Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The opening date of the building has been a closely guarded secret for years – however, a senior architect working on the project has confirmed that December 2 has been set aside for the opening, the Arabian Business reported.
The Armani Hotel, which is part of the building, will welcome its first guests on the same day.
Ceremonies to mark the launch are also being planned for December 2, the report said but it was not yet clear whether other parts of the tower will be fully accessible.
"This will be a huge achievement and a big celebration for the UAE and for Emaar, particularly as it's UAE National Day. It will be the first time the public can enter the building," said the architect.
The final piece of glass cladding to complete the exterior of Burj Dubai, was now ready and would be installed within weeks, developer Emaar Properties said. Emaar, however, has maintained it will not comment on the opening date.
Spanning six metres in length, the panel is the last of the 24,348 pieces of cladding fitted to the super-structure.
Emaar has been tight-lipped over the final height of the tower, which is believed to have topped 818 metres earlier this year. More than 1,000 specially commissioned pieces of art will adorn the interiors of Burj Dubai.
「華爾街日報」報導，柏南奇資產縮水最大變動出現在大型股票變額年金 （large-cap stock variableannuity），從2007年底的價值50萬至100萬美元，減少到介於25萬至50萬美元之間。
柏南奇所有的先鋒國際成長基金（Vanguard International Growth Fund）也失血不少。
（中央社台北29日綜合外電報導）全球最大鋼鐵廠阿塞洛米塔爾 (ArcelorMittal NL-MT)公佈連續第3季虧損，並表示由於需求復甦，該公司計劃恢復部份閒置產能。
執行長米塔 (Lakshmi Mittal)指出，「第二季持續是個艱困的一季，需求還是疲弱。我們預期今年上半年是這次景氣循環的底部。」他說，近週已出現些許回春跡象，公司計劃恢復部份產能。下半年景氣將「繼續逐步好轉」。(譯者：中央社趙蔚蘭)
This is the same Citigroup that received $45 billion in bailout money. The same Citigroup that will soon be 34% owned by the U.S. government. The same Citigroup that has lost 95% of its share value since 2007.
Citigroup is in no position to be awarding bonuses of $10 million -- let alone adding another zero to that amount. So why is it mulling such a colossally dumb move? Because the guy demanding it is probably the bank's most valuable employee.
Enter Andrew Hall. He's a rock star, a legend among banking circles. He makes a boatload of money for Citigroup as head of Phibro, the bank's energy-trading unit. The Wall Street Journal calls Phibro a secretive operation, housed in a former Connecticut dairy farm, that "occasionally accounts for a disproportionate chunk of Citigroup income."
Phibro made so much money for Citigroup last year that Hall got a $100 million bonus (His bonus is based on Phibro's profits). Phibro was the main source of the $667 million in pretax revenue Citigroup received in commodities trading, the Journal reported. And the unit is doing so well this year that Hall may be in line for a similar amount.
Even though it's only July, it sounds like Hall is pressing Citigroup for confirmation of the bonus. He's threatening to leave the company, reports say.
So here's Citigroup's dilemma: Keeping Hall would likely help the company climb out of the hole it's in. But can it afford to spend $100 million?
And will the U.S. government allow it? That will depend largely on the opinion of Kenneth Feinberg, the new pay czar appointed to oversee compensation at the bailed-out banks.
Hall already has so much money that he owns a castle in Germany called Schloss Derneburg (pictured here). He's a huge art collector, and caused a bit of a ruckus in Southport, Conn., by commissioning a six-ton, 80-foot-long sculpture of concrete and steel on his front lawn. That doesn't play well with Southporters.
And how will a $100 million bonus play with taxpayers? We'll see.
Related reading:Obama squashes Citigroup's $50 million luxury jet
by Kim Peterson
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Today, I’m going to explain the Federal Reserve System. Hey, where ya goin’?
First: It’s not really federal. Nor are there reserves. (Not many, anyway.) It is a system, however. (Well, a scam, actually, but those behind the 1913 Federal Reserve Act that birthed the Fed bypassed that identifier, for some reason.)
And, prey (that’s you), who backed the act?
Oh, just everyday folks with names like Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Rothschild who, a century ago, joined forces to saddle the U.S. with a central bank that, naturally, they’d control, in turn giving them control over the country’s money supply.
Alas! If only our nation’s framers had been smart enough to anticipate a ploy like this and thus guard against it in the Constitution.
Um, turns out they were. Fresh off the colonies’ disastrous experiences with non-stop printing presses churning out worthless currency both before and during the revolution, the founding fathers made sure to constitutionally preclude both Congress and the states from issuing “bills of credit.” In other words, paper money. Silver and/or gold-backed coinage was to be the name of the game.
Creating the Fed, which comprises twelve private banks spread regionally throughout the U.S., was an end run around that, with the sleight-of-hand working this way: Congress authorizes interest-bearing IOUs (bonds and notes) to be sold to the Fed, which in turn gives Congress oodles of paper money created from thin air and backed by nothing, an amazing alchemical process authorized by, well, Congress.
Though a dozen banks are involved in the con, er, system, the head bank is and always has been the Fed’s New York branch. (Isn’t it a remarkable coincidence it was mainly the obscenely wealthy Big Apple banking interests that pushed the Fed’s creation in the first place?)
It’s obvious what’s in it for the bankers, but how about Congress? Well, our “representatives” get money whenever they want for whatever they want. This comes in handy for buying votes back home, uh, I mean, for serving their constituents, like agribusiness, Big Pharma, weapons manufacturers, etc. Oh, and also those in the banking industry who, if they screw up the economy by being greedy little pigheads, can be duly punished by being given trillions more faux dough scot-free by, who else?, Congress.
Let’s hope this never happens.
Interest off bonds isn’t the only perk for the Fed (or bankers in general). But don’t even get me started on fractional-reserve banking. Otherwise I’d have to tell you how a few folks with a soft spot for things like usury will get a charter, start a bank, take deposits and then start loaning “money” at a nine-to-one ratio based on the total of those deposits (now redefined as “reserves,” ninety percent of which are dubbed “excess” and thus, abracadabra, available for lending). That’s right: they’re now loaning dollars that don’t exist. A few strokes on the ol’ keyboard and, voila, instant money!
It gets better. Once those loans are repaid and come back to the bank as deposits in other accounts, then that money is used as the basis to issue more nine-to-one loans. And so on. Can you say “pyramid scheme,” boys and girls? This is why what bankers fear most are bank runs, when lots of customers at one time are audacious enough to actually demand their account balances in cash, money that is nowhere to be found because the vast majority of it exists only in electronic ledgers. This is the very moment the magic of making money from nothing disappears — shazam! — and the locks and chains on bank doors materialize — sa-lam! — overnight.
Of course, those who created the Fed devised an ingenious way to guard against runs. It’s called the “lender of last resort.” Know who that is? It’s you!
This brainstorm was one of the main reasons for establishing the Fed in the first place. The rich and powerful bankers, tired of pesky competition from other banks and the distasteful specter of having to pay for good avarice gone bad, decided it would be much better to institutionalize an ironclad way to protect their profits. It took a few years and some political chicanery, but with a complicit president and a duped Congress (oh why does this sound so familiar?), they finally hit the jackpot by legislatively securing the mechanism by which they could place the taxpayer squarely on the hook, I’m sorry, more strongly underpin the economy.
Aren’t you thrilled to know you’re the one lending fabulously wealthy individuals even more money to tank the economy and put you out of a job? Just asking.
But how, exactly, during these times when things are a little tight and you’re considering the pragmatism of fattening up Fido, do you lend any money at all, let alone trillions? Why, through the insidious tax called inflation, of course. See, once the government, hand-in-hand with the Fed, goes nuts and sells bonds by the trainloads thereby resulting in untold un-backed dollars being pumped into the economy, inflation kicks in and the less those dollars are worth. If this is not apparent now, perhaps it will come to mind the next time you hook the oxen up to your cash-laden trailer to go buy a loaf of bread.
So, if the dollar has nothing to support it (and it doesn’t), just what keeps this fiat money afloat? Two things: a) our unshakeable, bedrock confidence in it (uh-huh) and b) because we have to. “Legal tender” laws ensure, under threat of imprisonment, that we’ll use dollars whether we like it or not.
When the government does something like this (puts money into circulation without backing), it’s called “monetary policy.” If we do it, it’s called “counterfeiting.”
OK, that’s enough misery for now. Who needs more gloom and doom anyway, especially these dire days? There is one possible silver lining, however, to the disaster that is our current economy: If enough pain manifests, perhaps a clamor will arise to throw the Fed and its worthless, debt-based system out on its money-changing ear, thereby precipitating a return to real money, backed by gold and silver, as codified by this country’s founders. A long shot, true, but stranger things have happened. For instance, who ever thought the Bush administration would actually leave the White House? (Now if we could just get Dick Cheney to go back to his home planet…)by Mark Drolette
July 26, 2009 "Dollars & Sense " -- -Although you have to dig into the statistics to know it, unemployment in the United States is now worse than at any time since the end of the Great Depression.
From December 2007, when the recession began, to May of this year, 6.0 million U.S. workers lost their jobs. The big three U.S. automakers are closing plants and letting white-collar workers go too. Chrysler, the worst off of the three, will lay off one-quarter of its workforce even if it survives. Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and giant banking conglomerate Citigroup have both laid off thousands of workers. Alcoa, the aluminum maker, has let workers go. Computer maker Dell and express shipper DHL have both canned many of their workers. Circuit City, the leading electronics retailer, went out of business, costing its 40,000 workers their jobs. Lawyers in large national firms are getting the ax. Even on Sesame Street, workers are losing their jobs.
The official unemployment rate hit 9.4% in May—already as high as the peak unemployment rates in all but the 1982 recession, the worst since World War II. And topping the 1982 recession’s peak rate of 10.8% is now distinctly possible. The current downturn has pushed up unemployment rates by more than any previous postwar recession (see Table 1).
Source: Table A-1, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Labor Department, www.bls.gov.
The comprehensive U-6 unemployment rate adjusts the official rate by adding marginally attached workers and workers forced to work part time for economic reasons to the officially unemployed. To find the U-6 rate the BLS takes that higher unemployment count and divides it by the official civilian labor force plus the number of marginally attached workers. (No adjustment is necessary for forced part-time workers since they are already counted in the official labor force as employed workers.)
Calculating the Real Unemployment Rate
The BLS calculates the official unemployment rate, U-3, as the number of unemployed as a percentage of the civilian labor force. The civilian labor force consists of employed workers plus the officially unemployed, those without jobs who are available to work and have looked for a job in the last 4 weeks. Applying the data found in Table 2 yields an official unemployment rate of 9.1%, or a seasonally adjusted rate 9.4% for April 2009.
Accounting for the large number of marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons raises the count of unemployed to 24.0 million workers for May 2009. Those numbers push up the U-6 unemployment rate to 15.9% or a seasonally adjusted rate of 16.4%.
Some groups of workers are already facing official unemployment rates in the double digits. As of May, unemployment rates for black, Hispanic, and teenage workers were already 14.9%, 12.7% and 22.7%, respectively. Workers without a high-school diploma confronted a 15.5% unemployment rate, while the unemployment rate for workers with just a high-school degree was 10.0%. Nearly one in five (19.2%) construction workers were unemployed. In Michigan, the hardest hit state, unemployment was at 12.9% in April. Unemployment rates in seven other states were at double-digit levels as well.
As bad as they are, these figures dramatically understate the true extent of unemployment. First, they exclude anyone without a job who is ready to work but has not actively looked for a job in the previous four weeks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies such workers as “marginally attached to the labor force” so long as they have looked for work within the last year. Marginally attached workers include so-called discouraged workers who have given up looking for job-related reasons, plus others who have given up for reasons such as school and family responsibilities, ill health, or transportation problems.
Second, the official unemployment rate leaves out part-time workers looking for full-time work: part-time workers are “employed” even if they work as little as one hour a week. The vast majority of people working part time involuntarily have had their hours cut due to slack or unfavorable business conditions. The rest are working part time because they could only find part-time work.
To its credit, the BLS has developed alternative unemployment measures that go a long way toward correcting the shortcomings of the official rate. The broadest alternative measure, called “U-6,” counts as unemployed “marginally attached workers” as well as those employed “part time for economic reasons.”
When those adjustments are taken into account for May 2009, the unemployment rate soars to 16.4%. That is the highest rate since the BLS began calculating the U-6 rate in 1994. While not exactly comparable, it is also higher than the BLS’s earlier and yet broader adjusted unemployment rate called the U-7. The BLS began calculating the U-7 rate in 1976 but discontinued it in 1994 in favor of the U-6 rate. In the 1982 recession the U-7 reached 15.3%, its highest level. In fact, no bout of unemployment since the last year of the Great Depression in 1941 would have produced an adjusted unemployment rate as high as today’s.
Why is the real unemployment rate so much higher than the official, or U-3, rate? First, forced part-time work has reached its highest level ever, going all the way back to 1956 and including the 1982 recession. In May 2009, 8.8 million workers were forced to work part time for economic reasons. Forced part-timers are concentrated in retail, food services, and construction; about a quarter of them are young workers between 16 and 24. The number of discouraged workers is high today as well. In May, the BLS counted 2.2 million “marginally attached” workers. That matches the highest number since 1994, when the agency introduced this measure.
With the economy in the throes of a catastrophic downturn, unemployment, no matter how it’s measured, will rise dramatically and impose yet more devastating costs on society and on those without a job or unable to find full-time work.
John Miller teaches economics at Wheaton College and is a member of the Dollars & Sense collective.
This article is from the July/August 2009 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine.By John Miller
HONOLULU – State officials in Hawaii on Monday said they have once again checked and confirmed that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen, and therefore meets a key constitutional requirement for being president.
They hoped to stem a recent surge in the number of inquiries about Obama's birthplace.
"I ... have seen the original vital records maintained on file by theverifying was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen," Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said in a brief statement. "I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago."
So-called "birthers" — who claim Obama is ineligible to be president because, they argue, he was actually born outside the United States — have grown more vocal recently on blogs and television news shows.
Fukino issued a similar press release Oct. 31, but was prompted to speak out again because of the renewed attention on Obama's beginnings.has been flooded in recent weeks with questions from individuals and several national TV news networks asking for proof that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.
"They just keep asking over and over and over again,"Janice Okubo said.
The Constitution states that a person must be a "natural-born citizen" to be eligible for the presidency. Birthers contend that Obama's birth certificate is a fake, and many say he was actually born in Kenya, his father's homeland. They've challenged his citizenship in court.
One widely circulated YouTube clip of a town hall meeting showed a Republican congressman getting booed for saying Obama is a citizen. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh and CNN's Lou Dobbs have also raised the issue, and 10 Republican members of Congress co-sponsored a bill that would require future presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate.
However, it appears Congress has moved on and has accepted Obama's island birthplace. The U.S. House on Monday unanimously approved a resolution recognizing and celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming the 50th state. A clause was included that reads: "Whereas the , Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961."
State law bars the release of ato anyone who does not have a tangible interest.
However, Obama's birth certificate along with birth notices from the two Honolulu newspapers were brought forward even before he took office. But that's done nothing to shake the belief by many Obama critics that the president was born abroad.By JAYMES SONG