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Archive for the ‘UNITED KINGDOM’ Category

FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY (FSA) FINES INSURER AON £5.25M FOR CORRUPTION CONTROL FAILURES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Thursday 8 January 2009 11.22 GMT

by Jill Treanor – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

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Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

NEW JOB CUTS AT BOVIS HOMES SEES WORKFORCE DOWN 60% FROM LAST YEAR (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Friday 9 January 2009 14.04 GMT

by Julia Kollewe – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

NORTH SEA OIL EXPLORATION FIRM COLLAPSES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Thursday 8 January 2009 15.30 GMT

by Terry Macalister – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

SAFETY FEARS PERSIST AS PORT AWAITS FIRST GAS TANKER (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Friday 9 January 2009

by Steven Morris – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MARITIME, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

LATEST CUT IN INTEREST RATES WILL NOT REVIVE FLAGGING ECONOMY (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 9, 2009

by David Wighton – Business and City Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

INTEREST RATE CUT ‘WILL STARVE BANKS OF CASH’, AS SAVERS ARE DETERRED (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 9, 2009

by Gary Duncan (Economics Editor) and James Charles

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, MACROECONOMY, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

VIRGIN CHALLENGES BRITISH AIRWAYS BY CUTTING BUSINESS FARES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 9, 2009

y David Robertson

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

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

GLOOMY PROGNOSIS HITS GUINNESS PEAT GROUP SHARES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

4:00AM Thursday Jan 08, 2009

by Tamsyn Parker

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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

MARKS & SPENCER SAYS WILL AXE 1,230 JOBS AND CLOSE 27 STORES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

7 Jan 2009, 1615 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, GARMENT INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, TEXTILE INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK PLANS TO BATTLE ON IN BRITAIN’S BAD TIMES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

January 06, 2009

by Scott Murdoch – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

VIYELLA LATEST U.K. ICON TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

January 7, 2009

by Jane Wardell – Associated Press Business Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

FTSE EDGES HIGHER ON MINERS AND RETAILERS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 6, 2009

January 6, 2009

Reuters – Additional reporting by Phakamisa Ndzamela – Editing by Hans Peters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

SPARE ME THE TEARS OVER THE WHITE WORKING CLASS – EVEN THOSE WHO CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR IMMIGRANTS FLOCK TO INDULGE THEM (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 5, 2009

Monday, 5 January 2009

by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - ILLEGAL, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

DEADLY SALMON INFECTION DETECTED – AN OUTBREAK OF ISA IN 1998 SEVERELY DAMAGED THE SCOTTISH SALMON INDUSTRY – AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE WHICH CAN DEVASTATE FARMED ATLANTIC SALMON STOCKS HAS BEEN DETECTED ON SHETLAND, THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HAS CONFIRMED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 5, 2009

15:15 GMT, Sunday, 4 January 2009

BBC News

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FISHERIES, FOOD INDUSTRIES, HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MEAT, POLLUTION, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SCOTLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

HOW HYPOCRISY ON ‘TERRORISM’ KILLS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-01 10:45:56

by Robert Parry

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

OILEXCO SHARES DOWN 75% ON U.K. WOES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Financial Post – With files from wires

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

£60,000 A YEAR: THAT’S HOW MUCH THE RECESSION IS COSTING EVERY FAMILY (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

1:29 AM on 31st December 2008

by Sam Fleming

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

ROLLS-ROYCE WINS NORD STREAM CONTRACT – ROLLS-ROYCE, THE BRITISH MAKER OF ENGINES, SAID TUESDAY IT HAD WON A CONTRACT FROM RUSSIAN GAS GIANT GAZPROM TO SUPPLY PUMPING EQUIPMENT FOR THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE LINKING RUSSIA WITH WESTERN EUROPE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009 04:11

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HURRIYET DAILY NEWS’ (Turkey)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HURRIYET DAILY NEWS’ (Turkey)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

STERLING SLIDES DOWN GLOBAL LEAGUE TABLE (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 31, 2008

31 December 2008, 9:58am

Sam Fleming – Daily Mail

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

SHAREHOLDERS BACK IMPERIAL ENERGY DEAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 31, 2008

31 December 2008, 10:31am

by Rupert Steiner – Daily Mail

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THIS IS MONEY’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

WE NEED A MORAL VISION AS WELL AS MONEY TO REBUILD BRITAIN – AFTER A YEAR OF MELTDOWN AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, WE WILL REQUIRE WISDOM, IMAGINATION AND A NEW ETHIC IF WE ARE TO RECOVER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

Sunday 28 December 2008

by Will Hutton – The Observer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, POUND (Britain), PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STOCK MARKETS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

RECESSION IS PREDICTED TO COST BRITAIN 1M JOBS – REPORT WARNS OF ‘WINTER SURGE’ IN UNEMPLOYMENT – BUSINESSES CALL FOR MINIMUM WAGE FREEZE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

Monday 29 December 2008

by Kathryn Hopkins and Chris Tryhorn – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

WOOLWORTHS TO SHUT DOWN 200 STORES – THE END FOR WOOLWORTHS, A CENTURY-OLD BRITISH RETAIL INSTITUTION, WILL MOVE A STEP CLOSER WITH THE SHUTTING DOWN OF A QUARTER OF ITS STORES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 28, 2008

Vol XXXI – NO. 283 – Sunday – 28th DECEMBER 2008

Gulf Daily News – the voice of Bahrain

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF DAILY NEWS’ (Bahrain)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GULF DAILY NEWS’ (Bahrain)

Posted in COMMERCE, DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

WHO WAS TO BLAME FOR UK SLOWDOWN? – “BLAME IT ON THE YANKS AND THE BANKS”

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

01:33 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

by Nils Blythe – Business correspondent – BBC News

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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

NEARLY 2 BN POUNDS WASTED ON UNWANTED CHRISTMAS GIFTS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

27 Dec 2008, 1004 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in COMMERCE, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

DBP KEEN ON LOANS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26,2008

by Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

Posted in AEOLIC, BIOMASS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HYDROELECTRIC ENERGY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL SUBSIDIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

US DOLLAR LOWER VS EURO IN THIN TRADES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

11:44:00 12/27/2008

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

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

GRIM OUTLOOK FOR RICH NATIONS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 – 23:44 Mecca time, 20:44 GMT

AlJazeera

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ALJAZEERA’ (Qatar)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BELGIUM, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SAUDI ARABIA, SPAIN, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

UK’S RELIANCE ON GAS CONTINUES TO GROW, AS DOMESTIC FUEL RESERVES DIMINISH (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008

by Robin Pagnamenta – Energy and Environment Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

INVESTORS ACT AGAINST GOLDEN COUPLE TARNISHED BY MADOFF FUND SCANDAL – Investors who have lost their money in what is alleged to be the world’s biggest financial fraud may also be made to repay any profits that they made to US liquidators

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008

by Christine Seib and Suzy Jagger in New York

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

HELL IS AN ETERNAL MAXED-OUT CREDIT CARD. IN HEAVEN THERE ARE NO DEBTS – WE MUST END THE BLIND PURSUIT OF PROFIT AND USE OUR WEALTH AND ECONOMIC POWER IN THE SERVICE OF A GREATER SOCIAL PURPOSE, JOHN SENTAMU SAYS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008

by John Sentamu

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

EURO ZONE Q3 EMPLOYMENT FALLS, FIRST TIME ON RECORD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

December 16, 2008

Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PORTUGAL, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

NEW HOUSING STARTS AT LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1924 (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

December 15, 2008

by Grainne Gilmore – Times Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW YORK TIMES’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW YORK TIMES’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

LONDON HOSPITALS AT ‘HIGH RISK’ OF MISSING TREATMENT DEADLINES – A KEY GOVERNMENT PLEDGE TO REDUCE WAITING TIMES FOR HOSPITAL TREATMENT IS IN DISARRAY AS LONDON TRUSTS STRUGGLE TO MEET TARGETS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

16.12.2008

by Sophie Goodchild – Health Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

Posted in DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, UNITED KINGDOM | 2 Comments »

IS BERNARD MADOFF’S £33BILLION FRAUD THE DEATH KNELL FOR THE HEDGE FUND?

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

8:17 AM on 16th December 2008

by Alex Brummer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

The £33billion fraud by Bernard Madoff could spell the end for the most controversial investment vehicles of recent years: hedge funds.

His scam, nothing more than a huge pyramid selling scheme, highlights the dangers of the unregulated hedge fund business.

He managed to convince some of the most highly-regarded banks, financiers, investment trusts, entrepreneurs and charities that over time he could produce better and steadier returns than most other fund managers.

The key to his fraud was simple: he used the money given to him by new investors to pay the returns promised to the rest.

What makes the Madoff case particularly startling is the lack of curiosity shown by investors such as Nicola Horlick’s Bramdean; HSBC (the best survivor of the credit crunch); the Spanish bank Santander, owner of Abbey (which has bought up several of our high street lenders) and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

A hedge fund is a private investment group open to a limited number of very wealthy investors. It is allowed to undertake a wider and more aggressive range of activities than other firms including shares, dealing in debt, commodities and so on.
Because Madoff had a reputation as a relatively conservative investor, nobody bothered to ask how their money was being invested. It was taken on trust.

His hedge fund was part of an unregulated industry which grew by leaps and bounds in the credit-fuelled atmosphere of the last few years. In 2005 some $1,000billion was invested in thousands of hedge funds which had set themselves up in London, New York and in offshore financial centres. By the peak of the credit boom in 2007 this sum had doubled.

Pension funds, investment trusts and insurance companies around the world all wanted a bit of the action and the wonderful returns which had been enjoyed only by rich private and family investors. But these highly-regulated institutions were placing the money of ordinary investors in a marketplace where the law of the jungle operated.Hedge funds were at the forefront of the short selling of Britain’s banks this year.

Short selling is where the hedge funds borrow shares from major holders with the promise to return the same number of shares to them at a later, specified date. The speculators sell the shares immediately at the prevailing price on the stock market. The goal then is to drive the price down, buy the shares back at the lower price and return them to the original holder having pocketed the difference.

The practice brought chaos to the markets and was regarded as so destabilising that it was banned by the Financial Services Authority.

By sharing market intelligence and acting together, hedge funds can drive the share prices of quoted companies up and down at will for short-term gain rather than long-term investment.

It was their abhorrent behaviour and manipulation of share prices which led to several of Britain’s biggest companies – including BAA, ICI and Pilkington – being sold to overseas buyers.

This year has been the most destructive in world financial markets since before the First World War. But no one guessed that amid the detritus of the sub-prime mortgages and the banking system there lurked the greatest fraud of all time.

If this were to mean the end of hedge funds, few ordinary consumers would mourn the passing of these havens for the greedy investor. The trouble is that an already precariously-weak financial system can ill afford yet another shock so hard on the heels of those it already has suffered.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | 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 »

DOLLAR LOWER, GOLD FALLS IN EUROPEAN AFTERNOON TRADING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

December 15, 2008 – 11:10 AM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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

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

Other dollar rates:

_ 90.67 Japanese yen, down from 91.12

_ 1.1599 Swiss francs, down from 1.1767

_ 1.2341 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2432

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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

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

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

4:55 PM on 15th December 2008

by Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

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

GOLD-PLATED PENSIONS FIASCO: 100,000 NHS AND ARMED SERVICES PERSONNEL OVERPAID FOR DECADES FACE CUT (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

8:36 AM on 16th December 2008

by James Chapman

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

A massive pensions blunder has seen retired public sector workers paid £100 million too much.

Some 100,000 ex-service personnel and NHS staff are at the centre of the scandal, which dates back years.

The Government has told them their payments will be slashed from next year.

But Ministers have decided against trying to claw back the money, fearful of a repeat of protests when tax credit claimants were chased for overpayments.

The decision will prompt calls for a major inquiry into how so much taxpayers’ money came to be written off.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘A staggering amount has been wasted in this fiasco.

‘Public sector pensions have long been a black hole for public money, but to learn that already gold-plated packages have cost the man on the street even more due to incompetent administration is a disgrace.

‘The whole system needs to be reformed immediately and there must be serious consequences for those responsible.’

There was already growing concern over the cost of the generous packages enjoyed by 5.2million state employees, which critics say represents an unsustainable financial timebomb.

The overpayments blunder was revealed in the Commons today by Liberal Democrat Vince Cable, to the fury of Ministers who had planned a statement tomorrow.

Speaking during a debate on the Queen’s Speech, he said he had been tipped off several days ago about a firm called Xafinity Paymaster, which pays out pensions to former members of the armed services and NHS.

Mr Cable said he had been told the firm had been ‘paying out excessive public pensions to hundreds of thousands of public sector pensioners and that this error had just been discovered and the company were about to start retrieving the money from the pensioners’.

He said the error had been confirmed to him by the head of the civil service, adding ‘he asked me not to publicise it for several days in order to give the Government an opportunity to inform the pensioners personally of their difficulties, which they’ve now done.

Mr Cable asked Chancellor Alistair Darling: ‘How many people are we talking about, how much money is involved, what steps are going to be taken to retrieve the overpayments – which I understand in some cases go back decades and are potentially enormous.’

Vince Cable was tipped off by Xafinity

He added: ‘I hope none of us can face the possibility of large numbers of ex-servicemen suddenly being faced with bailiffs asking them to repay.’

Mr Darling said there would be no demands for repayments, but the mistakes would have to be put right from next year.

The Cabinet Office will release a statement on the overpayments. Letters are being sent to pensioners explaining how they will be affected.

Chancellor Alistair Darling has said the money need not be repaid but thousands still face having their pensions cut from April next year.

It is understood about 5 per cent of retired public sector workers, from all over the UK, are involved.

Similar problems and controversy have dogged the tax credit system since its inception in 2003.

The main problem has been massive overpayment of credits, which HM Revenue & Customs can demand to be paid back.

There is mounting resentment that private sector workers must pay ever more in tax to finance generous public sector schemes. At the same time, their own final salary schemes are being scrapped or scaled back as recession bites.

Almost 90 per cent of state employees receive final salary pensions, compared to just 16 per cent of workers in the private sector.

Through taxes, private sector workers pay 91p into public sector pension schemes for every £1 they save for their own retirement.

Experts have warned that future public sector pension packages will create a black hole of more than £1trillion in Treasury finances – £40,000 for every household in the country.

The Treasury says the true total liability will be just over half that figure.

Today business leaders joined calls for an independent commission into the ‘ballooning’ tax bill for public sector pensions.

The CBI said the public sector retirement age should be increased and employee contributions raised.

David Cameron has signalled that a Tory government would seek to end the growing ‘pensions apartheid’ by reining in schemes offered to new public sector workers.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY MAIL’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

CAMERON: JAIL THE CHEATING BANKERS WHO ACT JUST LIKE MUGGERS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

15.12.08

Paul Waugh – Deputy Political Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

“IRRESPONSIBLE” City bankers who fuelled Britain’s credit crisis should be rooted out, prosecuted and sent to jail, David Cameron said today.

The Tory leader called for American-style prison sentences for financiers who lied and cheated in the boom years.

In a scathing speech, he accused Gordon Brown of “a failure of moral leadership” over the lack of criminal charges brought against individuals by City watchdogs.

Mr Cameron pledged that a Conservative government would see a “day of reckoning” for those behind the turmoil as he announced a string of reforms to toughen sanctions.

Warning that “there cannot be one law for the rich and another for everyone else”, he called for Britain to copy America with jail sentences of up to 24 years for those caught swindling the system.

Mr Cameron used his speech at Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf to ratchet up the pressure on Mr Brown for his “economic policy mistakes” and his failure to crack down on City fraud.

He rebutted Labour’s claim that he was a “do nothing leader” and called for a £50billion government-backed business loan scheme that would free up credit to help save firms and jobs.

The Tory leader said his plan, which was a “massive state intervention”, proved that voters were not facing a choice between “action and inaction” but between “the wrong sort of action and the right sort of action”.

Comparing corrupt bankers to “thugs” who mugged people, he suggested Mr Brown had turned a blind eye to City wrong-doing and had allowed the credit boom to run riot.

“The problem in Britain is that there just doesn’t seem to be the will to see appropriate justice done at the highest level. Not from the Government, and not much will evident in the Financial Services Authority either,” he said.

Mr Cameron said he wanted new FSA rules to end the “distorted” bonus culture that rewarded short-term equity increase instead of long-term public and shareholder interests. He said the FSA should also be “given the teeth to do its job properly”, through a City levy to fund more staff to police the system.

But Mr Cameron warned that the most important step should be that when rules are broken, the culprits should be “properly punished”.

In an attempt to distance the Tories from their Eighties image as the party of unrestrained capitalism, he stressed that the public wanted to see real political direction on white-collar crime.

“Justice is only effective when it is seen to be done — for the thug locked up for mugging people on the streets to the highest executive in the biggest firm who’s been swindling the books.

“Doctors who behave irresponsibly get struck off. Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences. And, for sure, if anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted. Of course, this requires clear evidence of wrongdoing. But that doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands and say it’s all a failure of regulation.”

The Conservative leader said there was evidence of mortgage fraud, “possible” insider trading and other misconduct investigated but not prosecuted by the FSA.

“To send out the right message about our country’s values to help stop this crisis from happening again, and to help restore the City of London’s reputation, I believe it is now vital that investigations are vigorously pursued to their appropriate conclusion.

“And the fact that the Prime Minister has not been urging our authorities to pursue financial wrongdoing, like in America, is in my view a failure of moral leadership.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FRAUD, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

THERE IS ONE SIMPLE WAY OUT OF THE MESS, GORDON: A STATE BANK (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

15.12.08

by Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

BANKS have been vilified for excessive leverage and over-enthusiastic pursuit of short-term profits. The Go for it - as owners of Northern Rock, the PM and the Chancellor should use it or some other bank to start lending more broadlymarkets have given their verdict by rapidly reducing the equity value of virtually all banks. At the same time, these same vilified institutions are being noisily told by Chancellor Alistair Darling to lend to all and sundry, even though the cost of borrowing the money continues to be significantly elevated from the official rates that the Bank of England provides.

Meanwhile, a pressurised Financial Services Authority is much more actively watching banks to make sure they are not doing rash things.

How can banks be eager to lend in such circumstances – especially when the GDP prognosis, the best indicator of the likely return on their lending – is so poor? They obviously can’t.

It is, of course, true that the more reluctant banks are to lend, the worse the economic outlook will get, so something needs to be done to break the logjam. It would have been so much easier to stop if our policymakers, both monetary and fiscal, had reacted quicker to the signals a year ago but hindsight is a famously good friend.

One consequence of the present global financial crisis is that the Government might well need to create a state bank to provide capital that our major commercial banks cannot.

That is a proposition some might think ironic, coming from someone who is head of economics research for Goldman Sachs, an institution that might be defined by some as embodying the culture of bonus-driven, globalised financial capitalism.

Yet the UK is in an exceptional position: we have a weak housing market and banks that have lost their appetite and ability to lend, which is making the housing market worse, which in turn makes life harder for the banks.

It has contributed to the spread of weakness into all other parts of the domestic economy. Rising unemployment is following, which in turn is making the feedback loop even worse.

Against such a background, previous unthinkables become not only thinkable but possibly the wiser choice.

The global background matters here. It is now more than seven years since I wrote about the notion of the “BRIC” economies for the first time – the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

We at Goldman’s believe these economies will be critical to the future of the world economy. Indeed, looking at 2009, if the world is to have any positive economic growth, it will primarily come from these countries.

Our latest global GDP forecast for 2009 is +1.2 per cent. We forecast growth in the “advanced economies” to be negative, meaning GDP will drop in all the developed economies. In the UK, a decline of somewhere close to two per cent is possible. In the BRIC economies, by contrast, we currently forecast GDP growth of around five per cent. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has re-confirmed our strategy of exploring opportunities to these economies.

Some of the success of the BRIC economies in recent years has involved, and will continue to involve, the role of their governments, so I am not sure why it should seem so odd that a more heightened role for governments elsewhere might be appropriate.

Indeed, the environment in which the so-called advanced nations, especially the US and the UK, now find themselves does require some fresh thinking, compared with most periods I have experienced as a banking economist in the past 27 years.

We are currently expecting the US economy to decline between 1.5 and two per cent next year; if we are correct, it will be the weakest for a long time. The drop in personal-consumption expenditure will be the weakest since the Second World War. Judging by last week’s universal data, including much of Europe and the UK, the picture in the near term is similarly bleak.

If we focus on the UK, one thing that seemed obvious to me during the Northern Rock crisis was that whatever the cause of the problems, nationalisation was the only remedy for it. For those involved in dragging the UK up from the poor-performing days of the late Sixties through the Seventies, the very phrase “nationalisation” invokes horror – understandably. Yet After months of discussion, Northern Rock was indeed nationalised, and has had its mortgage-lending business slowly wound down since.

An important point that has further influenced my thinking is that as a result of the repeated traumas in the UK and global financial systems since, depositors now have more faith in Northern Rock than probably any other recognised UK financial institution. I kick myself for being so stupid as not to have opened an account with them when you could.

Even more often, I find myself asking: “Why is Northern Rock not being used as a bank that will expand lending, at least to the UK housing market?” When I mention this to policymakers, I am usually told that under EU rules we can’t provide state aid. But exceptional times require exceptional measures.

The Government’s bold decision to offer to recapitalise most of the UK major banks will not necessarily stimulate lending. As the Government owns it, why not use Northern Rock – or some other bank, to start lending more broadly in those clear cases where “good companies”, small or large, can’t get capital from their deleveraging banks?

Of course, since the UK taxpayer has taken a stake in many banks, views about what our banks should be doing have become highly charged, frequently contradictory and emotional.

But the Government needs to use the mechanism it has at its disposal to interrupt the downward spiral. Using Northern Rock, the Post Office or nationalising another institution that touches the economy might be the way. It wouldn’t need to be permanent, though that might not be so crazy in any case. Almost definitely, it would end up with a decent return.

Critics might say it will cost the taxpayer ultimately or that the Government is not known for making better decisions than the private sector. The point, though, is that the Government would not face the same market issues that currently govern all private institutions trying to deliver at the same time, adding to the negative feedback loop we all fear. It might even be able to stop it.

That’s why I believe that a reliably financed lender might just be the key to the recovery from the current malaise we all want to see. Not such a strange idea, after all.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE EVENING STANDARD’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

Monday, 15 December 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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

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

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

POUND STERLING v EURO: 15 December 2008

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

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

Bail-out factor

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

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

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

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

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BBC NEWS’ (UK)

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

OVERLOOKED SOLUTION TO CREDIT CRUNCH

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008

by Christopher Joye (*) – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

THE most fundamental lesson of the global credit crisis has been that the financial system had too much leverage, particularly the household sector, which in many advanced economies had assumed unsustainably high levels of mortgage debt. But surprisingly, that there has been little comment about the most salient solution: equity.

For hundreds of years listed companies have been able to seamlessly issue both debt and equity to finance their spending. Yet apart from recent innovations pioneered in Australia, households have never been able to source both debt and equity finance when buying their homes. This extreme reliance on debt has propagated huge problems, particularly in the US and Britain where the conjunction of flawed institutional frameworks and poor lending standards exacerbated the debt binge.

According to Fujitsu Consulting, the average home owner’s mortgage debt represents 57 per cent of the value of their property. The typical first time buyer’s mortgage accounts for over 70 per cent. Some gear up to an incredible 95 per cent or more. In today’s fickle markets, companies with that much leverage would be crucified. Yet this debt is secured against what is, in fact, a very risky asset. Our empirical research indicates that an individual home with all of its economic idiosyncrasies is about six times riskier than a diversified national property index. Indeed, the risk of an individual property is more akin to that of shares.

The experience of the past 12 months has reinforced the fact that single family homes can suffer serious price falls even though most have avoided this fate.

Make no mistake: residential property is very safe if you get access to a diversified portfolio. An Australian house price index proxies for more than $3.3 trillion worth of assets but the index’s incredibly low volatility is a mirage for the individual home owner who assumes a far higher probability of loss and has about 60 per cent of their wealth invested in this asset.

In 2003 I was the principal author of a report commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Home Ownership Task Force that presented a solution to the high levels of household debt that triggered the global credit crisis: the development of private markets in equity finance. Under our proposal, households would get access to zero-interest rate, shared equity home loans in exchange for trading away a small portion of the risks and returns of home ownership to outside investors. By doing so, they could cut their monthly mortgage interest repayments by 30 per cent or more while reducing their vulnerability to adverse economic shocks (think 2008-09). Importantly, they also retain complete control of their homes; they choose when to sell, what renovations to make, and at what point in the contract’s maximum 25-year term they wish to repay it.

Investors, such as super funds, get extremely low-cost, highly enhanced and very long-dated exposures to what has, during the past three decades (including the recent calamity) been the largest and best performing of all investment classes: residential real estate. Historically, investors have only been able to access highly concentrated, risky development-style holdings comprising small parcels of properties that incur heinous transaction costs of about 12.5 per cent. By investing in a portfolio of thousands of shared equity interests, super funds could avoid all of these costs and secure the low risk diversification that they have never had before. Independent actuarial analysis suggests that about 15 to 30 per cent of all super fund capital should, in theory, be allocated to housing, in part because its returns are so unrelated to the performance of other investments. Compare the 50 per cent plus losses in shares and listed property trusts in the past year with the fact that the RP Data-Rismark Australian House Price Index has tapered by only -0.8 per cent.

The former secretary of the Treasury and now head of super fund adviser Mercer, Tony Cole, said: “We find the case for institutional investment in (shared equity) compelling. Historically, residential real estate displayed a negative correlation with commercial property markets and a low correlation with the share market, providing diversification benefits in a multi-asset class portfolio.” Actual returns to Australian-shared equity portfolios during the past one-to-two years have validated this investment case.

Some commentators have made hyperbolic predictions of precipitous house price falls but they have been relentlessly wrong. The tremendous improvements in affordability delivered by the Reserve Bank’s reversal of its monetary policy settings, combined with the shortage of homes in this country, will likely ensure that this continues to be the case.

Following the 2003 task force’s recommendations, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank in conjunction with Rismark International launched the world’s first private-sector, mass-market shared equity finance program in which the lender participates in both the capital gains and wears the losses associated with home ownership without charging any interest. Hundreds of Australian families have bought their first home or cut their monthly mortgage costs by 30per cent or more as a consequence. Since then the initiative has won industry awards and public praise. Kevin Rudd even canvassed it as one solution in the housing strategy paper that he launched before last year’s election.

The task force recommendations and the Australian experience have been explicitly used as a guide for billions of dollars of government investment in shared equity initiatives in Britain and New Zealand. I have been invited by the Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations to show the new Obama administration how they can apply the Australian model to ease their housing woes.

Leading academics including Edward Glaeser at Harvard, Barry Nalebuff at Yale, Luigi Zingales at the University of Chicago and Joshua Gans at Melbourne University are calling on governments to help borrowers swap a portion of their mortgage debt for shared equity-style instruments.

The Rudd Government guaranteed bank debt and injected $8 billion into the securitisation market but it should address the fundamental problem of the mix of debt and equity on household balance sheets. The Opposition has declared its support. The South Australian, West Australian and Tasmanian governments have committed more than $500 million to underwriting public shared equity initiatives. But there remains a critical role for the commonwealth to play. Asymmetrical policy that only benefits the banks and conventional mortgage providers does not achieve this aim.

(*) – Christopher Joye wrote the 2003 Prime Minister’s Home Ownership Task Force report and is the chief executive of Rismark.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

FIRST GAS DISCOVERY IN MOROCCO

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11-10-2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NORTH AFRICA JOURNAL’ (Boston, MA, USA)

UK-based independent hydrocarbons exploration firm Circle Oil Plc confirms that it has found natural Britain’s Isle of Grain Liquefied Natural Gas terminal has received its first gas shipment after a substantial upgrade programme designed to increase handling capacity to 8.6 Bcm per year - 26-11-2008gas in the north-east of the Moroccan capital Rabat. The finding is important in that Morocco has long been hoping to find hydrocarbons and past discoveries turned into failed ventures and bad PR disasters.

This time, the news is more solid. Circle says the gas was found on well ONZ6 in the Ouled N’Zala Permit. The Company confirms a discovery in the Upper Ouled Formation with the well testing gas at a sustained rate of 3.32 MMscfd. The well has been completed as a potential producer and the drilling rig has now moved to the Sebou permit to start drilling the second location of the six well drilling program planned for the two permits.

A full technical evaluation of all the results is underway which will allow for forward planning as a precursor to further assessment of the resource including conducting an extended well test. A full assessment of reserves has not yet been completed.

The Ouled N’Zala Permit lies north-east of Rabat in the Rharb Basin, Morocco. The Rharb Basin is a foredeep Basin located in the external zone of the Rif Folded belt. The concession agreement includes the right of conversion to a production license of 30 years, plus extensions, in the event of commercial discoveries. Circle holds a 75% interest in the Sebou permit.

The work in Morocco is being undertaken by Circle Oil Maroc Ltd (COML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Circle Oil plc, which was signed an Exploration and Exploitation Agreement with ONHYM (Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines) for the Sebou Concession (296 km2), situated in the Rharb Basin, Morocco. The Exploration Agreement is for a total period of 8 years with the right of automatic conversion to a minimum (but extendable) 25 year Exploitation period.

The Sebou Permit has previously been owned, explored and exploited by ONHYM. In the partnership the shareholding is COML 75% and ONHYM 25%. The Rharb Basin is highly prospective and has a historic natural gas production of almost one billion MM3. 2D seismic and well calibration is available and ONHYM have extensive knowledge of the area. Small scale Gas production within the Rharb is presently from four wells.

The permit has considerable potential for the exploration and development of more natural gas and exploitation would be by a series of low cost wells/producers each producing from 20-80MM3 of gas. The produced gas will be sold to local industry at locally agreed commercial rates. If successful, the development will allow COML to achieve production in a relatively short time scale and provide a long term continuing earnings contribution to COML.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NORTH AFRICA JOURNAL’ (Boston, MA, USA)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MOROCCO, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

INNOVATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 13, 2008

11 Dec 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

THIS year has been exceptional in that the export markets started on an unbelievably high level and thanks to a combination of factors, Capespan realised on average 43% higher payments to growers of deciduous fruit in the first couple of months this year, compared to the same period last year, while citrus was up 70%, according to group managing director Neil Oosthuizen.

But in an interview with CBN he sounded caution, indicating that recent developments on the world’s economic scene have brought their own uncertainties.

“It’s clear that consumers in most countries are taking financial strain and although we aim to keep prices low on the retailers’ shelves, sales may be strained as fruit products, especially grapes, are often viewed as a luxury”, Oosthuizen says.

Consumers will have less money to spend on expensive fruit. And because supermarkets will be fighting to retain shoppers and because fruit is often regarded a high profile item, they’ll want to show that they’re offering the lowest possible fruit prices.

It is for this reason that Capespan will continue to be innovative particularly so in specialised packaging and value added products. So for example Capespan has launched its new fresh-cut products.

In partnership with UK processors Orchard County Foods and Superior Foods, Capespan is meeting the need for convenient fruit snacks with a range of products under the CAPE label. These are Snack Bags (apple and grape) and Fruit Pots, a fruit medley and pineapple and grape.

Another innovation is individually sleeved CAPE fresh pineapple sticks, which were launched earlier this year as part of the British Airways long haul menu. So far feedback has been extremely positive, Oosthuizen says, with the demand currently 80 000 sticks a week, but this is forecast to increase to 100 000 sticks a week. It is now looking at increasing the range in the future with additional fruit products.

Capespan also launched its new Capespan Gold brand in the UK market to meet demand from its top-end global customers for fruit of exceptional quality. Customers range from independent retailers to catering and food service organisations supplying the UK’s boardrooms and airport business lounges.

It’s anticipated that once Capespan Gold grapes are established in the market, the brand will be extended to other fruit kinds. A simple, stylish livery has been developed for the brand.

He also notes the continuing trend for retailers to get closer and better understand producers. “As the middleman, we the exporters, acknowledge the growing importance of supply chain management services in supporting the marketing process. Continual pressure to cut costs and find the most effective routes will beef up supply chain management challenges further. Therefore we’ve examined ways to elevate our service delivery and offering to the highest levels”.

“This is essential in guaranteeing Cape-span’s exceptional services, featuring quality and innovation – factors which distinguish us from our competitors”, he says.

Of strategic importance is also securing Capespan’s fruit supply. To this end it has, through its associate company Rapiprop, purchased the 490 ha Applethwaite farm in the Grabouw area. “The purchase of this large apple, pear and plum production unit underscores Capespan’s continued focus on growth and development”, says Oosthuizen.

“Because the farm has been a Capespan supplier for more then 60 years, we know the business intimately”, he says.

With orchards covering 300 ha, Applethwaite annually exports 260 000 cartons of apples, 50 000 cartons of pears and 100 000 trays of plums. Apart from having its own pack house and cold stores, the farm was one of the first in the country to offer a creche, pre-school, clinic and church facilities to staff members. The company’s infrastructure is a producer’s dream. Plus, it was one of the pioneers in computerised quality control, according to Oosthuizen.

Rapiprop, a joint venture between Capespan, Total Produce plc and the Cape Empowerment Trust, owns and operates farms in South Africa. The organisation buys farms that are good investments, secures a strategic fruit supply and will plan an important empowerment role in future.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS NEWS’ (South Africa)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PAPER INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE WORK MARKET, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

ROCCO SABELLI PRESENTA LA NUOVA ALITALIA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

12/12/2008

Amerigo Francia – Milano Finanza

PUBLISHED BY ‘MILANO FINANZA’ (Italy)

La nuova Alitalia non aumenterà i prezzi e non ridurrà l’offerta di voli. Lo ha assicurato l’amministratore delegato di Cai, Rocco ROCCO SABELLISabelli, nella conferenza stampa per la presentazione del closing della vendita di Alitalia a Cai. “Non abbiamo in programma di aumentare i prezzi o ridurre l’offerta, anche sulle rotte dove abbiamo il 100% del mercato”, ha affermato Sabelli illustrando i punti principali del piano industriale.

L’obiettivo, spiega il braccio destro di Colaninno, “mira a ottenere il 56% del mercato interno nel 2009 rispetto all’attuale 30%. Una quota che ci farà tornare in Europa, visto che Air France ha il 91%, Lufthansa il 53%, Turkish Airlines il 43% e Iberia 39%. Puntiamo inoltre ad avere una flotta più moderna ed efficiente: nel 2009 l’età media dei nostri aerei sarà 8,6 anni, mentre attualmente è di 12,4 anni”.

Nel piano industriale, ha spiegato Sabelli, una forte attenzione è legata alla creazione di un network completo ed efficiente focalizzato su medio e lungo raggio. “Non si può fare una compagnia grande quanto si vuole, ma grande quanto si deve. Dico un’ovvietà”, ha osservato Sabelli, “ma è meglio avere meno aerei ma più pieni che tanti aerei mezzi vuoti. Il piano industriale parte dall’esame della struttura della domanda e dalle dimensioni del mercato, e punta a creare un leader forte sul mercato domestico. L’integrazione con Air One va in questa direzione e ci fornisce densità, dimensione e sinergie”.

Per la capitalizzazione della nuova Alitalia il manager conta sui 1.100 milioni, che era il target iniziale, e sul contributo del partner straniero. L’aumento di capitale avverrà in due tranche: per 850 mln dai 21 soci attuali, ai quali “non escludiamo se ne aggiungano altri”, mentre la restante parte avverrà in un secondo momento “per garantire la struttura finanziaria”.

Riguardo invece al partner industriale con la nuova Alitalia, l’ad di Cai ha confermato che “La scelta del partner straniero sarà tra Lufthansa e Air France”, precisando che da parte di entrambe le compagnie è stata avanzata la proposta di partenariato industriale come la disponibilità a investire in equity. La proposta di British Airways era invece “di natura solo commerciale”, ha spiegato Sabelli. Il manager ha quindi detto che “noi privilegiamo le prime due e crediamo che un ingresso nell’equity possa rafforzare la compagnia”. Parlando di Lufthansa e Air France, Sabelli ha detto che si tratta di “due proposte molto buone, duole lasciarne fuori una. Sceglieremo la proposta migliore”.

In ultimo, stamattina è partito il processo di assunzioni. “Siamo assolutamente tranquilli sulla trasparenza dei criteri concordati”. Le proposte di assunzione saranno dirette a “quasi 9mila persone, ci aspettiamo una risposta entro 48 ore”. Per quanto riguarda il rapporto con i sindacati, Sabelli ha detto di aver avuto con i sindacati confederali “una trattativa molto dura, ma comunque negoziale”, mentre con le associazioni professionali c’è stato “il rifiuto di cedere il controllo della compagnia”. Per questo, “da oggi il dialogo va direttamente ai nostri dipendenti”, ha concluso Sabelli.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MILANO FINANZA’ (Italy)

Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRANCE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, NETHERLANDS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, TURKEY, UNITED KINGDOM | 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.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘AL JAZEERA’ (Qatar)

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DE MENEZES JURY RECORD OPEN VERDICT AND REJECTS POLICE VERSION OF SHOOTING (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

by Sean O’Neill – Crime & Security Editor – Times Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

JUSTICE FOR JEAN

The inquest jury examining the death of Jean-Charles de Menezes has returned an open verdict – refusing to accept the idea that he was lawfully killed in a fast-moving anti-terrorist operation.

The jurors also answered a series of questions about the circumstances of Mr de Menezes’s death on board a Tube train at Stockwell, South London, in a way which rejected much of the account of the shooting given by police firearms officers.

Asked if they believed that the policemen had shouted a warning of armed police, the jury answered no. They also answered no when asked if Mr de Menezes had moved towards the officers before he was shot.

The jury had been banned by Sir Michael Wright, QC, the coroner, from considering a verdict of unlawful killing. His ruling led the de Menezes family to withdraw from the proceedings and brand the inquest “a complete whitewash”.

But the outcome of the inquest is a damaging result for the Metropolitan Police and could lead to a legal challenge to the verdict in the High Court.

The coroner said he would be preparing a report on what practices of the Metropolitan Police required changing. It will be sent to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the police authority and the Home Secretary and should be made public.

Sir Michael expressed his “sincere condolences” to the de Menezes family.

He said: “In any view this was a tragic and terrible event, the killing of an entirely innocent young man.”

The majority verdict of 8-2 came at the end of seven days of deliberations by the jurors, whose number was reduced from 11 to 10 earlier this week.

The inquest, held at the Oval Cricket Ground, south London, has lasted for 12 weeks and is estimated to have cost around £6million in court costs and legal fees. It heard evidence for the first time from the two armed officers who shot Mr de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian electrician.

They fired nine shots, hitting Mr de Menezes in the head seven times, after mistaking him for a suicide bomber on July 22 2005 – the day after four terrorists failed to set off suicide bombs in London then went on the run.

The officers, identified only as Charlie 12 and Charlie 2, said they had shouted “armed police” as the ran onto the Northern Line train at Stockwell, south London, and that Mr de Menezes had stood up and moved towards them aggressively. They claimed his reaction led them to shoot him because they feared he was about to detonate a bomb.

But passengers on the train said they did not hear warning shouts and did not see Mr de Menezes leave his seat. One woman claimed that the policemen appeared to be “out of control”.

During the evidence, the court heard that surveillance officers deployed to search for Hussain Osman, one of the fugitive bombers, did not have a picture of the man they were looking for. Mr de Menezes was thought to be a likeness for Osman but never positively identified as the terrorist before he was shot.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who was Gold Command officer in charge of the operation, told the hearing that she did not believe any officer had done anything wrong or unreasonable. She also said she feared that a similar incident could happen again.

Last year, an Old Bailey jury found the Metropolitan Police guilty of breaching health and safety law in the operation which led to Mr de Menezes’s death. The force was fined £175,000.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES’ (UK)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ÉTNICA, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, DIREITOS HUMANOS - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HISTORY, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

FRENCH ECONOMY SURPASSING U.K., REPORT FINDS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

December 8, 2008

Bloomberg News

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

PARIS: The financial crisis is recasting the league table of economies, with Britain sliding behind its European neighbors and China gaining on its richer rivals, the Center for Economics and Business Research said in a study released Monday.

A recession and a decline in the pound’s value pushed Britain’s gross domestic product below France’s this year and it will be passed by Italy in 2009, the CEBR said in the report. China has overtaken Germany and will top Japan in 2010 to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, it said.

“The recession associated with the credit crunch will change the position of many countries in the world’s GDP league table,” the London-based CEBR said in the report.

The study shows how countries that ran up debts during expansion, like Britain, will now suffer, while emerging-market economies will wield increasingly more power in the global economy as they develop. Governments from the Group of 7 nations are under pressure to broaden their membership to reflect the changing shape of the world economy.

Brazil will rise to eighth-biggest economy from 10th by 2010 and India to 10th from 12th, the CEBR said. Canada will drop to 13th from ninth in the same period as its currency falls, it said.

The CEBR also said the British and Italian economies would suffer the deepest downturns with 18 quarters of GDP below its previous peaks. Spain’s slump will last 16 quarters and Japan’s 11 quarters. The United States will rebound after nine quarters. China will not suffer a single quarter of contracting growth, the report said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, CANADA, CHINA, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, ITALY, JAPAN, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, SPAIN, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

MORE ‘HOT MONEY’ LEAVES IN NOV. – More foreign portfolio investments left the country last month, as gloomy economic outlook on markets hard hit by the global financial crisis dampened investor sentiment (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008 – Vol. XXII, No. 100

by G. S. dela Peña

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS WORLD’ (Philippines)

Data released yesterday by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that foreign portfolio investments — referred to as “hot money” due to the ease by which they are transfered — posted a net outflow of $399 million for November alone, higher than the $389.8-million net outflow the preceding month.

The November figures were a reversal from the net inflows of $51.2 million in the same month last year.

The 11 months to November saw net outflows totaling $1.3 billion, a sharp contrast to the $3.7-billion net inflows recorded in the same period last year.

“Investors continued to be driven primarily by concerns over the weakening of major economies, particularly that of the US, despite temporary optimism over the results of the presidential elections there,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said in a statement.

On a gross basis, hot money investments totaled $399.5 million, 68% of which were placed in listed shares, 30% in Treasury bonds, and 2% in money market instruments and peso bank deposits.

But capital repatriations reached $798.5 million in November, with outflows traced to withdrawals of investments from listed shares ($88 million or 11%), government securities ($135.4 million or 17%), money market instruments ($3.6 million or less than 1%), and bank deposits ($571.5 million or 72%).

From January to November, investment in listed shares posted a net inflow of $2.1 billion, while placements in peso-denominated government securities, money market instruments and peso bank deposits showed net out-flows of $110.8 million, $300,000, and $3.3 billion, respectively.

Gross investment inflows totaled $8 billion, a 46% contraction from the $14.7 billion recorded in the same period last year.

But outflows were higher than inflows at $9.3 billion, although 15% less than last year’s $10.9 billion. Of this amount, 37% were attributed to investments in listed shares, 22% to funds placed in government securities, while money placed in money market instruments and bank deposits accounted for 41%.

The United Kingdom, Singapore and the US remained the top three investor countries, accounting for 70%.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS WORLD’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, SINGAPORE, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

WHERE HAVE ALL YOUR SAVINGS GONE? – INVESTORS MAY DRAW THE WRONG LESSON FROM HISTORY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

Dec 4th 2008

From The Economist print edition

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIST’

For American and European savers it has been a lost decade. After two booms and two busts, stockmarkets have earned them nothing, or less, in the past ten years. Low interest rates have made bonds and bank deposits unrewarding too. Were it not for the tax relief they receive, contributors to personal pension plans would have been better off keeping their money under their mattresses. It will be little consolation to Westerners that savers in Japan have known this empty feeling for far longer.

This year’s figures are enough to put anybody off saving. American mutual-fund assets have declined by $2.4 trillion—a fifth of their value—since the start of 2008; in Britain, the drop is more than a quarter, or almost £130 billion ($195 billion). The value of global stockmarkets has shrunk by maybe $30 trillion, or roughly half. These figures put the losses on credit-related securities—where the financial crisis began—into the shade.

Nor has the bad news been confined to equities. This year the value of all manner of risky investments, from corporate bonds to commodities to hedge funds, has been clobbered. The belief that diversification into “alternative assets” could prevent investors losing money in bear markets has proved false. And of course housing, which many people counted on for their retirement nest-eggs, has lost value too (see article).

As a result, saving seems like pouring money into a black hole (see article). Any American who has diligently put $100 a month into a domestic equity mutual fund for the past ten years will find his pot worth less than he put into it; a European who did the same has lost a quarter of his money.

Save your cake and eat it

It may seem an odd time to worry about savings. This week the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the world’s largest economy, America, had been in recession since December last year. The economies of Japan and much of western Europe have been shrinking. A rapid, global, private-sector shift to thrift is exactly what the world economy does not need. That’s why governments around the world have been passing hurried measures to try to encourage people to spend more of their incomes.

In some countries, they should. Asians (and Germans too — see article), have been squirrelling their money away with excessive enthusiasm. But other countries’ citizens have been putting too little aside for their old age. In America, the household savings ratio (the proportion of disposable income not used for consumption) has been below 2.5% since 1999; in Britain, it has been below 3% in each of the past two years. The Asians’ parsimony made the Anglo-Saxons’ profligacy possible. Through their increasingly sophisticated financial systems, the Americans and British were able to borrow from the thrifty Asians to finance their spending spree. And, because their house prices were rising so fast, they had the collateral and the confidence to do so.

In other words, Anglo-Saxons were able to save their cake and eat it. They did not have to sacrifice consumption in order to build up assets for the future, because lax monetary policies encouraged borrowing that pushed up the prices of housing and other assets, which gave them the illusion of having saved enough. But now this debt burden is being unwound, asset prices are collapsing and savings rates are rising because consumers are unwilling, or unable, to borrow.

Though this is bad news for the American and British economies in the short term, it ought to be good news in the long term. How good, though, depends as much on where people put their savings as on how much they put aside.

Careless caution

If savers treated financial assets as they do other goods, they would sell them when they are expensive and buy them when they are cheap. Actually, they do the opposite. They piled into the market in 1999-2000, at the peak, and are piling out of it now. They should, of course, have got out in 2000, when the global price-earnings ratio was 35; shares look relatively much more attractive now, since the ratio is down to ten. A recent analysis shows that, when American price-earnings ratios are low, returns on equities over the next decade average 8%; when they are high, returns average 3%.

But people’s recent losses have made them cautious. They are putting their money into cash or money-market funds, rather than equities or corporate bonds. The returns they are getting on their savings look increasingly pitiful. Interest rates are falling sharply, with more central banks announcing cuts this week. Savers may initially be shielded from the full impact of those reductions, because commercial banks are competing for retail deposits. But rates in many big economies are heading for, or have already reached, 1-2%.

Caution is understandable, after the trauma of this year. Equity and corporate bond markets could yet fall further, especially as the news on the economy seems to get worse every week. But it is still perverse that investors were happy to buy shares nine years ago, when the ratio of share prices to profits was three times what it is today, and are now determined to keep their money in cash and bonds.

That approach will be hopelessly inadequate for those who want to build a decent pension, especially in defined-contribution, or money-purchase, schemes, where the employee bears all the investment risk. The average American scheme member contributes just 7.8% of salary to his pension scheme. His employer, on average, contributes only 4.4%. He has a pot worth only $68,000. A rule of thumb is that total contributions need to be around 20% of wages to match a traditional final-salary scheme.

Inadequate savings, badly invested, are a problem for individuals and the economy. Cautious savers are putting their money in banks; banks are reluctant to lend; companies therefore find it hard both to borrow money and to raise equity capital. This timidity hurts companies and, in the long term, savers. Implausible as it may sound, right now equities and corporate bonds are a better long-term bet than cash.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIST’ (Spain)

Posted in ASIA, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, FRAUD, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NORTH AMERICA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

ROMANIAN-ENGLISH FERTILIZER PRODUCERS SACKS 5 500 WORKERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

10 December 2008, Wednesday

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

The Romanian-English fertilizer company InterAgro is going to lay off about 5 500 workers, or about 90% of its employees, the Romanian newspaper Adevarul reported.

The company is going to close down all of its six chemical plants, which produce fertilizers. The only way to save the factories would be if the Romanian state supported the company, the InterAgro President Ioan Niculae is quoted as saying.

Such a step, however, would be a breach of EU competition rules, and is therefore unlikely.

Niculae also said the closure of the company factories would incur losses of USD 100 M. InterAgro exports its fertilizer production, and the declining demand on the international market due to the global financial crisis has affected the company.

Bulgaria’s fertilizer producer Agropolychim has also been troubled by the effects of the global financial crisis, and has had to shut down temporarily its production lines.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BULGARIA, CHEMICALS (processed components), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENGLAND, FERTILIZERS, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, ROMANIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

CUBAN TOURISM SURGES AS REST OF CARIBBEAN STALLS – Tourism In Cuba Up Nearly 11 Percent Despite 3 Hurricanes

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

HAVANA, Dec. 8, 2008

The Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

(AP) Cuba’s vacation industry has remained as hot as the tropical sun here, even as the world economic crisis sparks cancellations and layoffs elsewhere in the Caribbean.

The communist country says it’s booked solid through December and expects a record 2.34 million visitors this year _ largely because global financial woes have so far been softer on Canada, its top source of visitors.

Luck also played a role: While the island suffered three devastating hurricanes, its key tourist sites were largely spared. And where beachfront resorts did get hit, the tourist-hungry government has made sure to repair hotels _ in some cases even before damaged homes and infrastructure. Tourism is Cuba’s second-largest source of foreign income, behind nickel production.

So while other islands in the region are laying off hotel workers and suspending construction of new property, Cuban resorts are gearing up for a strong season.

“We’ve had a few cancellations, but overall our numbers are still strong,” said David Gregori of WowCuba, a travel agency in Charlottetown, Canada, that specializes in bicycle trips and other Cuba tours. “People still like to get away. They might try to save some money while doing it, but they’re still traveling.”

The number of foreign visitors has swelled nearly 11 percent this year, making up for 4 and 3 percent declines in 2006 and 2007, government figures show.

Officials offer no explanation for those slower years. But tour operators blame the island’s low returning-visitor rates: Some tourists complain of poor service, crumbling infrastructure and lousy food, indicative of a communist system where shortages are common and state employees are unaccustomed to putting customer service first.

Still, the island is often cheaper than its subtropical neighbors, because many foreigners buy all-inclusive packages offering dozens of direct flights from Europe and Canada to airports all over Cuba, as well deep discounts on hotels, food and booze.

Others are enticed by the prospect of seeing one of only five communist countries left on the planet.

“A lot of people who are going for simple fly-and-flop holiday, and there are others who are going for history and culture, dancing, music,” said Julia Hendry, marketing director for Europe and the United Kingdom of the Bahamas-based Caribbean Trade Organization. Cuba has both, she said, “whether it’s swimming and beach or the excitement of Old Havana and Cuban history.”

About 35 percent of this year’s tourists have been Canadian, with 635,000 visiting through September, one-fifth more than in the same period last year. Canada’s economy has not suffered the same losses now sapping the savings of homeowners in the U.S.

Russian tourists rose 40 percent to top 28,000 thru September, and Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero traveled to Moscow last month to further promote his country.

Visitors from Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany, the top suppliers of tourists after Canada, declined between 3 and 5 percent respectively, however.

Washington’s trade embargo prohibits Americans from visiting, though island immigration records show about 41,000 came last year, many presumably without permission. But not relying on U.S. tourists may now be a blessing.

“Canadians are going to keep coming, especially with snow at home,” said Helen Lueke of Sherwood Park, Canada, who has vacationed in Havana about once a year for decades.

Alexis Trujillo, Cuba’s deputy secretary of tourism, predicted full bookings at least through next summer.

“There’s no doubt tourism is always sensitive to everything,” he said of global economic turmoil. “But we don’t think that for Cuba that will mean an important decrease.”

Tourism generated $2.2 billion for Cuba in 2007. The government has announced no plans to delay a $185 million plan to upgrade more than 200 resorts and build 50 boutique hotels by 2010 _ nt even after Hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma hit within two months, causing more than $10 billion in damages and crippling farms and infrastructure across the countryside.

Construction crews assigned to vacation properties in Havana and elsewhere have largely continued working as normal since the storms.

In the eastern province of Holguin, the island’s No. 3 tourist destination after Havana and the beach resort of Varadero, officials prioritized hotel repairs, trucking in workers to rebuild beachfront resorts. Holguin expects about 270,000 foreigners this year, about the same as 2007, despite scores of hurricane-related cancellations.

Havana’s decaying yet picturesque historic district saw little damage, as did Varadero, 90 miles (140 kilometers) to the east, where white sand and warm, see-through surf has enticed everyone from Fidel Castro to Al Capone. A record million visitors are expected to stay in the town’s 7,000 hotel rooms, which range in price from about $120 to $350 per night, with meals and open bar included.

Though European tour operators say sales have slowed since the financial crisis deepened in October, they expect trips to Cuba and some other Caribbean destinations to stay strong through the winter. Europeans are putting off short, side trips closer to home, but many families are still willing to splurge on once-a-year trips to the tropics, Hendry said.

“We have noticed that all-inclusive markets, where travelers can budget in advance, seem to be doing relative well. Cuba is quite well-populated with that sort of property,” she said.

The industry could get another boast if President-elect Barack Obama keeps campaign promises to ease restrictions on Cuban Americans who want to visit their relatives on the island. Currently, those with family here can only come once every three years.

Nelson Gonzalez, a 56-year-old physical therapist, said his mechanic brother in Miami last came to visit in 2007. But his brother called the morning after the U.S. election to say he was reserving a seat on one of the many special charters that fly from the U.S. to Havana for the last week in January _ confident Obama will ease family travel rules immediately after his Jan. 20 inauguration.

“When your family members reach a certain age, you don’t know if in three more years everyone will still be here,” said Gonzalez, who lives with his 80-year-old parents.

Though visiting family members spend less than tourists, Gregori said many Cuban Americans use his company to book rental cars in advance of visiting relatives.

But “if you want to rent a car in Havana in December, I don’t have any,” he said. “They’ve been sold out for months, and every year they get sold out earlier and earlier.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CANADA, COMMERCE, CUBA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, GERMANY, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ITALY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SPAIN, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TOURISM INDUSTRIES, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »