Archive for the ‘currency’ Category

Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

March 25, 2009

We’re sorry, Dear, that this is so tough.

I wonder what Putin is thinking.

Those are my basic reactions to Barack Obama’s second White House press conference, March 24, 2009.

We have a long way to go.

Actually, we already know what China thinks.

Their Premier is worried about the solvency of the United States and their Ben Bernanke wants another currency — not the dollar — in reserve.

The president said just about a week ago that we needed confidence to get us out of our depression.

But how does the president himself express confidence?

With a telepromter.  And Tiny Tim Geithner.

“There were no smiles on Tuesday night, no memorable moments, no attempt by the president to capture the sense of drama or anticipation that has surrounded prime-time news conferences by prior White House occupants,” wrote Peter Wallsten for the Chicago Tribune, Obama’s home newspaper.

Wallsten also noticed something I saw: the president was speaking mostly to people who will get money from him.  This is now “Love me because I am the give away president.”

Obama as crack dealer.  That’s where we are.

Said Peter Wallsten for the Chicago Tribune: “He passed over reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, opting instead to call on correspondents from Univision, Ebony magazine and Stars and Stripes. He did call on some of the traditional networks, but he did not seem to bring any special energy to answering their questions.”

I saw this as an avoidance of tax payers and an embracing of tax money getters.

More class warfare.  Right in the White House. Or rather, all the way left in the White House.

The president was shut out last night — and not by the reporters.

He beat himself.

Pollster Frank Luntz sat with a cross-section of American voters during the news conference and had this to report.

“They want him to succeed but they don’t agree with his policies.”

Related:
President, Congress, Media “Vacant” in Time of Crisis

Obama Throws In The Towel

 After Leno, Laughter on “60 Minutes,” Boredom From “No Drama” Obama

Obama Once Ruled the Media: Now He Wants To Reach You With Less Of Them

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From the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw
orld/chi-obama-assess_wedmar25,0,5733169.story

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Washington Post writer Tom Shales still called President Obama “President Wonderful.”

But he wrote:

It looked as though Obama was hampered by a technical dislocation or two. He began with an opening statement — too long an opening statement, as it happens — but one that seemed longer because something seemed to be wrong with the prompting device, which reportedly had been relocated to the back of the room. Obama was not looking squarely into the camera the way he usually does when talking to us “folks at home.” He wasn’t making eye contact as effectively as usual; in fact his eyes looked a little blurry and weary. His delivery was also somewhat halting at times.

Yes, they are little things, the hesitancy in his speech pattern, the prompter and the president’s gaze. But the little things in a presidential appearance add up to the big thing of How He Did and whether he came out of the event in better, worse or the same shape as when he went into it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/03/24/
AR2009032403933.html

China calls for new reserve currency

March 24, 2009

China’s central bank on Monday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing
FT

In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies”.

Analysts said the proposal was an indication of Beijing’s fears that actions being taken to save the domestic US economy would have a negative impact on China.

“This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/785192
5a-17a2-11de-8c9d-0000779fd2ac.html

Related:
http://makeitso57.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/
the-dollar-is-running-out-of-time-china%E2%80
%99s-%E2%80%9Cbernanke%E2%80%9D-ca
lls-for-dumping-the-dollar-new-reserve-c
urrency/

Obama Forced to Rethink “Buy American” in Stimulus After Hits from China, Germany, Others

January 31, 2009

President Barack Obama’s administration will examine a “buy American” requirement in economic stimulus legislation that has raised concern among U.S. trading partners, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The administration “will review that particular provision,” Gibbs said today at his regular briefing. The president’s advisers understand “all of the concerns that have been heard, not only in this room, but in newspapers produced both up north and down south.”

He refused to say whether the administration supported or opposed keeping that part of the legislation intact. Nor did he say what the president would do if the provision remains once the bill clears the House and the Senate.

The issue may cloud Obama’s trip to Canada on Feb. 19, his first journey outside U.S. borders as president. Officials in Canada, the top U.S. trade partner, are criticizing a part of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 28 that requires the use of U.S.-made iron and steel in infrastructure projects.

“U.S. protectionism is about to make Canada’s recession a lot worse,” Ralph Goodale, house leader for the opposition Liberal Party, said today in Parliament.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2
0601087&sid=a37pHeTuz_HA&refer=worldwide

China, Germany Both Pressure Obama on Protectionism

January 31, 2009

China’s president urged better ties with the United States in his first phone conversation with President Barack Obama, and called for both sides to resist trade protectionism, Beijing said Saturday.

Friday’s conversation, 11 days into Obama’s presidency, followed sharp exchanges between the two sides over China’s currency policy, amid criticisms that China manipulates its yuan to boost its exports overseas.

AFP

An account of the conversation issued by the Chinese foreign ministry quoted President Hu Jintao telling Obama that China would work toward a “more constructive China-US relationship.”

Hu told Obama China welcomed US efforts to shore up the American economy, but warned against moves toward protectionism, the statement said.

“We hope to strengthen communication and coordination on macroeconomic policy and firmly resist trade protectionism,” Hu was quoted saying.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090131/w
l_asia_afp/uschinadiplomacyobamahu_200
90131055621

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Germany’s Merkel Working With China To Stop Protectionism

Reuters

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday her country and China would avoid protectionism and maintain last year’s trade volumes in 2009.

“Despite the economic situation we have undertaken with China to at least maintain our trade volume if not increase it,” Merkel said at a joint news conference with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Wen was in Berlin as part of a European tour to discuss cooperation in solving the international financial crisis.

China, the world’s third-largest economy, has slowed much more sharply than expected due to the financial crisis, as wilting U.S. and European demand have hurt its export sector.

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“Don’t let’s lose sight of what creates wealth. It is open markets, it is capitalism,” News Corp CE Rupert Murdoch said yesterday.

Business Day
http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/frontpage.aspx?ID=BD4A927967

China Starts to Set Limits On Its Biggest Borrower: Barack Obama and The U.S.

January 30, 2009

China is starting to dictate rules to President Obama and the the United States.  We’ve written here before that China owns America and will probably own more soon.  Just as President Obama decided it was appropriate to criticize Wall Street bonuses (after all, those banks are getting bailout money) China is now saying they need the U.S. to follow some rules in order to keep our debt financing afloat…You take a guy’s money and he owns you or he breaks your legs…

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

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By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer

China recently surpassed Japan as the U.S. government’s largest creditor. Any decision by Beijing to move its money would deal a dizzying new blow to an already tottering American economy. Yet relations between China and the new Obama administration are off to a rocky start.

For now, Beijing continues to loan Washington money by buying Treasurys and other U.S. government securities, helping to finance the ever-growing U.S. budget deficit. But there are signs its leaders may be considering trimming these holdings as that country experiences its own economic slowdown. Strains between the two economic powerhouses seem to be growing with the change in administrations.

The latest irritants are a “buy American” provision attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress and criticism of China’s currency policies by Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Geithner accused Beijing of “manipulating” its currency during his Senate confirmation process.

An outside view of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall street. ...

Biden, interviewed Thursday by CNBC, said that the Obama administration would “say to China — which occasionally the last administration was reluctant to do — ‘You’re a major player on the world scene economically, and you’ve got to play by the rules that everybody else plays by.'”

Their comments followed a move by Chinese censors to silence part of a live broadcast of Obama’s inaugural address when he spoke of the U.S. struggle against communism.

And at an economic forum in Switzerland on Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao blamed China’s economic woes on U.S.-led Western financial institutions, suggesting “a lack of self-discipline” and “blind pursuit of profit.”

The pointed words from Geithner and Biden were widely seen as an escalation of old complaints that China artificially depresses the value of its currency to bolster its exports, even though the White House has sought to play down such comments and has denied increasing friction with China.

China has allowed the value of its currency to rise by 21 percent over the past two years. But American manufacturers complain the Chinese yuan is still significantly undervalued, making Chinese goods cheaper for U.S. consumers and American products more expensive in China.

Related:
China May Have Mafia View of Obama Stimulus: “Someday We Break Your Legs”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090130/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/us_china_strains_analysis_2

Related:
 Russia Wants Something From Obama: Carrot and Stick Diplomacy

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Obama Slams Wall Street For Bonuses

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama furiously slammed Wall Street titans who raked in billions in bonuses while taxpayers bailed out their industry as “shameful” and guilty of acute “irresponsibility.”

Obama, anger flashing across his usually calm countenance, said bosses of big finance firms must sacrifice along with other Americans, as the country tries to dig itself out of a deep economic hole.

The president’s ire was sparked when he read a newspaper article detailing the 18.4 billion dollars in bonuses collected by Wall Street firms last year, even as stock markets plunged and the economy slumped towards a recession.

“That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful, and part of what we are going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090130/bs_afp/
uspoliticsobamafinanceeconomytaxbonuses_200
90130065628

Obama’s stimulus doesn’t work for me

January 28, 2009

Republicans insisted Wednesday that their own economic stimulus plan, focusing on tax relief, would create twice as many new jobs – 6.2 million – as the plan Obama is pushing, while costing about half as much.

As a business owner, here’s how I see the economy.

“We” Americans got where we are by spending too much money we didn’t have.  Now “we” as a nation propose to spend even more to get out of this box.

It makes no sense to me.

There are real dangers in inflation, loss of value in the dollar and other ills with such a huge debt — much of it owned by China.  And China may resist buying even more….

I can’t hire or buy more equipment or inventory becaue I have no certainty that the economy will improve for, oh, say three years.

The spending I see in the stimulus won’t do anything for me; unless maybe I can get some free condoms at family services.

The Republican idea of tax cuts would at least allow me to plan my budget for a year or two.

Whatever plan can really make jobs is a good idea: but we have to have lasting jobs and not just hire every Spanish speaking guy at the 7-11 so he can fix roads.  He’ll send a lot of that pay home to somewhere else…

And the speed we’ve decided is necessary for the lawmaking associated with the stimulus has never before yielded good law….

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(AP) 

House Republican leaders are standing firm in their opposition to the stimulus plan that President Barack Obama is asking Congress to approve.

Just ahead of a House vote that they’re expected to lose along party lines, Republicans insisted Wednesday that their own plan, focusing on tax relief, would create twice as many new jobs – 6.2 million – as the plan Obama is pushing, while costing about half as much.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said Republicans remain “disappointed” in the stimulus plan coming to a vote. He says it includes a “lot of wasteful spending that won’t create jobs.”

He says the GOP plan for “fast-acting tax relief” would “create jobs and preserve jobs in America.”

U.S. to broaden dialogue with China

January 28, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday signaled a shift in U.S. dealings with China, with the State Department poised to take charge after the Treasury Department’s leading role during the Bush administration’s final years.

By
The Washington Times

Mrs. Clinton said the economy-focused approach to China that was spearheaded by Bush administration Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. must give way to a “broader agenda.”

“We need a comprehensive dialogue with China. The strategic dialogue that was begun in the Bush administration turned into an economic dialogue,” she told reporters in her first briefing at the State Department since taking office last week. “That’s a very important aspect of our relationship with China, but it’s not the only aspect of our relationship.”

She avoided specifics, but issues affecting Sino-U.S. relations traditionally have included human rights, technology transfers, Taiwan, military exchanges and efforts to slow nuclear proliferation and halt fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/ja
n/28/clinton-signals-china-policy-shift-bey
ond-treasury/

Under Obama, US-China ties may face shaky start

January 24, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said no nation is more important to the United States than China. But ties between the two powers may be off to a rocky start just days into the Obama administration.

In his inaugural address Tuesday, President Barack Obama spoke of how earlier generations of Americans had “faced down fascism and communism.” China’s state broadcaster quickly faded out the audio of its live broadcast, the camera cutting back to a flustered studio anchor.

Then, on Thursday, Obama’s choice to lead the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, wrote that Obama believes China is “manipulating” its currency, which American manufacturers say Beijing does to make its goods cheaper for U.S. consumers and American products more expensive in China.

Chinese officials closely follow U.S. political rhetoric and frequently decry what they consider foreign interference in China’s internal affairs. The United States often criticizes China about human rights and trade abuses, but Washington and Beijing find themselves increasingly intertwined in a host of crucial economic, military and diplomatic efforts.

By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Writer

State media in China reported Saturday that a deputy governor of China’s central bank dismissed Geithner’s comment. Su Ning was cited as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency that the remarks were “not in line with the facts.”

“We thought in the face of the financial crisis, there would be a spirit of self-criticism beneficial to finding ways of resolving the issue and overcoming the crisis,” Su said, adding that it was imperative to avoid any excuses to encourage trade protectionism.

Earlier, China’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, said Beijing was committed to working with the Obama administration to strengthen ties and cooperation.

Selig Harrison, director of the Asia program at the U.S.-based Center for International Policy, said it was “very ill-advised for the new administration to confront China as if this were 10 years ago and we were in a strong financial position internationally.”

“We are dependent on Chinese goodwill for our economic survival and viability, and, therefore, it seems to me that this type of posture is very risky,” he said.

Despite an early face-off with China over an intercepted U.S. spy plane, former President George W. Bush made it a priority to strengthen relations with China while also pushing the country to live up to what he considered its duties as an emerging global superpower and a veto-holding member of the U.N. Security Council.

Trade ties between the United States and China often are tense. China says it has made progress on currency changes and worries about bills introduced in Congress that would impose economic sanctions on China unless it moves more quickly to let its currency rise in value against the dollar.

Although Geithner said China is “manipulating its currency,” he suggested Thursday that now might not be the right time to brand Beijing as a currency manipulator under U.S. trade law, which could lead to U.S. trade penalties against imports from China.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_china

China Jittery About Obama Amid Signs of Harder Line

January 24, 2009

Whether it was a shot across the bow or a simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China “manipulates” its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.

China experts here said there were several other signs that the Obama administration could take a harder line toward Beijing, including Mr. Obama’s emphasis on climate change and the environment in trade negotiations and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s focus on human rights.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce responded tartly to the charge by Mr. Geithner, Mr. Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary. “Directing unsubstantiated criticism at China on the exchange-rate issue will only help U.S. protectionism and will not help towards a real solution to the issue,” the ministry said late on Friday in a statement to Agence France-Presse.

China starts off on weaker footing with Mr. Obama than it did with his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Bush and his last Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., cultivated Chinese leaders and refused to call Beijing a manipulator. Mr. Obama has little personal experience of China, and lacks senior advisers with a deep interest in or knowledge of the country. With the American economy in a deep slump, and China trying to ramp up its exports to cushion a sharp slowdown there, experts worry that trade relations between the countries could deteriorate.

By Mark Landler
The New York Times

If the United States repairs its image in many parts of the world, that could make it harder for the Chinese to present themselves as an alternative to American influence in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.

“The Chinese are probably one of the few people in the world who were sorry to see President Bush go, and are nervous about his successor,” said Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked on China policy for the Clinton administration.

“They saw the Inaugural Address as having some uncomfortable elements for them,” Mr. Lieberthal said. “They are uneasy about Hillary Clinton. She has, in their assessment, not been a friend of China.”

The Chinese news media played down the significance of Mr. Geithner’s remarks, which were made in writing to the Senate Finance Committee as part of the confirmation process.

Rather than dwell on or analyze the reference to China’s currency, the Chinese official newspaper, The People’s Daily, quoted Mr. Geithner as saying that the currency manipulation issue would take a back seat to working with China to alleviate the global financial crisis. The headline said, “U.S. Treasury secretary-designate vows to deepen U.S.-China economic ties.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/24
/washington/24diplo.html

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China Denies It Manipulates Currency

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese central banker denounced accusations by U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner that China was manipulating its yuan currency, calling them misleading and warning against “excuses” for protectionism.

Su Ning, a vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, called the comments by Geithner “out of keeping with the facts” and said they were “misleading in analyzing the causes of the financial crisis,” the official China News Service reported on Saturday.

Su also warned against trade protectionism.

“We believe that faced with the financial crisis there should be a spirit of self-criticism,” Su said while visiting a business newspaper office in Beijing, according to the report.

“The international community is currently working together in actively responding to the financial crisis, and it must avoid exploiting different excuses for renewing or encouraging trade protectionism,” Su said, adding that such steps would harm global economic recovery.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200901
24/ts_nm/us_china_usa_currency_3

Geithner Hints at Harder Line on China Trade

January 23, 2009

Timothy F. Geithner, who moved closer to confirmation as Treasury secretary on Thursday, told senators that President Obama believed China was “manipulating” its currency, suggesting a more confrontational stance toward that country than under the Bush administration.

By JACKIE CALMES
The New York Times

Mr. Geithner’s comment was made in writing to the Senate Finance Committee hours before it voted 18 to 5 to recommend that the full Senate confirm him. The statement, which is certain to anger the Chinese government, comes at a particularly sensitive time, with economies in both the United States and China weakening and tensions already rising around the globe over trade. The United States, moreover, is increasingly dependent on China to finance its ballooning deficit.

An administration official said that Mr. Geithner was only repeating what Mr. Obama had said during the campaign, and pointed out that his statement also emphasized that the president intended to use “all the diplomatic avenues available to him” to address the currency question.

File photo of Chinese 100 Yuan notes being counted at a bank ... 

It remained unclear whether Mr. Geithner was signaling that Mr. Obama would officially declare later this spring that China was engaging in currency manipulation, when the administration is required by a 20-year-old trade law to report to Congress on exchange rate issues. Such a finding would begin a legal process that starts with diplomacy and could end with the imposition of trade barriers like tariffs. The objective would be to persuade China to let the value of its currency, the yuan, freely float — a move that would let its value rise and would increase the cost of its exports.

“President Obama — backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists — believes that China is manipulating its currency,” Mr. Geithner wrote. He stopped short of charging that China is manipulating its currency intentionally to gain an unfair trade advantage, as the 1988 law requires for an official citation of currency “manipulation.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/business/
worldbusiness/23treasury.html?hp

Timothy Geithner testifies before the Senate Finance Committee ... 
Timothy Geithner testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination to be Treasury secretary on January 21, 2009 at the Dirksen Senate office Building in Washington, DC. Incoming Treasury secretary Geithner vowed to get tough with China and redesign the crisis-hit US financial system as his nomination passed a crucial hurdle in the Senate Thursday.(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)