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Posts tagged ‘International Monetary Fund’

US economic shutdown to affect Nigeria, other developing countries —Okonjo-Iweala.


The Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has expressed fears over the shutdown of the America economy, saying that it might affect Nigeria‘s bond trading in the international market.

She made the statement during a news conference on the outcome of the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance Meeting at the ongoing Annual Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary fund in Washington DC, USA.

Her words: “The present situation in the US creates uncertainty for developing and emerging countries and that is why we look forward to a swift resolution on the issue of a debt ceiling.

“If not resolved, it could upset the market. We could see higher interest rates that will directly affect Nigeria’s bond.

“As you know, we have not only the $500 million bond we floated two years ago but also the Euro bond.

“We could see the price and the yield of these bonds affected and that is why we need to have more certainty in the market.”

Okonjo-Iweala pointed out that the major focus of the meeting was on development needs of member-states, growth issues, job creation, increasing livelihood of the people and how to address the concerns whether they occurred in small or large member-countries.

The minister said: “But specifically, to get there we focused on issues of financing the post 2015 development framework. We are all engaged globally on the post 2015 agenda and how to finance the goals that will come forward.

“We noted that sustainable development financing needs are enormous and there is need for additional resources, if the financing needs of the developing countries are to be met.”

She stressed the group’s stand on the Official Development Assistance (ODA) which she said remains vital and called on the international community to meet its existing ODA commitment in a time-bound manner.

The meeting, according to Okonjo-Iweala, agreed on the establishment of a well regulated financial system, adding that member-countries were advised to adopt domestic resource mobilisation.

The minister further noted that most developing countries had already adopted domestic resources mobilisation to finance some of their projects adding that the issues on how to close tax loopholes, tackle linkages, extend tax pays and harness illicit cash flows and turn them around to finance projects were also issues discussed at the meeting.

Source: Radio Biafra.

How to fix Nigeria: Sanusi, CBN Governor gives recipe in Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., Lecture.



Cental Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has stated that the solution to Nigeria’s development challenges is the fixing of the various broken value chains in the country’s economic activities.

He made this assertion today while delivering a lecture at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, D.C. USA. The event was organised by the CSIS to take advantage of the conclave of the financial community for the Annual Meetings of the Bretton Woods Institutions ? the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He declared that the value chains in agriculture, petroleum and power are the most basic and critical, which will transform the economy.


The CBN Governor noted that the challenge for Nigeria does not necessarily lie in competing with the big multinationals for cutting edge technology, but in doing the basic things that will promote job creation, economic growth and stability.

The event was moderated by Mr. Dan Runde, Director of Project on Prosperity and Development, and William A. Schreyer at the CSIS.

Photo shows CBN GOvernor Sanusi at the lecture. On his left are Dan Runde, Hon. Chukwudi Jones Onyereri and Hon. Haruna Manu of the National Assembly House Committee on Banking and Currency.

Source: Radio Biafra.

US Default Could Have ‘Terrible’ Global Consequences.

U.S. Capitol
The sun sets behind the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 6, 2013. Republican House Speaker John Boehner vowed on Sunday not to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without a “serious conversation” about what is driving the debt, while Democrats said it was irresponsible and reckless to raise the possibility of a U.S. default. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The government shutdown isn’t the only battle facing government leaders. A more critical deadline, the raising of the U.S. debt ceiling, is Oct. 17.

If the nation’s borrowing limit is not raised, the United States could default.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, warns the consequences could be terrible worldwide. It could strip the dollar of its status as the world’s reserve currency.

Maury Fertig, chief investment officer of Relative Value Partners, agrees, saying a default “would be so catastrophic and such a self-inflicted wound that you can’t imagine we would let it happen.”

What would happen to the economy and the markets if there is no agreement to raise the debt ceiling? Seton Motley, president of Less Government, addressed that question and more, on CBN Newswatch, Oct. 4.

“But the fact is that every day we get closer to it the possibility increases, even though it’s remote,” he said.

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office says he would not let the government default on its debt.

But Boehner’s spokesman says if the debt limit is raised, the U.S. needs a bill with cuts and reforms to get the economy moving again.


IMF’s Lagarde Pleads: Fed Tapering Will Be ‘Arduous’ on Global Economy.

The head of the International Monetary Fund cautioned the world’s major central banks Friday not to withdraw their unconventional support for weak economies too soon. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said stimulative policies are still needed in key regions, especially Europe and Japan, which have struggled with prolonged weakness.

Lagarde and many global central bank officials fear the increased risks of a sharp economic slowdown in emerging markets while the U.S. Federal Reserve is signaling that it could slow its bond purchases later this year if the U.S. economy continues to improve. The Fed’s bond buying has helped keep U.S. interest rates near record lows.

“Even if managed well,” Lagarde said of a central bank’s exit from easy-money policies, that could still present an “arduous obstacle course” for other countries. Lagarde said what’s needed is greater policy coordination and cooperation for the sake of the entire globe.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

“No country is an island,” she said Friday at the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.. “Looking at the wider effect is in your self-interest,” she said. “It is in all of our interests.”

Lagarde said central banks must carefully develop strategies for scaling back their efforts to keep borrowing rates low. Any pullback should be determined by the strength of individual economies, she said.

Unconventional monetary policy is still needed in all places it is being used, albeit longer for some than for others,” Lagarde said in her speech to the conference.

The anticipation of a slowdown in Fed bond buying has unsettled U.S. stock and bond markets and sent interest rates up. Rising U.S. rates have, in turn, triggered turmoil in some emerging economies, such as Turkey, India and Indonesia. Officials in those countries have tried to halt declines in the value of their currencies as investors have shifted money into higher-yielding investments elsewhere.

Lagarde took note of the market declines that have followed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke‘s signal in June that the Fed could begin slowing its bond purchases later this year if the U.S. economy strengthens further.

She said finance officials should prepare contingency plans in case market turbulence worsens.

Some investors think the Fed could announce at its next meeting in September that it’s reducing its bond purchases. But comments from Fed officials at Jackson Hole suggested some disagreement within the central bank over the proper timing for a slowdown to begin.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, suggested in an interview with CNBC that he might be ready to endorse a bond-buying slowdown in September. But James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, said he thought the economy remains too uncertain for a pullback next month.

“I don’t think we have to be in any hurry,” Bullard said in a separate interview with CNBC. “I think we want to take our time and assess what is going on.”

Bullard is a voting member of the Fed’s interest rate panel this year. Lockhart takes part in discussions but doesn’t have a vote this year. Their remarks mirrored the divided opinion that was evident in the minutes of the Fed’s July meeting released this week.

In her speech, Lagarde said the support being provided by major central banks is buying time for nations to implement key economic reforms.

“Push ahead with deeper reforms to lay the foundation for durable and lasting growth,” Lagarde said. “Do not waste the space provided by unconventional monetary policies.”

For example, she said troubled nations in Europe must repair their financial systems before credit can start flowing normally again.

Lagarde said some emerging market countries have taken steps to prepare for the shocks that could occur as the United States and other major economies withdraw their extraordinary support and borrowing rates rise to historically normal levels. But she said more work would be needed.

She said the IMF will provide support where possible, including emergency loans to countries that need them.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Newsmax Wires

“World’s 8th Most Violent Country” By Seyi Olu Awofeso.



Guest Columnist

Dear Seyi: Hope all’s well with you on the other side of the Atlantic? You’d barely exited our barrio when Maria got moody at your absence. She’s not left Belgrano ever since or reset the guest-room you’d stayed, as her in terrorem stance she’ll do neither until you promise to visit us again in Argentina.
We never get to read much about you country in our newspapers here. It’s nearly blacked out, as nothing good seems to be happening over there, and now, putting the on-line news together, your country seems to be looking straight into the abyss; with a Hobson’s choice between a religious civil war of mass murder, and, a bloody revolution to prevent a religious civil war, as the obvious options.

A wretched choice, to be sure, but between an imminent religious civil war and a revolution, a rational person would prefer a revolution, because a religious civil war will cost no fewer than 20 million innocent lives if bombers strafe territories across the Niger and Benue Rivers, and turn your entire country into a battle-field, since religion is a common feature of your citizens.

Whereas, a revolution will aim only at those fostering the destruction of your society – who devalue the worth of honesty and competence alike, by devaluing alongside both, all university certificates, to create 75 million un-employed people, without comfort or hope. Take out those 10,000 official thieves and roguish apparatchiks – elected or appointed – along with proxies working for them as accountants, lawyers and businessmen, and real change shall have come to your country without having to bomb a street market of the innocents, as happened in 1967.

Truth is, everything else has failed to stop those ruining your country from continuing. The sermons of the Pastors have not dissuaded the rogues anymore than the tafsir of the Imams; and not even the gilded pages of the United Nations Merida Convention which your country rushed to Mexico and hurriedly signed amid pomp on December 13, 2006, abated the horrific thefts, despite your country pledging by signing that multilateral Convention to forswear official thefts.

In political science, a practical solution to your country’s type of sclerotic breakdown of its social codes separating right from wrong, with 5,000 people murdered already, and with your official rogues still taking the people for granted by stealing and haemorrhaging the country, is a revolutionary band that could swiftly take your country’s official rogues out of business, forever, and begin the hard work of mending those fissured social codes – without which public ethics, no progress is ever possible.

Your country’s abiding illusion is that time will make your country good, but that’s a slightly crazy thought – to be polite. No country ever became good or liveable as a result of time alone. My country, Argentina, was the fifth biggest economy in the world at the turn of the past century. A hundred years later, we are worse and nervously swatting off some bad fairies from our bedside – those bad fairies being our overseas creditors who’d bought our sovereign bonds.

We tried clever wheezes to refinance the bonds, but the clever hold-outs demurred and took us to the United States federal court.

We did everything to win that court case; including getting our biddable parliament to pass a law barring repayment on the initially agreed terms of the bonds, and we then argued that the pari passu clause in the old bonds is in-effective at law against a sovereign country’s public finance. We lost on all counts and were thrown out of court.

With pains we’ve learnt our lesson in Argentina that neither time nor theft nor fraud can build the wealth of a nation.

Your own country is much unlike mine, because you are trenching on the fringe of the lunacy of a misbelief in your country that stealing the treasury dry could create a peaceful oasis for the pilferers and yield national peace and cohesion to make your country liveable.

In your own country the basis of existing private wealth is theft, but only a revolution can solve such a property-relations crisis, not a war. For now, your country is a shambles of stutters and gristles, and, that’s also close to the official thinking out here in the western world. At 53, your country is too old to be held by the hands and taught the basic ethics of right and wrong. That’s why no western country will commit its soldiers to pre-empt your country’s contradictions from exploding into a massacre, unless you resolve it all by yourselves.

A country carrying on recklessly as yours must rue at leisure for merely winking or hissing as a whopping 600 billion dollars was openly stolen by your officials, and their partnering business criminals, who then lodged it into their own private accounts to buy villas and luxuries for themselves in Europe, thus intentionally ruining the posterity of all other citizens, in consequence.

Reuters newswire just recently brought home the news to us here in Argentina that your country’s President with a phalanx of 20 Cabinet Ministers went a-begging for one billion dollars loan in Beijing three weeks ago or thereabouts. But that Chinese loan is a smidgen one-seventh of the total amount stolen at your Central Bank last year – when your Finance Minister and the Accountant-General, in tandem, robotically kept signing counterfeit invoices with almost criminal negligence, twice in excess of the national budget, and passed the bogus papers added by forged bills of laden onto your funny-looking Central Bank Governor who then recklessly paid cash twice over the limit set by federal law – in intentional violation of a reasonable banker’s obligor’s limit.

Through that criminal conspiracy alone, a staggering 7 billion dollars was stolen from your country’s treasury last year, with official assistance – under the pretext of oil subsidy reimbursement. A year later, your country’s President would be scurrying to Beijing in China to beg for one-seventh of that money as foreign loan, repayable with interest. This is the story of your benighted country.
Whereas thus far, your country’s 7 billion dollars remain stolen, despite the huffing and puffing sounding in the official self-exculpatory rhetoric of your country’s government, which nobody overseas believes as true. A mere 5% of that 7 billion dollars is all that has been officially recovered till date – with no government official named or arraigned for any offence for this daylight theft occurring solely through official approvals of forged bills of lading.

Rather, we are told here in Argentina by Reuters news agency that your country’s President and the Petroleum Minister, a few days ago, jointly approved more oil lifting contracts for a clutch of about five entities out of the 48 companies criminally indicted by your parliament for stealing last year’s 7 billion dollars on these oil lifting contracts. So, the punishment of sin in your country is wealth.

Is this any way to run a country? Surely not, but your country’s politically naïve people acquiesce by sitting on their hands and doing nothing, after their initially focused street protests last year January had forced the issue. So, your government officials now rightly feel more able to live by plunder, since the people never seriously seek freedom from slavery.

When last month armed vigilantes sprouted in the north-east of your country to counter certain Islamic militias running amok, your government praised that armed struggle initiative, and your government was right, even if your government had covertly created and armed those vigilantes. By law constitutional freedom in a democracy includes self-defence. And since freedom is not mere liberty to wander the face of the earth like a destitute, an armed struggle in defence of a concrete right to the benefits of the resources of one’s country of birth; as communal property to be used commonly, is legitimate. That is why armed struggle against official thefts is by parity also authorised by international law; including your country’s own laws, but helas, your grossly mis-educated middle class folks never once before sought that law’s grace – even under British colonial rule. So if your people are slaves, it is not because they are in chains, but because they voluntarily refuse to unlock the chains, despite having the keys in their own hands.

It utterly beggars belief how your people carelessly concede the resources of your country to the government officials as private property and prefer beggary as a way of life. The people only wish to be mercifully given a slight fraction of their entitlement as citizens, but only by begging their state officials. Self-esteem is surely the first casualty of wholesale capture of a whole country by thieves.
But worse of all, your nearly crazed middle class of lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors, bankers, estate agents, journalists, architects, and such-like, are quite happy to embrace this same beggary as a way of life – though they make beggary sound nice by calling it “connections”, because they are proud to know someone who knows those who own them as slaves, who can then plead on their behalf to be granted a slightly bigger morsel, which  – when given under the table lest the other slaves revolt – the middle class gaily celebrate as “success”.

A people who accept to live by beggary can’t ever progress, because they invariably signal to their own children to do likewise. So, the result is a historical cycle of mushrooming slave camps all across your country.

At present form, your country writhes in economic dirt and political mud; rolled into one – and now lacks a sense of shame or future, as it sets to incur another 800 billion Naira fiscal deficit this year, with no concrete achievement to show for it. That fiscal deficit will as likely as not put further devaluation pressures on the Naira earnings and savings of ignorantly innocent citizens, and deepen their general poverty, following the crawling band devaluation emplaced since civil rule began in 1999, leading to 100% devaluation of the Naira, in nominal terms.

Today, your country is rated by the United Nations as the 8th most violent country on the face of the earth, but i rather reckon it as the most violent in Africa, because its bloody history of regicide trumps the history of all other 53 countries in Africa. Almost surreal, but it seems that spot 8th from the bottom is your country’s current addiction, because it is also ranked by UNESCO as the 8th most illiterate country in the world.

Anything diverging from that figure 8 will probably throw your country off its comfort zone, and hence, the current covert imports of war and artillery pieces from Syria, Lebanon, Ukraine and Libya, ahead of a promised ethno-religious war in 2015, regardless of the outcome of that year’s national election in your country.

Those importing these military hardware in preparation for war care less for the total spend. They either insistently want to reset your country’s presidential terms to no more than 8 years (the same recurrent figure 8) regardless of any extra time permitted by law for your President’s initial succession to office by his predecessor’s death, or, to resist any mutually agreed reset that may account for and then off-set a residue of the un-used (?) tenure of a dead predecessor president.

That’s a total quagmire you’ve got right there; indeed, a sure-fire recipe for ethnic war, because this controversy is not resolvable by a common principle or standard. One side insists on the law to the letter and the other insists on a region’s ethnic entitlement to the remainder of the 8-year tenure of a dead president.

Such a zany debate really does not interest the rest of the world. That explains why no other country is voicing opinion on it at all. It is your country’s sui generis debate to carry on; not an intelligent debate typically occurring in a constitutional democracy and resolvable by reference to a historical example. So, you’ll have to solve it all by yourselves, possibly by rule of thumb, even if that means burying the hatchet on each other’s head.

Keep safe in that cauldron, Seyi, and keep well, my buddie, and, do please come back soon to Buenos Aires.

…Seyi Olu Awofeso is a Legal Practitioner in Abuja.


Former IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn to be Tried for Pimping.

Image: Former IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn to be Tried for Pimping

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be tried in France on pimping charges, prosecutors said on Friday, after a long inquiry into sex parties attended by the man whose presidential hopes were dashed by a separate 2011 U.S. sex scandal.Investigating judges in the case determined that Strauss-Kahn, 64, should be judged by a criminal court over allegations he was complicit in a pimping operation involving prostitutes at the Carlton hotel in the northern city of Lille.

The decision was a surprise after a public prosecutor recommended in June that the inquiry be dropped without trial and it will thrust Strauss-Kahn’s private life back into the spotlight just as he was putting the U.S. scandal behind him.

His lawyers said there were no legal grounds to try him and he was being targeted because of his notoriety after a New York hotel maid’s charge, later dropped, that he sexually assaulted her in his suite in May 2011 when he was International Monetary Fund chief.

“No offence has been found to exist. So there can be no conviction in this affair,” Frederique Baulieu, one of his lawyers, told BFM TV. “We should be focused on the law, not morality. Sadly, in this affair, investigating magistrates have been led astray by morality.”

Under French law, pimping is a broad crime that encompasses aiding or encouraging prostitution.

Because the parties allegedly involved several prostitutes, Strauss-Kahn will stand trial in Lille on the more serious charge of “aggravated pimping”, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a 1.5 million euros ($2 million) fine.

The former French finance minister has acknowledged attending sex parties in various cities but maintains he was unaware the women taking part were paid sex workers. He has said he is being hounded unfairly over his lifestyle in a country where frequenting prostitutes is not illegal.

“We’re not in the realm of the law, we’re in ideology. We’re sending someone to court for nothing,” Henri Leclerc, another of his lawyers, told Reuters.


Strauss-Kahn went from being a pillar of the global economic elite to a disgraced rape suspect paraded before TV cameras, unshaven and in handcuffs, in a matter of hours after New York police pulled him off an aeroplane and briefly held him in jail.

He quit his IMF post and gave up his aspirations of running for the Socialist Party in the May 2012 presidential election.

The maid eventually dropped her charges and received a settlement from Strauss-Kahn, but on his return to France he was dogged with other allegations of sexual misconduct. The affair set off a soul-searching debate over why French media have often turned a blind eye to lewd and illegal behaviour by politicians.

Investigators learned of Strauss-Kahn’s involvement in the Lille sex parties after the initials “DSK” by which he is widely known in France were spotted on bills for hotels and plane tickets paid for by construction company Eiffage.

He was placed under formal investigation in 2012 and kept a low profile, quietly separating from his wife and rebuilding his life as a consultant and international conference speaker.

Earlier this month, Strauss-Kahn used an interview with CNN to wave away the New York case as a private matter and focused on discussing the failings of Europe’s leaders in pulling the euro zone out of economic crisis.

He acknowledged, however, that his political career was over.

Thirteen other people under formal investigation in the Lille case will also be tried, some facing additional charges of fraud and abuse of corporate funds, the prosecutor said. ($1 = 0.7555 euros)

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Hatch: Use Insurance Companies to End US Pension Crisis.

Image: Hatch: Use Insurance Companies to End US Pension Crisis

A powerful U.S. senator would like to use life insurance companies to help alleviate the funding crisis that has engulfed many public pensions.

Utah‘s Senator Orrin Hatch, the top-ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, will introduce legislation on Tuesday that would create a new public retirement plan in which insurance companies pay benefits through annuity contracts.

According to a summary of the bill provided to Reuters, an employer would pay a premium each year to a state-licensed insurer. Employees would then receive fixed income annuity contracts from the insurance company, “thereby building an annuitized pension year-by-year during their working lives” and making pension plan underfunding “not possible.”

Annuities function similarly to defined-benefit plans by paying set amounts in regular installments. The accumulation of annuity contracts would even out interest rate fluctuations, according to Hatch, who would also have life insurance companies competitively bid for them.

There is no official figure for how badly public pension plans are underfunded. Pew Center on the States estimates they are short more than $850 billion in total for future retirees’ benefits.

For years, states short-changed their retirement systems. When state and local revenues plunged during the 2007-09 recession, they cut contributions further. At the same time the financial crisis ravaged the earnings on retirement systems’ investments, which provide more than half of all pension funding.

Pension plan finances have improved in 2013, with states making greater contributions just as the stock market pushed pension assets to record levels. In 2012, pensions in aggregate had enough assets to cover 73 percent of their liabilities.

Still, worries about underfunding persist, primarily because the public workforce is maturing. Meanwhile, some pension reforms face political and legal resistance.

For at least three years, Hatch has sought a uniform solution to the public pension crisis. Like his Republican colleagues, he is concerned the federal government might have to intervene if the problem worsens. Others, including the International Monetary Fund, have said growth in pension spending could drag down the U.S. economy.

Hatch’s legislation would also put employees at small or start-up companies into annuities for retirement, as well as change the federal oversight of 401(k) retirement plans offered by most corporations and of Individual Retirement Accounts.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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