February 16, 2009 archive

Monday Morning Paranoia

China eyes resources security with Rio deal

by Fran Wang, AFP

Sun Feb 15, 12:14 am ET

BEIJING, Feb 15, 2009 (AFP) – China’s record investment in a foreign firm has underlined the nation’s drive to get more control over the natural resources that have helped fuel its rapid rise, analysts say.

State-owned aluminium firm Chinalco said last week it was putting 19.5 billion dollars into troubled Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto — the most money China has ever invested in an overseas company.

For Rio, the deal provides cash to help pay off its vast debt load.

China confident of overcoming economic difficulty: Wen


Sun Feb 15, 7:43 am ET

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao expressed confidence in his government’s ability to overcome the nation’s economic downturn, his cabinet said Sunday.

“We are fully confident that we have the conditions and the capability to overcome the challenges we are facing,” Wen was quoted as saying in comments posted on the government’s website.

“We should fully realise the severity and uncertainty of the global financial crisis… and take firmer action.”

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Catching a Dream

For the Children

Teach your parents well

Their children’s hell

will slowly go by

Even if you don’t care

about us

wish we would just

go away

leave your world


cleaned of the likes of us

Our children

deserve better

from this culture

as much love

as we can give

as their biological

or adoptive parents

and as much love

as you can spare

from your humanity

if you have any

For the sake of us all

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–October 31, 2008

Monday Morning Outrage

White House wants changes in executive pay rules

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 18 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Facing a stricter approach to limiting executive bonuses than it had favored, the Obama administration wants to revise that part of the stimulus package even after it becomes law, White House officials said Sunday.

While President Barack Obama plans to sign the $787 billion stimulus bill in Denver on Tuesday, his administration will seek changes in the government’s approach to executive compensation, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

“We all have the same goal. We all have the same sentiment. And we want to do something that’s workable, and we’ll work with them to get to that point,” Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Citi, M. Stanley may pay $3 billion to keep brokers: report


Fri Feb 13, 10:11 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) are preparing to pay $3 billion of retention awards to brokers to keep them from fleeing a brokerage joint venture, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Terms are not expected until later this month, but the issue could grow politically sensitive because the government has injected money into both companies, the newspaper said.

Morgan Stanley is paying Citigroup $2.7 billion to take control of the joint venture, which will combine its brokerage operation with Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit.

In defence of bonuses: experts warn on banker pay caps

by Katherine Haddon, AFP

Sat Feb 14, 10:47 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – From Britain to the United States and France, political leaders are clamping down on the bankers’ bonus culture they say helped cause the credit crunch — but some experts warn this could be counterproductive.

The screw-tightening comes amid public fury at big payouts — thousands of people have joined groups on the Facebook Internet site with names like “Bankers Are Leaches”, “Impudence: The Act Of UBS Bank” and “No Ifs, No Buts — Give Up The Bonus, RBS.”

But taking too tough a line with banks could have unintended consequences for taxpayers according to academics and insiders, who say the risks include banks losing their best staff and their share prices falling even lower.

Merkel slams bonuses at bailed out banks: report


Sat Feb 14, 10:40 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at banks that have doled out bonuses to executives despite having received government aid to weather the global financial crisis.

“It’s incomprehensible that, in several cases, banks that have benefited from the support of the state distribute huge bonuses at the same time,” Merkel told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview to be published Monday.

Bank bonuses will be on the agenda at the meeting of the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations in London in April.

Merkel does not rule out nationalising Germany’s HRE bank


Sun Feb 15, 5:15 pm ET

BERLIN (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had not ruled out nationalising the troubled Hypo Real Estate (HRE) bank as a last resort, during a television interview Sunday.

What ever happened, she wanted the state to have a majority stake in the bank, she told Germany’s ZDF public channel.

“We can get that by taking control by means of a majority stake” in the shares, she added.

Monday Morning Business Update

Well I told you it would be after 8.

Japan economy shrinks at fastest pace in 35 years

By TOMOKO A. HOSAKA, Associated Press Writer

22 mins ago

TOKYO – Japan’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in 35 years as a collapse in global demand battered the world’s second-largest economy.

Japan’s gross domestic product, or the total value of the nation’s goods and services, dropped at an annual pace of 12.7 percent in the October-December period, the government said Monday.

That’s the steepest drop for Japan since the oil shock of 1974. It far outpaces declines of 3.8 percent in the U.S. and 1.2 percent in the euro zone.

Late Night Karaoke

Don’t Think About Monday

Heads My Explode  

The Maldives From Space

Maldives In Indian Ocean
1 The Maldives
Modis Web
February 15, 2009

The Maldives From Space

Appearing at first glance to be more like the dotted-outlines of islands than actual islands, the island nation of the Maldives lie in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India. It is worth examining the higher resolution images, for a better look at the ghostly, luminous forms of the coral atolls that are the Maldives. There are 26 atolls made up of nearly 1200 individual islets, over 200 of which are inhabited.

The Maldives are the lowest country in the world, with the maximum natural ground level only being 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). Because of being so low-lying, the Maldives were greatly affected by the 2004 tsunami. There is also concern about how rising ocean levels might affect the islands.

This image was captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on February 12, 2009.


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