Saturday, April 12, 2008

IMF cuts US growth forecast, warns of global slump

IMF cuts US growth forecast, warns of global slump

By Barry Grey

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The International Monetary Fund’s biennial World Economic Outlook report, issued Wednesday, forecasts a US recession that will drag the global economy down with it.

The report, issued in advance of this weekend’s spring meetings in Washington of the IMF and World Bank, together with a conference of the Group of Seven industrialized nations’ finance ministers, paints a far more dire picture of the state of the world economy than those put forward by government and central bank officials in the US and Europe.

It states that financial problems which erupted last August in the US subprime mortgage market “spread quickly and unpredictably” and caused “extensive damage.” It describes the resulting financial crisis as the biggest since the Great Depression.

The IMF predicts that the US economy will grow by only 0.5 percent in 2008, a reduction of 1 percent from its previous US growth projection, made in January, and estimates the US economy will not recover in 2009, growing by only 0.6 percent.

Translated into fourth-quarter-to-fourth-quarter terms, the IMF projects that the US economy will contract by 0.7 percent this year and grow by only 1.6 percent in 2009. This stands in stark contrast to US growth projections by the US Federal Reserve Board, which predicts that US growth with recover in the second half of this year and rise to 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent in 2009.

The report sees a 25 percent chance that world economic growth could fall below 3 percent this year and next, which it says is “equivalent to a global recession.”

“Economic growth has nearly stalled,” said Simon Johnson, the IMF’s chief economist, at a Washington press conference.

In its report, the IMF trims its projection for growth in the eurozone countries from 1.6 percent to 1.4 percent this year, and predicts a further slowdown to 1.2 percent in 2009.

Japan is expected to grow 1.4 percent this year, down from its 2007 pace of 2.1 percent, and see only a 1.5 percent growth next year.

China’s growth projection is slashed 0.7 percentage point to 9.3 percent for 2008, and India is expected to grow 7.9 percent, down from an earlier forecast of 8.4 percent.

The IMF projects overall global growth for 2008 at 3.7 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 4.2 percent, and lower by 1.3 percentage points from the 5 percent global growth rate in 2007.

In a separate Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF states that world banks and financial institutions face potential losses of nearly $1 trillion as a result of the bursting of the US housing and credit bubbles. The report says that banks will suffer more than half of the estimated $945 billion losses, with the rest hitting insurance companies, pension funds and other investment firms.

Jaime Caruana, the head of monetary affairs and capital markets at the IMF, said, “The deterioration in credit has moved up and across the entire spectrum.” Alluding to the epidemic of speculation on borrowed funds that led to the crisis, he said there had been a “collective failure to appreciate the extent of leverage in the financial system.”

Acknowledging the potentially catastrophic implications of the credit collapse, Malcolm Knight, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, often referred to as the central bankers’ central bank, told the Wall Street Journal that the current turmoil is “probably the most serious financial turbulence in the advanced countries since the Second World War.”

Dominque Strauss-Kahn, the IMF managing director, told a press conference on Thursday that the current financial turmoil posed the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s, and called for coordinated intervention by governments around the world. He echoed a call made last week by the Institute of International Finance, an association representing big banks, which said there was a “growing case” for government intervention.

Strauss-Kahn directly broached the issue of direct government bailouts of the banks with public funds, saying, “With respect to the banks, if capital buffers cannot be repaired quickly enough by the private sector, use of public money can be examined.”

He dismissed assertions that the credit crisis could be largely restricted to the US, saying, “The crisis is global. The so-called decoupling theory is totally misleading,” He added that so-called developing countries such as China and India would be affected.

The US has already moved in the direction of using taxpayer money to bail out the banks and investment houses. Last month, the Federal Reserve Board engineered the rescue of the investment bank Bear Stearns, guaranteeing $29 billion of its failing mortgage-backed assets as part of a takeover of the bankrupt investment house by JPMorgan Chase.

At the same time, the Fed opened up its discount window to provide loans to other investment banks, the first time such a measure had been taken since the banking collapse of the 1930s. In effect, the Fed signaled that it would step in to prevent the failure of any major banking firm, with the cost to be paid ultimately by US taxpayers.

Since last August, the Fed had pumped $300 billion into the US banking system. According to an April 11 article on the Wall Street Journal web site, the Fed is currently considering contingency plans for expanding its ability to lend money to the banks. These include direct infusions of public funds onto the Fed’s balance sheet from the US Treasury.

These emergency measures have not, however, resolved the underlying crisis of solvency in the financial system, and inter-bank loan rates remain extraordinarily high as banks demand premiums to lend to their counterparts, while their ability to extend credit is reduced by the massive losses they incur from bad bets on subprime mortgage-backed securities and other high-risk investments.

At the same time, the hundreds of billions of cash pumped into the US financial system by the Fed further undermines the value of the US dollar, which hit new lows this week against the euro and the Chinese currency. The cash infusions and dollar crisis, in turn, fuel rampant inflation in commodity prices. This week, oil futures hit a new high of $112 per barrel.

The Fed’s unprecedented measures have provoked dissent from some within the financial elite who fear an uncontrolled eruption of inflation and a full-scale crisis of the dollar. In an extraordinary speech delivered Tuesday before the Economic Club of New York, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker chided current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for going to “the very edge” of the central bank’s legal authority, and criticized bank executives and government regulators for creating “a demonstratively fragile financial system that has produced unimaginable wealth for some while repeatedly risking a cascading breakdown of the system as a whole.”

He said the decision of the Fed to extend credit to investment firms should be followed by new rules to bring these institutions under the regulatory control of the US central bank, something Bernanke and the Bush administration have opposed.

Asked whether he still predicted a dollar crisis, Volcker said, “You don’t have to predict it. We’re in it.”

The credit crunch is increasingly impacting the so-called “real economy,” producing a spreading slowdown in economic activity, which, in turn, exacerbates the financial crisis.

Last week, the US Labor Department reported a net loss of 80,000 jobs in March, the third consecutive monthly job loss, bringing the total job loss for the three months to 232,000. The official unemployment rate jumped from 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent.

Minutes from the March 18 meeting of Fed policy makers, released this week, recorded the fears of “many participants” that “a protracted and severe economic downturn could not be ruled out.”

The Financial Stability Forum, a body representing financial ministers and regulators from around the world, presented a report Friday to the Group of Seven financial ministers meeting calling for more disclosure and better risk management by financial institutions and a greater exchange of information between central bankers and regulators. It recommended requiring institutions to hold more capital and maintain larger cash reserves, but proposed no significant increase in government supervision of the banks.

The report is expected to be approved by the G7, but this is little more than window dressing meant to conceal sharp divisions among the member states. While the Fed has dramatically cut its target short-term interest rate since September, bringing it down from 5.25 percent to 2.25 percent, the European Central Bank has held its rate steady at 4 percent, and again this week refused to follow the Fed’s lead and reduce the eurozone rate. The divergence in policy has intensified the dollar crisis, as speculators and investors shift their holdings from dollars to euros.

On Wednesday, the US responded to the IMF economic growth report by publicly disavowing its projections for the US economy as “unduly pessimistic.” US Treasury spokesmen also rejected Strauss-Kahn’s call for government intervention on a global level to deal with the financial crisis.

G-7, IMF, And World Bank To Meet Over The Weekend

G-7, IMF, And World Bank To Meet Over The Weekend

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As Finance Ministers Convene Here, Multiple Crises Test Their Ability to Cope

Financial markets are tumbling. The world economy is starting to sputter. Food prices have shot up so far, so fast, that there are riots in the streets of many poor nations.

It's a hard time to be one of the masters of the global economy.

Those leaders -- finance ministers from all over the world -- are gathering in Washington this weekend to sort out their reactions to the most profound global economic crises in at least a decade. The situation could reveal the limitations that international economic institutions face in dealing with the risks inherent to global capitalism.

"There's got to be something coming out of the weekend, a way to visibly assume public responsibility for trying to limit the damage that financial markets can do to our society," said Colin Bradford, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "The pressure is on politicians this weekend to come up with an answer. . . . What is the power structure going to do about this?"

The Group of Seven finance ministers of major industrialized countries meet today, and the governing boards of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank will meet tomorrow and Sunday. Their agendas: in the case of the G-7 and IMF, countering the breakdown in financial markets; in the case of the World Bank, food inflation that threatens to drive more of the world's poorest people into starvation.

But these problems don't have obvious solutions, and it may be hard to achieve consensus on even modest steps that might improve the situation.

For example, as the leaders of major industrial economies meet today, they will look at ways to strengthen the regulation of banks and other financial institutions to try to lessen risks to the global system. They have indicated they will embrace recommendations of the Financial Stability Forum, an international group of bank regulators and other government officials. The forum urges such steps as encouraging banks to be more open with their information and pushing government agencies to coordinate better and respond more aggressively to risks.

Actions like those may not do much in the short run to prevent the problems in financial markets from slowing the world economy.

"They are going to share a lot of information, but I don't think there is going to be a coordinated policy response," said Domenico Lombardi, president of the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy. That's partly because European and Asian economies are in better shape than that in the United States, and thus leaders of those nations might be reluctant to undertake bold action.

U.S. officials have played down the possibility of action by governments to buy up mortgage securities or take other big steps. Addressing the idea of "an injection of public money in a very significant way," David McCormick, a Treasury Department undersecretary, said in a briefing Wednesday, "We're not at all certain that that would make sense or would even have the desired public policy outcome."

The IMF has taken a stronger stance in urging central banks and governments to consider unusual action. Many analysts would like the IMF to take the lead in trying to prevent future disruptions in financial markets.

"The IMF should orchestrate a worldwide response to this," Bradford said. "They can provide a table around which you bring the various national officials, and you bang heads. You say to people, look, we've got to come up with some codes and practices that will keep this from happening again."

But the IMF could face big limitations on its ability to play that role.

For one thing, the fund is in the middle of dealing with financial problems of its own. In the strong global economy of the past decade, few nations turned to the IMF to borrow money. The organization funds itself with interest payments on those loans, and as a result has had far less revenue.

So, much of its agenda this weekend will dwell on internal matters of balancing the IMF budget and selling off gold to raise cash.

Moreover, many developing nations, especially in Asia, are distrustful of an organization that is controlled almost entirely by the United States and Europe.

"The IMF can at best make suggestions as to what people should do," said Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. "They've got no leverage over any of the major shareholders. The most they can do is provide a technical case as to what kind of action should be taken."

On a different front, the World Bank will be dealing with the impact of rapidly rising food prices on poor nations, which already has spawned unrest in 33 countries, including Haiti, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Cameroon and Mozambique.

The rising prices -- up 83 percent in the three years preceding February, according to the World Bank -- are projected to continue for the next several years, threatening to undermine progress that has been made in battling extreme poverty and malnutrition.

"While many worry about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs," World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick told reporters yesterday. "And it's getting more and more difficult every day."

In meetings this weekend, Zoellick said, he hopes to rally the world's developed nations around what he calls "a new deal" for global food policy. To deal with the immediate food crisis, he has called on the world community to make up the $500 million shortfall in the United NationsWorld Food Program, while expanding other food aid for the poor around the world.

Longer term, he said, agricultural development should be made a greater priority, particularly in places such as Africa, which have vastly underutilized potential for food production.

The bank has already said it would nearly double its agricultural lending to sub-Saharan Africa to $800 million next year.

Zoellick said that the bank's food goals are about more than charity. They also present an opportunity for future economic growth -- a point he is pressing with the managers of sovereign wealth funds around the world. A 1 percent investment from those funds, he said, would amount to $30 billion in new investment in African development.

"Meetings such as this one are usually about talk. Words can focus attention. They can build momentum. But we can't be satisfied with studies, papers and talk," Zoellick said.

Soros: USD Won't Be World's Reserve Currency

Soros: USD Won't Be World's Reserve Currency

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George Soros will not go quietly.

At the age of 77, Mr. Soros, one the world’s most successful investors and richest men, leapt out of retirement last summer to safeguard his fortune and legacy. Alarmed by the unfolding crisis in the financial markets, he once again began trading for his giant hedge fund — and won big while so many others lost.

Mr. Soros has always been a controversial figure. But he is becoming more so with a new, dire forecast for the world economy. Last week he rushed out a book, his 10th, warning that the financial pain has only just begun.

“I consider this the biggest financial crisis of my lifetime,” Mr. Soros said during an interview Monday in his office overlooking Central Park. A “superbubble” that has been swelling for a quarter of a century is finally bursting, he said.

Mr. Soros, whose daring, controversial trades came to symbolize global capitalism in the 1990s, is now busy promoting his book, “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets,” which goes on sale next month. An electronic version is already available online.

And yet this is not the first time that Mr. Soros has prophesied doom. In 1998, he published a book predicting a global economic collapse that never came.

Mr. Soros thinks that this time he is right. Now in his eighth decade, he yearns to be remembered not only as a great trader but also as a great thinker. The market theory he has promoted for two decades and espoused most of his life — something he calls “reflexivity” — is still dismissed by many economists. The idea is that people’s biases and actions can affect the direction of the underlying economy, undermining the conventional theory that markets tend toward some sort of equilibrium.

Mr. Soros said all aspects of his life — finance, philanthropy, even politics — are driven by reflexivity, which has to do with the feedback loop between people’s understanding of reality and their own actions. Society as a whole could learn from his theory, he said. “To make a contribution to our understanding of reality would be my greatest accomplishment,” he said.

Mr. Soros has been worrying about the fragile state of the markets for years. But last summer, at a luncheon at his home in Southampton with 20 prominent financiers, he struck an unusually bearish note.

“The mood of the group was generally gloomy, but George said we were going into a serious recession,” said Byron Wien, the chief investment strategist of Pequot Capital, a hedge fund.

Mr. Soros was one of only two people there who predicted the American economy was headed for a recession, he said.

Shortly after that luncheon Mr. Soros began meeting with hedge fund managers like John Paulson, who was early to predict a crisis in the housing market. He interrogated his portfolio managers and external hedge funds that manage his fund’s money, and he took on new positions to hedge where they might have gone wrong. His last-minute strategies contributed to a 32 percent return — or roughly $4 billion for the year.

The more Mr. Soros learned about the crisis, the more certain he became that he should rebroadcast his theories. In the book, Mr. Soros, a fierce critic of the Bush administration, faults regulators for allowing the buildup of the housing and mortgage bubbles. He envisions a time, not so distant, when the dollar is no longer the world’s main currency and people will have a harder time borrowing money.

Mr. Soros hopes his theories will finally win the respect he craves. But, ever the trader, he hedges his bets. “I may well be proven wrong,” he said. “I would say that I’m the boy who cried wolf three times.”

Many of the people Mr. Soros wants to influence may view him with skepticism, in part because of how he made his fortune. In 1992, his fund famously bet against the British pound and helped force the British government to devalue the currency. Five years later, he bet — correctly — that Thailand would be forced to devalue its currency, the baht. The resulting bitterness toward him among Thais was such that Mr. Soros canceled a trip to the country in 2001, fearing for his safety.

Asked if it bothers him that people accuse him of causing economic pain, his blue eyes dart around the room. “Yes, it does, actually yes,” he said.

Asked if those people are right to blame him, he says, “Well no, not entirely.”

No single investor can move a currency, he said. “Markets move currencies, so what happened with the British pound would have happened whether I was born or not, so therefore I take no responsibility.”

Mr. Soros, came of age in Nazi-occupied Hungary and has for decades longed to write a masterpiece that might put him among thinkers like Hegel or Keynes, said Michael T. Kaufman, who wrote a book about Mr. Soros. “He spent years writing papers and letters to people, but everyone ignored him,” Mr. Kaufman said.

But when Mr. Soros became rich, people began listening. He also started giving large sums to charities, and in Eastern Europe, as the Soviet Union crumbled, he distributed copy machines to encourage free speech in his native Hungary. So generous was Mr. Soros with his money that “Sorosovat” became a new verb in Russian, loosely meaning to apply for a grant.

He continues to be one of the top givers to charities around the world, and has given more than $5 billion away through his foundations.

Yet even Mr. Soros acknowledges that many economists still slight his theories.

“I am known as a hedge fund manager and I am known as a philanthropist, and it’s very hard for, say, academics to accept that a hedge fund manager may actually have something to say about economics,” Mr. Soros said. “So that has been difficult for me to overcome.”

But Joseph E. Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia who won the Nobel for economics in 2001, said Mr. Soros might still meet success. “With a slightly different vocabulary these ideas, I think, are going to become more and more part of the center,” said Mr. Stiglitz, a longtime friend of Mr. Soros.

Mr. Soros’s firm, Soros Fund Management, has been through several turbulent years. Stanley Druckenmiller, his longtime No. 2, left in 2000, in part because he was tired of the constant media attention Mr. Soros attracted. (Mr. Soros credits Mr. Druckenmiller for the winning gamble on the British pound, saying he added the encouragement to bet more money on the trade.)

Several outside investors also left, and Mr. Soros overhauled the company as more of a wealth management tool for his own family and related charities. Mr. Soros said in 2000 that he no longer desired returns like the 30.5 percent his fund returned on average, after management fees, from 1969 to 2000.

In 2004, Mr. Soros tapped his oldest son, Robert, to become the chief investment officer, despite Robert’s reluctance.

At that time, Mr. Soros, was busy trying to turn public opinion against President Bush. He donated $27 million to anti-Bush organizations and traveled the country speaking out against the president. This time around, he is less involved. He endorsed Senator Barack Obama but kept his distance from the campaign trail.

Robert Soros, 44, who once claimed his father based his trades not on grand theories like reflexivity but rather on his back pain, never shared his father’s enthusiasm for the markets. “When you’re a billionaire’s son, you’re less hungry than when you’re a Hungarian immigrant,” one former Soros Fund Management executive said.

Even so, the Soros fund performed well under the younger Soros, and as recently as last June, it was up 10 percent for the year, according to a letter to investors. At the end of July, Robert stepped down from his head investment role, just before his father returned to trading. Robert and his brother Jonathan remain deputy co-chairmen, under their father, the chairman of the fund.

This week, Mr. Wien illustrated the knack of Mr. Soros for timing with an old story. In 1995, Mr. Soros asked Mr. Wien why he bothered going to work every day. Why not go to work only on days when there is something to do?

“I said, ‘George, one of the differences between you and me is you know when those days are, and I don’t,’” Mr. Wien said.

Common Man News 4/2008

News for the common man because the elite already know!


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White House Challenges Release of Visitor Logs

Why More Food Is Not the Answer

Virtual fence on Mexican border deemed insufficient

Supply Scare Sends Oil Toward $120

The Double Trouble of Taxation By Ron Paul

Existing home sales fell 2 percent in March

Out of the Way, Peasants

Message To Fed Chief Bernanke: "Enough With The Cuts, Already"

The Great Silence: Our Gilded Age and Theirs

Supreme Court Reviews "Millionaire’s Amendment"

Disapproval of Bush breaks record

ABC’s Philadelphia Story: Punditry Over Politics


Behind the US stock market rally

The Wage That Meant Middle Class

The Homeownership Ideologues

Bank of America Net Income Falls 77% on Writedowns

Dark clouds gather over Australian economy

Bush Secrecy Policies have Transformed U. S. Government from "Open" to "Closed"

VA Debated PR Plan on Vets’ Suicides

"Hero" John McCain as Phony and Collaborator

Pentagon Propaganda & Antiwar Analysts

Bush's Child Health Policy Violated Law

America’s Role in Haiti’s Hunger Riots

US Supreme Court denies 11 death penalty appeals, states prepare to resume executions

Rice, US generals signal stepped-up bloodletting in Iraq

The New Walls of Baghdad

VA Hid Suicide Risk, Internal Emails Show

Doctors Feel Push to Downplay Injuries

Oil Running Out as Prime Energy Source: World Poll

Carter Says Hamas May Accept Right of Israel to Exist


Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

Food Crisis Defusing Some GM Crop Resistance

Cops Disguise Cameras As Fire Hydrants

Western Oil Majors’ Control Of Global Oil & Gas Has Collapsed

US military tightens siege of Sadr City as cleric warns of war

Halliburton Profit Rises After Oil Climbs to Record

Torture Victim’s Records Lost at Guantánamo, Admits Camp General

US News Media’s Latest Disgrace

Ending Slavery for Pennies

Huge War Supplemental in Works

Piling On: Borrowers Buried by Fees

Talking to Ourselves

Military Medical Malpractice: Seeking Recourse

12 Reasons to Get Out of Iraq

Government Authority Is Crossing a Line

Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand


Economist Fears Historic Loss of Assets for Minorities

California home prices fall 26 percent amid foreclosures

Food - The Ultimate Weapon Of The Ruling Elite

Three States Subjected To "Martial Law Sweeps"

Carter’s Peace Mission

Our Reign Of Terror

Truth as a Causality of War

European Officials Agree on Framework for Outlawing Online Terror Recruiting

Torture Question Hovers Over Chertoff

GIs in Sadr City Under Fire From Friends and Foes

Report Finds Air Force Officers Steered Contract

America’s allies in Iraq under pressure as civil war breaks out among Sunni

Torture and the Law

CIA Says Destroyed Interrogation Videos Irrelevant to Guantánamo Prisoner Case

The Hidden Battle to Control the World’s Food Supply

For Chris Matthews, Misogyny Pays Handsomely


As losses mount, US banks cut thousands of jobs

IMF and OECD: Europe will be hit hard by US recession

Ambushing Private Equity

Crude closes at record, then touches $117

Workers Get Fewer Hours, Deepening the Downturn

US Financial Collapse Will End Bush/Cheney Iraq War

Germany to Allow Video Surveillance of Private Homes

California to Review Canceled Health Insurance Policies

GAO: Stolen U. S. military gear sold on eBay, Craigslist

Petraeus Hid Maliki Resistance to US Troops in Basra

Top US general ’hoodwinked’ over aggressive interrogation

Hunger Hypocrites

KBR’s Rape Problem


Authorities lose patience with collapsing dollar

Meltdown of U. S. Dollar Underway as China Dumps the Currency

Citigroup lops off $14 billion in investments during 1Q

Retailers Get Stingy With Data

US mortgage clock ticking, Dodd warns

Sickened pork workers have new nerve disorder

U. S. Begins Erecting Wall in Sadr City

The U. S. Nears the Limits of Its Water Supplies

Workers Walk Off Job at Lansing GM Assembly Plant

300,000 Vets Have Mental Problems, 320,000 Had Brain Injuries


In midst of recession, multi-billion-dollar paydays for US hedge fund managers

The Madness of Ben Bernanke

March Housing Starts Down 36. 5% Year-over-Year

The Most Powerful People in America

Bitter? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

UAW calls off rally, prepares sellout of American Axle strike

US Supreme Court upholds lethal injection, opening way to resumed executions

Bailout Bonanza

A Man-Made Famine

Pentagon Records Detail Prisoner Abuse by US Military

More Bad Press for Nestlé in their Quest to Pilfer Spring Water

The Supreme Court Brings Back the Death Penalty

McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army

Pentagon Seeks Authority to Train and Equip Foreign Militaries

Democrats Charge GOP Groups With Collusion

Mistrial declared again in U. S. terrorism case

Feds to collect DNA from every person they arrest

Torturers in the White House: Why Is This Story Being Ignored?


Housing Starts in U. S. Slide to 17-Year Low

DHS Terror Funds Creating Police Grid

Gas Prices Could Pass $3. 50 in Weeks

Oil Prices Surge to a New High

Record Crude Means More Record Profits for Oil Companies

Big Tax Breaks for Businesses in Housing Bill

Treasury Outlines Toothless Hedge Fund Rules

Three Amigos Summit

Retailer bankruptcies set to prompt thousands of store closings

Your Internet provider is watching you

The Martial Law Act of 2006

Credit crunch? The real crisis is global hunger.

Global Hunger, Corporate Greed: When will enough be enough?

Our Debt to Jimmy Carter

Source: U. S. Strike on Iran Nearing

Shades of 1929: the global implications of the US banking collapse

A faltering economy hasn’t slowed American CEOs’ pursuit of wealth

US and Iraqi military continue push into Sadr City

How New Energy Order Will Dramatically Change our Daily Lives

Are Americans stupid or is it something in the water?

Biofuel: The Burning Question

AFL-CIO: CEOs’ Pay Packages Played Role in Mortgage Crisis

Elections in America: Millionaires Accusing Each Other of Elitism

US Military Holds Hearing in First Contractor Case

CEOs Bribe Pfrofessors To Push Ayn Rand Studies

Time for Iraq to pay its bills, senators say

Iran Says US Aids Rebels at Its Borders

UN Body Urges Agriculture Reforms to Stave Off Food Crisis

Obama Would Ask His AG to "Immediately Review" Potential of Crimes in Bush White House

Would Obama Hold Bush Accountable?

Bush’s Torture Quote Undercuts Denial

U. S. Consumer Prices Rose 0. 3% in March, Led by Food

Dollar Drops to Record Low Against Euro


A Taxing Economy

Fourth-largest US bank resorts to emergency fundraisingJill Treanor

U. S. Foreclosures Jump 57% as Homeowners Walk Away

U. S. housing collapse spreads overseas

Bankruptcies Rise in Crunch for Firms .. That Should Have Failed’

Sanctity of Contracts: Mortgages and Credit Cards

Swaps Tied to Losses Became 'Frankenstein's Monster'

Recession takes hold in US

Copayments Soar for Drugs With High Prices

Wal-Mart to film gun sales in bid to fight crime

Swarm of Earthquakes Detected Off Oregon Coast

’This is a Class War’ -- Auto Workers Fight 50 Percent Pay Cut Demand

How Republicans Quietly Hijacked the Justice Department to Swing Elections

Political snarl has election watchdog on a short leash

Increase in severe pneumonia in children may be caused by vaccine

Justices let stand youth’s 30-year prison term

Israel refused to guard Carter

Microwave Ovens: The Curse of Convenience

Fewer Large Corporations Audited by IRS

Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry

Finance Ministers Emphasize Food Crisis Over Credit Crisis

Canadian Bill C-51 Threatens To Usher CODEX Into Canada & US


Why Americans Are Bitter

They were warned

Symbolic Racism and the "US of KKK A"

Toronto18 Suspects undergo Trial by Media

Recession, Depression, Collapse: What’s Fear Got To Do With It?

Inflation hits consumers worldwide

Recession Has Bernanke, Greenspan Agreeing Companies Have Cash

Wanta Save the Economy? Give Workers a Raise

An Economy Built On Lies

IMF Head Warns About Food Prices

Haiti’s government falls after food riots

Semantics Can’t Mask Bush’s Chicanery

All Power to the President

It’s Occupation, Not War

Why Americans Are Tuning out the Disaster in Iraq

Five Years On, Fallujah in Tatters

Bush speaks on the possibility of another 9/11

Democrat Blames Weak Economy on Iraq War

World Bank to Meet as Rising Food Prices Spark Unrest

Paper Ballots and Audits in Time for Election Day 2008!



U.S., Europe Warn of Further `Bad News;’ Strengthen Regulation

Why Food Costs Are Climbing

War-Weary Pennsylvania Voters Wonder About Exit

Losing Our Will

More FAA Whistle-Blowers Begin to Come Forward

The Torture Memo

U.S. Presidential Election Can Be Hacked

U.S. Air Force Drones Wash Ashore On Ala. Beaches

U.S. Army Set to Recruit Ugandan Citizens

Guantanamo trial process unjust: defense attorney

Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.

The Next President’s First Task [A Manifesto]


IMF cuts US growth forecast, warns of global slump

G-7, IMF, And World Bank To Meet Over The Weekend

Soros: USD Won’t Be World’s Reserve Currency

Gas Prices Set Record, Oil Edges Up

Taco Bell, Wal-Mart, NRA hired ’black ops’ company targeting activists

Africom to Commence Operations This Year

NorthCom, Homeland Security Refine Relationship

Rising food prices threaten social calamity

Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton and the corporate domination of the Democratic Party

Top Bush aides directed torture from the White House

"History Will not Judge this kindly" -- Torture Was Approved at Highest Levels of Bush Admin

Murky CIA Activity at Military Outposts

Managing Iraq’s Econoccupation

The Military-Leisure Golf Complex

Harnessing the Sun: Future of Green Jobs

We’ll Reap What We Sow

Bush Opens Back Door for Logging National Forests

$736 Million US Embassy in Iraq to Open

US Fails to Move on Iraq Sexual Assault Complaints

Bush: "I Was Aware" of Harsh Tactics

Iraq War ’Blank Check’ Balloons

Health Care Horror Stories

Food and South Asia’s Future

Washington Lobbying Sets Record in 2007

Senators Warn Bush About Iraq Security Agreements

US, Iraq Negotiating Security Agreements

Common Man News 3/2008


Sensitive military equipment for sale online

Government Sued After Approving Four Pesticides

Audit Finds Major Hazards in Interior Department

Labor Gears Up Campaign Against Colombia Free Trade Pact

The Very Annoying Washington Post

Iraqi Refugees Find Sweden’s Doors Closing

GMO: Europe Says Yes; Member States Don’t Follow

Food Price Rises Threaten Global Security - UN

"Vote Mugabe or You Die". Inside Zimbabwe, the Backlash Begins

Conservative Bias Alleged in Textbook

Dangerous animal virus on US mainland?

John Pilger’s Breaking The Silence

Downturn Reviving Rift Over 1996 Welfare Change

Consumer Sentiment Drops to 26-Year Low

WaMu gets $7 billion infusion, cuts jobs, sees big loss

Pentagon Delays Report on FBI Role in Detainee Abuse

Arguments on Privilege for Two Bush Aides

Cheney, Others OK’d Harsh Interrogations

IMF says US crisis is ’largest financial shock since Great Depression’

Longshoremen to close ports on West Coast to protest war

Mugabe government responds to mass opposition with repression

Bush orders Iraq escalation to continue

How the Army Corps Is Swindling Americans

Are You Unhappy? Is It Because of Consumer Addiction?

Road to Nowhere

Are We Closer to ‘Victory’?

Failing the Troops

Sinking Into the Quagmire


Poor get poorer as recession threat looms: report

Oil roars to record over $112 on U.S. inventory drop

U.S. Says It Will Increase Efforts Against ‘Tax Defiers’

U.N. Official Calls for Study Of Neocons’ Role in 9/11

Iraqi Detainees Languish Uncharged in Crowded Jails

Top Bush Advisers Approved "Enhanced Interrogation"

Yoo’s on First?

A ’Hollow Announcement’

Army Under Stress From Long Wars

Despite spreading recession, US CEOs rake in huge pay raises

US airline chaos: thousands of flights canceled for inspections

Olympic Torch Protests Overwhelm San Francisco

The dubious politics behind the Beijing Olympics protests

If Dems Talk About ’Winning’ in Iraq, Everybody Loses

Did McCain Avoid Voting on a Key 9/11 Bill Because He’s Afraid of the Neocons?

Senate housing bill gets scant support

Bush embraces pause in troop cutbacks

Effectiveness of Medical Privacy Law Is Questioned

Dissent in the Ranks

Former Bush Administration Lawyer Asked to Testify Before Congress

Baghdad Anniversary Clampdown Fails to Stop Violence

Pentagon tells lawmaker not to air Green Zone video again

Congressional hearings set stage for wider war—inside and outside of Iraq

Veterans Department Creates Roadblocks to Voter Registration for Injured Vets


Fed Auctions Another $50 Billion

Gas Prices Slip, but Could Hit $4

The Fading American Economy: Government is the largest employer

IMF Sells 440.3 Tons Of Gold

Food additives could be as damaging as lead

’Trillion Dollar Meltdown’ paints scary economic picture

FBI Has Spy Program Tracking IM, Emails, and Cell Phones

California teachers protest budget cuts

American Axle workers denounce UAW concessions offer

Iraq war vet: We’ve heard enough from the generals and the politicians

General Petraeus gives Senate a blueprint for an unending occupation of Iraq

Why American Families’ Incomes Rise When Dems are in Office and Fall with the GOP

Dems Miss Opportunity to Challenge Surge

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Remembering the Real Martin Luther King

Everything His President Wants to Hear

In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials

GAO: Millions Wasted on Government Cards

Job Losses Bolster Calls for Extension of Benefits

Military Mom Says She Was Brutally Raped in Iraq

Memo Proves Detention Is Illegal, Attorneys Say

Pelosi to Prevent Colombia Vote

Wide Net Cast by Lobby for Colombia Trade Pact

Medicine Mix-Ups Harm Hospitalized Kids

Big Trucking Deal

Opponents Say California Power Initiative Is Ill-Advised

Basra Strike Against Shiite Militias Also About Oil

Dems Shy Away from Iraq Money Fight

Taking the Incentive Out of War

Fed Officials Worried About Recession

US Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars

Bush’s OSHA: No Laws? No Crimes

Fighting Intensifies in Iraq’s Capital

John Yoo’s Tortured Explanations

Surprising Political Endorsements by US Troops


First Marblehead Tumbles, Guarantor Files Chapter 11

Pending Home Resales Fell More Than Forecast

IMF Says Financial Losses May Swell to $945 Billion

Foreclosures Come to McMansion Country

The Foreclosure Prevention Act (aka the Bank and Builder Bailout Act)

The Already Big Thing on the Internet: Spying on Users

Batten Down The Hatches: This Is The Big One

U.S.-Russia row over Kosovo escalates with Moscow aid shipments

Tax Policy Favors Investors Over Wage Earners

Breaking Through the News Filter

Cost of Occupation in Iraq: $3 Trillion Estimate Was Too Low

Don’t Betray Us, General: Admit That Iraq Keeps Getting Worse, And That The Surge Failed

Rice shortages heighten political crisis in the Philippines

The Clintons cash in: Wealth and American politics

Secret plans for US troops to stay in Iraq

Secret US plan for military future in IraqDocument outlines powers but sets no time limit on tr

Losing the War for Reality

Citigroup Confirms $33 Million Gender Bias Settlement

Bush to Force Vote on Colombia Trade

Solar Science Research Contradicts Climate Change Skeptics

Bush administration suspended search and seizure rights following 9/11

Iran proposes missile shield against U.S., Israel

Minister: Israel Would Destroy Iran if Attacked


Over the Top Fed Actions Feed Conspiracy Thinking

Fed Up: Bernanke joins G-7 to Stem Global Financial Meltdown

Job winners and losers in hard times

Huge Job Losses Set Off Recession Alarms

Foreclosure Machine Thrives on Woes

Bankruptcies Jump 30% in March, Led by Housing-Bust States

Destroying Public Education in America

Food riots fear after rice price hits a high

Food Riots Kill At Least Four, Dozens Injured In Haiti

Preventing the Rise of a ’Messiah’

Petraeus Testimony Next Week Will Signal Iran Attack

Hundreds of homeless forcibly evicted from Southern California refuge

US congressional hearings on Iraq foreshadow aggressive stance against Iran

Ahmadinejad offers OPEC bank

Army Worried by Rising Stress of Return Tours to Iraq

The General and the Trap

Drug Makers Near an Old Goal: A Legal Shield

The Upside of Nationalism

Yoo’s Memo Hints at Bush’s Secrets


Parecon and Crime

From Global Financial Crisis to Global Recession

Executive Signing Statements

Evidence Grows of Drug Use on Detainees

ACLU taps top legal talent to defend accused 9-11 plotters

British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes

Senator to Widen Housing Proposal

Beltway Bacchanal: Congress Lives High on the Contributor’s Dime

Questions in Portugal About CIA Flights to Guantánamo

US Charges Contractor at Iraq Post in Stabbing

Homeland Ministry Plans Raytheon “Ray Guns” at Airports


US jobless figures: The specter of a new depression

Wall Street brokerages borrowing $38.1 billion a day from Federal Reserve

Fed’s interest rate games could destroy the dollar

The Forbidden Financial Topic: U.S. National Debt

Bushwacked -- the Sequel: Jobs Down, Unemployment Up

Gas prices rise to new record

Economy Loses 83,000 Jobs, Unemployment Jumps to 5.1 Percent

Record Home Foreclosures across America

Minnesota “DNA Warehouse” Bill Pending

Ahmadinejad: Nations to establish independent new world order

La-Z-Boy, Whirlpool Moving Hundreds Of Jobs To Mexico

Countries rush to restrict trade in basic foods

Was Killing Iraqi Children Worth It?

US Senate leaders agree on pro-industry housing bill

Haiti: Thousands protest over growing hunger

Chemical Industry’s Influence at EPA Probed

"Undue Influence" at Crandall Canyon?

World Bank Accused of Climate Change "Hijack"

Administration Asserted a Terror Exception on Search and Seizure

Pentagon’s Debt Collectors Accused of Ripping Off Soldiers

State Department Extends Blackwater’s Deal a Year

Beijing’s Reality Intrudes on Shangri-la

Buddy, Can You Spare a Billion?


Kansans Grill Lawmaker on Economy, Foreclosures, Gas Prices

Lenders Buried By Foreclosures Let Late Borrowers Stay in Homes

Employers Cut Most Workers Since 2003

Carlyle Group’s Plan to Takeover the Banking System

Individual bankruptcy filings up 27%

Oil Rises, Gasoline Surges to Record on U.S. Fuel-Supply Drop

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

Secretive Pentagon Spy Unit: Closed or Outsourced?

Hungry crowds spell trouble for world leaders

"Good News," Iraq & Beyond

US Lawmakers Have As Much As $196 Million Invested In "Defense" Companies

General William Odom Tells Senate Rapid Withdrawal Is Only Solution

The Republican War on Voting

Another Brutal Rape Cover-Up at KBR

How the U.S. Just Got Schooled by a ’Rag-Tag’ Neighborhood Army in IraqHow the U.S. Just Got Sc

US financial system faced collapse, bank regulators tell Senate hearing on Bear Stearns bailout

2003 Justice Department memo justifies torture, presidential dictatorship

Bush snubbed at NATO summit

Bush officials mount campaign against media shield bill

Federal Agencies: Our Rules Pre-empt Injury Lawsuits

The US-Colombia Unfair Trade Agreement: Just Say No!

Intimidating the Press

When the Clintons Mine Big Bucks

The Natives of Planet Earth

Fear of Regulating

Housing Accord Puts Builders First

US Subprime Crisis to Claim 200,000 Bank Jobs

Pentagon Limits Reporter Access to Guantanamo Court

Building a Legal Framework for Torture

Memo linked to warrantless surveillance


U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose 38,000 to 407,000

Municipal Bond Losses Put Taxpayers on Hook for $7 Billion as Yields Soar

Late Payments on Consumer Loans Highest Since 1992, ABA Says

"Emergency" Bill Tries to Make Electronic Voting More Accurate, But Will It?

Nutrition "Science" Has Hijacked Our Meals -- and Our Health

American Axle strikers in Buffalo determined to resist wage cuts

Independent truckers stage protests in US

Congressional Democrats defer to Fed Chairman Bernanke on Wall Street bailout

High school drop-out rate in major US cities at nearly 50 percent

Dance of the Oil Fairies

Renewable Energy Hedges

Betting the Farm

Washington State Signs Toughest Toy Law in US


Is The “Israel Lobby” Losing Its Grip?

Why al-Maliki attacked Basra

Thirty-Six U.S. States to Face Water Shortages in the Next Five Years

Wasting and Wanting at the Pentagon

ACLU: Military skirting law to spy

Pentagon Is Expected to Close Intelligence Unit

Distressed Owners Are Frustrated by Aid Group

Attacks on US Forces Soared at End of March

EPA Seen Under Attack in Bush Years

Inside Guantánamo with Detainee 061

Siegelman Seeks Answers, Eyes Rove

"Unbelievable" Abuse Reigns in Iraqi Jails

Growing Database of Tourist Fingerprints Raising Privacy Concerns

IMF Cuts Global Forecast on Worst Crisis Since 1930s

Bernanke Says a Recession Is Possible as Housing, Consumer Spending Weaken

USA in Iraq: Recession in the Crosshairs

Manipulations of Capital

Centers Tap Into Personal Databases

Memo: Laws Didn’t Apply to Interrogators

Embarrassed U.S. Starts to Disown Basra Operation

U.S. Appears to Take Lead in Fighting in Baghdad

Why Is Bush Suddenly Ready to Make a Deal on FISA? Ask the House Democrats

The Color of Wealth

Rapists in the Ranks

Paulson Says Treasury `Flexible’ on Housing Measures

Howard Zinn: The End of Empire?

How the US Military-Industrial Complex Seeks to Contain and Control the Earth and it’s Eco-Syst

US food stamp use projected to swell to record levels

American Axle strike at the crossroads

US, Germany clash over NATO expansion plan

Consider Iraq Defined

The Decriminalization of Corporate Crime

A Submarine to Fight al-Qaida’s Navy

Federal Agencies Pummel Public Health

Lawmakers expressed little opposition to FBI request for $445 million budget increase

Majority of Doctors Support Universal Health Care

More Women Pursue Claims of Pregnancy Discrimination

Are the Oceans Giving Up?

Feds to Bypass Laws to Build Border Fence

Inside the Black Budget

IOC Tells Beijing: Don’t Block Internet

Iraqi Casualties at Highest Level Since August

GAO Blasts Weapons Budget


Israel Planning to Build Hundreds of New Homes on Occupied Land

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown

Chaos on Wall Street

Europe poised to bolster Web shield

USA 2008: The Great Depression

NKorea Threatens South With Destruction

Paulson’s Fix for the Financial System: Less regulation, More Power to the Fed

Those Who Control Oil And Water Will Control The World

The Decline And Coming Fall Of US Hegemony

Toward a Humanist Foreign Policy

No One is Leading

A Third American War Crime in the Making

Bush’s Legacy Leads to Iran: Will Clinton or Obama Make Any Difference? Will You?

Hope Abandoned: Obama Stands Up for Murder and Plunder

Governor’s budget results in layoff notices for thousands of California teachers

By stealth, Ottawa seeks to censor film and television production

Bush housing secretary resigns amid mounting corruption charges

US Treasury plan shields Wall Street speculators

US-backed assault on Basra ends in humiliation for Maliki government


Analyst Predicts Corn Rationing in 2008

City Subpoenas Creator of Text Messaging Code

What Happened to the Fairness Doctrine?

Mobile Phones "More Dangerous Than Smoking"

Comcast Adjusts Way It Manages Internet Traffic

Comcast to Stop Slowing Peer-to-Peer Traffic

The Welfare King of the 21st Century

Ex-Terror Detainee Says US Tortured Him

Opposition to Treasury’s Blueprint Gains Steam

Indicted Embassy Bomber Faces Tribunal, Not Trial