11-Feb-2011

wheat-field

Fear of Drought

+ China, the largest global wheat consumer at 17%, is enduring a prolonged drought in 42% of its main growing region.

+ Afghanistan is being threatened by a serious drought and this might fuel instability as millions of poor go hungry.

House Republicans Recommended Budget Cut Targets

House Republicans are recommending budget cuts for the March 4th budget in numerous areas, the top cuts are:

+ Job Training Programs

+ Federal Real Estate Management

+ Environmental Protection Agency

+ Community Health Centres

+ Office of Science

+ National Institute of Health

Tidbits

+ US Congressional White Paper, chaired by Timothy Geithner, is recommending: 1) phasing out $11 trillion government support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 2) strengthening consumer protection, 3) preserving affordable housing, and 4) increasing home ownership equity.

+ About 15.7 million homeowners have negative equity, representing 27% of US single family homes, the highest since Q1 2009.

+ 43 year old billionaire Russian, Oleg Deripaska, is seeking to join forces with Hydro-Quebec to develop international hydro projects in areas such as Latin America.