Asian countries head financial crimes list
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON – The developing world lost nearly US$1 trillion in 2010 as a result of corruption, tax evasion, and other financial crimes not involving cash transactions, according to a report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI). The six-year-old research and advocacy group said global financial corruption has grown steadily over the past decade despite unprecedented efforts by governments and non-governmental organizations to curb it.
It found that illicit financial outflows cost developing countries a total of $859 billion in 2010, the latest year for which trade and other data compiled mainly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank is available.
That sum was approximately 10 times the roughly $88 billion provided to developing countries in official development assistance that same year. "This means that for every $1 in economic
development assistance going into developing countries, $10 are lost via these illicit outflows", GFI noted.
The group’s lead economist and report co-author, Dev Kar, stressed that the latest estimate almost certainly underestimated the total amount of illicit flows, in part because it did not include cash transactions and because it was based on a new, more-conservative methodology than GFI used in the past.
The latter method estimated that developing economies lost about $1.14 trillion in illicit outflows in 2010.
"The estimates provided by either methodology are still likely to be extremely conservative as they do not include trade mispricing in services, same-invoice trade mispricing, hawala transactions and dealings conducted in bulk cash," according to Kar, who previously served as a senior IMF economist.
"This means that much of the proceeds of drug trafficking, human smuggling, and other criminal activities, which are often settled in cash, are not included in these estimates," he added.
The 80-page report, "Illicit Financial Flows From Developing Countries: 2001-2010", found that China suffered the greatest losses resulting from illicit outflows a yearly average of $274 billion over the century’s first decade, or $2.74 trillion from 2001 through 2010, and $420.36 billion in 2010 alone.
China was followed by Mexico, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Mexico averaged yearly losses of $47.6 billion and $51.2 billion in 2010; Malaysia, an average of $28.5 billion but a whopping $64.38 billion in 2010; Saudi Arabia, a $21 billion yearly average and $38.2 billion in 2010; and Russia, a $15.2 billion average and $43.6 billion in 2010.
Other countries that were ranked in the top 10 for 2010 losses included Iraq ($22.2 billion); Nigeria ($19.66 billion); Costa Rica ($17.51 billion); the Philippines ($16.62 billion); and Thailand ($12.37 billion).
While most of the hardest hit economies are middle-income countries, or even high-income nations, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, some of the worlds poorest countries are also victims. In addition to Nigeria and the Philippines, Sudan ($8.58 billion) and Ethiopia ($5.64 billion) were also among the biggest losers in 2010, while India ranked eighth in average annual losses over the decade ($12.3 billion).
"Astronomical sums of dirty money continue to flow out of the developing world and into off-shore tax havens and developed-country banks," said GFI director Raymond Baker.
"It is clear: developing economies are hemorrhaging more and more money at a time when rich and poor countries alike are struggling to spur economic growth. This report should be a wake-up call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflows."
The report comes amidst increased global attention to corruption as a hindrance to development. Corruption and its threats to the long-running rule of the Communist Party – were a major theme at last months 18th National Congress in China that transferred power to the new president, Xi Jinping.
Grassroots anti-corruption movements in Russia have spurred a major crackdown, in contrast to India where they have gained the national spotlight. Meanwhile, both traditional aid donors are increasingly conditioning their assistance on how committed beneficiary governments are to eliminating corruption by officials.
According to the GFI report, "trade mispricing" accounted for most of the illicit outflows from developing countries over the past decade. When, for example, an exporter in a developing country sells $2 million worth of goods to a foreign company for $1.5 million, the exporter may ask that the extra half million dollars be placed in his or her own private overseas bank account, presumably to avoid taxation.
Conversely, companies may overprice imports and likewise arrange to have the illicit proceeds deposited overseas.
Illicit transfers can also be conducted through related forms of corruption, including bribery, kickbacks, as well as outright theft, according to the report.
Over the 2001-2010 period, the report estimated that developing countries lost an annual average of about $586 billion in such illicit flows – or a total of $5.86 trillion over the decade.
In dollar terms, illicit flows increased in real terms by a yearly average of about 8.6% despite the onset of the global financial crisis at the end of 2008. The increase took place in every developing region, with the Middle East and North Africa leading the pack (26.3% average annual increase), followed closely by Sub-Saharan Africa (23.8%).
The average annual increase for Asia, which accounted about 61% of total illicit flows from the developing world, came to nearly 8%, while, in Latin America and the Caribbean, the increase was lowest – at 2.65%.
The latest report did not address cash transactions, which are far more difficult to track. In a previous report, GFI estimated that drug trafficking, which is most often conducted in cash, produces annual profits of about $320 billion in both developed and developing countries.
Another illicit industry – counterfeiting of both merchandise and currency – produces another $250 billion a year, although it is generally less reliant on cash, according to GFI. Proceeds from cross-border human trafficking were estimated at about $31.6 billion a year.
In dealing with the problem of illicit financial outflows, the report called for, among other measures, the adoption of new conventions and laws requiring the identification of the beneficial owners of all banking and securities accounts and the "true, human owners of all corporations, trusts, and foundations" when they are formed.
It also called for reforming customs and trade protocols to better detect trade mispricing. Moreover, multinational corporations should be required on a country-by-country basis to report all sales, profits, and taxes paid. In addition, tax information on both personal and business accounts should be automatically exchanged between countries, according to the report.
Jim Lobe’s blog on US foreign policy can be read at http://www.lobelog.com.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:14 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
By Daniel J. Mitchell
I’m understandably partial to my video debunking Keynesian economics, and I think this Econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity does a great job of showing why consumer spending is a consequence of growth, not the driver.
But for entertainment value, this very funny video from EconStories.tv puts them to shame while also making important points about what causes economic growth.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
By Michael F. Cannon
A key committee in the Michigan legislature has voted down a proposal to create one of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges.” The Speaker of the Michigan House pronounced a state-run Exchange dead:
It was my hope the committee would find that a state-run exchange afforded us more control over the unacceptable over-reach by the federal government regarding the health care of Michigan citizens. After due diligence, however, it is clear that there were too many unanswered questions for the committee to feel comfortable with a state-run exchange and we will not have one in Michigan…
The committee apparently was not able to get the answers to key questions or receive assurances about major concerns regarding costs for Michigan taxpayers, the ability to adopt a model the federal government wouldn’t ultimately control or the ability to protect religious freedom for Michigan citizens. Because the committee could not be assured that a state exchange was the best way to protect Michigan’s citizens, it is understandable why they did not approve the bill.
Under the terms of ObamaCare, Michigan’s refusal to create an Exchange exempts all Michigan employers from the law’s employer mandate, which imposes penalties of up to $2,000 per worker per year.
It exempts, by my count, 429,000 Michigan residents from the law’s individual mandate — a tax of $2,085 on families of four earning as little as $24,000.
And it gives the state, those employers, and those individual residents standing to file lawsuits to stop the IRS from ignoring the clear language of the law and imposing those taxes on them anyway.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
The victory by Barack Obama on election night has resulted in a huge wave of firings and layoffs all over America. A large number of businesses seem to have suddenly shifted into panic mode. The number of layoff announcements that we have seen in the last 48 hours has been absolutely shocking. So why is this happening? Well, the truth is that the federal government is absolutely suffocating small businesses all over America with rules, regulations and taxes. If you have never tried to run a small business, then you have no idea how oppressive this system actually is for people that are trying to run small businesses successfully. It has steadily gotten worse over the years no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has controlled Congress. So we shouldn’t put 100% of the blame on Obama. Bush massively expanded government and made things harder on small business people too. But what many small business people were looking for on this election day was just a little bit of help. Many were desperately holding out hope that Obamacare would be repealed so that they would not have to get rid of some of their employees. Many were hoping to get a little bit of relief from the crippling regulations and taxes that are absolutely crushing them. But now that Barack Obama has been given another four years, they understand that there is no hope on the horizon and that things are only going to get worse. So they are making the hard decisions that they feel are necessary in order to survive in this economic environment.
And I certainly don’t blame them. You only want to have employees if you can make a profit on them. And in this environment it is getting harder than ever to make a profit on an employee. You see, the truth is that what you cost your employer goes far beyond your salary or your hourly wage. I think many of you would be absolutely shocked if you learned how much it actually costs your employer to employ you. And now thanks to Obamacare, that cost is going to go up even more.
Many businesses are not even feasible at all in this economic environment. Many small businesses had been holding out hope that somehow this election might turn things around and make it possible for them to keep going, but when Obama won it was kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
You can’t do what the federal government and the state governments are doing to us and expect to have a thriving economy. They are choking the life out of us.
New businesses and small businesses are supposed to be at the heart of our economic system. Unfortunately, the environment that has been created is absolutely killing them. This is a recipe for disaster.
Now we can expect that number to get even worse and we can expect large numbers of small businesses to shrink in size or close their doors completely.
The following is a list of some of the post-election firings and layoffs that we have seen since Tuesday night…
A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.
The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.
The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s “war on coal,” the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.
I work for the oldest and largest health insurer in the state of Ohio in the underwriting department. At 9 a.m.this morning, my department (about 50) were called into a meeting in the executive boardroom. We were informed that due to a provision in the healthcare ‘reform’ effective 2014 called guarantee issue, our services would no longer be needed, and we were offered severance So Obama got to keep his job, and we lost ours. It is maddening that some tyrant 400 miles away can have such a ruinous effect on peoples lives.
A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers today, apparently as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election.
“David” (he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.”
Here’s an excerpt from the interview. Click the audio tab below to hear even more from this compelling conversation:
“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first. I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees.
#4 Posted below is a list of layoff headlines from the past few days that was posted on AmericanThinker.com…
Obama was “fired up” and so were the voters, and so now, the mass firings begin. Here’s a collection of today’s headlines. Please say a prayer for the families who will be suffering. Had Romney won, many of these companies would now be hiring.
Teco Coal officials announce layoffs
Momentive Inc plans temporary layoffs for 150
Wilkes-Barre officials to announce mandatory layoffs
600 layoffs at Groupon
More layoffs announced at Aniston Weapons Incinerator
Murray Energy confirms 150 layoffs at 3 subsidiaries
130 laid off in Minnesota dairy plant closure
Stanford brake plant to lay off 75
Turbocare, Oce to lay off more than 220 workers
ATI plans to lay off 172 workers in North Richland Hills
SpaceX claims its first victims as Rocketdyne lays off 100
Providence Journal lays off 23 full-time employees
CVPH lays off 17
New Energy lays off 40 employees
102 Utah miners laid off because of ‘war on coal’, company says
US Cellular drops Chicago, cuts 640 jobs
Career Education to cut 900 jobs, close 23 campuses
Vestas to cut 3,000 more jobs
First Energy to cut 400 jobs by 2016
Mine owner blames Obama for layoffs (54 fired last night)
Canceled program costs 115 jobs at Ohio air base
AMD trims Austin workforce – 400 jobs slashed
100 workers lose jobs as Caterpillar closes plant in Minnesota
Exide to lay off 150 workers
TE Connectivity to close Guilford plant, lay off 620
More Layoffs for Major Wind Company (3,000 jobs cut)
Cigna to lay off 1,300 workers worldwide
Ameridose to lay off hundreds of workers
#5 According to the Blaze, the following major corporations have all announced layoffs in just the past two days…
You can get the rest of the details right here.
#6 The following is a list of companies that will be laying off workers just because of Obamacare that was compiled by FreedomWorks…
Dana Holding Corp.
As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”. After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come. The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.
One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December. Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.
In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company. Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.
In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs. That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.
A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:
- Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
- Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
- Covidien – 595 layoffs
- Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
- St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
- Hill Rom – 200 layoffs
A lot of other businesses are going to reduce the number of employees they have or reduce the average work week in order to avoid the Obamacare insurance coverage mandate that will soon be implemented.
This is how CNSNews.com describes the choice that many employers will be facing…
That section, known as the employer mandate, requires any business with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least the minimum level of government-defined health coverage to those employees. In other words, a business must provide insurance if it has 50 or more employees working an average of just 30 hours per week, which is 10 hours per week fewer than the traditional 40-hour work week.
Thus, by cutting employees’ hours to ensure they average less than the 30 per week, employers could potentially avoid the cost of providing the minimum insurance levels mandated by Obamacare.
So if your company trims the number of workers to just under 50 or starts going to “29 hour work weeks”, then you will know who to blame.
All of this is complete and utter insanity. We are committing national economic suicide.
But perhaps we deserve this. After all, Americans willingly chose their leaders on election day. It is getting harder and harder to deny that our politicians are truly a reflection of who we are as a nation.
The American people chose this path, and now we get to see where it leads us.
View full post on The Economic Collapse
Led by Prop 30 in California and Prop 2 in Michigan, a List of the Most Important Ballot Initiatives of 2012
By Daniel J. Mitchell
We have a similar collection of measures this year. Some of these votes – such as the decisions about higher taxes in California and power for government employee unions in Michigan – will have profound implications and perhaps even signal whether certain jurisdictions are doomed to failure.
Prop 30 in California – Would impose a huge tax hike, including an increase in the state sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent, along with three new higher income tax brackets (maxing out at more than 13 percent!) for upper-income taxpayers. The adjoining cartoon is a good summary of the issue, as is this classic bit of political humor.
Prop 38 and Prop 39 – Two additional tax hike measures, the first targeting individual taxpayers and the second targeting businesses. I’m not sure which tax-hike proposition is the worst, but they all need to be defeated for there to be any hope about California’s future.
Prop 204 in Arizona – Renewing a one-cent increase in the state sales tax, ostensibly for the education bureaucracy. Money is fungible, so this is merely a vote for bigger government.
Issue 1 in Arkansas – Imposing a half-cent increase in the state sales tax, supposedly for highway spending. Another bait-and-switch scam to trick voters into financing bigger government.
Prop 5 in Michigan – Would require a two-thirds vote of both the state house and state senate to raise any tax. Anything that makes it harder to raise taxes is also a step making it harder to boost the burden of spending.
Prop B in Missouri – Raise the cigarette tax by 73 cents per pack. Politicians in the Show Me state should kick their addiction to big government.
Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 13 in New Hampshire – A constitutional amendment to prohibit enactment of an income tax. The Granite State has been blessed by avoiding either a state sales tax or a state income tax. It’s almost a shame that there’s a First Amendment guaranteeing free speech, because otherwise I’d be tempted to outlaw even discussion of imposing an income tax.
Measure 84 in Oregon – Would repeal the state’s death tax. This should be a no-brainer. You don’t want to repeat the mistakes of New Jersey and drive productive residents to other states. But Oregon voters have demonstrated a lemming-like suicide instinct in the past.
Initiated Measure 15 in South Dakota – Increases the state sales tax from 4 percent to 5 percent. There’s no income tax, but that’s no argument for making a modest sales tax into an onerous sales tax.
Initiative 1185 in Washington – Reaffirms the state’s two-thirds supermajority requirement before the state legislature can increase taxes. Voters repeatedly have reaffirmed their support for the supermajority in the past. Let’s hope that doesn’t change now.
Now let’s shift to matters of personal freedom and look at ballot measures involving the Second Amendment and the Drug War.
Prop 114 in Arizona – Protects crime victims from being sued if they injure or kill criminals. Yes, there are examples of excessive response, but the easiest way of avoiding those situations – if you’re a criminal – is by keeping your nose clean.
Amendment 2 in Louisiana – Strengthens right to keep and bear arms. If this doesn’t pass by more than 80 percent, I’ll be disappointed.
Amendment 64 in Colorado, Measure 80 in Oregon, and Initiative 502 in Washington – All of these ballot measures end marijuana prohibition to varying degrees. Let’s hope voters take a small step in ending the War on Drugs.
These initiatives are related to fiscal policy, but they belong in a special category since they deal with the necessity of curtailing bloated and over-compensated government bureaucracies.
Prop 1 in Idaho – This measure would retain recent legislative reforms to end tenure in government schools. The only real solution is school choice, but this measure at least should make it easier to get rid of awful teachers that contribute to making the public schools both costly and ineffective.
Prop 2 in Michigan – Creates permanent negotiating advantages for already pampered government employee unions. This is the bureaucrat equivalent of Prop 30 in California, a massive transfer of wealth and power from the productive sector. If it passes, Michigan probably would be past the tipping point in its descent into stagnation and despair.
Last but not least, here are measures on random issues that are very important.
Prop 3 in Michigan – Require 25 percent of electricity to come from renewables. This will be an interesting test of whether the voters of a particular state are so clueless about economics that they are willing to voluntarily boost their own energy bills and undermine their own job prospects. I almost hope it passes just for the lesson it will teach.
Question 1 in Virginia – Limits eminent domain to public purposes. Corrupt developers and their cronies in state and local government don’t like this proposal, which naturally means it is a very good idea for those who support property rights.
Amendment 6 in Alabama, Amendment 1 in Florida, Prop E in Missouri, Legislative Referendum 122 in Montana, and Amendment A in Wyoming – These are all anti-Obamacare initiatives in some form or fashion. Continued resistance is important, even if some of these measures are only symbolic, so fingers crossed that they’re all approved.
And one final philosophical/policy point: In an ideal world, the United States would be like Switzerland and have a much more robust version of federalism. Almost everything that happens in Washington, with the exception of national defense, should either be in the private sector or at the state and local level of government.
A big advantage of a genuinely federalist system is that competition among states would be more vigorous than it is today. So if Michigan voters enacted Prop 2 or California voters approved Prop 30, tho adverse consequences would materialize much faster, thus helping to educate people that free markets and limited government are the best policies.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
Canada, EU join list with heat-damaged corn crops
Canada and the European Union joined countries facing a disappointing corn harvest after heat and drought cut yield prospects, as already highlighted in Ukraine and the US.
The US Department of Agriculture cut by 1.1m tonnes to 11.7m tonnes its forecast for the Canadian corn harvest, noting reports that in some regions "hot and dry conditions in July stressed the crop, resulting in poor pollination".
The downgrade implies a rise of less than 8% in Canada’s corn production, despite a rise in sowings of nearly twice as much.
The USDA also sliced by 4.4m tonnes to 57.1m tonnes its forecast for the EU crop – the world’s fourth biggest after US, Chinese and Brazilian harvests – also citing "summer heat and drought damage".
"Yield potential has been falling rapidly in the EU since July when extremely high temperatures inhibited pollination and drought limited kernel growth in much of the EU’s corn belt," the USDA said, following a crop tour to some eastern growing countries.
"The primary corn-growing areas have all struggled from excessive heat and moisture stress this season," dashing expectations of a "bumper crop" which appeared likely earlier in the season.
In Hungary, "much of which has seen no significant rainfall since July", production is seen falling 38% year on year to 5.0m tonnes.
The French crop, the EU’s biggest, was downgraded by 1.0m tonnes to 15.5m tonnes, putting a decline from last year’s result on the cards.
The fresh estimate for the overall EU harvest implied a 12.6% drop from last year’s strong result, which enabled the bloc to achieve exports of 3.2m tonnes in 2011-12, the highest in 40 years.
Indeed, the USDA cut to a seven-year low of 500,000 tonnes its forecast for EU corn shipments in 2012-13.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:41 pm
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
By Ian Vasquez
Cato senior fellow Steve Hanke and co-author Nicholas Krus have carefully documented all 56 episodes of hyperinflation in world history in a new Cato working paper. Until now, a complete list of hyperinflationary experiences has not been available in the scholarly literature for reasons the authors explain, including poorly defined terminology and a lack of a consistent methodology.
Below, I reproduce some data on the top 10 hyperinflationary episodes in history (taken from the table on page 12). All of the hyperinflations in the comprehensive table occurred in the twentieth century with the exception of France’s in 1795 and Zimbabwe’s, which began in 2007 and became the second highest in history. Some might be surprised not to see a Latin American country in the top 10. The region came close; there are six Latin American countries on the overall list, with Peru ranking highest in twelfth place. The country had a monthly hyperinflation of 397% in August 1990, a rate at which prices doubled every 13 days. North America and the Middle East are the only regions that do not make the list, while only three countries in East Asia appear and their inflationary episodes occurred in the 1940s. (They are China, Taiwan and the Philippines, which really is more like a Latin American country in major respects.)
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
Home prices fall 2% in first quarter as market cools
A Scotiabank real-estate report says Canadian housing market conditions have cooled slightly but the country continues to outperform other developed nations.
ANDREW WALLACE/Toronto Star
Wed Jun 13 2012
TORONTO — Canadian housing market conditions have cooled slightly, with prices down nearly two per cent in the first-quarter, but the country continues to outperform other developed nations, according to a new Scotiabank real estate report.
The latest Scotiabank Global Real Estate Trends report released Wednesday found that the inflation-adjusted national average home price fell by 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011.
That compared with a 1.3 inflation-adjusted year-over-year gain in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Canada’s housing market remains an outperformer among developed nations, but conditions have cooled here as well, according to Scotiabank economist Adrienne Warren.
“Price trends are relatively steady in the majority of local markets, though a few, notably Toronto, continue to report strong appreciation,” Warren writes in the report, released Wednesday.
Demand has cooled due to moderate income growth and tighter mortgage insurance rules. In addition, there are more houses up for sale in most parts of the country.
Scotiabank said it expects the number of sales and average prices will be flat in the latter half of 2012.
By comparison, it found global property markets remain under stress, especially in recession-plagued European countries. Ireland saw prices fall a whopping 18.9 per cent and prices in Spain, which has experienced a housing crash, fell 9.1 per cent year-over-year.
Over the weekend, eurozone finance ministers offered to make C$100 billion available to Spain to revive banks crushed by bad real estate loans. However, market reaction suggests many observers didn’t feel the relief was enough.
Most countries covered by the Scotiabank report saw prices decline during the quarter.
“The intensifying euro zone debt crisis, increasing financial market strains and moderating global growth suggests there is more downside risk to property prices in the near-term,” Warren said.
“Eventually, however, improved housing affordability and pent-up demand will put many of these markets on a firmer footing.”
Scotiabank projects that the era of ultra-low borrowing costs will continue in most developed economies, while many developing economies are moving to reverse prior hikes.
The latest figures on Canada’s housing market from the Canadian Real Estate Association are due Friday, measuring the strength of sales and prices in May.
In April, the average home price in Canada was up 0.9 per cent from a year ago at $375,810, while sales on a year-over-year basis were 49,480, up 11.5 per cent from 44,370 a year ago, CREA said.
Continued strength in the housing market, largely due to the staying power of low interest rates, has led some economists to warn the market is overvalued. That could make homeowners vulnerable to a downturn, especially those who have used low interest rates to borrow more than they could otherwise afford.
A report released earlier this week by the Toronto-Dominion banking group projected Vancouver and Toronto home prices will probably experience a downturn of about 15 per cent in two to three years, but not the dramatic drop that hit the United States a few years ago.
The Bank of Canada and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently stepped up their warnings to Canadians to moderate borrowing on real estate, declaring household debt to be the domestic economy’s number one enemy.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:58 am
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The 2008 donors who haven’t returned to President Obama are disproportionately centrists and very liberal Democrats, while regular Democrats have stuck by the president, according to a new analysis of campaign finance data.
The analysis, by Stanford political scientist Adam Bonica, matches and deepens a BuzzFeed finding that roughly 90% of those who gave more than $200 to Obama haven’t returned, a mark of the disillusionment among some of his early supporters and of his ongoing struggle — despite the advantages of organization and incumbency — to keep even with his 2008 fundraising totals.
"The 2008 donors who were most likely to give again in 2012 are those with ideological scores most similar to Obama’s, whereas moderate-to-conservative donors and those on far left are significantly less likely to re-up,” Bonica said.
Bonica’s model is based on a large swathe of publicly available campaign finance data. He examined all of Obama’s $200-plus individual donors from 2008 and 2012, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. He then gave each contributor an ideological "score" based on his or her past political donations, with -2 being the most liberal and 2 being the most conservative. Once each of Obama’s contributors had an ideological score, Bonica divided them into new, returning, and drop off donors before plotting them on comparative ideological graphs.
The story of Obama’s failure to impress the ideological progressives who had hoped he’d pass single-payer health care and battle Republicans, is a familiar story. But Bonica’s research suggests the degree to which conservative criticism has also eaten into Obama’s core support, leaving the president fighting a two-front battle.
Bonica said he was surprised by the finding.
“Initially my expectation was that Obama’s donors were going to be more moderate in 2012 than they were in 2008,” Bonica said.
But the collapse onon both sides of the ideological spectrum makes sense, Bonica said, when thought of in the context of a candidate whose political record was as sparse as Obama’s was when he ran in 2008.
“Donors have had several years to learn about Obama’s policy preferences through his initiatives and statements, which has eliminated a lot of the uncertainty about where Obama stands,” he said, adding that Obama’s current donor drop off pattern is similar to that of George W. Bush in 2004.
Only 11% of these drop off donors have given to another political group or candidate this cycle. This low percentage suggests that Obama’s drop off donors from 2008 aren’t so much switching allegiances as they are removing themselves from the political process.
“Obama’s drop off looks to be more dramatic than other presidents, but that’s mostly a function of him having raised from an incredible number of people in 2008 — people who you usually wouldn’t have expected to give to a Democratic presidential candidate,” Bonica said.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:56 am
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Georgina Chapman & Keren Craig
Beyoncé & Tina Knowles
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez
Grace Tsao-Wu and Laura Kofoid
Diane von Furstenberg
Marcus Wainwright & David Neville
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu May 31, 2012 9:30 am
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