Jan 30


The $43 million Peak to Peak gondola which connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, financed by Fortress after they acquired Canadian ski-resort conglomerate Intrawest Corp., is seen in Whistler, British Columbia, on Dec. 2, 2008. Photographer: Robbie McClaran/Bloomberg Markets via Bloomberg News

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — One of the things Wesley Edens did soon after his company bought Canadian ski-resort conglomerate Intrawest Corp. in October 2006 was to finance construction of a $43 million gondola at Whistler, British Columbia.

The new lift, completed in December 2008, is the longest unsupported span for any gondola, stretching 2.73 miles (4.4 kilometers). It’s also the highest, dangling 1,427 feet (435 meters) over Fitzsimmons Creek between Whistler mountain and its sister peak, Blackcomb. Visitors to the 2010 Winter Olympics, for which Intrawest’s Whistler Blackcomb resort is a venue, are likely to ride it just for thrills: Two of the 28 cars have glass bottoms.

Two years after commissioning the ski lift, Edens, 47, finds himself staring into an abyss of a different sort. He’s the chief executive officer of money manager Fortress Investment Group LLC. Edens and his partners became instant billionaires when the company, which manages $34.3 billion in private equity and hedge fund holdings, went public in 2007. The Montana-born Edens, who ski-raced in high school, could have paid for the gondola himself.

In the past four months the shares of Fortress have lost most of their value, falling 96 percent to $1.34 from $31 on Feb. 9, 2007, their first trading day. “There’s been a lot of hardship in the world since then,” says Edens in a rare interview.

The stock prices of a half dozen other publicly traded companies controlled by Fortress have also plunged.

Analysts are bearish on Fortress, even at a rock-bottom price.

Drips of Bad News

“The more I’ve learned about Fortress, the less comfortable I’ve become,” says Jackson Turner, who follows the company at New York-based Argus Research Co. “There’s just this drip, drip, drip of bad news.” He recommends selling the shares. Only one of nine Fortress analysts tracked by Bloomberg rates them a buy.

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Jan 30

Banks are moving slowly to list repossessed homes for sale, which could mean that housing inventory is even more bloated than current statistics indicate.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Housing might be in worse shape than we think.

There is probably even more excess housing inventory gumming up the market than current statistics indicate, thanks to a wave of foreclosures that has yet to hit the market.

The problem: Many foreclosed homes and other distressed properties that are now owned by banks have yet to be listed for sale. The volume of this so-called ‘ghost inventory’ could be substantial enough to depress already steeply falling prices when it does go on the market.

“That’s not good news,” said Pat Newport, an analyst with IHS Global Insight. “[Excess] inventory is the biggest problem in housing these days, and it leads to lower housing prices, which leads to more foreclosures.”

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Jan 30

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — A dose of their own stem cells “reset” the malfunctioning immune system of patients with early-stage multiple sclerosis and, for the first time, reversed their disability, according to researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago.

All 21 patients in the study had the “relapsing-remitting” form of the disease that makes their symptoms alternately flare up and recede. Three years after being treated, on average, 17 of the patients had improved on tests of their symptoms, 16 had experienced no relapse and none had deteriorated, the study found.

“This is the first study to actually show reversal of disability,” said Richard Burt, an associate professor in the division of immunotherapy at Northwestern, and the lead author of the study published yesterday in the British journal, the Lancet Neurology. “Some people had complete disappearance of all symptoms.”

Researchers are using stem cells taken from people’s own bodies to try to fight conditions such as heart disease, orthopedic ailments and to reconstruct women’s breasts after cancer surgery. These adult stem cells differ from those derived from embryos, which have the potential to form any of the roughly 210 cell types in the human body. Geron Corp. last week was given U.S. regulatory approval to conduct the first human studies with embryonic stem cells.

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Jan 30


Mazda Motor Corp. vehicles are assembled at the company’s Ujina plant in Hiroshima City, Japan, on Sept. 16, 2008. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — Japan headed for its worst postwar recession as factory production slumped an unprecedented 9.6 percent, NEC Corp. said it will cut more than 20,000 workers and Hitachi Ltd. forecast a record loss.

The December drop in output eclipsed the previous record of 8.5 percent set only a month earlier, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. NEC, Japan’s biggest personal-computer maker, forecast its first loss in three years.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slumped 10 percent this month, extending last year’s record 42 percent drop as the global recession smothered demand for Japanese cars and electronics. Mounting losses forced companies to fire workers in December, spurring the biggest jump in the unemployment rate in 41 years.

“Japan’s economy is falling off a cliff,” said Junko Nishioka, an economist at RBS Securities Japan Ltd. in Tokyo. “There’s really nothing out there to drive growth.”

The International Monetary Fund said this week that Japan’s gross domestic product will shrink 2.6 percent this year, the bleakest projection for any Group of Seven economy except the U.K. That contraction would be Japan’s worst since World War II.

“We’re in a very grave situation,” Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said in Tokyo today. “Japan is being hit by this wave of weakening global demand.”

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Jan 29

A vehicle drives under a tree that is weighed down by ice on Old Wire Road as a result of wintry weather on Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than a million homes and businesses were left in the cold without power Thursday in the wake of an icy winter storm could face a lengthy wait for electricity to come back, even as federal help was promised to two states hit hardest by the blast.

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Jan 29

A noxious tide of toilet paper, raw sewage and chemical waste has transformed Dubai’s most prestigious stretch of shoreline into a foul-smelling health hazard.

A stretch of the exclusive Jumeirah Beach – a magnet for Western tourists and home to a string of hotels – has been closed.

“It’s a cesspool. Our tests show too many E. coli to count. It’s like swimming in a toilet,” said Keith Mutch, the manager of the Offshore Sailing Club, which has posted warnings and been forced to cancel regattas.

Related articles:
Arab countries have lost $2.5 trillion in the past four months
Once Booming Dubai Goes Bust
Gulf stocks plummet in turbulent year; Dubai shedding almost three quarters of its value

The pollution is a blow to Dubai’s reputation as an international holiday destination offering almost guaranteed sunshine and clear seas.

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Jan 29

One of the world’s leading investors and the man famed for “breaking the Bank of England” in 1992, George Soros, told the World Economic Forum yesterday that the current financial crisis is even worse than what was experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Mr Soros also revealed that he has once again been selling sterling short, though he has now stopped betting against the pound. In a pessimistic tour d’horizon of global prospects, Mr Soros added that he did not think that America would return to robust 3 per cent growth for a decade.

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Jan 29

Lew Rockwell interviews Gerald Celente:


Gerald Celente: The Greatest Depression in History (MP3)

[To download this audio file to your computer, right click at this link and select “save”, “save as” or “save file as” (depending upon your browser).]

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about. - CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

Related interviews:
- Gerald Celente: The Collapse of 2009; The Greatest Depression
- Gerald Celente on The Alex Jones Show: The Coming Revolt

Source: Lew Rockwell

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Jan 29

- Officials: Army suicides at 3-decade high (AP):
WASHINGTON – Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose last year to the highest level in decades, the Army announced Thursday. At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008. But the final count is likely to be considerably higher because 15 more suspicious deaths are still being investigated and could also turn out to be self-inflicted, the Army said.

- Army orders recall of body armor (AP)

- Erdogan storms out of Davos debate (Financial Times)

- Erdogan Clashes With Peres, Storms Out of Davos Panel on Gaza (Bloomberg)

- Blockade thwarts postwar building boom in Gaza (Reuters)

- Britain faces worst year since 1930s, warns IMF (Guardian)

- UK ‘must cut spending or raise taxes,’ say experts (Independent)

- The peers who work for their own consultancy firms (Telegraph)

- Spanish police arrest six over massive ‘£420m London Stock Exchange fraud’ (Daily Mail)

- Iraq bars Blackwater, tarnished by civilian deaths (AP)

- Thursday job cuts could exceed 13000 (CNN Money)

- Americans receiving jobless benefits hits record (AP)

- Jobless claims hit record peak, orders plummet (Reuters)

- Home sales fall to record lows (Reuters)

- Bitter end for 6700 staff as coffee retailer Starbucks shuts shops (Telegraph)

- Starbucks to Cut 6700 Jobs After Earnings Fall 69% (Bloomberg)

- Ford reports $5.9B fourth-quarter loss (USA Today)

- Ford to draw bank credit of $10.1bn (Financial Times)

- Almost 24 million adults with poor numeracy skills, say MPs (Telegraph)

- Five years on from Hutton and we STILL haven’t been told the truth about the war based on lies (Daily Mail)

- Citigroup will not take possession of new aircraft (AP)

- CLIMATE CHANGE: Tropical Forests Fight for Survival (IPS)

- WORLD SOCIAL FORUM: “Wake Up, World!” – SOS from the Amazon (IPS)

- Boy, 5, forced into adoption with gay couple pleads: ‘We want to stay with our gran and grandad’ (Daily Mail)

- Have we all BIN conned? Recycling’s the new state religion but once again it’s been exposed as a sham (Daily Mail)

- £20 broadband charge to fight online music and film piracy (Times)

- Icy blast from Siberia set to bring snow and give Britain its coldest winter for 13 years (Daily Mail)

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Jan 29

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


By Paul Craig Roberts

California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.

Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.

Don’t miss:
Paul Craig Roberts: Another real estate crisis is about to hit
Paul Craig Roberts: Our Collapsing Economy
Paul Craig Roberts On The U.S. Leadership: “They Are Criminals” – The Potential Here Is Far Worse Than The Great Depression
Paul Craig Roberts: The American Puppet State

California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke.

A person might think that California’s plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.

Obama has retained the Republican warmongers in the Pentagon, and the US continues to illegally bomb Pakistan and to murder its civilians. At the World Economic Forum at Davos this week, Pakistan’s prime minister, Y. R. Gilani, said that the American attacks on Pakistan are counterproductive and done without Pakistan’s permission. In an interview with CNN, Gilani said: “I want to put on record that we do not have any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Pakistan.”

How long before Washington will be printing money?

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Jan 29

“The Federal Reserve’s policy of taking unorthodox steps to boost the supply of credit is essentially “printing money,” Greenlight said.”

Don’t miss:
Bernanke Risks ‘Very Unstable’ Market as He Weighs Buying Bonds
Ron Paul on Glenn Beck: Destruction of the dollar


Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Greenlight Capital Inc. founder David Einhorn is finally taking his grandfather’s advice. The $5.1 billion hedge fund is buying gold for the first time amid the threat of inflation from increased government spending.

Since Einhorn was 10 years old, his grandfather has warned him that investing in bullion and gold-mining stocks was the only “sensible” thing to do given the threat of inflation and the risks of so-called fiat currencies, New York-based Greenlight said in a Jan. 20 letter to clients. The firm had never before considered buying bullion or mining-company shares.

“To everyone’s dismay, we believe some of Grandpa Ben’s predictions are playing out,” Greenlight said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “The size of the Fed’s balance sheet is exploding, and the currency is being debased.”

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Jan 29


Demonstrators in Nice, France, on Thursday. (Lionel Cironneau/The Associated Press)

PARIS: A nationwide protest against Nicolas Sarkozy’s economic policies drew more than one million demonstrators into the streets of France on Thursday, in the biggest popular challenge to the president since he took office in 2007.

Related article: Huge crowds join French strikes (BBC News)

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Jan 29


US President Barack Obama arrives to speak on his economic stimulus proposal from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. The divided US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved an 819-billion-dollar stimulus package touted by Obama as a vital remedy to revive the ailing US economy. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists “won’t find a job in my White House.”

Here are former lobbyists Obama has tapped for top jobs:

Eric Holder, attorney general nominee, was registered to lobby until 2004 on behalf of clients including Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications firm.

Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year on behalf of the National Education Association.

William Lynn, deputy defense secretary nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for defense contractor Raytheon, where he was a top executive.

William Corr, deputy health and human services secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until last year for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a non-profit that pushes to limit tobacco use.

David Hayes, deputy interior secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until 2006 for clients, including the regional utility San Diego Gas & Electric.

Mark Patterson, chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for financial giant Goldman Sachs.

Ron Klain, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, was registered to lobby until 2005 for clients, including the Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone.

Mona Sutphen, deputy White House chief of staff, was registered to lobby for clients, including Angliss International in 2003.

Melody Barnes, domestic policy council director, lobbied in 2003 and 2004 for liberal advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Cecilia Munoz, White House director of intergovernmental affairs, was a lobbyist as recently as last year for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group.

Patrick Gaspard, White House political affairs director, was a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union.

Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to the president’s assistant for intergovernmental relations, lobbied for the American Association of Justice from 2001 until 2005.

Full article here: Obama finds room for lobbyists (Politico)

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Jan 28


Watch the Gaza aid appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee rejected by the BBC and Sky

The head of the UN”s nuclear watchdog has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the corporation’s decision not to air an emergency appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

In a statement to the Guardian, Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize winner, unleashed a stinging denunciation of the BBC, deepening the damage already caused by the controversy.

[ BBC accused of fakery over Barack Obama inauguration speech (Telegraph) ]

The statement, from his office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the BBC decision not to air the aid appeal for victims of the conflict “violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people, irrespective of who is right or wrong”.

It said the IAEA director had cancelled interviews with BBC World Service television and radio, which had been scheduled to take place at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Saturday.

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Jan 28

As many as 40 million Chinese who moved from the country to the city to find work are expected to lose their jobs this week as the New Year celebrations come to a close.


Chinese visitors celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year festival at a park carnival in Beijing Photo: AFP

Instead of returning to work after the public holiday, many will remain in their remote rural homes, having been told not to come back.

Others will make the long journey to China’s economic heartlands only to find their source of income has evaporated.

The gloomy prediction came from an official at the Central Communist Party School, who estimated that between 20 and 30 per cent of the 130 million provincial Chinese who moved to the city for employment would find themselves obsolete.

To make matters worse, they will find no guarantee of work at home as sophisticated farming methods reduce the need for labourers and agricultural hands.

In Shanghai, the New Year was ushered in with an unparalleled pyrotechnic display as the population let off steam.

Firework sales rose by a third from last year, and it took more than 30,000 street sweepers to clear the 1,200 tonnes of debris from the streets.

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Jan 28

Insect invasion is worst in the African country in 30 years

Liberia has declared a state of emergency over a plague of caterpillars that has destroyed plants and crops and contaminated water supplies, threatening an already fragile food situation.

Tens of millions of marching caterpillars have invaded at least 80 towns and villages in central and northern Liberia, preventing some farmers from reaching their fields and causing others to flee their homes. The inch-long pests – the caterpillar life stage of the noctuid moth – have spread to neighbouring Guinea and are threatening Sierra Leone, which has set up monitoring teams along its border.

Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said in a televised speech on Monday night that the country’s worst plague of caterpillars in three decades had “the potential to set back our progress in the production of food and export crops”.

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Jan 28

A dozen senior bankers whose influence has shaped the financial world gave themselves pay awards valued at more than £1bn before the credit crunch spectacularly exposed the fragility of the profits they appeared to have secured for shareholders.

Although seemingly profitable during the boom, these same banks have since revealed losses, write-downs and emergency capital injections totalling more than £300bn.

In Britain, they include Barclays executives John Varley and Bob Diamond, who between them took more than £50m of awards in the past four years.

But the biggest winners were on Wall Street where Stan O’Neal – who was pushed out of Merrill Lynch in 2007 after shock losses from sub-prime mortgage investments made him one of the first high-profile casualties of the crisis – received pay, bonuses, stock and options totalling $279m (£196m) for less than nine years’ service. This is the highest amount for any Wall St executive in the Guardian’s study.

The figures are based on annual proxy statement filings in the case of US bank executives. These include a projection by the banks of the likely future value of stock and option awards. If such awards have not been cashed in they will have depreciated in value along with relevant bank share prices. Data for UK bank directors only values share-based awards that have been cashed in and therefore makes comparisons difficult.

The US bankers include Dick Fuld who presided over the collapse of Lehman Brothers – the world’s biggest ever corporate failure, which sent shockwaves throughout the global banking system last September. Fuld received annual awards totalling $191m from 1999 to 2007. The tally includes stock and options valued at the time at $111m.

Jimmy Cayne, the long-serving boss of Bear Stearns, also makes the list. Cayne received pay awards valued at $233m before Bear Stearns became the first big Wall Street investment bank to effectively fail, when it was forced to seek an emergency Federal Reserve loan in March last year.

Former US treasury secretary Hank Paulson, charged by George Bush with marshalling the $700bn taxpayer bailout efforts, had been another central Wall St figure – chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs – until joining the US government three years ago. Paulson’s taxpayer-funded troubled assets relief programme is in the process of handing out tens of billions of dollars each to firms including Goldmans, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Paulson’s pay awards from Goldmans totalled $170m over eight years.

His successor Lloyd Blankfein took home $231m over eight years. Fellow Goldman executive and later Merrill Lynch boss John Thain received $94.9m over six years, while Citigroup boss Sandy Weill and his successor Chuck Prince received $173m and $110m respectively over seven years.

Britain’s top five banks made two-year pre-tax profits of £76bn for 2006 and 2007 after credit and housing boom years combined with ever more exotic financial instruments to push their earning power to unprecedented heights.

Wednesday 28 January 2009
Simon Bowers

Source: The Guardian

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Jan 28

Investors wishing to remove their money may have to wait six months

Standard Life became the latest insurer to close the doors of its commercial property funds to immediate withdrawals yesterday, forcing more than 200,000 investors to wait as long as six months to get their hands on their money.

The Scottish insurer implemented the emergency measures yesterday morning after liquidity in six of its life and pension property funds fell to very low levels. As a result, investors who want to remove their money from Standard Life’s property funds – which have assets totalling just under £2.7bn – will be placed in a queue, and told they may have to wait as long as six months for the transaction to be processed.

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Jan 28

- House passes Stimulus without GOP help (San Francisco Chronicle):
President Obama won his first legislative victory as the House passed a $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday night, but his bid to woo Republicans failed to convince even a single GOP member to join Democrats to back the bill. Eleven Democrats joined the entire 177-member House GOP caucus in voting “no”…

- UBS Cuts Bonus Pool for 2008 by More Than 80% to SF2 Billion ($1.75 billion)
(After having received $59.2 billion from the government the banksters are still paying themselves bonuses.)

- Men who made £1bn as banks were bailed out (Guardian)

- IMF predicts lowest global growth in 60 years (Financial Times)

- Obama Picks Geithner And Lynn Aren’t ‘Change’ (CBS News):
The Obama administration made an exception to its ban on hiring lobbyists in nominating William Lynn, who lobbied for Raytheon, one of the military’s top contractors.

It seems exceptions are now the rule:
- Geithner’s New Chief of Staff is Former Bank Lobbyist (Wall Street Journal):
WASHINGTON — The new chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was a top lobbyist for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. until last year, and will have to recuse himself from some government duties under new White House ethics rules.

- Fed Keeps Rate as Low as Zero, Says Prepared to Buy Treasuries (Bloomberg):
Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve left the benchmark interest rate as low as zero and said it’s prepared to purchase longer-term Treasury securities to resuscitate lending and the economy. (…to create inflation, destroy the dollar and create the greatest depression.)

- Tax Refunds Now on Hold in California (ABC News):
ABC News has learned that tax refunds are now on hold in California for the first time in state history, according to the state controller’s office.

- Bleeding banks prompt talk of new big US bailout (Reuters):
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Major U.S. banks are still hemorrhaging red ink, despite massive taxpayer aid, and President Barack Obama is under pressure to take a high-stakes political gamble — asking for another bailout.

- Warning over collapse in capital flows (Telegraph)

- Wells Fargo takes $294m Madoff hit (Financial Times)

- US houses sink at fastest rate on record (Times Online)

- Soros closes sterling shorts (Financial Times)

- Lilly May Spend $2 Billion More on Zyprexa Lawsuits (Bloomberg)

- Santander offers €1.38 bn to compensate clients hit by Madoff (Times Online)

- Pakistan predicts growth of up to 4% (Financial Times)

- ALEX BRUMMER: British taxpayers are bailing out an Indian car giant in a deal that may pleaso no one (Daily Mail)

- Japan joins world bail-out race (Financial Times)

- Car industry to fight Barack Obama’s green proposals (Telegraph):
Car industry groups are gearing up for a long fight and the likelihood of legal action against proposals by President Barack Obama to allow California and other states to set their own regulations on greenhouse gas emission from vehicles.

- Interfax: Russia suspends Kaliningrad missile plan (IHT)

- Russian stability threatened by anger over economy (Telegraph)

- Russia defence spending soars (Telegraph)

- Ahmadinejad says Obama must apologise to the Iranian people for Bush (Times Online)

- Canada set to unveil stimulus package (Financial Times)

- First Reports of MRSA Isolation in US Swine and Hog Farmers (MedPage)

- Israeli warplane bombs Gaza’s smuggling tunnels (Telegraph)

- Chief Rabbinate of Israel cuts ties with Vatican over Holocaust bishop (Times Online)

- Israeli strikes leave Blair project with major repairs (Independent)

- Co-op bans eight pesticides after worldwide beehive collapse (Guardian)

- Gates: Cash Cows of War Running Dry (Wired News)

- Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury (Washington Post)

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Jan 28

The world economy will shrink this year for the first time since the Second World War, warns the gloomiest forecast yet delivered by a major international institutional.

The Institute of International Finance, the global organisation of major banks, predicted an almost unprecedented collapse in world economic growth and capital flows.

It became the first major global institution to forecast a full-scale global contraction in 2009, predicting that the economy would shrink by 1.1pc.

IIF chief economist Philip Suttle said: “This is the worst period since the interwar years. The global growth backdrop is very difficult. We foresee a contraction in 2009 in the global economy of over 1pc.”

He also expects rich economies to contract by 2.1pc – the worst peacetime output since the 1930s.

Private flows of capital into the emerging world are set nearly to dry up in the next year, the IIF predicted, dropping from $928.6bn in 2007 down to $465.8bn in 2008 and then to $165.3bn the following year.

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