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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Niall Ferguson : 100% certain Greece will default

Niall Ferguson , a visiting professor at the London School of Economics Professor of history at Harvard University and best selling author
Niall Ferguson agrees 50 percent with what Larry Summers said yesterday that the US is facing a lost decade but he does not agree with his Keynesian remedy of more stimulus , Niall Ferguson also says that
he is 100% sure that Greece will default 
The debt crisis amongst the PIIGs has moved from being a public finance problem on the periphery (of Europe ) to be a major institutional conflict between the biggest economies in the European and the European central bank union Niall Ferguson says
The German position has moved the driver here is the German voter he added they are fed up of writing blank checks for the rest of Europe , if the German voter gets what he wants a whole bunch of German banks could blow up cause they are the major one exposed to the Greek debt he explained

Tony Blair reads the Quran every day

London: Former British prime minister Tony Blair has become "increasingly open" about the importance of religion, and reads the Quran every day to be "faith-literate".

Blair, who reportedly said he was not interested in religion, converted to Catholicism after leaving No.10 Downing Street in 2007.

The former Labour Party leader now says reading the Islamic holy book ensured he remained "faith-literate", reports the Daily Mail.

"To be faith-literate is crucial in a globalised world, I believe. I read the Quran every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive," he said.

Blair said a knowledge of the faith was important for his role as an envoy for the Quartet of the UN, US, European Union and Russia.

Blair earlier reportedly praised the Muslim faith as "beautiful". He said Prophet Mohammed had been "an enormously civilising force".

The former prime minister said the Quran was a "reforming book, it is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance".

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NATO bombs civilians

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Jim Rogers on ET NOW

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Roubini Says “Perfect Storm” May Clobber Global Economy

NYU Professor Nouriel Roubini has seized the headlines again this morning, warning that a "perfect storm" of economic disasters may smash the global economy in 2013.

Roubini's perfect storm consists of four factors:

-The U.S.'s basket-case of an economy and budget deficit,
-A potential slowdown in China,
-European debt restructuring and
-Stagnation in Japan.

Roubini says there's a one-in-three chance that these factors will clobber growth in 2013.

Now, that sounds terrifying, but it all means there's a two-in-three chance that everything will be okay. (Roubini's other two possible scenarios are "anemic growth" and "accelerating growth.")

One problem that seems undeniable is the European debt crisis, which has defied all attempts to paper it over and kick the can down the road. Greece is broke, and no serious analyst that I know of thinks it will ever be able to pay back its debts. The logic underlying the endless bailouts and aid-packages, therefore, is to deal with the problem later and/or hope that it somehow resolves itself. In an FT editorial today Professor Roubini said that this hope was a hallucination and that the Euro-zone needs to break apart.

"There are already elements of fragility," Bloomberg quotes Roubini as saying
. "Everybody's kicking the can down the road of too much public and private debt. The can is becoming heavier and heavier, and bigger on debt, and all these problems may come to a head by 2013 at the latest."

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Series of earthquakes hit New Zealand city

New Zealand earthquake - AP - 26.2.2011

Four months after Christchurch was devastated by a major earthquake, it was rattled again by multiple earthquakes. There were no fatalities but significant damage to property.

A series of aftershocks rattled New Zealand's quake-devastated city of Christchurch again Monday, toppling one of the few buildings still standing downtown and sinking thousands of homes into darkness.

Bricks came crashing down in the cordoned-off city center, where only workers have tread since it was devastated in February's major earthquake. About 200 people were there when the quakes struck Monday, and two were briefly trapped in a church. In all, 10 people were injured in the city.

"We are being enveloped with dust," Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told New Zealand's National Radio. "It is very, very scary."

All across the city, people fled buildings in panic when a 5.2-magnitude quake struck during lunchtime; just over an hour later, a 6.0 hit, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Other smaller quakes were also recorded. In the central city and nearby suburbs, several buildings were damaged.

"All the shops have fallen down," said Renee Murray, who works at a Domino's Pizza in a suburb. "Half of the roof has fallen in (but) they have not fully Collapsed."

The city has been shaken by thousands of aftershocks since the 6.3-magnitude quake killed 181 people on Feb. 22. Like that tremor, Monday's two biggest quakes were very shallow, both around ten 10 kilometers deep, according to the USGS. The shallow depth of the February quake and its proximity to the city helped magnify its destructive force.

About 47,000 homes in the city's eastern suburbs were without power Monday night, when temperatures were expected to approach freezing. Rocks tumbled down hills in the area, which was among the hardest hit in February, and slit bubbled up from the earth - a process known as liquefaction that sometimes happens during a quake. After the February quake, 300,000 tons of silt had to be scraped away, and the silt alone made thousands of homes uninhabitable.

On one road Monday, an SUV tipped front-first into a sinkhole that opened in the tarmac as it drove past. A police car sank into another.

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Greece's credit rating cut again on higher risk of default

Greece's recovery plans have suffered another hammer blow after Standard & Poor's cut the country's credit rating because of "a significantly higher likelihood of one or more defaults".

The rating agency reduced the long-term rating on Greek sovereign debt from B to CCC – only four notches above default. It added that in its view the country's credit outlook was "negative".

The yield on 10-year bonds issued by Greece has soared to 16.9pc and the country's sovereign debt is now the lowest rated in the world, ranking below Ecuador, Jamaica and Grenada. The move also impacted Portuguese and Irish bonds, which are also experiencing similar problems to the Hellenic nation.

The downgrade triggered an angry response from the Greek finance ministry which claimed Standard & Poor's decision was made on the back of "rumours and statements by representatives of the European Commission and European Central Bank".

The ministry said: "However, the decision ignores the intense consultations taking place between the same institutions and the International Monetary Fund aimed at designing a viable solution that will cover the financing needs of Greece in the coming years."

The statement added that the Greek government had shown "determined efforts" to "avoid at any costs" a default or restructuring of its debt repayments, as well as a "strong desire" to stay within the eurozone. It pointed to the tough fiscal strategy submitted to the Greek Parliament last week as evidence of its commitment to economic reforms.

The Telegraph

Billions Pledged To Vaccinate World's Poor

Around $4.3bn (£2.6bn) has been pledged worldwide to help vaccinate children from preventable diseases, as David Cameron promised £814m from the UK

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) said the total funding, which has exceeded expectations, will save millions of lives in the next four years.

The Prime Minister made the pledge for extra money at a global conference which aims to save the lives of four million children in some of the world's poorest countries.

It also aims to transform the lives of 250 million more youngsters by the middle of the decade.

The Gavi conference has brought together national governments, private companies, donors and philanthropists, including Microsoft's Bill Gates.

Mr Gates confirmed a new $1bn (£616m) donation to Gavi over the next five years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mr Cameron told the conference: "Britain will play its full part.

"In addition to our existing support for Gavi, we will provide £814m of new funding up to 2015.

"This will help vaccinate over 80 million children and save 1.4 million lives.

"That is one child vaccinated every two seconds for five years. It is one child's life saved every two minutes. That is what the money that the British taxpayer is putting in will give."

China rules out use of force in tense South China Sea, tells US to butt out

CHINA today told its worried neighbours it would not resort to the use of force in the tense South China Sea but flatly asserted its right to the whole disputed sea and its islands and told the US not to interfere.

Beijing criticised Washington over a US senator's call for multilateral negotiations to resolve festering disputes in the South China Sea, saying only those countries with territorial claims in the vast resource-rich waters should get involved in such discussions.

US Senator Jim Webb had said yesterday that Washington needed to condemn China's use of force and facilitate talks on the dispute.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China asserted its claim to the entire sea and its island groups but would not use force to resolve disputes or impede navigation. He also condemned actions that expand and complicate the dispute.

``We will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force,'' Mr Hong Lei said, following complaints from Vietnam and the Philippines over recent days of Chinese harassment at sea.

`We hope relevant countries will do more for peace and stability in the region.''

Vietnam on Monday staged live-fire exercises following recent confrontations at sea with China which reignited a long-standing dispute over the sovereignty of two potentially oil-rich archipelagos, the Paracels and Spratlys.

Mr Hong insisted Vietnam was to blame for the recent flare-up, sparked by a confrontation between Chinese surveillance vessels and a Vietnamese oil survey ship.

``Some country took unilateral actions to impair China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and released groundless and irresponsible remarks with the attempt to expand and complicate the issue of the South China Seas,'' he said, in a thinly-veiled reference to Hanoi. ``This is where the problem lies.''

The Australian


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Don`t Waste Your Time Watching OPEC. The Market Is Much More Important.

OPEC always comes to a consensus verbally when it has public relations announcements, but they are always cheating on each other. I don't pay too much attention to OPEC, because OPEC is running out of oil just like the rest of the world. Don't waste your time watching OPEC; I guess you have to, because you have to have something on TV. But OPEC is not nearly the force it used to be. The market is much more important. - in Economic Times

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US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece: Gross

Bill Gross

When adding in all of the money owed to cover future liabilities in entitlement programs the US is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries, Pimco's Bill Gross told CNBC Monday.

Much of the public focus is on the nation's public debt, which is $14.3 trillion. But that doesn't include money guaranteed for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which comes to close to $50 trillion, according to government figures.

The government also is on the hook for other debts such as the programs related to the bailout of the financial system following the crisis of 2008 and 2009, government figures show.

Taken together, Gross puts the total at "nearly $100 trillion," that while perhaps a bit on the high side, places the country in a highly unenviable fiscal position that he said won't find a solution overnight.

"To think that we can reduce that within the space of a year or two is not a realistic assumption," Gross said in a live interview. "That's much more than Greece, that's much more than almost any other developed country. We've got a problem and we have to get after it quickly."

Gross spoke following a report that US banks were likely to scale back on their use of Treasurys as collateral against derivatives and other transactions. Bank heads say that move is likely to happen in August as Congress dithers over whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The move reflects increasing concern from the financial community over whether the US is capable of a political solution to its burgeoning debt and deficit problems.



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