Global News (03/16/09)

Cherie Blair Hired to Sue Royal Bank of Scotland Over Losses (Bloomberg):
Cherie Blair is to act on behalf of British pension funds in a lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation from Sir Fred Goodwin and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

AIG massive payments to banks stoke bailout rage (Reuters):
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a parade of European banks were the major beneficiaries of $93 billion in payments from AIG — more than half of the U.S. taxpayer money spent to rescue the massive insurer.

Obama tries to stop AIG bonuses: ‘How do they justify this outrage?’ (CNN):
“Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”

‘It’s Taxpayer Money’: Cuomo Will Subpoena AIG Over Bonuses (ABC News)

More than three-quarters of Britons want to see jobless immigrants forced to leave UK (Daily Mail):
The Government has failed to ‘get control’ of the issue of immigration, ministers admitted today. Phill Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said he was not surprised by findings of a poll which showed that nearly eight out of ten people believe all unemployed foreign migrants should be asked to leave the UK.

Afghan Violence Kills 14, Including 4 US, 2 British Troops (Voice of America):
A string of bomb blasts in eastern and southern Afghanistan Sunday killed 14 people, including four U.S. and two British soldiers, while coalition and Afghan forces killed five suspected militants.

Bernanke May Buy Treasuries After Gilt Yields Fall (Bloomberg):
“The economy is in a free-fall,” says Tim Duy, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene who writes on Fed policy. “They need to flood the financial system with money.” (Do they really think that the people will believe this nonsense?)

Fed-up Americans mobilize: More than 150 tea parties (WorldNetDaily):
A revolution is brewing as American patriots and free-market advocates unite in protest against out-of-control government spending – with a wildfire movement of more than 150 nationwide tea parties.

New Hampshire in uproar over US Administration (RT):
“The federal government is assuming powers that weren’t delegated to it. It is already acting to destroy the economy of the United States. It is going to devalue our currency, it is further corrupting domestic policies of the states, motivating them to do things they would not do naturally, except for being bribed with the people’s money,” said State Representative Dan Itse. “If anything is going to cause the dissolution of the United States, it’s the stimulus package and the excessive spending of the federal government,” he added. (The Federal Reserve is also playing a key role and the Bush administration has also done a excellent job in destroying the economy, the dollar and the constitution. Both Bush and Obama are puppets of the elite.)

Merkel Keeps Cashbox Closed as She Spurns Obama’s Stimulus Plea (Bloomberg):
Just as the German chancellor vetoed a bailout for eastern Europe on March 1, she is now leading European opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for a global pump-priming package. She’ll determine the fate of a 5 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) infrastructure proposal at an EU summit in Brussels later this week. “Germany really has contributed its share,” said Merkel, 54, as she stood alongside Brown, the U.K. prime minister. (At least Merkel’s brain got some signs of brain function.)

Gordon Brown pledges G20 massive stimulus to get world trading again (Telegraph)

Unemployment among young workers hits 15 per cent (Independent)

Turmoil pierces heart of the global economy (Times Online):
The stark collapse in industrial output in countries such as Japan, Germany and Korea shows that the firestorm that has engulfed financial markets for the past 20 months is now sweeping into the real economy. This will have an immense impact on future corporate earnings.

China lost billions in diversification drive (Financial Times):
But judging from the subsequent fall in global stock prices and a conservative estimate that Safe held about $160bn worth of overseas equities, Chinese losses on those investments would exceed $80bn, or more than 50 per cent, according to Brad Setser, an economist at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

UBS cutting 5,000 management jobs:report (Reuters):
GENEVA (Reuters) – Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS (UBSN.VX) plans to cut up to 5,000 senior and management jobs in the next few weeks, Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung said on Sunday.

Madoff Property Is Subject to Forfeiture, US Says (Bloomberg):
March 16 (Bloomberg) — More than $100 million in real estate, cash, bonds, art, autos, boats and other property owned by Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth Madoff, is subject to forfeiture, prosecutors said.

Obama’s Approval Rating Slips in CNN Poll as Economy Takes Toll (Bloomberg)

Obama to Test Fundraising Skills Amid ‘Donor Fatigue,’ Crisis (Bloomberg)

Another twist for the unemployed: Debit card fees (CNN):
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) — If you’re out of work like Steve Lippe, who was laid off from his job as a salesman in January, you know you already have problems. But looking at the fine print that came with his new unemployment debit card, he became livid.

“Fees should not be attached to unemployment benefits that the taxpayers are paying to help Americans,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, told CNN. “Particularly, these fees should not be attached by banks that are getting TARP money and are being supported by taxpayer dollars.”

Hardliner set to be Israeli foreign minister (Financial Times):
Avigdor Lieberman, the controversial Israeli far-right politician, is set to become foreign minister of the incoming government, to the alarm of the country’s neighbours and allies. (‘In Force We Trust.’)

EU banks must disclose toxic assets for aid (Financial Times):
“To protect taxpayers and maintain the level playing-field, the public purse will simply not be open to banks who do not want to open their books in return,” she told a conference, organised by Deutsche Bank.

Hedge funds may sue Porsche (Financial Times):
Hedge funds are considering possible legal action against Porsche, the German carmaker, over its involvement in an extreme share price spike in Volkswagen that led to billions of dollars of losses for the funds.

German police suspect chat room posts were faked (AP)

Thailand questions IMF loan rules (Financial Times)

Air passenger numbers drop for first time in 17 years (Times Online):
Britain’s airports were hit by recession and high fuel prices last year, with 4.6 million fewer people taking to the air, the first passenger decline in 17 years.

Australia slashes immigration as recession looms (Financial Times):
Australia will cut its intake of migrants for the first time in a decade, the government said today, amid concern that skilled foreign workers could stoke resentment by taking jobs at a time of rising unemployment.

Motorists could be banned from leaving Britain over unpaid parking fines (Telegraph):
A million motorists with unpaid parking fines face being stopped from leaving the country.

AIDS Rate Soars in Nation’s Capital (ABC News):
D.C. Officials to Release Report Showing 3 Percent of City Population Has Virus
Health officials in Washington say that stigma keeps people from getting tested, so the actual rates of HIV-AIDS in the nation’s capital is probably much higher.

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