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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.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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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Clinton urges China to keep buying US Treasuries

AFP
Published: Sunday February 22, 2009

Hillary Clinton urged China on Sunday to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help get the American economy moving again and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

“By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together,” Clinton said at the US embassy shortly before leaving Beijing.

Clinton, wrapping up her first overseas trip as secretary of state, said continued Chinese purchases of treasuries were essential to financing the massive 787 billion dollar US stimulus plan.

“Because our economies are so intertwined the Chinese know that in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, the United States had to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package,” Clinton said in response to a question from a Chinese talkshow host.

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Clinton Reassures China US Is A Good Investment

MATTHEW LEE | February 22, 2009 08:36 AM EST | AP

BEIJING — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Washington and Beijing must work together if the world is to rebound from the financial crisis and she wants the Chinese to remain committed to investing in America.

“I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that we will see global recovery without Chinese and American cooperation and leadership,” she said during an interview Sunday with the popular talk show “One on One.”

With the export-heavy Chinese economy reeling from the U.S. downturn, Clinton has sought in meetings with President Hu Jintao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao to reassure Beijing that its massive holdings of U.S. Treasury notes and other government debt would remain a solid investment.

Yang responded that China wants to see its foreign exchange reserves _ the world’s largest at $1.95 trillion _ invested safely and to continue working with the United States.

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1_fullsizeThe new battle in British politics is how to be most like Obama

James Forsyth says that both Brown and Cameron are mesmerised by the new President, who will be the lodestar of political life in this country. The contest to lay claim to his policies and style has begun — the risk being that our leaders are found sorely wanting by comparison

Read original article in The Spectator

Also in The Spectator:

 

Rod Liddle says that television news is intrinsically biased: it transforms what it reports. In the case of the economy, ministers are right to counteract this with a dose of optimism

thisissue_300After the revolution

It is 30 years since Ayatollah Khomeini ousted the Shah of Iran, ending 2,000 years of monarchical rule and heralding the age of radical Islamism. Since then, the US has had no diplomatic relations with Iran. But is that about to change with the arrival of Barack Obama?

Why Iran must be brought in from the cold

And so, the work began

The rhetoric may not have soared, but Obama’s inaugural speech proved that he is more than ready to get down to business

(more…)

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China Losing Taste for Debt From U.S.

Published: January 7, 2009

HONG KONG — China has bought more than $1 trillion of American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home, a move that could have painful effects for American borrowers.

The declining Chinese appetite for United States debt, apparent in a series of hints from Chinese policy makers over the last two weeks, with official statistics due for release in the next few days, comes at an inconvenient time.

On Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama predicted the possibility of trillion-dollar deficits “for years to come,” even after an $800 billion stimulus package. Normally, China would be the most avid taker of the debt required to pay for those deficits, mainly short-term Treasuries, which are government i.o.u.’s.

In the last five years, China has spent as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt, mostly American. In September, it surpassed Japan as the largest overseas holder of Treasuries.

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