Archive for the ‘prices’ Category

China’s Richest Man Arrested

November 27, 2008

Police have confirmed that one of China’s richest men, Huang Guangyu, is being held in custody while they investigate him for “economic crimes”.

Mr Huang went missing last week and shares in his company Gome have been suspended from trading.

Mr Huang speaks in Beijing on 16 Nov 2006

The 39-year-old is legendary for his rags to riches story

Officials gave no further details, but Chinese media point to alleged irregularities in the share price of a company controlled by his brother.

The billionaire electrical appliance tycoon is worth some $6bn (£4bn).

“We can confirm for you the news that Wong is being held for investigation by Beijing police in connection with economic crimes,” a police spokesman said, referring to Mr Huang by his other name Wong Kwong-yu.

Read the rest:
(From the BBC)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7751747.stm

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Iran Again Pushes OPEC to Cut Oil Production, Raise prices

November 15, 2008

Iran called on OPEC Saturday to cut production by a further 1 million to 1.5 million barrels per day when it meets in Cairo later this month, state television’s website reported Saturday.

Iran’s OPEC governor, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, said the cartel needs to act to slash output because demand for oil has declined due to the global financial meltdown.

OPEC, which produces about 40% of the world’s crude oil, decided to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day last month in response to a dramatic fall in oil prices from a record $147 in July to below $70 last month.

Despite the cut, oil prices have continued to decline. Light, sweet crude for December delivery fell $1.20 to settle at $57.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Diving prices have forced OPEC to plan an extraordinary meeting in Cairo, scheduled for Nov. 29, to discuss the plunge.

Iran, OPEC's number two oil producer, favours a cut in crude ... 
Iran, OPEC’s number two oil producer, favours a cut in crude production of 1.0 to 1.5 million barrels per day when the oil cartel meets in Cairo later this month, state television has reported.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David McNew)

Read the rest from the Associated Press and USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/
2008-11-15-opec_N.htm?csp=34

Hail to the Chief: A mandate without clear meaning?

November 5, 2008

I come to this moment of national decision with deep concerns about the next president. His victory is likely to unleash an ideological and vengeful Democratic Congress. In the testing of a long campaign, Barack Obama has seemed thoughtful but sometimes hesitant and unsure of his bearings. He promises outreach and healing but holds to a liberalism that sees no need for innovation.

And as the result of a financial panic that unfairly undermined all Republicans, Obama has stumbled into the most dangerous kind of victory. A mandate for change but not for ideas. A mandate without clear meaning.

By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post
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But a presidential election is more than a political choice; it is a moral dividing line. It involves not just the triumph of a majority but a transfer of legitimacy that binds the minority as well. This is a largely undiscussed topic in modern political debate: legitimacy. It is a kind of democratic magic that turns votes into authority. It does not require political agreement. It does imply a patriotic respect for the processes of government and a determination to honor the president for the sake of the office he holds.

In the past few decades, the magic of legitimacy has seemed to fade. Opponents of President Bill Clinton turned their disagreements (and Clinton’s human failures) into an assault on his power. Some turned to insane conspiracy theories, including accusations of politically motivated murder. After President Bush‘s reelection, elements of the left began their own attack on his legitimacy, talking of impeachment while repeating lunatic theories about deception and criminality.

After a deserved honeymoon, the new president is likely to find that the intensity of this bitterness has only gathered. Because of the ideological polarization of cable television news, talk radio and the Internet, Americans can now get their information from entirely partisan sources. They can live, if they choose to, in an ideological world of their own creation, viewing anyone outside that world as an idiot or criminal, and finding many who will cheer their intemperance. Liberals have perfected this machinery of disdain over the past few years. Given the provocation, the same approach is likely to be turned against the new president by the right as well.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2008/11/04/AR2008110404477.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Oil Prices Slip Below $70 a Barrel

October 17, 2008
Oil prices dropped below $70 a barrel for the first time in 14 months Thursday, prompting the OPEC cartel to call for an emergency meeting next week to establish some stability in prices that have plummeted recently after rising for months.

Above: Photo from Getty Image’ David McNew

Oil prices have tumbled by nearly $40 a barrel in just three weeks as indications grow that demand for energy will slow along with weakening economies around the world. As recently as July, oil was trading at a record of $145 a barrel.

The decline in oil prices could provide a form of stimulus to the economy as consumers pay less to fill up their tanks. If oil prices stay at current levels, consumers would have $250 billion more, over a year, to save or spend elsewhere, according to Lawrence Goldstein, an energy economist. Some analysts expect oil prices to keep declining, perhaps to as low as $50 a barrel in coming months.

A ship passes an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore October ...
ship passes an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore October 17, 2008.(Vivek Prakash/Reuters)

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/business/
worldbusiness/17oil.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

All that money you’ve lost — where did it go?

October 11, 2008

By ERIC CARVIN, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – Trillions in stock market value — gone. Trillions in retirement savings — gone. A huge chunk of the money you paid for your house, the money you’re saving for college, the money your boss needs to make payroll — gone, gone, gone.

Whether you’re a stock broker or Joe Six-pack, if you have a 401(k), a mutual fund or a college savings plan, tumbling stock markets and sagging home prices mean you’ve lost a whole lot of the money that was right there on your account statements just a few months ago.

A money changer counts out US dollars at a currency exchange ... 

But if you no longer have that money, who does? The fat cats on Wall Street? Some oil baron in Saudi Arabia? The government of China?

Or is it just — gone?

If you’re looking to track down your missing money — figure out who has it now, maybe ask to have it back — you might be disappointed to learn that is was never really money in the first place.

Robert Shiller, an economist at Yale, puts it bluntly: The notion that you lose a pile of money whenever the stock market tanks is a “fallacy.” He says the price of a stock has never been the same thing as money — it’s simply the “best guess” of what the stock is worth.

“It’s in people’s minds,” Shiller explains. “We’re just recording a measure of what people think the stock market is worth. What the people who are willing to trade today — who are very, very few people — are actually trading at. So we’re just extrapolating that and thinking, well, maybe that’s what everyone thinks it’s worth.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_
the_money;_ylt=AkKucZ8sq3OvinoJZ3KzHyms0NUE

Passers-by stop to view a screen displaying markets news, with ...
Passers-by stop to view a screen displaying markets news, with Moscow’s Micex index displayed, Friday, Oct. 10, 2008, Paris. Regulators in Russia ordered Moscow’s MICEX not to open for regular trading at the usual time, and the opening of the RTS was also postponed until further notice, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

China Also Facing Economic, Finance Woes

October 10, 2008

By Quentin Somerville
BBC

The Chao Wai foodmarket is the kind of outdoor “wet” market that has been serving Beijingers for decades.

It is an old-fashioned affair. There are fresh noodles and vegetables on sale, and the shoppers here are a fairly traditional lot too – cautious spenders and careful savers.

“We keep our spending down,” says the retired Ms Xu. “We don’t dare to go to those shiny supermarkets, here things are much cheaper.

Farmers harvest their vegetables at the field in Wulian county ... 
Farmers harvest their vegetables at the field in Wulian county in east China’s Shandong province Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. China’s Communist Party is meeting to discuss agricultural reforms as the global economic crisis buffets the country. The four-day meeting beginning Thursday is expected to give farmers formal permission to lease or transfer their land, measures that have already grown common as rural workers move to the city. Chinese economists say they hope such steps will lead to larger, more efficient farms to better meet demands of the changing economy.(AP Photo)

“Compared to five years ago, our living standard is improving. Although our salary is increasing, the price has gone up too. But in terms of food, it’s still affordable.”

China has had what it refers to as five golden years of economic prosperity, and ever so slowly this country of farmers and factory workers is becoming something else – a nation of shoppers.

The Village is Beijing’s latest shopping mall. Despite the rustic sounding name, there are no fresh vegetables or noodles on sale here.

But the sands are shifting economically in China too…

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7663561.stm

Playing Frisbee on a Precipice: Seriousness of American Politicans in Doubt During Economic Crisis

October 10, 2008

By Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

There are 3½ weeks to go. Life, and political campaigns, can turn on a dime. But I think it just turned on a lot of dimes.

There was an October surprise, and it has all but certainly decided the race. On the left, a smug triumphalism is setting in. On the right, anger rises: the finger pointing is about to begin. In parts and pockets of the middle, we have Americans who aren’t thinking about politics because they’re busy trying to imagine what a modern depression would look like and wondering, for the first time ever, if it is possible that they may wind up living in their cars.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122359863551021415.html

Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen

October 10, 2008

By Phil Izzo
The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. economy has sunk into a recession and government action is critical to stem the damage, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

“We’re in the middle of a very dark tunnel,” said Brian Fabbri of BNP Paribas, referring to the worsening credit crunch. “Each day we see another crack in the system.”

Those cracks are quickly adding up. On average, the 52 economists surveyed now expect U.S. gross domestic product to contract in the third and fourth quarters of this year, as well as the first quarter of 2009.

This is the first time that survey forecasts for those periods have turned negative. If those predictions bear out, it would mark the first time U.S. GDP — the total value of goods and services produced — has contracted for three consecutive quarters in more than a half century. Economists put the odds of recession in the next 12 months at 89%, up from 60% in last month’s survey.

It is a challenging scenario for the next president, as the election moves into the homestretch. Either Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama likely will face an economy in the midst of recession on Inauguration Day, even if the credit crisis begins to ease. The new administration will have to get up to speed quickly, taking over the largest government intervention since the Great Depression.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122349368554816267.html

Oil soars to record above $117

April 21, 2008

By Ikuko Kao

LONDON (Reuters) – Crude oil prices surged above $117, setting a new record high on Monday because of worries of supply disruptions from major producers and comments by OPEC reiterating there is no need to raise output.

U.S. light crude struck a record high of $117.40 a barrel. It was trading 27 cents higher at $116.96 by 1155 GMT (7:55 a.m. EDT).

File photo shows an aerial view of new oil platforms P-52 for ...
File photo shows an aerial view of new oil platforms P-52 for the oil company Petrobas at Campos basin in Rio de Janeiro, 28 November, 2007.(Bruno Domingos/Reuters)

London Brent crude also struck its all time peak of $114.65. It was trading at $114.20, up by 28 cents.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) sees no need to raise oil production to counter high oil prices, the group’s president Chakib Khelil said on Sunday.

His remark was followed by Iranian oil minister Gholamhossein Nozari, who said on Monday oil prices were not too high in real terms.

“OPEC’s assertion that an increase in its oil production will not help to bring down prices should be put to the test,” the Centre for Global Energy Studies said in a research note.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080421/bs_nm/markets_oil_dc;_ylt=
AgIP06EfqKIHJBMCg4mNjQqs0NUE

OPEC chief: Oil prices would go higher regardless of supply

April 20, 2008

By MARIA GRAZIA MURRU, Associated Press Writer

ROME – OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah el al-Badri said Sunday oil prices would likely go higher and that the group was ready to raise production if the price pressure was due to a shortage of supply — something he doubted.
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“Oil prices, there is a common understanding that has nothing to do with supply and demand,” al-Badri said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Rome.

Laborers check pipes in front of the oil tanks at a refinery ... 

Oil prices reached a new high Friday at $117 a barrel.

A host of supply and demand concerns in the U.S. and abroad, along with the dollar’s weakness, have served to support prices, even as record retail gasoline prices in the U.S. appear to be dampening demand. Crude prices have risen as much as 4 percent last week.

The OPEC chief said the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries “will not hesitate” to increase production if the group thought the higher prices were due to shortages. But he said more oil will not solve the high prices.

Petrol pumps at a petrol station in New Delhi. Oil-consuming ... 

OPEC’s production levels were just one of many factors, he said.

“But how much higher it will go, of course it depends on a number of things: the political situation, whether there is a natural catastrophe, whether there are speculations in the market, whether there are strikes in certain producing countries. So there are many other factors other than OPEC production,” al-Badri said.