Monday, February 23, 2009
Clinton Urges China to Keep Buying U.S. Treasury Securities
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to continue buying U.S. Treasury bonds to help finance President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, saying “we are truly going to rise or fall together.“Our economies are so intertwined,” Clinton said in an interview today in Beijing with Shanghai-based Dragon Television. “It would not be in China’s interest” if the U.S. were unable to finance deficit spending to stimulate its stalled economy.The U.S. is the single largest buyer of the exports that drive growth in China, the world’s third-largest economy. China in turn invests surplus earnings from shipments of goods such as toys, clothing and steel primarily in Treasury securities, making it the world’s largest holder of U.S. government debt at the end of last year with $696.2 billion.
Brown: World Needs 'Global New Deal'
The world needs a "global New Deal" to haul it out of the economic crisis it faces, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom said Sunday."We need a global New Deal -- a grand bargain between the countries and continents of this world -- so that the world economy can not only recover but... so the banking system can be based on... best principles," he said, referring to the 1930s American plan to fight the Great Depression.Brown was speaking as the leaders of Europe's biggest economies met to try to forge a common position on the global financial crisis ahead of a major summit in London in April.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
High-Tech Driver's Licences
High-tech driver's licences will soon make their debut in British Columbia to help prevent identity theft and fraud. Solicitor General John van Dongen said Friday the new licences will be hard to forge or get under false names.“Driver's licences are widely trusted as ID and, when tampered with, can cost people, business and financial institutions millions of dollars each year,” Mr. van Dongen said in a statement. Security features will include facial recognition technology that analyzes facial characteristics that do not change, such as the size and location of cheekbones and the distance between the eyes.
California's Pain Is Only Beginning
As Sacramento squabbles over the state's $42 billion deficit, Californians are getting a bitter taste of what's to come after the steep budget cuts that are inevitable when legislators and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger finally hammer out a deal.Some world-famous parks like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park may not open this year. After-school programs in low-income areas are being scuttled, putting high-risk teens on the street just as police forces are being cut. Schools are closing classrooms, and some highway projects have ground to a halt. The state may not be able to monitor some sex offenders as required under law.
U.S. Judges Seek Massive California
Prisoner Release Federal judges on Monday tentatively ordered California to release tens of thousands of inmates, up to a third of all prisoners, in the next three years to stop dangerous overcrowding. As many as 57,000 could be let go if the current population were cut by the maximum percentage considered by a three-judge panel. Judges said the move could be done without threatening public safety -- and might improve a public safety hazard.
GM Trimming 10,000 Jobs
General Motors Corp, the largest U.S. automaker, will cut 10,000 salaried jobs globally and reduce pay by as much as 10 percent to slash costs and prove its viability to keep $13.4 billion in government loans. About 3,400 of GM’s 29,500 U.S. salaried workers will be dismissed by May 1, the Detroit-based automaker said in a statement. U.S. salaries will be cut temporarily by 10 percent for executives and by 3 percent to 7 percent for most others. GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, who already sliced his annual salary to $1, is reviewing salaries and benefits abroad.
Toyota Sees First Loss Since 1950
Toyota forecast its first annual net loss since 1950 on Friday as plunging demand for cars, especially in the U.S., and the strong yen pummeled earnings at the world's No. 1 automaker.Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 164.7 billion yen ($1.8 billion) loss for the October-December quarter, down sharply from the 458.6 billion yen profit for the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales plunged 28.4 percent to 4.8 trillion yen. Joining a string of Japanese companies that are now expecting to slide into the red for the year, Toyota said it expects a net loss of 350 billion yen ($3.85 billion) for the fiscal year through March -- a stunning reversal from the record 1.72 trillion yen profit it posted the previous year.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
US Car Sales Below 10m...
US car sales below 10mAnnualized US car sales slipped below 10m last month in spite of steep discounts offered by carmakers and government efforts to ease lending.General Motors’ monthly sales of cars and light trucks fell by 49 per cent last month, Chrysler’s by 55 per cent and Ford Motor’s by 40 per cent, including vehicles made by Volvo, its Swedish premium brand.GM said it estimated the overall annualised selling rate for cars at 9.8m in the US in January, compared with 10.3m in December, and less than China’s estimated selling rate of 10.7m last month.”This is the first time in history that China has surpassed the US,” said Michael DiGiovanni, GM’s head of global sales and industry analysis. However, auto market analysts in China said the figures were not comparable because the Chinese figure included all vehicles produced in China - including heavy commercial vehicles and buses - while the US figure did not.
Chinese passenger car production last year was 5.8m.The slide in car sales hit all major manufacturers, but will intensify the pressure on Detroit’s carmakers in particular, which are scrambling to avoid bankruptcy. GM and Chrysler are working on restructuring plans due by February 17, as conditions of their $17.4bn emergency government loans.