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Health care reform will cause a Great Depression
The Health Care Reform Bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama,
will send the country cascading into a Great Depression. The financial collapse will revival the bank collapse of the 1930s.
Many giant corporations,
and the entire economy itself, teeter on the brink of a depression. Raising taxes now would have the same effect as the Revenue
Act of 1932 did. This act, which doubled taxes, sent the country from a deep recession into the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Consumer confidence dried up and didn’t return until World War II was in full swing. No one trusted the banks and the
few that didn’t collapse had no money to lend.
The current Health Care
Reform Bill will add $1.26 trillion in new spending, which will require new taxes to pay for it, and force the middle class
taxpayer to pay for tens of millions of uninsured Americans
As we reach the end of a miserable
2009, signs continue to mount across the globe that the world economy is stirring back to life. The U.S. finally returned
to growth in the third quarter, with its strongest showing in two years, India posted inspiring 7.9% growth and the results
out of tiny Taiwan, one of the economies slammed the hardest by the global recession, were so impressive one economist beamed
that the island "got its groove on." Stock markets, aside from a downward blip here and there, have generally been buoyant.
During this season of Thanksgiving and holiday cheer, there seems to be good reason to give thanks and be cheerful.
Or maybe not. The worst
of the crisis is almost certainly behind us, but that doesn't mean the crisis is over. Lying ahead are a slew of unresolved
problems, policy challenges and, no doubt, further surprises. Unemployment remains a serious global issue, and may yet get
worse; excess capacity left over from the boom years haunts the recovery; and the drastic stimulus programs utilized to fight
the recession are creating a new menu of potential troubles.
Panic strikes, and investors sell gold and buy dollars
Rattled by concerns
debt, investors fled gold for the safety of the U.S. dollar during early
on Friday. The move comes as the booming appetite for the precious metal
among smaller investors has led to near record prices and shortages of American
Eagle gold coins at
the U.S. Mint.
But as the enthusiasm for gold reaches a fevered pitch
worldwide with speculation focused mainly on how high it can go, the sharp drop
also serves as a useful reminder: While often thought of as a "safe haven," gold
is marked by volatile prices, and it recently sold off sharply when investors
truly got nervous.
Indeed, gold fell hard and the dollar
the financial crises this spring. And a similar dynamic could be seen on
Friday. The price of gold tumbled 5% in early trading as panicked investors
tried to gauge the severity of Dubai's woes. Later, gold cut its losses to a
1.5% drop. The dollar, meanwhile, reversed its long slide, at least for a day.
The government of Dubai shocked financial markets
on Wednesday when it said it would ask creditors of its Dubai World conglomerate for a debt moratorium of at least six months..."Dollar
weakness ... sent Asian markets plunging, which then took European exchanges with them," said an analyst with Global te of insecurity
and crisis of confidence at a time when fears are mounting about excessive public debt."...
...Standard & Poors said the development could be
considEquities in Paris.
In addition, the
partial default by Dubai "fed a climaered a default and downgraded a raft of Dubai government entities including Dubai World...
"This last-minute moratorium on debt repayments at Dubai World is unacceptable has all the smacking
of an Ireland -- nay worse, an Iceland -- in the making.
"The two regions may be polemic in climate but mirror images in terms of credit and ability to meet their bills."
Elsewhere on Thursday, gold soared to a record high of 1,195.13 dollars an ounce after a purchase of IMF gold by
Sri Lanka's central bank, traders said.
The G-20's six largest economies took a big hit during the global recession
in the past year and a half. Challenges remain but most appear on the path to
Interest rate: 0% to 0.25%
The U.S. economy appears to be stabilizing
after declining for four straight quarters, but the recovery has been tepid so
Financial markets have shown signs of improvement, and interbank
lending has largely returned to normal. Consumer spending is still shrinking due
to ongoing job losses and difficult credit conditions, but it has been
stabilizing over the past quarters. Furthermore, home sales and new home
construction are beginning to make a long-awaited comeback.
have continued to cut back on spending and have sharply reduced their
inventories. But many economists believe that companies are largely done with
their cuts, which could lay the groundwork for economic growth this quarter. The
massive $787.2 billion stimulus bill is also expected to give GDP a boost in the
"The recession is very likely over at this point,"
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week. But he also added, "It's
still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time."
Number of bankruptcy filings in third
quarter of 2009 soars to highest level since 2005
Business bankruptcies filed
this year top 2008 total.
The total number of bankruptcies filed in the third
quarter surged 33% in 2009
and is at the highest level since 2005, according to data released
The American Bankruptcy Institute, an industry research firm, said 388,485
bankruptcies were filed during the last quarter, compared to 292,291 filed
during the same period in 2008, according to data released by the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Courts.
Filings for the first nine months of the year climbed 35% to 1,100,035,
compared to 841,496 filings during the same period in 2008. A total of 1,117,771
bankruptcies were filed last year.
"The spike in bankruptcy filings for both consumers and businesses reflect
the continuing effects of today's weak economy," said ABI executive director
Samuel Gerdano in a statement. "With unemployment surpassing 10% and credit to
businesses remaining tight, consumers and businesses are increasingly turning to
the financial relief of bankruptcy."
Bankruptcies are at the highest level since 2005, when 2,078,415 were filed
before Congress passed amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, said ABI.
U.S. lenders saw loans
fall by the largest amount since the government began tracking such data, suggesting that nervousness among banks continues
to hamper economic recovery.
Total loan balances fell
by $210.4 billion, or 3%, in the third quarter, the biggest decline since data collection began in 1984, according to a report
released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC also said its fund to backstop deposits fell into negative
territory for just the second time in its history, pushed down by a wave of bank failures....
The FDIC's quarterly banking profile, which analyzed data from 8,099 federally
insured banks, reported that 552 financial institutions, with combined assets of $345.9 billion, were on the government's
problem list at the end of September, up from 416 with $299.8 billion of assets at the end of June. That means roughly 7%
of all U.S. banks are on the list and face a higher probability of failure....
The FDIC said its deposit-insurance fund, which
backstops trillions of dollars in deposit accounts, fell to a negative $8.2 billion at the end of September, an $18.6 billion
drop from the end of June. The FDIC said one reason for the decrease was that the agency shifted $21.7 billion from the fund
into reserves for bank failures over the next 12 months.
The United States government
is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true. But
that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.
Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that
come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.
Even as Treasury officials are racing
to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment
shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.
With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing
the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically.
Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.
In concrete terms, an additional
$500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy,
homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
...progressives need to turn their attention
toward the medium- and long-term fiscal crisis the country faces. How massive is the challenge we face? The following chart,
from Keith Hennessey, an ex-Bush policy advisor, says it all:
Obviously the first thing to jump out is the
escalating divergence between federal spending and revenues in the decades ahead. And the spending projection in the chart
is from 2007, so it doesn’t include the stimulus or spending on the financial crisis (or the projected cost of health
care reform). That’s scary enough. But the scariest part may not be evident at first glance.
The red line shows
federal taxes as a percent of GDP going back to 1945 and projected outward to 2080 by Hennessey based on its historic growth.
The yellow line shows federal spending as a percent of GDP. The chart makes clear that the level of federal taxation has actually
varied little since World War II (which says nothing about how marginal tax rates faced by different groups have changed).
You can see the last build-up of deficits that occurred from the 1970s through the mid-1990s. You can also see the build-up
of the Bush years.
California, Delaware, South Carolina and Florida registered record rates of unemployment
in October as weakness in the labor market stretches from coast to coast and limits the economic recovery. Joblessness rose
in 29 U.S. states last month compared with 22 in September, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Michigan had the
highest jobless rate at 15.1 percent, followed by Nevada at 13 percent and Rhode Island at 12.9 percent. The national rate
last month reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent, weighing on consumer spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the
Internacional acaba de
publicarel Indice de la Percepcion de Corrupción de 2009. A continuacion, los indices de
los paises latinoamericanos. La primera columna indica el rango del pais entre
todos los evaluados. La segunda columna, indica el indice regional, con Canada
siendo el pais donde la percepcion de la corrupcion es mas bajo y Haiti, el mas
alto. Haz clic en el cuadro para ver el informe completo.
Transparencia Internacional Indice Corrupcion 2009
Transparency International's Corruption Index 2009
Transparency International's 2009 Corruption Perception Index has recently been published. Above is the portion relative to the Western
Hemisphere. Click on he chart to go to the full report.
Global corporate accounting fraud up sharply: survey
Global companies have seen a sharp rise in accounting fraud over the past 12
months, as the pressures of the recession have weighed on employees, according
to a new survey on Thursday.
The survey of 3,000 senior executives in 54 countries from accounting firm
PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC.UL showed accounting fraud had grown to 38 percent of
the economic crimes in 2009, up from 27 percent in the firm's 2007
The increase in accounting fraud has come as employees face increased
pressures to meet performance targets, keep their jobs and keep access to
funding or financing from outside institutions.
The 5th GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRIME
The survey, entitled Economic crime in a downturn, is based on more
than 3,000 companies in 54 countries. It is the largest, most comprehensive international survey of economic crime worldwide.
Despite the attention of regulators and companies' investment in controls, fraud remains one of the most problematic
issues for companies around the world.
The actual level of economic crime and associated financial and non-financial losses has not decreased.
One third of companies fell victim to economic crime in the past twelve months.
The report finds that economic crime is intractable because of the many kinds of fraud and the broad range of employees,
including senior executives, who commit them.
It concludes that companies cannot rely on fraud controls alone to detect and deter economic crime. Companies need
to build loyalty to the organisation, give employees the confidence to do the right thing, and put in place clear sanctions
for those who commit fraud, regardless of their position in the company.
...el Departamento del Tesoro de Estados Unidos anunciaba que
la deuda nacional asciende ya a más de 12 billones de dólares, concretamente a
12.031.299.186.290,07 dólares. Significa eso que...cada norteamericano
tiene ya una deuda de casi 39.000 dólares.
Para valorar lo que significa un billón de dólares piénsese que con esa
cantidad (o sea con una doceava parte de la deuda actual de EE.UU.) se pueden
cubrir todos los gastos militares de todos los países de la OTAN. También, con
un billón de dólares se dobla el coste total del “New Deal” de Franklin Delano
Roosevelt y se multiplica por diez lo que costó el Plan Marshall, ajustando en
ambos casos la inflación. Con un billón de dólares, en fin, se podrían comprar
188.8.131.526 Cristianos Ronaldos…
Para hacernos una idea visual de lo que significa un billón de dólares,
piénsese que si pusiéramos una fila de billetes de un dólar, uno tras otro,
podríamos hacer una cadena seguida desde la tierra al sol. Como hablamos de 12
billones, se podría hacer una cadena de billetes de dólares que realizarían seis
viajes de ida y vuelta al sol.
¿El mundo aprendió la lección con la crisis?
Hemos sido testigos de una recuperación record de la crisis financiera que azota al mundo desde hace unos 3 años. Los
principales indicadores bursátiles señalan que la confianza está volviendo con mucha fuerza a los mercados alrededor del mundo,
lo que ha llevado a pronósticos optimistas sobre el futuro de la economía mundial para el año 2010. Tal vez el exceso de optimismo
por la rápida recuperación nos está llevando a olvidarnos, ¿el mundo aprendió la lección?
Los indicadores de ganancias de los 5 principales bancos de EEUU totalizaron unos $23.300 millones en el primer semestre
de este año. La cifra supera por mucho la pérdida de casi $7.000 millones de igual lapso del año previo, no obstante está
muy por debajo de los casi $50.000 millones registrados en el primer semestre de 2007, período considerado como el apogeo
de Wall Street. Como vemos, estas cifras llaman al optimismo, y al mismo tiempo aumenta el apetito de riesgo que nuevamente
parecen exhibir los inversionistas, algo que podría ser muy bueno para salir de la crisis y generar puestos de trabajo, pero
al mismo tiempo puede representar la creación de nuevos problemas si se vuelve a las prácticas de los años anteriores a la
crisis de baja regulación y ejecución de prácticas contables "acomodaticias a las demandas del mercado", pero alejadas
de la realidad.
Jefe FMI dice economía global está en compás de espera
La economía global está en un compás de espera y vulnerable a nuevos posibles trastornos, dijo el lunes el jefe del Fondo
Monetario Internacional, quien agregó que una recuperación duradera dependerá de que las autoridades tomen las medidas adecuadas
en los próximos meses.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, director gerente del FMI, dijo que la principal prioridad de los países ricos debiera ser desarrollar
planes para limpiar el desorden fiscal que ha dejado más de un año de esfuerzos para luchar contra la crisis.
Sin embargo, aclaró que pensaba que aún es demasiado pronto para retirar las medidas de emergencia.
"Recomendamos pecar de cautelosos, ya que salir demasiado pronto es más costoso que salir demasiado tarde",
La crisis financiera del año 2008 en los Estados Unidos se diseminó hasta cubrir todas partes del mundo, causando que
las exportaciones de la República de China (Taiwan) se contrajeran y que la economía sufriera una severa caída.
Las empresas de Taiwán dependen fuertemente de las exportaciones y como tal se encuentran vulnerables a las fluctuaciones
de la economía global. La estructura industrial de la nación, por lo tanto, debe ser reformulada. Para logra tal objetivo,
se invertirán US$ 6.15 mil millones en biotecnología, energía verde, agricultura industrializada, turismo, medicina y sectores
culturales y creativos entre los años 2009 al 2012.
Sin embargo, Taiwán no puede restablecer la salud de la economía global por sí sola.
Antes de la recuperación de la economía global, la demanda doméstica debe ser incrementada para estimular la economía,
aumentar los trabajos, mejorar la competitividad nacional y asegurar la viabilidad continua de las empresas domésticas.
La crisis financiera que ha asolado los mercados mundiales desde el verano de 2007 ha puesto patas arriba el orden natural
que regía en el sector bancario internacional. Reguladores, supervisores, agencias de calificación, entidades financieras
y los Gobiernos han sido puestos en duda, y su comportamiento y funciones están hoy sometidos a una revisión. Los cambios
vendrán, de eso ya nadie duda, y son muchos los expertos que aseguran que el sistema bancario del futuro será bien diferente
del que existía antes de esta crisis. Sin embargo, la principal cuestión ahora -en un contexto en el que la globalización
económica forma parte del sistema, pero donde los países todavía no han homogeneizado sus modelos de regulación bancaria-
es cómo se van a acometer las reformas...
...it would be “naive”
to assume the next asset price bubble would take the same guise as the last.
“More likely today is a scenario
in which excess liquidity globally creates a new [sort of] asset market bubble.”
“That low interest rate currencies
such as the US dollar are increasingly being used as a basis for currency carry trades should give pause for thought. If there
was a sudden reversal in this business, markets would be threatened with enormous turbulence, including in foreign exchange
GLOBAL COLLAPSE COMING? >>> Société Générale has advised clients to be ready for a possible "global economic
collapse" over the next two years, mapping a strategy of defensive investments to avoid wealth destruction. In a report
entitled "Worst-case debt scenario", the bank's asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely
transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems.
Overall debt is still far too high in almost all rich economies as a share of GDP (350pc in the US), whether public or
private. It must be reduced by the hard slog of "deleveraging", for years.
"As yet, nobody can say with any certainty whether we have in fact escaped the prospect of a global economic collapse,"
said the 68-page report, headed by asset chief Daniel Fermon. It is an exploration of the dangers, not a forecast.
Under the French bank's "Bear Case" scenario (the gloomiest of three possible outcomes), the dollar would slide
further and global equities would retest the March lows. Property prices would tumble again. Oil would fall back to $50 in
Governments have already shot their fiscal bolts. Even without fresh spending, public debt would explode within two years
to 105pc of GDP in the UK, 125pc in the US and the eurozone, and 270pc in Japan. Worldwide state debt would reach $45 trillion,
up two-and-a-half times in a decade.
DEBT LEVELS RISK ANOTHER CRISIS >>>
High levels of government debt around the world remain the most likely trigger of the next economic downturn, the former
chief economist of the International Monetary Fund has warned. countries like the US have been running up such significant
national debts as a proportion of their total economies that there is the potential for default at some point in the future.
"There's no question that the most significant vulnerability as we emerge from recession is the soaring government
debt," Prof Ken Rogoff told Bloomberg. "It's very likely that it will trigger the next crisis as governments have
been stretched so wide."
PATHOLOGY OF A FINANCIAL CRISIS >>> The coroner’s report left no doubt as to the cause of death: toxic
loans. That was the conclusion of a financial autopsy that federal officials performed on Haven Trust Bank, a small bank in
Duluth, Ga., that collapsed last December, Eric Dash writes in The New York Times. In what sounds like an episode of “CSI:
Wall Street,” dozens of government investigators — the coroners of the financial crisis — are
conducting post-mortems on failed lenders across the nation. Their findings paint a striking portrait of management missteps
and regulatory lapses.
At bank after bank, the examiners are discovering that state and federal regulators knew lenders were engaging in hazardous
business practices but failed to act until it was too late. At Haven Trust, for instance, regulators raised alarms about lax
lending standards, poor risk controls and a buildup of potentially dangerous loans to the boom-and-bust building industry.
Despite the warnings — made as far back as 2002 — neither the bank’s management nor the regulators
took action. Similar stories played out at small and midsize lenders from Maryland to California.
What went wrong? In many instances, the financial overseers failed to act quickly and forcefully to rein in runaway banks,
according to reports compiled by the inspectors general of the four major federal banking regulators. Together, they have
completed 41 inquests and have 75 more in the works.
Current and former banking regulators acknowledge that they should have been more vigilant.
FOUR LESSONS FROM THE RECESSION >>>
1. Economic forecasting is still an extremely difficult gambit and nowhere near a science. It is a lot more like astrology
than mathematics. As the recession bore down on us, the great majority of economic seers said it was not going to happen or
if it did happen, it would be mild. In fact, the recession turned out to be long-lasting and severe...
2. Financial market forecasting is even more troublesome than economic forecasting. Hardly anyone I am aware of got the
recent stock market recovery right. No one saw a recovery of roughly 60% in broad indices in the span from early March to
3. The amount of lying and deception by the financial sector of this country has been breathtaking. The banks lied about
the risks they were taking on, about the amount of their exposure, about how well capitalized they were, and about their prospects
for survival. Throughout the financial sector there was similar deceit...
4. The government has no special abilities to forecast or predict a darned thing. Alan Greenspan, former head of the Fed,
a truly wonderful man and a smart economist, not only did not see the crash, but did not see the bubble preceding it. Not
only did he not see it, he thought it was an economic impossibility...
Some 14,700 rich Americans, worried
about a stepped-up U.S. crackdown on offshore tax cheats, have turned themselves in under the government's amnesty program.
The Internal Revenue Service amnesty
program, which ended in October, offered reduced penalties for voluntarily disclosing previously undeclared foreign holdings.
It is part of a broader effort by the United States and other authorities to crack down on tax evasion.
Of the nearly 15,000 newly disclosed
accounts, many involved bank accounts in Switzerland and Europe, but assets were hidden in more than 70 countries.
Optimism Levels Off, Execs Concerned About Government Policies
financial executives about the U.S. economy flattened after two quarters of
improvement as managers paid more attention to potential challenges and concerns
associated with the federal budget deficit, tax reform and regulatory
requirements, according to a survey released Monday.
Results from the Economic Outlook Survey Q4 2009,
conducted by the AICPA and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler
Business School, found that 27% of respondents were optimistic or very
optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy for the next 12 months, though
pessimists still outnumber optimists. Forty percent were very pessimistic or
pessimistic, and the remainder were neutral. SEE CHART BELOW
Graft watchdog Transparency
International hit out at rich countries over shady banking practices on Tuesday as it published its annual rankings naming
and shaming the world's most corrupt nations.
The group slammed developed
countries that are otherwise relatively free from corruption for allowing dirty money to be parked in their banking systems
and said that no region in the world could claim to be corruption-free.
"Corrupt money must not find
safe haven. It is time to put an end to excuses," said the Berlin-based group's head Huguette Labelle.
"Even industrialised countries
cannot be complacent: the supply of bribery and the facilitation of corruption often involve businesses based in their countries,"
the report said.
In the wake of the financial
crisis, the Group of 20 (G20) industrialised countries turned up the heat on tax havens, targeting rich countries with long-held
banking secrecy laws like Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
But Labelle said extra efforts
were imperative, calling for more bilateral treaties on information exchange in order to "to fully end the secrecy regime."
Stepping up efforts against
corrupt money is all the more important given the billions being injected into economies around the world to bolster the global
financial system, Transparency International added.
Unemployed Americans should hunker down for more job losses
..we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed
and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers
suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back...we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed
and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers
suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back. Based on my best judgment, it is most likely that
the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more.
Everyone knows that the United States faces massive governmental budget
as far as calculators can project, driven heavily by an aging population and
uncontrolled health costs. As we recover slowly from a devastating recession,
it's widely agreed that, though deficits should not be cut abruptly (lest the
economy resume its slump), a prudent society would embark on long-term policies
to control health costs, reduce government spending and curb massive future
deficits. The administration estimates these at $9 trillion from 2010 to 2019... The...far-reaching overhaul of the health-care
system -- which Congress is
halfway toward enacting -- would almost certainly make matters worse. It would
create new, open-ended medical entitlements that threaten higher deficits and
would do little to suppress surging health costs.
Capitalism is still alive and
well, say the world's two richest men, despite lingering from the longest, deepest recession since the Great Depression.
"The financial panic is behind us," said famed investor Warren Buffett, who recently made what he called an "all-in
wager" on the U.S. economy by acquiring railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe. "The bottom has come in stocks. Don't pass
on something that's attractive today."
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new BBC World Service global poll finds
that dissatisfaction with free market capitalism is widespread, with an average of only 11% across 27 countries saying that
it works well and that greater regulation is not a good idea.
In only two countries do more
than one in five feel that capitalism works well as it stands—the US (25%) and Pakistan (21%).
common view is that free market capitalism has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform—a view held
by an average of 51% of more than 29,000 people polled by GlobeScan/PIPA.
An average of
23% feel that capitalism is fatally flawed, and a new economic system is needed—including 43% in France, 38% in Mexico,
35% in Brazil and 31% in Ukraine.
Furthermore, majorities would like their government
to be more active in owning or directly controlling their country’s major industries in 15 of the 27 countries. This
view is particularly widely held in countries of the former Soviet states of Russia (77%), and Ukraine (75%), but also Brazil
(64%), Indonesia (65%), and France (57%).
Majorities support governments distributing
wealth more evenly in 22 of the 27 countries —on average two out of three (67%) across all countries. In 17 of the 27
countries most want to see government doing more to regulate business—on average 56%.
Rising Jobless Biggest Threat to World
Trade: WTO HEAD
Rising unemployment is the biggest threat to free trade
and could spark greater protectionist policies around the globe, the head of the World Trade Organization said. WTO Director
General Pascal Lamy, who is attending a meeting of Asia-Pacific trade and finance ministers in Singapore, said that he did
not expect an improvement in the job situation in the next one or two years.
"I think the biggest threat is in the deterioration
of the jobs market where unemployment is rising hard, then inevitably protectionist functions appear," Lamy said when asked
what was the biggest challenge to free trade.
Jobless queues have jumped
across the industrialised world since the global economic crisis erupted a year ago and have been a prime reason nervous governments
have resisted calls to start winding back stimulus measures.
jobless rate hit a 26-½ year high of 10.2 percent in October and economists polled by Reuters expect it to rise
to 10.5 percent by the middle of next year.
In Japan, the world's second-largest
economy, the jobless rate in September recovered from a record high, falling to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent in August and
5.7 percent in July, but job availability remained near a record low.
Whenever you find you
are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
--- Mark Twain
We have never observed
a great civilization with a population as old as the United States will have in the twenty-first century; we have never observed
a great civilization that is as secular as we are apparently going to become; and we have had only half a century of experience
with advanced welfare states...Charles Murray
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