Midnight Oil’s leader finding challenges in politics

Awesome!!!  SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — The music of Peter Garrett has always been politically charged. Now the towering, baldheaded former singer of Midnight Oil is charged with practicing politics — as Australia’s new environment minister. Peter Garrett, once the lead singer of Midnight Oil, is now a minister in Australia’s Labor government. Garrett founded the […]

Monster wind farm would be one of world’s biggest

While I greatly applaud wind energy (coming from the flat windy low-lands of Holland) in local sustainable wind farms that accommodate small communities and don’t affect the environment to the point of destruction, I fail to see why these monstrosities have to do with a sustainable society. They don’t replace dirtier forms of energy, they […]

Police move may anger moderates.

Maori academics and politicians have warned that police raids on Maori activists could have the opposite effect and fuel the fire of extremism. Professor Taiarahia Black from Massey University said there was widespread disquiet within Maoridom at the “heavy-handed” police actions. “For people who already feel marginalised, this is going to add fuel to the […]

Economy boost delivers $8.7b surplus

Solid governance, prudent spending, are we going to through it al away with National and investment banker “Smiling assassin” John Key? New Zealand’s better than expected economic performance delivered the Government a $8.7 billion operating surplus for the 2006/2007 financial year, but Finance Minister Michael Cullen says it is still uncertain when any tax cuts will […]

Sub-prime crisis: Is it over?

When the sub-prime crisis rocked world markets on July 27, New Zealand’s sharemarket followed the same dismal path as Wall Street. It sank almost 10 per cent in less than a month. But the NZX-50 index stopped just short of a fresh closing high on Tuesday and overseas markets have also recovered. The sorry episode […]

Kiwibank’s $6m in troubled Northern Rock

Taxpayer-funded Kiwibank has invested around $6 million in troubled British lender Northern Rock, which was last week bailed out by the Bank of England. Spokesman Bruce Thompson confirmed the government-owned entity holds around $6 million in bonds issued by Northern Rock. Kiwibank was “very confident” its investment was safe, he said. “We’ve got a very […]

Eggs not so free range

Shoppers paying almost double the normal price for free-range eggs may be wasting their money if they think they are choosing the most ethical and nutritious option. Many eggs sold as “free-range” are laid by hens that never get outside to peck at fresh grass and insects, and may even have clipped beaks, say industry […]

Bacon and eggs served on toast to cost more

By Neal Wallace   Consumers already reeling from sharp milk and butter price rises are in for another shock as the cost of bread, bacon and eggs follow suit. Bread manufacturers are expected to increase the price of bread by up to 20 per cent before Christmas and will not rule out another price rise […]

CREDIT WRAPUP-Credit fears spread, Australia quashes rumours

By Ian Chua HONG KONG, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Credit fears flared in Asia on Tuesday prompting Australia’s central bank to quash speculation that one or more regional banks had asked for emergency funding, a day after savers rushed to withdraw deposits from a British lender. Japan’s finance minister provided soothing words to investors, saying […]

Black day for shares as €4.5bn lost

By Brian O’Mahony, Chief Business Correspondent ON a black day for Irish shares a total of €4.5 billion was wiped off the value of the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday. Market sentiment was certainly not helped by fears that investors in one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders, Northern Rock, might lose their life’s savings as the […]

Rising Commodity Prices More Bad News for US Dollar

Posted by Dan Denning on Sep 14th, 2007 The moves in oil, gold, and even wheat are all telling us something. First, they’re telling us that the U.S. dollar is headed for the black pit of currency hell, where poorly managed fiat currencies go to suffer and die. And here’s a question for you: how […]

Investors to blame for not assessing the risks

The United States is not the only nation confronting a household debt crisis. We, too, have a subprime lending market and it is managed by our collective bag of finance companies. The collective sum of savings at risk in this sector is reported to be $16 billion. Put another way, that’s nearly a third of […]

Failing banks, toxic bonds and mortgage laundering

The Triumph of Structured Finance By Mike Whitney  The entire global financial structure is becoming uncontrollable in crucial ways that its nominal leaders never expected, and instability is its hallmark. The scope and operation of international financial markets, their “architecture”, as establishment experts describe it, has evolved haphazardly and its regulation is inefficient — indeed, […]

Greenspan: era of low inflation is over

Graeme Wearden and Ashley Seager Monday September 17, 2007 Guardian Unlimited Photograph: AP   Britain faces the prospect of falling house prices and rising inflation within a few years, according to Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.In a series of interviews to promote his memoirs, the respected US economist warned that the […]

Fed to meet for US rate decision

The Federal Reserve is preparing to meet to decide whether US interest rates should be reduced from 5.25%. Most analysts believe the Fed will cut rates to try and prevent a housing market downturn and the credit crunch from severely denting the economy. By making money cheaper to borrow, people would spend and invest more, […]

Families feel pinch as basic costs rise

By PAUL EASTON – The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 18 September 2007AdvertisementHouseholds are being squeezed by price increases on basic foods and petrol, even before higher power prices and a sliding Kiwi dollar begin to take effect. Budgeting agencies fear the increase in staple food prices, including butter’s 23 per cent increase yesterday and milk’s […]

Credit crisis: Meltdown!

In the past 100 years, the rollercoaster ride that is the world of high finance has seen some spectacular lows. Sean O’Grady looks back at four episodes that not only came to define their times but also served as lessons for the future Published: 15 September 2007 1907: The Bankers’ Panic Sometimes, all that is necessary […]

Bankers fear £12bn run on Rock

September 16, 2007 David Smith, Grant Ringshaw and Holly Watt NORTHERN ROCK, the mortgage bank rescued by the Bank of England last week, could see as much as £12 billion – nearly half of its deposits – withdrawn by worried savers, experts say. The run on the bank continued yesterday as police were called in […]

House prices surge ahead of pay

The cost of buying a home has blown out to a record high. In August it took 81.6 per cent of a median weekly income to pay the mortgage on a median-priced house. That is more than twice the amount considered affordable, according to the latest Fairfax Media home loan affordability report. That makes the […]

Bank of England in dramatic intervention

 Northern Rock forced to seek emergency funding · Savers are assured that their money is secure Ashley Seager Friday September 14, 2007 The Guardian The Bank of England was last night forced to hand emergency funding to one of Britain’s biggest mortgage providers – Northern Rock – as it became the first major financial institution […]

US Economy Headed for Recession as Housing Bubble Bursts

Posted by Dr. Kurt Richebacher on Sep 14th, 2007 “America’s income-short, consumer-led recovery is the aberration – not the norm – in this Brave New World. It is all about ever-declining saving rates, ever-widening current account deficits, mounting debt burdens and increasingly wealth-dependent consumers. It personifies what I believe is one of the most precarious […]

More Mortgage Lenders to Close as Impact of Real Estate Slump Hits

Posted by Bill Bonner on Sep 13th, 2007 The Dow bounced right back – up 180 points Tuesday. Gold soared over US$721. What do you think, dear reader? Both went up…but which is the surer bet? We have our opinion. What bothers us is that it is too obvious. Central banks and financial intermediaries have […]

Petrol on rise as crude oil soars to a record

Motorists are being warned to expect further fuel price increases as oil prices hit a record high of $US80 ($NZ112) a barrel. The price of unleaded 91 has risen 10 cents to $1.64 during the past month. Diesel prices have also sky-rocketed, up 12.6 per cent to $1.19 a litre. A small car, such as […]

Recession Time! The Housing Bubble Bursts the Economy

By Dean Baker     t r u t h o u t | Perspective    Tuesday 11 September 2007     The downturn in jobs reported last month by the Labor Department provided evidence of an economic downturn that even the economy’s greatest cheerleaders could not ignore. Healthy economies do not shed jobs.     During the core periods of the upturns […]

Leading article: A crisis that spread from Wall Street to the high street

Published: 13 September 2007   Have we reached the moment when the contagion in the rarefied world of the credit markets finally begins to infect the real economy? This week two well-known fashion retailers, French Connection and Next, warned that trading conditions are likely to become a lot more difficult in the coming months. And yesterday, […]

Fed can’t stop recession

Even if the central bank starts to cut rates aggressively, many of the risks for the U.S. economy are beyond its reach. By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer September 13 2007: 1:35 PM EDT NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Problems in housing, the financial markets and the first job decline in four years have made a […]

As We Stand on the Brink of Catastrophe, Bio-Fuels are no Magic Bullet

By Debi Barker and Jerry Mander, AlterNet. Posted September 12, 2007.Having made ethanol into this magic elixir, politicians, financial investors, and the occasional environmental organization are masking the need for far deeper investigation and solutions. AdvertisementThe burgeoning reality of global climate change, rooted in a century of over-consumption of fossil fuels, is merging with another […]

US, NZ ‘on a date’ for free trade pact

By Audrey Young  Richard Armitage Former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage likens US relations with New Zealand at present to “dating”. “It’s just like dating. I think we are on a date now,” he said at the second US-NZ Partnership Forum in Auckland, which finished yesterday. “We’re going to see if this works.” […]

Soup Kitchen U.S.A.

By Mike Whitney   “Credit booms do not end in inflation as most people believe. Credit booms ARE inflation that end in deflation. This credit boom is not any different.”   Mike Shedlock, “Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis”     09/11/07 “ICH” — – The days of the dollar as the world’s “reserve currency” may be drawing to a […]