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Thread: Finance & Economics News

  1. #26
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Iran's government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham on Saturday rejected media reports that Iran's economy minister will soon be replaced, the state-owned Press TV satellite channel reported.

    "There has been no talk of changes in the Iranian government. Circulation of such news is aimed at influencing the government's economic planning," Elham was quoted as saying at his weekly press conference.

    He added that the government and all ministries would continue with their work seriously in order to materialize the country's economic objectives.

    In recent days, some Iranian media had speculated that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might replace Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Davoud Danesh-Jafari.

    "The possibility of replacing Davoud Danesh-Jafari has become stronger," Iran's Fars News Agency reported on Friday. On Iran's nuclear program, Elham reiterated that despite economic sanctions and U.S. pressures, Tehran will continue its nuclear activities.

    "Generation of 20,000 megawatts of electricity from nuclear energy is on the government's agenda. Iran will pursue its nuclear program until this target is realized," the government spokesman said.




  2. #27
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    The question of what to do about the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear weapons aspirations has challenged the United States through several administrations. Indeed, the discussion about how to confront Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and their predecessors has so entered the rote of foreign policy debate that arguments for and against a particular set of policies have become cliché. Worse still, the familiarity of the threat set--for how long have we warned of Iran's nuclear ambitions?--has itself become familiar enough to have lost its menace.

    Yet the reality remains: Iran is driving toward a nuclear weapon and self sufficiency in the production of highly enriched uranium. The international community is convinced of Iran's intentions. I have met with officials from each of the five permanent members of the Security Council, and each has averred bluntly that it is their government's private view that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. And while the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has suggested he is not convinced, his deputies--to a one--are persuaded of Iran's intentions.

    That leaves the civilized world with the question of what to do. Some have already announced that we can live with a nuclear Iran, speculating that when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others proclaim their commitment to the destruction of Israel and America that they are not serious. Others have come to the reluctant conclusion that a military strike will be the only effective means of slowing Iran's nuclear program. Still others believe the Tehran regime can be removed if there is enough support for the majority of Iranians who loathe their system of government and leadership.

    This is not a new debate. In November of 1808, Thomas Jefferson mused on the question of an embargo of Great Britain, then threatening the United States and harassing shipping, in a letter. He wrote: "three alternatives alone are to be chosen from: 1, embargo; 2, war; 3, submission and tribute. And, wonderful to tell, the last will not want advocates."

    Some will suggest that submission and tribute are not options for the United States and its allies. I would argue that the modern day equivalent contemplates accepting what was heretofore unacceptable: allowing Iran enrichment (sometimes described as "limited enrichment"), "containing" an Iranian weapon, tolerating Iranian domination of its region, ignoring Iranian support for terrorism, bribing Iran to take steps that will not verifiably end its program, and worse.

    The other option, war, is not very attractive for a variety of reasons that have been ably debated in other fora. Certainly, serious analysts are not persuaded that there is any silver bullet in a military conflict or limited strike on the Islamic Republic. However, those who rule out war in any circumstance should recognize that the prospect of military action is what prompts Iran's leadership to take seriously the sanctions now on the table. More importantly, it is obvious that the limited multilateral sanctions now in effect will not have their desired effect. Then what? If war is off the table, submission and tribute will remain.

    This leaves us with the hope that harsher and more effective economic sanctions can raise the cost to Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons and change the calculus of decision-makers in Tehran.

    There are three United Nations Security Council resolutions now in effect addressing Iran's nuclear program and its violations of its safeguards obligations. Depending on your viewpoint, these resolutions are a triumph of international solidarity in the face of an outlaw or a lame attempt to discover the least common denominator that will unite a divided Council. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    Without U.S. leadership, it is unlikely the Council would have acted. And without pressure from France and the U.K., it is unlikely that the Security Council would have agreed upon a third resolution, particularly in the face of Russian and Chinese apologia for Iran. Yet, against some odds, we have three resolutions and a moderately robust set of international sanctions. In addition, the European Union has used the authority of the resolutions to impose a set of slightly broader sanctions on Iran. And the United States has also imposed its own set of unilateral sanctions, some of which have been in place for many years.

    Although there seems little doubt that the mood in Congress has shifted since the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) first passed in 1996, it is important to underscore that the U.S. Congress has always been at the forefront of confronting Iran (as it has been in confronting the worst state sponsors of terrorism and the worst proliferators). It is a principled position that should be a source of pride for members of both parties. I have no doubt that legislation like ILSA (now the Iran Sanctions Act), the Iran Non-Proliferation Act (now the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act), and the Iran-Iraq Non-Proliferation Act have slowed Iran's ability to attract capital, material and technical support for its programs.

    Over the years, as different pieces of legislation have been introduced and passed, there have been some who have continued to suggest that sanctions don't work in general, and that unilateral sanctions are particularly ineffective. I agree that multilateral sanctions are always more desirable than ad hoc or unilateral sanctions. However, the argument that unilateral sanctions are wrong, ineffective and otherwise to be avoided is also incorrect, and offensive in the sense that such arguments too often come from self-serving members of industry whose sole interest is in making the world safe for untrammeled trade.

    On consistency grounds alone, those who oppose unilateral American foreign policy sanctions against terror sponsors and proliferators should be challenged to also oppose economic sanctions against foreign companies dumping cheap goods into the U.S. market. After all, if sanctions are good enough punishment for making a cheap television set, presumably they are good enough for terrorists trying to make a nuclear weapon.

    More importantly, even the threat of unilateral sanctions has been effective as recently as last year. As state after state has ramped up efforts to divest pension funds from companies invested in Iran, and as S. 970, the Smith-Durbin Iran Counter-Proliferation Act has garnered support in the Congress, American companies like General Electric, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes with subsidiaries operating in Iran have rethought the wisdom of doing business with one of our nation's most dangerous enemies. And as the United States has contemplated additional unilateral banking sanctions on Iran, banks across Europe have ratcheted back their exposure to the Islamic Republic, with some pulling out entirely.

    Reviewing the impact of sanctions to date, it is clear that both unilateral and multilateral sanctions are taking a toll on Iran's economy, much of which is state controlled. The sanctions in effect today have done a better job than many previous sanctions regimes in targeting leadership elements and sources of income without imposing a heavy burden on the Iranian people. Even a brief glance at the impact reveals that Iran is now having difficulty underwriting its oil products (and the regime's own oil minister admitted as much). Financing is hard to come by, and the cost of money has gone up significantly. The OECD has lowered Iran's credit rating. Letters of credit are now difficult to obtain, and as a result, investors have pulled out of a variety of important oil and gas deals. In other words, what you are doing works. We may not all agree on the exact provisions, but Congressional leadership in the use of means other than war to persuade the Iranian regime to slow down its nuclear program has undoubtedly had a positive effect.

    Mr. Chairman, Could life be more difficult for Iran's leaders? Certainly. Could our friends and allies, particularly in China, Russia and the Persian Gulf, do more to isolate Tehran? Without a doubt. I would like to see the various Emirates shut down the Iranian bank accounts that have flourished since Iran's banking sector came under pressure. I would also like to see nations like the United Arab Emirates do more to ensure they are not the pass-through of choice for Iranian imports and exports, legal and illegal.

    We could also do more to reassure those in Iran's neighborhood that we are serious about the threat Iran poses to the region. Last year's disingenuous and politicized National Intelligence Estimate undercut America's position and worried the very leaders we have sought to reassure about America's constancy in the fight against terrorism and proliferation.

    Overall, however, we should remember Mr. Jefferson's admonition. There are only a few choices before us: Imagination, perseverance, pressure and vigilance are the watchwords that should guide us. Submission is unacceptable, and war only a last option when no other offers the hope of preserving our national security.




  3. #28
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Regarding the specific provisions of S. 970, and without speaking to every section, one of the key provisions is Section 6 on Russia Nuclear Cooperation. Last July, Presidents Bush and Putin initialed an agreement for nuclear cooperation, a so-called 123 agreement, launching a new era in nuclear cooperation between Moscow and Washington. While Russia has long been eager for such an agreement, successive administrations had refused to move forward, arguing that Russia's willingness to cooperate with Iran and build reactors for the Islamic Republic have precluded cooperation with the U.S.

    The Bush administration reversed its own previous position and that of the Clinton administration, which had refused to begin negotiations on a 123 agreement while Russia continued to assist the Iranian nuclear program. It is not clear to me why the Bush Administration made its move. Certainly, the benefits of the administration's decision are hard to pinpoint, as Russia has been the main roadblock in toughening United Nations sanctions on Iran.

    Section 6 of S. 970 will take the initiative away from the Executive Branch and underscore the fact that nuclear cooperation with the United States--and the vast attendant potential profits--will not be available to Russia for as long as Russia continues to work with the Iranian nuclear program and supply advanced conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic's military.

    Section 7 closes the loophole that was reopened by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright which allows US imports of Iranian goods, particularly carpets and pistachios--important foreign exchange earners for the regime. That decision sent an unhelpful mixed message to Iran's leaders, and underscored American weakness in confronting Iranian threats. There is no demonstrable evidence that the step was anything other than a PR move.

    Section 8 closes a loophole that has been exploited by a number of U.S. companies to use subsidiaries in foreign countries to do what would otherwise be prohibited work in Iran. The companies in question did so in full cognizance of the fact that their actions undermined the spirit and intention of U.S. law and executive orders. And while most have now, to the best of my knowledge, ceased doing new business in Iran, I have little doubt that in another climate that work would quickly resume.

    Regarding the World Bank and World Bank lending to Iran, the facts are simple. Since 2000, the World Bank has extended more than $1.2 billion in loans to the Islamic Republic. And other than a December 2005 Mulitlateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) credit line of $122 million which clearly aids Iran's petrochemical sector, the loans are hardly remarkable in and of themselves. However, each penny frees up millions then available to the regime to use as it sees fit. And we have a good idea what Ahmadinejad sees fit.

    The lending is a political disgrace. From an economic standpoint, Iran is one of the most mismanaged economies in the Middle East. It is the only OPEC nation that has defied the spike in crude prices to run a budget deficit. Economic rationalism alone should dictate that the World Bank hold Tehran at arms' length. In addition, a nation that expends untold billions fueling an insurgency in Iraq, sponsoring the dictatorship in Syria, underwriting Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror groups and arming itself with the best conventional weaponry and missiles available from Russia and North Korea, not to speak of funding an expensive clandestine nuclear program, does not bear scrutiny as a responsible fiscal custodian.

    However, the United States, the single largest World Bank contributor, is forced by World Bank rules to subsidize the regime. No new loans have been extended since 2005, but existing loans are still being paid out. The U.S. taxpayer should not bear a penny of this cost, and this bill remedies the problem.

    There are several other important provisions to this bill, including reporting requirements about federal thrift savings investments related to Iran, companies operating in the United States that do business with Iran and more. These reports will shine a much needed light onto Iran's friends, suppliers and enablers. At that point, it will be unnecessary to mandate particular steps. People and governments will begin to vote with their pocketbooks, investing in companies that choose to do business in less threatening parts of the world. In this instance, choice is key, and information makes such choices possible.

    Finally, a brief comment on the creation of an international fuel bank. I am happy to defer to those who have more knowledge of the details of uranium enrichment, reprocessing and safeguards on the basic question of the wisdom of such a fuel bank. However, the provision demands some logical scrutiny: What kind of country needs a nuclear fuel bank? Presumably a country that depends on foreign sources of nuclear fuel and is worried that it may be cut off by its suppliers. Why would a country worry about being cut off by its suppliers? In the nuclear area, the most likely reason would be because it has misbehaved—for example, by detonating a nuclear explosive device. So are we going to set up a fuel bank that addresses this concern by promising to deliver fuel even to countries that do such things as engage in nuclear proliferation? I certainly hope not. But if the fuel bank doesn't address that concern, what makes anyone think that a country like Iran is going to be satisfied to give up its ongoing nuclear enrichment program in order to join the fuel bank?

    My point is not that a fuel bank is a bad idea. It is simply that I think it gives undue credit to the professed concerns of a country like Iran. We should be under no illusion that this is a tool that is likely to induce Iran to give up nuclear enrichment. Thank you for you attention, and for your continued vigilance. President George W. Bush once suggested that as threats gather, responsible leaders cannot sit idly by. This bill ensures that the U.S. Congress is leading our nation to confront one of the most potent threats facing us.




  4. #29
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    'ایرانی ها چگونه تحریم را دور می زنند'


    فایننشال تایمز: صرافان ایرانی مشکلی برای انتقال پول به دیگر نقاط جهان ندارند
    دو هفته پس از آنکه خزانه داری آمریکا رسما درباره معامله با بانکهای ایران به موسسات مالی جهانی هشدار داد، روزنامه فایننشال تایمز در گزارشی تحلیلی به این موضوع پرداخته است که تحریمهای مالی علیه ایران، چگونه باعث رواج یافتن نحوه های غیر رسمی تر انتقال پول به خارج از ایران شده است، که به اعتقاد این روزنامه تحریم ها را کم اثر ساخته است.
    فایننشال تایمز گزارش را با روایت نحوه کار "شهرام"، یک مجری طرح های ساختمانی، آغاز می کند که برای انتقال پول به دوبی، جهت سرمایه گذاری در بخش مسکن، از سیستم بانکی استفاده نمی کند.

    شهرام به آنا فایفیلد، خبرنگار این روزنامه می گوید که به توصیه صرافی که با او کار می کند، از فرستادن مبالغ بالای 100 هزار دلار در هر بار خود داری می کند و حداکثر 40 هزار دلار یا 50 هزار دلار پول را از طریق حواله می فرستد.

    شهرام می گوید: "اگر بخواهم به آمریکا پول بفرستم یا از آمریکا پول دریافت کنم، این کار را از طریق ترکیه انجام می دهم."

    حواله: راه حلی به قدمت 13 قرن

    فایننشال تایمز می نویسد ایرانیان از طریق بکارگیری روشی بر تحریمهای آمریکا غلبه کرده اند که قدمت آن به قرن هشتم میلادی باز می گردد، اما در دهه های اخیر کارگران مهاجر جنوب آسیا و خاورمیانه بیشتر از آن استفاده کرده اند.

    این روزنامه چاپ لندن، قابل اعتماد بودن حواله را موضوعی "جالب توجه" می داند و می نویسد "ایرانی ها، پس از سه دهه تحمل تحریم آمریکایی ها، در دور زدن آنها متبحر شده اند."

    راجر بالارد، کارشناس بکارگیری حواله در دانشگاه منچستر به فایننشال تایمز می گوید: "با تلاش آمریکا برای تحمیل تحریمهای سختگیرانه تر، بازار ایران بدون حواله چگونه می توانست کار کند؟"

    این روزنامه توضیح می دهد که نقدینگی منتقل شده از طریق حواله، از طریق کارگران مشغول در کشورهای صنعتی جهان تامین می شود که می خواهند برای خانواده های خود پول بفرستند که آقای بالارد حجم این پول را "سالانه 100 میلیارد دلار" برآورد می کند.

    او می گوید: "این همه حاصل جهانی شدن در دنیای اقتصاد است."

    نحوه انتقال پول توسط حواله

    فایننشال تایمز برای توضیح نحوه عملکرد حواله و انتقال پول به خارج از ایران، مثالی را درمورد خرید کفش از یک تولید کننده چینی مطرح می کند.

    این روزنامه می نویسد: "آقای الف، وارد کننده کفش های چینی، در تهران با مراجعه به صرافی خواستار انتقال 10 هزار دلار می شود. صراف، با همکار خود در چین تماس می گیرد که او نیز به بانک فروشنده مراجعه کرده و پول را واریز می کند."


    فایننشال تایمز: انتقال پول با حواله سرعت بالایی دارد و بخاطر "فقدان بوروکراسی" بسیار از انتقال پول توسط بانک سریعتر است
    "در این حالت طرف چینی 10 هزار دلار از صراف ایرانی بستانکار می شود و وقتی (بعنوان مثال) یک ایرانی در چین می خواهد 5000 دلار پول برای خانواده اش بفرستد، با انجام فرایند عکس، 5000 دلار از طلب او وصول می شود."

    فایننشال تایمز توضیح می دهد : "در مرور زمان و با ادامه معاملات طلب ها و بدهکاری های دو طرف یکدیگر را خنثی می کنند و دو صراف با هم بی حساب می شوند."

    این روزنامه می نویسد از آنجا که این سیستم بر اساس "احترام متقابل و توافق شرافتی" بنا شده، اگر کسی در معامله خیانت کند، درواقع باعث اخراج خود از سیستم شده است.

    تایمز معتقد است این شیوه کار، سرعت بالایی نیز دارد و بخاطر "فقدان بوروکراسی" بسیار از انتقال پول توسط بانک سریعتر است.

    نقش دوبی

    فایننشال تایمز بر نقش دوبی در تضعیف تحریم تاکید می کند و می نویسد: "مسیر ارسال اکثر کالاهای خریداری شده از اروپا و آسیا یا حتی آمریکا، به دوبی تغییر داده شده، که به این ترتیب تشخیص اینکه مقصد کالا امارات متحده عربی است یا ایران، غیرممکن می شود."

    ضمن اینکه برای انتقال پول به سیستم مالی بین المللی، معمولا یک صراف در تهران، از طرق همکار خود در دوبی، پول را به بانکی اماراتی واریز می کند و سپس از آن طریق، پول وارد سیستم مالی بین المللی می شود.

    خبرنگار این روزنامه از قول مدیر یک صرافی در اطراف میدان فردوسی تهران (با ذکر نام) می نویسد این دفتر روزانه تا 100 مورد انتقال پول به خارج از ایران انجام می دهد که حدود نیمی از این موارد، مقصد دوبی است.

    فایننشال تایمز به نقل از مدیر این شرکت و همچنین "شهرام"، مجری طرح های ساختمانی در ایران و دوبی، می نویسد بانکهای دوبی تمایلی به دانستن اینکه چه کسی پول را انتقال داده، یا اینکه پول از کجا به دست آمده نشان نمی دهند.

    واکنش آمریکا

    این روزنامه به استناد تجربه خبرنگارش در تهران می نویسد هیچکدام از صرافی ها در تهران مشکل و مخالفتی با انتقال پول به خارج نداشتند، هرچند تاکید می کنند که پس از اعمال محدودیتها از سوی آمریکا، عمده مبادلات با یورو انجام می شود.

    ویکتور کومراس، یک کارشناس پول شویی و تامین هزینه گروه های تروریستی در واشنگتن، درباره واکنش آمریکا به نظام ایجاد شده، به فایننشال تایمز می گوید: "، تنها در دو سال گذشته بوده که چند کشور از جمله آمریکا، به تدریج مسئله نظام مند ساختن انتقال پول از طریق حواله را جدی گرفته اند."


    فایننشال تایمز: "نقدینگی منتقل شده از طریق حواله، از طریق کارگران مشغول در کشورهای صنعتی جهان تامین می شود که می خواهند برای خانواده های خود پول بفرستند"
    فایننشال تایمز شمار دلالان ثبت شده حواله در امریکا را که ملزم به کسب اطلاع درمورد هویت مشتریانشان هستند، 40 هزار نفر ذکر می کند، اما از قول دنیل گلیزر، معاون رئیس بخش تامین مالی اقدامات تروریستی در وزارت خزانه داری آمریکا می نویسد محبوب شدن انتقال پول با حواله، نشان موفقیت تحریمهای آمریکا است.

    او می گوید: "این تحریمها، شرایط را برای تامین هزینه های رژیم ایران و برنامه هسته ای این کشور دشوار ساخته است."

    آقای گلیزر می گوید: "راه برای فرار کردن از تحریمها زیاد است، اما همین که سازمانهایی مثل سپاه قدس مجبور شوند از نظام مالی بین المللی خارج شوند و رو به استفاده از نظام های پر هزینه تر، پر خطر تر و نا کارآمد تر بیاورند، رویداد خوبی است."

    آمریکا و دوبی

    با این حال فایننشال تایمز می نویسد: "اعتقاد بر آن است که مقام های آمریکایی از اینکه بانکهای دوبی نقش ایرانیان در مبادلات مالی را نادیده می گیرند، نگران هستند."

    این روزنامه خبر می دهد که بانکهای اماراتی، تحت فشار آمریکا، از ترس اینکه برخی شرکتها تنها برای عبور از سد تحریم تاسیس شده باشند، سختگیری بیشتری درباره ایرانی ها انجام می دهند.

    فایننشال تایمز از اظهارات مقام های ایرانی اینطور نتیجه گیری می کند که بیش از نیمی از بانکهای دوبی حاضر به واگذاری اعتبار به شرکتهای مستقر در تهران نیستند.

    اما، به نوشته فایننشال تایمز، مشکل اینجا است که "سهولت استفاده از حواله، به انتقال دهندگان پول اطمینان می دهد که هرچند رد یک حواله احتمالا به نقطه ای در خلیج فارس ختم شود، اما هیچگاه، یا بسیار به ندرت ثابت می کند که مبدا پول منابع ایرانی بوده اند."






  5. #30
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    The parent company of United Airlines, the UAL Corporation, reported a $537 million loss in the first quarter on Tuesday, bigger than expected, as a 51 percent increase in fuel costs overwhelmed furious efforts to raise fares at the country’s second-largest carrier.

    UAL shares closed down $7.88, to $13.55.

    Unless oil prices unexpectedly retreat, there is no relief in sight for airlines, and nearly the entire industry is expected to lose money this year.

    United, based in Chicago, plans to reduce employment by 1,100 by the end of the year, as airlines begin a new round of layoffs. United increased the number of planes it plans to shed to 30, from an earlier estimate of 15 to 20, in hopes of constraining capacity and driving fares up further.

    JetBlue Airways and AirTran Holdings, two formerly fast-growing discount carriers, also posted first-quarter losses. JetBlue, which operates from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, reduced its growth plans for the year, hoping to keep raising fares.

    And AirTran, operating from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, said it would delay growth plans in the 16 months beginning in September. That move could help it raise fares and conserve cash.

    AirTran, where shares have fallen in the wake of bankruptcy filings by some smaller carriers, said it would sell notes and stock to raise about $110 million and bolster its cushion against the downturn.

    But the share sale, after the stock has already fallen, will dilute existing shareholders. AirTran shares fell 95 cents, to $3.61.

    With a recent rash of bankruptcies at smaller airlines and expected losses at every big carrier but Southwest Airlines, the industry has swiftly entered a steep decline because of oil priced above $100 a barrel and the inability to pass on those higher costs to price-sensitive travelers.

    The entire industry is now focused on constraining capacity and raising fares. AirTran managed a 5.2 percent increase in its average fare, to $99.06 during the quarter, as it expanded its capacity by 10.8 percent.

    JetBlue did better, its average fare rising 22.4 percent to $135.64 compared with a year earlier, even as its capacity expanded by almost 14 percent. But now it is hunkering down, planning to increase overall capacity by 3 to 5 percent in 2008.

    The slowing economy will make fare increases more difficult. Demand for travel typically falls after a recession has started. To date, airlines have not seen a significant decline in demand.

    At United, first-quarter fares rose more than 11 percent over the year-ago period, as the carrier reduced domestic capacity by about 6 percent. That sent revenue up 7.7 percent to $4.71 billion for the quarter.

    But a $534 million increase in fuel costs, to $1.58 billion for the quarter, led to a loss. The company has $2.9 billion of unrestricted cash and short-term investments, a slimmer cushion than the $3.6 billion it held Dec. 31, 2007.

    Of the planned employee cuts, 500 would be managers and 600 union-represented workers, Glenn Tilton, United’s chief executive, said in a recorded message to his workers. “In this extraordinary environment, we recognize the pace of change needs to accelerate,” he said.

    United hopes to merge with another airline — Continental Airlines and US Airways are leading candidates — in order to compete against the proposed combination of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. Tuesday, in his message to workers, Mr. Tilton called industry consolidation “one of the changes required to address the gap between where we stand today and profitability and sustainability.”




  6. #31
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company started the year off right, with price hikes offsetting the rising cost of raw materials.

    Goodyear Tire & Rubber (nyse: GT - news - people ) posted a profit of $147.0 million, or 60 cents per share, on sales of $4.9 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected profits of 47 cents per share, on sales of $4.8 billion. The company had posted a loss for the first quarter last year.

    "Our excellent first-quarter results demonstrate the success of our strategies to grow our higher-margin premium product lines, reduce costs and pay down debt," said Robert J. Keegan, chairman of Goodyear.

    Shares of Goodyear were up 6.0%, or $1.66, to $28.91, in morning trading in New York.

    The company said price increases drove up revenue per tire by 7.0%, while it offset rubber costs of $13.0 million.

    International sales were the major driver for the quarter. Sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, were up 17.6%, to $2.0 billion. Latin American sales increased 29.3%, to $530 million. Sales in the Asia Pacific were up 21.2%, to $465 million. The number of tires sold decreased in all regions except for the Asia Pacific. Currency translation had a positive impact on sales of $341 million.

    Sales in the United States are still weak due to the troubled economy, decreasing by 1.0%, to $1.99 billion, but automakers are beginning to recover slightly, which has helped Goodyear.

    Ford (nyse: F - news - people ) surprised Wall Street on Thursday, coming through with its first profitable quarter in nearly a year and moving closer to the black in its home market.

    Ford had reported profits of $100.0 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a loss of $282.0 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales fell 8%, to $39.4 billion, which excluded the Jaguar and Land Rover brands it was selling to Tata Motors (nyse: TTM - news - people ). (See: " Ford Gets Back In Gear")

    Italian car manufacturer Fiat (nyse: FIA - news - people ) seems to be rising from the ashes as well. It posted sales growth to 15 billion ($23.56 billion), from 13.7 billion euros ($21.52 billion), in the first quarter, while net profit rose to 405 million euros ($636.25 million), from 353 million euros ($554.57 million). (See: " Fiat The Phoenix Keeps Rising")




  7. #32
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    In another era at Time Warner, before a star-crossed Internet merger, the hard-held belief of Gerald M. Levin, then the chief executive, was that “content is and will remain king, but distribution is the power behind the throne.”


    These days the king seems to be losing his throne.

    On Wednesday, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, who became chief executive in January, succeeding Richard D. Parsons, said that Time Warner would completely spin off its cable company, essentially shedding the pipes that have underpinned much of the company’s fortune.

    Although the announcement was largely anticipated by Wall Street — it had earlier spun off a 16 percent stake to shareholders — it still underscored a profound philosophical shift.

    For years, it was a widely held belief within Time Warner and the media business that there were real financial advantages to owning both the content — television shows and films — and the means of distributing it to people’s homes.

    But Wednesday’s cable announcement, which came as Time Warner reported first-quarter earnings, spotlighted the company’s future as a pure content provider. From now on the media company will revolve around two core content businesses that have been out of the limelight in recent years: the Warner Brothers movie studio and Turner Networks, which includes the television channels TNT, TBS, HBO and CNN.

    Although those divisions have produced steady revenue and cash flow, investors and the media have focused instead on the debate over cable and the drama unfolding (still) at AOL.

    Without the cable business, the bulk of Time Warner’s revenue will come from the movie studio and the cable networks. In the first quarter, Warner Brothers generated $2.84 billion, while the networks brought in $2.66 billion; the cable business that is being split off brought in $4.16 billion in revenue in the first quarter.

    “Over time, Warner Brothers has been a gold mine,” said Larry Haverty, who runs the Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust fund, which owns 230,000 shares of Time Warner. “And at the cable networks, they’ve done a great job. CNN has come back against Fox. And HBO is a juggernaut that is probably at a low ebb in terms of content.”

    Mr. Bewkes, in a conference call, pointed to several growth areas. TNT and TBS, for example, will focus more on original programming than on introducing new channels. Original shows can be particularly valuable in the long run because the company owns the copyrights; some of Turner’s existing ones are “The Closer” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”

    “While some network groups have invested in niche networks, we funneled our resources primarily into expanding our big-reach existing brands,” Mr. Bewkes said. He signaled that Time Warner would compete more directly with the broadcast networks for viewers and advertising dollars.

    “We believe Turner is now positioned better than ever to challenge the broadcast networks,” he said.

    On Wednesday, Time Warner reported net income of $771 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $1.2 billion, or 31 cents a share, in the period a year ago, a 36 percent drop. Revenue increased 2 percent, to $11.42 billion.

    Time Warner stock has languished for years as it cleared the wreckage from its ill-fated merger with AOL, and Wednesday’s news — which generally matched what analysts had anticipated — had little effect on the share price. Shares of Time Warner closed at $14.85 Wednesday, down 42 cents.

    AOL is still a question mark for Mr. Bewkes, who has been in discussions about a possible deal to combine it with Yahoo, which itself has been fighting off a bid from Microsoft.

    On Wednesday, Time Warner said that revenue at AOL — which has been in a seemingly perpetual state of transition from a subscriber business to an advertising business — declined 23 percent, to $1.1 billion.

    But relative to some of its peers in the media industry, Time Warner’s stock price appears cheap — at least, that was the hopeful sentiment among some investors and analysts.

    Mr. Haverty said that Turner and Warner Brothers were “a collection of businesses that anyone on the planet would say should be worth more than eight times trailing cash flow.”

    Laura Martin, an analyst at Soleil Media Metrics, said, “the strength of the networks and film was an upside surprise.” Without cable, she said, Time Warner closely resembled Viacom, which combines a grouping of cable channels under the MTV Networks brand and the Paramount Pictures film studio.

    Time Warner’s film business had a 4 percent increase in revenue, to $2.84 billion from $2.74 billion in last year’s first quarter. The division’s profit declined, however, to $183 million, from $243 million in the year-ago period, reflecting a $116 million restructuring charge from reorganizing New Line Cinema. Mr. Bewkes said the unit’s television production would continue to be a source of growth, particularly from selling shows to cable networks, like FX, that are not owned by Time Warner.

    Another piece of Time Warner’s content business — although of lesser importance to investors — is its magazine publishing unit, Time Inc. The unit, which publishes Sports Illustrated, People, Time and Fortune, saw revenue remain essentially flat at about $ 1 billion, but its operating income, before depreciation and amortization, rose 73 percent, to $145 million.




  8. #33
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    نطق پيش از دستور محمدرضا تابش : از 200 ميليارد دلار پول نفت115 ميليارد آن غيب شده

    محمدرضا تابش نماينده اردكان در مجلس هفتم و عضو فراكسيون اصلاح طلب اين مجلس روز گذشته در نطق پيش از دستور خود ضمن تشكر از مردم حوزه* انتخابيه*اش براي شركت در انتخابات، راي مردم يزد به اصلاح*طلبان را تبريك گفت و سپس در باره وضع مملكت گفت


    امسال يكصد سال از استخراج نفت در ايران ميگذرد. درآمدهاي نفتي كشور به طور تصاعدي بالا و به همان ميزان قدرت خريد مردم پايين مي*رود.

    جريان يكپارچه*اي، قدرت اجرايي كشور را در دست دارد و مسائل معيشتي، اجتماعي و فرهنگي مردم و تهديدهاي منطقه*اي و بين*المللي را براي ايران اسلامي نمي*توان پنهان كرد.

    نرخ تورم حدود 20 درصدي اعلامي توسط بانك مركزي ايران در سال گذشته و گراني*هاي سرسام*آور امان از مردم بريده است،* مردم با خط فقر كه در كشور به ميزان 400 هزار تومان و در تهران 770 هزار تومان است، چگونه زندگي خود را اداره كنند؟

    آيا تحت پوشش قرار گرفتن جمعيت شش ميليوني از سوي كميته* امداد امام خميني (ره) و سازمان بهزيستي كشور، شش ميليون نفر در نوبت و زير خط فقر مطلق بودن 35 درصد جمعيت كشور، باعث تاسف نيست؟ حذف فله*اي هزاران نفر از مديران مجرب و كارشناسان نخبه اصلاح*طلب كشور، ردصلاحيت گسترده نسل انقلاب در انتخابات، تنگ كردن دايره امنيت فكر، ترويج روزافزون خرافه و تحجر در سطوح رسمي، كشانيدن پاي نهادهاي فراگير ملي و انقلابي به ميدان مداخله*هاي جناحي و سياسي، بخشي از واقعيت*هاي نگران*كننده پيش*روي كشور ماست.

    بر اساس محاسبات انجام شده، درآمد كشور در سال*هاي 84، 85 و 86 از محل فروش نفت، گاز و ميعانات گازي حدود 200 ميليارد دلار بوده است و بنا بر گزارش*هاي رييس جمهور هنگام تقديم لوايح بودجه، ظرف سه سال گذشته منابع ارزي خرج شده توسط دولت، 85 ميليارد دلار عنوان شده است كه مجلس و منتقدين دولت، رقم خرج كرد دولت طي اين سه سال را حدود 150 ميليارد دلار مي*دانند، بنابراين حق طبيعي مجلس و مردم است كه از ريز هزينه*هاي دولت آگاهي يافته و توضيح داده شود مابه*التفاوت رقم 85 ميليارد دلار تا 200 ميليارد دلار و يا 150 ميليارد دلار تا 200 دلار از كجا ناشي مي*شود.





  9. #34
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    Wall Street fell for a second straight day Tuesday as investors grew more worried that the financial sector is still suffering from the credit crisis. The Dow Jones industrials dropped more than 100 points, bringing their two-day loss to 235.
    The market tumbled in early afternoon as concerns about financial companies intensified. Reports that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. planned to raise $4 billion in capital later expanded into a rumor that the investment bank had approached the Federal Reserve to borrow money.




  10. #35
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    رئیس جمهور ایران می گوید شیوه کنونی توزیع یارانه ها در کشور هدفمند نیست و هشدار داده است که دولت در صورت ادامه اوضاع جاری تا سه سال دیگر فلج خواهد شد.
    محمودی احمدی نژاد اعلام کرد یکی از راه حل های دولت برای این وضع تقسیم مستقیم یارانه است.

    وی گفت: "به زودی مركز آمار ايران اطلاعيه می*دهد و افراد متقاضی يارانه می*توانند با پر كردن فرمی اطلاعات بدهند و با استعلام از مراجع مختلف يارانه توزيع می*شود." وی توضیح بیشتری در مورد این طرح نداد.

    محمود احمدی نژاد در سخنانی که از تلویزیون پخش شد به طور مفصل به تشریح معضلات اقتصادی کشور پرداخت و گفت دولت او طی دو سال و نیم مطالعه اکنون "تصویر روشنی از مشکلات اقتصادی" دارد.

    وی رشد اقتصادی کشور را "نامتوازن" توصیف کرد و آن را به مشکلات ساختاری متعددی همچون نحوه اداره کشور با پول نفت به جای پول مالیات نسبت داد.

    از نکاتی که رئیس جمهور ایران به شدت بر آن تاکید کرد نظام توزیع یارانه ها بود.

    وی در مورد ضعف های این نظام چنین توضیح داد: "هم اکنون یارانه ها به صورت عمومی توزیع می شود و هدف معینی دنبال نمی شود. البته در ذهن مدیران ما این مساله وجود داشته که اقشار ضعیف از آن استفاده کنند اما فقرا واقعا چقدر از آن استفاده می کنند؟"


    توزیع یارانه ها
    هم اکنون یارانه ها به صورت عمومی توزیع می شود و هدف معینی دنبال نمی شود. البته در ذهن مدیران ما این مساله وجود داشته که اقضار ضعیف از آن استفاده کنند اما فقرا واقعا چقدر از آن استفاده می کنند؟


    محمود احمدی نژاد

    وی این نوع توزیع یارانه ها را برای قدرت رقابت کشور مخرب دانست: "هم اکنون یارانه ها از حالت مفید خارج و به عکس آن تبدیل شده است. در شرایطی که اقتصاد ما باید با دنیا رقابت کند با این گونه یارانه ها صنعت ما نمی تواند رقابتی داشته باشد."

    رئیس جمهور ایران گفت که دولت معضلات مربوط به نظام یارانه را شناسایی کرده و برنامه ریزی هایی را انجام داده و می خواهد یارانه ها را هدفمند توزیع کند.

    وی هشدار داد: "با این شرایط دیگر نمی توان ادامه داد. یعنی سه سال دیگر ما فلج می شویم لذا باید یارانه ها را هدفمند توزیع کنیم."

    دولت ایران از فروردین ماه 1386 با تکیه بر همین استدلال، بنزین را سهمیه بندی کرد.

    مشکل نظام مالیاتی

    آقای احمدی نژاد یکی دیگر از مشکلات مهم اقتصاد کشور را نظام مالیاتی آن دانست. وی گفت درحالی که در بسیاری از کشورهای جهان اصل هزینه دولت از طریق مالیات فراهم می شود، در ایران درآمد دولت از مالیات خیلی پایین است.

    وی گفت: "مالیات باید به صورت متوازن و نه به مقدار فعلی اخذ شود. در بسیاری کشورها میزان مالیات بیش از 20 درصد تولید ناخالص ملی است درحالی که در کشور ما این رقم 7 درصد می باشد."

    وی افزود: "بسیاری از بخش ها مالیات نمی دهند بسیاری از فرصت های مالیاتی نیز در کشور ما تعریف نشده است. درحالی که در بسیاری از کشورها هزینه دولت از محل مالیات هاست، اما برای ما حداقل است."


    لزوم اصلاح نظام مالیاتی
    بسیاری از بخش ها مالیات نمی دهند بسیاری از فرصت های مالیاتی نیز در کشور ما تعریف نشده است. درحالی که در بسیاری از کشورها هزینه دولت از محل مالیات هاست، اما برای ما حداقل است


    محمود احمدی نژاد

    رئیس جمهور ایران گفت که حدود 43 تا 44 درصد مسائل اقتصادی کشور با مالیات ها اداره می شود و 52 درصد نیز از منابع فروش نفت و برخی منابع دیگر تامین می شود.

    البته وی مدعی موفقیت دولت خود در این زمینه شد چرا که گفت وقتی دولت او سر کار آمد 67 درصد هزینه های دولت از درآمد نفت تامین می شد.

    آقای احمدی نژاد همچنین در مورد مشکل تورم که در یک سال گذشته به حدود 20 درصد رسیده و سیاست های او در این زمینه با انتقادهای زیادی از سوی برخی نمایندگان مجلس، مقام های بانکی و کارشناسان روبرو بوده است، اظهار نظر کرد.

    بسیاری از کارشناسان علت تورم شدید در کشور را که در اردیبهشت ماه به 25 درصد رسید به افزایش شدید نقدینگی و کاهش شدید نرخ سود بانکی در دوران حکومت آقای احمدی نژاد نسبت می دهند.

    با این حال رئیس جمهور ایران در مورد تورم که اذعان کرد یکی از مشکلات عمده اقتصادی است چنین گفت: "ریشه اصلی تورم این است که اتکا اصلی درآمدهای دولت به نفت است و در واقع منبع اصلی درآمدهای دولت متکی به نفت است و در طول سال ها آرزوی ما بوده که اتکای ما به نفت قطع شود که البته در این راستا تلاش هایی صورت گرفته است."

    وی افزود: "مردم تورم را حس می کنند و بخش عمده این تورم ساختاری است."

    آقای احمدی نژاد که اظهاراتش عمدتا بر تشریح مشکلات متمرکز بود تا ارائه راه حل های مشخص در پایان سخنانش گفت مواردی که در "طرح تحول اقتصادی دولت" قرار دارد از سوی دبیرخانه تحولات اقتصادی اعلام خواهد شد.

    با این حال وی پیش بینی نمی کند این طرح تا چند سال نتیجه دهد: "ما معتقدیم که باید این بیماری و مریضی که اقتصاد کشور ما با آن روبروست، اصلاح شود. که البته علاج برخی از این بیماری ها را اگر الان شروع کنیم سه الی پنج سال طول می کشد که به طور کامل اصلاح شود."





  11. #36
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    France's Sarkozy Questions If ECB Rate Increase `Reasonable'

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy recommenced his criticism of the European Central Bank today, asking it was ``reasonable'' for it to have raised the region's key interest rate this past week.

    The ECB lifted its benchmark rate to 4.25 percent, its highest in seven years, on July 3 after inflation accelerated to a 16 year high in the 15 nations that use the euro.

    Sarkozy, who has repeatedly attacked the Frankfurt-based bank for focusing too much on inflation and not enough on growth, asked delegates at a Paris meeting of his Union for a Popular Movement party ``if it was reasonable to raise rates, while the Americans have rates at 2 percent.''

    The U.S. Federal Reserve has cut its key rate seven times since September to 2 percent in a bid to avert recession, while the ECB left its unchanged until the past week amid surging consumer prices.

    Sarkozy's comments carry greater weight after France on July 1 became the president of the 27-nation European Union, meaning it will help shape the EU's agenda and policies for the rest of this year. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has brushed aside the criticism, telling reporters on July 3 that his central bank is ``an independent institution.''

    The French president repeated his call for the Group of Eight nations to increase its ranks to include China and India. He and other leaders from the group are scheduled to meet in the coming week for their annual summit, this year in Japan.

    ``It's not reasonable to continue to meet as eight to solve the big questions of the world,'' he said.




  12. #37
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    انقلاب انتخاباتی، بنام انقلاب اقتصادی
    یارانه ها نقدی می شود
    تا 4 سال دوم ریاست جمهوری "نقد" شود!






    زمزمه ای که از چند هفته پیش پیرامون تدارکات احمدی نژاد برای پیروزی در انتخابات آینده ریاست جمهوری و ماندن در کاخ ریاست جمهوری در محافل مختلف سیاسی واقتصادی ایران بر سر زبان ها بود، سرانجام بصورت اخبار رسمی، اما بی اشاره به انگیزه اصلی آنها انتشار یافت.

    احمدی نژاد و مشاوران علنی و غیر علنی که دارد با دو شلیک می خواهند به میدان انتخابات بیآیند.

    1- ارزان کردن مسکن به هر قیمت و هر ترفندی، حتی برای چند ماه نزدیک به انتخابات.

    2- نقدی کردن یارانه ها و ریختن آن توی دست مردم و سپس تبلیغ بهبود وضع زندگی اقشار آسیب پذیر جامعه در دولت احمدی نژاد. البته در چند ماه قبل از پایان دوره اول ریاست جمهوری وی.

    از جمله طراحان این دو ترفند، علینقی سابق و سید محمد جهرمی کنونی، وزیر کار در دولت احمدی نژاد است که نظرات احمد جنتی دبیر شورای نگهبان را عینا به هیات دولت و کابینه آورده و ابلاغ می کند. او سالها پیشکار اقتصادی احمد جنتی بوده است.

    احمدی نژاد نام این ترفند انتخاباتی را که محسن آرمین هم در مقاله اخیر خود (آن را در همین شماره پیک نت می خوانید) به آن اشاره کرده، تحول بزرگ و انقلاب اقتصادی گذاشته است.

    از جمله تدابیری که حدس زده می شود با اشاره احمد جنتی اتخاذ شده باشد، دور زدن مجلس برای تبدیل یارانه ها به پرداخت پول نقد است. طرحی که همه از عاقبت آن و تشدید گرانی و تورم نگران اند. برای این مقصود، یکصد نفر را بعنوان اقتصاد دان و استاد دانشگاه و کارشناس جمع کرده و خبرگزاری ها گزارش دادند که احمدی نژاد با آنها یک جلسه 3 و نیم ساعته برگزار کرده است. دراین جلسه طرح انقلاب اقتصادی احمدی نژاد که در راس آن نقدی کردن رایانه هاست به بحث گذاشته شده است. یگانه حاصلی که از این جلسه بصورت خبر منتشر شده اینست که رئیس جمهور قبول کرده شتابزده و یکجا و یکباره این طرح را اجرا نکند. همین!

    تمام سایت های خبری منتقد دولت تاکید کرده اند که هیچ اقتصاد دان منتقدی در این جلسه حضور نداشته و هدف اصلی از برپائی آن نیز دور زدن مجلس و یا مرعوب کردن آنست. احمدی نژاد می کوشد بعنوان مصوبه دولت دست به چنین اقدامی بزند، درحالیکه مجلس معتقد است این طرح با سرنوشت کشور در ارتباط است و باید در مجلس بررسی کارشناسانه شود. این درحالی است که شورای نگهبان قبل از آنکه این طرح در مجلس طرح شود، پیشاپیش موافقت خود با آن را به مجلس اطلاع داده است!



    در جلسه 3 ساعت و نیمه احمدی نژاد با اقتصاددانان و استادان و کارشناسان دستچین شده، علاوه بر خود وی، معاون اول رئیس*جمهور، رییس کل بانک مرکزی، معاون برنامه*ریزی و نظارت راهبردی رییس*جمهور و وزرای دادگستری (غلامحسین الهام) ، بازرگانی ، کار و رفاه(جهرمی) حضور داشتند.






  13. #38
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    کاهش بهای سهام در بازارهای آسیا و اروپا


    بازارهای سهام آسیایی با کاهش شاخص سهام مواجه شدند
    در پی انتشار خبر دشواری های دو شرکت وام مسکن در آمریکا بهای سهام در بازارهای اروپایی و آسیایی کاهش یافته است.
    روز سه شنبه، 15 ژوئیه، شاخص بهای سهام در بازار بورس هنگ کنگ حدود چهار درصد، شاخص اصلی بهای سهام در بورس چین سه درصد و شاخص بهای سهام در بورس توکیو دو درصد تنزل کرد.

    در ساعات اولیه معامله در بازارهای لندن و فرانکفورت هم شاخص های بهای سهام یک و نیم درصد تنزل کرد.

    خبرنگار اقتصادی بی بی سی می گوید که اعلام این خبر که بانک مرکزی آمریکا آماده کمک به شرکت های "فنی می" و "فردی مک"، دو شرکت عظیم اعطای وام مسکن است، نتوانسته باعث جلب اطمینان سرمایه گذاران نسبت به سلامت بخش مالی جهان شود.

    به گفته وی، این نگرانی همچنان وجود دارد که ممکن است بانک های تجاری در آمریکا و سایر نقاط همچنان با زیان های هنگفت مرتبط با مشکلات اعتباری مواجه شوند.






  14. #39
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    Doha's F-Words

    So far, not so good for this week's crucial meetings in the Doha Round of world trade talks. Before the sessions in Geneva even started, the Brazilian Foreign Minister caused a ruckus Saturday by equating Western leaders' public evaluations of the round with Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels's line that "if you repeat a lie several times it becomes a truth."

    Celso Amorim's remark is patently absurd and a real head-scratcher, coming as it did from a seasoned diplomat who enters the negotiations with leverage on the Americans and Europeans. World Trade Organization head Pascal Lamy says the talks have a more than 50% chance of success -- three years after they were supposed to conclude.


    More damaging than Mr. Amorim's Nazi slur may be Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath's claim Thursday, reported by Reuters, that a Doha deal must make progress on finance, food and fuel. While Mr. Nath is correct that many people are rightly worried about these "three Fs," trying to repackage the Doha Round as a solution to these problems amounts to a shifting of the goalposts and could doom the talks.

    Removing barriers to trade in agriculture and services, including financial services, is central to the Doha Round of trade negotiations. Lower tariffs, reductions in trade-distorting subsidies and less red tape would all be welcome developments in both the short and the long run. To the extent that farmers and banks could do more business in more markets, a Doha deal would help ameliorate problems in those areas -- and help prevent future ones.

    But multilateral trade talks are, by their nature, cast more widely than any contemporary crisis. The point is to reshape the contours of global commerce, making trade rules broadly more liberal. Judging any outcome for the seven-year-old Doha negotiations by today's conditions would be a mistake.

    What's more, the Doha Round has virtually nothing to do with trade in fuels. Nor could it, really: Four of OPEC's 13 members -- Algeria, Iran, Iraq and Libya -- don't even belong to the WTO. Neither does Russia, one of the biggest non-OPEC oil producers and a country that must be included in any discussion about fuels trade, at least where Europe is concerned.

    Mr. Nath was probably engaging in some sleight-of-mouth. India has consistently refused to open its farm markets, and Mr. Nath's government, which faces a confidence vote in Parliament tomorrow, is currently in an even worse position to compromise. His tune may change slightly if the ruling coalition survives. Protectionism has also been on the rise elsewhere -- notably in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress -- and there may be a temptation for others to use the three Fs to talk down Doha.

    If the 30 trade ministers meeting in Geneva this week are serious about improving global economic conditions, they'll move quickly to wrap up the Doha talks. A global agreement to free trade further would be the best news markets and consumers have heard in a long time.




  15. #40
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extended their weeklong recovery after U.S. lawmakers reached a deal on legislation that authorizes Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to bail out the mortgage-finance providers while placing few restrictions on the companies.

    Fannie Mae rose 12 percent and Freddie Mac added 11 percent in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Their market values have more than doubled since July 15 after plummeting on concern the companies may not have enough capital to withstand the highest mortgage delinquency rates in at least three decades.

    Shareholders and the companies benefit because the bill doesn't require Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to cut or eliminate dividends if they take federal aid, giving that discretion to the Treasury. It also doesn't automatically give the Treasury preferential treatment over other shareholders if it buys the companies' preferred shares. The government also can't compel the government-sponsored enterprises to issue securities or buy common stock.

    ``It sounds like the GSEs got what they wanted again,'' said Paul Miller, an analyst with Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. in Arlington, Virginia. ``They got a big backstop and they got language that the Treasury doesn't necessarily have to stop them from paying dividends or cap compensation. That's why the stocks are ripping.''

    The House of Representatives today approved the rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a bill aimed at alleviating the worst housing slump since the Great Depression. The bill passed 272-152. Legislators crafted the agreement nine days after Paulson asked for powers to buy unlimited amounts of stock and extend an unlimited credit line into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable them to continue buying mortgages.

    Good News

    The Senate will likely vote on the measure July 25 or 26, Senator Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, said.

    Fannie Mae rose $1.59 to $15. Freddie Mac climbed $1.10 to $10.80. The companies began a plunge July 7 after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said the companies may need to raise a combined $75 billion of capital to meet new accounting guidelines.

    Washington-based Fannie Mae is down about 62 percent this year, while McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac has fallen about 68 percent. Both traded above $60 a share last year.

    ``It is good news if you own Fannie and Freddie stocks,'' said Brian Battle, Vice President of Trading at the Chicago-based brokerage Performance Trust Capital Partners. ``Fannie and Freddie will exist as they are now and will get bigger because Congress wants them to do something about the housing market, so that's good for Fannie and Freddie.''

    No Dividend Requirement

    Lawmakers rejected a proposal to bar Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from paying dividends while they are tapping the expanded line of credit with Treasury, Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said late yesterday. They decided instead to give Paulson the power to restrict such payments or to take preferred stock in the companies, he said.

    ``It's not a mandate,'' Frank said. ``He's got to have some flexibility.''

    Lawmakers added the provisions to legislation that would create a stronger regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and expand federal efforts to stem mortgage defaults.

    The new regulator has reduced authority to approve new lines of business or products, said Joshua Rosner, an analyst with independent research firm Graham Fisher & Co. in New York.

    The bill provides for the Federal Reserve to consult on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac finances. Paulson said this week that the Fed has already begun participating in assessments of the companies.

    The housing bill would create a program aimed to help an estimated 400,000 Americans with subprime home loans refinance into 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages backed by the government.

    Higher Cap

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have a new, higher cap on the size of mortgages they may purchase. The new limit would be $625,000, or the median home price plus 15 percent, whichever is lower, Frank said.

    The Bush administration withdrew its veto threat on a measure to provide $3.9 billion to communities for the purchase of foreclosed properties.

    The agreement increases the likelihood Paulson will get the authority this week, after he lobbied lawmakers to overcome concerns about taxpayer liability. The Treasury chief argued that the backstop for the beleaguered mortgage companies was critical to help safeguard U.S. financial market stability.

    The government is leaning on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee almost half of the $12 trillion in U.S. home loans outstanding, to help revive the housing market and stem a slowdown in the economy.

    Credit-Default Swaps

    The cost to protect the senior debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was little changed.

    Credit-default swaps on Fannie Mae fell 0.5 basis point to 40 basis points today after dropping more than 40 basis points the past two weeks, according to London-based CMA Datavision. Contracts on Freddie Mac were unchanged at 40 basis points after falling from 80 basis points on July 9, CMA prices show.

    Credit-default swaps are financial instruments based on bonds and loans that are used to speculate on a company's ability to repay debt. They were conceived to protect bondholders against default and pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should the company fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

    Paulson yesterday said his rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will help stabilize financial markets, and that he doesn't anticipate that he will need to bail out the companies.

    ``This is about not only our housing markets, but it's about our capital markets more broadly,'' Paulson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. ``This goes well beyond the two institutions, Fannie and Freddie; it has to do with investors in the United States and investors all over the world.''




  16. #41
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    In a rare weekend session, the Senate on Saturday is expected to pass a landmark housing bill that will offer up to $300 billion in loans for troubled homeowners and establish a government rescue plan for mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The House passed the bill on Wednesday just hours after President Bush reversed his long-standing vow to veto the bill.

    Once the package clears the Senate, it will be sent to President Bush, who is likely to sign it soon.

    The legislation, one of the most far-reaching housing bills from Congress in decades, marks the centerpiece of Washington's efforts to address the nation's housing meltdown.

    "This will begin to lay the groundwork for a turnaround in the housing market and hopefully in the broader economy as well," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and a principal author of the bill.

    The bill has two principal objectives: to offer affordable government-backed mortgages to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and to bolster Fannie and Freddie with a temporary rescue plan and a new, more stringent regulator.

    Helping at-risk borrowers
    Provisions in the 700-page bill that would most directly affect consumers and communities include:

    Increase the Federal Housing Administration's role. The FHA will be allowed to insure up to $300 billion in new 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for at-risk borrowers in owner-occupied homes if their lenders agree to write down loan balances to 90% of the homes' current appraised value.

    The cost of the new FHA program - which would begin on Oct. 1 and be in place for just a few years - would be funded by fees from Fannie and Freddie, along with fees paid by both lenders and borrowers.

    Establish a stronger regulator for the GSEs. The new regulator will have a greater say over how well funded the agencies are - a major concern in the markets that has sent stocks in both companies plunging.

    Permanently increase "conforming loan" limits. The bill would permanently increase the cap on the size of mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie to a maximum of $625,500 from $417,000.

    The FHA maximum loan limits for high-cost areas would also increase to $625,500. Higher loan limits will make it easier for borrowers to get mortgages, because they're more likely to be traded if they are considered conforming.

    Create home-buyer credit. The bill includes a tax refund for first-time home buyers worth up to 10% of a home's purchase price but no more than $7,500.

    The refund, however, serves more as an interest-free loan, since it would have to be paid back over 15 years in equal installments.

    Bar down-payment assistance for FHA loans. The bill eliminates a program that has allowed sellers to provide down payment assistance.

    The bill would also increase to 3.5% from 3% the down payment requirement for borrowers getting FHA loans.

    Create an affordable housing trust fund. The bill establishes a permanent fund to promote affordable housing. The fund would be paid for by fees from Fannie and Freddie.

    Give grants to states to buy foreclosed properties. The bill would grant $4 billion to states to buy up and rehabilitate foreclosed properties. The funding had been opposed by the White House, which said it would benefit lenders and not homeowners.

    Bolster Fannie and Freddie
    Concerns over whether Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) will have enough money to weather future losses in the housing market sent shares plummeting in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, Fannie's stock price has dropped 57% and Freddie's plummeted 66%. For the past year, they're both down roughly 85% as of the end of trade on Friday.

    To help stabilize markets, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress to temporarily empower Treasury to offer the companies a backstop if needed. Consequently the housing bill now includes provisions that let Treasury over the next 18 months offer Fannie and Freddie an unlimited line of credit and the authority to buy stock in the companies.

    Both critics and supporters of the Paulson plan have expressed concern that loaning or investing money in the companies could leave taxpayers with a fat bill to pay.

    The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday estimated the potential cost of a rescue could be $25 billion. CBO said there is probably a better than 50% chance that Treasury would not need to step in. It also said there is a 5% chance that Freddie's and Fannie's losses could cost the government $100 billion.




  17. #42
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    In a rare weekend session, the Senate on Saturday is expected to pass a landmark housing bill that will offer up to $300 billion in loans for troubled homeowners and establish a government rescue plan for mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The House passed the bill on Wednesday just hours after President Bush reversed his long-standing vow to veto the bill.

    Once the package clears the Senate, it will be sent to President Bush, who is likely to sign it soon.

    The legislation, one of the most far-reaching housing bills from Congress in decades, marks the centerpiece of Washington's efforts to address the nation's housing meltdown.

    "This will begin to lay the groundwork for a turnaround in the housing market and hopefully in the broader economy as well," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and a principal author of the bill.

    The bill has two principal objectives: to offer affordable government-backed mortgages to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and to bolster Fannie and Freddie with a temporary rescue plan and a new, more stringent regulator.

    Helping at-risk borrowers
    Provisions in the 700-page bill that would most directly affect consumers and communities include:

    Increase the Federal Housing Administration's role. The FHA will be allowed to insure up to $300 billion in new 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for at-risk borrowers in owner-occupied homes if their lenders agree to write down loan balances to 90% of the homes' current appraised value.

    The cost of the new FHA program - which would begin on Oct. 1 and be in place for just a few years - would be funded by fees from Fannie and Freddie, along with fees paid by both lenders and borrowers.

    Establish a stronger regulator for the GSEs. The new regulator will have a greater say over how well funded the agencies are - a major concern in the markets that has sent stocks in both companies plunging.

    Permanently increase "conforming loan" limits. The bill would permanently increase the cap on the size of mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie to a maximum of $625,500 from $417,000.

    The FHA maximum loan limits for high-cost areas would also increase to $625,500. Higher loan limits will make it easier for borrowers to get mortgages, because they're more likely to be traded if they are considered conforming.

    Create home-buyer credit. The bill includes a tax refund for first-time home buyers worth up to 10% of a home's purchase price but no more than $7,500.

    The refund, however, serves more as an interest-free loan, since it would have to be paid back over 15 years in equal installments.

    Bar down-payment assistance for FHA loans. The bill eliminates a program that has allowed sellers to provide down payment assistance.

    The bill would also increase to 3.5% from 3% the down payment requirement for borrowers getting FHA loans.

    Create an affordable housing trust fund. The bill establishes a permanent fund to promote affordable housing. The fund would be paid for by fees from Fannie and Freddie.

    Give grants to states to buy foreclosed properties. The bill would grant $4 billion to states to buy up and rehabilitate foreclosed properties. The funding had been opposed by the White House, which said it would benefit lenders and not homeowners.

    Bolster Fannie and Freddie
    Concerns over whether Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) will have enough money to weather future losses in the housing market sent shares plummeting in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, Fannie's stock price has dropped 57% and Freddie's plummeted 66%. For the past year, they're both down roughly 85% as of the end of trade on Friday.

    To help stabilize markets, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress to temporarily empower Treasury to offer the companies a backstop if needed. Consequently the housing bill now includes provisions that let Treasury over the next 18 months offer Fannie and Freddie an unlimited line of credit and the authority to buy stock in the companies.

    Both critics and supporters of the Paulson plan have expressed concern that loaning or investing money in the companies could leave taxpayers with a fat bill to pay.

    The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday estimated the potential cost of a rescue could be $25 billion. CBO said there is probably a better than 50% chance that Treasury would not need to step in. It also said there is a 5% chance that Freddie's and Fannie's losses could cost the government $100 billion.




  18. #43
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    Kraft Foods Inc. reported earnings that topped analysts' estimates and said full-year profit may be higher than it forecast after increasing cheese, chocolate and Planters peanut prices to cover higher energy and grain costs.

    The shares of the world's second-largest foodmaker rose the most in five months. Profit also benefited on a gain from commodities hedging and the dollar's decline overseas, Kraft said.

    Net income rose for the first time in four quarters after Kraft increased prices on 90 percent of its foods and beverages and shipments fell less than the company expected. Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld ordered additional price increases and said single-serve pizza, hormone-free cheeses and other new items will minimize the loss of customers who are seeking less expensive brands.

    ``There's a lot of pricing and investments to improve their brand strength,'' said Matt Arnold, an Edward Jones & Co. analyst in Des Peres, Missouri, who recommends investors buy the shares. ``It was a respectable quarter in light of concern that Kraft may have trouble meeting expectations because of the commodity environment.''

    Second-quarter net income advanced 3.5 percent to $732 million, or 48 cents a share, from $707 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items, profit beat analysts' estimates by 8 cents. Revenue rose 21 percent to $11.2 billion from $9.21 billion, Kraft said in a statement.

    The foodmaker, whose largest shareholder is Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., expects to earn at least $1.92 a share in 2008 excluding costs, 2 cents higher than its previous forecast and matching analysts' estimates.

    Sales excluding acquisitions and divestitures may increase at least 6 percent this year on the higher prices, faster than the previous forecast of at least 5 percent, Kraft said.

    Analysts' Estimates

    Excluding some items, Kraft earned 58 cents a share. Profit was helped by the $150 million hedging gain, or 6 cents, as Kraft locked in prices on the commodities markets to lessen the effect of volatile prices. Foreign currency benefits added 3 cents.

    Fifteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated average profit of 50 cents excluding costs. Twelve projected sales of $10.6 billion.

    Kraft climbed $1.23, or 4.2 percent, to $30.62 at 10:20 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares declined 5.2 percent since June 2006 before today, when Rosenfeld took charge and vowed to focus on the foodmaker's biggest brands. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed less than 1 percent in that period.

    Rosenfeld, 55, told analysts April 30 that Kraft expects higher prices to cover rising costs in 2008. Extra advertising for the biggest brands spurred sales of Maxwell House coffee, single-serve Jell-O puddings and Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meats.

    Higher Prices

    Price increases helped Kraft compensate for cocoa, sugar and transportation expenses. Oil prices have climbed 61 percent in the past year, while Wheat used in Oreo cookies and pizzas has risen 27 percent.

    Last year's $7.8 billion acquisition of Group Danone SA's cookies and crackers unit and increased advertising of salad dressings, California Pizza Kitchen pizzas and deli meats boosted first-quarter sales by 21 percent as well.

    As Kraft has raised prices, some consumers have switched to less expensive brands.

    ``It's not surprising, given that consumers are stretched, that they're looking for better deals,'' said Cliff Remily, a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management in Sante Fe, New Mexico. ``We like seeing the higher prices, even if that means giving up some volume in the short term.'' Remily helps manage $50 billion and had 9.9 million Kraft shares as of the end of March.

    Kraft plans to complete the $2.6 billion sale of the Post cereal unit to Ralcorp Holdings Inc. next month. The division that makes Grape Nuts and Honey Bunches of Oats cereals trails Kellogg Co. and General Mills Inc. in revenue.

    Kraft trails Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle SA, the maker of Nescafe coffee and KitKat chocolate bars, in global sales. Billionaire investor Buffett held a 9.1 percent stake in Kraft as of March 31.




  19. #44
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Home prices in May plummeted 15.8% from a year earlier, to 2004 price levels, wiping away four years of appreciation, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index released July 29.

    Analysts have become increasingly pessimistic that a bottom to the market will arrive anytime soon. The S&P/Case-Shiller report is only the latest evidence that home prices are swinging backward with at least as much force as they swung the other direction during the boom. Places that had double-digit increases a few years ago are now seeing prices drop by as much as 28% in a year.

    Peter Schiff, president of Darien (Conn.) brokerage Euro Pacific Capital, said prices could slide to levels last seen before the housing boom began in the early 2000s.

    "Demand is way below where it was eight years ago; supply is way above," Schiff said. "Why should prices be substantially higher than they were in 2000? The Dow isn't where it was in 2000. Stocks are worth less than they were. Why should real estate stand out as worth more?"

    Prices Not Dropping Everywhere
    All 20 cities in the S&P/Case-Shiller index experienced annual declines in May and prices fell at record year-over-year rates in nine cities. The largest drops were in places being clobbered by foreclosures. Prices were down 28.4% in Las Vegas, 28.3% in Miami, and 26.5% in Phoenix. But several cities saw improvement. Prices in Charlotte, N.C., fell just 0.2%; they dropped 3.1% in Dallas and 4.8% in Denver. Prices actually rose 2.9% in Cleveland and 1% in Boston and Charlotte in May, compared to a month earlier.

    The index of 20 cities has been falling for 22 straight months, so the latest decline wasn't much of a surprise. Patrick Newport, a housing economist for Global Insight in Waltham, Mass., said he's more concerned about the inventory of unsold homes continuing to rise as more and more foreclosed homes come onto the market.

    Newport plans to extend by three months his earlier forecast that existing home prices would hit bottom in the middle of next year.

    Biggest Booms, Biggest Busts
    "If you combine today's release with the other housing releases, it just tells you that the outlook over the next year is not good," Newport said.

    Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive of Coldwell Banker, a division of privately held real estate giant Realogy, said he is skeptical of the Case-Shiller report because it focuses on specific cities, many of which had runups in the first half of the decade. They are now seeing the biggest drops.

    Gillespie said the 15.8% drop in home prices reported by Case-Shiller will unnecessarily scare buyers in much of the heartland where prices are more stable. "Is there a major real estate correction going on? Yes," Gillespie said. "Are we looking at 16% nationwide? Absolutely not."




  20. #45
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    Citigroup Agrees In Principle To Settlement

    Citigroup Inc. (C) will be required to buy back about $7.3 billion of auction-rate securities it sold to individual investors, small businesses and charities under an agreement in principle unveiled Thursday by federal and state regulators.

    The settlement agreement also calls for Citigroup to use its "best efforts" to liquidate all of the roughly $12 billion of auction-rate securities it sold to institutional investors, including retirement plans, by the end of 2009.

    Citigroup agreed to settle without admitting or denying claims that it sold auction-rate securities as safe, liquid investments, leaving investors stuck when the auction-rate market seized up early this year.

    Securities and Exchange Commission officials announced the settlement at a press conference in Washington, D.C., and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo did the same at an event in New York. In addition to the buybacks, the agreement calls for Citi to pay $100 million in civil penalties to state regulators, half of which will go to New York State.

    The SEC settlement didn't include a fine. SEC enforcement division director Linda Thomsen said a decision on whether to impose one will be deferred and will depend in part on how Citigroup complies with terms of the settlement. Citigroup's financial condition could be taken into account as well, she added.

    In a statement Thursday, Citi said it was pleased to have reached agreement with regulators and predicted that the settlement should have little impact on its balance sheet.

    "Our most important focus continues to be on helping our clients," Citi stated. Even before the agreement was unveiled, Citi said it had redeemed or auctioned at par more than half of its retail customers' holdings in auction- rate securities.

    The settlement agreement calls for Citi to buy back about $7.3 billion of auction-rate securities sold before Feb. 11, to about 38,000 retail investors and charitable groups. The 90-day buyback period will close Nov. 5.

    For purposes of the settlement, retail customers are defined to include individual investors, all businesses with account values of up to $10 million, and all charities regardless of account values.

    Citigroup said Cuomo's office will monitor the bank's progress and, beginning on Nov. 4, 2008, retains the right to take legal action against Citigroup with respect to its institutional-investor clients. Other regulators have entered into a similar arrangement but with a Dec. 31, 2009, date, the company said.

    Buybacks will be at par, meaning Citigroup will offer to buy back the securities at the price the investor paid. It estimated the difference between the purchase price and the current market value of the securities to be about $ 500 million on a pre-tax basis. Citigroup will be barred from liquidating about $8 billion of its own holdings of auction-rate securities until its customers' holdings have been liquidated.

    Auction-rate securities are long-term bonds whose interest rates are reset periodically at daily, weekly or monthly auctions. Several auctions failed in February, driving up interest rates for auction-rate bond issuers, while leaving investors locked into investments that had been promoted as safe and liquid.

    About 10 companies dominated the market for auction-rate bonds, with Citigroup accounting for about 20% of sales, according to SEC officials. While Citigroup was the biggest participant in the auction-rate market, authorities said they are investigating other companies as well.

    "We have ongoing investigations in the auction-rate securities area with a number of firms across the industry," said Financial Industry Regulatory Authority enforcement director Susan Merrill. She said Finra is continuing to open cases and declined to specify how many probes are ongoing currently, telling reporters: "I'm not going to give you a number."

    Cuomo previously sued two UBS AG (UBS) units for allegedly misrepresenting the risks of auction-rate securities to clients, and his office has subpoenaed 30 entities and 100 individuals as part of a broad-ranging probe into the sales of auction-rate securities.

    Among those subpoenaed are Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER), JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and high-ranking executives at various companies as well as heads of municipal-bond desks, risk managers, financial advisers and others.




  21. #46
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    Better report by eurozone banks

    Fewer eurozone banks tightened lending conditions in the second quarter than in the first as better financial market conditions appeared to ease the flow of funds to financial institutions, a survey by the European Central Bank said. But more lending officers of the 112 banks polled cited worries about economic woes - rather than market turbulence - as a reason for stricter credit standards, while a growing number said that rules would tighten further in the next months.

    The ECB said the most important factor in tightening credit rules in the past quarter "continued to be a deterioration in expectations about the economic outlook".




  22. #47
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    The euro was little changed against the dollar after a European Central Bank policy maker said the bank remains focused on inflation and traders judged last week's 3.6 percent drop to be excessive.

    ECB council member Klaus Liebscher said policy makers remain focused on the ``worrying'' level of inflation, Market News reported today, citing an interview. The Russian ruble declined to the lowest level against the dollar since February as armed clashes between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia and Abkhazia deterred investors from holding the currency.

    ``Inflation remains a threat, and the ECB will keep reminding the market of that,'' said Adam Cole, the head of global currency strategy in London at RBC Capital Markets.

    The euro traded at $1.4990 at 10:19 a.m. in New York, compared with $1.5005 on Aug. 8. It touched $1.4907, the lowest level since Feb. 26. The 15-nation euro dropped 0.3 percent to 164.87 yen, from 165.38 at the end of last week. It reached 163.65 yen, the weakest level since June 5. The dollar declined 0.2 percent to 109.98 yen, from 110.18.

    The 14-day relative strength index of the euro versus the dollar fell to 21.82, the lowest since the European currency's 1999 debut. A relative strength index level below 30 suggests a currency's decline is extreme and a reversal may be imminent.

    Russia's ruble fell as much as 1.6 percent to 24.618 per dollar, the weakest since Feb. 20, after Russia stepped up its bombing of Georgia, rejecting a proposed cease-fire agreed upon by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Against the euro, it declined 0.5 percent to 36.537.

    Swiss Franc

    The Swiss franc rose against most of the major currencies as concern the conflict will escalate prompted investors to seek a haven. The franc rose 0.3 percent to 1.6192 against the euro and advanced 0.3 percent to 1.0794 versus the dollar.

    Liebscher said the ECB was right to raise interest rates in July and price risks haven't waned in recent weeks and months, although the decline in oil prices is a ``relief'' and ``welcome,'' Market News reported. The extent of the weakening in economic data ``is only a limited surprise,'' he was quoted as saying.

    ``There is of course no bias for the future, and there is no pre-commitment, but what really has to be done in the future depends on the data available,'' said Liebscher, according to Market News. ``For us it's not either-or, growth or price stability. It is price stability. We have to do at a given moment of time what is necessary.''

    ECB Rate Outlook

    Traders raised bets that the ECB will lift rates this year after leaving the main refinancing rate at 4.25 percent last week. The implied yield on December interest-rate futures, an indicator of interest rate expectations, increased 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, from Aug. 8, to 4.95 percent.

    The European single currency sank the most in almost eight years against the dollar on Aug. 8 as traders pared bets the ECB will raise interest rates as the economy slows. The weekly decline was the most since January 2005.

    A government report showed French industrial production dropped 0.4 percent in June, the National Statistics Office in Paris. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted an increase of 0.6 percent.

    Moody's Investors Service said defaults on loans included in European commercial mortgage-backed securities rose 80 percent in the second quarter, sparking concern the financial turmoil in the region is deepening.

    `Weaker Growth'

    ``We clearly have weaker growth outside the U.S.,'' said Benedikt Germanier, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut, in an interview on Bloomberg Television. ``With the rest of the world's growth momentum declining, clearly that's enough for the dollar to sustainably gain ground in relative terms.''

    Negative economic news in the U.S. may not be over, according to Sophia Drossos, a strategist in New York at Morgan Stanley.

    ``I would not chase the dollar's strength versus the euro as the pair has moved beyond interest-rate support,'' said Drossos. ``The dollar is not out of the woods. It will take the market a while to come around to our point of view.''

    Sales at U.S. retailers fell 0.1 percent in July after rising 0.1 percent in the previous month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The Commerce Department will release the data on Aug. 13.

    China's yuan weakened as much as 0.1 percent to 6.8663 per dollar, a six-week low. The yuan's 18 percent appreciation against the dollar over the past three years is grinding to a halt as government officials said supporting growth is as important as fighting inflation.

    The People's Bank of China has kept the yuan little changed since June, after gains of 4.1 percent in the first quarter and 2.3 percent in the second. That raised speculation that currency policy will be adjusted to bolster exports as the trade surplus shrinks. Legg Mason Inc.'s Western Asset Management Co. is trimming bets on the yuan after it rose in July by the smallest amount in a year.




  23. #48
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    ايران به دنبال وصول طلب هاي خود از پنج كشور


    اكثر اين كشورها سالها پيش از ايران نفت خريده اما پول آن را پرداخت نكرده اند
    بر اساس قانوني كه به تصويب مجلس رسيده، دولت ايران درصدد است تا طلب هاي مالي خود را از كشورهاي سودان، تانزانيا، نيكاراگوئه، اردن و كره شمالي دريافت كند.
    اكثر اين كشورها در طول سالهاي مختلف از ايران، نفت خام خريده اما پول آن را پرداخت نكرده اند.

    بر اساس قانوني كه به تصويب مجلس رسيده و به تازگي از سوي دولت ابلاغ شده است، وزارتخانه هاي نفت، اقتصاد، خارجه و دفاع و پشتيباني اجازه دارند كه با كشورهاي بدهكار به ايران، وارد مذاكره شده و طلب هاي خود را دريافت كنند.

    رقم بدهي هاي اين پنج كشور به ايران مشخص نيست ولي بخشي از بدهي ها مربوط به قبل از انقلاب و بخشي نيز مربوط به بعد از انقلاب در دهه هشتاد و نود ميلادي است.

    بدهي هاي كشور اردن و بخشي از بدهي هاي سودان مربوط به قبل از انقلاب و بقيه مربوط به سال هاي بعد از انقلاب است.

    كشور سودان كه در طول چند سال اخير روابط بسياري نزديكي با ايران دارد و روساي جمهوري ايران چندين بار از اين كشور ديدن كرده اند، بايد وام خريد نفت خام را كه در سال 1974 ميلادي به آن كشور پرداخته شده را پس بدهد.

    علاوه بر اين سودان مقاديري نفت در سال 1993 از ايران خريده اما پولش را نداده و وزارت دفاع ايران نيز در سال هاي 1991 تا 1993 مقاديري تجهيزات و خدمات به آن كشور داده و سودان پول آن را نيز نپرداخته است.

    تانزانيا نيز مقاديري نفت در سال هاي 1984 تا 1986 از ايران دريافت كرده كه پولش را نداده است.

    كشور نيكاراگوئه نيز كه اكنون روابط نزديكي با ايران دارد در سال 1983 مقاديري نفت از ايران خريده و بعد از گذشت نزديك به 25 سال هنوز بدهي اش را با ايران تسويه نكرده است.

    كشور اردن نيز چهار فقره وام در سالهاي قبل از انقلاب ايران در سال هاي 1973 تا 1974 از ايران گرفته اما هنوز اصل بدهي و سودش را با ايران تسويه نكرده است.

    بر اساس قانون مصوب مجلس، دولت مي تواند به جاي پول نفت و طلب هاي خود از اين كشورها زمين كشاورزي، كارخانه، امكانات توليدي صنعتي و معدني و تاسيسات بگيرد.

    ايران نيز مي تواند با فروش اسناد مربوط به مانده بدهي ها و فروش تاسيسات و امكاناتي كه به تملك دولت در مي آيد، طلب هايش را جبران كند.

    بر اساس قانون، دولت مي تواند بخشي از طلب هايش را به صورت يكباره يا تدريجي دريافت كند و نمايندگان ايران حق دارند كه در صورت لزوم پرداخت بخشي از بدهي ها را نيز براي دوره اي به تاخير بيندازند.





  24. #49
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    J.C. Penney Co. on Friday reported second-quarter profit fell 36%, hurt by consumers cutting back on discretionary purchases and making fewer trips to the mall, but the retailer's shares moved higher on cost control and inventory management.

    Penney gave a third-quarter earnings forecast that missed analysts' estimates as it expects back-to-school sales to be weaker than last year and occur later.
    Net income fell to $117 million, or 52 cents a share, in the three months ended Aug. 2, from $182 million, or 81 cents, a year earlier. The Plano, Texas-based retailer (JCP:Penney (J.C.) Company, Inc
    News, chart, profile, more
    Last: 39.22+2.39+6.49%

    12:31pm 08/15/2008

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    39.22, +2.39, +6.5%) said sales dropped 2.5% to $4.28 billion.
    Per-share profit is forecast to be 70 cents to 75 cents a share for the third quarter, with sales forecast to decline at a rate in the low-single digits, Penney said. Penney said it is not providing a full-year outlook because of economic uncertainty. Analysts' consensus profit estimates were 50 cents and 76 cents a share for the second and third quarters, respectively, according to Thomson Reuters.
    Chief Executive Mike Ullman said he is keeping inventory lean and managing expenses to lessen the impact of declining sales, a strategy being repeated across the industry as consumer spending slows.

    Ullman also said he has launched the company's biggest back-to-school product-unveiling with brands such as Decree, Dorm Life and Fabulosity, a collection designed by Kimora Lee Simmons.
    "As we look into the second half of the year and into 2009, we expect the environment to remain difficult as we are seeing now," said Ullman on a conference call. He said the company's expected slower back-to-school results were factored into its third-quarter forecast. Analysts said retailers' back-to-school sales have gotten off to a slow start. Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF:Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
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    Last: 53.09+0.52+0.99%

    12:31pm 08/15/2008

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    53.09, +0.52, +1.0%) lowered its second-half profit forecast on Friday.




  25. #50
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    افزایش بهای سهام در بازارهای آسیا

    بازارهای هنگ کنگ و سئول هم تا حدی رشد داشته اند
    در پی افت شدید بهای سهام در بازراهای عمده آسیا در روزهای اخیر، شاخص های عمده بورس های آسیا امروز تا حدودی رشد داشت.




    شاخص نیکی بورس توکیو که در نخستین دقایق فعالیت این بازار با دو درصد کاهش، به زیر رقم ۷۰۰۰ واحد و پایین ترین سطح خود در ۲۶ سال گذشته بود، اندکی رشد کرد.

    بازارهای هنگ کنگ و سئول هم تا حدودی صعود کردند. ین، واحد پول ژاپن نیز که نرخ برابری اش با دلار در روزهای اخیر افزایشی بی سابقه داشت، اندکی افت کرده است.

    در همین حال شاخص اصلی سهام در بورس سیدنی یک و ۷ دهم درصد کاهش داشته است.

    به رغم روند نزولی بازارهای آسیایی در روزهای اخیر، بورس هنگ کنگ در نیمه روز سه شنبه توانست با چهار و نیم درصد رشد بخشی از کاهش ۱۳ درصد دوشنبه را جبران کند.

    این در حالی که بورس های اروپایی و آمریکایی هم معاملات روز دوشنبه را با کاهش شاخص های خود به پایان بردند.

    در اروپا شاخص های فوتسی ۱۰۰ بورس لندن و کک ۴۰ بورس پاریس به ترتیب هشت دهم و حدود ۴ درصد کاهش داشتند.

    شاخص داوجونز بورس نیویورک هم دو و ۴۲ صدم درصد کاهش داشت.





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