Archive for the ‘world’ Category

41% Say U.S. Focus on Economy Raises Risk of Terrorist Attack

March 12, 2009

“He who defends everything, defends nothing,” said Frederick II (1712-1786).

President Barack Obama is defending everything: the economy, earmarks, his health care plan, environmental plan, energy plan, education reform, government spending, bigger government, the rights to free and open seas (re: China), a stronger U.N., an encircled North Korea, the Muslim world, the power of negotiations (with Syria, Iran, and others), the ramp up of troops in Afghanistan, etc.

You get the idea.

In many ways I see this president as going the right things.  But then again he is doing everything.

He is pro-immigration and today he said he’d send troops to our border with Mexico, maybe.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/12/obamas-border-talk-i-call-bull/

Michelle doubts that.

But then again: doesn’t everything depend upon the economy; followed closely by national security and stoppong terrorists?

But terrorists and terrorism are gone from our public discussion….deleted from the Obama lexicon.

Hmmm.

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From Rasmussen Reports
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Forty-one percent (41%) of U.S. voters worry that America’s preoccupation with the ongoing economic crisis will make us more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

But 43% disagree and say it’s not a concern while 16% are not sure.

Forty percent (40%) also say America has more enemies than friends among the nations of the world, although 44% say we have more friends.

Voters are closely divided, too, over whether the current worldwide economic crisis is more likely to create tension between the United States and other nations or more likely to foster cooperation. Forty-four percent (44%) see more tension to come, while 43% expect greater cooperation between America and other countries.

Confidence in how America is doing in the War on Terror dropped dramatically in late February, but it is not yet clear whether the numbers are a statistical blip or a reflection of recent news developments.

Iran continues to be the country the plurality of voters (35%) expect to be the first to seriously test the Obama Administration. Nineteen percent (19%) say North Korea will be the new president’s first major threat, while 12% predict China. Eight percent (8%) say Russia will be the first serious challenger, but one-out-of-four voters (25%) are not sure which country is the greater threat.

Read the rest:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_con
tent/politics/general_politics2/41_say_u_s_
focus_on_economy_raises_risk_of_terrorist_attack

$50 Trillion in Global Assets “Lost” in 2008

March 9, 2009

The value of global financial assets including stocks, bonds and currencies probably fell by more than $50 trillion in 2008, equivalent to a year of world gross domestic product, according to an Asian Development Bank report.

By Shamim Adam
Bloomberg

Asia excluding Japan probably lost about $9.6 trillion, while the Latin American region saw the value of financial assets drop by about $2.1 trillion, said Claudio Loser, a former International Monetary Fund director and the author of the report that was commissioned by the ADB. The report didn’t give a breakdown of asset declines in other regions.

“The loss of financial wealth is enormous, and the consequences for the economies of the world will unfortunately commensurate,” said Loser, now the Latin American president of strategic advisory firm Centennial Group Inc.. “There are serious economic and political stumbling blocks that may well cause the recovery to be costly and slow to consolidate.”

Some of the world’s biggest financial companies including Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. have collapsed as banks and other financial institutions reported almost $1.2 trillion of losses and writedowns since the start of 2007. Global stock markets lost about $28.7 trillion in 2008, and another $6.6 trillion has been wiped from the value of world equities in 2009.

“Poor macroeconomic and regulatory policies allowed the global economy to exceed its capacity to grow and contributed to a buildup in imbalances across asset and commodity markets,” Loser said. “The previous sense of strength and invulnerability is now gone.”

Global Recession

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20
601087&sid=aZ1kcJ7y3LDM&refer=worldwide

What does a trillion $ look like?
http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

World stocks sag on concerns about Obama plans

February 12, 2009

Thongs of happy Americans turned out on the Mall in Washington on January 20 to cheer Barack Obama’s inauguration.

And Europeans and much of the rest of the world also embraced the “hope” of Obama — as exemplified by a gathering in Berlin last July 24 before some 200,000 people.

After the troubles of the last few weeks it is not at all certain that the Obama hope remains alive — maybe it is on life support.

Pan Pylas of the Associate Press wrote today: “The raft of grim corporate news in Europe comes as the markets have largely given the thumbs-down to the passing of a $789 billion stimulus bill in Congress and U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s bank rescue plan, which could cost up to $2 trillion. On the Geithner plan, investors worried about the lack of detail, specifically the absence of any indications about how the banks’ toxic assets would be bought.”

“Policymakers will argue these details will be hammered out over time, but in the meantime the economic and financial black hole will potentially deepen, and for markets this means risk aversion will likely remain elevated,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Calyon Credit Agricole.

Read the entire story:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009021
2/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

obama_span_blog.jpg
Above: Obama in Berlin.

Related:
http://raymondpronk.wordpress.com/2008/0
7/25/obamas-berlin-speech-the-first-new-wor
ld-order-citizen-fellow-traveller-world-citizen/

Dow Drops 200 in 30 Minutes As Stimulus Rejected

U.S. In For More Global Anger Over $50 Billion Fraud

December 15, 2008

Big and small, he “took” them all. Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is another blow to America’s reputation, integrity….

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The list of investors who say they were duped in one of Wall Street‘s biggest Ponzi schemes is growing, snaring some of the world’s biggest banking institutions and hedge funds, the super rich and the famous, pensioners and charities.

The alleged victims who sunk cash into veteran Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff’s investment pool include real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman, the foundation of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and a charity of movie director Steven Spielberg, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Above: Steven Spielberg

By JOE BEL BRUNO and JANE WARDELL, AP Business Writers

Among the world’s biggest banking institutions, Britain’s HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Man Group PLC, Spain’s Grupo Santander SA, France‘s BNP Paribas and Japan’s Nomura Holdings all reported that they had fallen victim to Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

The 70-year-old Madoff (MAY-doff), well respected in the investment community after serving as chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, was arrested Thursday in what prosecutors say was a $50 billion scheme to defraud investors. Some investors claim they’ve been wiped out, while others are still likely to come forward.

“There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you’ve had somebody decide to be unscrupulous,” said Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a regulator in charge of monitoring investment funds like the one Madoff operated.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081215/
ap_on_bi_ge/wall_street_arrest

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Some of the world’s biggest banks have revealed that they are victims of a fraud which has lost $50bn (£33bn).

Bernard Madoff has been charged with fraud in what is being described as one of the biggest-ever such cases.

Bernard Madoff in 1999 - AP Photo/The New York Times, Ruby Washington
Above: Mr Madoff is the former chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange

Among the banks which have been affected are Britain’s RBS, Spain’s Santander and France’s BNP Paribas.

One of the City’s best-known fund managers has criticised US financial regulators for failing to detect the alleged fraud.
Nicola Horlick, boss of Bramdean investments, said US regulators had “fallen down on the job”.

Mrs Horlick told the BBC: “I think now it is very difficult for people to invest in things that are meant to be regulated in America, because they haven fallen down in the job.”

FROM THE TODAY PROGRAMME

“This is the biggest financial scandal, probably in the history of the markets – $50bn is a huge amount of money,” she said.

Banks and financial institutions across the world had investments with Bernard Madoff:

Read the rest from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7783236.stm

Wall Street sign

Japan Is Cool: Cracking US Pop Culture Hegemony

December 15, 2008

Just two decades ago, Japan’s image in the world was of an economic juggernaut, challenging America and other industrialized nations with its push for dominance in everything from microchips to supercomputers. Discussion of Japanese culture typically referenced the traditional and offbeat worlds of, say, Kabuki or sumo.

Today, Japan sets the trends in what’s cool. Sarah Palin’s famous glasses came from a Japanese designer. Tokyo has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, with eight of them earning three stars. Even America’s favorite food show, “Iron Chef,” is a Japanese import. Japanese women are pushing the limits of literary pop culture with blogs and cellphone novels. Japanese comics occupy ever-greater shelf space in bookstores, and animé-influenced movies like the “The Dark Knight” and “Spider-Man 3” find huge audiences in the West.

By Amelia Newcomb
Christian Science Monitor

Japan's industrial design supremos are gearing up for a ...
Japan’s industrial design supremos are gearing up for a global offensive with a Paris show introducing the planet to Tokyo’s latest designer concept — “kansei”. Blending traditional crafts with high-tech innovation, the show is next due to travel to the United States and China and highlights the special influence of Japanese culture on its products.  AFP

What all these media share is a nuanced Japanese aesthetic that has infiltrated global sensibilities – a sort of new “soft power” for Japan. In the process, they’re challenging delineations of good and evil from the world’s main purveyor of pop culture, Hollywood, as well as American ideals of the lone action-hero.

“The American 20th-century ideal of the individual superhero is wearing thin,” says Roland Kelts, professor at the University of Tokyo and author of “Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.” “The Japanese model is of self-denial and the sublimation of selfish desires for the sake of group harmony. This is becoming a multipolar world. The desire to be a part of something harmonious rather than the leader of a pack is growing.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081215/ts_csm/o1japan_1

Al Gore: World cares more about Paris Hilton than saving the planet

December 13, 2008

Al Gore has accused the world of having more interest in Paris Hilton, OJ Simpson and Anna Nicole Smith than saving the planet.

By Louise Gray and Bruno Waterfield
The Telegraph (UK)


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As key international talks on climate change drew to a close in Poland with little progress on a global deal and anger against the EU for failing to lead the way on targets, the Nobel Prize winner attempted to get efforts to stop global warming back on track.

In a rousing speech to hundreds of delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, the former US Presidential candidate echoed President-elect Barack Obama in calling for change.

“It is wrong for this generation to destroy the habitability of the planet and ruin the prospects of every future generation. That realisation must carry us forward. Our children have a right to hold us to a high standard when the future of all human kind is hanging in the balance.”

The star of the Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth called for global targets to cut carbon emissions to be toughened to take account of new scientific evidence that claims the world is warming faster than expected. He called for world leaders to meet regularly over the next year until they achieve a binding agreement on climate change.

Mr Gore said the celebrity-obsessed world had lost its way.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gestures as he gives a speech ... 
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gestures as he gives a speech during the U.N. climate change conference in Poznan December 12, 2008.(Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

“The political systems of the developed world have become sclerotic. We have to overcome the paralysis that has prevented us from acting and focus clearly and unblinkingly on this crisis rather than spending so much time on OJ Simpson, Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith.”

But he was optimistic that Obama’s idea of a new “green deal” would be copied all around the world.

“Once he [Obama] is president, the US will engage vigorously in theses negotiations and help to lead the world towards a new era on global co-operation on climate change.”

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/3726003/Al-Gore-
World-cares-more-about-Paris-Hilton-than
-saving-the-planet.html