Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

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Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that the state of the housing market in the United Kingdom is the current biggest domestic threat to the country’s economy, due to lack of house building, and regulatory issues.

In an interview to be aired on Sky News today, he said the housing market is the “biggest risk” to the economy and has “deep, deep structural problems”. Of house building he said: “There are not sufficient houses built in the UK. To go back to Canada, there are half as many people in Canada as in the UK, twice as many houses are built every year in Canada as in the UK and we can’t influence that.”

“We’re not going to build a single house at the Bank of England. We can’t influence that. What we can influence […] is whether the banks are strong enough. Do they have enough capital against risk in the housing market?”

Carney also said the Bank of England would look into the procedures used to issue loans and mortgages to see if they were being granted appropriately: “We’d be concerned if there was a rapid increase in high loan-to-value mortgages across the banks. We’ve seen that creeping up and it’s something we’re watching closely.”

Kris Hopkins responded to Carney on behalf of the government, saying the government “inherited a broken housing market, but our efforts to fix it are working”. “We’ve scrapped the failed top-down planning system, built over 170,000 affordable homes and released more surplus brownfield sites for new housing. We’ve also helped homebuyers get on the housing ladder, because if people can buy homes builders will build them. Housebuilding is now at its highest level since 2007 and climbing. Last year councils gave permission for almost 200,000 new homes under the locally-led planning system and more than 1,000 communities have swiftly taken up neighbourhood planning. It’s clear evidence the government’s long-term economic plan is working.”

Earlier this month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development called on the UK government to “tighten” access to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme introduced by George Osborne and the coalition government in 2013. ‘Help to Buy’ has also recently been criticised by three former Chancellors of the Exchequer — the Conservatives Norman Lamont and Nigel Lawson, and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling. Darling said: “Unless supply can be increased substantially, we will exacerbate that situation with schemes like Help to Buy.”

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Radical left computer activists capture data of Blood and Honour web forum with 31,948 users

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Radical left computer activists capture data of Blood and Honour web forum with 31,948 users

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Radical antifascist computer hackers, from an “international task force” Datenantifa (literally: data-antifa), claim that they have hacked the forum www.bloodandhonour.com. In a press release on the German indymedia page from August 29, 2008, they have provided links to roughly 800 MB of data, that are said to be a full mirror of the web forum with its 31,948 registered users. The German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau has evaluated the files and states that 500 sets of data would belong to users from Germany. (Bild, a German tabloid, gives the number of 1200.) The Blood and Honour network is illegal in Germany, and this data, although obtained illegally and not usable in court, will very likely lead to criminal investigations.

In the press release the hackers said that “As a part of our struggle against the fascist movement we hacked the forum of: www.bloodandhonour.com!” They attribute their success to a cooperation with friendly groups “domestic and abroad,” and emphasize that the databases of the server were retrieved in “laboriously prepared cloak-and-dagger operation” that involved a “house search”.

Günther Hoffmann, from the Center for Democratic Culture commented that “some people in the far-right extremist scene are going to get very nervous, including activists from the NDP,” as a result of the incident. Katharina König from the Action Alliance against the Right in Jena said that there was now “evidence that Blood and Honour concerts continue to take place in Germany.” Furthermore the Datenantifa had secured so-called “red-watch-lists”, on which Neo-Nazis gather information on their political enemies.

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Sep 22

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

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Sep 21

Toilet Paper Holder: Get The Right One For Your Restroom

Toilet Paper Holder: Get the Right One for Your Restroom

by

Peterson Zoya

Bathroom is one such place which gives you the time to pamper yourself and also spend peaceful release time. And when it does not have the appropriate paraphernalia, it becomes a slight problem too. Toilet paper holders are a must for every bathroom as toilet paper is the most essential thing amongst all the items that we use. Just imagine how inconvenient it would be when you realize that there is no adequate paper and the entire roll has slipped or rolled over to another place where you cannot even retrieve it or spot it. During such times and many other instances having a toilet paper holder definitely help to have it intact in a standard place and you can refill with the same as and when the paper runs out.

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An immaculately clean and well maintained bathroom gives an inviting appeal and also allows you to unwind the entire days tension while taking a hot bath. This pleasure becomes more intense when the bathroom dcor is also equally appealing and all the things are at relevant placestoilet paper holder to hold the toilet paper, towel holder to hold the towels and other relevant items that are necessary for you to take bath and maintain hygiene. In fact every home and bathroom cannot just do away without the toilet paper holders and choosing them also would be a challenging task as there is a very long lineup of the products that is available in the market. And as always, when there is such a huge choice there is also a wide range that you could see through as far as budget is concerned. You could choose metal holders that are made out of bronze, or brass or nickel or chrome or perhaps stainless steel too. There are also the fanciful varieties for you to choose from and all these depend basically on the kind of amount you wish to spend on them. The metal toilet paper holders are very easy on maintenance and are available in different sizes and shapes. Therefore, basing on the size of the toilet paper one chooses, they can also select the toilet paper holder to get a complementary look. Supply Line Direct is one such online company that offers a myriad range of janitorial supplies which comprise of the toilet paper holders too which are undoubtedly an integral part of every restroom. Browse through the entire collection of the products that are available on the site and place your order online.

Supply Line Direct is a leading national supplier of absorbents, safety equipment, safety supplies, gloves from manufacturers. Select from a variety of safety supply products like

toilet paper dispensers

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Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

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Sep 21

NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

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NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States, released updates on three major investigations on June 14.

The NTSB, well known publicly for its involvement in the investigation of aviation incidents which involve harm or loss of human life, is also an agency that oversees the transportation of refined petroleum and gas products, chemicals and minerals.

The agency determined the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed six. It also detailed the cause of an accidental release of 204,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia from a pipeline in an environmentally sensitive area, and released preliminary information involving two commercial aircraft coming within 30-50 feet of each other on a runway.

In the gas explosion disaster, the towing vessel Miss Megan, which was of specifications that did not require inspection by the United States Coast Guard, was being operated in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana by Central Boat Rentals on behalf of Athena Construction on October 12, 2006. The Miss Megan was pushing barge IBR 234, which was tied along the starboard side of barge Athena 106, en route to a pile-driving location. Athena Construction did not require its crews to pin mooring spuds (vertical steel shafts extending through wells in the bottom of the boat and used for mooring) securely in place on its barges and consequently this had not been done. During the journey, the aft spud on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas released ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge workers were killed. The Miss Megan deckhand and one barge worker survived. One barge worker is officially listed as missing.

The NTSB blames Athena Construction for the disaster, citing in the final report that Athena Construction’s manual contained no procedures mandating the use of the safety devices on the spud winch except during electrical work. It was found that if the Athena 106 crew had used the steel pins to secure the retracted spuds during their transit, a pin would have prevented the aft spud from accidentally deploying. Furthermore, the spud would have remained locked in its lifted position regardless of whether the winch brake mechanism, the spud’s supporting cable, or a piece of connecting hardware had failed.

The NTSB also found that contributing to the accident was the failure of Central Boat Rentals to require, and the Miss Megan master to ensure, that the barge spuds were securely pinned before getting under way. The Board noted that investigators found no evidence that the Miss Megan master or deckhand checked whether the spuds had been properly secured before the tow began. While Central Boat Rentals had a health and safety manual and trained its crews, the written procedures did not specifically warn masters about the need to secure spuds or other barge equipment before navigating. The NTSB stated that the company’s crew should have been trained to identify potential safety hazards on vessels under their control.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said of the investigation’s results, “Having more rigorous requirements in place could have prevented this accident from occurring. Not only do these regulations need to be put in place but it is imperative that they are enforced and adhered to.”

The NTSB has made a number of safety recommendations as a result of this accident and the subsequent investigation. Recommendations were made to Athena Construction and Central Boat Rentals to develop procedures and train the employees of its barges to use the securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before transiting from one site to another.

The most major of the other recommendations are:

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Direct the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health to issue the following documents document to the maritime industry: (1) a fact sheet regarding the accident, and (2) a guidance document regarding the need to secure the gear on barges, including spud pins, before the barges are moved, and detailing any changes to your memorandum of understanding with the Coast Guard.

To the U. S. Coast Guard

  • Finalize and implement the new towing vessel inspection regulations and require the establishment of safety management systems appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.
  • Review and update your memorandum of understanding with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to specifically address your respective oversight roles on vessels that are not subject to Coast Guard inspection.

The NTSB also released the result of its investigation into an environmental disaster in Kansas on October 27, 2004 in which 204,000 gallons (4,858 barrels) of anhydrous ammonia was spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Kingman into an environmentally sensitive area. Chemicals from the pipeline entered a nearby stream and killed more than 25,000 fish, including some fish from threatened species.

The incident reached the scale that it did due to operator error after the initial rupture. The 8 5/8-inch diameter steel pipeline, which was operated by Enterprise Products Operating L.P., burst at 11:15 a.m. in an agricultural area about 6 miles east of Kingman, Kansas. A drop in pipeline pressure, indicating abnormal conditions or a possible compromise in pipeline integrity, set off alarms displayed on the computerized pipeline monitoring system. Shortly after the first alarm the pipeline controller, in an attempt to remedy the low pressure, increased the flow of anhydrous ammonia into the affected section of pipeline. A total of 33 minutes elapsed between the time when the first alarm indicated a problem with the pipeline and the initiation of a shutdown.

In its initial report to the National Response Center (NRC), the pipeline operator’s accident reporting contractor reported a release of at least 20 gallons of ammonia, telling the NRC that an updated estimate of material released would be reported at a later time. No such report was ever made. Because of the inaccurate report, the arrival of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency was delayed by a full day, affecting the oversight of the environmental damage mitigation efforts.

The cause of the rupture itself was determined to be a pipe gouge created by heavy equipment damage to the pipeline during construction in 1973 or subsequent excavation activity at an unknown time that initiated metal fatigue cracking and led to the eventual rupture of the pipeline.

“We are very fortunate that such highly toxic chemicals of the size and scope involved in this accident were not released in a populated area,” commented Rosenker. “Had this same quantity of ammonia been released near a town or city, the results could have been catastrophic.”

As a result of this accident, the NTSB made the following safety recommendations:

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

  • Require that a pipeline operator must have a procedure to calculate and provide a reasonable initial estimate of released product in the telephonic report to the National Response Center.
  • Require that a pipeline operator must provide an additional telephonic report to the National Response Center if significant new information becomes available during the emergency response.
  • Require an operator to revise its pipeline risk assessment plan whenever it has failed to consider one of more risk factors that can affect pipeline integrity.

To Enterprise Products Operating L.P.:

  • Provide initial and recurrent training for all controllers that includes simulator or noncomputerized simulations of abnormal operating conditions that indicate pipeline leaks.

“The severity of this release of dangerous chemicals into the community could have been prevented,” said Rosenker. “The safety recommendations that we have made, if acted upon, will reduce the likelihood of this type of accident happening again.”

As well as concluding their investigation of the above accidents, the NTSB also released preliminary information regarding a serious runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport between two commercial aircraft on May 26, 2007.

At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted “Hold, Hold, Hold” to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel prior to the NTSB making the preliminary release.

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Sep 19

World’s most expensive hotel-casino opens in Las Vegas

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World’s most expensive hotel-casino opens in Las Vegas

Friday, April 29, 2005

The world’s most expensive hotel-casino ever has opened in Las Vegas, Nevada. The casino, which was designed and built over a period of five years, cost US$2.7 billion to construct. The hotel stands nearly fifty stories above the Las Vegas valley, with a 180-foot tall mountain in front of the main entrance.

Numerous lavish touches contributed to the high expense of the development. The sign in front of the Wynn property has an unusual mechanical design, with a large piece containing the Wynn logo, which can move vertically up or down as different announcements are presented.

“I think it’s going to start a shift of power. It’s been the south for a long time. Things will start moving to the north because of Wynn Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson with the expansion of the Venetian, the New Frontier — that whole area will become the new hot area of Las Vegas for the next decade or so,” gaming expert Anthony Curtis told Las Vegas KLAS TV.

As the property opened to the public, developer Steve Wynn greeted visitors at the front entrance.

“It’s always fascinating to watch people enter the thing and get their first moment after we open the doors,” Wynn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Analysts are not too concerned about the cost of the Wynn development. Wynn paid off the cost of The Mirage hotel-casino in 18 months, much earlier than the planned seven years for which the debt had been scheduled for repayment.

“If you remember the opening of The Mirage in 1989, Wynn needed to make a nut of $1 million a day. Everyone thought he was nuts; ‘couldn’t be done,’ they all said,” Las Vegas history department Chairman Hal Rothman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Wynn sold his interest in Mirage Resorts to MGM Grand (which became MGM Mirage and is now run by Kirk Kerkorian) for US$6.4 billion back in 2000, then turned around and purchased the property for the Wynn hotel-casino for US$275 million. The property was previously the home of the Desert Inn.

The hotel has 2,359 rooms, and a few hundred deluxe suites and “parlors” for high rollers. The casino has 1,960 slot machines and 137 table games on a 111,000 square foot casino floor. A FerrariMaserati dealership and the Le Reve stage show, featuring a million gallon water tank, round out the expensive offerings.

A round of golf will go for US$500 on the elaborate golf course located behind the main building.

All of these specifications add up to a record construction cost of over one million US dollars per room. Other expensive Las Vegas properties cost a fraction of the price, such as the Bellagio, which cost half the price at US$533,000 per room. The most expensive hotel property in the world was previously the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui, Hawaii, which cost US$775,000 per room.

“Yes, (Wynn) may be in over his head, but then he has found ways to survive before,” Las Vegas professor Bill Thompson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Several of Wynn’s largest competitors spoke with admiration of the property and looked forward to its impact on Las Vegas.

“I’ve never understood the hand-wringing about something new, especially in Las Vegas and Atlantic City,” Harrah’s Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Other casino bosses from the Mandalay and the MGM Mirage had positive comments as well, hoping to pick up some new business from the development.

“It’s a positive in terms of bringing more visitors,” Mandalay Resort Group President and CEO Glenn Schaeffer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Steve will build a great property and bring new people to town. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, then we’ll pick up some of that business also,” MGM Mirage Chairman and CEO Terry Lanni told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Thousands of visitors gathered for hours in front of the property before it opened. Security guards had to monitor the number of visitors entering the building.

“I think it’s spectacular,” David Schwartz, coordinator of the Gaming Studies Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas told Reuters.

“People were pushing and shoving,” Las Vegan Kathie Anderson told Associated Press.

“There is nobody in the world who creates such entertaining and beautiful casinos,” British billionaire Richard Branson told Associated Press from the casino floor. “I would say every other casino must be nervous. He’s lifted the bar dramatically,” Branson said.

“This would be hard to top,” Las Vegan Marlene DeMarco told Reuters.

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Sep 18

Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

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Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that the state of the housing market in the United Kingdom is the current biggest domestic threat to the country’s economy, due to lack of house building, and regulatory issues.

In an interview to be aired on Sky News today, he said the housing market is the “biggest risk” to the economy and has “deep, deep structural problems”. Of house building he said: “There are not sufficient houses built in the UK. To go back to Canada, there are half as many people in Canada as in the UK, twice as many houses are built every year in Canada as in the UK and we can’t influence that.”

“We’re not going to build a single house at the Bank of England. We can’t influence that. What we can influence […] is whether the banks are strong enough. Do they have enough capital against risk in the housing market?”

Carney also said the Bank of England would look into the procedures used to issue loans and mortgages to see if they were being granted appropriately: “We’d be concerned if there was a rapid increase in high loan-to-value mortgages across the banks. We’ve seen that creeping up and it’s something we’re watching closely.”

Kris Hopkins responded to Carney on behalf of the government, saying the government “inherited a broken housing market, but our efforts to fix it are working”. “We’ve scrapped the failed top-down planning system, built over 170,000 affordable homes and released more surplus brownfield sites for new housing. We’ve also helped homebuyers get on the housing ladder, because if people can buy homes builders will build them. Housebuilding is now at its highest level since 2007 and climbing. Last year councils gave permission for almost 200,000 new homes under the locally-led planning system and more than 1,000 communities have swiftly taken up neighbourhood planning. It’s clear evidence the government’s long-term economic plan is working.”

Earlier this month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development called on the UK government to “tighten” access to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme introduced by George Osborne and the coalition government in 2013. ‘Help to Buy’ has also recently been criticised by three former Chancellors of the Exchequer — the Conservatives Norman Lamont and Nigel Lawson, and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling. Darling said: “Unless supply can be increased substantially, we will exacerbate that situation with schemes like Help to Buy.”

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Sep 18

Fashion And Job With Men’s Surgical Scrubs

By Max W Johnson

Every time people think of medical profession, they usually think of them as a supporter of a high end fashion. This means that they think of jackets, scrubs, caps and shoes those medical professionals, for the most part in the hospitals, wear everyday. Fortunately, there are talented providers that made some changes when it comes to men’s surgical scrubs. They offer professionals an ultimate comfort through relaxing wear.

The manufacturers have done a great job that emergency room could not; they made great men’s surgical scrubs that focus on medical apparels. They have given professional surgeon that stylish look while still maintaining their professional look. Men’s surgical scrub is very important especially when doing some operations; this uniform is strongly required to avoid infection being passed on to patients. As we all know, cleanliness is very vital in hospitals. Doctors provide improved health that’s why using surgical scrubs is required.

Since there is lots of professional starting to get bored in wearing the same old style of men’s surgical scrubs, concerned providers produce new designs of surgical scrubs. This may have revolved in the world of medical professionals but most medical staff members have been enjoying all the benefits of designer uniforms for a while now. The mock wrap tops are now available in the market from different distributors and manufacturer with square neck lines, elegant lace details, tops with slash back ties and plunging neck lines.

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There are also available men’s surgical scrubs with a wide range of choices of different fabrics, from volley-ball playing lizard, vintage hotrods, golfing frog and cats on stage, surgical scrubs are available with every type of color and patterns as well as sizes from petite to plus sizes and maternity sizes. Surgical caps are also becoming considerably popular. They come in different colors, pattern and style that can be matched with your men’s surgical scrubs. The style comes in simple tie back caps, mega caps, bouffant caps and tie-back bonnets.

Now that professionals’ fashions have come out of the closet, it’s about time for you to buy one of these inexpressibly comfortable men’s surgical scrubs. Invest for something that will make you look stylish and fashionable while leaving the looks of being a professional. Looking for men’s surgical scrub is not difficult, since this has become very popular. Local medical stores and malls have this kind of surgical scrub. In fact, even stores online have this. They have lots of collection to choose from, they usually come in different color, patterns, design, style and sizes where you can select your best surgical scrubs that will fit your personality as well as your profession while maintaining your professional looks.

When you decided to buy men’s surgical scrubs online or on your local store, make sure to find surgical scrubs that provide comfort. This is one of the most important preferences that you should be looking at first. This will help you to work comfortably and free from stress. You should also consider the store’s reputations when it comes to medical apparels to make sure that you will purchase a scrub that will fit you.

About the Author: Click for more

Medical Scrubs

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Source:

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Sep 18

Asian countries call for global currency

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Asian countries call for global currency

Monday, April 6, 2009

Leaders and central banks in Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Kazakhstan have called for an international currency system.

Speaking on April 1 in advance of the G-20 summit in London, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev argued that the international finance system needed a “new construction” including “new currency systems”, saying that such a new system could be the purpose of a revamped IMF and World Bank. The IMF was originally founded in 1946 as the overseer of the Bretton Woods system, which from its founding until the 1970s tied the western world’s currencies to the US Dollar, which was in turn backed by gold. Russia’s proposal was for the new currency to serve as a reserve currency, one which would take the place of the dollar, euro, and other heavily-traded currencies as an international standard of exchange.

Medvedev’s comments are a reversal of Russian position from a lukewarm response following a looser outline for a worldwide currency by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev. On March 11, Nazarbayev suggested the establishment of the “acmetal”, a portmanteau of “acme” and “capital“, as a reserve currency replacing the ruble in international transactions, first for Central Asia and then worldwide. 1999 Economics Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, endorsed the idea, saying “It would be a very good idea if the G-20 took that idea up in London”.

2001 Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, meanwhile, said the new currency could come about quickly if it was based on an expansion of the IMF’s already established system of Special Drawing Rights, units of exchange used by the IMF which already have some of the features of currency. Stiglitz argued that, as the US dollar has become the standard global reserve currency, it has inadvertently created a system which hurts the world economy. “It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States of foreign aid,” he argued, reasoning that when other countries purchase US dollars in order to use them on international markets (such as for the buying and selling of petroleum), they effectively give the US a zero-interest loan — sometimes at times when they can least afford it. Stiglitz made his comments as head of a United Nations panel of economists giving recommendations to address the global financial crisis.

In the weeks leading up to the G-20 conference, the People’s Republic of China also began discussing a new system for reserve currencies. In a March 23 speech, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, endorsed a new reserve currency, saying “the desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.” Zhou went on to endorse the expansion of the SDR system in the long-term creation of a reserve currency government by the IMF. While Zhou did not mention the US dollar specifically, analysis by Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC, for the Financial Times said that the speech “is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money”.

China holds $740 billion as assets; inflation in the US economy, which has been low in recent years, would directly cause those assets to lose value.

While the Chinese government has engaged in currency swaps with several other growing economies, such as South Korea, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Chinese Yuan cannot be used itself as a reserve currency as it cannot be freely traded on the global market.

The Chinese-Russian proposal was not entered onto the agenda at the G-20 meeting itself. Nonetheless, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the G-20 was open to considering the proposal if and when a detailed one is presented. United States President Barack Obama, meanwhile, endorsed the continuation of dollar supremacy, saying that the US dollar is “extraordinarily strong” and arguing that its strength was the result of the intrinsic stability of the United States economic and political system; US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had, the week before, made comments that while he supported an expansion in the SDR mechanism he rejected the idea of a global currency. Rather than change the role of SDRs, the G-20 meeting instead added $250 billion in support to the fund backing SDRs.

After the G-20 conference ended on Thursday, Malaysia’s The Star BizWeek reported that the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had endorsed the Chinese proposal. All three countries have close economic ties with China and suffered heavily from the collapse of their currencies in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; the sudden growth in the value of the US dollar relative to those countries’ native currencies sharply increased debt in Southeast Asia’s economies, leading to a wave of bankruptcies.

International reaction from other economies has been mixed and guarded. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, said that the currency proposal was important to discuss but did not give extensive comment. And while UPI reports that India supported the SDR proposal at the G-20 conference, the Indian Press Trust quotes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying last month, “It is too early to talk about common currency.”

Calls for an independent global reserve currency are not new. In 1944, John Maynard Keynes proposed the “bancor“, a unit like the SDR supported by a basket of commodities. Keynes’ idea was rejected and the US dollar took the equivalent role under the Bretton Woods system. Keynes proposed that the bancor system would be reinforced by a tax on participating countries’ current accounts, the difference between their exports and their imports, in order to encourage balanced trade. Meanwhile, monetary unions have become more popular since the end of the gold standard, with most of the European Union now trading the euro, and several countries outside the EU using it as a de facto currency; five West African countries adopting the eco at the end of this year; and the African Union planning to introduce the afro in 2028. Proposals for a North American currency union based around the so-called “amero” have been frequently discussed as the focus of conspiracy theories in the United States, but none of the US, Canada or Mexico have actively pursued the establishment of any such monetary union, however the dollar is the currency of several Latin American countries.

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Sep 18

Wikinews Shorts: December 7, 2008

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Wikinews Shorts: December 7, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, December 7, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Progress’ seen in US auto bailout deal
  • 2 Ghana to hold elections
  • 3 Archbishop of York says Mugabe must be overthrown
  • 4 Scandal-ridden Congressman loses delayed election

Officials say that progress is being made in a deal to bail out three United States carmakers. The U.S. government will be holding weekend talks on the plan after two days of Congressional hearings.

Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, stated that discussions with both parties had been “constructive”.

Executives from the three companies – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – have pleaded before two Congressional committees, asking for $34 billion in order to stop collapse.

“I’m convinced that by Sunday we will have an agreement that people can understand on this bill,” said Barney Frank, a representative from the state of Massachusetts.

Sources


 This story has updates See Ghanian presidential elections go to run-off 

The people of Ghana, a country often shown of as an example of a good democracy in Africa, will vote for a new president and parliament.

The current president, John Kufuor, will resign after serving the maximum of two terms in office. The elections are expected to be close.

The three main contenders for the presidency are: the Nana Akufo Addo from New Patriotic Party, who was the foreign minister under the current president, John Atta Mills running for the National Democratic Congress, and the Convention People’s Party’s candidate, one Paa Kwesi Nduom.

Sources


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said that Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe must be forced out of office and face trial for his crimes against humanity.

“The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction, with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state,” said Sentamu.

Sentamu that the power-sharing deal that was signed by Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition in September was “now dead”.

Dr Sentamu’s statement comes after a severe cholera outbreak spread in Zimbabwe, and saw 12,545 cases reported and 565 people dead.

Sources


Republicans experienced another victory late Saturday, as the Associated Press called the race in Louisiana’s 2nd district at 22:35 CST in favor of Anh “Joseph” Cao, heralding the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress and sending the incumbent scandal-ridden Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson home after nine terms.

Sources


bXwapnJA on September 18th, 2018 | File Under Uncategorized | No Comments -