Global News (03/04/09)

You’re Dead? That Won’t Stop the Debt Collector (New York Times):
MINNEAPOLIS — The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.

The D-word: Will recession become something worse? (AP):
“We’re probably in a depression now. But it’s not going to be acknowledged until years go by. Because you have to see it behind you,” said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland. (It won’t take years, maybe just a few months, until it is clear that the U.S. is in a depression, the ‘Greatest Depression’.)


The single currency may not survive the recession Photo: Reuters

It’s the Europhiles versus reality, and reality is going to win (Telegraph):
During the current crisis we have several times heard invoked the wisdom of Milton Friedman about the unfeasibility of the euro as a currency surviving a recession. In an interview not long before his death three years ago, Friedman said: “The euro is going to be a big source of problems, not a source of help. The euro has no precedent. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a monetary union, putting out a fiat currency, composed of independent states. There have been unions based on gold or silver, but not on fiat money – money tempted to inflate – put out by politically independent entities.” (The dollar and the pound are even worse. The dollar will never survive, the pound most probably not. And the euro? To have a monetary union before a economic union was putting the cart before the horse and a major mistake. I still think that the euro has more chances to stay alive a few more years longer than the dollar, unless the elite pulls the plug on the entire world economy, which hasn’t happened yet. This economic crisis has just started.)

Projecting CDS Curve US Treasuries (USA Credit Rating Will Plummet):
Everyone wants to know, how long will it take before the Uncle Sam goes bust?

Bernanke Says Insurer AIG Operated Like a Hedge Fund (Bloomberg):
March 3 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said American International Group Inc. operated like a hedge fund and having to rescue the insurer made him “more angry” than any other episode during the financial crisis. “If there is a single episode in this entire 18 months that has made me more angry, I can’t think of one other than AIG,” Bernanke told lawmakers today. “AIG exploited a huge gap in the regulatory system, there was no oversight of the financial- products division, this was a hedge fund basically that was attached to a large and stable insurance company.”

US banks may need more bail-outs, says Ben Bernanke (Telegraph):
Stock markets across the world suffered a second day of turbulence as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve warned that the US Government may have to pour even more cash into the twin bail-outs of its financial and economic systems.

Bernanke says deficit is the price of growth (Financial Times):
(“Mr. Bernanke has never been right. He has been in the government for six or seven years, he has never been right.” – Jim Rogers)

Schwarzenegger calls for end to ‘whining’ about economic crisis (Telegraph):
(“Arnie” is right, stop whining! …. because the economic crisis will get a lot worse soon.)

Projecting CDS Curve US Treasuries (USA Credit Rating Will Plummet):
Everyone wants to know, how long will it take before the Uncle Sam goes bust? (Just a few months left.)

In US prison spending outpaces all but Medicaid (International Herald Tribune):
One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Food prices surge 9% despite inflation fall (Times Online):
Shop price inflation rose last month because of the increasing cost of meat, fresh produce and tinned goods, with overall prices up at an annual rate of 9 per cent, from 7.5 per cent in January.

Antigua moves to seize back Stanford’s idyllic island (Guardian)

Madoff revealed as ‘cold-hearted control freak’ (Times Online):
Bernard Madoff was a cold-hearted control freak who ripped off friends’ widows weeks after their funerals and ruled his family with fear, according to a revealing new report published today.

China to increase defence spending by 15 per cent (Telegraph)

Argentina holds fire on grain controls (Financial Times):
The Argentine government on Tuesday confirmed it was considering a national board to regulate grains trading, but said it would take no immediate action.

Airlines that break emission rules could have planes seized (Guardian):
The Environment Agency is to be given powers to seize planes from airlines which break the rules of a new scheme to limit flights’ carbon emissions.

Pakistan declares: ‘We are at war’ (Independent):
Pakistan in shock after masked gunmen ambush Sri Lankan cricket team, leaving seven people dead and six players injured

Former Countrywide executives cash in on federal housing bailout (Raw Story):
The company’s biggest deal has been with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It paid the government agency just $43.2 million for $560 million worth of residential loans, which were formerly on the books of the failed First National Bank of Nevada.

World Bank grants $2bn loan to Indonesia (Financial Times):
The World Bank on Tuesday approved its largest ever loan to a country not classified as being in crisis when its board signed off on a “unique” $2bn contingency facility to Indonesia to support government spending and external fundraising during the current market turmoil.

Australian GDP shrinks for first time in 8 years (Times Online):
The Australian economy has slipped into negative growth for the first time in eight years, raising fears that the country is on the brink of recession.

Cash-back car scheme triggers record sales (Times Online):
Motor manufacturers hope a £2,000 cash-back car scheme could come to UK following its early success in Germany
( When the consumers realize that the economy is only getting worse, they will not be fooled into buying a new car anymore. And it will get a lot worse. So this is a momentary success and then?)

Israelis react with fury to British boycott call (Independent)

Italian doctor claims he cloned three babies (Telegraph):
An Italian doctor known for helping post-menopausal women to have children has claimed to have cloned three babies who are now living in eastern Europe.

GPs are medicalising healthy elderly people, professor warns (Telegraph):
Elderly people are being turned into patients by GPs blindly following guidelines to hand out pills for high blood pressure and cholesterol, a professor has said.

Wartime troop brain injures could reach 360000 (AP):
The number of U.S. troops who have suffered wartime brain injuries may be as high as 360,000 and could cast more attention on such injuries among civilians, Defense Department doctors said Wednesday.The previous high estimate offered publicly was 320,000 in a study released a year ago by the private Rand Corp. It was based on about 1.6 million who had done tours of duty in the wars from late 2001.

Mars had ‘recent’ running water (BBC News):
Mars appears to have had running water on its surface about one million years ago, according to new evidence.

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