GM Lacks Investors to Fund Deal With Chrysler

[general motors headquarters]
The General Motors Corporation world headquarters.

General Motors Corp.’s hopes of buying longtime rival Chrysler LLC are floundering because the auto maker remains unable to secure the financing necessary for the deal, say people familiar with the matter.

In recent days GM, its lenders, and Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management, have been trying to woo investors with a pitch about the transaction. That pitch touts a combined GM-Chrysler as delivering cost savings of up to $10 billion, an immediate boost in revenue and an increase in cash available to the merged firm. Outside money is needed to fund the cost-cutting — especially buyouts and severance packages for tens of thousands of hourly and salaried employees. Those cuts could total as much as 40,000 jobs if a deal comes together, said people briefed on the talks. And GM is already burning more than $1 billion in cash each month.

The United Auto Workers union has publicly questioned the deal but privately is studying its merits. GM is pitching the combination as a way to better ensure the continued funding of hundreds of thousands of UAW retiree pensions and health-care benefits. A new company would produce upward of $250 billion in annual revenue, while owning more than 30% of the U.S. market. It would also house an estimated $30 billion in cash, thus improving the company’s credit rating and lowering the risk that either GM or Chrysler would have to seek bankruptcy protection over the next 15 months.

But several of the potential lenders remain unconvinced. Credit markets remain extremely tight, and a number of lenders are fearful of the complexity and scale of combining two industrial giants amid an economic downturn. If investors continue to shun the deal, its proponents could take their case to the U.S. government, arguing that a merger is vital to the survival of the nation’s domestic auto industry. It is unclear at this point what role, if any, Washington might be willing to play. But GM, Cerberus and its banks aren’t ruling out selling a stake in the new company to the federal government.

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Merrill Chief Thain Expects Thousands of Job Cuts

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Thain said he expects “thousands” of job losses from the bank’s $50 billion takeover by Bank of America Corp.

Most of the cuts will fall in information technology, operations and “corporate functions,” Thain, 53, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Dubai today. Jobs in the fixed income and commodities divisions won’t be eliminated after the deal, he said.

“We haven’t mapped it out in terms of actual number of people, but we are committed to saving $7 billion across the combined platforms, and that will be a challenge,” Thain said. “Between our two companies it will be clearly thousands of jobs.”

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Worst slump since Great Depression

Major industrialised economies will suffer the worst slump since the 1930s, according to new research from Deutsche Bank.


Worst slump since Great Depression: Bud Fields and his family in their home during the Great Depression in Alabama, 1935. Photo: Corbis

The warning underlines the fact that policymakers have failed to prevent the financial crisis from turning into a full-blown economic slump. It comes as world leaders agreed to hold a summit in New York billed as the “Bretton Woods meeting for the 21st century”.

In its major assessment of the global economy’s health, Deutsche Bank also warned that Britain is even more vulnerable than the US or the euro area, as it predicted that the powerhouses of India and China would fail to support the wider global economy through the downturn.

The banks’ economists Thomas Mayer and Peter Hooper said: “We now expect a major recession for the world economy over the year ahead, with growth in the industrial countries falling to its lowest level since the Great Depression and global growth falling to 1.2pc, its lowest level since the severe downturn of the early 1980s.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, global growth of anything less than 3pc constitutes a world recession. The warning was echoed by Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley, who said: “A global recession is now under way, and risks are still pointed to the downside for commodity prices and earnings.”

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F.B.I. Struggles to Handle Financial Fraud Cases


Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

WASHINGTON – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is struggling to find enough agents and resources to investigate criminal wrongdoing tied to the country’s economic crisis, according to current and former bureau officials.

The bureau slashed its criminal investigative work force to expand its national security role after the Sept. 11 attacks, shifting more than 1,800 agents, or nearly one-third of all agents in criminal programs, to terrorism and intelligence duties. Current and former officials say the cutbacks have left the bureau seriously exposed in investigating areas like white-collar crime, which has taken on urgent importance in recent weeks because of the nation’s economic woes.

The pressure on the F.B.I. has recently increased with the disclosure of criminal investigations into some of the largest players in the financial collapse, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The F.B.I. is planning to double the number of agents working financial crimes by reassigning several hundred agents amid a mood of national alarm. But some people inside and out of the Justice Department wonder where the agents will come from and whether they will be enough.

So depleted are the ranks of the F.B.I.’s white-collar investigators that executives in the private sector say they have had difficulty attracting the bureau’s attention in cases involving possible frauds of millions of dollars.

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Markets hold breath as $360bn Lehman swaps unwind

The $54trillion credit derivatives market faces a delicate test as $360bn worth of contracts on now-defaulted derivatives on Lehman Brothers are due to be settled on Tuesday.

Lehman Brothers' complex network of derivatives will be settled on Tuesday October 22
Lehman Brothers’ complex network of derivatives will be settled on Tuesday October 22

Due to the opacity of the market, which is one of the most complex, least regulated and least understood in the global financial system, it is still not clear how many contracts have to be settled or which institutions will take the ultimate hits once the billions of dollars worth of contracts have been unravelled.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers, is expected to trigger credit default swap (CDS) protection pay-outs of about $400bn but because the contracts were sold many times through different counterparties it is not yet known who will be liable.

One commentator said: “This will be the greatest illustration of the follies of Wall Street and how unnecessarily complicated the wild off-track betting became in the past few years.”

Five years ago Warren Buffett, the iconic American investor, warned that the chaotic profusion of derivatives used by companies and hedge funds to fund financial growth were “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Bankers in the City and on Wall Street are bracing for yet another round of turbulence as the contracts are unwound.

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New law to allow police to collect DNA in secret from teacups

MI5 and the police may be allowed to secretly collect genetic samples from items such as cigarette butts and teacups under new laws that could massively expand the national DNA database.

The powers would allow investigators to break in to suspects’ homes to collect DNA which could then be shared with foreign governments to check for links to crime and terrorism.

The new law, being discussed by Parliament, would mean the ‘stolen’ samples – thousands of which have already been taken by the security services – would be admissible in court and at a stroke hugely expand the Government’s controversial DNA database.


Concern: Minister Lord West wants data shared between governments

But human rights activists fear the new powers could lead to more innocent people having their DNA stored and, due to cross-contamination, being wrongly accused of crimes or terrorism.

The proposals, which are contained in the Counter-Terrorism Bill, were outlined last week by Security Minister Lord West in the wake of Labour’s unsuccessful attempt to introduce legislation to hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge.

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The Cancer Industry’s Big Lie

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) With Breast Cancer Awareness month fully upon us once again, retail stores have been invaded with everything pink, including “pink ribbon” candies and personal care products made with blatantly cancer-causing ingredients. Retail grocery stores like Safeway even hit up customers for donations at the cash register, promising to raise funds to find “the cure for cancer.”

Consumers of course, have virtually no idea where the funds they donate actually go, nor do they know the truths about breast cancer they’ll never be told by conventional cancer non-profit organizations.

In this article, I’ll reveal ten important myths about breast cancer, and the truths that can save your life.

Myth #1: Breast Cancer is not preventable

The Truth: Up to 98% of breast cancer cases can be prevented through diet, nutritional supplements, sunshine and exercise

It’s true: Breast cancer can be almost entirely prevented through commonsense changes in diet, the addition of anti-cancer nutritional supplements, boosting vitamin D creation from sunlight, avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products, pursuing regular exercise and eating a live foods diet.

The breast cancer industry — which depends on the continuation of cancer for its profits and employment — has so far refused to teach women even basic cancer prevention strategies (such as increasing the intake of vitamin D, which prevents 77% of all cancers). See: http://www.naturalnews.com/021892.html

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100 Items to Disappear First

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.

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Nervous breakdown discharges up by 30pc among UK armed forces

The number of British military personnel discharged from the armed forces following a ‘nervous breakdown’ has risen by 30 per cent since the start of the Afghan war.

More than 1,300 have been medically discharged since 2001 when operations first began against the Taliban, new figures reveal. Of these, 770 belong to the army, which has borne the brunt of overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the greatest increase in those leaving the military because of ‘mental and behavioural disorders’ belongs to the air force, with cases more than doubling from 20 in 2001 to 50 last year. By comparison, 115 left the army last year, only slightly up on the 105 discharged seven years ago.

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Britain faces crisis as negative equity to reach 2 million

Estate agents signs outside a row of properties

Collapsing house prices are plunging 60,000 homeowners a month into negative equity, which means the country is on course for a worse crisis than the 1990s crash.

At current trends, 2m households will enter negative equity by 2010, outstripping the 1.8m affected at the bottom of the last housing slump.

New research from Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, coincides with evidence that banks are aggressively seizing homes whose owners have slipped just a few hundred pounds behind on their mortgage payments.

It is a further signal that the financial crisis is now infecting the real economy as hundreds of thousands of families face the prospect of being unable to move house because their home is worth less than the value of their mortgage.

Many more homeowners will now be afraid that the bank may suddenly repossess their property. Repossessions have soared to 19,000 in the first half of the year, up 40% on the previous six months. That figure is expected to rise to 26,000 in the second half of 2008.

Economists believe house prices will fall by up to 35% from their peak by 2010. This compares with a drop of only 20% in the early 1990s.

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Stalin planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed pact

Stalin was ‘prepared to move more than a million Soviet troops to the German border to deter Hitler’s aggression just before the Second World War’

Papers which were kept secret for almost 70 years show that the Soviet Union proposed sending a powerful military force in an effort to entice Britain and France into an anti-Nazi alliance.

Such an agreement could have changed the course of 20th century history, preventing Hitler’s pact with Stalin which gave him free rein to go to war with Germany’s other neighbours.

The offer of a military force to help contain Hitler was made by a senior Soviet military delegation at a Kremlin meeting with senior British and French officers, two weeks before war broke out in 1939.

The new documents, copies of which have been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, show the vast numbers of infantry, artillery and airborne forces which Stalin’s generals said could be dispatched, if Polish objections to the Red Army crossing its territory could first be overcome.

But the British and French side – briefed by their governments to talk, but not authorised to commit to binding deals – did not respond to the Soviet offer, made on August 15, 1939. Instead, Stalin turned to Germany, signing the notorious non-aggression treaty with Hitler barely a week later.

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Bigfoot hoax body sold for 250,000 dollars on eBay

Washington, October 18 (ANI): The hoax body of Bigfoot, which was found to be a Halloween costume made of rubber, has been sold for 250,000 dollars on eBay, an online auction website.

According to a report in Fox News, the hoax came into being after two Georgia residents, Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, recently claimed that they had discovered the frozen corpse of a Bigfoot.

But, Tom Biscardi, owner of a Bigfoot exploration website, decided to get under the skin of things, and hired a self-described Sasquatch detective Steve Kulls to solve the mystery.

He sent Kulls to a secret location apparently Muncie, Indiana to check out the specimen.

But, what Kulls found at the location failed to impress him, and after elaborate analysis, he declared the body to be a fake.

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CNN: Colin Powell endorses Obama

(CNN) — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.”


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says he is voting for Barack Obama.

“I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain’s campaign, such as the campaign’s attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

“I think that’s inappropriate. I understand what politics is about — I know how you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for,” he said.

Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.

Powell said he has some concerns about the direction of the Republican Party, adding that it has “moved more to the right than I would like to see it.”

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UK: Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones

Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance.

Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society.

A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime. Whitehall officials have raised the idea of a register containing the names and addresses of everyone who buys a phone in recent talks with Vodafone and other telephone companies, insiders say.

The move is targeted at monitoring the owners of Britain’s estimated 40m prepaid mobile phones. They can be purchased with cash by customers who do not wish to give their names, addresses or credit card details.

The pay-as-you-go phones are popular with criminals and terrorists because their anonymity shields their activities from the authorities. But they are also used by thousands of law-abiding citizens who wish to communicate in private.

The move aims to close a loophole in plans being drawn up by GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre in Cheltenham, to create a huge database to monitor and store the internet browsing habits, e-mail and telephone records of everyone in Britain.

The “Big Brother” database would have limited value to police and MI5 if it did not store details of the ownership of more than half the mobile phones in the country.

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Latin America feels the pinch of global economic crisis


CASH CROP: Soybeans are harvested at a farm in Brazil. The record prices for soybeans and other commodities have fallen, spurring anxiety

Once confident that soaring demand would guarantee high prices for goods such as soybeans, beef and minerals, Argentina, Brazil and other countries are feeling the effects of tightening credit.

BUENOS AIRES — The abrupt end of the worldwide commodities boom has stunned Latin American nations that had bet the farm on the idea that raw materials were a ticket to boundless prosperity in the globalized economy.

A galloping sense of insecurity has replaced the swaggering confidence that insatiable demand would keep prices up for products such as soybeans, copper, wheat and coffee. But commodities have tumbled in value in the wake of the financial meltdown.

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Dutch prepare to pump $12 billion into ING: report

LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch financial group ING is in talks with the Dutch government about a state-backed cash injection estimated to be worth up to 9 billion euros ($12.12 billion), the Sunday Times reported.

The Netherlands’ biggest listed bank, which said on Friday that it was about to announce its first-ever quarterly loss, is expected to announce a deal in the next 24 hours, the paper reported.

ING’s Chief Executive Michel Tilmant was in talks with the Dutch central bank all day yesterday negotiating a deal, the Sunday Times said.

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Ron Paul on The Alex Jones Show: A Global Financial Order

Ron Paul on The Alex Jones Show”A Global Financial Order”1/2
Added: Oct. 17, 2008

Source: YouTube

Ron Paul on The Alex Jones Show”A Global Financial Order”2/2

Added: Oct. 17, 2008

Source: YouTube

South Korea Backs $100 Billion in Debt to Calm Markets

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) — South Korea will guarantee $100 billion in bank debts and supply lenders with $30 billion in dollars to stabilize its financial markets.

The government will provide tax benefits for long-term equity and bond investors, while the Bank of Korea will buy repurchasing agreements and government bonds to boost won liquidity, the heads of the finance ministry, central bank and financial regulator said in a statement from Seoul. Policy makers held an emergency meeting on Oct. 17 to hammer out the plan.

South Korea is struggling with Asia’s worst-performing currency, a shortage of U.S. dollars and a stock market that has lost 38 percent this year. The guarantee on bank debts comes after Standard & Poor’s said last week it may cut the credit ratings of the nation’s largest lenders, which triggered the worst plunge in the won since the International Monetary Fund bailed the nation out in December 1997.

“They have to do that because the market was pushing them by attacking the Korean won,” said V. Anantha-Nageswaran, chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Bank Julius Baer (Singapore) Ltd., part of Switzerland’s biggest independent money manager for the wealthy. “They know what the stakes are. The currency could completely careen out of proportion.”

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South Ossetian police ordered to return fire

MOSCOW (AP) – Police in South Ossetia are under orders to shoot back if they come under fire from Georgian forces – a directive that could increase the threat of new violence in the Russian-backed separatist region.

South Ossetia’s top police official issued the order Saturday after a police post came under automatic weapons fire Saturday from an ethnic Georgian village, the separatist government said on its Web site.

Acting Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev said nobody was hurt by the gunfire but he called it part of a series of provocations by Georgians forces.

“We will not allow our people and our officers to be killed,” Mindzayev said in a statement on the site.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili denied Georgian forces fired at a South Ossetian post and said Nikozi came under fire early Saturday from South Ossetian-controlled territory.

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The International Interphone Study Confirms: The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic

The official publication of the first intermediate results of the International Interphone Study from the International Research Centre on Cancer (CIRC) dependent on WHO confirms the increased tumors and cancer cases due to the use of mobile phone.

The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic: Here (PDF)

INTERPHONE Results latest update Oct. 08, 2008: Interphone Results Update (PDF)

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