Global Economic Crisis Accelerating

Jim Rogers: ‘UK has nothing to sell’ (Financial Times):
“The City of London is finished, the financial centre of the world is moving east.”

Jim Rogers: Obama administration run by people who caused the latest financial problems (BBC News)

The Obama Stimulus Plan Won’t Work (Lew Rockwell)

SERIOUSLY ALARMED (Telegraph):
(Even Mr. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is now alarmed!)

King paves way to start Bank print presses (Times Online)

Sterling hits 23-year low against dollar (Financial Times)

Geithner pledges ‘dramatic’ action (Financial Times)

Portugal says S&P downgrade due to global crisis (Reuters)

Singapore Economy May Post Biggest Decline on Record (Bloomberg)

Emerging markets face $180 bn investment decline (Business Standard)

French government to pump €6bn into ailing car industry (Guardian)

Japan’s ‘Severe’ Recession May Last Three Years, Yoshikawa Says (Bloomberg)

BHP Billiton to cut 6000 jobs and close mine (Times Online)

Eaton to Cut 5200 Jobs in a 2nd Wave of Reductions (Bloomberg)

Record redundancies push unemployment to 1.92 million (Times Online)

Ecuador to Cut $1.5 Billion in Imports to Defend Use of Dollar (Bloomberg)

Ex-Scots bankers could face Holyrood inquiry (Times Online)

Ireland’s Banks Sink With Decline of ‘Celtic Tiger’ (Bloomberg)

Patrick Rocca, ‘poster boy’ of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger, kills himself (Times Online)

Bankers accused in crisis could face trials in US (Guardian)

Hedge Fund Run by Ex-Car Salesman Is Scam, SEC Says (Bloomberg)

Federal Home Loan Banks may have to borrow from US (Los Angeles Times)

Merrill Clients Pulled $10 Billion in Fourth Quarter (Bloomberg)

Standard Life investors demand compensation after ‘cash’ fund invests in toxic debt (Telegraph)

Toyota Tops GM in Global Car Sales in 2008 (Washington Post)

Citigroup Makes Stock Incentive Awards to Executives (Bloomberg)

Portugal suffers S&P rating cut

Portugal on Wednesday became the third eurozone economy in two weeks to suffer a credit rating downgrade because of its failure to tackle deteriorating public finances.

Standard & Poor’s decision to reduce Portugal’s long-term ratings to AA minus, six notches below the highest triple A rating, followed downgrades of Spain on Monday and Greece last week. Ireland, which was put on negative outlook earlier in the month, could follow soon.

The move underlines the growing strains in the eurozone as the weaker economies, mainly in the south, struggle to stay competitive in the worsening economic climate without the option of devaluing their currencies.

The extra cost for Portugal, Spain, Greece and Ireland of issuing government bonds compared with that of Germany, Europe’s biggest economy has risen this week. This is because investors believe the continent’s smaller economies may suffer longer and deeper recessions.

The cost of insuring their government bonds against default through credit default swaps has risen to record highs, too, with investors judging the assets of these countries to be increasingly risky.

Read morePortugal suffers S&P rating cut

Secret EU security draft calls to pool policing and give US personal data

Don’t miss the “Key Points” at the end of the article.
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· Closer links needed to beat terrorism and crime

· Blueprint wants new force to patrol world flashpoints


A German and an Italian officer with the joint EU force Frontex check a lorry for illegal immigrants on the Polish border. The agency, which is seen as one model of future integration, patrols the EU’s frontiers. Photograph: Sven Kaestner/AP

Europe should consider sharing vast amounts of intelligence and information on its citizens with the US to establish a “Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation” to combat terrorism, according to a high-level confidential report on future security.

The 27 members of the EU should also pool intelligence on terrorism, develop joint video-surveillance and unmanned drone aircraft, start networks of anti-terrorism centres, and boost the role and powers of an intelligence-coordinating body in Brussels, said senior officials.

Read moreSecret EU security draft calls to pool policing and give US personal data

French fishermens’ fuel strikes set to go Europe-wide

Fishermen across western and southern Europe are threatening an open-ended strike from Wednesday in protest at rising fuel costs. Several ports in France have remained blocked for more than a week despite a government aid deal, and fishermen in the Spanish region of Catalonia began strike action yesterday.

Their colleagues across Spain, Portugal and Italy plan to join them tomorrow. The industry has seen marine diesel prices almost double in six months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he’ll look for a cap in fuel sales tax across the EU. He told a French radio station this morning: “I will ask our European partners: if the price of oil continues to rise, shouldn’t we suspend the VAT tax part of oil prices?” For that to happen, all 27 EU members would need to agree.

However the European Commission has responded negatively to Sarkozy’s proposal, saying modifying tax levels on oil products to fight inflation would be sending a bad message to oil producing countries.

The French haulage industry has joined the fishermens’ protest, leading to some fuel depot blockades and fears of petrol shortages.

Read moreFrench fishermens’ fuel strikes set to go Europe-wide