[OPE] Cynicism, the world's new growth industry

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Mar 24 2009 - 16:44:18 EDT

Miki Moromugi writes in Asahi Shimbun (24 March 2009):

"The "agreement toward realizing stabilization and creation of employment" focuses on the promotion of Japanese-style work sharing, training and other employment-saving measures. To maintain jobs, management has vowed to reduce employees' work hours and spread the overtime workload to others. Unions have pledged to cooperate in maintaining and strengthening management bases through cost-cutting measures and development of new businesses." http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200903240084.html

Paul Krugman in NYT (23 March 2009):

The common element to the Paulson and Geithner plans is the insistence that the bad assets on banks' books are really worth much, much more than anyone is currently willing to pay for them. In fact, their true value is so high that if they were properly priced, banks wouldn't be in trouble. And so the plan is to use taxpayer funds to drive the prices of bad assets up to "fair" levels. Mr. Paulson proposed having the government buy the assets directly. Mr. Geithner instead proposes a complicated scheme in which the government lends money to private investors, who then use the money to buy the stuff. The idea, says Mr. Obama's top economic adviser, is to use "the expertise of the market" to set the value of toxic assets. But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn't really about letting markets work. It's just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets. (...) But the real problem with this plan is that it won't work. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/opinion/23krugman.html?em

Sean O'Grady in The Independent:

So the really bad news is that, even after the economy improves, unemployment will continue to rise and perhaps for some years: consumer confidence, the war on child poverty and the housing market will be held back with it. Where will new jobs will come from? An optimistic spin on this comes, where else, from the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who said yesterday they would emerge from "a renaissance in UK manufacturing and the expansion of the UK's knowledge-based industries". Thus Lord Mandelson becomes the first cabinet minister, even obliquely, to claim to be able to detect the green shoots of recovery, and before the recession has officially begun. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sean-orsquogrady-high-unemployment-is-here-to-stay-1332007.html

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