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AER LINGUS TO START WASHINGTON, D.C. – MADRID FLIGHTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 2:15pm EST

Baltimore Business Journal – by Jeff Clabaugh – Contributor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL’ (USA)

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

IRELAND’S GOV’T TO NATIONALIZE ANGLO-IRISH

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 16, 2009

Thu, Jan. 15, 2009 02:57 PM

by Danica Kirka – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘KANSAS CITY STAR’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘KANSAS CITY STAR’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

IRISH ECONOMY ‘WILL LEAD EUROPE WITHIN A DECADE’ – US ECONOMIST THINKS GROWTH RATES WILL EVENTUALLY OUTSTRIP MAIN RIVALS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Sunday 11 January 2009

by Henry McDonald – The Observer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

DADDY, WHERE DO BAILOUTS COME FROM?

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

December 22, 2008 5:37 p.m. PT

by Caroline Baum – Syndicated Columnist

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

REPOSSESSION FEARS SOAR (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Belfast Telegraph

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

IT FIRM WINS VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

Monday, 22 December 2008

by Symon Ross

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, DIGITAL INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

COMPANY BEGINS TALKS OVER £52M WIND TURBINE DEAL (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

Monday, 22 December 2008

by Symon Ross

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

Posted in AEOLIC, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

WORST RECESSION PERIOD EXPECTED IN EARLY 2009 (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

Monday, 22 December 2008

by Symon Ross

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH’ (Ireland)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

IRELAND PREPARES TO PUMP IN ALMOST US$7B INTO 3 LENDERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 22, 2008

2008-12-22

by Kevin Smith

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SHANGHAI DAILY’ (China)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SHANGHAI DAILY’ (China)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BATTLE TO RESTORE LOANS TO BUSINESS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

16 December 2008, 8:02am

Sam Fleming, Daily Mail

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

Britain and Ireland yesterday stepped up their efforts to shore up their decaying banking systems as the credit drought worsens.

The UK Treasury announced a significant U-turn by hacking back the fee it charges to guarantee £250bn of loans that banks make to one another.

And across the Irish Sea, Dublin announced a recapitalisation plan that mirrors the £37bn scheme introduced by the UK in October. The steps came amid further evidence that banks are hoarding liquidity rather than extending loans to cash-starved firms and households.

Yesterday the Bank of England warned that European companies are facing ‘significant near-term funding pressures’ as they prepare to roll over £538bn of debts next year. Of the total, just over £4bn is owned by banks and other financial groups.

Under its new plan, the Treasury will reduce the fee it charges for its guarantee scheme and lengthen its duration from three to five years.

The scheme was originally attacked by City experts as imposing ‘penal conditions’ that are much tougher than those imposed by the US.

The Conservatives said the UK must go further. A spokesman for Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: ‘This is an admission-that the government got the details of their financial rescue package wrong. Whilst they are now following the Conservatives’ advice, the changes announced are still nowhere near enough to get lending flowing to business.’

Meanwhile, Dublin pledged to pump up to £9bn into its own beleaguered banking system. The government is trying to enlist private equity firms and big institutional investors to support an equity-raising scheme.

If they fail to take the bait, Irish taxpayers will end up as the biggest investors in Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and Anglo-Irish Bank.

But experts warned that £9bn may not be enough to revive Irish banks, which are facing massive losses from the meltdown in the property market.

Here, Financial Services Authority chief Hector Sants acknowledged Britain’s £37bn injection of cash in Royal Bank of Scotland Lloyds TSB and HBOS may not be sufficient.

He told the Treasury Committee that calculations about how much capital the banks needed were based on ‘a set of forecasts about the future’. He added: ‘The out-turns may not always follow the forecasts.’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

IRISH READY TO HOLD NEW EU VOTE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Thursday, 11 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS'(UK)

The Irish Republic is willing to hold a second referendum on the EU’s reform treaty if given certain guarantees by the EU, a spokesman has told the BBC.

Those legally binding guarantees are to be discussed by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

The Lisbon Treaty has been on ice since being rejected by Irish voters in June.

The summit is also due to take crucial decisions on EU measures to tackle climate change, and to consider an EU-wide economic stimulus plan.

Opening the meeting on Thursday French President Nicolas Sarkozy, chairing the summit, said he hoped his fellow leaders would be able to unite on a climate package.

“Europe must not provide the spectacle of its own division,” he said.

‘Anti-democratic’

The mechanism for a second referendum is included in draft conclusions which are being presented by the current holders of the EU presidency, France, and which have been seen by the BBC.

According to the draft, the Irish government says “it is committed to seeking ratification” of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of October 2009.

Ireland was “seeking legally binding instruments to address the concerns of the Irish people”, a government spokesman told the BBC.

Once it got those assurances, it would present “a roadmap for ratification”, that would include another referendum, the spokesman added.

Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European Parliament, said a wide-ranging consultation with the Irish people was needed. He said dialogue with Irish citizens before the first vote in June “was not serious enough”.

“We hope for a solution by the end of next year,” he said. “Realistically it won’t be the case before the European elections in June.”

The EU is set to offer guarantees that the treaty will not affect three main areas of concern to Irish “No” voters – abortion, Irish neutrality and taxation, says the BBC’s Europe editor Mark Mardell.

Ireland is also likely to be able to keep its EU commissioner.

But Declan Ganley, the chairman of the Libertas group that led the No campaign in the first Irish referendum, said this was an example of the Irish being dictated to.

“Do we think that democracy is important in Europe or do we want to exist in some post-democratic environment where European affairs are concerned?” he said.

He also announced that his Libertas group would be standing on an anti-treaty platform across the EU during next year’s parliamentary elections.

Credibility at stake

EU leaders will pore over and work on the summit conclusions before they are published on Friday.

They also face a major test of their willingness to tackle climate change, with a key agreement on cutting the EU’s carbon pollution at stake.

Mr Poettering said the parliament needed to find a compromise.

“It wouldn’t help anyone if industry simply relocates to China or somewhere,” he said. “The important thing is that Europe remains in front on this.”

Amid the economic downturn, Germany, Italy and Poland, among others, are fighting any deal that could cost jobs.

Poland’s Europe Minister Mikolaj Dowgielewicz said there would be long negotiations over the package, including Poland’s proposal for a central “solidarity” fund to help poorer nations cope with CO2 measures.

“It’s going to be a three or four-shirt summit. We’ve booked tickets for Sunday morning…” he told the BBC.

“There’s a number of issues which are still open, everything from the financing of CCS [carbon storage] to the solidarity fund – this is still on the table… we don’t really know what the compromise will be.”

The “20-20-20” package, which also requires approval by the European Parliament to become law, commits the EU to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, and to raising renewable sources to 20% of total energy use.

President Sarkozy is pushing hard to clinch a deal before he hands over the rotating presidency of the EU to the Czech Republic at the end of the year.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “It would be a real mistake for Europe to give the signal that we are watering down our position, after all these years leading the efforts for a global solution.”

Also up for discussion is the EU’s 200bn-euro (£175bn) economic stimulus plan.

With recession looming, there will be broad agreement on the EU-wide package to boost the economy, although Germany opposes calls from Britain and France to cut taxes, says the BBC’s Oana Lungescu in Brussels.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS'(UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STATE TARIFFS, THE EUROPEAN UNION | 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 »

FIRST PORK, NOW TAINTED BEEF IN IRELAND – DIOXINS IN CATTLE DOUBLE OR TRIPLE LEGAL LIMITS; MEDICAL CHIEF SAYS NO HEALTH RISK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 9, 2008

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

(AP) Ireland announced Tuesday it has found illegal levels of dioxins – the chemicals that are devastating its pork industry – in cattle, but insisted its beef was safe to eat.

Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith said Ireland has decided not to recall any of its beef products at home or abroad because, unlike the contamination of pork products, the level and extent of dioxin found so far in cattle is much lower.

Smith said dioxin tests had come back positive for three farms out of 11 tested so far, while results were pending for 34 more farms that received dioxin-contaminated feed. He described the three farms that failed as “technically noncompliant, but not at a level that would pose any public health concern.”

Smith said the government would prevent any cattle at those three farms from being slaughtered and put into the food chain until they could be individually tested for dioxin levels. Until then, he said, no meat from those farms would be permitted to enter the market.

Alan O’Reilly, deputy chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, said dioxin levels detected in cattle from the three farms were two to three times over legal limits. He contrasted that with last week’s finding of dioxin levels in pigs that were 80 to 200 times over those limits.

“There’s a huge difference,” O’Reilly said.

Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, said the levels of dioxins detected in Irish beef and pork would not pose a health risk to anyone who ate either meat.

“To all intents and purposes this is not a public health issue. … We do not expect to see symptoms as a result of this,” Holohan said.

Nonetheless, the latest findings threatened to undermine Ireland’s annual $2 billion industry in beef, Ireland’s primary agricultural export – more than three times the value of Ireland’s gridlocked pork industry.

Ireland’s major pigmeat processors have been refusing to start slaughtering an estimated 100,000 pigs at nine farms where illegally high levels of dioxins have been confirmed. The processors have already laid off 1,400 workers and say they won’t budge until the government reimburses their costs.

© MMVIII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in CATTLE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), HEALTH SAFETY, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, MEAT, PORK, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY | Leave a Comment »

AER LINGUS CHIEF LOBBIES DUBLIN TO REPEL RYANAIR OFFER – THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF AER LINGUS BRANDED RYANAIR’S RENEWED TAKEOVER ATTEMPT AS “PATHETIC” YESTERDAY (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

by Susan Thompson – The Times

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Dermot Mannion said that Ryanair’s €1.40 offer per share, made on December 1, fell far short of the Irish flag carrier’s true value. The offer puts a €748 million (£665 million) value on the former state-controlled airline. It is half the amount that Ryanair offered two years ago when it first made a bid.

Mr Mannion, who has been lobbying the Irish Government for its help to repel the hostile bid, called Ryanair’s offered price “a pathetic sum in the context of the €1.3 billion in cash on the group’s balance sheet, the substantial value of our fleet and the value of the Heathrow slots”.

Mr Mannion met Noel Dempsey, the Irish Transport Minister, yesterday to seek government assurances that it would not sell any shares to Ryanair. The Government holds 25 per cent of Aer Lingus, while Ryanair is the top shareholder with 30 per cent.

Firm opposition until now from the Government had helped to blunt Ryanair’s ambitions. So too had a June 2007 ruling by European competition regulators that a takeover would create a near-monopoly in European flights out of Dublin.

However, since December 1, the Government has wavered because it faces a financial crisis involving a sharp drop in tax revenues and soaring deficit spending, and could badly use the cash that Ryanair is offering. Mr Dempsey declined to comment.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, has admitted that the €1.40 offer, if successful, would mean that Ryanair acquired its rival for “almost nothing”. However, he argued that the spate of airline bankruptcies caused by the economic downturn had strengthened the company’s position.

Mr O’Leary claimed that Aer Lingus had no medium-term future in the face of competition from Ryanair and Europe’s rapidly consolidating flag-carrier airlines.

Ryanair has sought to defuse opposition to its bid by offering to recognise Aer Lingus’s unions, cut the airline’s short-haul fares by 5 per cent, scrap its fuel surcharge and give control of landing slots at Heathrow to the Irish Government. Mr O’Leary also pledged to increase Aer Lingus’s workforce by 1,000.

If Ryanair is to succeed it must win support from shareholders, including Aer Lingus’s employees. The crew and pilots own about 18 per cent of the airline and have expressed concern about job and pay cuts if they are acquired by the budget carrier.

Aer Lingus shares slipped 0.7 per cent to €1.50. Ryanair shares fell 5.7 per cent to €3.04.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, ISLAMIC BANKS, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

EU AGREES $260BN ECONOMY PLAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008 15:17 Mecca time, 12:17 GMT

PUBLISHED BY ‘AL JAZEERA’ (Qatar)

European Union leaders have agreed a $260bn stimulus package designed to dig the continent’s troubled economies out of recession.

The deal, which see each EU French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, shares a word with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday Dec. 12, 2008. European Union leaders continue their two days of talks aimed at sealing a final accord on their climate change package to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020member invest on average the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) into their economies in order to temper the impact of a global recession, was reached on Friday at a two-day summit in the Belgian capital Brussels.

“What Europe has proved unanimously today is that it is ready to act in a united way to deal with the global downturn,” Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister, said.

“We will continue to reject the do-nothing approach and we will not stand by and let the recession take its course.”

Ahead of the summit, Germany had expressed reservations about ploughing so much public money into the economy and resisted pressure to contribute more than what it judged necessary to revive the German economy again.

Officials revised earlier versions of the conclusions to say the package should be worth “about” 1.5 per cent of GDP rather than “at least” 1.5 per cent as seen in an earlier draft.

Climate change

After securing an agreement in the morning for Ireland to submit a stalled EU reform treaty to a second referendum next year, the 27 leaders were also hoping to reach more common ground on climate change as the day progressed.

Copies of a draft agreement indicated the leaders should commit themselves to warding off the threat of a “recessionary spiral” with the stimulus package and an ambitious climate package.

“In these exceptional circumstances, Europe will act in a united, strong, rapid and decisive manner to avoid a recessionary spiral and sustain economic activity and employment,” the draft conclusion said.

“It will mobilise all the instruments available to it and act in a concerted manner to maximise the effect of the measures taken by the [European] Union and by each member state.”

The EU’s climate-energy package, the “20-20-20” deal, seeks to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, make 20 per cent energy savings and bring renewable energy sources up to 20 per cent of total energy use.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said: “The member states still have essential negotiations but I am cautiously optimistic that good conclusions can be reached here and send an important signal” to an international climate conference in Copehagen next December.

Under Ireland’s referendum deal, a new referendum will be held by November 2009 on the controversial treaty in exchange for guarantees on key issues including an assurance that it does not lose its EU commissioner.

Irish voters rejected the treaty, designed to streamline EU decision-making and institutions, at a first referendum in June.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘AL JAZEERA’ (Qatar)

Posted in AEOLIC, BANKING SYSTEMS, BELGIUM, BIOFUELS, BIOMASS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, EUROPE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRANCE, GERMANY, HYDROGEN - FUEL CELLS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOLAR, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 28, 2008

28/11/2008

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – by John Pilger

CLICK HERE FOR A HIGH DEFINITION VERSION OF THE ENTIRE VIDEO

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The native islanders of the Chagos archipelago were forcibly removed from the CHAGOS' FLAGislands by the British Government at that time to make way for an American military airbase during the Cold War. They were forgotten about and left to wither in poverty in the slums of Mauritius. They have been fighting to be allowed to return home ever since, and despite the British courts ruling in favour of this the Government has managed to block that decision, and the Chagossians remain in their enforced purgatory to this day.

STEALING A NATION (John Pilger, 2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean – secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGOand early 1970s, to make way for an American military base. The base, on the main island of Diego Garcia, was a launch pad for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Stealing a Nation has won both the Royal Television Society’s top award as Britain’s best documentary in 2004-5, and a ‘Chris Award’ at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. A brochure of the film is available at http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/guides/stealguide.pdf. On April 8, 2008, the Chagos Islanders have launched a national Campaign for Resettlement of their islands – go to www.letthemreturn.com. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at www.chagossupport.org.uk.

Other references and articles on the story are as listed below: CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO

http://www.chagos.org/home.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politic…

Islanders who wait in vain for justice and a paradise lost
Evicted from their tropical idyll in a military deal, victorious in three legal hearings, they now face another battle to be allowed home – From The Times – November 9, 2007

THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

27 Nov 2008

In his column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the latest chapter in theCHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO extraordinary story of the ‘mass kidnapping’ of the people of the Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean, British citizens expelled from their homeland to make way for an American military base. On 22 October, Britain’s highest court of appeal, the Law Lords, demonstrated how British power words at its apex by handing down a transparently political judgement that dismissed the Magna Carta and banned an entire nation from ever going home.

I went to the Houses of Parliament on 22 October to join a disconsolate group of shivering people who had arrived from a faraway tropical place and were being prevented from entering the Public Gallery to hear their fate. This was not headline news; the BBC reporter seemed almost CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING IN LONDONembarrassed. Crimes of such magnitude are not news when they are ours, and neither is injustice or corruption at the apex of British power.

Lizette Talatte was there, her tiny frail self swallowed by the cavernous stone grey of Westminster Hall. I first saw her in a Colonial Office film from the 1950s which described her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, as a paradise long settled by people “born and brought up in conditions most tranquil and benign”. Lizette was then 14 years old. She remembers the producer saying to her and her friends, “Keep smiling, girls!”. When we met in Mauritius, four years ago, she said: “We didn’t need to be told to smile. I was a happy child, because my roots were deep in Diego Garcia. My great-grandmother was born there, and I made six children there. Maybe only the English can make a film that showed we were an established community, then deny their own evidence and invent the lie that we were transient workers.”CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ROYAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN LONDON

During the 1960s and 1970s British governments, Labour and Tory, tricked and expelled the entire population of the Chagos Archipelago, more than 2,000 British citizens, so that Diego Garcia could be given to the United States as the site for a military base. It was an act of mass kidnapping carried out in high secrecy. As unclassified official files now show, Foreign Office officials conspired to lie, coaching each other to “maintain” and “argue” the “fiction” that the Chagossians existed only as a “floating population”. On 28 July 1965, a senior Foreign Office official, T C D Jerrom, wrote to the British representative at the United Nations, instructing him to lie to the General Assembly that the Chagos Archipelago was “uninhabited when the United Kingdom government first acquired it”. Nine years later, the Ministry of Defence went further, lying CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - Louis Olivier Bancoult, (2nd L) Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, holds his grandson Julien aloft outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abodethat “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants [of the Chagos] or about an evacuation”.

“To get us out of our homes,” Lizette told me, “they spread rumours we would be bombed, then they turned on our dogs. The American soldiers who had arrived to build the base backed several of their big vehicles against a brick shed, and hundreds of dogs were rounded up and imprisoned there, and they gassed them through a tube from the trucks’ exhaust. You could hear them crying. Then they burned them on a pyre, many still alive.”

Lizette and her family were finally forced on to a rusting freighter and made to lie on a cargo of bird fertiliser during a voyage, through stormy seas, to the slums of Port Louis, Mauritius. Within A demonstrator demanding her return to the Chagos Islands in the Diego Garcia archipelago shouts during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London October 22, 2008. Britain's highest court ruled in favour of the British government on Wednesday, blocking the return of hundreds of Chagos Island people to their homes in the south Indian Ocean after nearly 40 years of exile. The decision by the House of Lords ends a years-long battle to secure the Chagos Islanders the right to return to their archipelago, from where they were forcibly removed in the 1960s and '70s to make way for an American airbase on Diego Garcia.months, she had lost Jollice, aged eight, and Regis, aged ten months. “They died of sadness,” she said. “The eight-year-old had seen the horror of what had happened to the dogs. The doctor said he could not treat sadness.”

Since 2000, no fewer than nine high court judgments have described these British government actions as “illegal”, “outrageous” and “repugnant”. One ruling cited Magna Carta, which says no free man can be sent into exile. In desperation, the Blair government used the royal prerogative – the divine right of kings – to circumvent the courts and parliament and to ban the islanders from even visiting the Chagos. When this, too, was overturned by the high court, the government was rescued by the law lords, of whom a majority of one (three to two) found for the government in a scandalously inept, political manner. In the weasel, almost flippant words of LordChagos Islanders look on while Louis Olivier Bancoult (R), Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, addresses the media outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abode Hoffmann, “the rightof abode is a creature of the law. The law gives it and the law takes it away.” Forget Magna Carta. Human rights are in the gift of three stooges doing the dirty work of a government, itself lawless.

As the official files show, the Chagos conspiracy and cover-up involved three prime ministers and 13 cabinet ministers, including those who approved “the plan”. But elite corruption is unspeakable in Britain. I know of no work of serious scholarship on this crime against humanity. The honourable exception is the work of the historian Mark Curtis, who describes the Chagossians as “unpeople”.

The reason for this silence is ideological. Courtier commentators and media historians obstruct our CHAGOS ISLANDERS IN FORCED EXILE - Dervillie Permal and his wifeview of the recent past, ensuring, as Harold Pinter pointed out in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, that while the “systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought” in Stalinist Russia were well known in the west, the great state crimes of western governments “have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented”.

Typically, the pop historian Tristram Hunt writes in the Observer (23 November): “Nestling in the slipstream of American hegemony served us well in the 20th century. The bonds of culture, religion, language and ideology ensured Britain a postwarLouis Olivier Bancoult, Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, celebrates outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. The High Court on Wednesday upheld a ruling letting families return to their Indian Ocean island homes, from where they were forced out 30 years ago to make way for a US military base. The Court of Appeal backed a High Court ruling in May last year that allowed the families to return to the Chagos Islands, except for Diego Garcia, a launchpad for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain expelled some 2,000 people from the Chagos Islands, 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of the Maldives, to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s, allowing it to lease Diego Garcia to Washington for 50 years economic bailout, a nuclear deterrent and the continuing ability to ‘punch above our weight’ on the world stage. Thanks to US patronage, our story of decolonisation was for us a relatively painless affair…”

Not a word of this drivel hints at the transatlantic elite’s Cold War paranoia, which put us all in mortal danger, or the rapacious Anglo-American wars that continue to claim untold lives. As part of the “bonds” that allow us to “punch above our weight”, the US gave Britain a derisory $14m discount off the price of Polaris nuclear missiles in exchange for the Chagos Islands, whose “painless decolonisation” was etched on Lizette Talatte’s face the other day. Never forget, Lord Hoffmann, that she, too, will die of sadness.

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Posted in CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ENGLAND, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATIVE PEOPLES, SCOTLAND, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

TOWARDS A NEW ECONOMIC NARRATIVE (Ireland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 26, 2008

Published: November 26th, 2008

Author: Michael Taft of Notes on the Front

Crisis? It’s baby-crunching time. We no longer have the luxury of attacking others’ prescriptions – OH ... those darn stairs againthose issued by the Government, employers’ spokespersons and stockbroker economists. The proverbial punter at the bar is impatient: ‘So what’s your big idea?’ It’s a fair question.

Let’s be under no illusion. The right is driving this debate. And the main ‘opposition’ in all this has been Fine Gael who wants more of the same. A debate? You need two sides to have a debate. All we have is the sound of one hand slapping us about.

So far, the Left, with some exceptions, has staked out a small ground. It opposes cutbacks, proposes infrastructural projects and more training places, and suggests alternative revenue streams such as cutting tax reliefs. Some good ideas but, to date, they do not cohere into a programme of expansion and renewal. They do not, as yet, constitute a new narrative.

And neither will this. It is, instead, an invitation to progressives to draft up their own programmes and proposals, to put forward their own contributions; to do better than what’s contained here. But the foundational principles must be to:

– Expand fiscally – junk the cutback vs. tax increase trap. We need money, lots of it, to put back into the economy.

– Expand demand – more spending, not less, is what the economy needs to maintain and expand business activity

– Expand indigenous enterprise: Lay the structural foundations for a new enterprise base – public and private; this will take time, so we have to start soon, tomorrow, this evening

That’s the ticket – expand, expand, expand. For illustrative purposes I have come up with a 10-point programme but no single programme can address all issues. For instance, I have not addressed recapitalising our banking system, educational investment, reducing poverty and labour market issues. In a fully-blown progressive project, these will take centre-stage.

But paramount in all this: the Left must become audacious. It must put forward its vision with courage and confidence. For the Left is right and the Right is wrong. We must defend our programme against all nay-sayers, pessimists, neo-liberals and shills for vested interests: on the doorstep, at community meetings, on RTE panels, in the Dail. No fear, no capitulation.

In short, we have to go on the offensive, all economic guns blazing. So let’s start.

Expand Fiscally

1. Borrow ‘Til We Drop

The fiscal meltdown is the result of the economic decline, not the cause. To prioritise the budget A DRAWING BY UMBERTO BOCCIONIdeficit is to obsess over the symptoms, not the disease. Cutting public spending and increasing taxes will result in less consumption and business activity. This, in turn, will create further fiscal imbalances, which will in turn prompt more right-wingers to demand even further cuts – and round and down we go. The patient sickens.

We need to borrow. We need to borrow big time. You can’t cut-and-tax your way out of a recession – you spend. And borrowing is the main instrument. Borrowing will get us ‘over the hump’. We won’t take money out, we will put money in. In times of recession, borrowing is good.

Don’t mind the fiscal reactionaries: we have plenty of scope to borrow. Our debt repayments come to only 1.5 percent of overall wealth. If an average industrial worker had the same level of debt repayments as Ireland Ltd., it would come to €50 per month. Even if this repayment were doubled, most households would light many candles in a fiscal hosanna.

– So, expand overall net debt to 55% of GDP over the next three years and aim to balance the current budget at the end of downward business cycle (it could take up to six-seven years before we close the output gap and get the economy operating at optimal level). This could provide us with between €30 and €40 billion additional resources above the Government’s projected expenditure – an enormous investment to spend and invest, lend and expand. A NARRATIVE TALE

2. Tax Lay-About Capital, Not Work

Just to ensure that we don’t get caught in a debt-spiral, buttress our borrowing with new tax measures – but only on capital and higher incomes. It’s okay to tax these folk – they have higher liquidity which doesn’t end up getting spent or invested productively. Here are two proposals:

– A once-off, Donald Trump-like, tax on capital assets over €1 million. This tax could be paid off over a seven year period. It could raise some serious dosh, but it’s important that productive assets aren’t hit.

– Phase out all tax relief (save for relief on productive investments) for people earning in excess of €100,000. Why should we subsidise their VHI premiums for private hospitals?

These are just two suggestions to give the wealthy, if not a soaking, then a right good splash. We are only limited by our imaginations and by the fact that the top 75,000 households in this country own over €300 billion in wealth. There’s a lot of lay-about capital running about. Let’s grab it and put it work for all of us.

[Another way to turn down the fiscal heat is to open up the Pension Reserve Fund for investment in infrastructure and enterprise projects on a commercial basis – see below.]

3. Public Safety Committees

Robespierre – where are you when we need you? If the Left is to argue for higher spending and A DRAWING BY M.C. ESCHERborrowing, people will need confidence that this ‘expansion’ is being spent wisely. So let’s establish the equivalent of public safety committees in every Government Department and major public agency (HSE, Public Works, etc.) through a substantial expansion of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office. This would enable the office to examine in real-time not only the expenditure, but the expenditure process itself. All results, observations, requests for information (and replies) should be made immediately available on a new website dedicated to Government spending.

A further initiative would be to subject every line of expenditure – including tax expenditures (reliefs, allowances, exemptions, etc.) – to stress-tests that measure both economic efficiency and social equity. If they don’t pass these tests, get rid of them (e.g. subsidies to private fee-paying schools). Inefficient and inequitable expenditure remains out of inertia – or because it benefits a vested interest. Roll out the guillotine.

Expand Demand

4. Spread it Around

How can we get more money into people’s pockets? Especially when tax cuts are not a viable option? First stop is the national wage agreement. The current agreement is not a recession buster. It spreads wage increases equally throughout all income groups, rather than concentrating them in those groups that have a higher propensity to spend; namely, low and average income-earners. Secondly, it doesn’t allow the workforce to maximise their wages, even if local conditions permit. If a multi-national is making shed-loads of profit, wouldn’t it be more economically beneficial to allow employees to negotiate additional wage increases within the social partnership framework? Rather than having profit shipped out of the country, the money would be retained and circulated here.

A recession-busting wage agreement would contain two elements:

– A flat-rate base pay increase: an example would be between €25 and €30 per week (this doesn’t rule out an additional percentage increase, but that increase should be small)

– Provision for local bargaining.

Employers would have little cause to complain. They would still be protected by the ‘inability to pay clause’. If they can’t pay some or all of the flat-rate pay increase, or any local bargaining LANDSCAPE NARRATIVEtop-up, they won’t have to, provided they come clean with the Labour Court.

Additional measures to increase demand in the economy would be to:

– Introduce the right to collective bargaining: Study after study shows that those who negotiate through their unions earn more for the same job than those who don’t. IBEC warns the multi-nationals won’t wear this. The fact is nearly two-thirds of multi-nationals deal with the unions. It’s our home-grown enterprises that don’t recognise unions (and they wonder why they’re so unproductive). Organised workforces will strike better deals – again, win-win.

– Re-introduce pay-related unemployment benefit. At least if people are left temporarily jobless, they shouldn’t be left income-less. This cushion will help people take full advantage of retraining opportunities if needed, and maintain their spending power.

There is still a lot of profit out there. In 2007, 500 companies made over €26 billion in profits while 90 percent of the top 1000 companies were in profit. Even if the recession reduces this, there’s NARRATIVE THRU SECURITY VIDEO CAMERASstill a lot of money there to spread around. So renegotiate the wage deal (it’s been done on two previous occasions so there can be no objection from precedent); or bring forward the next wage deal. Whatever we do, make sure that social partnership remains relevant to the times.

5. Competition This!

Inflation is falling – recessions are great for that sort of thing. But there are still sectors where unjustifiably high prices are being maintained. And this costs households and businesses. So let’s really do this competition thing and put more money in people’s pockets.

Strip the Energy Regulator of the power to set ESB tariffs (which he sets above the market level to incentivise private sector investment); strip him of the power to prevent competition between energy companies (currently, the ESB is required to lose market share); in other words, let the market set the rate. The Regulator should only intervene if any company is abusing their market position. This alone will bring down energy costs, benefiting businesses and households.

Take up Colm Rapple’s excellent idea to require retailers to provide real-time price information to a revamped National Consumer Agency which would put up the information on an interactive, regionally based website. The Tanaiste said people should shop around – well, let them shop around on the website; and shame the price gougers. In addition, this new NCA should be given statutory powers to examine price setting mechanisms (including profit margins and management remuneration) in comparison with other countries, and to issue pricing guidelines where there are real violations of the competitive code.

6. Go on a (Social) Binge

While the last thing we need is to artificially inflate the construction sector to previously unsustainable levels – the last thing we need is to throw building workers on to the dole queue or let valuable skills leave the country, especially with all the social and environmental work that needs to be done. Soaking up this excess capacity (and it doesn’t stop at building workers: materials suppliers, transport, manufacturing – all have a stake in this) can provide a needed stimulus and leave us with enhanced assets. On this point, the Labour Party has been strong:

– Launch a new social housing programme – let’s start housing people who can’t make it on to the property ladder

– If we need schools, hospitals, public leisure centres, community centres, etc. – now’s the time to build them

– Launch a conservation maintenance programme on our older housing stock (this need not cost INTERACTIVE NARRATIVEthe taxpayer any money in the long-term).

Let’s be clear – this is not a substitute for expanding our enterprise base; it can only be a stop-gap, a means of limiting the decline, ameliorating the worst effects of the recession. If it is to be part of a long-term strategy it will be complementary within a broad capital programme.

The biggest drag on demand and the biggest drain on the Government’s budget is unemployment so these measures give us room to manoeuvre, a breathing space – and ensure that people have a warm place to live in and children aren’t taught under leaky roofs.

A New Enterprise Pact
7. A New Green Deal
Ireland’s infrastructure is so bad (it’s ranked 64th in the world by the Davos crowd) that there’s more than enough to keep us busy for years to come. Roads, rail, public transport, telecommunications (we need to bring Eircom back into public ownership); crikey, our port infrastructure ranks worst than some landlocked countries.

Front-loading our infrastructural investment will not only increase our long-term competitiveness, it will help increase demand and reduce Government current expenditure (saving on unemployment benefits, increase in tax revenue).

But there’s one area that deserves particular mention because the idea that the environment must take second place to the economic agenda is starting to circulate – one more example of the short-sightedness and failure of imagination that got us in this mess. The green agenda (as distinct from the Green Party’s agenda) is not only absolutely necessary to our environmental health and competitiveness, it is one more instrument to tackle the recession and return us to growth.

Renewable energy and conservation technologies: For god’s sake, even the Bush-appointed US ambassador has to remind Ireland about exploiting its’ natural resources – off-shore wind, tidal, and wave. We can muck about with ‘market signals’, ‘tax incentives’ and, of course, the old reliable – pleading with foreign capital to nod in our direction; or we can just do it ourselves. When we needed to electrify the country the ESB did the job – at times being hobbled by its very shareholder, the Government. So give them their head; get the ESB, Bord Gais, public agencies and private companies working to one sectoral agenda: research, product development, trials and tests, commercialisation in:

– ICT innovation (hardware and software) to optimise multiple renewable energy systems on a micro scale

– Wave and tidal, wind (especially off-shore), geothermal and innovating solar energy applications,

– Eco-construction, energy efficiency services, anaerobic digestion technologies,

– Water and wastewater treatment along with waste management, recovery and recycling

These are examples of public sector-led job creation in the private sector, building capacity in the home market and preparing for a new export industry when the inter-connectors with the rest of Europe come on line.

If these weren’t enough, there’s wider work in the whole area of green collar activity in manufacturing and services, and prioritising green public investment and procurement.

Going green means stepping up, not cutting back, our expansionary programme.

8. Money’s Too Tight to Mention

Finance is the servant of economic activity. Credit is an instrument of economic growth. Financial institutions are products of society and its laws, not the other way around.

But even in a new dispensation of recapitalisation and tighter regulation, alternative investment streams will have to be found. There is a fundamental deleveraging process at work – both among banks and households; we can’t short-cut this process but neither can we wait for it to purge the system. We will need to prise open new credit streams. Beating banks about the head will only get so far (no matter how much fun it is). Expansionist policies need expanded credit to turn it into sales, exports, jobs and profits. Beyond traditional regulatory instruments we can:

– Establish of a network of Development Banks, modelled on the US community development banks, which would work within their local regions, providing credit and saving facilities to EAST NEUK NARRATIVEhouseholds and businesses. If this were linked up to An Post Banking, it could become a considerable public-led force in Irish banking – needed all the more if the number of banks contract and competition is reduced.

– ‘Socialise’ a small percentage of the deposit base of Irish banks. All deposit-taking institutions would ‘lend over’, say, one percent of their deposits to Enterprise Development Funds which would, in turn, act as a type of venture-capital or seed-capital fund for development enterprises – private or public (see below).

– Establish SSIA-type savings instruments to supplement the Enterprise Development Funds – attracting small and large investors, making money work for the economy while guaranteeing a competitive rate of return on such savings.

– Open up the Pension Reserve Fund to invest in capital and enterprise projects on a commercial basis. Not only would this take the heat out of our borrowing requirement, it would mean Fund monies are investing in Irish enterprise, not arms manufacturers.

9. The Enterprise Guarantee

There are a lot of things wrong with the current social partnership model: (a) its historical reliance on providing low wage increases in return for tax cuts, (b) the refusal of one partner to recognise the other (the employers’ and government’s refusal to recognise the right to collective bargaining), and (c) a ‘partnership’ at the top, a jungle at the local level.

We need a deep-rooted, democratic partnership of all stakeholders working throughout all layers of the economy. We need a new enterprise guarantee – as wide-ranging as any undertaking given to banks. Specifically, sector-wide strategies should be created, pursued and monitored through these new structures with the participation of employers, trade unions, the state and other stakeholders. Extra-ordinary benefit would be given to high-road enterprises – private and public – that fulfil the social and economic criteria:

Benefit: A new Premiership-league set of supports would be granted to progressive enterprises to overcome all the obstacles to expansion: training personnel for internationalisation, working capital to finance exports, information to locate/analyse markets, identifying foreign business opportunities, contacting potential overseas customers, developing new products for foreign markets, learning foreign business practices, meeting export product quality/standards/specifications, assistance with exporting procedures/paperwork. All this would be buttressed by access to Enterprise Development Funds.

Responsibility: Recognition of trade unions, family-friendly work practices, employment of people with disabilities, environmental audits, employee participation structures, in-kind benefits (health insurance, crèche costs), commitment to high R&D expenditure, transparency in company accounts; all in all – a full democratic partnership.

This is the New Enterprise Pact, the high-road to jobs, profits and wealth; this is the new face of Irish enterprise. This, and not the slash n’ burn model, will set the ground for sustainable growth in the future. Make no mistake: creating a new generation of indigenous, progressive companies – which will take time – is one of the most urgent items on the economic agenda.

10. Reinventing Public Economic Activity

The Left should argue for a truly pluralist ‘mixed market economy’. Already, we have ‘private sector’ companies who are reliant on the public sector (through PPPS, procurement, grant-aiding, tax relief, etc.). Now we must create new models where the private and the public can develop to their maximum potential and mutual benefit.

A starting place is the local or the regional. Unfortunately, local government is practically irrelevant to the local economy. While it is beyond the scope here to discuss institutional reforms, whatever new structures emerge must have the capability to invest in local/regional economic activity, from its own resources and from access to Enterprise Development Funds.

What kind of new models? We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Some forms have been around a long-time, some are getting a second wind, and some are being created to rise to the challenges of globalisation and the new recessionary environment. Each of these deserves their own detailed research. But let’s do a quick jaunt through the pluralist typology:

Community-Owned Companies: Companies owned primarily by people living in a local community. In the US this is becoming a fast growing model – communities have established everything from cafes to shopping districts, cinemas, shops, even sports clubs; maintaining business activity and jobs.

Non-profit Companies: While traditionally focused on social services (hospitals, charities, educational institutions), many in the US have broken out of this mould and have expanded into competitive manufacturing and service sectors.

Municipal Enterprises: This is local public enterprise – companies established to fill a need in a local area. There are over thousands of these enterprises throughout the EU.

Community Development Corporations: These are companies established in local areas with Boards representing all the stakeholders, that seek to invest in local business activity – both start-up and expanding companies.

Consumer Cooperatives and Employee Ownership: These are more traditional forms, going back decades. However, they are getting a revival as local communities and regions find ways of reinvigorating their economies.

Of course, many companies are a mixture of the above (e.g. employee ownership/community owned, etc.) This is only a brief survey. But it shows that we do not have to remain reliant on traditional private sector or large public enterprise models. We won’t build a new economy on these alone – we will build a new economy based on a plurality of enterprises, with the different degrees of public and private sector penetration.

There’s a name for this: mixed-market economy. The Left should argue for participatory pluralism, not a corporatist/statist one-size-fits-all.

* * *

So there you have it:

– Overcoming the fiscal trap by borrowing, taxing capital assets and opening up the Pension Reserve Fund to infrastructural and enterprise investment

– Increasing demand and consumption through a new pay deal, extension of welfare benefits, anti-inflation measures
– Putting our enterprise base on a new footing through a new Green deal, opening up new investment streams, an Enterprise Guarantee and new models of public economic activity.

Do with these proposals what you will. Improve on them. Come up with better ones. Add and subtract.

But however we go about the business of creating a new progressive programme for the economy, let’s make one binding and irrevocable commitment: that it will be done. That we won’t let the Right set the agenda. We will fight them every step of the way.

It’s not just that the future of the Left depends on it; the future prosperity of the economy is in the firing line.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘IRISH LEFT REVIEW’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

OCDE ESPERA RECESSÃO PARA EUA E EUROPA EM 2009

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 25, 2008

Plantão – Publicada em 25/11/2008 às 13h01m

por Juliana Cardoso – Valor Online

SÃO PAULO – A Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico (OCDE) espera recessão em vários países no próximo ano, como Estados Unidos e Japão. Acredita que a desaceleração econômica deverá ser mais severa em economias mais vulneráveis a crises financeiras ou às fortes quedas de preços das casas, como Hungria, Islândia, Irlanda, Luxemburgo, Turquia e Reino Unido. Também avalia que o desaquecimento global afetará as principais economias emergentes, como Brasil, China, Rússia e Índia, mas o efeito será mais limitado.

Nos Estados Unidos, conforme o relatório da OCDE, o Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) deve declinar 0,9% em 2009 antes de apresentar crescimento de 1,6% em 2010. Na zona do euro, o PIB deve ter contração de 0,6% no próximo calendário e expandir-se 1,2% um ano depois. A economia japonesa declinará 0,1% em 2009, mas deverá registrar avanço de 0,6% em 2010.

No levantamento Perspectivas Econômicas, a organização prevê que o números de desempregados nos países pertencentes à OCDE deve crescer em cerca de 8 milhões de pessoas nos próximos dois anos uma vez que a recessão mais séria desde o início dos anos de 1980 afeta a atividade econômica.

O contingente de desempregados pode alcançar 42 milhões de pessoas em 2010 em comparação aos 34 milhões registrados atualmente. A atividade econômica nos integrantes da OCDE deve ceder 0,4% em média em 2009 antes de crescer 1,5% no ano seguinte.

“As incertezas envolvendo as projeções são excepcionalmente altas”, declarou o economista-chefe da OCDE, Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel. “Muito depende de de como ocorrerá a superação da crise financeira, o principal motor da desaceleração”, acrescentou.

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CHINA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, IRELAND, JAPAN, LUXEMBOURG, ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD), RECESSION, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, TURKEY, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

CITIGROUP TO LAY OFF 10,000 WORKERS WORLDWIDE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Friday, 14 November 2008

The international banking company Citigroup is reportedly planning to shed up to 10,000 jobs as part of CITIGROUPa cost-cutting plan.

Reports in the US say the firm plans to lay off staff in its investment bank and across other divisions around the world.

Citigroup employs around 2,000 people in Ireland, where it set up an office 43 years ago.

It is unclear if the jobs announcement will have any effect on the Irish operation.

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DESEMPREGO NO REINO UNIDO ATINGE MAIOR TAXA DESDE 1997

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 12, 2008

12/11/2008 10:56

Valor Online

SÃO PAULO – A crise financeira global já está deixando marcas na economia real européia. A taxa de desemprego no Reino Unido subiu para 5,8% da população economicamente ativa no trimestre encerrado em setembro, quando 1,82 milhão de pessoas estavam sem trabalho. Trata-se do nível mais elevado desde o último trimestre de 1997, quando o desemprego atingia 1,87 milhão de britânicos.

Pelos dados do ONS, órgão oficial de estatísticas, a taxa está 0,5 ponto acima da verificada no terceiro trimestre de 2007. Entre julho e setembro, o contingente de pessoas sem trabalho aumentou em 140 mil.

Também houve forte alta no número de trabalhadores que solicitaram o seguro-desemprego. Foram 980,9 mil em outubro, maior quantidade desde março de 2001 (990,9 mil). Esse número está 36,5 mil acima do registro de setembro e 154,8 mil além do mesmo mês de 2007.

A taxa anual de crescimento da renda média, sem contar bônus, ficou em 3,6% no terceiro trimestre, inalterada em comparação aos três meses encerrados em agosto. Nesse confronto, ao se incluir os bônus na conta, a taxa de aumento da renda média caiu 0,1 ponto, para 3,3%.

(Valor Online)

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