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FINANCIAL TIMES CHIEF DECLARES ‘NEW WORLD ORDER’ AS POWER SHIFTS TO CHINA AT G20 MEETING

DURING TONIGHT’S LIVE BROADCAST OF CNBC WORLD’S ‘SQUAWK BOX EUROPE,’ FINANCIAL TIMES EDITOR LIONEL BARBER DECLARED THAT WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A ‘NEW WORLD ORDER’ WHERE THE ‘GROUP OF 20’ (G20) COUNTRIES WILL BE MAINLY FOCUSED ON WHAT CHINA WILL DO, INSTEAD OF THE UNITED STATES, IN SOLVING THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS. HE OFFERED THE IDEA THAT THE G20 OUGHT TO BE REFERRED TO AS THE G2 WITH THE U.S. AND CHINA BEING THE TWO HEGEMONIC POWERS…

FT Editor Lionel Barber interviews China’s Premier Hu Jintao

TEN-THOUSANDS PROTEST IN START OF ‘SUMMER OF RAGE…”

OBAMA MEETS BROWN FOR TALKS (VIDEO)…

OBAMA PREACHES GLOBAL ‘UNITY’ IN INTERVIEW WITH FT…

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Filed under: Economics, Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Zealand GDP Better Than Expected

New Zealand’s economy shrunk by -0.9% in the three months ending 2008 after economists had expected this south-Pacific country’s GDP to contract by more. The move marks the fourth straight quarter that the island-nation has seen its annual output decrease.

Since July the central bank has slashed interest rates by 5.25% to 3.0% in an effort to provide short-term liquidity to businesses and financial markets in order to stave off the effects of the global recession.

Now, in its fourth straight quarter of contraction, the New Zealand economy has shed thousands of job. In the final three months of 2008, their unemployment rate jumped 0.4 percentage points to 4.6%, the highest level since 2003. Their Treasury department predicts that it will get worse. They have forecast that by early 2010 the jobless rate may jump to an 11-year high of 7.2%.

Yesterday, the IMF released a report stating that New Zealand’s economy would contract a total of 2.0% in 2009 after 2008 experienced a slight 0.1% decrease. One key “vulnerability” that is likely to keep the country under water is the extensive amount of short-term borrowing from abroad, the IMF said.

This final period of the year saw the country’s currency depreciate by as much as -20.95%, but ended the quarter down only 10.15%.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.S. Criticized Over Immigrant Rights by Amnesty International

Amnesty International has said tens of thousands of people are being held in US immigration jails without receiving a hearing to determine whether their detentions are warranted.

About 30,000 immigrants are held on an average day, the rights group said in a report released on Wednesday, triple the number in custody a decade ago…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NORTH KOREA LOADING ROCKET ONTO LAUNCH PAD

WIRE: North Korea is loading a Taepodong rocket on its east coast launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite early next month, U.S. officials say. U.S. counterproliferation and intelligence officials have confirmed Japanese news reports of the expected launch between April 4 and 8…

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

British Parliament Member to P.M. Brown ‘You Are the Devalued P.M. of a Devalued Gov.’ (Video)

britishparliament

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DEVELOPING: George Soros Advice for The G-20 in Upcoming FT

DEVELOPING: In Monday’s Financial Times, billionaire investor George Soros writes on how the developed world’s response to the crisis has damaged periphery economies, why the G20 meeting will be make-or-break, and what single step could make it a resounding success…

Filed under: Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Venezuela’s Military Takes Control Of Airports

“Venezuela’s military took control Saturday of all the country’s major airports and maritime ports, following a recently enacted law handing management of the facilities to the central government.

Soldiers occupied major facilities under the legal reform approved by the pro-Chavez parliament, taking over maritime terminals in the opposition stronghold city of Maracaibo in the state of Zulia, the port of Guanta in Anzoategui and others in the states of Carabobo and Nueva Esparta…”

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.N. Calls U.S. ‘Deadbeat,’ White House Objects

“The White House is taking offense at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comment that the United States is a “deadbeat” donor to the world body.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that Ban’s word choice was “unfortunate,” given that the U.S. is the largest contributor to the United Nations. The U.S. pays 22 percent of the organization’s ‘s nearly $5 billion operating budget but is perennially late paying its dues…”

Filed under: Obama, World, , , , , , , , ,

IMF: World Suffering From IMF: World Suffering From “Great Recession”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that the world is now suffering from a “Great Recession” that could trigger wide-spread poverty and civil unrest. “The global financial crisis, that might now be called the great recession, provides a sobering backdrop to our conference,” said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn today. The institution, which was created after WWII, now “expects global growth to slow below zero this year, the worst performance in most of our lifetimes,” the managing director said.

A global effort to alleviate the consequences of this global recession will not only benefit the incomes of those in the developing world, but will also help their residents remain safe. “this is not only about protecting economic growth and household incomes – it is also about containing the threat of civil unrest,” Strauss-Kahn added. “I urge partner countries to support me in this,” he also noted.

Yesterday, the IMF’s sister institution, the World Bank, stated that the global economy would shrink for the first time since WWII. Bank president Robert Zoellick stated that “we need to react in real time to a growing crisis that is hurting people in developing countries.”

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Australian Economy Shrinks For First Time Since 2000

Australia’s economy contracted for the first time since 2000. It shrunk by -0.5% which was far more than the expected growth of 0.2%. This brings the economic growth rate in 2008 to 0.3% from 1.2%. Interestingly enough, over the last 5 days the expectation for Australia’s growth rate rose from 0.4% to 0.5% on the quarter and from 1.1% to 1.2% YoY.

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Australia left rates steady for the first time in seven months, at 3.25%. Governor Glenn Stevens cited the superior performance of the monetary transmission mechanism as reason for holding off on further rate cuts. He stated that “demand has not weakened as much as in other countries” and that the “Australian financial system remains strong” because of the fluid nature in which end-users are beneficiaries of central bank liquidity easing.

At it’s Feb 3rd meeting, the central bank slashed the overnight cash rate by 100 basis points; the lowest level in 45 years. The accompanying statement said that the combination of liquidity easing with fiscal stimulus would “help to cushion the economy from the contractionary forces coming from abroad.”

The Australian Dollar plummeted 45 pips against its U.S. counterpart in the seconds following the release of the data.

– LG

Filed under: Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: IRAN HAS ENOUGH FOR NUKE

Bloomberg: “We think they do, quite frankly,” Mullen said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program today about the UN report. “Iran having a nuclear weapon, I’ve believed for a long time, is a very, very bad outcome for the region and for the world.”

Filed under: Obama, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s MINE! Venezuela’s Chavez Usurps Rice Mills

CHAVEZ: “I have ordered the immediate intervention in all those sectors of agro-industry, intervention by the revolutionary government.”

“I don’t have any problem expropriating,” he said. “And I’ll pay them with paper, too. Don’t think I’ll pay them with hard cash.”

Filed under: World, , , , , , , , ,

Japanese Deflation Strikes Again: Prices Fall Through January; Unemployment Unexpectedly FALLS

Overall prices in Japan remained even in the 12 months through January after global slowing consumption reduced demand for autos and electronics. When eliminating food and energy from the metric, Japan actually suffered from deflation. These prices fell by 0.2% throughout the same period.

Interestingly, unemployment plummeted in the same month. Indeed, the jobless ratio fell to 4.1% after economists had forecast the figure to rise 0.3 percentage-points to 4.6%. This move comes as the Jobs to Applicants ratio fell, yet again, to 0.67; that’s down from 0.73 in December and 0.98 at the start of 2008. With the unemployment falling and the jobs-applicants ratio dwindling, one may think that people are leaving the work force.

The bleak picture comes as little surprise after the Asian economy shrank at an annualized 12.7% pace last year. Vehicle sales fell 27.9% in the 12 months through January alone! Exports fell 13.9% as well.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , ,

Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist Defects to U.S. From Native Cuba

“Fidel Castro wrote in an essay after their return to Cuba that the pair had “reached the point of no return” with the national boxing team. Lara defected to the U.S. last year.”

Cuban Boxer Yan Bartelemí After Winning Gold Medla Fight

Cuban Boxer Yan Bartelemí After Winning Gold Medla Fight

Filed under: World, , , , , , , , , , ,

House Arrest For Chinese Protesting Hillary Clinton

DISSIDENTS PUT UNDER HOUSE ARREST FOR CLINTON ARRIVAL

“I am under house arrest because Hillary Clinton came…”

Chinese Protester Put Under House Arrest

Chinese Protester Put Under House Arrest

Filed under: Obama, World, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mexico: The Third War?

STRATFOR: There are many different shapes and sizes of criminal gangs in Mexico. While many of them are in some way related to the drug cartels, others have various types of connections to law enforcement — indeed, some criminal groups are composed of active and retired cops.

Filed under: Crime, World, , , , , , , , , ,

AIDS Now The Deadliest Disease in China

China State Media Reports AIDS As Deadliest Disease…

700,000 infected Chinese…
Kills 34,000 so far

Chinese Man Flies AIDS Ribbon Kite

Chinese Man Flies AIDS Ribbon Kite

Filed under: Media, World, , , , , , , , ,

Obama Suspends Syrian Trade Sanctions, Approves Aerospace System

” The Commerce Department has not confirmed the approval. Boeing, however, acknowledged that Commerce approved an export license for Syria on Feb. 2.”

Surprise! Syria expects the US to pay a visit to Damascus

Filed under: Obama, World, , , , , , , , ,

Reserve Bank of Australia Hints at End of Year Recovery, Minutes Show

The AUD/USD Has Plummeted As Much As -39%

The AUD/USD Has Plummeted As Much As -39%

In its Feb. 3rd meeting, the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia slashed the overnight cash rate by 100 basis points to the lowest in 45 years, to 3.25%. With the help of fiscal stimulus, monetary policy has been able to provide much of the necessary liquidity required to jump-start the economy. Indeed, the minutes of the most recent RBA meeting expressed optimism over the medium-term outlook for the Australian economy.

Liquidity easing, combined with the government’s fiscal stimulus, will probably “help to cushion the economy from the contractionary forces coming from abroad,” the minutes said. The effort of both the Treasury and the Reserve will “work to establish conditions conducive to stronger demand later in the year.”

A positive short-term outlook is less likely as the stimulus “would take time to be effective and could be expected to have only a modest effect on the near-term outlook.”

The Australian currency has fallen as much as 38% against the U.S. Dollar since it reached its high on Jul. 15 of 0.9850. From its low on Oct. 27th, the Australian Dollar has rebounded by 7.25% against the greenback. -LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , ,

Japanese Economy Shrinks at Annualized 12.7% Pace, Worst Since 1974

Japan’s Gross Domestic Product fell for the third consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2008, by -3.3% as demand for the Asian country’s flagship goods such as cars and electronics took a dive on slowing global consumption. On an annualized basis, the data signaled that the island economy had contracted at an annualized -12.7% pace. Economists had forecast the metric to fall by only -3.1% on the quarter.

Slowing global demand for the country’s goods continued hampering Japan’s ability to weather the storm. Sales of vehicles manufactured in Japan throughout January fell by largest amount in at least 29 years. Indeed, the January reading of the said car data fell -27.9% in the 12 months through Jan. 31st. As such, it was of little surprise that the export portion of the metric fell by -13.9% in the period alone.

With spending on Japanese goods plummeting by so much it was no surprise that new spending on entrepreneurial projects took a steep dive as well. Non-residential investments fell for the fourth consecutive quarter, by -5.3% in the last. -LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , ,

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