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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dubai Financial Crisis.

 Dubai World, the country's largest conglomerate, wants to suspend payment on its 60 Billion dollar debts until May 2010 at the earliest. RT's financial contributor Max Keiser says the World is entering the Phase Two of the global economic crisis, and suggests it is likely that the US Dollar will be replaced as the Global Reserve Currency.





Thursday, November 26, 2009

Investors put off by Malaysia’s high-cost, low-speed broadband

Business Times Singapore) - Consumers in Malaysia pay some of the highest prices for broadband in the region, one major reason being the monopoly which state-owned Telekom Malaysia (TM) holds on submarine cable landing rights, a senior executive at a multinational company has asserted.

There is no shortage of gateway service providers seeking landing rights because of the pent-up demand for quality bandwidth, but the government must deregulate or liberalise gateways in order to improve competitiveness by providing larger broadband at lower costs, said Ryaz Patel, Intel Electronics country manager for Malaysia and Brunei.

Patel’s comments that the lacklustre quality and high cost of broadband is hurting the country’s knowledge aspirations come on the heels of warnings by Australian businesses that slow Internet speeds were putting them off investing in Malaysia.

Malaysia Australia Business Council vice-chairman Michael Halpin said large technical documents from Australia had difficulty getting sent over because of the poor quality broadband.

“Australian and American investors see this as a nuisance and an impediment to them to do business successfully here,” he said.

In a press briefing on Intel’s roadmap for 2010, Patel observed Malaysian consumers pay significantly more for broadband, but even to buy broadband wholesale as a service provider was ‘“frighteningly expensive” compared to its neighbours.

His comparison of regional costs showed Malaysian broadband offers some of the lowest speeds in the region, but at the highest costs.

For the fastest bandwidth of 100 megabit per second, Singapore users pay nearly US$85 (RM286.56) or US$10.20 mbps.

For 4mbps in Malaysia, consumers pay US$76 or US$35 mbps. Vietnam’s 3mbps bandwidth — although a tad slower — costs users US$50.55, or US$16.85 mbps.

In the region, broadband costs in Indonesia and India also tend to be higher.

TM is likely to resist liberalisation as it has invested huge sums in infrastructure and now owns or leases capacity on more than 10 submarine cable networks which span more than 60,000 fibre-route miles.

But Patel said if Malaysia aspires to be a knowledge-based society, it needs to get more computers as well as quality and affordable broadband into more homes.

“(And) the single biggest link has to do with landing rights.”

Malaysia is aiming for 50 per cent household broadband penetration next year from about 30 per cent now. Broadband users can access 10MB speeds next year when TM rolls out high-speed broadband in selected suburbs in the Klang Valley in the first phase of its nationwide rollout.

Last month, Thailand broke a state-owned enterprise hold on submarine cable landing rights in the country by granting a licence to the first private operator, True Internet Gateway Co Ltd, which pointed out it would be able to source submarine bandwidth capacity from a wide range of providers directly, resulting in greater bandwidth being available at more competitive prices.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

China banks' rush for billions could trip markets

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) -

Chinese banks, under government pressure to shore up their finances, are set to unleash a wave of billions of dollars in capital raising that could strain equity markets but also spur innovation in debt instruments.

The banks could go to the market with a slew of new stock and bond offers as they look to raise as much as 300 billion yuan ($44 billion) over the next few years, according to some estimates.

The move would follow a surge in bank lending in the first half of this year, encouraged by the central government under its broader 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus plan. But now the regulator, worried about a lending bubble, is cautioning banks to ensure their capital is adequate.

Three of the country's top four listed banks, Bank of China Ltd , China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications have already started work on fundraising proposals, a source told Reuters on Monday.

"There's no doubt there will be a massive wave of fund raising from Chinese banks, but the key question is when, where and how," said Fan Kunxiang, analyst at Haitong Securities Co. "If banks all rush to sell shares within a short period, it would unavoidably be a blow to the stock market."

The Chinese lenders aren't the only ones in Asia looking to raise capital. Japan's banks, for instance, could be raising tens of billions of dollars to meet stricter capital rules. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group , Japan's top bank, said last week it would raise $11 billion to meet coming regulations.

In the latest wake-up call to lenders, China's top banking regulator Liu Mingkang warned in an article published on Tuesday that banks need to protect themselves from credit risk caused by changes in the country's industrial structure.

Analysts said small- and medium-sized lenders could be the first to feel the pinch, lacking the resources of larger lenders.

In a potential sign of things to come, mid-sized Industrial Bank said on Monday it would raise up to $2.64 billion in a rights issue to plug a capital shortfall.

Earlier this year, rivals Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Minsheng Banking Corp announced plans to raise a total of about 53 billion yuan via share sales.

'ROOM FOR INNOVATION'

Chinese banks must keep their capital adequacy ratio -- a key measure of their ability to absorb losses -- above 8 percent by law. But regulators late last year urged small- and mid-sized listed lenders to aim for 10 percent or higher.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission has used various measures to tighten those rules this year and repeatedly warned against reckless lending.

Bank of China's capital adequacy ratio stood at 11.6 percent as of September 30, compared with 12.6 percent for ICBC , China's largest lender, and 12.1 percent for China Construction Bank. All were well above the 8 percent regulatory minimum.

Concerns about new capital raising have weighed on banking stocks since mid-year when the regulator first started signaling its caution.

Shanghai-listed shares of ICBC are up a scant 1.3 percent since mid-year, while Bank of China is up 2.3 percent and China Construction Bank is up 4.2 percent. All those are well behind a 13.2 percent rise for the broader market.

The need for more capital could continue to weigh, and even spread if the broader market cannot absorb the huge sums of new funds required.

"The market has largely priced in expectations of fund-raisings by banks," said Wu Yonggang, analyst at Guotai Junan Securities. "But if regulators suddenly raise ratio requirements ... all banks will be short of capital, and that would scare investors in the stock market."

The looming pressure is already forcing market players to look at other ways of raising capital.

Some of those, including use of debt markets, could provide an opportunity for China to introduce innovative financial instruments, such as bonds with deferrable interest payments, said Liao Qiang, an analyst at Standard & Poor's.

"Compared with overseas markets, China has very limited types of instruments in the debt market that banks can use to replenish capital," Liao said. "There's room for innovation."

Other analysts pointed out the new capital raising could come over a longer period, which would lighten the load on markets.

None of China's dual-listed banks need new equity now, but there may be such a need over the next two to three years, Citigroup said in a November 19 report. Bank of China also said on Tuesday it is studying various ways to raise capital but has no plans for now to do so.

"I think big banks such as Bank of China and China Construction Bank are not in a hurry to raise capital, but it's natural for them to start thinking about it," said Guotai's Wu.

(US$1=6.832 Yuan)


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Xenophobia against immigrant workers

Zimbabwean migrants in search of employment in South Africa are facing persecution from local people who are blaming them for taking their jobs.The persecution, which forced about 2,000 migrants to seek refuge in a rugby stadium, began on Tuesday when the migrants' shacks in a farming community in De Doorns were levelled.Local residents say they are tired of competing with Zimbabweans for space and jobs.



Friday, November 20, 2009

A visit to the unofficial capital of Southern Italy - Naples

Amanda and the 48 team visit the unofficial capital of Southern Italy - Naples










Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Venice Losing Residents but Not Dead Yet

The historic city of Venice, Italy, with its famous waterways and beautiful buildings is losing official residents at a rapid rate causing some people to say it is now a "living museum" and to hold a mock funeral over the weekend. But city officials say millions of tourists still flock to the famous city and there are still thousands of "unofficial" residents and there are efforts underway to bring people back. Sabina Castelfranco reports for VOA from Venice.

  


Zimbabwe and the 2010 world cup.

Africa is gearing up for the football, or soccer, World Cup due to be held in seven months. Host South Africa is spending billions of dollars improving sports, transportation and tourism facilities. But neighboring countries are also hoping to cash in on the two billion dollars sports fans are expected to spend during the month-long extravaganza. VOA's Scott Bobb visited Zimbabwe's tourism trade fair (in October) and has this report from Harare.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Economics 101 - Boom and Burst Cycle.

Chris Harman - talk abot the burst & boom is an inherent logic in a capitalist economic system. Every 10 years more or less this cycle takes place.He is a socialist. He spoke at Kings College London about the recent economic failrue in America, by corporations claimed to be too big too fail.




Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hyperinflation - Germany 1923.

09 June 2008 - A teaching resource to support an explantion of the economic process of inflation; how the Weimar Government reacted and how it contributed to the Year of Crisis 1923.



Friday, May 29, 2009

Malaysia’s economy shrank a worse-than-expected 6.2% in the first quarter

From The Wall Street Journal | By Elffie Chew - 29 May 2009

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s economy shrank a worse-than-expected 6.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier because of a steep fall in exports and manufacturing, data released Wednesday showed.

Central bank Gov. Zeti Akhtar Aziz said economic conditions remain tough, and the economy is likely to register a similar performance in the current quarter.

The first-quarter contraction is the country’s first in nearly eight years and the worst since the fourth quarter of 1998 when GDP fell 11.2% from the previous year. It was more severe than the median 4% forecast by 18 economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires, and reverses the 0.1% growth eked out in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“We are now going into the third month of the second quarter; from what we have seen, export demand continues to be weak and economic conditions are still challenging despite early signs of an improvement,” Ms. Zeti said. Second-quarter gross domestic product “will be similar to the first quarter.”

Economic conditions, however, are expected to improve in the second half of 2009, supported by the government’s fiscal-stimulus measures and Bank Negara Malaysia’s efforts to increase financing for the private sector, Ms. Zeti said.

“Though Malaysia’s first-quarter GDP was worse than expected, it is not out of line with patterns in the region,” said David Cohen, an economist at Action Economics in Singapore.

For 2009, the current GDP forecast is a range of between a 1% contraction and a 1% expansion, but Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said Tuesday that it “will definitely be below minus 1%.”

Prime Minister Najib Razak will announce a revision to the full-year GDP forecast on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires predict a median contraction of 1.6% for 2009.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

IMF undecided over global recovery strategy

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 18:03:07 GMT | PressTV

The International Monetary Fund has failed to provide the blueprint for pushing global finance and governance toward healthy conditions.


There appears to be a deepening disagreement among finance ministers attending the IMF spring meeting on Sunday over how and when to abandon recession-busting policies by the world financial body.

The IMF's managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn


Ministers were also unable to finalize a USD 500b boost to the IMF's resources put forward earlier this month by the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in London. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, said there were already differences among members over 'an exit strategy'. Strauss-Kahn said there was consensus about the need to borrow more during the crisis: "Some of us, including the IMF, are arguing that the stimulus is necessary, but at the same time, you need to have a view about what is going to happen in three years' or four years' time, and prepare the exit strategy from the stimulus.

"
Some blame the disagreement among finance ministers on the restructuring plan the United States has proposed for the IMF. The Europeans are especially resistant to such radical changes. Rejecting the call by the US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner to cut the number of IMF seats from 24 to 20, by 2012, Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders endorsed the current number of seats. "I think that for the moment the representation around the table is attractive.

The European countries are having to finance the Fund very strongly so we have to take into account the size of each country's participation in the Fund," Reynders noted.
The IMF warned this week that the world economy would contract this year for the first time since the World War II.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

China’s stimulus package is hitting home

BEIJING, April 14  –  Wall Street Journal

China’s $585 billion government stimulus programme appears to be kicking in, new data suggest, raising the chances that the world’s third-largest economy may be turning a corner.

Chinese demand for raw materials, hard hit in past months, is showing signs of recovery. Crude-oil imports hit a one-year high in March, the government reported Friday. Steel mills in March imported record quantities of their key raw material, iron ore, in anticipation of a pickup in demand in coming months.

Banks have extended a stunning 4.58 trillion yuan, or about $670 billion, of new loans in the first three months of the year, according to data published Saturday – nearly as much as the 4.9 trillion yuan issued in all of 2008. And the stock market, which had been battered, is on the rise, with the Shanghai composite stock index gaining 2.8 per cent on Monday, pushing it to a 38 per cent increase for the year to date.

The signs augur well for the global economy. China has been one of the world’s most voracious consumers of raw materials. While its aggressive spending plan reflects the power of its state-dominated economy, there are signs that its thrifty consumers are starting to spend more.

Car sales hit a monthly record in March, according to figures issued Thursday, marking the third consecutive monthly rise. Housing sales in major cities have also picked up, with lower prices attracting buyers.

The optimistic outlook has spread to businesses. The National Bureau of Statistics said last week that its survey of managers’ confidence rose in the first quarter after plunging in the final quarter of 2008.

Overall, it appears that the state’s push has helped keep China from slipping into a downward spiral in which poor economic conditions and declining confidence feed off each other. The size of China’s stimulus, announced in November, gets some credit for that: Along with the US plan, it is one of the largest in the world. But the vestiges of China’s command economy have also proved useful.

“China is unusual in that it has this incredible capacity to mobilise all its institutions,” said Vikram Nehru, the World Bank’s chief economist for Asia. The government’s ability to direct bank lending and investment spending has meant its stimulus efforts have worked faster than many initially expected.

“There is now a growing degree of confidence that the stimulus package is having an impact,” he added.

Beijing’s programme still has considerable work to do, with new data also charting continued contraction in the country’s export sector. The global slump in demand has battered exporters, leading to millions of lost jobs.

Exports fell 17.1 per cent in March from a year earlier, after a 25.7 per cent decline in February, official data showed Friday, a reflection of China’s vulnerability to weak economies in the US and other export markets. That left a trade surplus of $18.56 billion for the month, far higher than February’s figure but less than half the levels recorded late last year.

That is also being reflected in slower accumulation of foreign exchange reserves. New data from the central bank, released Saturday, showed the dollar value of reserves fell in January and February before picking up in March. They ended the quarter at $1.9537 trillion, compared with $1.946 trillion at the end of December.

Analysts say swings in the currency market also affected the headline figure for the reserves, which are held in multiple currencies but reported in US dollars.

But the government is pushing cash through the economy, and the state investment programme is driving new infrastructure projects.

Funds budgeted for investments that started in the first two months of 2009 surged 88 per cent from a year earlier.

While improvement in China alone isn’t enough to reverse the global economic decline, it is still welcome news, given that China is one of the few major nations that is expanding.

Like China, the US government also has launched a significant fiscal stimulus, of $787 billion, the impact of which is only now beginning to show up in the economy as tax cuts swell worker paychecks.

US consumers – their retirement accounts and home values depressed – are showing a reluctance to spend as readily as they usually do. Car sales in the US, in contrast to the records being set in China, are extremely low. Spending on infrastructure is taking awhile to kick in, despite talk of “shovel-ready projects.”

Weaknesses in US banks and, even more, the near-paralysis of the important market for securitised credit, remain major impediments to renewed economic growth.

China needs support from demand in the rest of the world to sustain a recovery. Without that, it is still unclear whether China’s economic engine, having been jump-started by government investment, can keep running in a higher gear.

Export manufacturing remains the primary employer of China’s 140 million rural migrant workers. About 20 million of them are unemployed, and if the export crunch continues for several more months, that could exhaust their meagre savings.

Key to the effectiveness of China’s stimulus plan so far has been a race by local governments to spend the money.

After November’s stimulus programme gave them the go-ahead, authorities in the northern city of Harbin started expanding their port in March. The provincial government is trying to launch even more ambitious port works by October.

“Thanks to the stimulus plan, our proposed projects get a lot of support from the central government,” one official in Harbin said.

In central China, state-owned Henan Coal & Chemical Industry Group started work on 15 expansion projects on April 1, declaring its planned spending of 22.4 billion yuan a response to the government’s call to maintain 8 per cent growth this year.

That kind of reaction is partly why many analysts expect first-quarter economic data – to be released this week – to show activity picking up relative to the fourth quarter of 2008, even if headline growth rates remain very low by Chinese standards. The World Bank expects China’s economy to expand 6.5 per cent this year.

“I think it’s fair to say the economy has bottomed. But bottoming is not recovery,” said Ben Simpfendorfer, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Among the reasons for economists’ caution before calling a recovery is that China has had at least one false dawn in recent months. In early anticipation of stimulus-related orders, domestic steelmakers started ramping up production in December and January, helping to push up prices and freight rates.

But the anticipated demand didn’t materialise, and steel prices have been mostly falling since February.

The stimulus gets credit, at least, for stemming panic. Peter Li, chief financial officer of HLS Systems International Inc., a Beijing-based maker of industrial automation products, says he is getting orders from railroad projects as part of the stimulus plan.

“People are not in as much of a rush to sell inventory. They don’t expect prices to go down,” Li said. “The biggest impact of the stimulus plan so far is really on the psychological level.” 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Credit Suisse starts shutting US offshore accounts

Reuters pic

ZURICH, April 12 — Reuters

Swiss bank Credit Suisse has started closing down the offshore accounts of US clients who have not declared the money to the US authorities, a newspaper reported today.

The Sonntagszeitung newspaper said the bank had about 2,500-5,000 US clients with undeclared offshore accounts worth about 3 billion Swiss francs (RM27.9 billion), without citing its sources.

The paper said Credit Suisse had started parting company with its US offshore clients, giving them the option of moving their accounts to its CS Private Advisors subsidiary, which would report the accounts to the US tax authorities, or writing them a check.

It quoted an unnamed Credit Suisse manager as saying the bank was only applying the new “zero tolerance” policy in individual cases for now but was considering a more general withdrawal from the US offshore business.

Credit Suisse was not immediately available for comment on the article. Sonntagszeitung quoted a spokesman as declining to confirm the report, but noting the tougher approach of foreign authorities on offshore wealth management in recent times.

“CS sticks to all valid rules and regulations in various countries,” a spokesman told the newspaper.

The move comes after rival UBS said last year it would stop offering offshore services to US citizens after US authorities alleged that the Swiss bank has helped rich Americans hide money away from the taxman in Swiss accounts.

A newspaper reported earlier this year that Credit Suisse was writing to its US clients holding Swiss accounts asking them to sign a form that would reveal them to US tax authorities.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Indonesia 2008- Bali Island, Gili and Java Island

Trip in Indonesia .
-Bali Island
-Gili Island
-Lombok Island
-Java Island in the city Yogyakarta also name Jogjakarta



ING: Ringgit to decline 4.5% after by-elections

April 08, 2009 - The Ringgit may weaken by as much as 4.5 percent after Pakatan Rakyat won two out of three by-elections yesterday night, according the ING Group.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Too big to fail? Nationalize

April 05, 2009 - Leo Panitch: Can G20 avert crisis Pt2



35,000 UK firms to go bankrupt in 2009

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 05:28:54 GMT | PressTV

At least 35,000 firms and 125,000 people are expected to go bankrupt in Britain this year, an insolvency expert group has predicted.

Begbies Traynor, a UK-based Corporate Rescue, Restructuring and Personal Insolvency company, has forecast that 35,000 firms -- 95 firms a day -- will go bankrupt this year, the Sunday Times reported.

Nick Hood at Begbies said the number could rise to 40,000 by the end of the year.

"The rate is accelerating - on a bad day we could see 20 businesses going under a day," he told the paper.

The figure would be 18 percent higher than the previous peak during the 1991 recession in Britain.

"It feels much worse than the 1990s - there are much fewer options to rescue businesses today. In the past you could go to another bank or small-business owners could re-mortgage and use equity from their homes - today that is next to impossible," Hood added.

British Finance Minister Alistair Darling told the Sunday Times that the UK was far deeper in recession than the government expected and that the country was unlikely to return to economic growth until the end of the year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted in January that British gross domestic product (GDP) will contract 2.8 percent in 2009.

Begbies also predicted that as many as 125,000 people will also go bankrupt in 2009 -- equivalent to 342 people a day. The figure amounts to the highest number of personal bankruptcies since 2006, when 107,000 people went bankrupt.

Consultancy firm Hay Group also predicted on Sunday that more than 600,000 people will lose their jobs in Britain this year.

Based on a survey of 140 of the top 1,000 firms, the group said nine in ten firms plan operational cuts in 2009-10 and that a fifth of the companies plan a big restructuring of their businesses in response to the recession.

Unemployment in the UK rose to above two million in the three months ending January for the first time since 1997 as a result of the global financial crisis taking its toll on the country's economy.
U

UK ecomically worst in Europe

The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government:
Daniel Hannan MEP: European Parliament speech of 26/03/09
Daniel Hannan is a Conservative MEP for the South East of England and author of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain.




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