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Lots of infighting has kept us rather imobilized

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on April 16, 2009

Lots of infighting has kept us rather imobilized … can you imagine that Carolyn Cuttenberg actually tried to strangle me in one of our editorial meetings … and Fred Hubner threatened me with a proposition to get me expelled from the group … which, eventually, he did achieve with great ease and Carolyn’s open support … They soon discovered to be quite dysfunctional when it comes to using WordPress … therefore, both had a meeting and decided to allow my return if I wished to … I haven’t decided yet, but, for any measure, I forgave their violent and senseless ideological outbursts … Therefore, ’til I decide to come back or not, this newswire won’t be updated.

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AFTER EXTENSIVE AND SOMETIMES USELESS DISCUSSIONS, THE ENTIRE ‘FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE GROUP’, IN FACE OF A POSSIBLE GENERAL STRIKE WITHIN THE GROUP, DECIDED TO TAKE A COLLECTIVE VACATION … SEE YOU FOLKS IN MARCH … AND BY THE WAY, OUR COLLECTIVE VACATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS PRESENT GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS …

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

THE FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE GROUP

PUBLISHED BY ‘FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE’

THE FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE GROUP IS ON VACATION 'TIL MARCH

PUBLISHED BY ‘FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE’

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EMPRESÁRIO FAZ DURAS CRÍTICAS À CONSTITUIÇÃO BOLIVIANA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

27/01/2009 16:24

por José Dirceu

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

Numa entrevista ao jornal O Globo, publicada hoje, o gerente-geral do Instituto Boliviano de Comércio Exterior (IBCE), Gary Rodríguez, desfia um festival de críticas contra a Constituição de seu país, aprovada por ampla maioria da população no referendo promovido pelo presidente Evo Morales no último domingo.

Entre outras pérolas, o empresário dirigente do IBCE – uma espécie de FIESP de lá – ao responder sobre quais setores da economia do país a nova Carta prejudica, respondeu fulminante: “Praticamente todos”.

Gary Rodriguez prosseguiu: “o setor rural, por exemplo, terá dois problemas imediatos. O primeiro é a questão do direito das comunidades indígenas ao seu território. O segundo é quanto à execução dos dispositivos que determinam se tal propriedade cumpre sua função social ou se há exploração de mão-de-obra ou escravidão. Todas estas decisões estarão nas mãos apenas do Executivo. É o Executivo que vai decidir, por exemplo, se uma dívida de um trabalhador com o patrão é escravidão e, portanto, passível de desapropriação”.

Empresário está inconformado com direitos sociais

Vejam, o empresário está assustado e inconformado com o fato de a Carta dar direito às comunidades indígenas de terem o seu território! E mais contrariado, ainda, com o fato de haver um poder que pode definir se a propriedade cumpre função social e se uma dívida do trabalhador com o patrão é escravidão ou não! É o fim do mundo.

A experiência brasileira e de outros países revela que fazer cumprir a função social da propriedade rural, como manda a Constituição, e combater o trabalho degradante, infantil e escravo, não só é possível como não tem nada a ver com o mau funcionamento da economia.

Pelo contrário, deve ser uma condição para o funcionamento de uma economia que mereça esse nome. A não ser que queiramos legalizar a escravidão, o trabalho infantil e o degradante, e mais, deixar a propriedade privada sem normas e sem regulação.

Bem, mas aí, acabamos de ver isto no setor financeiro. E vemos e sentimos o custo que pode ter não só para a economia, mas para todos os setores e para o mundo todo.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU

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A GREAT WALL OF CARBON CREDITS (China)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 12, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

by Nathan VanderKlippe – Financial Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘CANADA.COM’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CANADA.COM’

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SAUDI CENTRAL BANK CUTS REPO RATE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

Tue, Dec. 16, 2008

by Tarek El-Tablawy – AP Business Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WICHITA EAGLE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE WICHITA EAGLE’ (USA)

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FERTILIZER PRICES DOWN AS MUCH AS 44%

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

Posted 01:28:00 12/16/2008

by Amy R. Remo

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS INQUIRER’ (PHILIPPINES)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BUSINESS INQUIRER’ (PHILIPPINES)

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FORD’S DEBT GAMBLE PAYS OFF

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

12:23PM Thursday Dec 11, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

DEARBORN – A decision Ford CEO Alan Mulally made during his first months on the job may turn out to be the automaker’s saving grace.

In 2006, the chief executive fresh from Boeing wanted to concentrate on making smaller, more fuel efficient cars, matching production with consumer demand, and focusing on the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands.

The company has announced the closure of 17 factories and eliminated 50,000 jobs since its latest restructuring started in 2005, many through buyout and early retirement offers. It sold non-Ford brands Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin and is studying the sale of Sweden’s Volvo. Smaller cars produced by its European unit are coming to the US starting in 2010.

But to fulfil that vision for the company, Mulally needed at least $17 ($32) billion. He took his plan – one very similar to the one Ford submitted to Congress last week – to 40 banks at a time when credit flowed freely, and he ended up raising $23.5 billion. He bet all of Ford’s buildings, stock, intellectual property, stakes in foreign automakers, and even its trademark blue logo as collateral.

“At the time people were wondering if we were being too aggressive to leverage assets,” Mulally said in an interview. “I erred on the side of being conservative on financing.”

The move to secure credit proved to be key to Ford’s assertion that it doesn’t need an emergency loan from Congress now like General Motors and Chrysler LLC do. While the company boasts how its fleet and future vehicles set it apart from its Detroit competitors, its ability to maintain operations through 2009 without government aid is a key differentiator.

The company had $18.9 billion in cash on hand on Sept. 30 and still had about $10.7 billion of its credit lines available.

Yet Ford could be standing on a melting iceberg. The company spent $7.7 billion more than it took in the third quarter as US auto sales fell, reaching an annualised sales rate of 10 million in November, the lowest level since October 1982.

Should industry wide US auto sales drop to new lows in 2009, Ford says it would need to come to the government for help. In the plan it submitted to Congress last week, it asked for access to a $9 billion line of credit just in case.

Ford’s F-series pickup trucks are still the best-selling vehicles in the US But the company needed to slim down from its steady truck and SUV diet, as $4-a-gallon gas scared consumers away from the vehicles.

The company announced plans in July to transform three North American truck plants to make small, fuel-efficient cars that it already sells in Europe. A plant in Wayne, Michigan, that made Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs will start churning out Ford Focus compacts in 2010.

The company’s goal is to take leadership in fuel economy with direct-injection turbocharged engines, new hybrid gas-electric powertrains and eventually electric vehicles. Competitors, including Chrysler, GM, Toyota and Honda, have or are working on similar technologies.

Besides upgrades of the conventional models, Ford rolled out new versions of its Fusion and Milan sedans, including hybrid models, at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month with fuel economy that beats current offerings from Toyota and Honda.

“Longer term, it looks as if these are the right moves for Ford,” said Aaron Bragman, research analyst for automotive marketing for IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich.

But in the short term, Ford needs US consumers to regain confidence in the economy and return to showrooms, said Bragman, who thinks even a minor dip below next year’s expected sales level of 10.5 million to 11 million would force Ford to take government aid.

“It all depends on how spooked consumers are in 2009 to buy enough cars to keep them off the government dole,” he said.

Ford never thought the credit it lined up would be needed to run basic operations, at least until car sales plummeted this year.

“None of us thought it would go as deep as it was going to go and we would have to use it all,” Mulally said.

And if GM, Chrysler or both declare bankruptcy, it could drag down parts suppliers and force Ford into the same situation, Mulally said. Any long-term gains in market share would be overshadowed by short-term pain in a disrupted supply chain, and negative customer perception.

“I can’t predict the future, and this thing might degrade further, even Ford with its dynamite plan might have to need a small bridge loan,” Mulally said. “We don’t need it now.”

In that sense, Ford appeared to take a back seat at Congressional hearings in November, and it reiterated the changes it is already making when Mulally returned to Washington last week.

“When I heard Mulally’s presentation, it sounded like an advertisement for Ford, rather than a plea for help,” said Bruce Belzowski, associate director of the Automotive Analysis Division at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. “It’s more a laid back strategy but a serious one. They’re very supportive of getting government to help the companies.”

Mulally said his pilgrimages to Congress had little to do with Ford’s position, but more of a gesture to “stand tall” with the US auto industry.

“I have a plan, it’s a solid plan. I have the money, but I’m there standing with the industry,” he said. “My competitors said they’re in dire financial straits. Having a bridge loan and keeping it going is right for the economy and right for the United States.”

Among the requirements in the proposed bailout legislation is the appointment of a “car czar” to oversee GM and Chrysler with authority to yank the loans if the companies don’t make substantial progress toward restructuring.

Mulally said Ford has completed much of the restructuring that Congress is demanding of the other two, and it anticipates no further cuts will be necessary as long as the US auto market doesn’t worsen considerably.

“I think they’re in the best position,” said Brad Coulter, a turnaround consultant for O’Keefe and Associates in Oakfield, Michigan. “If Ford sees harsh medicine being doled out, and if they want to back off, they can.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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THE BALD HEADED EAGLE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 8, 2008

November 08 2008

by Fred Hubner

For reasons of my peculiar upbringing (details undisclosed by law) I became somewhat of a loner since my pre-teens. As a teenager, being a very young loner who didn’t have a motorcycle; a buggy; an ATV; daddy’s car in the weekend; a bloody surf board (which I acquired later on … but that’s another story); a gorgeous home with the bluest of the bluest of the hugest swimming pool and all that wasn’t as bad as most would figure, in fact, it was fun. So, back in the earlier 70s, I didn’t really have many options but bumming around at the sea side; fishing in the Pacific (once caught a scorpion fish, scarry little fckr … oozing out its freckled and deadly poison all over the place), visiting Scripps’ acquarium; eventual cinema; riding my chopper styled bicycle; school events (but always desperately avoided on even thinking of getting involved in any sport activity), watching the classics on tv … and best of all, wandering in the prairies … well, La Jolla’s prairies aren’t really prairies … not being as dry. So, bumming around La Jolla’s prairies was certainly my favourite leisure time activity. I watched live, in loco, from a close distance, things that can be seen in Nature videos. I really enjoyed chasing daylight coyotes with my bicycle; poking and poking those little tank-look-alikes better known as horned toads; chasing light-brown little foxes (and I swear, these devilish creatures are far more inteligent than any human being); patiently watching, from a safe short distance, a gila monster slowly strolling in full confidence; teasing rattlesnakes and capturing the non-poisonous ophidians … those were really great days. But there was this very special day, something like a magical moment in which I got suspended from reality and didn’t notice it ’til I snapped out of it. Out of the blue swooped in a low flying huge bald headed eagle. I felt totally entranced, hypnotized … whatever … I just had to come as close as possible to such incredible creature. Pumped my bike, and managed to tag along sideways from about six feet away. The world disappeared. And there we were … me, my bike, Baldy and nothing else … I could almost touch it. Suddenly that wonderful animal turned its head and looked at me as if it were concerned. That kind of look snapped me out of such dream like real life event. So I stopped my bike and started wondering, what could it be concerned about !!!? … As I took my last glance at that living national symbol of ours, now, already, a few hundred feet away … I noticed that I had stopped 30 feet short of the border of this very deep cliff.

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