About 2,000 villagers protested against POSCO‘s planned $12 billion steel plant on Saturday. Women and children formed a human ring around the site. Local opposition has long delayed the South Korean company building its 4 million tonnes plant. It is considered India’s biggest foreign investment project, in Orissa.
POSCO signed the agreement for the mill in 2005 and it was scheduled to begin production by the end of 2011. Protests, environmental concerns and government inquiries into alleged illegalities at a related mining concession have delayed it.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh gave the plant clearance in January on certain conditions, including ensuring that tribal rights and forest protection laws are observed. He said while giving permission he was against regularization of illegalities but had to. In fact tribal rights protected by Forest Rights Act, and environment concerns are utterly ignored and violated.
Orissa’s government started acquiring land for the world’s No. 3 steel company after the environment ministry’s January approval. POSCO needs 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) of land. Local officials tried to persuade the villagers to back away and not use women and children as human shields, media said. About 500 policemen were deployed to try to control the protesters, roughly half them women and children.
Courtesy of David Rosenberg
Source: Lateral Thinking
Obama’s State of the Union 2011:
“Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is
Herbert Hoover, May 1st 1930, US Chamber of Commerce Meeting:
“While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover.”
Obama’s State of the Union 2011:
“Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.”
Herbert Hoover, October 22, 1932, campaign speech in Detroit:
“It can be demonstrated that the tide has turned and that the gigantic forces of depression are today in retreat. Our measures and policies have demonstrated their effectiveness. They have preserved the American people from certain chaos. They have preserved a final fortress of stability in the world.”
Currency dispute between the US and China has been raging, yet they are not enemies but frenemies. They depend on each other, but gotta fight for advantage over each other.
China exports go to the US, and US debt is invested most by China, that fact that make both the countries depend on each other. That’s why the video says they are not enemies but frenemies.
Bloomberg | November 04, 2010 | 6:08 AM EDT
Asia-Pacific officials are preparing for stronger currencies and asset-price inflation as they blamed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s expanded monetary stimulus for threatening to escalate an inflow of capital into the region.
Chinese central bank adviser Xia Bin said Fed quantitative easing is “uncontrolled” money printing, and Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan cited the U.S. pursuing a “weak-dollar policy.” The Hong Kong Monetary Authority warned the city’s property prices could surge and Malaysia’s central bank chief said nations are prepared to act jointly on capital flows. “Extra liquidity due to quantitative easing will spill into Asian markets,” said Patrick Bennett, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. “It will put increased pressure on all currencies to appreciate, the yuan in particular has been appreciating at a slower rate than others.”
The International Monetary Fund last month urged Asia- Pacific nations to withdraw policy stimulus to head off asset- price pressures, as their world-leading economies draw capital because of low interest rates in the U.S. and other advanced countries. Today’s reactions of regional policy makers reflect the international ramifications of the Fed’s decision yesterday to inject $600 billion into the U.S. economy.
Most Asian currencies rose against the dollar after the Fed’s move, led by a 0.5 percent climb in the Taiwanese dollar and 0.2 percent gain in the South Korean won. New Zealand’s currency reached a 29-month high, and Australia’s dollar touched its strongest level since 1982. The MSCI Asia Pacific index of stocks advanced to the highest level since July 2008. People’s Bank of China adviser Xia said U.S. policy makers have a conflict between making policy for the domestic economy and accepting responsibilities that come with being the issuer of the international reserve currency, writing in the Finance News newspaper today.
Reuters | Oct 5, 2010 | 8:13pm IST
The government on Tuesday approved a 10 percent sale of its equity in state-run Shipping Corp of India Ltd and also allowed the firm to raise funds selling equal number of fresh shares. The government plans to raise roughly $8.5 billion from share sales in 2010/11, part of a divestment programme in 60 state-run firms over next few years, as it looks to cut a stubbornly high fiscal deficit and raise spending on social welfare.
The government expects to raise about 13 billion rupees ($291 million) from the 10 percent stake sale in the firm. It currently owns 80.12 percent of Shipping Corp and its holding would come down to 63.75 percent after the share sale.
Shipping Corp, the largest shipping company in the country, could launch the follow-on share sale before December, its managing director told Reuters last week. Shipping Corp, which has a market value of about $1.6 billion, has shortlisted SBI Capital, ICICI Securities and IDFC Capital as lead managers for the offer, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said in August.
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein
The firms — including PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, the company run by former Countrywide president Stanford Kurland — have increased purchases of discounted troubled mortgages as they help borrowers with refinancing or modifications, or through seizure of the property. Countrywide was the biggest U.S. mortgage originator in 2006 and a pioneer of nontraditional and subprime loans before its exposure to this debt brought it close to collapse. The mortgage bonds planned by PennyMac and others will fill a void for yield-hungry investors in a market struggling to recover as banks find it more profitable to funnel loans through government programs, or keep mortgages on their books. For banks, offloading the distressed mortgages is an important step forward after they did everything they could to avoid taking losses during the financial crisis. Continue reading
Rising rates have also weighed on factory output, which rose at its slowest pace in 13 months in June at 7.1 percent from a year earlier. Exports grew an annual 30 percent in June, slower than 35 percent rise in May. Still, the RBI has forecast the economy will expand 8.5 percent in 2010/11 from 7.4 percent last year and the fastest pace among major economies after China. Bajoria reiterated the bank’s forecast for another 25 basis points increase in key rates by the RBI when it reviews policy on Sept. 16. “The market has fairly priced in both policy rate hike and liquidity constraints. Once the RBI has given its intention that repo rate will be the operating rate, I don’t think market is panicking on the liquidity situation,” he said. Continue reading
Recent visa restrictions imposed by the United States are not compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations, a senior Indian government official said on Tuesday. The U.S. Congress passed legislation on Thursday to strengthen security along the border with Mexico, trying to tackle the politically sensitive issue of illegal immigrants ahead of November congressional elections. The Indian government has protested to Washington against what it called a highly discriminatory U.S. immigration bill that will double the cost of work visas for some high-profile Indian companies. Funds for the bill will be raised through visa fee hikes that U.S. Senate aides say would affect India’s Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam. “Yes, this is WTO incompatible. I have no doubt about it,” Trade Secretary Rahul Khullar said when asked whether the recent visa restrictions were incompatible with WTO regulations.
Trade Minister Anand Sharma said that bill would cost Indian companies an extra $200 million a year and erode the competitiveness of Indian companies that send professionals to undertake projects in the United States. However, analysts are sceptical about whether India can drag the United States to the WTO on this issue. “We have a case against the US only if we can prove that the visa restrictions were aimed specifically against India. So we have to study the law and cannot immediately say it is not WTO compliant,” said an analyst with a Delhi-based think-tank dealing with trade issues. The analyst did not wish to be identified.
Business Standard | MSN News | 15/08/2010
For procedural reasons, the House sent the bill back to the Senate, which will have to pass it again. The Senate is already on its summer recess, and it’s not clear whether it will pass the bill when it reconvenes next month or if it will interrupt its recess to pass the bill, as the House did. Once it clears the Senate again, it will have to be signed by President Barack Obama into law. That seems inevitable, according to immigration lawyer Deborah Notkin, of the New York firm, Barst, Mukamal & Kleiner, and a recent past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “I think it’s likely to pass, and I cannot imagine the President vetoing this bill,” says Notkin, pointing to the political risk in opposing the bill.
Reuters | 11/08/2010 |
The Federal Reserve on Tuesday took fresh steps to lower borrowing costs amid a softening economic recovery, announcing it would use proceeds from its maturing mortgage bonds to buy more government debt. The decision to reinvest proceeds from the more than $1.3 trillion in mortgage-related debt the Fed holds, an effort to keep market-set borrowing costs down, represents a significant policy shift. Just a few months ago, the central bank had been avidly debating an exit strategy from the extraordinary stimulus delivered during the financial crisis. “To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities,” the Fed said in a statement.
The move was somewhat surprising. Although many analysts and investors had expected the Fed to announce it was reinvesting the mortgage proceeds, most had thought it would buy more mortgage debt instead of government bonds. Some analysts believe the Fed will end up having to go further in coming months and restart its shuttered program of outright asset purchases. “The Fed is a step closer to reviving its program, but it will likely take somewhat slower growth to push it off the fence,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. The Fed also left benchmark overnight interest rates steady in a zero to 0.25 percent range, and renewed its pledge to keep them low for an extended period.
U.S. stocks trimmed losses on the announcement, while prices for U.S. government debt rose, with the 30-year bond gaining more than a point. The dollar fell against both the euro and the yen. In their statement at the close of a one-day meeting, Fed officials offered a more gloomy outlook for the economy, saying the recovery in output and employment “has slowed in recent months.” When it last met in late June, it said the recovery was “proceeding.” Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig dissented for a fifth straight meeting over the Fed’s vow to keep rates low for a long time. s balance sheet from shrinking. Continue reading
One of Iraq’s main Shi’ite political blocs has rejected Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s claim to a second term and halted government formation talks until his party nominates a new candidate, politicians said. Though expected, this is a major setback in the process of forming a new government at a time when civilian deaths are rising and U.S. troops are planning to halt combat operations. Almost five months after Iraq held a parliamentary election meant to set it on a course towards stability after years of war, sanctions and insurgency, Iraqis are no closer to knowing who their next prime minister will be.
Maliki’s State of Law bloc, which came second in the March 7 parliamentary election, and the third-placed Iraqi National Alliance (INA), announced their merger in June under a new name, National Alliance. Together the merged Shi’ite coalition has 159 seats in the new 325-seat parliament, four short of a majority. But the prime minister’s post remains a stumbling bloc and talks to form a government have gone nowhere because of discord over Maliki’s desire for a second term. “All parties of the INA have agreed that the obstacle is the insistence of nominating Maliki,” Qusay al-Suhail, a senior member of the Sadrists political movement, a main faction of the INA, told Reuters on Sunday. “That is why we demanded an alternative … The INA’s decision is unanimous.” Continue reading