"Nobody wants to sit there and say, 'Well there's no easy solution,' They want to send out a check to everybody to stimulate the economy. I suppose it won't hurt the economy but it's in many senses like giving a drink to an alcoholic." -- Michael Bloomberg (R)
US Market Down Again After Early Rally... Bush: “We're In Challenging Times”… Dollar At Record Lows…European Stocks Fall 2-3%, Asian Stocks Down 3-5%…Fed Cuts Rate Again...Will Lehman Brothers Follow Bear Stearns?…
Posted: Mar 17, 2008 - 10:16 PM GMT
Edited: Mar 18, 2008 - 12:28 AM GMT
Obama: We’re Probably Already In A Recession… Clinton: “We've Got To Have More Urgency”… US Market Down Again After Early Rally... Bush: “We're In Challenging Times”… Dollar At Record Lows…European Stocks Fall 2-3%, Asian Stocks Down 3-5%…Will Lehman Brothers Follow Bear Stearns?…
Stocks rocked by U.S. banking crisis
Markets across Asia and Europe suffered heavy losses as the fallout from the shock sale of Bear Sterns continued -- but Wall Street recovered most of its losses on a dramatic Monday. Banking stocks made steep losses after Bear Sterns -- one of Wall Street's most venerable names -- was acquired for a pittance.
Poll: Three-quarters think U.S. in recession
Nearly three-quarters of all Americans think the economy is in a recession, according to a national poll released today. Three in 10 of those questioned say the U.S. is in a serious recession, with an equal amount describing the recession as moderate
Senator Reid: Bush Was Willing “To Bail Out Wall Street At Taxpayer Expense”….
If the economists are right, there will soon be a fundamental shift in the political agenda. The government and the opposition are still discussing how to distribute the fruits of Germany's economic recovery more broadly among social classes. But soon the focus could shift to keeping growth alive within domestic industry.
For some time German Economics Minister Michael Glos, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has had a plan on the back burner with which he hopes to stimulate the economy with additional tax reductions.
The government is also prepared for a continuation of the bank crisis. If other banks run into trouble, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück plans to come to their aid with fiscal tools, even if it gets expensive for the government. "Preventing a bank crash," say officials at the finance ministry, "takes precedence over budget consolidation."
In the wake of the financial crisis, a new debate has begun over the role of the state. For years, the prevailing dogma was that the international capital markets ought to be left largely to free market forces. But now even financial investors and top bankers are calling for more government control.
This also revives a government initiative that was a dismal failure last year. In the face of US resistance, Berlin failed in its attempt to introduce tighter regulations for hedge funds. "But now," says an advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, "even the Americans see the issue in a new light."
As an uncommonly outspoken business leader who was appointed secretary of the Treasury in 2001, then forced out in short order after challenging President Bush’s tax cuts, are you surprised by the recent flurry of depressing financial news? Not really. We’ve been creating this pass of events for several years. Paul O'Neal www.NYT.com
Hemingway haunt gives 'poor Americans' food discounts
1:16PM Tuesday April 08, 2008
By Philip Pullella
The sign outside Harry's Bar in Venice, which owner Arrigo Cipriani put up in an effort to attract American tourists.
ROME - Harry's Bar, the famed Venice watering hole where Ernest Hemingway held court over hearty food and stiff martinis, is offering a discount to "poor" Americans suffering from a weak dollar and subprime blues.
The decision by the owner of the restaurant - one of the most expensive even when the US currency is strong - underscores the growing concern about the weak dollar among tourism operators in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
A sign posted outside the restaurant at the weekend reads: "Harry's Bar of Venice, in an effort to make the American victims of subprime loans happier, has decided to give them a special 20 per cent discount on all items of the menu during the short term of their recovery."
When the euro was introduced as the continent's common currency in 2002, a dollar bought about 1.10 euros.
Today it gets about 64 euro cents, making prices seem astronomically high for most Americans.
"Since the start of January, we noticed a drop in (American) customers of between five and 10 per cent and now that we are in April its looks really frightening," Arrigo Cipriani, 76, Harry's owner, said by phone from Venice.
Italy's national tourism board (ENIT), said in a report this month that the "strong devaluation of the dollar compared to the European currency and signs of a recession are currently the greatest obstacle to American tourism toward Europe".
Harry' Bar was founded in 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani, a barman at a Venice hotel, opened it with money an American named Harry Pickering had given him to pay off a loan.
He named the bar and his first son Arrigo (Italian for Harry) - the current owner - in Pickering's honour.
Hemingway made Harry's Bar his Venice headquarters.
He mentioned it in Across the River and Into the Trees, which was published in 1950 and which he wrote on the lagoon island of Torcello while living in an inn owned by the Cipriani family.
Cipriani, whose family company owns high-end restaurants and food shops in New York, Venice, Hong Kong, London and Sardinia, says even well-heeled clients look for discounts.
"You would be surprised how people like to have a discount on their bill whether they are rich or poor," he said, adding that a full meal with wine at his Venice restaurant could set someone back more than 200 euros (NZ$396).
Cipriani, who said the discount will apply only to the restaurant part of the tab and not the bar, said Americans in Venice need not bring their passports to his restaurant in order to get a discount.
"We will judge by the accent and if we make a mistake, we will give a 20 per cent discount to the English as well," he said.
"Harry's Bar of Venice, in an effort to make the American victims of subprime loans happier, has decided to give them a special 20 per cent discount on all items of the menu during the short term of their recovery."