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The Obama administration is asking private investors to help buy up to a trillion dollars of bad assets from the nation's banks. President Obama calls it "one more critical element" in his effort to revive the economy.

Investigators say they are looking into possible overloading on a plane that crashed in Montana, killing all 14 people aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane was likely designed to carry a total of 11 people, including two pilots.

Lance Armstrong has broken his collarbone in a crash during a five-day-race in Spain. A fellow team member says it was a clean fracture without complications. He added the seven-time Tour de France Champion should make a fast recovery.

And Pandora is a horse unlike most. This five-year-old thoroughbred mare is allergic to grass. Her owner says she has to cover the horse from top to tail in specially designed rugs that protect her skin. But, she says, despite the long face, Pandora appears to be happy and healthy.
    Beijing is encouraging its biggest carmakers – Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, FAW, Dongfeng and Changan – to lead consolidation of its automobile industry.


Detailing plans announced in January to support the automobile and steel sectors in the face of the global financial crisis, the state council, China's cabinet, pledged to increase the degree of concentration in both industries.

The move raises expectations that the government could also start spelling out policy targets for the other eight industries it has pledged to support during the past three months.

The automobile industry plan is likely to attract global attention because the plight of several ailing carmakers in the US and Europe has repeatedly triggered rumours that Chinese carmakers could come to the rescue. Geely, for example, is rumoured to have considered a bid for Ford's Volvo brand. Dongfeng and Changan, which produces Volvo cars in China in a joint venture with Ford, are also thought to have expressed interest in the marque.


While the state council called on carmakers to develop their brands and pledged support for cross-border mergers as one possible means of doing that, the plan's focus is clearly on domestic industry consolidation.

The cabinet's blueprint said it would seek major progress in restructuring the industry during the next three years and wanted “to create two to three big carmaking groups with output of more than 2m vehicles a year, [and] four to five carmaking groups with output of more than 1m vehicles” by the end of 2011.

In addition, the number of players that control a combined 90 per cent share of the market should drop from 14 to 10.

The state council also said it wanted Beijing Automotive Industry, Guangzhou Automobile Group, Chery Automobile and China National Heavy Duty Truck to lead regional consolidation.
国务院还表示,希望北汽(Beijing Automotive Industry)、广汽(Guangzhou Automobile Group)、奇瑞汽车(Chery Automobile)和中国重汽集团(China National Heavy Duty Truck)引领区域整合。

Worst Year For Berkshire Hathaway

[不指定 09/03/05 08:28 | by admin ]
     Worst Year For Berkshire Hathaway
  Warren Buffett conceded that his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, turned in its worst performance on record as the financial crisis drew the world's economy into a deepening recession, and gave investors little reason to believe a turnround is imminent.

  In his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, Mr Buffett recounted how frozen credit markets dovetailed with tumbling home and stock prices to imperil many banks and produce "a paralysing fear that engulfed the country".
  "By year end," he wrote, "investors of all stripes were bloodied and confused, much as if they were small birds that had strayed into a badminton game."
  The billionaire also urged his legions of followers to remember that the stock market usually rises – the S&P 500 index has produced annual increases in 75 per cent of the past 44 years – and may do so again even if the downturn persists.
  "We're certain, for example, that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 – and, for that matter, probably well beyond – but that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall," he wrote.
  Regardless, Mr Buffett wrote, Berkshire will stick with a strategy that has produced an annual compound growth in book value of 20.3 per cent.
  It would maintain its "Gibraltar-like" financial strength, improve the competitive position of its existing businesses and make new acquisitions that bolster earnings.
  That mindset did not help Berkshire navigate the financial crisis unscathed. Net income dropped 59 per cent in 2008 to $4.99bn, or $3,224 a share, from $12.2bn, or $8,548, a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.8 per cent to $107.8bn from $118.2bn.


[不指定 09/02/16 20:07 | by admin ]
  The World Bank's board of governors has approved a proposal to create an additional seat for developing nations on its executive board. This move, if sealed by the bank's 185 members, will help developing countries to have a majority of seats on the board. It would also help increase the voting power of this bloc to 44
  The measure comes as a response to the criticism that it (and other international organizations such as the IMF) faced last year for its failure to foresee the global financial crisis.
  At the G20 Summit in Washington last November, some developing nations had pressed for a revision in the representation mechanism in international financial institutions. This, they said, would enable them to have a better say in the workings of these multilateral bodies.
  "Expanding the developing world's voice is central to delivering effective aid and promoting shared prosperity and development within a 21st century economic reality," World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said in a statement.
  The bank agreed to add a chair for Sub-Saharan Africa in addition to its existing 24 seats on the executive board. This was part of the bank's "first phase of reforms to increase the influence of developing countries". It also pledged to undertake a comprehensive work program to realign bank shareholdings and move toward an equitable voting arrangement between the developed and developing countries.
  Although the latest move comes as an important step to help reform the World Bank's governance structure, experts have warned that bolder reforms are needed going
  "It is an irreversible trend for the developing world to push reforms on the international financial institutions, and the change in the World Bank's representation is but a minor step on the road to making it more representative," Hua Ercheng, chief economist with the China Construction Bank, said.
  The current management mechanism in international financial institutions was out-dated as it largely reflected the political and economic landscape of the early years after World War II, Hua said, pointing out that it was unreasonable to still stick to the old governance model.An official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said early Friday there was no indication that terrorism was involved in the plane crash in Buffalo, New York, Thursday night.
  An airliner with 48 people on board crashed in the U.S. State of New York on Tuesday evening, local media reported overnight.
  The crash occurred at around 10:20 p.m. Thursday in suburban Buffalo in northern New York State, as the 50-seat commuter plane crashed into a home, TV networks including CNN reported.
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