|Doha ´city centre´ part of history|
|THE high sales pitch of the
shop-owners and the flurry of
activity among shoppers, trying
to drive a smart bargain at
Musheireb (popularly called
National), Souq Ahmed bin
Abdullah and the markets in the
lanes and bylanes
of the area
seen over the last
one week or so are
like the flicker of a lamp´s flame
before it dies out in a storm.
The traders are resorting to
distress clearance of their
stocks as the deadline.
|Europe´s Real Problems|
|WHEN the history of the 21st
century is written people
will ask why it was that
Europe was found wanting
during its most intractable
economic crisis. They will ask why
Europe slept as an undercapitalised
banking system floundered, unemployment
remained unacceptably high, and
the Continent´s growth and competitiveness
Worse still, if a reconstruction plan
does not come soon, Europe´s leaders
will be charged with "the decline of...
|NO, WE CAN´T?
|IF you were shocked by Friday´s
job report, if you thought we
were doing well and were taken
aback by the bad news, you
haven´t been paying attention.
The fact is, the United States economy
has been stuck in a rut for a year
and a half.
Yet a destructive passivity has
overtaken our discourse. Turn on
your TV and you´ll see some self-satisfied
pundit declaring that nothing
much can be done about the economy´s
China seeks to allay fears on debts of local govts
BEIJING CHINA’S central bank says risks associated with debts run up by local governments are controllable, in the latest effort to allay fears stateowned banks might face a wave of loan defaults.
The national auditor reported last month that local governments ran up 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) in debt — equivalent to onequarter of China’s annual economic output — over the past decade as they borrowed to pay for public works construction and other expenses.
“Regarding the risks of loans to local government finance platforms, we believe that overall they are controllable,” said a People’s Bank of China statement late on Monday.
Many local Chinese governments created investment agencies over the past decade to build highways, airports and other projects, financed by borrowing from state banks.
Analysts say some of those projects are not earning enough to repay their debts, while some government borrowing went to pay for social programs.
The central bank statement said many local government investments were financially viable and would generate returns to repay their debts.
It gave no new details on a possible default rate or steps Beijing might take.
Private sector analysts say a banking crisis is unlikely because China’s stateowned banking industry and central government have vast financial resources to cover possible bad loans if necessary.
Last month’s audit report said some governments were not able to pay their debts but gave no indication how many might default.
Analysts have estimated possible bad loans at up to 30 percent of the total.
The central bank statement also rejected outside estimates that put a higher total on local government debt.