Category Archives: Econ

The rich and the poor



Reblog: Germany’s six-point plan for sweatshop Europe ~ by Peter Schwarz

Piazza della Carina


It is now common practice to smash up wages and workers’ rights by initiating bankruptcy proceedings. The best known case is the American auto giant General Motors, which laid off 30,000 workers, slashed wages in half for new-hires, and cut retiree benefits. If the German government gets its way, this procedure will be applied to entire countries.

According to a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, the chancellery in Berlin has drawn up a six-point plan for far-reaching “structural reforms” in Greece and other highly indebted European Union countries. The plan includes the sale of state enterprises, the gutting of employment protection rights, the promotion of a low-wage labor sector, the removal of constraints on businesses, and the establishment of special economic zones and privatization agencies modeled on the German Treuhand.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has not confirmed the plan, but neither has he denied it…

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全國最富省 廣東窮人300萬 富縣窮縣人均GDP相差30倍

(明報)2010年9月3日 星期五 05:05

【明報專訊】廣東省GDP連續多年在全國排行榜上蟬聯榜首,珠江三角洲部分城市「富可敵國」,但在粵北山區、粵東及粵西的貧窮縣,人均GDP卻只有珠三角    富縣的30分之一(見表)。廣東省最新統計報告顯示,全省1億人口中,還有316.5萬貧困人口,有200多萬戶仍住在泥磚、茅草屋內。




在住房方面,深圳    今年上半年房屋平均成交價為每平方米1.8萬元,但與此同時,全省還有225.6萬戶人居在泥磚或茅草房中,其中茅草房達到7萬至8萬戶。若按廣東過去4年改善15萬貧窮戶住房的速度,還要50年才能令所有人都不住「貧民窟」。







China Passes Japan as Second-Largest Economy

On Monday August 16, 2010, 12:20 am EDT

SHANGHAI — After three decades of spectacular growth, China passed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, according to government figures released early Monday.

The milestone, though anticipated for some time, is the most striking evidence yet that China’s ascendance is for real and that the rest of the world will have to reckon with a new economic superpower.

The recognition came early Monday, when Tokyo said that Japan’s economy was valued at about $1.28 trillion in the second quarter, slightly below China’s $1.33 trillion. Japan’s economy grew 0.4 percent in the quarter, Tokyo said, substantially less than forecast. That weakness suggests that China’s economy will race past Japan’s for the full year.

Experts say unseating Japan — and in recent years passing Germany, France and Great Britain — underscores China’s growing clout and bolsters forecasts that China will pass the United States as the world’s biggest economy as early as 2030. America’s gross domestic product was about $14 trillion in 2009.

“This has enormous significance,” said Nicholas R. Lardy, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It reconfirms what’s been happening for the better part of a decade: China has been eclipsing Japan economically. For everyone in China’s region, they’re now the biggest trading partner rather than the U.S. or Japan.”

For Japan, whose economy has been stagnating for more than a decade, the figures reflect a decline in economic and political power. Japan has had the world’s second-largest economy for much of the last four decades, according to the World Bank. And during the 1980s, there was even talk about Japan’s economy some day overtaking that of the United States.

But while Japan’s economy is mature and its population quickly aging, China is in the throes of urbanization and is far from developed, analysts say, meaning it has a much lower standard of living, as well as a lot more room to grow. Just five years ago, China’s gross domestic product was about $2.3 trillion, about half of Japan’s.

This country has roughly the same land mass as the United States, but it is burdened with a fifth of the world’s population and insufficient resources.

Its per capita income is more on a par with those of impoverished nations like Algeria, El Salvador and Albania — which, along with China, are close to $3,600 — than that of the United States, where it is about $46,000.

Yet there is little disputing that under the direction of the Communist Party, China has begun to reshape the way the global economy functions by virtue of its growing dominance of trade, its huge hoard of foreign exchange reserves and United States government debt and its voracious appetite for oil, coal, iron ore and other natural resources.

China is already a major driver of global growth. The country’s leaders have grown more confident on the international stage and have begun to assert greater influence in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with things like special trade agreements and multibillion dollar resource deals.

“They’re exerting a lot of influence on the global economy and becoming dominant in Asia,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell and former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China division. “A lot of other economies in the region are essentially riding on China’s coat tails, and this is remarkable for an economy with a low per capita income.”

In Japan, the mood was one of resignation. Though increasingly eclipsed by Beijing on the world stage, Japan has benefited from a booming China, initially by businesses moving production there to take advantage of lower wages and, as local incomes have risen, by tapping a large and increasingly lucrative market for Japanese goods.

Beijing is also beginning to shape global dialogues on a range of issues, analysts said; for instance, last year it asserted that the dollar must be phased out as the world’s primary reserve currency.

And while the United States and the European Union are struggling to grow in the wake of the worst economic crisis in decades, China has continued to climb up the economic league tables by investing heavily in infrastructure and backing a $586 billion stimulus plan.

This year, although growth has begun to moderate a bit, China’s economy is forecast to expand about 10 percent — continuing a remarkable three-decade streak of double-digit growth.

“This is just the beginning,” said Wang Tao, an economist at UBS in Beijing. “China is still a developing country. So it has a lot of room to grow. And China has the biggest impact on commodity prices — in Russia, India, Australia and Latin America.”

There are huge challenges ahead, though. Economists say that China’s economy is too heavily dependent on exports and investment and that it needs to encourage greater domestic consumption — something China has struggled to do.

The country’s largely state-run banks have recently been criticized for lending far too aggressively in the last year while shifting some loans off their balance sheet to disguise lending and evade rules meant to curtail lending growth.

China is also locked in a fierce debate over its currency policy, with the United States, European Union and others accusing Beijing of keeping the Chinese currency, the renminbi, artificially low to bolster exports — leading to huge trade surpluses for China but major bilateral trade deficits for the United States and the European Union. China says that its currency is not substantially undervalued and that it is moving ahead with currency reform.

Regardless, China’s rapid growth suggests that it will continue to compete fiercely with the United States and Europe for natural resources but also offer big opportunities for companies eager to tap its market.

Although its economy is still only one-third the size of the American economy, China passed the United States last year to become the world’s largest market for passenger vehicles. China also passed Germany last year to become the world’s biggest exporter.

Global companies like Caterpillar, General Electric, General Motors and Siemens — as well as scores of others — are making a more aggressive push into China, in some cases moving research and development centers here.

Some analysts, though, say that while China is eager to assert itself as a financial and economic power — and to push its state companies to “go global” — it is reluctant to play a greater role in the debate over climate change or how to slow the growth of greenhouse gases.

China passed the United States in 2006 to become the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which scientists link to global warming. But China also has an ambitious program to cut the energy it uses for each unit of economic output by 20 percent by the end of 2010, compared to 2006.

Assessing what China’s newfound clout means, though, is complicated. While the country is still relatively poor per capita, it has an authoritarian government that is capable of taking decisive action — to stimulate the economy, build new projects and invest in specific industries.

That, Mr. Lardy at the Peterson Institute said, gives the country unusual power. “China is already the primary determiner of the price of virtually every major commodity,” he said. “And the Chinese government can be much more decisive in allocating resources in a way that other governments of this level of per capita income cannot.”


中國保護主義 救了可樂 害了匯源    
8月 2日 星期一 10:09 更新



接近兩年前﹐可口可樂提出以24億美元收購中國匯源果汁(China Huiyuan Juice)。這樁交易如果成功﹐本來會是最大一樁外國公司在華併購交易。

但中國監管機構阻止了這樁交易﹐當時這一決定被視為北京方面對外國併購交易的無理敵視。週四的一樁交易有點像另一個時代的故事的後記──法國公司達能(Danone)以2.6億美元的價格將其所持23%的匯源股份出售給私募股權集團SAIF Partners﹐每股價格僅為可口可樂當時出價的一半。

這麼一來﹐可口可樂就最終逃脫了本來很有可能對匯源出價過高的命運。可口可樂最初提出收購匯源剛好是在雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)崩潰之前:六個月後這樁交易遇阻之時﹐世界早已天翻地覆。





撰稿﹕華爾街日報Andrew Peaple

德國富豪逝世 西德戰後經濟重要推手

(路透)2010年7月29日 星期四 12:55

(路透法蘭克福28日電)創辦德國    最大零售王國之一、神秘的億萬富豪提歐•阿布瑞特克(Theo Albrecht)去世、享年88歲。







調查:美國人對錢焦慮 更保守

(路透)2010年7月29日 星期四 14:33

(路透紐約    /沙洛特28日電)根據美林    公司(Merrill Lynch)的調查,帶著財務煩惱入睡的美國    人越來越多,他們擔心的事包括是否存夠退休金,而且有半數人表示對冒險越來越沒興趣。


美國銀行    (BOA)全球財富投資管理總裁克拉薛克(Sallie Krawcheck)指出:「你將見到這些憂愁呈現微幅到中度的增加趨勢。」

美國銀行旗下的美林公司6月對1000名流動資產在25萬美元    以上的民眾進行調查。





樓花銷售 六大問題

消委放蛇 揭樓盤派舊價單 九招十二式前後巡樓盤 發現六大問題

(明報)2010年7月27日 星期二 05:10

【明報專訊】政府6月1日在樓花銷售落實規管賣樓的「九招十二式」後,仍有一些具體銷售問題未解決。消費者委員會    在今年第二季到19個樓盤「放蛇」,揭發六大售樓問題,其中3項更發生於6月實施九招十二式後,包括樓盤派發過期價單。

消委會    提出「消九招」,包括設立網上物業資訊平台。運輸及房屋局    發言人稱,要小心考慮所涉及的資源以及是否有效,且政府未必是執行這項工作的最適當組織。發言人強調現時規定發展商將售樓書、價單及成交資料上載發展商網頁,已可增加資訊透明度。






擅改平面圖 兩房變四房




美聯物業    董事兼住宅部行政總裁伍創業則表示,自從落實九招十二式後,報告書所講的銷售代理問題已較少見,而由於發展商要在交易3天前出價單,故銷售代理亦不會因沒價單而自製單張。


金牛大牛新鈔 世界級防偽

(經濟日報)2010年7月21日 星期三 06:00



金管局    聯同3間發鈔銀行昨公布1,000港元及500港元新鈔的設計。

另3種面額設計 明年公布



金管局及發鈔銀行在相隔7年後,再度決定發行全新設計的鈔票。金管局總裁陳德霖    表示,過去6年,香港的偽鈔數字持續下降,每100萬張流通鈔票少過一張偽鈔;但為了保證一定會走在犯罪集團之前,有必要推出全新設計鈔票,引進最新的防偽特徵,以減低被偽冒的危險,這是發行新鈔的一大目的。

斜看金變綠 金屬線見HK







千元7千萬張 500元1億張


粵禁高溫加班 逾38℃減工時

(明報)2010年7月13日 星期二 05:05




(明報)2010年7月8日 星期四 05:05

【明報專訊】政府推出「九招十二式」兩個多月,僅為熾熱樓市帶來短暫降溫,近日各區二手樓價全線回升,根據中原領先城市指數,樓價由去年首季至上月底共錄得33%升幅,遠超過同期港人的收入增長;本港按揭市場龍頭匯豐銀行    ,其亞太區行政總裁王冬勝承認,香港樓價上漲速度與港人收入增幅,正出現「小量脫節」。

王冬勝昨日出席記者會被問及樓市前景時,承認近日樓價有加快上升迹象,其上漲速度與港人入息升幅也正出現「小量脫節」。因此,銀行依照一貫做法,在審批按揭時進行嚴謹的風險管理,「銀行亦不時檢討,若利率上升,對供樓負擔有什麼影響」。但王冬勝強調,目前按揭業務,無論貸款拖欠比率抑或壞帳,尚處於偏低水平。根據金管局    統計數字,5月份本港樓宇按揭貸款拖欠比率為0.03%,屬相當低水平。



根據東亞銀行    經濟研究部前日發表的報告,本港樓價相對家庭入息中位數已飈升至8.7倍,逼近97年樓市高峰期的逾9.3倍。但與此同時,受金融海嘯拖累,09年家庭收入卻按年萎縮3.6%,顯示樓價和家庭收入的走勢出現背馳,令港人供樓愈來愈吃力;這種背馳走勢與97年樓市泡沫爆破前相若(見圖)。


工銀亞洲董事兼副總經理黃遠輝表示,過去一年,港人入息增幅跟不上樓價升幅,入息最多只有單位數字增長。浸會大學    財務及決策學系副教授麥萃才則說,樓價持續上升,令年輕置業者「上車」愈趨困難,供樓負擔能力減低,亦對社會氣氛造成負面影響。


中信銀行    國際執行總經理兼零售銀行業務總監王美珍也認為,目前未見到樓市出現任何警號,銀行仍照常按樓宇估值和個人收入,審批按揭。


李永達    促增土地 復建居屋

民主黨    立法會    議員李永達表示,市民現時供樓負擔已是甚高,稍後有可能去到危險程度,他會繼續在立法會要求政府增加土地供應,恢復定期賣地以及復建居屋等,作為平抑樓價的手段,而稍後會繼續就樓市問題向當局質詢。民建聯    陳鑑林    亦表示,現時供樓的負擔,已令一般市民非常吃力,他表示會要求當局正視並增加供應,令市民有較多選擇,減低負擔。


迎老齡社會 理大活齡學院培訓專才

(明報)2010年7月3日 星期六 05:10

【明報專訊】香港估計到2050年將有四分之一人口達65歲或以上,成為全球最多年長人士城市之一,但人口老化亦帶來「銀髮」市場商機。理工大學    將於2012年設立「活齡學院」,開辦針對老人科技和保健知識的學位課程,並撥1640萬元科研基金,培訓專才迎接老齡社會。

活齡學院總監鍾晶晶接受訪問時表示,理大    旗下12個部門參與成立的活齡學院,將是跨專業學科,合作部門包括紡織及製衣學系和眼科視光學院等,學研重點包括長者健康、老年科技學等,逾1640萬科研基金則研究家居監察活動系統和感官刺激裝置。理大醫療及社會科學學院院長胡志成指出,本科課程預計於2012年收生,學額未有定案,另亦會舉辦持續進修    課程。他指學院最大特色是培訓通才,學生畢業後出路廣闊,可從事保險和設計等。



(商台)2010年6月29日 星期二 08:08

一項調查顯示,海外僱員在本港的生活費用,在全球二百多個地區排名第八,非洲    國家安哥拉首都羅安達就排首位,其次是日本    東京    ,另一個非洲國家乍得的恩賈梅納,就排名第三。

調查由一間人力資源顧問公司進行,統計全球二百一十多個城市,超過二百項物品的價格,包括住屋、交通、食品等費用,以協助跨國公司及政府,決定海外員工的生活津貼。今次有四個中國城市入選頭五十名內,包括北京    上海    、廣州及深圳    。調查機構表示,顯示內地有更多地區,在商業上具重要性。