Off the Wires

Poorer Countries Taking Over Global Economy

June 24th, 2010  |  Source: New York Times

Ten years ago, the richest countries accounted for a large majority of economic activity.

But the pendulum is swinging the other way.

A new O.E.C.D. report finds that rich countries and poor countries now each contribute about an equal share of the global economy.

And by 2030, developing countries will account for 57 percent of world G.D.P


US banks set to lose swaps fight

June 24th, 2010  |  Source: Financial Times

Defeat would deal blow to Wall Street

Banks are likely to lose a key lobbying battle in the US over whether they will be forced to spin off their lucrative swaps desks, according to people familiar with financial reform negotiations in Congress.

Defeat, which would be a further blow to Wall Street, has been made more likely by Paul Volcker, the influential former Federal Reserve chairman, softening his opposition to the provision.


BP’s cultural failings

June 9th, 2010  |  Source: Financial Times

In the storm of public and political fury that has hit BP in the US since the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20, the company’s shortage of native knowledge of America and how it responds to crisis has been painfully exposed.

The accident, which killed 11 men and risks the livelihoods of millions, would always have threatened BP’s future in the US. But a series of cultural misunderstandings has made its position more difficult.

The US accounts for about a quarter of BP’s production, almost a third of its reserves and more than half its refining capacity and retail outlets, according to analysts at ING.

Yet in spite of the country’s importance, BP is short of Americans in senior roles. Tony Hayward, the chief executive who has become the lightning rod for American anger, is British, as are the heads of its two main operating businesses and Andrew Gowers, head of media, a former editor of the Financial Times.

Brunswick, BP’s public relations consultancy, although well staffed with high-powered Americans, is a British firm. 

Full story on FT.com (subscription required)


The Spill, the Scandal and the President

June 8th, 2010  |  Source: Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone, which has generally been friendly to President Obama, rips into him with Tim Dickinson's investigative report:  

'The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years -- and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder': The Spill, the Scandal and the President




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