas que serão levadas à cúpula do G20, com a presença de chefes de Estado, que ocorrerá no próximo dia 15 em Washington. Ele explicou que a reunião do final de semana foi de caráter político e ao longo da semana uma equipe técnica irá preparar uma agenda de ações. “As equipes vão trabalhar na elaboração de um cronograma de execução destes procedimentos.”

Reuniões regulares – O ministro informou ainda que os ministros de finanças e presidentes dos bancos centrais discutiram como fortalecer o G20 transformando-o numa instância de Chefes de Governos, liderados por presidentes. Os participantes defenderam ainda que o G20 deve fazer reuniões regulares e não mais se limitar a encontros antes das reuniões de abril e outubro do FMI e do Banco Mundial, além de promover mais reuniões extraordinárias.

Os emergentes decidiram também criar uma sala de situação virtual para acompanhar os acontecimentos econômicos e influir nas decisões. A sala será coordenada por um grupo especial do G20 a ser formando para esta finalidade. No âmbito da regulação financeira, os emergentes vão sugerir na cúpula de Washington o aumento da fiscalização das ações das instituições de hedge funds (fundos de proteção contra riscos de variações nas taxas de juros e de câmbio).

Abertura – Ao abrir a reunião plenária dos ministros da Fazenda do G-20, o presidente, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, reiterou a proposta de fortalecimento dos países emergentes: “Precisamos aumentar a participação dos países em desenvolvimento nos mecanismos decisórios da economia mundial”. O presidente também falou sobre a necessidade de medidas mais efetivas para diminuir os impactos da crise financeira internacional. “Os países desenvolvidos e instituições como o Fundo Monetário Internacional devem adotar medidas para restaurar a liquidez nos mercados internacionais”.

Editado pela Secretaria de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República
Nº 725 – Brasília

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EM QUESTÃO’ (Brasil)

Posted in A PRESIDÊNCIA, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, G20, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, MINISTÉRIO DA FAZENDA, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

G-20 QUER QUE PAÍSES REFORCEM CAIXA DO FMI SE FOR PRECISO (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 10, 2008

Publicação: 09/11/2008 18:10 – Atualização: 09/11/2008 18:11

Agência Estado

O G-20, grupo das 20 maiores economias do mundo, divulgou um comunicado com as conclusões do encontro de dois dias, realizado neste fim da semana, na capital paulista. No documento de cinco páginas, os países do grupo defendem a necessidade de reforma das instituições criadas em Bretton Woods e, pela primeira vez, citam a possibilidade de injeção de mais recursos em instituições como o Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI) e o Banco Mundial.

No texto, os países afirmam que é necessário atentar para o uso adequado dos recursos dessas instituições, e observam que é preciso estar preparado para aumentar a capacidade de funding das mesmas quando necessário. O comunicado afirma, nesse contexto, ser bem-vindo o uso de recursos do FMI para promover a ajuda emergencial às nações necessitadas, como também a criação de novos mecanismos para ampliar a liquidez no curto prazo. O documento também cita o reconhecimento do G-20 de que o Financial Stability Forum deve ser estendido para ter a participação dos países emergentes.

O comunicado também observa que a queda dos preços das commodities internacionais tem diminuído a pressão inflacionária em especial nos países desenvolvidos. Isso, segundo o texto, permite que alguns bancos centrais adotem uma política monetária mais expansiva. Por outro lado, a depreciação cambial tem gerado pressões que podem ser mais persistentes nos países emergentes. Nesse caso, o documento comenta a necessidade de que as autoridades monetárias destas nações permaneçam cuidadosas com a questão.

O documento do G-20 está em linha com as propostas que serão apresentadas pelo governo brasileiro na reunião dos chefes de Estado dos mesmos países no próximo dia 15 de novembro, em Washington, bem como com os discursos do presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva e do ministro da Fazenda, Guido Mantega, feitos durante o encontro do G-20.

Os representantes das 20 maiores economias também afirmam no comunicado estarem determinados a adotar todos os passos necessários para que haja um crescimento não inflacionário, mantendo a estabilidade e a sustentabilidade de acordo com as necessidades e instrumentos disponíveis nos respectivos países, incluindo política fiscal e monetária. “Reconhecemos a necessidade de apoiar os esforços das economias emergentes, em especial ajudá-las a encontrar recursos adicionais para o seu desenvolvimento”, dizem os países do G-20 no comunicado. Eles aproveitaram para convocar todos os países a resistirem a adotar medidas protecionistas, e reiteraram o apoio à conclusão das negociações na rodada Doha

No documento, foi salientado que um dos aspectos mais deletérios da crise atual é o congelamento do crédito privado e do mercado de equity, e a tendência da volta do fluxo de capital para o local onde a crise foi originada. “Exploramos caminhos para restabelecer o acesso dos países emergentes e em desenvolvimento ao crédito e ao fluxo de caixa”, diz o texto. O documento ressalta que as políticas fiscais têm sido um instrumento importante para minimizar a atual crise financeira

Os países do G-20 consideraram ser essencial que os recentes ganhos na redução da pobreza e da desigualdade social não sejam afetados pela crise financeira e pelo desaquecimento da economia global. Eles reconheceram que muitos países podem ser afetados pela volatilidade dos preços das commodities e pela mudança no sentimento dos investidores. Por isso, concordam com a importância da manutenção de fluxos oficiais para esses países.

Ao mesmo tempo, ressaltam a necessidade de que todos os bancos de desenvolvimento trabalhem para sustentar os investimentos de infra-estrutura para o desenvolvimento dos países pobres. Para os membros do G-20, o desafio-chave é resolver a crise financeira de maneira durável e mitigar os impactos na atividade econômica global através de medidas compreensivas, coordenadas e oportunas. “As medidas devem ser desenhadas não apenas para restaurar o crescimento e a estabilidade financeira, mas também para minimizar os impactos sociais negativos, particularmente nos países emergentes e nas nações mais pobres.

Para o G-20, a conjuntura adversa na economia mundial foi provocada, em grande parte, pelo “excesso de risco e falhas nas práticas de gestão de risco nos mercados financeiros, por políticas macroeconômicas inconsistentes, que causaram desequilíbrios domésticos e externos, assim como deficiências na regulação e supervisão dos sistemas financeiros em alguns países avançados”. No comunicado, as nações reforçaram a disposição de tomar as medidas necessárias para reduzir a volatilidade do mercado financeiro global e restaurar o funcionamento do mercado de crédito nos países emergentes e avançados

A preocupação em normalizar o funcionamento dos mercados financeiros decorre da repercussão que a atual crise internacional tem na economia real. Segundo o G-20, alguns países avançados, onde a crise teve origem, já dão sinais de recessão ou já enfrentam retração na atividade econômica. Paralelamente, o comunicado do grupo também informa que já há sinais de crescimento mais lento nas economias emergentes, que hoje possuem um peso importante na expansão da economia global. “Nós reconhecemos que a falta pronunciada de confiança conduziu a um severo confinamento do crédito, o que afetou o consumo, os investimentos e o emprego”, afirmaram as nações do G-20 no documento

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO BRAZILIENSE’ (Brasil)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, G20, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

JAPANESE GOV’T READIES MONEY FOR NEW IMF BAILOUT FACILITY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOKYO (AP) – Japan is ready to provide some of its ample cash for any International Monetary Fund bailouts for struggling nations to help stabilize the growing global financial crisis, the finance minister said.

Japan will make that offer along with proposals about accounting standards and other regulatory adjustments needed to fix the growing economic woes at a world summit in Washington Nov. 15, Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa told reporters.

Nakagawa did not say the acceptance of its proposals would be needed to get any of the money but he said Japan expects to play a greater international leadership role on the international stage.

He said the IMF has about $ 210-billion funds but that may not be enough.

“Japan is ready if that prove insufficient,” he said, adding that Japan has $ 1 trillion in possible funding from its foreign currency reserves. “We see lending to the IMF basically as risk-free.”

He did not give specifics of what Japan’s proposals may be, stressing that Prime Minister Taro Aso was still hammering out details.

Britain and Germany support the creation of an International Monetary Fund facility to help smaller economies withstand the global financial crisis, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday.

“We discussed how we must prevent contagion over the next few days to middle-income countries including in eastern Europe,” Brown told reporters after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“It’s vital that the International Monetary Fund plays a central role in supporting these economies. We both agreed to support a new facility for the IMF which would draw on additional resources of countries with substantial reserves.”

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told French daily Le Monde he would propose a new regulatory strategy at a meeting next month of the Group of 20 nations.

He said he would suggest a new type of loan to relieve short-term liquidity problems in some economies, and an increase in IMF resources which he said were insufficient to meet requirements over the medium

Nakagawa reiterated his earlier remarks and the views of other Japanese politicians that Japan wishes to exercise political leadership in offering its money and experience in wresting itself out of its bad debt woes of the 1990s.

He said Europe and the U.S. have historical experience with the Great Depression, but Japan has more recent experience and is in a better position to share its expertise.

“We were able to get ourselves out of our problems without help from any other nation,” he said at the Japan Press Center.

Earlier this week British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the International Monetary Fund needs more money to bail out struggling countries.

Brown has called on countries such as China and the oil-rich Persian Gulf states to fund the bulk of an increase in the International Monetary Fund’s bailout pot. The IMF is giving Hungary, Iceland and Ukraine loans and is in discussions with Belarus.

The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it is creating a new program to get money quickly to developing countries with strong economies that are facing cash crunches in the global financial crisis.

Nakagawa said countries need to respond quickly and work together to get out of the financial problems that started with the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and is now spreading around the world.

“Japan is taking leadership,” he said.

He said Japan was also doing its part domestically with stimulus spending packages and regulatory changes to prevent a further plunge on the Tokyo stock market.

Merkel said joint action was needed to tackle the crisis.

“I believe the cooperation of the recent weeks has shown we are on the right path,” she said. “We must make risks (in financial markets) manageable.”

Brown said this week that the IMF needed more money to deal with the fallout from the global financial crisis and called on China and the Gulf states to play their part.

Asked about Brown’s call, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman responded vaguely on Thursday but kept the door open to a bigger Chinese role in international rescue efforts.

Brown’s spokesman said he welcomed the positive responses from Germany and China to the proposal “and the indication that they (China) have given that they would be prepared to consider contributing to any such fund”.

Brown has said the issue of giving the IMF more resources will be on the agenda when he visits the Gulf this weekend.

Brown said he and Merkel were “in total agreement” about what needed to be done at a Nov. 15 global summit in Washington to discuss how to reform the global financial system.

“We need to have a transparency that has not existed in every area of the banking system,” he said.

Brown voiced confidence that the leaders would agree in Washington on the need for reforms to global supervision and cross-border cooperation as well as on the need to reopen talks on a new global trade agreement.

Merkel made no mention of a German economic stimulus programme widely trailed in national media, which a senior legislator in her ruling coalition said would be worth 20-25 billion euros ($ 26 billion-$ 32 billion).

Brown defended the decision he made back in 1997 to make the Bank of England independent.

“It’s absolutely the right idea. It’s stability and an anchor for our financial and economic system,” he said.

“The Bank of England has brought down interest rates twice recently. They continue to look at what they can do for the future, but I think we’ve got to understand that the way to deal with this global problem … is by a comprehensive set of measures,” he said, referring to interest rate cuts, tax cuts and British efforts to help homeowners and small businesses.

“I think you’ll see us, in the next few days, in a position to do more to help people face what is a global problem,” he said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MANILA BULLETIN ON LINE’ (Philippines)

Posted in ASIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GERMANY, IMF, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, JAPAN, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

IPEA: CRISE PÕE EM XEQUE PADRÃO DE AVANÇO DO SÉCULO 20 (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 31, 2008

31/10/2008

O presidente do Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea), Marcio Pochmann, disse, nesta quinta-feira (30), que é difícil avaliar se o pior da crise financeira internacional já passou porque a situação indica ser de longa duração. “Está em xeque o padrão de crescimento do século 20, que aliás é fortemente degradante do meio ambiente”, afirmou o presidente da instituição, que é uma fundação pública vinculada ao Núcleo de Assuntos Estratégicos da Presidência da República.

Pochmann destacou ser necessária a reconstrução da regulação do sistema financeiro internacional. “As ações até agora são contra os efeitos da crise, e não sobre as causas da crise”, disse. Para ele, as causas estão ligadas à descrença na moeda de curso internacional, o dólar, e à necessidade de refundação das regras e das instituições do sistema financeiro internacional.

Segundo Pochmann, instituições multilaterais como o Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI) e o Banco Mundial ficaram à margem do enfrentamento da crise e as decisões estão sendo tomadas pelos bancos centrais dos países. Ele declarou que os derivativos no mundo são mais de US$ 600 trilhões, enquanto o orçamento do FMI é de US$ 400 bilhões. “É uma desproporção enorme”, disse. Pochmann considera necessário ter autoridades multilaterais renovadas, com capacidade de intervenção. “Isso significa acordo entre países.” Com a eleição nos Estados Unidos este ano, ele avalia que decisões sobre o que considera as causas da crise devem ser tomadas no médio prazo e a partir do ano que vem.

Brasil

O presidente do Ipea disse também que “não é irreal imaginar uma expansão ao redor de 4%” para o Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) brasileiro em 2009. Ele explicou que, por um efeito estatístico, se este ano o PIB crescer 5%, o PIB do ano que vem terá aumento entre 2,8% e 3%, “a não ser que haja recessão, o que a gente não espera”.

Pochmann afirmou ainda que no seu modo de ver “seria interessante” a redução ou uma parada com viés de baixa da taxa básica de juros, a Selic, que foi mantida ontem sem viés pelo Banco Central em 13,75% ao ano. Ele comentou que “dentro da visão ortodoxa do Banco Central, é interessante destacar que estancaram a subida dos juros”.

Para Pochmann, a desaceleração da atividade econômica em função da crise internacional faz com que haja uma tendência de queda no “núcleo duro” da inflação. Ele comentou ainda que há uma convergência de queda nas taxas de juros no mundo devido à crise e que a taxa brasileira é das mais altas. As declarações foram feitas em entrevista coletiva ao chegar para a 4ª Jornada de Estudos de Regulação, no Ipea.

Fonte: Agência Estado

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL DO CONSUMIDOR’ (Brasil)

Posted in BANCO CENTRAL - BRASIL, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ELECTIONS 2008 - USA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, IMF, O SISTEMA BANCÁRIO - BRASIL, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

BANCO MUNDIAL NOMEIA NOVO DIRETOR PARA O BRASIL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 27, 2008


Sábado, 25/10/2008, 01:27h

SÃO PAULO (SP)- O Banco Mundial (BM) anunciou hoje a nomeação do ex-ministro das Finanças do Senegal Makhtar Diop como diretor do organismo para o Brasil.

Diop ocupa atualmente o cargo de Diretor de Estratégia e Operações para a América Latina e o Caribe, e a partir do 1º de janeiro substituirá no Brasil John Briscoe, que anunciou sua aposentadoria.

“O senhor Diop trabalhará estreitamente com as autoridades brasileiras para facilitar soluções de desenvolvimento que respondam às prioridades do país, assim como a promoção do maior papel global do Brasil e da cooperação no hemisfério sul”, afirmou Pamela Cox, vice-presidente para a América Latina e o Caribe do BM.

Recentemente, o presidente do Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick, assinalou que o Brasil e outras economias emergentes deveriam fazer parte de um conjunto de países para a solução de problemas como o da crise financeira, junto ao Grupo dos Sete (G7, os países mais industrializados do mundo). (Invertia)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DIÁRIO DO PARÁ’

Posted in BRASIL, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »