Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama economic plan aims for 2.5M new jobs by 2011

Obama economic plan aims for 2.5M new jobs by 2011

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address.

The goal is to it quickly through Congress, with help from both parties, after Obama takes office Jan. 20. The plan, which envisions those new jobs by January 2011, is "big enough to meet the challenges we face," he said.

Obama noted the growing evidence the country is "facing an economic crisis of historic proportions" and said he was pleased Congress passed an extension of unemployment benefits this past week. But, he added, `We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again."

Nonetheless, he said, "There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better." more

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Merkel's Opel Offer Slammed

Merkel's Opel Offer Slammed

The German government's offer to come to the rescue of carmaker Opel has come in for hefty criticism, particularly from within Chancellor Merkel's own party. Meanwhile Opel says it is reducing production for next year and cutting back to a 30-hour week in most plants.
hey say that if America sneezes, the world catches a cold. Now, it seems that if US auto giant General Motors has influenza then its European subsidiary Opel is going to straight to the German government for the aspirin.

On Monday Berlin agreed to consider extending loan guarantees to Opel so that it can insulate itself from the troubles at its parent company in Detroit. While Chancellor Angela Merkel was careful to insist that any such move would be a special case, the plans are already coming under fire. Some politicians from within her own party have attacked any hint of a bailout, with some arguing that German taxpayers should not be helping out what is essentially a US company.

Merkel met with Opel executives on Monday after they asked for a loan guarantees of around €1 billion ($1.26 billion) to ensure liquidity if Detroit-based GM files for bankruptcy. The entire US car industry is pleading for a government aid package of around $25 billion to weather the current problems wrought by the worst economic situation in decades.more

In Germany, where the auto industry is one of the biggest employers, some are concerned that any state aid to Opel could flow across the Atlantic to prop up its US parent company. Others worry that bailing out one company or one sector could have a snowball effect with troubled firms automatically turning to the state when the going gets tough.more

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Financial News

S-a lansat noul site care va prezinta ultimele stiri din domeniul financiar, bancar si economic international. Daca vreti sa fiti la curent cu ultimele detalii despre criza economica internationala, cu ultimele mutari strategice ale firmelor internationale si sa fiti conenctat la viata financiara mondiala Financial News va asteapta cu doza zilnica de stiri.

Monday, October 13, 2008

WaMu is largest U.S. bank failure

WaMu is largest U.S. bank failure

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc was closed by the U.S. government in by far the largest failure of a U.S. bank, and its banking assets were sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co for $1.9 billion.

Thursday's seizure and sale is the latest historic step in U.S. government attempts to clean up a banking industry littered with toxic mortgage debt. Negotiations over a $700 billion bailout of the entire financial system stalled in Washington on Thursday.

Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, has been one of the lenders hardest hit by the nation's housing bust and credit crisis, and had already suffered from soaring mortgage losses.

Washington Mutual was shut by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp was named receiver. This followed $16.7 billion of deposit outflows at the Seattle-based thrift since Sept 15, the OTS said.

"With insufficient liquidity to meet its obligations, WaMu was in an unsafe and unsound condition to transact business," the OTS said.

Customers should expect business as usual on Friday, and all depositors are fully protected, the FDIC said.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the bailout happened on Thursday night because of media leaks, and to calm customers. Usually, the FDIC takes control of failed institutions on Friday nights, giving it the weekend to go through the books and enable them to reopen smoothly the following Monday.

Washington Mutual has about $307 billion of assets and $188 billion of deposits, regulators said. The largest previous U.S. banking failure was Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust, which had $40 billion of assets when it collapsed in 1984.

JPMorgan said the transaction means it will now have 5,410 branches in 23 U.S. states from coast to coast, as well as the largest U.S. credit card business.

It vaults JPMorgan past Bank of America Corp to become the nation's second-largest bank, with $2.04 trillion of assets, just behind Citigroup Inc. Bank of America will go to No. 1 once it completes its planned purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co.

The bailout also fulfills JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's long-held goal of becoming a retail bank force in the western United States. It comes four months after JPMorgan acquired the failing investment bank Bear Stearns Cos at a fire-sale price through a government-financed transaction.

On a conference call, Dimon said the "risk here obviously is the asset values."

He added: "That's what created this opportunity."

JPMorgan expects to incur $1.5 billion of pre-tax costs, but realize an equal amount of annual savings, mostly by the end of 2010. It expects the transaction to add to earnings immediately, and increase earnings 70 cents per share by 2011.

It also plans to sell $8 billion of stock, and take a $31 billion write-down for the loans it bought, representing estimated future credit losses.

The FDIC said the acquisition does not cover claims of Washington Mutual equity, senior debt and subordinated debt holders. It also said the transaction will not affect its roughly $45.2 billion deposit insurance fund.

"Jamie Dimon is clearly feeling that he has an opportunity to grab market share, and get it at fire-sale prices," said Matt McCormick, a portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel in Cincinnati. "He's becoming an acquisition machine."

WaMu is largest U.S. bank failure

Reverse Reengineering of Risk

Reverse Reengineering of Risk

The writedowns and bailouts are legendary, but some industry experts argue the credit crisis didn't have to happen. Simply put, an overdependence on technology and absence of judgment fanned the flames that have burned investors and taxpayers alike. It began with traditional credit scoring and analytics that made some pretty silly assumptions, like incomes don't matter much and people who prefer to pay in cash are riskier bets. After billions of writedowns, isn't it time the industry learn to assess risk properly?

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