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Brown snubbed over tax
Germans wreck ‘global new deal’
GORDON BROWN’S carefully laid plans for a G20 deal on worldwide tax cuts have been scuppered by an eve-of-summit ambush by European leaders.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, last night led the assault on the prime minister’s “global new deal” for a $2 trillion-plus fiscal stimulus to end the recession.
“I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money,” she said.
The Spanish finance minister, Pedro Solbes, also dismissed new cash being pledged at Thursday’s London summit.
“In these conditions I and the rest of my colleagues from the eurozone believe there is no room for new fiscal stimulus plans,” he said.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has insisted that “radical reform” of capitalism is more important than tax cutting.
The attacks on Brown’s ambitions for the G20 to inject more money into the world economy come at the end of a week where the prime minister has travelled to three continents to build support for his proposals.
The likely deadlock at this week’s meeting will kill any remaining hope that Alistair Darling’s April 22 budget will offer significant tax cuts.
The assault by European Union leaders also represents a defeat for President Barack Obama, who is desperate for other big economies to copy his $800 billion stimulus plan.
“There will be a very long communiqué, but there won’t be much in it,” said a Washington economist.
Originally posted by elston
UK may be ready for baillout from IMF (Soros)
This recession, he explains, is a “once-in-a-lifetime event”, particularly in Britain. “This is a crisis unlike any other. It’s a total collapse of the financial system with tremendous implications for everyday life. On previous occasions when you had a crisis that was threatening the system the authorities intervened and did whatever was necessary to protect the system. This time they failed.”
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Does Soros still have a lot of credibility?
Sixty-five years later, he still thrives on danger. He famously made $1 billion on Black Wednesday by shorting the pound, earning him the label of “the man who broke the Bank of England”. Last year, as the world tipped into financial chaos, Mr Soros pocketed another $1.1 billion by correctly predicting the downturn. “I’m an expert in crises,” he says.
NEC Stops PC Sales in Aisa -270
\Washinton DC Unemployment 9.9%
Daido Metal Shutdown -290
City of Stockton -80
Presbyterian Church HQ -14
Parker Hannifin HQ -20
Rockwell Automation Closes Plant -115
Keokuk Steel Castings -32
Aleris Aluminum Cuts Again -99
Universal Brixius Closing Plant -69
Las Vegas Sands -283
Quincy Compressor -20
Cooper Tire Starts Layoffs -500
City of Springfield Mass. -31
Amazon Closing 3 Distribution Centers -210
Hillsborough County FL -1,000
FL Unemployment Rate 33 Yr High 9.4%
City of Anderson IN -12
Boston Herald -24
TOTAL 3,000+ approx
The SPF also forecasts that the unemployment rate will rise
to an average of 9 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
Hedge funds vow to fight as G20 gathers
A group of powerful hedge fund managers has warned that they are ready to quit London and move off-shore if regulations or taxes become too onerous.
The warning, made as the G20 leaders meet in London with hedge fund reform on their agenda, was part of a strong defence of the hedge fund industry given to The Sunday Telegraph by the managers last week.
In a rare show of unity, the group, which included Stuart Roden of Lansdowne Partners, Michael Hintze of CQS and Stanley Fink of ISAM, vowed to fight against the threat of too much intervention. Crispin Odey of Odey Asset Management said: "We don't have to be in London."
Last night global leaders also vowed to show unity as they try to rebuild the shattered financial system. The White House insisted there was no "gulf" between the US and Europe on how to avoid global financial meltdown.
There are fears that Germany and France will deeply oppose US plans to increase fiscal stimulus while doing little to improve regulation.
Denis McDonough, the US deputy national security adviser, said the desire for global co-operation has not been as strong for the last 30 years. France and Germany have both strongly opposed US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's call for all nations to create new funds worth 2pc of their GDP. The International Monetary Fund estimates that world governments have already poured more than
$2 trillion into the global financial system.
Fresh writedowns, more job cuts seen at UBS: report
ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's UBS (UBSN.VX) (UBS.N) is expected to announce more writedowns and job cuts in the coming days, Swiss newspaper Sonntag reported on Sunday.
Shares in UBS, the world's largest wealth manager in terms of assets, fell 7 percent on Friday as rumors swirled of a profit warning and more writedowns in the first quarter. The bank, one of Europe's hardest-hit in the crisis, has already written down more than $49 billion since mid-2007.
Sonntag said UBS would write down at least another $2 billion on illiquid assets, including asset categories so far not much in the spotlight such as Credit Linked Obligations (CLOs), the paper said citing people familiar with the matter.
The Swiss bank giant would also slash another 8,000 jobs, the newspaper said, including some private banking staff.
"This could already be known on April 1," Sonntag said.
TIMELINE-Hypo Real Estate's path to nationalisation
March 29 (Reuters) - The German government has agreed to take an initial 8.7 percent stake in stricken lender Hypo Real Estate as a prelude to acquiring full control, the bank said on Saturday.
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G20: If capitalism is 'overthrown', we'll lose our political freedom
Some of the demonstrators in this week's G20 protest jamboree are demanding the "overthrow" of capitalism. Well, there are lots of things than can be done to "capitalism" – it can be undermined, suppressed, sabotaged, even outlawed – but it cannot be "overthrown" because in itself, it has no power.
It is the very opposite, in fact, of a tyranny. It is simply the conglomeration of all the transactions made between individual and corporate players in an open market. Some people may gain power through those transactions but that power is transient and contingent on their own financial success: they are not installed in immutable positions from which they can be forcibly removed in a coup d'etat.
The question we are wrestling with now – and which the G20 will certainly fail to resolve – is how much the bodies which actually do have power should undermine, suppress, sabotage or even outlaw the practice of capitalist exchange.
Those who talk of "overthrowing" capitalism are determined to depict it as a system of government in a precise parallel with socialism, when in reality, capitalism is not a system in the ideological sense.
It is, if anything, an anti-system: the aggregation of human behaviour as it goes about fulfilling particular wants and needs. It can be described in anthropomorphic terms, such as "ruthless" or "benign" but of itself has no motives and no objectives. (Gordon Brown is more than usually fatuous when he insists that markets need to have "values": only people have values, methods of exchange do not.)
So the idea that the arguments which will dominate the summit are purely economic is quite wrong: this is about politics. The fundamental disagreement between the United States and Europe amounts to nothing less than the question of whether the great 200 year old experiment in national democracy – government of the people, by the people, and for the people – will survive.
The major dispute over the American preference for fiscal stimulus as opposed to the European priority of global regulation is at the heart of this. Europe may as well get this straight now: Barack Obama will not subject the United States to policing by an international regulatory authority, not just because he puts the economic recovery of his own nation above all other concerns (and from the point of view of the rest of the world, this is no bad thing since American recovery is essential to the future of the global economy) but because to do so would be to sign away the democratic accountability of his and all future US governments to a body in which American voters had no say.
Unlike in Europe – where the historical commitment to democracy has been patchy – America has little difficulty with the question, "who needs to be in charge of our future?" The answer is always, "we the people". Democratic self-governance, and the concept of personal freedom that underpins it, comes first and last.