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BloombergBusinessweek

By  Lisa Lerer on May 07, 2012

Some of the choices are also driven by politics, a person close to the campaign said. Romney limited his proposed elimination of capital gains taxes to incomes up to $200,000. Some of his advisers think the ceiling is too low. In a primary debate last year in Orlando, Florida, Romney said the tax break is aimed at the middle class.

A number of advisers disagree with Romney’s vow to take a harder line on China with policies that go further than either Obama or Bush in confronting the country’s trade practices. Romney has said he would label China a “currency manipulator”on the first day of his presidency and impose new tariffs.

Fixing Housing Market

On housing, Mankiw and Hubbard have called for the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policies and reduce interest rates to strengthen the market. Romney has said the government should stay out of the issue and let the market “hit bottom.”

Hubbard said he wouldn’t comment on personal conversations with Romney. Mankiw didn’t respond to interview requests.

Romney also consults a network of associates in the business world. Former Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Scott McNealy, Hewlett-Packard President and CEO Meg Whitman, and Puzder, whose company owns the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains, all wrote sections of Romney’s jobs plan.

“Sometimes business people see things happening faster than economists do,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard briefs Romney every few weeks or when the candidate has a specific concern, he said. The candidate typically arrives well-read and ready to quiz the team on their latest proposals.

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Politico

By ALEXANDER BURNS|
3/16/12 6:19 AM EDT

The Times takes a look this morning at Bain Capital’s role in expanding Chinese government surveillance programs, in another instance of the private equity fund linking Mitt Romney – however indirectly – to some politically undesirable activities:

In December, a Bain-run fund in which a Romney family blind trust has holdings purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts.

The Bain-owned company, Uniview Technologies, produces what it calls “infrared antiriot” cameras and software that enable police officials in different jurisdictions to share images in real time through the Internet. Previous projects have included an emergency command center in Tibet that “provides a solid foundation for the maintenance of social stability and the protection of people’s peaceful life,” according to Uniview’s Web site. …

Mr. Romney has had no role in Bain’s operations since 1999 and had no say over the investment in China. But the fortunes of Bain and Mr. Romney are still closely tied.

The financial disclosure forms Mr. Romney filed last August show that a blind trust in the name of his wife, Ann Romney, held a relatively small stake of between $100,000 and $250,000 in the Bain Capital Asia fund that purchased Uniview.

In a statement, R. Bradford Malt, who manages the Romneys’ trusts, noted that he had put trust assets into the fund before it bought Uniview. He said that the Romneys had no role in guiding their investments. He also said he had no control over the Asian fund’s choice of investments.

One of the key questions about Romney’s Bain record has always been over what span of time he’ll be treated as accountable for the company’s operations. Democrats would like that window to extend to the present, since Romney continues to draw substantial income from the company. Romney has emphasized that he hasn’t been tied to Bain’s day to day business in quite some time. The debate will play out in the general election, and the Times story is a reminder of why the stakes for Romney’s campaign will be considerable.

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ABC

Professor Peter Morici discusses where the United States can turn to improve its economy and credit rating.

Roubini: Bush Responsible for Economic Woes

WSJ, 8/12/2011 3:01:26 PM

In a clip from his interview with WSJ’s Simon Constable, Dr. Nouriel Roubini insists that it was the policies of George W. Bush that caused the current U.S. economic crisis.

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Global Crisis of Confidence

WSJ

The debt crises in Europe and the U.S. collided violently this week, raising questions about whether political leaders are capable of stemming the trans-Atlantic panic.

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China Tells U.S. To Quit As Human Rights Judge

First Posted: 04/10/11 11:55 PM ET Updated: 04/11/11 12:01 AM ET

By Chris Buckley

BEIJING – The United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments’ human rights problems, China said on Sunday, countering U.S. criticism of Beijing’s crackdown.

The row between Beijing and Washington over human rights has intensified since China’s ruling Communist Party extended its clampdown on dissidents and rights activists, a move which has sparked an outcry from Washington and other Western governments.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is the most prominent of the activists to be detained by police or held in secretive custody in the latest crackdown.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday she was “deeply concerned” about it, and cited “negative trends” including Ai’s detention.

A U.S. State Department report on global human rights released on Friday said Beijing had stepped up restrictions on lawyers, activists, bloggers and journalists, and tightened controls on civil society.

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How can China’s stimulus plan be working so well, when ours is barely working at all? The answer may be simple: China has not let its banking system run roughshod over its productive economy. Chinese banks work for the people rather than the reverse.” Ellen Brown

MASH dude Demarco slays the China Banks

MASH dude Demarco slays the China Banks

Ellen Brown | Global Research | August 18, 2009

“The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. They frankly own the place.” — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Whip, April 30, 2009

webWhile the U.S. spends trillions of dollars to bail out its banking system, leaving its economy to languish, China is being called a “miracle economy” that has decoupled from the rest of the world. As the rest of the world sinks into the worst recession since the 1930s, China has maintained a phenomenal 8% annual growth rate. Those are the reports, but commentators are dubious. They ask how that growth is possible, when other countries relying heavily on exports have suffered major downturns and remain in the doldrums. Economist Richard Wolff skeptically observes:

We now have a situation in the world where we have a global capitalist crisis. Everywhere, consumption is down. Everywhere, people are buying fewer goods, including goods from China. How is it possible that in that society, so dependent on the world economy, they could now have an explosive growth? Their stock market is now 100 percent higher than at its low — nothing remotely like that hardly anywhere in the world, certainly not in the United States or Europe. How is that possible? In order to believe what the Chinese are saying, you would have to agree that in a matter of months, at most a year, no more, they have been able to transform their economy from an export-based powerhouse to a domestically focused industrial engine. Nowhere in the world has that ever taken less than decades.”

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Bank of China to ‘cherry-pick’ UK mortgage customers as lending drought persists

Telegraph.co.uk | 20 Aug 2009

Bank of China, the country’s third biggest bank, plans to ‘cherry-pick’ UK mortgage customers as the lending drought in Britain remains.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Xixu Sun, the head of Bank of China’s retail operations in the UK, said “before the financial crisis you didn’t have a choice, you couldn’t cherry-pick the good customers.

Now you have that choice, because there’s a drought in terms of mortgage loans provided by banks.”

Bank of China is looking to become a major household name in Britain’s mortgage market, which has seen lending slump as the recession drives up bad loans at many banks. Although house prices have showed signs of stabilisng in recent weeks, the volume of mortgages approved is still less than half the 108,000 monthly average seen between the boom years of 2003 and 2007.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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Swine flu in decline: Mexico

AFP
Published: Sunday May 3, 2009

Mexico said its swine flu epidemic had peaked and was now in decline Sunday as a diplomatic storm brewed over China’s decision to quarantine dozens of Mexicans who have shown no signs of infection.

US health authorities said swine flu was now present in more than half of its states while Colombia became the 19th country to verify a case on its soil.

But although the latest tranche of figures worldwide underpinned fears of a spread of the disease, Mexico, at the epicentre of the outbreak, expressed confidence that the worst was now over.

The epidemic “is in its phase of decline. The national peak was between April 23 and 28,” Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova told reporters.

The number of confirmed deaths from the virus was unchanged from late Saturday at 19, while the number of confirmed infected cases had risen by 33 to 487, he added.

Containment measures, including the public’s wearing of face masks and regular hand-washing, had been effective in limiting the flu’s spread, said Cordova.

But it was important “not to lower one’s guard,” he said.

Health authorities in the US, the only other country where a patient has died of the virus, said that swine flu was now present in 30 states with 226 confirmed infections in 30 states.

But Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius saw grounds to be “cautiously optimistic”, saying the “situation seems to be lessening.”

In Spain, the number of confirmed swine flu cases rose to 40, double the previous number, Madrid’s health ministry announced, but added that only six victims were still being treated in hospital.

The number of swine flu sufferers in Britain meanwhile rose to 18 as a man who had returned from the United States and two schoolchildren tested positive, health authorities said.

In China, Mexico’s ambassador complained that Mexicans were being treated unfairly after learning that about 50 were being held in isolation across the country.

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