Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Will China Strengthen The Yuan? How will that change the world?

Goldman Says China Trade Deficit Won’t Last, Yuan Gain Likely

Business Week — China’s March trade deficit is temporary and the pressure for the yuan to gain remains intact, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“The weak exports in March were likely due to the Lunar New Year effects as exporters suspend production for an extended period after the holiday,” wrote Hong Kong-based analysts Song Yu and Helen Qiao in a report on April 10. “Given the strong underlying exports growth and rising overheating pressures, we believe a modest yuan revaluation is still on the agenda.”
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Yuan Rise Would Boost Asian, Commodity-Backed Currencies

Wall Street Journal — Any appreciation of the Chinese yuan should lift other Asian currencies along with it, while helping to diffuse the recently stressed tenor of Sino-U.S. relations.

Speculation is increasing that China will allow the yuan to strengthen, but the country's leaders aren't likely to make a huge adjustment for fear of shocking markets and derailing a nascent economic recovery. Assuming the government releases the yuan from its current tight range versus the dollar, analysts expect the Chinese currency to appreciate 1% to 3% against the dollar over the following 12 months.
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Stronger yuan may deal another blow to euro

Reuters — A loosening in China's yuan policy that lets the currency rise while keeping it pegged to the dollar may deal another blow to the battered euro as such a move is seen slowing China's accumulation of foreign reserves.

The euro has weakened about 7 percent versus the dollar and the yen this year on concerns Greece may face problems servicing its debts, and demand for euro assets will shrink further if a possible yuan move results in less euro buying by China.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poland's Top Government Officials Wiped Out In Russian Plane Crash

For Poland, plane crash in Russia rips open old wounds

Los Angeles Times — The plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Saturday gutted a nation's leadership and silenced some of the most potent human symbols of its tragic and tumultuous history.

It was, literally, a nation colliding with its past: The aircraft ran aground on a patch of earth that has symbolized the Soviet-era repressions that shaped much of the 20th century, near the remote Russian forest glade called Katyn where thousands of Polish prisoners of war were killed and dumped in unmarked graves by Soviet secret police in 1940.
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Plane Crash ‘A Second Katyn’ Massacre, Says Priest

The Epoch Times — Among the victims of Saturday’s plane crash that killed the Polish president, were many prominent members of the Polish clergy. The entire entourage was on its way to the Katyn forest in Western Russia to observe the 70-year anniversary of the mass execution of 20,000 elite Polish officers during World War II.

Father Jan Kaczmarczyk, a retired deacon and parson of parish in Sochaczew, about 30 miles outside of Warsaw, shares his reaction to the death of his close friends and colleagues.
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Air traffic control told Polish president's plane not to land - paper

RIA Novosti — Russian air traffic controllers advised the pilot of a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski not to attempt to land, the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza said on Saturday.

All 96 people on board a Soviet-made Tu-154 were killed earlier on Saturday when the plane hit trees as it approached Smolensk airport in thick fog.

The paper said the pilot and Kaczynski were advised to turn around and head for Minsk, the capital of neighboring Belarus, as the Smolensk military aerodrome lacks the necessary navigational equipment to receive planes in heavy fog.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nuclear Treaty

Rudy Giuliani Calls Obama Nuclear Policy "Left-Wing Dream"

CBS News — Conservatives are lashing out against President Obama's new nuclear policy, claiming the revised strategy is, at best, an empty gesture, and at worst a threat to U.S. safety.

The new strategy eliminates some of the ambiguity in the nation's previous nuclear policy by asserting -- with large caveats -- that the United States will not use nuclear weapons to respond to a chemical, biological or cyber attack. The White House's nuclear initiatives are intended to encourage other nations to reduce and stop development of their nuclear stockpiles.
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In Eastern Europe, Pact With Russians Raises Old Specters

New York Times — As President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia and President Barack Obama prepare to arrive in Prague on Thursday to sign a landmark arms control treaty, Marcela Balounova, like many Czechs, remains haunted by her memories of 1968, when nearly one million Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia, ushering in a period of political repression.

“The Russians invaded us before and they are invading us again,” Ms. Balounova, 50, said from her art gallery in this picturesque spa town, where Peter the Great first came for a treatment in 1711 and which has since become so popular with Russians that most signs offering luxury products and services — from million-euro villas to colonic irrigation — are in Russian. “I still remember crying when the Russians came here. And now here we are more than 40 years later and this place has become a Little Moscow.”
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New US Nuclear Policy Focuses on Terrorists, Rogue States

Voice of America News — The United States on Tuesday announced a new nuclear weapons policy that gives top priority to fighting terrorism and proliferation, rather than deterring or responding to a nuclear attack by a foreign country. The policy promises not to use atomic weapons against non-nuclear states, but issues a stern warning for countries that ignore global non-proliferation rules. Initial reaction among experts and members of Congress has been mixed.

The policy document called the Nuclear Posture Review specifically says the United States will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the nation's security strategy. It lays out a plan to expand conventional capabilities, to rely on existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons for deterrence against nuclear powers like Russia and China, and to focus on preventing terrorists and rogue states from acquiring such weapons.
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