Bubbles, Bailouts, and Stimulus Plans

global_economic_bubblesSo much of the shouting about this economic “downturn” centers on the United States of America. I’m no economist (thank, God!), but it seems to make sense that the epicenter of the econoquake is the USA.

Still . . .

What about other countries? Like:

China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Taiwan (ROC), Philippines, Romania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Brazil, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Iceland, and Australia.

One of my constant companions on the Internet Journey is Global Voices. In a recent article, they rely on their global network of bloggers to identify these issues:

“…Jamaica’s dollar-earning bauxite industry has shed hundreds of jobs already because of the downturn in US car production.”

In Bangladesh, the housing bubble is tied to remittances sent by Bangladeshis working in other countries; but, mass layoffs in the US and Europe is ending their property boom.

“Cambodia is also experiencing a property bubble. South Koreans are Cambodia’s biggest investors. Since South Korean businesses have been badly hit by the financial crisis, many of them have already pulled off their real estate investments in Cambodia.”

The Caribbean financial crisis originated, partly, from drops in methanol and real estate prices.

The Brazilian government was claiming the global crisis was having a minimal impact on their economy. But, recent reports show Brazil as the second “most affected” country.

“Bank nationalization schemes have been enforced in some countries like Iceland and Kazakhstan. Trinidad and Tobago banks were rescued not just by their government but also by governments from neighboring countries.”

Hungary is going to implement a tax reform.

“Hiring street sweepers is part of the Philippine stimulus plan.”

There are many more details on the Global Voices site…

Spiritual Quote:

“Central to the task of reconceptualizing the organization of human affairs is arriving at a proper understanding of the role of economics. The failure to place economics into the broader context of humanity’s social and spiritual existence has led to a corrosive materialism in the world’s more economically advantaged regions, and persistent conditions of deprivation among the masses of the world’s peoples. Economics should serve people’s needs; societies should not be expected to reformulate themselves to fit economic models. The ultimate function of economic systems should be to equip the peoples and institutions of the world with the means to achieve the real purpose of development: that is, the cultivation of the limitless potentialities latent in human consciousness.

“Society must develop new economic models shaped by insights that arise from a sympathetic understanding of shared experience, from viewing human beings in relation one to another, and from a recognition of the central role that family and community play in social and spiritual well-being. Within institutions and organizations, priorities must be reassessed. Resources must be directed away from those agencies and programs that are damaging to the individual, societies and the environment, and directed toward those most germane to furthering a dynamic, just and thriving social order. Such economic systems will be strongly altruistic and cooperative in nature; they will provide meaningful employment and will help to eradicate poverty in the world.”
Bahá’í International Community: 1998 Feb 18, Valuing Spirituality in Development

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World Food Crisis

Google search:


Enews 2.0
Food prices are global challenge, says UN
RTE.ie, Ireland – 3 hours ago
hit by the crisis, and will double lending for agriculture in Africa over the next year to €515m. Rising food prices have hurt the growing mass of urban
UN and World Bank say to tackle food crisis Reuters
UN, World Bank to Coordinate Task Force Efforts in Food Crisis Deutsche Welle
UN chief orders task force to tackle food crisis AFP
BloombergXinhua
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Turkish Press
IMF concerned about food crisis in Africa
AFP – 1 hour ago
“We are concerned about it because higher food prices (and) higher oil prices mean higher import bills, and it can slow down economic growth,” the head of
IMF bid to help Africans on inflation Daily Times
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Region’s aid groups grappling with global food crisis
Seattle Times, United States – 7 hours ago
But only in the last few weeks have staffers, and much of the world, realized all the incidents were responses to a worldwide leap in food prices — and part
As Food Prices Soar, Mercy Corps Establishes Global Food Crisis Fund Reuters AlertNet
Mercy Corps creates fund to ease food crisis The Oregonian – OregonLive.com
Global Food Crisis Spurs Mercy Corps Action KOIN.com
PR Newswire (press release)
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Washington Post
Global Food Prices and Africa’s Economic Famine
Washington Post, United States – Apr 28, 2008
We’re talking about the Post’s Global Food Crisis series this morning. This is an important subject. I’ll answer your questions as best I can. So fire away.
Food crisis translates to economic crisis United Press International
Where Every Meal Is a Sacrifice Washington Post
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DigitalJournal.com
“US, EU responsible for explosive food prices
Hindu, India – 9 hours ago
Jean Ziegler held fuel policies pursued by the US and the EU to be main causes for the current worldwide food crisis. Last year the US ‘Video: UN rapporteur talks about the global food crisis – 28 Apr 08’));Video: UN rapporteur talks about the global food crisis – 28 Apr 08UN Special Rapporteur Says Biofuel Production Criminal DigitalJournal.com
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Javno.hr
WTO deal seen having little impact on food prices
Daily Times, Pakistan – 15 hours ago
Some may conclude the message of the current crisis is they can no longer depend on imports and must improve food security by raising barriers to protect
Food crisis sparks role reversal in WTO AFP
(UPDATE) UN meets on food crisis Inquirer.net
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AFP
UN meets on food crisis
AFP – 20 hours agoFilter
“Responding effectively to the impact of higher food prices must be a top priority for the global community,” he said. But he criticised protectionist

Boston Globe
Economic Stresses, Biofuel Production Add to Food Crisis Pressures
Voice of America – 23 hours ago
By Mil Arcega The World Food Program warns that rising food prices could turn into a global crisis unless the world acts quickly. The UN food agency has
No Free Lunch Food, fuel and finance Inquirer.net
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Cabinet to face looming crisis in food prices
The Herald Eastern Cape, South Africa – 7 hours ago
As far back as February, the NAMC warned that rising food prices were a threat to the country’s household food security, and food inflation was a major
SA warned over food security Citizen
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Voice of America
UN Announces Food Crisis Task Force
Voice of America – 28 minutes agoFilter
By VOA News United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he will head a task force to deal with the unprecedented rise in global food prices.

Daily Star – Lebanon
No simple cause – or easy cure – for rising food prices
Daily Star – Lebanon, Lebanon – 18 hours agoFilter
This example contradicts the wave of accusations that biofuel production is to blame for sparking the food price crisis.

Vancouver Sun
Fidel Castro warned of food crisis a year ago
Reuters South Africa, South Africa – 20 hours ago
Violent protests ignited by rising food prices toppled Haiti’s government earlier this month. Increased demand from rapidly developing nations led by China,
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