sábado, septiembre 20, 2008

Qué eso de OCTAPODI ?

Si lo quieres conocer...entonces tienes que hacer click en el vínculo de arriba...

'The Trillion Dollar Meltdown'

'The Trillion Dollar Meltdown'
A look at the best selling book by Charles R. Morris
Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
Published 2008-09-20 17:03 (KST)

"We are living in the most reckless financial environment in recent history." This is the opinion of the writer Charles R. Morris in his book "The Trillion Dollar Meltdown."

According Morris, the abusive financial levers to investment banks and hedge funds and private equity practically have disturbed global markets.

Everything that has happened explains how we got here, and what is about to happen. After this accident our priorities will be very different. But things may get worse before they improve. The author of this book emphatically believes the death of liberalism is to come.

All this financial disaster what we call "a tsunami of dollars" reminds us that always exist in these events: Winners and losers.

For those who ask, "Why it happened?" Here in this book is a place to get some answers. It's a wonderful explanation of how it happened.

Morris joins the dots between the Keynesian liberalism of the 1960's, crippling stagflation of the 1970 and the free market of 1980 and 1990, before entering the world of ultra-cheap money and the crazy financial innovation.

In his brief but brilliant book, Morris describes how the US was put into the mess we're in... Few writers are as good as Morris to make financial analyses understandable and even fascinating.

"Reuters said that all this is a very serious financial crisis. We must anticipate that in the coming weeks and months ahead there may be other financial institutions with some problems," said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The crisis could also affect the world economy although both developing countries as the most developed show signs of resistance, said Strauss-Kahn to journalists after a meeting with finance ministers and Central Bank governors of the Persian Gulf States.

"It's a very serious financial crisis," he said. "We still have ahead of the consequences for some financial institutions. We have to anticipate that in the coming weeks and months ahead there may be other financial institutions with some problems."

Strauss-Kahn made these comments the day after the US authorities arranged an $85 billion loan for American International Group Inc., saving it from bankruptcy.

"This generated a certain calm in the altered global financial markets. What we are experiencing these days is an increased risk of low and uncertainty, but we still believe that the world economy will recover in 2009," said Strauss-Kahn. "It's important to see that this has an influence on the real economy, but the real economy is very strong both in developed countries as in emerging."

For example, the annual surplus of China is equal to 12 percent of its GDP. And that figure, in 2009, is equivalent to the annual deficit of the United States.

The lesson to be derived from this is that there should be stricter controls, as noted these days by McCain and Obama.

Alfredo Ascanio is a professor of economics at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela.

El libro lo encuentras en Amazon:
  • AQUI
  • jueves, septiembre 18, 2008

    Beyond crisis management

    Sep 18th 2008
    From The Economist print edition

    EVERY financial crisis involves a tug of war between the tacticians and the strategists. The tacticians dash from skirmish to skirmish trying to control a crisis, deciding in each case whether taxpayers should bail out a distressed bank, firm or country. The strategists call for a more comprehensive approach to resolving the mess—often involving new government bodies to recapitalise banks or take over troubled assets.

    The present crisis in America conforms to this pattern. So far, the government's response has been ad hoc and focused on crisis containment. The tacticians at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have put plenty of taxpayers' money on the line—whether through the huge expansion in the central bank's liquidity facilities, the loan to Bear Stearns in March, or the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants, and, now, of AIG, a huge insurer. But they have focused on staving off catastrophe one bail-out at a time.

    Now the strategists are pushing back. From across the political spectrum people are arguing that it is time for America to shift to a more systematic approach. In the past week Barney Frank, the leading Democrat on financial matters in the House of Representatives, Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the Fed, as well as writers of the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, have suggested that Congress may need to create a new agency to deal with the mess. All have pointed to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), a government body set up in 1989 to deal with the fallout of the savings and loan (S&L) bankruptcies.

    Americans focus on the RTC because it is the country's most recent example of a comprehensive government plan to deal with a financial crisis. Between 1980 and 1994 almost 1,300 specialised mortgage lenders, known as thrifts, failed. Their combined assets amounted to more than $600 billion. By 1986 these failures had bankrupted the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, the federal insurer for the thrift industry. At first the government tried to muddle through by trying to recapitalise the insurer. But the S&L mess escalated. In 1989 Congress created the RTC, an entirely new organisation, to dispose of the failed thrifts' assets in a way that minimised downward pressure on financial and property markets.

    The RTC is not a perfect parallel for today's needs. It was set up—years after the S&L crisis began—to deal with the aftermath of widespread bank failures. Those who advocate comprehensive action today want to minimise the mess, not just clean up afterwards. Their proposals vary, but many who cite the RTC envisage an institution that buys troubled mortgage-backed securities (not only from failing institutions), putting a floor under their price. Some propose that the putative new agency should manage and write down the underlying mortgages, in effect combining the functions of the RTC with a Depression-era institution, called the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, which bought and restructured defaulting mortgages. Details are in short supply, but intellectual momentum is building for a broader solution.

    Not a moment too soon, suggest the results of a new study by Luc Laeven and Fabian Valencia, two IMF economists.* They examined all systemically important banking crises between 1970 and 2007, creating a database on how much financial crises cost and how they are resolved. The evidence is clear. Tactical crisis containment is expensive and frequently inadequate. In most financial meltdowns a comprehensive solution was required, and the sooner it was provided the better.

    The study looks at 42 crises in all, spanning 37 countries. Like America today, most governments began with ad hoc crisis management. In 74% of cases, for instance, governments pumped emergency loans into failing banks or guaranteed their liabilities. An equally common tactic has been regulatory forbearance. Governments allowed banks to hold less capital than was normally required or softened their rules in other ways. These tactical responses, however, often did not work and ended up increasing the overall bill from a crisis. "All too often", the economists conclude, "central banks privilege stability over cost in the heat of the containment phase."

    No such thing as a free crunch

    Sooner or later most governments realise the need for a comprehensive solution to the crisis, involving public funds. This can take different forms, from bank recapitalisation to forgiveness of all the underlying debts. In three-quarters of the cases, governments shored up bank capital by, for instance, injecting preferred stock. About 60% of the time, governments set up institutions to manage distressed assets.

    The evidence from these attempts is sobering for proponents of an RTC II. Some institutions worked well. In the early 1990s, for instance, Sweden successfully set up an asset-management company to take over and sell the bad loans from its biggest banks. But, in general, the paper argues, such government-owned asset-management firms are ineffective—often because politicians try to push them around.

    On average, the study finds that government attempts to stanch systemic banking crises over the past three decades have cost 16% of GDP. That average hides enormous variation, much of which depends on how crises were handled. America's mess, even if it has already led to the demise of famous Wall Street firms, is far from finished. That is why the international lessons are worth taking seriously. Resolving a financial mess is cheaper, quicker and less painful if governments take a rounded approach. For the moment, the bail-out tacticians are in overdrive. But the strategists' moment is approaching.

    A nação perdida

    A nação perdida

    Demétrio Magnoli

    A Bolívia é uma prova do fracasso da teoria da modernização e do triunfo trágico das políticas calcadas sobre identidades étnicas. A teoria da modernização, tanto na vertente marxista quanto na conservadora, ambas positivistas, enxerga as identidades étnicas como anacronismos: sobrevivências de um passado atrasado destinadas a desaparecer pela ação trituradora do capitalismo. Mas as políticas étnicas bolivianas - conduzidas, em sentidos contrapostos, por Evo Morales e pela elite dirigente de Santa Cruz - não expressam teimosas realidades ancestrais: as identidades ameríndia, no Altiplano, e camba, no Oriente, são invenções recentes que funcionam como ferramentas no jogo de poder. Os plebiscitos que confirmaram o mandato do presidente, bem como os dos governadores oposicionistas do Oriente, atestam o triunfo dos dois lados na fabricação de identidades étnicas contrastantes. Para azar da Bolívia.

    Não se deu a merecida atenção às fotografias das sessões da Assembléia Constituinte boliviana da qual emanou o texto constitucional que figura como pomo da discórdia. Os deputados da maioria exibiam vestimentas ameríndias tradicionais, algo que só não provoca estranheza a quem desconhece a Bolívia. Os ameríndios são 5 milhões, entre 9,1 milhões de bolivianos. Hoje, metade deles vive nas cidades. El Alto, a "cidade indígena" na periferia de La Paz, já tem 870 mil habitantes, que fazem da internet um nexo entre o mundo e as comunidades aimarás dos povoados do Altiplano. A língua espanhola, que foi o idioma apenas dos brancos e mestiços, atualmente é tão utilizada pelos índios quanto o quíchua e o aimará. Os ameríndios bolivianos não usam mais vestimentas "indígenas", exceto para vender produtos a turistas ou se são representantes de um projeto étnico na Assembléia Constituinte.

    A "Bolívia ameríndia" é uma ruptura identitária. Os mineiros do estanho que deflagraram a Revolução Boliviana de 1952 tinham origem indígena, mas se definiam como trabalhadores e bolivianos, não como índios. O próprio Evo Morales alçou-se à notoriedade atuando como liderança sindical dos camponeses "cocaleros". Foi só mais tarde, quando iniciou a jornada rumo à presidência, que ele se aliou aos arautos de um "renascimento aimará" e a ONGs multiculturalistas internacionais. Dessa aliança nasceu o projeto de uma "Bolívia plurinacional", agora consagrado na letra de uma Constituição que acende a fagulha da guerra civil.

    "Elite branca", esse é o epíteto usado pelos governistas para fazer referência aos oposicionistas da "Meia-Lua" boliviana. Entretanto, nos Departamentos orientais, elites e povo não se enxergam como brancos, mas como mestiços cambas. O movimento camba nasceu como reação à Revolução Boliviana dos mineiros de estanho, fabricando uma suposta identidade ancestral para o povo do Oriente. Segundo essa narrativa romântica, os cambas seriam os frutos da miscigenação entre brancos de origem espanhola e guaranis das terras baixas. O relicário de imagens dos guaranis "ancestrais" desempenha, em Santa Cruz, funções simbólicas paralelas às das "nações originárias" ameríndias em La Paz.

    A ascensão de Evo Morales, portando a bandeira da restauração das "nações originárias", forneceu combustível para a transformação do projeto identitário camba num movimento popular. Evo e os seus continuam a crismar os opositores como "minoria oligárquica", mas sabem que não é bem assim. Eis o motivo pelo qual, diante das alternativas da repressão e da negociação, optaram pela segunda.

    Paradoxalmente, a natureza trágica do impasse boliviano decorre da convergência de fundo entre La Paz e Santa Cruz, sintetizada na fórmula da "Bolívia plurinacional". Essa fórmula significa que todos estão de acordo em renunciar à nação boliviana. De acordo com ela, a Bolívia não existe, a não ser na forma de uma entidade territorial: uma moldura geográfica habitada por nações distintas, em tudo apartadas. O consenso da renúncia molda os dissensos políticos capazes de ensangüentar o país.

    Nos tempos da Revolução Boliviana, a riqueza da Bolívia estava incrustada no subsolo do Altiplano indígena, sob a forma de extensos veios de cassiterita. Hoje, a riqueza encontra-se nos depósitos de hidrocarbonetos do subsolo do Oriente camba. Na cúpula da Unasul, dias atrás, Evo Morales defendeu a "unidade" do país e acusou os opositores de tramarem a "divisão". Na sua tradução da "Bolívia plurinacional", as "nações" bolivianas têm direito à autonomia, mas a "unidade" repousa sobre o controle central dos recursos naturais e das rendas dos hidrocarbonetos. Os governadores da "Meia-Lua", por sua vez, exigem que essas rendas sejam subordinadas ao princípio da descentralização e aos privilégios autonômicos departamentais.

    A nação, nas palavras de Benedict Anderson, é uma "comunidade imaginada". Os bolivianos imaginaram-se como integrantes de uma nação única mesmo nas turbulências incessantes de quase toda a segunda metade do século 20. Agora, em razão das opções de suas elites políticas, tanto a do Altiplano quanto a do Oriente, imaginam-se como soldados de nações étnicas separadas pela fronteira intransponível do sangue. Na cúpula da Unasul, Hugo I atribuiu a crise à "ingerência do império americano" e a "uma espécie de greve" do comando militar boliviano. Mas, apesar do que pensa o Mussolini latino-americano, a crise é nacional e os chefes militares comandam um Exército rachado de alto a baixo pela mesma linha de corte que divide a nação. Manifestando seu respaldo ao governo de Evo Morales, o presidente equatoriano, Rafael Correa, prometeu que a América Latina não permitirá a conversão da Bolívia nos "Bálcãs". Ninguém, exceto os bolivianos, tem o poder de realizar esse desejo. Mas não será fácil, pois o requisito é uma renúncia à renúncia. Depois de tudo, alguém ainda quer ser simplesmente boliviano?

    Demétrio Magnoli é sociólogo e doutor em Geografia Humana pela USP. E-mail: demetrio.magnoli@terra.com.br

    El capitalismo en el espejo

    El capitalismo en el espejo

    Por Felipe González
    El País

    Un año después del comienzo de la crisis del sistema financiero de Estados Unidos y su rápido contagio a otras áreas centrales, seguimos sin diagnóstico y, por tanto, sin terapia. Es una crisis extraña. Por el momento, ha liquidado la extendida creencia de que el mercado lo arregla todo y solo. Es decir, la teoría dominante desde los años 90 del "todo mercado", con un rechazo fundamentalista a la intervención regulatoria.

    El desconcierto lleva a la Unión Europea a hacer lo contrario de lo que se hace en Estados Unidos en política monetaria, aunque los problemas de inflación sean los mismos. En los países centrales, sigue cayendo la actividad y los precios se resisten a bajar.

    En la UE, en general, porque el Reino Unido va por su rumbo, hay gran resistencia a las intervenciones consideradas contradictorias con el libre funcionamiento del mercado. En Estados Unidos, vemos acciones como la nacionalización encubierta de las sociedades que controlaban casi la mitad del mercado hipotecario, con una intervención de 200.000 millones de dólares.

    Así, podríamos seguir poniendo ejemplos de actuaciones al menos dispares para enfrentar la misma crisis. La paradoja es que el comportamiento pragmático, chocando con la ideología neoliberal, se da en la cuna doctrinal de esta teoría, en tanto que en la UE, tan crítica siempre de ese neoliberalismo, hay una renuencia muy fuerte a la intervención para contrarrestar la sintomatología de la crisis.

    Es verdad, casi la única verdad, que se sigue sabiendo poco sobre las causas profundas de esta crisis global y que nadie se atreve a predecir los efectos ni la duración. Ha habido otras con anterioridad, como la que indujo hace una década la crisis financiera de los mercados emergentes, que terminó contagiando a los centrales en los albores del nuevo siglo.

    Ahora ha empezado al revés. Son los países centrales, comenzando por Estados Unidos, los generadores de la crisis financiera. Como hace una década, pero al revés, hay quienes dicen que los países emergentes están desmarcándose de ella, pero tengo la convicción, que entonces también expresé, de que se contagiará el conjunto del sistema y tendrá efectos sobre la economía real de los países emergentes, no sólo de los centrales.

    Subyace a la crisis actual una situación nueva, inducida por dos factores: la evolución de los precios de las materias primas, sobre todo energéticas, que han trasladado masivamente el capital a los países productores y a los que han mostrado capacidad de generar riqueza y ahorro como nuevas potencias emergentes (China o la India). El llamado Occidente desarrollado tiene que pagar en el futuro lo que ha gastado ya, en tanto que las zonas productoras de energía y los grandes emergentes han ahorrado lo que podrán gastar o invertir en ese mismo futuro.

    Y en todas partes la fuerte tensión inflacionista es el factor más preocupante.

    El "triunfo pleno" del sistema capitalista o de mercado, con las variantes que deseen, desde China hasta Chile, tras la caída del modelo comunista, lo ha dejado sin alternativa sistémica. No se puede considerar alternativa ninguna de las utopías regresivas que aparecen de vez en cuando con poco recorrido y menos consistencia.

    Pero estamos haciendo del mercado algo que no es. Una especie de régimen que va más allá de la economía de mercado para llevarnos a una sociedad de mercado, cada vez más global y pretendidamente autorregulada por la mano invisible.

    De broma, pero en serio, podríamos decir que el capitalismo no se contrapone al comunismo, por extinción de éste, sino que se mira en su propio espejo y constata que la imagen que le devuelve es fea y fuera de control.

    Durante años, cuando las cosas marchaban bien globalmente, aun con muchos desajustes y desigualdades lacerantes, las miradas en el espejo han sido autocomplacientes. Ahora, que estamos navegando en la incertidumbre o con la certidumbre de que esto va mal, la imagen que se refleja no satisface a nadie.

    Si las consecuencias no fueran tan duras, e incluso dramáticas, sería divertido contemplar al sistema triunfante sin saber qué hacer consigo mismo, sin poder compararse con otros peores y sin poder encontrar culpables. Pero no da la situación para divertirse, y hay que actuar.

    Primero, con el mayor pragmatismo posible y sin pérdida de tiempo, porque las teorías tradicionales no nos ofrecen soluciones a la nueva realidad que aparece fuera de libreto. Esto vale para los gobiernos europeos y para la propia Unión Europea y su Banco Central, porque es muy peligroso y arriesgado seguir esperando con estos tipos de interés y esta falta de liquidez.

    Segundo, intentando buscar un papel para la política con mayúsculas, capaz de hacer más previsible la evolución futura de este mercado global que escapa a los poderes establecidos en la sociedad industrial.

    Un mercado global sin reglas o con las de la famosa "mano invisible" nos llevará en el futuro a otras crisis, no cíclicas, como decíamos antes, sino imprevisibles y sorpresivas, como la que estamos viviendo ahora. ¿No se está incubando la siguiente crisis financiera a través de las operaciones a futuro sobre materias primas y alimentación con un escaso nivel de afianzamiento?

    Es decir, la famosa gobernanza (papel ineludible de la política) permanece en el ámbito de lo local-nacional y de los obsoletos organismos financieros del pasado, en tanto que los fenómenos económicos y financieros más relevantes se mueven en el ámbito global sin gobierno alguno. Por si fuera poco, la era posterior a la caída del Muro de Berlín ha alimentado un descrédito de la política como un estorbo al desarrollo sin reglas de la nueva era de la globalización.

    Cargada de paradojas y plena de contradicciones la situación en que nos encontramos, pasamos de pedir a los responsables políticos que no interfieran, que no regulen, que dejen libertad a los mercados, a reclamar que arreglen los desaguisados a los que den lugar, incluso cuando la crisis, por sus causas y consecuencias, está más allá de sus competencias y capacidades locales-nacionales.

    Más que nunca, necesitaríamos una acción en el nivel de la UE y una concertación transatlántica eficaz para continuar. Los responsables del comienzo de esta situación, que alcanza ya dimensiones globales, tienen la obligación de dar respuestas a sus áreas y al mundo. Pero no se ve en el horizonte, y esto crea más desasosiego.

    The presidential campaign and the U.S economy

    The presidential campaign and the U.S economy
    The hot new topic to persuade and attract votes

    Alfredo Ascanio (askain)

    The former senator Phil Gramm of Texas, economic adviser to McCain was quoted as saying: that the United States there is only a "mental recession" and that the country had become "a nation of" mourners ".

    McCain in turn said: "There is an enormous chaos in our financial markets and on Wall Street." "People are scared by these developments. I believe that still the fundamentals of our economy are strong" and then emphasize: "But these moments are very, very difficult. And I promise that we will never put again America in this position. We will clean up Wall Street. Let's government reform, because that this is a failure”.

    His statement about the soundness of the fundamentals of the economy is an issue that has developed many times, for almost a year, usually adding that times are hard or that people are wrong.

    However, his reiteration of the observation on Monday following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers accentuated the high loss of stock market since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which is has quickly become a political problem.
    Then Obama said: "Let's be clear: what we have seen in recent days is none other than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has failed completely”.

    During the week closing of the presidential race, Obama has been pointing to economic affairs on the issue, after the collapse of Wall Street, to illustrate the need for greater oversight and stronger regulation in the financial sector. But he faces a challenge at this time with Senator John McCain that has adopted a reformer and populist message with the words: "clean up Wall Street".

    The basic question is whether Obama can define his candidacy around the economy, like other Democrats who have done previously, and also whether Obama can be seen as the connection with the needs that arise Americans. Then, to persuade Obama continued by saying that:

    "Instead of offering concrete plans to resolve these issues, Senator McCain has offered the oldest trick in Washington: You pass the ball to a commission to study the problem".

    "But here's the thing - this is not the 9 / 11. We know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership to seek immediate solutions”.

    Obama calls for more aggressive regulation on Wall Street and a new emphasis on institutional innovation, and oppose issues such as tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    "It's difficult to see how Senator McCain is going to get that emerge from this crisis doing the same things with the same old players. Make no mistake: my opponent has been in operation for four years with policies that lead to an imbalance in the economy. For Wall Street would be more convincing if not offer more tax cuts. "

    However, neither McCain nor Obama had based their campaign messages across the economy. Obama was the candidate of change in relation to the Iraq war. And largely McCain appealed to Republicans for demonstrating their credentials on national security and support for the war.

    Now the economy will be the hot topics of the presidential campaign to recall that phrase years ago "the economy stupid" was said during the campaign of Bill Clinton. In short: McClain and Obama have no choice but to urgently adapt to these new facts of a very severe economic crisis.

    The two candidates are right because the economic recovery produces positive effects, especially if U.S. withdrew in time of war in Iraq.

    For many years people asked to economists promote policies to raise the Gross Domestic Product, but that was only economic growth and not development. The development is to use resources of production with productivity and also fairly distribute wealth, within a democratic system.

    In USA for the year 1933 wages and salaries accounted 74% of national income even with unemployment at 25% of the total employed persons, and profitability or revenue to businesses 8%. Then in 1947, during the post-war, revenue to companies accounted 32% of the country's income and payment of wages for 63% of national’s income and in an atmosphere of full employment. Then, the country has to achieve these indicators again and leave their high difficulty.

    miércoles, septiembre 17, 2008

    La campaña y la economía en USA

    El ex senador Phil Gramm de Texas, asesor en asuntos económicos de McCain fue citado y dijo: que en los Estados Unidos sólo existe una "recesión mental" y que el país se había convertido en "una nación de :" dolientes ".

    McCain a su vez señaló : "Hay un enorme caos en nuestros mercados financieros y en Wall Street". "La gente está asustada por estos acontecimientos. Creo que todavía los fundamentos de nuestra economía son fuertes"; para luego enfatizar: "Pero estas son momentos muy, muy difícil. Y yo les prometo que nunca pondremos a América en esta posición de nuevo. Vamos a limpiar de Wall Street. Vamos a la reforma del gobierno, por que esto es un fracaso."

    Su declaración acerca de la solidez de los fundamentos de la economía es un tema que ha desarrollado muchas veces, durante casi un año, por lo general agregando que los tiempos son difíciles o que las personas están mal. Sin embargo, su reiteración de la observación el lunes, tras la quiebra de Lehman Brothers acentuó las elevadas pérdido del mercado de valores desde los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001, lo cual se ha se convertido rápidamente en un problema político.

    Por eso Obama señaló lo siguiente:

    "Vamos a ser claros: lo que hemos visto los últimos días es nada menos que el veredicto final sobre una filosofía económica que ha fracasado por completo".

    En la semana de clausura de la carrera presidencial, Obama ha estado señalando asuntos sobre la cuestión económica, después del colapso de Wall Street, para ilustrar la necesidad de una mayor regulación y supervisión más fuerte en el sector financiero. Pero él se enfrenta a un desafío en este momento con el Senador John McCain el cual ha adoptado un mensaje populista y reformador con la frase : "limpiar Wall Street."

    La cuestión básica es si Obama puede definir su candidatura en torno a la economía, al igual que otros demócratas que lo han hecho con anterioridad; y también si Obama puede ser visto como la conexión con las necesidades que se plantean los estadounidenses. Entonces, para persuadir siguió diciendo Obama lo siguiente:

    "En lugar de ofrecer planes concretos para resolver estas cuestiones, el senador McCain ha ofrecido el más viejo truco de Washington : Usted pasa la pelota a una Comisión para estudiar el problema".

    "Pero aquí está la cosa - esto no es el 9 / 11. Sabemos cómo llegamos en este lío. Lo que necesitamos ahora es un liderazgo que busque soluciones inmediatas."

    Obama pide una regulación más agresiva en Wall Street y un nuevo énfasis en la innovación institucional, y se oponen a temas como los recortes de impuestos para los estadounidenses más ricos.

    "Es difícil entender cómo el senador McCain va a conseguir que salgamos de esta crisis haciendo las mismas cosas con los mismos viejos jugadores. No nos equivoquemos: mi oponente ha estado en funcionando durante cuatro años con políticas que llevan a la economía a un desequilibrio. Para Wall Street sería más convincente si no se ofrecieran más recortes de impuestos".

    No obstante, Ni Obama ni McCain habían basado sus respectivas campañas a través de mensajes económicos. Obama fue el candidato del cambio en relación a la guerra de Irak. Y en gran medida McCain hizo un llamamiento a los republicanos para que avalaran sus credenciales de seguridad nacional y el apoyo a la guerra.

    Ahora la ECONOMIA será el temas caliente de la campaña presidencial para recordar aquella frase de hace años "la economía estúpido" que se dijo durante la campaña de Bill Clinton. En resumen: McClain y Obama no tienen otra opción que adaptarse con urgencia a estos nuevos hechos de una crisis económica muy severa.

    Fed rescues AIG with $85 billion loan for 80% stake

    Fed rescues AIG with $85 billion loan for 80% stake

    By Edmund L. Andrews Published: September 17, 2008

    WASHINGTON: Acting to avert a possible financial crisis worldwide, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board reversed course Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the U.S. government an ownership stake in the troubled insurance giant American International Group.

    The decision, announced by the Fed only two weeks after the Treasury Department took over the quasi-government mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history.

    With time running out after AIG failed to get a bank loan to avoid bankruptcy, Treasury Secterary Henry Paulson Jr. and the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke convened a meeting with House and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to explain the rescue plan.

    They emerged just after 7:30 p.m. with Paulson and Bernanke looking grim but top lawmakers generally expressing support for the plan. But the bailout is likely to prove controversial, because it effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by AIG and other institutions does business with.

    What frightened Fed and Treasury officials was not simply the prospect of another giant corporate bankruptcy, but AIG's role as an enormous provider of financial insurance, which effectively requires it cover losses suffered by other institutions in the instance of defaults of securities that they have purchased. That means AIG is potentially on the hook for securities that were once considered safe.

    If AIG had collapsed — and been unable to pay all of its insurance claims — institutional investors around the world would have been instantly forced to reappraise the value of billions of dollars in debt securities, which in turn would have reduced their own capital and the value of their own debt.

    "It would have been a chain reaction," said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of economics at Princeton University. "The spillover effects could have been incredible."

    Financial markets, which on Monday had plunged over worries about AIG's possible collapse, reacted with relief to the news of the bailout. In anticipation of a deal, stocks about 1 percent in the United States on Tuesday and were up about 2 percent in early trading in Asian markets Wednesday.

    Still, the move will likely start an intense political debate during the presidential election campaign over who is to blame for the financial crisis that prompted the rescue.

    Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Paulson and Bernanke had not requested any new legislative authority for the bailout at the meeting Tuesday.

    "The secretary and the chairman of the Fed, two Bush appointees, came down here and said, 'We're from the government, we're here to help them,' " Frank said. "I mean this is one more affirmation that the lack of regulation has caused serious problems. That the private market screwed itself up and they need the government to come help them unscrew it."

    The decision was a remarkable turnabout by the Bush administration and Paulson, who had flatly refused over the weekend to risk taxpayer money to prevent the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the distressed sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. Earlier this year, the government bailed out another investment bank, Bear Stearns, by engineering a sale to JPMorgan Chase that left taxpayers on the hook for up to $29 billion of bad investments by Bear Stearns. The government hoped at the time that this unusual step would both calm markets and lead to a recovery by the financial system. But critics warned at the time that it would only encourage others to seek bailouts, and the eventual costs to the government would be staggering.

    The decision to rescue AIG came on the same day that the Fed decided to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2 percent, turning aside hopes by many on Wall Street that the Fed would try to shore up confidence by cutting rates once again.

    Fed and Treasury officials initially had turned a cold shoulder to AIG, when company executives pleaded on Sunday night for the Fed to provide a $40 billion bridge loan to stave off a crippling downgrade of its credit ratings as a result of tens of billions of dollars of losses related to insurance investments that have turned sour.

    But government officials reluctantly backed away from their tough-minded approach after a failed attempt to line up private financing with help from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, which told U.S. government officials that they simply could not raise the money given both the general angst in credit markets and the specific fears of problems with AIG.

    Another reason that AIG posed systemic risk is that it might have been forced to liquidate real estate and other assets at fire sale prices — a move that could drive property prices lowers and force countless other companies to mark down the value of their own holdings.

    The complexity of AIG's business, and the fact that it does business with thousands of companies around the globe, make its survival critical at a time when there is stress throughout the financial system worldwide.

    "It's the interconnectedness and the fear of the unknown, meaning the impact of a failure," said Roger Altman, a former Treasury official under President Bill Clinton. "But size is a factor, you can't ignore that. The prospect of world's largest insurer failing, together with the interconnectedness and the uncertainty about the collateral damage – that's why it's scaring people so much."

    AIG is a sprawling empire built by Maurice "Hank" Greenberg who acquired hundreds of businesses all over the world until he was ousted amid an accounting scandal in 2005. Many of AIG's subsidiaries wrote insurance of various types. Others made home loans and leased aircraft. The diverse array of companies were more valuable under a single corporate parent like AIG, because business cycles offset other, giving AIG a relatively smooth stream of revenue and income.

    After Greenberg's departure, AIG restated its books over a five-year period and instituted conservative new accounting policies. But before the company could really rebuild itself, it became embroiled in the mortgage crisis. Some of its insurance companies ended up with mortgage-backed securities on their books, for example. But AIG's downfall involved a new kind of insurance its financial products unit offered investors in complex debt securities.

    Its stock tumbled faster this year as first the debt securities lost value, and then the derivatives-based insurance contracts came under a cloud.

    The Fed's extraordinary rescue of AIG underscores how much fear remains about the destructive potential of the complex financial instruments, like credit default swaps, that brought AIG to its knees. The market for such instruments has exploded in recent years, but it is almost entirely unregulated. When AIG began to teeter in the last few days, it became clear that if it defaulted on its commitments under the swaps, it could set off a devastating chain reaction through the financial system.

    "We are witnessing a rather unique event in the history of the United States," said Suresh Sundaresan, the Chase Manhattan Bank professor of economics and finance at Columbia University, in New York. He thought the near brush with catastrophe would bring about an acceleration of efforts within the Treasury and the Fed to put safety controls on the use of credit default swaps.

    Most of AIG's subsidiaries are considered healthy and stable, and there is little question about who regulates them. AIG's crisis grew primarily out of its financial products unit, which dealt in complex debt securities and credit default swaps.

    The swaps are not securities and are not regulated by the SEC And while they perform the same function as an insurance policy they are not insurance in the conventional sense, so insurance regulators do not monitor them either.

    AIG's complex debt securities had already lost billions of dollars in value in the months before the crisis began, because their value depends on home values. But in the last two days, the swaps AIG's financial products unit had sold began eating up billions of dollars of AIG's cash and liquid assets. That ultimately paralyzed AIG because it could not find a way to keep up with the fast-growing need to provide cash under the terms of its swap contracts.

    This article was reported by Edmund L. Andrews, Michael J. de la Merced and Mary Williams Walsh and written by Andrews.

    La economía en USA y el remedio "musical"

    Yo escribí un artículo un poco satírico o mejor dicho más o menos "light" en un diario de Corea del Sur, sobre el tema de la economía de USA que pasa por su peor momento; y allí recuerdo a mis lectores que una situación parecida en 1929 hacía que la gente par olvidar sus problemas se refugiaba en la MUSICA que en aquel momento era el JAZZ y especialmente el SWING. A lo mejor a ustedes le agradaría leer el asunto aunque les notifico que está en idioma inglés.


    La medicina en base a plantas y en base a adaptógenos se ha puesto de moda...es posible que sea un complemento de la medicina que todos conocemos. El link de arriba nos reseña algunas posibilidades del uso de géneros botánicos como: Urtica Dioica, que sirve para algunas dolencias como sinusitis, rinitis, reumatismo, etc..

    domingo, septiembre 14, 2008


    Blog Talk Radio es un enlace interesante pues allí usted puede gravar en esa radio su propio show...


    Este BLOG del escritor brasilero Paulo Coelho lo pude conocer en el espacio que se llama ALQUIMIA de la Revista Venezolana TODO EN DOMINGO. En esa revista no. 465 del 14 de septiembre aparece un escrito de Coelho titulado SOBRE DESEOS INCUMPLIDOS, y ya son 8 deseos que el escritor no ha podido lograr...

    El Blog de Carolina Jr

    Hoy estaba leyendo la revista TODO EN DOMINGO de el diario El Nacional y como yo soy un fanático de los BLOGS me interesé por este Blog que se mencionó en la entrevista que le hicieron a la Hija de CAROLINA HERRERA , o sea: CAROLINA Jr y que aparece en la revista española TELVA.

    Esa entrevista fue muy interesante porque esta joven venezolana de 38 años y casada con el Torero español MIGUEL BAEZ (EL LITRI ), se refiere con orgullo del éxito de su madre en el campo de la moda y también de los perfumes, de su padre REINALDO HERRERA y de sus hijos pequeños: OLIMPIA y MIGUEL.

    Esta joven aunque es la futura heredera de una empresa multimillonaria (410 millones de dólares) se caracteriza por ser sencilla y sin ningún deseo de grandeza.