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Showing posts from 2012

The Fiscal Cliff and debt ceiling Explained -why should USA and the world worry?

“Fiscal cliff” is the popular shorthand term used to describe the conundrum that the U.S. government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect. Among the laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012, are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers), the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax that would take a larger bite, the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law. At the same time, the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect. According toBarron's, over 1,000 government programs - including the defense budget and Medicare are in line for "deep, automatic cuts." In dealing with the fiscal cliff, U.S. lawmakers have a choice among three options, none of which are particularly attractiv…

India's best known global brands overseas

The USD 100 billion house of theTatasis perceived as India's best known global brands not only within the country but also overseas


About 77% of those who participated in the survey, conducted in the first fortnight of December, said they are confident that Tata's successor Cyrus Mistry will be able to steer the group well. Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Mahindra and Mahindra and Aditya Birla Group were the other major Indian corporate house brands, listed to have made their mark on the global business landscape, the survey pointed out. However, the brand Tata stood out among all the top Indian corporate, perceived as the truly international brand, it said.    However, the biggest challenge for Mistry would be to ensure that the Tata companies are able to sail through the global slowdown, since the group operates in some 80 countries, several of which are in the grip of difficult times. Read full at: http://www.myiris.com/newsCentre/storyShow.php?fileR=20121224105357199&secID=from…

Genetically engineered herpes virus used to treat successfully patients with head and neck cancer.

Doctors say they have used a genetically engineered herpes virus to treat successfully patients with head and neck cancer. A London hospital trial of 17 patients found that use of the virus alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy helped kill the tumours in most patients. It works by getting into cancer cells, killing them from the inside, and also boosting the patient's immune system. Further trials are planned for later in the year. Head and neck cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, tongue and throat, affects up to 8,000 people every year in the UK. Study leader Dr Kevin Harrington, who is based at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said current treatments were effective if the cancer was picked up early but that many patients were not diagnosed until it was more advanced.The herpes virus, which is also being tested in patients with skin cancer, is genetically manipulated so that it grows inside tumour cells but cannot infect normal healthy cells.
More at ht…

India- Is the government misusing LIC?

The government is battling crisis on several fronts, a sputtering economy, soaring crude oil prices and inflation amongst others. One of the biggest concerns is the spiraling fiscal deficit. The central government has found it tough to rein in the deficit given the high spending on fuel subsidies and social welfare programmes, coupled with heavy borrowing and low collection through taxes. Though the government believed that its disinvestment programme would help tide over the cash crunch to an extent, the plan has not panned out as per expectations. In order to get the fiscal situation under control, the government is using Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and other public sector undertakings (PSUs) to fill its cash kitty. LIC of India has come to the Government's rescue repeatedly in the recent past. It bought shares in state-owned banks in 2009. In 2010, it bought the government's stake in a mining firm. This time, it is injecting a billion dollars into some state banks. It…

Children die of hunger as $2 Billion Program Proves Defective

The three untended child-sized graves, a few minutes’ walk from the village of Paltupur, bear witness to what happened when the trucks loaded with nutritional powder stopped coming to this desolate corner of easternIndia.
Great Value Foods Ltd.’s deliveries of the tasteless yellow substance, funded by a $2 billion program for India’s youngest and poorest, were cut off in August. All 2-year-old Jialal’s mother had left to give her son was boiled rice, the only food she couldaffordon a yearly income of about $75. As the days stretched into weeks, the boy kept losing weight. His crying grew feeble. He ran fevers. He’d fall as soon as his mother, Kalavati, let go of his hand. On Sept. 23, Jialal died, strapped to his mother’s chest as she searched the countryside for help. He wasn’t the first victim in the village, nor the last. On Aug. 20, Archna died. She was two. On Oct. 2, Anjali died. She was two. In a neighboring village, graves also were dug for Karishma, who died on Sept. 10 at t…

Companies' reduction of office space in 2012 results to 1 lakh fewer white-collar jobs

NEW DELHI: Around 1 lakh fewer white-collar jobs were created in India's top seven urban centres in 2012 compared with the previous year, if leasing or renting of new office space is considered a proxy for employment generation.
According to real estate consulting firm CBRE, the office space absorption or leasing of new space in these cities has come down from 35 million sq ft in 2011 to about 26 million sq ft in 2012. Data from Cushman & Wakefield, another international real estate consultancy, shows leasing is down from 37 million sq ft to 27 million sq ft while Jones Lang LaSalle says new office occupancy has fallen from 36 million sq ft to 28 million sq ft.

In India, the thumb rule is that a white-collar worker occupies an average space of 70 sq ft. An 8-10 million sq ft reduction in new office space occupancy during the year means 1-1.30 lakh fewer jobs have been created this year compared with 2011. The seven towns and cities covered by these consulting firms in …

Ill care at hospital, mounting pressure of medical insurance force mom to take her child out of hospital.

Emily's parents say they took their daughter out of the hospital after she contracted a bacterial infection in her right arm, which had to be amputated, and that they were pressured over health insurance and mounting medical bills, according to TODAY.

Officials at the hospital said they couldn't discuss Emily's medical treatment, but released a statement saying: "We steadfastly disagree with the assertions brought forth regarding the quality of care Emily received. ... Emily's health and well-being continues to be our primary concern."

Two weeks after a woman sneaked her 11-year-old daughter with leukemia out of a Phoenix hospital, the girl's parents say she is safe and under the care of doctors in Mexico."She's happy," Norma Bracamontes told TODAY. "She's getting better."The girl, Emily Bracamontes, says she supports her mother's actions. "My mom's only trying to save my life," she said. "She doesn't w…

China to be the largest economy in 2030 ?

original from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323339704578171114155456982.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_MIDDLEThirdNews
BY IAN TALLEY

WASHINGTON—China will be the world's largest economy as Asia surpasses
North America and Europe by 2030, according to a new U.S. National
Intelligence Council report published Monday.

Overturning more than two centuries of Western global dominance, the
U.S. and European nations likely will share power with dynamic
emerging economies,

See supporting posts by clicking the label 'Asia to lead the world'

Ten global companies cut one lakh jobs in 2012; HP tops the list

New York: With an aim to save costs in troubled economic times, just 10 companies together have announced nearly one lakh job cuts worldwide since start of 2012 and they include giants like HP, Google and Citigroup. While these companies come from a wide array of businesses, the reason behind layoffs has mostly been cost-cutting efforts in their respective operations. Others who have announced major layoffs in 2012 so far are AMR Corporation, PepsiCo, MetLife, Hostess Brands, JC Penney Co, Procter & Gamble and Morgan Stanley. Collectively, these 10 companies have announced layoffs affecting at least 95,500 jobs in their operations globally. The technology giant Hewlett-Packard tops the chart of corporate job cuts for the year with its announcement in May to axe 27,000 jobs to save up to $3.5 billion. HP is followed by the Hostess Brands, the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkie, which announced last month that it would eliminate 18,500 jobs as it liquidates the company's…

Secrets to slow down aging: Aplace were people commonly have a 90-100 year life

A documentary about the health and longevity of Okinawa - and a warning of the health dangers posed by modern 'Western lifestyles'.

The island of Okinawa, in Japan, is the best place on earth for healthy aging. The Okinawans have:
more people over 100 years old per 100,000 population than anywhere else in the worldthe lowest death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke (thetop three killersin the US)the highest life expectancy for both males and females over 65females in Okinawa have the highest life expectancy in all age groups What are the Okinawans Doing Right?This is a question that has been studied by researchers since 1976. Over the years, the lifestyle and genetics of over 800 Okinawan centenarians have been well-documented. Here are some of the findings:
It’s True:Great attention has been paid to validating the claims of Okinawan centenarians. Luckily, Japan instituted a strict record keeping system and census policy in the 1870s. The claims of long life of the Okina…

Best and Worst Jobs of 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303772904577336230132805276.html
CareerCast.com ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies. From a software engineer to a lumberjack, see the complete list, and search for your job.

The United States may be headed for the same belt-tightening austerity that has caused an uproar across Europe.

Economists are rightly starting to warn that the United States faces a worrisome "fiscal cliff" at year's end. The blunt spending cuts mandated by the 2011 compromise on the debt ceiling — and the failure of the "supercommittee" that followed — along with across-the-board tax increases would derail the US recovery and undermine the well-being of the global economy. We should be avoiding the edge of this cliff — and politicians should not believe that they have until the end of this year to act. The sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the reversal of the Bush-era and payroll tax cuts would essentially mean withdrawing from the economy some 4 percent of the national income in one blunt go — and this doesn't factor in possible knock-on effects. The importance of this issue cannot be overstated. A fiscal contraction of this magnitude and composition would stop dead in its tracks the economy's nascent healing and job creation. Consu…

Risky risk management- life insurance policies can face cancellation if policyholders don't pay more.

In the next few years, millions of savers are in for a surprise that could cost them tens of thousands of dollars now—or hundreds of thousands later. The reason: Universal-life insurance policies bought years ago when interest rates were high will face cancellation if policyholders don't pay more. View Interactive Douglas Jones If interest rates stay low, many policyholders will face the unhappy choice of kicking in more money, accepting a lower death benefit or walking away, possibly sacrificing years of premiums they already paid. Many people are "sitting on a ticking time bomb," says Kenneth Himmler, president of Integrated Asset Management, an advisory firm in Los Angeles. About 70% of the new clients whose insurance coverage he reviews are facing higher out-of-pocket costs because policies aren't generating enough interest income to pay costs, he says.


From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324595904578121484233279270.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_LEFTTopStori…

Recession intensifies: Euro-Zone Economy Shrinks for 3 consecutive quarters

FRANKFURT—The euro-zone economy contracted in the third quarter, offering little hope for the worsening global environment as rising unemployment and fiscal austerity across much of Europe undermine the region's fortunes.
The euro zone hasn't grown for four straight quarters and the latest decline in gross domestic product was the second straight. Economists often define recession as two straight quarterly GDP contractions.
Europe's debt crisis, which has pushed unemployment higher and forced governments to enact tax increases and spending cuts, is largely to blame for the malaise.
Germany and France, the euro-zone's two largest economies, posted modest growth in the quarter.
From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324556304578120201009443598.html?mod=WSJ_business_EuropeNewsBucket

Japan economy shrinks, recesssion looms - Yahoo! Finance

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's economy shrank in the September quarter for the first time since last year, adding to signs that slowing global growth and tensions with China are nudging the world's third-largest economy into recession.The 0.9 percent fall in GDP was in line with expectations, although a decline in capital expenditure was much steeper than forecast. Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp have slashed spending plans to cope with massive losses as they struggle with competitive markets and a strong yen.The fall in GDP translated into an annualized rate of decline of 3.5 percent, government data showed on Monday. While U.S. growth showed a modest pick up in the third quarter, Japan and the euro zone economies are shrinking."The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter.&q…

Valued lower by buyers -govt earns only one third of the target by 2G spectrum auction

NEW DELHI: The much talked about 2G mobile phone spectrum auction ended in a damp squib on Wednesday with half of the airwaves on offer remaining unsold and government getting just about one-third of the targeted revenue.

According to preliminary estimates, the government received bids worth "much-less" than Rs 10,000 crore in an auction that ended in two days, a far cry from the 35-day bidding for the 3G spectrum in 2010 that got Rs 67,719 crore.

The government was targeting Rs 28,000 crore from the sale of 2G spectrum in the GSM band.
Videocon and Idea won spectrum in 7 circles while Telenor got spectrum in 4 circles. Airtel and Vodafone won spectrum in one circle each.

None of the five companies in fray bid for a pan-India spectrum for which the reserve price was set at Rs 14,000 crore for 5 Mhz of airwaves.

The scant interest in the 2G auction was attributed to high base price.

The government had put on auction a substantial part of the spectrum that was freed from Supreme Cou…

My blog crossess 15000 views. Thaks readers !

My blog crossed 15300 views today. A countryiwise breakup of the audience is given below. click on the image to enlarge.

Banks purchase 100 ton gold in last three months: WGC MD Marcus Grubb

Even as gold demand has picked up in the country during quarter ended September, China may still become the largest importer of the precious metalby the end of this year, overtaking India marginally, theWorld Gold Council said today.

"The demand here has picked up during the third quarter (July-September), while in China it lost the momentum. However, in the fourth quarter both the countries are showing very strong demand for gold and we feel the competition will be neck to neck with China ending up ahead of India.

"But the difference is likely to be very close to up to 50 tonne," WGC Managing Director (Investment) Marcus Grubb told PTI here.

In the July-September period of this year, the domestic demand improved mainly due to Diwali demand and the upcoming marriage season. However, in China it slipped following slowing domestic demand, he said.

"The fall in Chinese demand coincides with weaker economic numbers there in Q3," Grubb said, adding, the situation is st…

Deutsche Bank: The Chinese Renminbi Will Be The World's Next Major Reserve Currency

According to a leading analyst the renminbi is expected to become a major reserve currency in the next decade, a move that could see the greenback's share of global reserve currencies fall from about 60% now, to 50% by 2020. 
Cloete notes that Berkeley economist Barry Eichengreen has said that the renminbi could account for 15% of global currency reserve holdings within ten years. Cloete elaborates: "Demand for RMB is bound to accelerate, given China's commitment to liberalize its capital and current account by the end of 2015. Hardly a month goes by without the People's Bank of China further loosening the restrictions on onshore RMB trade settlements for foreign investors and customers. For instance, since August 2011 foreign businesses have been able to settle contracts in RMB in any province in China, a relaxation of the rules that would have been unimaginable even two years ago."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/deutsche-bank-the-renminibi-is-the-wo…

In UK number of homeless children soars by 60 per cent in a year

The number of children and pregnant women forced to live in bed and breakfast accommodation has risen by 60 per cent in a year, according to a new report.
Homeless Bound, by the National Housing Federation, also found that over a third of families with children living in B&Bs had been there longer than the Government's six-week limit, a 200 per cent increase in two years. It found that a "perfect storm" of rising rents, insecure private tenancies and a lack of affordable housing have led to a sharp increase in homelessness.
It warned that low-income families are now the "new face of England's homeless" and argued that the only solution is to build more affordable homes for sale or rent.
From http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/number-of-homeless-children-soars-by-60-per-cent-in-a-year-8313050.html

Man made suicides: People commiting suicide as 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since Spain's property market crashed in 2008

Spanish banks are to suspend evictions for the next two years for the
most vulnerable people.

An estimated 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since
Spain's property market crashed in 2008, at the beginning of the
economic crisis.

The announcement comes three days after a woman in northern Spain took
her own life, just before she was due to be evicted from her home.

It is not clear how they will decide who the most vulnerable people are.

The announcement came from the Spanish banking association, AEB.

A 53-year-old woman jumped out of her fourth-floor flat on Friday as
local officials arrived to evict her from her home.

Another man in the city of Granada, whose house was also due to be
repossessed, apparently committed suicide last month.

There have been demonstrations in Spain, with an organisation called
Platform for Mortgage Victims blocking access to houses to prevent
evictions.

The Spanish government is meeting the opposition on Monday to disc…

Gold the safest investment after Obama’s re-election

Gold traders are the most bullish in 11 weeks and investors accumulated record bullion holdings on speculation U.S. policy makers will add to stimulus following President Barack Obama's re-election.Twenty-five of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week and three were bearish. A further five were neutral, making the proportion of bulls the highest since Aug. 24. Investors boosted assets in gold-backed exchange-traded products to an all-time high of 2,596.1 metric tons yesterday, valued at $144.7 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Obama won the Nov. 6 election against Mitt Romney, who had criticized the Federal Reserve's policies and said he'd replace Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, whose second term expires in January 2014. The European Central Bank kept interest rates at a record low yesterday and nations from the U.S. to China have pledged more action to boost economies. Gold rose 70 percent as the Fed bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds o…

10 major reasons why Obama won? No president since the Great Depression had won reelection with unemployment above 7.2 percent

12 reasons Obama won and Romney lost President Obama went into his reelection fight facing significant head winds – most important, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Even if the nation had technically pulled out of recession, many Americans weren't feeling it.For Mr. Obama to win a second term, he was going to have to beat history. No president since the Great Depression had won reelection with unemployment above 7.2 percent, the rate when President Reagan was reelected in 1984.For a multitude of reasons – Obama's positives, Republican challenger Mitt Romney's negatives, and factors beyond either man's control – Obama succeeded. Here's our list.
President Obama went into his reelection fight facing significant head winds – most important, high unemployment and slow economic growth. Even if the nation had technically pulled out of recession, many Americans weren't feeling it.For Mr. Obama to win a second term, he was going to have to beat history. No p…