15-Jan-2010

10 Second Headlines of the Week – 15-Jan-2010

China Fears Rebellion

  • China re-affirms control over the internet and has told Google and other internet companies to co-operate with state control.
  • China fears rebellion and chaos. 2009 witnessed an ‘unprecedented number of conflicts’ and Beijing fears that an uncontrolled internet will accelerate the spread of unrest.

US Economics

  • Obama’s plan to raise $120 billion from banking fees is being prompted by political motivation, rather than regulatory motivation.
  • State Tax Revenue in US drops most since 1963 according to a survey by the Nelson Rockefeller Institute of Government. There are now budget gaps in 31 states.
  • US Consumer Spending momentum heading into the first quarter of 2010 is pretty well non-existent. US Retail sales for December were down 0.3% vs November.

Natural Gas

  • Apache Corp., the largest independent US oil and gas company by market value, is buying a 51% controlling interest of a liquefied natural gas plant in Kitimat, BC for $3 billion Cdn. The plant has sales agreements with Spain and Korea.

Venezuela

  • Hugo Chavez set a two-tiered exchange rate for the Bolivar, Venezuela’s currency, devaluing the currency by 50%. There are different rates for priority goods such as food and medicine and imports of non-essential products. Venezuela last tried the multi-tiered system in 1983 and it led to economic chaos.

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