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February 2010
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New York Times (February 28)

2010/ 02/ 28 by jd in Global News

Al Gore writes “it would be an enormous relief” if the science behind climate change was discredited. There would be no need to make major changes to protect civilization. Alas, there is no relief. Gore points out we would still need to change. Sending billions to unstable regions overseas for oil poses great risk. Moreover, the Nobel winner points out the scientific evidence remains overwhelming. “The reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” Rather than wishing the crisis away, Gore urges that we face climate change head on and take decisive action.


Business Week (February 26)

2010/ 02/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Japan faces biggest crisis risk in G-10” reads the headline which is based on an assertion by Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jim O’Neil. O’Neil is famous for coining the term BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and predicting these countries would rank among the globe’s most dominant economies by 2050. O’Neil provides several reasons for his latest prediction that Japan could experience a major economic crisis. Japan’s domestic savings have dropped, with savings rates falling below those of the U.S. Meanwhile, public debt has surged and, on top of everything, the yen is overvalued.


The Times (February 26)

2010/ 02/ 26 by jd in Global News

The BBC has announced plans to close two radio stations, halve web content, and cut spending on sports and overseas programming rights. The BBC thinks these reforms will reduce competition for commercial rivals and allow more money to be spent on higher quality programming. The Times (London) calls the BBC “big, bloated and cunning,” labeling the reforms “a smokescreen.” Instead, the newspaper argues the BBC should reduce the license fee and make deeper cuts to avoid competing with the private sector.


Wall Street Journal (February 23)

2010/ 02/ 23 by jd in Global News

Akio Toyoda begins his opinion piece, “The past several months have been humbling for all of us at Toyota. We are taking this experience to heart, making fundamental changes in the way our company does business.” The president of Toyota promises to bring Toyota back to basics as part of a “comprehensive” response to recent safety issues.


New York Times (February 19)

2010/ 02/ 19 by jd in Global News

The European Union should stand behind Greece and avoid pushing too hard. “As long as Athens holds to a credible austerity program, richer members of the euro zone should stand ready to guarantee Greek bonds against default.” The newspaper cautions that “squeezing the Greek economy too hard, too fast would be counterproductive.”


Forbes (February 17)

2010/ 02/ 17 by jd in Global News

If you want to be a billionaire, Forbes identifies 3 keys: 1). Never be afraid to fail. 2). Look creatively at problems and don’t be discouraged by criticism or convention. 3). Find a spouse that believes in you, provides support and can endure hardship along the way.


Wall Street Journal (February 16)

2010/ 02/ 16 by jd in Global News

The bible of global warming is now creating global doubt. Three years after publication, the 3,000-page report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is being called into question as errors come to light. Some errors involve distortion. Some involve the use of research from activist environmental groups, such as the claim Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035. The U.N. now admits this claim is incorrect by several hundred years. Other errors just amount to sloppiness, such as claiming 55% of Holland is below sea level when it’s actually 26%. All of this leads the WSJ to conclude, “we are discovering the U.N. reports are sloppy political documents intended to drive the climate lobby’s regulatory agenda.”

Not everyone reaches the same conclusion. Writing the same day, the Chicago Tribune points out “the climate skeptics have poked some holes in the science and exposed the apparently unethical behavior of a few top scientists. They’ve found some disturbing mistakes in the panel’s report…. None of this disproves the essential conclusion that the planet is warming, and there’s still strong evidence that it is driven by human activity.”


Financial Times (February 8)

2010/ 02/ 08 by jd in Global News

Is Japan “the next Greece?” At roughly 200% of GDP, Japan’s gross debt exceeds that of Greece. Standard & Poor’s has warned of a possible downgrade of Japan’s sovereign debt. Yet, the Financial Times believes Japan’s situation is very different from Greece and urges Japan not “to apply the fiscal brakes just yet,” but rather focus on strengthening the recovery. Furthermore, the newspaper urges the Bank of Japan to be more aggressive in fighting deflation.


New York Times (February 7)

2010/ 02/ 07 by jd in Global News

Governments around the world are caught between a rock and a hard place. Economies are fragile and budget deficits imposing. In the U.S., stimulus programs are easy targets for critics crying fiscal irresponsibility. The New York Times is strongly in favor of increased spending. “At a time of high unemployment and fragile growth, the last thing the government should do is to slash spending. That will only drive the economy into deeper trouble.”


The Economist (February 3)

2010/ 02/ 03 by jd in Global News

Last year, China added more wind power (13GW) than any other nation to rank #3 globally in installed capacity. America took the lead from Germany by adding 9.9GW, but the Economist points out China will overtake both countries at present rates. Japan was not included on the list, though Spain, Portugal and Denmark all made the top 10.


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