News & Commentary:

June 2001 Archives


The U.S. Trade Deficit: A Dangerous Obsession
Foreign Affairs May/Jun 2001
The United States is obsessed with its ever-growing trade deficit. Yet according to Joseph Quinlan of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Marc Chandler of Mellon Financial Corporation, trade is no longer a valid measure of global competition.

Practical Issues Arising From the Euro
BOE Jun 2001
The focus is on three areas: the continued evolution from a London perspective, of the euro financial markets and their supporting infrastructure; the preparations for the imminent completion of the transition from the twelve former national currencies to the euro; and the continuing practical UK financial sector preparations for possible UK entry into EMU.

'Mr. Yen' Continues to Speak His Own Truth   Recommended!
Smith, P. (Bloomberg) June 1st, 2001
How quickly the klieg lights shift their bleached-white beams, casting yesterday's hang-on-every-syllable stars in shadow -- if not darkness. It's hard to believe, but it has been less than two years since Eisuke Sakakibara walked the boards as the immensely influential 'Mr. Yen'.

Comment: An insightful interview with the former deputy finance minister of Japan - also known as Mr. Yen.

Under the (developing) volcano
Asia Times June 1st, 2001
Leaders of the G-15 summit of developing countries meeting in Jakarta this week were treated to the finest theater of the absurd as the political wranglings over the future of the Indonesian president unravelled before their eyes. However, writes Pepe Escobar, this did not cause them to lose sight of their agenda to improve their collective information and communication technologies.

Asia-Pacific Web Surfers World's Most Active - Nielsen
News Bytes June 1st, 2001
An April study of global Internet usage by Nielsen/NetRatings found the top four Internet nations in terms of the number of pages viewed per person are all in the Asia-Pacific region. While Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand all showed high Net usage figures compared to global averages, South Korea was ranked top on two metrics and second on another.

Duisenberg Remark Sends Euro Plunging
International Herald Tribune June 1st, 2001
The European single currency fell to its lowest level in more than six months Thursday after comments by Wim Duisenberg, president of the bank, were taken as a sign that the ECB was unlikely to intervene in the currency markets in support of the euro.

Even Yen Looks Better Than Euro These Days
Pesek Jr., W. (Bloomberg) June 1st, 2001
Just how unattractive is the euro? So unappealing that in its place many investors are buying the yen, a currency plagued with its own economic problems.

Bombing Biotech
The Wall Street Journal June 1st, 2001
Eco-terrorists strike again.

Creating a Market for Vaccines
Kremer, M. & R. Glennerster (New York Times) June 1st, 2001
While pharmaceutical companies' agreement to lower the prices of some anti-AIDS drugs is good news, it promises little relief to the vast majority of Africans with AIDS.

Investors Swap $29.5 Bln in Argentine Bond Exchange
Bloomberg June 1st, 2001
Investors swapped $29.48 billion of Argentine bonds in a debt exchange to help the country stretch out debt payments over the next five years and avoid default.

Australia Dollar Falls to Five-Week Low; Growth Picture Concerns Investors
Bloomberg June 1st, 2001
The Australian dollar, trading at a five-week low, may extend its decline on concern the global economy won't rebound soon, curbing demand for the country's commodities and the currency to buy them. The Australian dollar, or Aussie, earlier fell as low as 50.39 U.S. cents from 50.77 cents yesterday, the weakest since April 26. The currency fell a fourth day, recently trading at 50.74 cents. It's declined 9.3 percent this year. "Commodity prices have declined, the whole global recovery story has hit the skids," said Greg McKenna, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. The Australian dollar may fall to 49.80 cents in coming days, he said. Australia earns 60 percent of its export earnings from commodities and is the largest exporter of coal, iron ore, wool, beef and zinc. They're typically priced in U.S. dollars, lowering demand for Australian dollars as exporters' bring reduced profits home.

ICANN, Under Fire, Targets Alternate Top-level Domains
ComputerWorld June 2nd, 2001
Facing increased pressure to add more Internet top-level domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers plans to address recent challenges to its authority over that process at a quarterly meeting that starts Friday.

Damage From 1997 Asian Crisis Still Unfolding
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 3rd, 2001
For Indonesians, the last four years must seem like hell on earth. What in the world has happened to that country?

Europeans Help Turn Up Heat on Cartels
International Herald Tribune June 4th, 2001
Taking the lead from the United States, governments in Europe and Asia also are beginning to take price-fixing more seriously.

Blair's Artful Dodge Keeps the Euro Out of British Campaign   Recommended!
International Herald Tribune June 4th, 2001
However unappetizing abandoning the pound for the European Union's common currency may be to a majority of the British, the Labour Party and Prime Minister Tony Blair have maneuvered so artfully - or so cravenly, according to some - in promising a referendum when the time is right that the euro has been sidestepped as an issue of real debate during the three weeks of campaigning.

Thailand: Wharton, Keynes and confusion reign
Asia Times June 4th, 2001
Until recently Thailand, under new Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, had put forward and implemented supply-side policies to build domestic demand. Now, in the face of some very bad advice, his policy appears in imminent danger of being sidelined by incoherent and dangerous quick-fix approaches.

Indonesian 'done deal' not quite done
Asia Times June 4th, 2001
When the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency closed a US$368 million deal with Malaysia's Kumpulan Guthrie for the sale of oil palm plantations, it believed skeptical foreign investors would be encouraged to look again at opportunities in the country's battered economy. But just six months later, writes Bill Guerin, legislators have called for a review of the contract, and in so doing have dealt a harsh blow to the investment climate.

Investment onus falls on Vietnam's private sector
Asia Times June 4th, 2001
To double Vietnam's gross domestic product before 2010, a target set by the recent 9th Party Congress, investment estimated at 30 percent of gross domestic product will be required. However, as foreign investment remains relatively low, and the central government is tied up in reforming state-owned businesses and the banking sector, the private sector will be left with the heavy task of picking up the slack.

Korean online start-ups back in bloom
Asia Times June 4th, 2001
Electronic initial public offerings are regaining popularity in South Korea as a means to raise capital online after virtually disappearing last summer. Growing expectations of an economic recovery and a continued upward trend in the Seoul stock market are helping start-ups attract investors more easily via the Internet.

The Mirage of a Growing Fuel Supply
Nering, E.R. (New York Times) June 4th, 2001
When I discussed the exponential function in the first-semester calculus classes that I taught, I invariably used consumption of a nonrenewable natural resource as an example. Since we are now engaged in a national debate about energy policy, it may be useful to talk about the mathematics involved in making a rational decision about resource use.

Making sense of sanctions
The Economist June 4th, 2001
America is proposing an overhaul of the United Nations' creaking 11-year-old embargo on Iraq. But opposition from Iraq and its allies in the Security Council has already forced a delay of its new scheme, and may eventually scupper it altogether.

Don't Cheer for the Argentine Bond Swap   Recommended!
Vogel, T. (Bloomberg) June 4th, 2001
Will anyone stand up and say what the nearly $30 billion dollar Argentine bond swap really is?

Kuroda Says G-7 Would Cooperate on Currency Action
Bloomberg June 4th, 2001
Haruhiko Kuroda, Japan's vice finance minister for international affairs, comments on the euro's decline toward a six-month low. The euro weakened to as low as 100.35 yen and recently traded at 100.79 yen.

Fed's Greenspan and ECB's Duisenberg See Tame Inflation for U.S., Europe
Bloomberg June 4th, 2001
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said inflation is not a "problem" for the U.S. economy, and European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg said the pace of price increases in Europe is likely to slow.

WHO's Whiteshirts
Lemieux, P. (Laissez Faire Times) June 4th, 2001
The World Health Organization, which held its 54th "World Health Assembly" from May 14 to 22, is longing for the World Sanitary State or, at least, for a World Sanitary Cartel. It aims at global health control by politicians and bureaucrats in white labcoats. This is not conspiracy theory - except if you take as a conspiracy a sequence of disconnected events where small groups of different individuals make plans that happen to match. One problem with grand conspiracy theories, where many individuals conspire over long periods of time to achieve complex results, is that they explain everything, and more. Another problem is that such conspiracies are difficult to organize and keep secret. No need for them here. The logic of individual incentives and action in politicized systems, combined with the 20th century's reigning orthodoxy, is sufficient to explain where WHO is heading.

China's Divisions With U.S., Asia May Dominate APEC Trade Talks Tomorrow
Bloomberg June 5th, 2001
Trade ministers from the U.S., China and 19 Asia-Pacific countries may find their differences eclipse their common goals as they gather in China for talks tomorrow.

Not quite a dot farce
Foley, K. (Nua) June 5th, 2001
When the establishment of the Digital Opportunity Taskforce or the 'dot force' was announced at the G8 summit in Japan last July, I have to admit I was skeptical. The final report of the dot force was released last month and it made for interesting reading, in a number of different ways.

IDC Research: A billion users will drive ecommerce
Nua Internet Surveys June 5th, 2001
Almost 1 billion people around the world will be using the Internet by 2005, according to IDC. This growth will drive ecommerce revenues to over USD5 trillion by 2005, up from USD354 billion in 2000.

Field of Genes: Biotech Tries to Grow Its Future
International Herald Tribune June 6th, 2001
Pharmaceuticals May Be Next Top Crops.

OPEC Maintains Output Levels, With Another Look in July
The New York Times June 6th, 2001
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to delay an increase in production levels, a move that could push crude oil prices higher in coming weeks.

Malaysia happy to be pegged down
Asia Times June 6th, 2001
Ever since pegging its currency nearly three years ago, Malaysian authorities have been under pressure to either lift or revalue the peg. This is unlikely to happen soon. Rather, the question is not whether Malaysia should find an alternative exchange regime, but whether it can sustain market confidence and further enhance its current policy to stimulate the economy.

China's harvest: Looking for a grain of truth
Asia Times June 6th, 2001
Seven years ago Chinese authorities were panicked by the publication of a book predicting severe grain shortages in the country. Similar warnings this month by the same United States author, however, appear to ignore the fact China has grain reserves far in excess of what is generally believed - and Beijing will not be spooked into jeopardizing its negotiations over agricultural subsidies in its World Trade Organization talks.

British Pound Falls to 15-Year Low as Poll May Spur Euro Entry
Bloomberg June 6th, 2001
The British pound fell, at one point setting a 15-year low against the dollar, on speculation the Labour Party will push to adopt the euro as early as this year, as polls indicate it may win more seats in elections today.

Stock Market Scams
Mises Institute Daily June 6th, 2001
An important part of the argument for free markets is the idea that the market is self-regulating. In other words, a free market would develop its own ways of protecting consumers and enforcing fair play. This development is one of the more intriguing aspects of a free market. In the absence of a government authority or agency, private groups emerge that efficiently provide services that might normally be provided by governments.

Argentina Bets the Ranch on Economic Recovery
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 6th, 2001
Argentina's economy minister, Domingo Cavallo, waxed triumphant over the apparent success of his multibillion-dollar bond swap. "We have beaten those who were betting against Argentina," he declared Monday.

EU Braces for Fight With U.S. Over Steel
International Herald Tribune June 7th, 2001
Less than two months after a deal to end a punishing transatlantic trade war over bananas, the United States and the European Union braced for a new conflict Wednesday after President George W. Bush initiated moves that could lead to the imposition of restrictions on steel imports into the United States.

APEC Promotes New Trade Round And Early China WTO Accession
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 21 June 6th, 2001

G-15, COMESA, SADC Meet On Trade
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 21 June 6th, 2001

UN Development Commission Focuses On Biotech Capacity Building
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 21 June 6th, 2001

Debating Europe's Future
The New York Times June 7th, 2001
As France and Germany press competing visions for the future of European integration, the European Union faces the daunting challenge of ensuring that these differences do not lead to gridlock.

Lamy Stresses Shared Interests of Trade's 'Elephants'
European Commission June 7th, 2001
European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy on Thursday called for closer US-EU cooperation in helping to launch a New Round that will be in the interests of all World Trade Organisation members. In a speech to the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington, he called the EU and the US the biggest elephants in the world trading system. 'While solving our bilateral disputes is a vital test for the behaviour of the elephants, the real test of our credibility comes at Doha in November,' he added, referring to the WTO Ministerial scheduled to take place then which could mark the launch of a New Round. Lamy said the terms of the Round were still open, and that there was no question of the 'elephants' railroading the rest of the world into submission. The US and EC would have to find common ground between North and South if the November bid for a launch is to succeed, he added.

Pound Near 15-Year Low, Gilts to Fall Amid Labour Win
Bloomberg June 7th, 2001
The British pound was less than 2 cents above a 15-year low against the dollar, amid expectations a ruling Labour Party victory in the U.K. general election will hasten the nation's adoption of the euro.

Treasury's O'Neill to Keep Strong Dollar Policy
Bloomberg June 7th, 2001
U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill won't change U.S. policy in support of a strong dollar amid concern manufacturers are losing business to overseas competitors, a Treasury spokeswoman said.

European Central Bank Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged at 4.5%
Bloomberg June 7th, 2001
The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate at 4.5 percent today, even as reports suggest Europe's economy is sputtering.

Getting ready for the euro   Economist Subscription Required
The Economist June 7th, 2001
The introduction of euro notes and coins brings predictions of disaster.

Capital charges for operational risk
The Economist June 7th, 2001
Proposed capital charges for operational risk are exercising banks and their regulators alike.

Patches of light   Recommended!
The Economist June 7th, 2001
Any progress in liberalising agricultural trade at the next round of global trade talks depends on the groundwork being done today.

IMF Names Krueger, a Free-Trade Advocate, to No. 2 Post
International Herald Tribune June 8th, 2001
The International Monetary Fund on Thursday named Anne Krueger, a respected U.S. economist known for her energetic support for free trade, to take the No. 2 job at the Fund. .Ms. Krueger, 67, is currently a professor of economics at Stanford University and was chief economist for the World Bank during the Reagan administration.

Pound Gets Pounded as Blair Pounds the Tories
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 8th, 2001
British Prime Minister Tony Blair killed the Tories in the voting booth and is murdering the pound sterling in the currency markets. Sterling has crashed because the market figures Blair's impressive victory gives him a mandate to convert his country to the euro. Beaten by Crusty Old Bonds?   Recommended!
Pesek Jr., W. (Bloomberg) June 8th, 2001
Bonds are often thought of as relics of the Old Economy, the stuff of widows and orphans, not of today's Internet-savvy investors. Little did anyone know bonds would flourish in the New Economy.

Australian Dollar May Rise by Sept.: Bloomberg Survey
Bloomberg June 8th, 2001
The Australian dollar is expected to rise against the U.S. dollar, gaining to an average of 53.7 U.S. cents by the end of September and to 55.7 U.S. cents by year-end, according to the average forecast of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Australian dollar traded at 52.2 U.S. cents in New York trading yesterday.

European Economic Growth Slowed in First Quarter as Investment Plunges
Bloomberg June 8th, 2001
Economic growth in the dozen countries sharing the euro slowed in the first quarter as faltering exports prompted businesses to scale back investment.

Voters in Ireland Reject Expansion of European Union
The New York Times June 9th, 2001
In an unexpected move, Ireland rejected a treaty that was to pave the way for 12 new members into the European Union, most of them former Communist countries.

In Talks With U.S., China's Entry Into W.T.O. Is Eased
The New York Times June 10th, 2001
Reviving hopes that China can join the World Trade Organization within months, American and Chinese negotiators said that most remaining issues had been resolved.

It Behooves European Union to Listen to the Irish
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 10th, 2001
Ireland has delivered a swift kick in the pants to the European Union. On Friday, Ireland's voters rejected the European Union's expansion plans as contained in the Treaty of Nice.

Biotech Crops Moving Fast Around Globe
International Herald Tribune June 11th, 2001
Despite persistent concerns about genetically modified crops, they are spreading so rapidly that it has become almost impossible for consumers to avoid them, agriculture experts say.

Big Shoes to Fill: Soros Seeks Heir
International Herald Tribune June 11th, 2001
George Soros is looking for a successor. Finding one will not be easy. Mr. Soros is one of the world's most storied investors and hardly any more replaceable than John Welch Jr., the chairman of General Electric Co., or basketball's Michael Jordan. Consider it the biggest talent search in the history of hedge funds, the exclusive, private funds that cater to the rich and to private institutions such as museums and college endowments.

China and the WTO
The Economist Jun 11th, 2001
Confounding expectations of a prolonged impasse, China and the United States have announced that they have reached agreement on the terms of China's long-sought admission to the World Trade Organisation. China's accession this year is now possible, but by no means assured.

BIS publishes its latest Annual Report   Recommended!
BIS Jun 11, 2001
The Bank for International Settlements issued its 71st annual report at 12.00 European time on Monday June 11.

Thoughts on Africa: Culture and Personal Responsibility   Recommended!
Peron, J. (Laissez Faire Times) June 12th, 2001
A few months ago I wrote an article for the European edition of the Wall Street Journal calling for a policy of benign neglect when it came to Africa. I argued that western aid and experts had not been able to help Africa and, instead, have done considerable damage. That article was picked up and shortened versions were published on various web sites including that of the World Bank.

Comment: A very thought-provoking article on the important influence of culture on development. Fatalistic, in a sense, but an important contribution nonetheless.

A Shocked Japan Fears Recession Has Already Taken Hold
International Herald Tribune June 12th, 2001
Japan received a nasty shock Monday as a government report showed that gross domestic product dipped in the first quarter of the year when many had predicted at least a modest rise.

ActivMedia Research: Half of for-profit sites making money
Nua Internet Surveys June 12th, 2001
New research from ActivMedia has found that over half of for-profit websites are already profitable.

Koizumi must stay the course
Asia Times June 12th, 2001
The only good news for the Japanese economy after the release of data showing that real GDP shrank by 0.2 percent in the January-March quarter is Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's statement he will stick to the path of reform, painful though it will be. If he does this while the economy is sliding back into recession, Koizumi will undoubtedly face growing pressure to "be reasonable", but he will be well advised to turn a deaf ear.

US-Russia: Look who's grinning now
Asia Times June 12th, 2001
For US President George W Bush, this is probably a pretty bad time for a summit meeting with a Russian president. On the other hand, no one is happier than Vladimir Putin, the first Russian leader since Leonid Brezhnev to hold the whip hand at a summit with the Americans.

China's shopping list for foreign investors
Asia Times June 12th, 2001
Although China is already one of the world's most popular regions for overseas investment, it aims to become even more so with a series of major projects for foreign direct investment, mostly in the infrastructure and high-tech fields.

Zorba the Euro
Friedman, T. (New York Times) June 12th, 2001
Greece provides a wonderful laboratory for the most interesting clash going on around Europe today the clash between two grand theories.

Inflation Not So Well-Contained in Anglo World
Baum, C. (Bloomberg) June 12th, 2001
What do Canada, Australia, the U.K. and U.S. have in common aside from a shared language that sounds different from country to country?

ECB's Welteke, Trichet Say 'Strong Euro' is Needed for Price Stability
Bloomberg 12th, 2001
European Central Bank council members said interest rates are at the right level and a 'strong euro' is needed to stop inflation rising further, signaling the bank may find it difficult to justify lowering rates again.

China-US Talks Unfreeze At APEC Side Event
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 5, Number 22 June 12th, 2001

APEC Meeting Overshadowed By Brewing Trade Rows
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 5, Number 22 June 12th, 2001

Malaysia's 'Great Builder' Faces Growing Dissent
International Herald Tribune June 13th, 2001
Mahathir bin Mohamad has been described as the most forward-thinking leader in the Muslim world. He steered Malaysia from reliance on tin, palm oil and rubber to a thriving trading nation that churns out microchips by the millions. Yet he faces a growing number of critics who wish he would step down and go away.

Inflation Data Add to Euro-Zone Woes
International Herald Tribune June 13th, 2001
Consumer prices in France and Germany surged in May, drawing expressions of concern Tuesday from European Central Bank officials and narrowing their scope for a rate cut.

European Commission Adopts New GSP Regulation to Foster Sustainable Development
European Commission June 13th, 2001
The European Commission on 12 June adopted a proposal for revision to the Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (GSP) for the years 2002 to 2004. Welcoming the Commission's decision, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said "this regulation is designed to simplify the GSP regime, restore the level of its benefits and target them more effectively in the interests of developing countries. It is also intended to improve the effectiveness of special incentives to promote core labour and environmental standards. The scheme constitutes a further tangible example of the promotion of sustainable development, a central plank of EU trade policy". The new Regulation complements and fully incorporates the recent "Everything But Arms" (EBA) initiative in favour of Least Developed Countries.

Westpac's Gibbs on Australian Dollar and Bonds: Market Comment
Bloomberg June 13th, 2001
Greg Gibbs, a market strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in New York, comments on the prospects for the Australian dollar. The currency, which recently traded at 52.86 U.S. cents, is the world's best-performing against the U.S. dollar the past three months. Gibbs made the comments on Bloomberg Television's 'Australia This Morning' program.

Europe Hits Speed Bump in Its Drive For Growth
International Herald Tribune June 14th, 2001
Confronted by ever more numerous signs of slower growth and rising prices, European leaders are once again brooding about long-term 'speed limits' on their economy.

Ireland's No to Europe
The New York Times June 14th, 2001
In a nation that has benefited greatly from its membership in the European Union, the vote to oppose further E.U. expansion was an embarrassing surprise to the political establishment that had backed a "yes" vote.

The PC Crowd   Recommended!
The Economist June 14th, 2001
A look at the economics of political correctness.

The Odds for IMF Reform: Better, but Not Good   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Rosett, C. (Wall Street Journal) June 14th, 2001
Want real change? Amend the Fund's governing charter.

Köhler's new crew   Economist Subscription Required
The Economist June 14th, 2001
Some hopeful signs for the future now that a new, high-powered team is to help the IMF's boss with his reforms.

The winners' curse
The Economist June 14th, 2001
A profit warning from Nokia has shown yet again how bad the outlook is for telecoms firms. But a joint announcement by British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom promises to cut the huge cost of providing the next generation of mobile phones. This makes sense for them, but unless the deal is carefully regulated, it could hinder competition—and so ultimately be bad news for consumers.

Sanctions in Iraq
The New Republic June 15th, 2001
The United Nations isn't starving Saddam's people. Saddam is. The most striking proof that the sanctions themselves don't make Iraqis suffer lies in northern Iraq's public health statistics: "Infant mortality in the region is actually lower than it was before the United Nations imposed sanctions in 1990.

The Spreading Gloom
International Herald Tribune June 15th, 2001
The economic gloom weighing on the world's financial markets deepened Thursday after reports from Japan, Europe and the United States suggested a further downhill drift.

Hanoi likes what it sees, wants more
Asia Times June 15th, 2001
Foreign direct investment has played an increasingly important role in Vietnam's development. It has licensed US$36 billion worth of foreign registered capital since opening its doors to international funds, and foreign operating capital has hit $20 billion, or one-quarter of the country's total investment capital. Hanoi likes what it sees and the Ministry of Planning and Investment has announced a target of $11 billion more over the next five years.

Analysis: Philippines braces for slowdown
Asia Times June 15th, 2001
The hard-earned economic gains attained in the first few months by the new administration of Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are being eroded by ongoing volatility in the country and elsewhere. Analysts say the country must prepare for yet another difficult period of adjustments.

Sometimes It's Good to Be the Bank of Japan
Pesek Jr, W. (Bloomberg) June 15th, 2001
There's no better example of Japan's post-World War II economic miracle than its banks. These huge and profitable institutions rose from the ashes of the 1940s to dominate the global banking system in the decades that followed.

Consensus Grows Dollar Is Poised to Decline: Currency Outlook   Recommended!
Bloomberg June 15th, 2001
The dollar's 8 percent rally this year may be losing steam, as a chorus of critics from U.S. manufacturers to market analysts say the currency is as much as 30 percent higher than economic fundamentals support. A slide in the dollar this week from a 15-year high on Monday is one sign investors are becoming skeptical it can withstand a prolonged economic slowdown, even as the outlook dims for growth in Europe and Japan, analysts said.

EU Says Euro Curbs Exchange Fluctuations, Will Underpin Economic Growth
Bloomberg June 16th, 2001
European leaders said the euro is stimulating economic growth by eliminating exchange-rate swings within Europe, even though it has lost a quarter of its value against the U.S. dollar since its debut.

NATO, Arms Trade and the Men
The New York Times June 17th, 2001
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin discussed a world rapidly transforming itself from the world of their fathers.

An awfully big currency adventure   Recommended!
Keegan, W. (Guardian) June 17th, 2001
I did once work for the Bank of England, but there are times now when I think I am working for both the Bank and the Treasury - and this past week has been just such a time. Let me explain.

Confronting a New-Economy Reality
International Herald Tribune June 18th, 2001
The money pit that was once the telecommunications industry has become a yawning crater. Fueled by Frenzy, acquisition blunders Led to Nortel's $19 billion loss.

President Climbs in European Esteem
International Herald Tribune June 18th, 2001
President George W. Bush's week in Europe has won him a first installment of international respect as a coherent, nonconfrontational explainer of American policy. Still, the message coming from the president, with its blunt admonitions about Europe's future and its sense of U.S. oversight of the European Union, could hardly gain complete support.

Asia-Pacific PC market to remain healthy
Nua Internet Surveys June 18th, 2001
Computer shipments in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, should rise by 19 percent this year, despite the current slump in the US market.

Bright future for online gambling
Nua Internet Surveys June 18th, 2001
Datamonitor has forecast that US and European revenues from online gambling will soar to USD20.8 billion by 2005, up from USD6.7 billion this year.

U.S. Needs a Post-IMF Russia Policy   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Volcker, P. & G. Allison (Wall Street Journal) Jun 18th, 2001
Disengagement is not in our best interests.

Romania's Stock Exchange: What Went Wrong?
Smirna, T. (Mises Daily) June 18th, 2001
In post-communist Romania, the CNVM (National Stock Commission) was founded to be the sole regulator of the stock and capital market. Despite its promise to rigorously police the markets--or perhaps because of that promise--Romanian stock markets have experienced several crises in recent years. These crises have wrongly given rise to complaints about "unbridled capitalism" and the excesses of laissez-faire.

European Union's Bad Precedent on GE-Honeywell
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 18th, 2001
The probable rejection of General Electric's proposed acquisition of Honeywell International, Inc. raises serious concerns about the European Union's commitment to free trade.

Can Springsteen Weaken Dollar?   Recommended!
Pesek Jr., W. (Bloomberg) June 18th, 2001
Jerry Jasinowski bears little resemblance to Bruce Springsteen. Even so, it was tempting to envision the National Association of Manufacturers president singing 'Born in the U.S.A.' last week as he stepped into the glare of television cameras.

Monetary policy and financial markets   Recommended!
Issing, O. Jun 18, 2001
Professor Otmar Issing, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, gave a speech 'Monetary policy and financial markets' at the ECB Watchers Conference, Frankfurt, June 2001.

The Net in Africa
Foley, K. (Nua Internet Surveys) June 18th, 2001
Having been largely disappointed in the final report from the Digital Opportunity Taskforce or the dot force, I was thankful to receive the latest SANGONeT report on the status of the Internet in Africa. Unlike the dot force's report, this one was remarkably free of jargon, doublespeak and meandering pontifications about the digital divide.

Euro Zone Inflation Heats Up
International Herald Tribune June 19th, 2001
Inflation in the 12 countries sharing the euro accelerated in May to an eight-year high, according to reports Monday, lessening the scope for cuts in interest rates amid further signs that economic growth is slowing.

Nortel, Cisco and Others Command High Prices Despite Gloom
International Herald Tribune June 19th, 2001
The meltdown continues. And despite investors' hopes, it may not end soon. However, Nortel, Cisco and others continue to command high prices despite gloom.

The Philippines' Iron Rice Bowl
Dawe, D. & G. Castillo (Asian Wall Street Journal) June 19th, 2001
Import controls and subsidies on rice are hurting the island nation's poorest people.

One country, two planets
Asia Times June 19th, 2001
It is difficult to believe that not too many years ago North Korea was ahead of South Korea in economic development. Today, of course, the North lags way behind. This raises a question: when Korea is eventually reunited, how will the huge economic gulf be bridged, if at all?

Bank takes Asia to task
Asia Times June 19th, 2001
The poor state of the environment in countries in Asia and the Pacific region is the result, says the Asian Development Bank, "of weak enforcement of environmental laws, a lack of political will, corruption, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources for short-term gains, and limited funding". The bank, which does not have an environmental policy of its own, recommends governments integrate environmental policies into mainstream economic planning and management to improve the situation.

Hanoi invests in free trade
Asia Times June 19th, 2001
Free trade in the form of Afta will be a severe test for many Vietnamese industries, which will have to take on more efficient rivals from other Southeast Asian countries. The battle will be fought out both locally and across the region, and Vietnamese firms will either have to lift their games or lose market share. Recognizing this, Hanoi plans to invest more than a billion dollars this year to bolster domestic producers' competitiveness.

Megawati courts IMF
Asia Times June 19th, 2001
Indonesian Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri has encouraged newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Economy Burhanuddin Abdullah to continue efforts to improve relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that the country's burden will not increase.

US, EU Leaders Meet On New Round, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 23 June 19th, 2001

Details Released On China-US WTO Accession Agreement
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 23 June 19th, 2001

IPRs For Development Take Centre Stage At WTO
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 23 June 19th, 2001

WTO Links E-Commerce to Development   Recommended!
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 23 June 19th, 2001

Japan Seeks to Cool a Trade Clash With China
International Herald Tribune June 20th, 2001
The Japanese government scrambled Tuesday to avert a destructive trade war with China after Beijing's decision to slap punitive tariffs on Japanese cars, phones and air conditioners.

U.K. Chancellor Brown Speaks: Economic Reform and Euro
Bloomberg June 20th, 2001
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown speaks about the outlook for the U.K.'s possible entry into the European Monetary Union (EMU), economic reform in Europe and the U.K. and Europe's economic relationship with America. He speaks at the annual Mansion House speech to bankers.

Argentine Bonds Rise 2nd Day After Govt Increases Global Sale
Bloomberg June 20th, 2001
Argentine bonds rose for a second day after business leaders backed a new exchange rate aimed at making exports more competitive. Bonds also gained after the government increased a global bond sale by $300 million.

A Virtual Devaluation Is a Devaluation, Argentina
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 20th, 2001
Grammar school children have a joke that goes, "How do you drop an egg 100 feet and not have it break?" The answer is to drop the egg 200 feet. That, more or less, is the joke Argentina played on its creditors when it rescheduled its near-term debt through a swap arrangement at the beginning of June.

IfW Economist Sees German Slowdown Nearing Bottom, Newspaper Reports
Bloomberg June 20th, 2001
Germany's economic slowdown is near its bottom though it may continue if U.S. growth doesn't pick up, Joachim Scheide, head of economic research at the Kiel Institute for World Economics, or IfW, told a newspaper.

Turkey's Political Instability Puts Off Investors More Than Its Economy
Bloomberg June 20th, 2001
At lunchtime in the Umraniye shopping center in suburban Istanbul, office workers aren't spending much.

U.S. May Index of Leading Economic Indicators Rises, Reflects Confidence
Bloomberg June 20th, 2001
The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose more in May than in any other month in the last 1 1/2 years, suggesting the economy may pick up by the end of the year, an industry survey showed.

As the Hague Conference Diplomatic Conference ends, the Internet and the Public Domain are at Risk   Recommended!
Love, J. (Consumer Project on Technology) June 20th, 2001
Today the Hague Conference on Private International Law will end its first diplomatic conference on a new treaty to set the rules for jurisdiction for nearly all commercial and civil litigation. In a world where everyone is struggling to understand how to address jurisdiction issues raised by the Internet, this new proposed treaty imposes a bold set of rules that will profoundly change the Internet, and not only that. As drafted, it will extend the reach of every country's intellectual property laws, including those that have nothing to do with the Internet.

EU Finalises Bilateral Deal for China's Accession to WTO
European Commission June 20th, 2001
Following two days of negotiations in Brussels, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and his Chinese counterpart, Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng, announced today (20 June) that the outstanding bilateral issues between the EU and China with a view to China's accession to the WTO have now been resolved.

Tripping up on cheaper drugs
The Economist June 20th, 2001
A special debate on getting access to cheaper drugs has been forced by developing countries at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation. But the mechanism for them to obtain less expensive medicine already exists under trade rules. As South Africa, Brazil and other countries are discovering, it depends on how the rules are interpreted.

Argentina pegs out
The Economist June 20th, 2001
An announcement of a package of economic measures from Argentina, including one that mimics a devaluation of the currency, has rattled financial markets. Is the next emerging-market crisis taking shape?

Why America Won't Change Its `Strong Dollar' Policy
Pine, A. (Bloomberg) June 20th, 2001
Listen to American industrialists these days and you'll hear a litany of complaints about the value of the U.S. dollar. It's close to a record high against the currencies of America's trading partners, and that's intensifying competition from abroad and killing domestic exports, they say. Moreover, Washington seems not to care.

China turns up heat in trade row with 'risk to ties' warning
South China Morning Post June 21st, 2001
China's chief trade negotiator Long Yongtu has turned up the heat in the country's simmering trade row with Japan.

China takes tough stand with Japan-trade hit list
South China Morning Post June 21st, 2001
The trade war between China and Japan has intensified after Beijing said it would slap substantial tariffs on key Japanese consumer products.

Signs of a slowdown
The Economist June 21st, 2001
Evidence is accumulating that growth in all three of the world's largest economic areas is slowing sharply. And in all three, for different reasons, there are constraints on the use of a traditional weapon for fending off recession: interest rates.

The dirt on money laundering
The Economist June 21st, 2001
An international task force is preparing to add more countries to its list of money-laundering black spots. Its tough approach is beginning to have some effect.

That Japan-China trade row nonsense
Asia Times June 21st, 2001
Japan's latest protectionist actions against China are petty and stupid and fully deserve Beijing's ire and retaliation, and they put a huge question mark behind the political viability of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform drive. If Japan's economy is to be saved, domestically-oriented industries must be forced to improve and face competition, or go out of existence

The Trouble with Free Trade   Recommended!
Clark, G. (Japan Times) June 21st, 2001
Japan, for all its talk about the virtues of free trade, has now invited Chinese retaliation by imposing emergency barriers on the import of some farm products from China. And that could be only a beginning. Made-in-China clothing is sweeping the chain stores. Japan's towel-makers are conceding defeat. In much of Asia, cheap but good quality Chinese electrical goods are beating out the competition from Japan and other countries.

Comment: Although I completely disagree with this (and I have expressed this in a reply), the reprisal of protectionist rhetoric, especially by a president of a university, is worth noting. Mercantilism, unfortunately, is not dead.

Holding Rates Steady, ECB Defends Its Math
International Herald Tribune June 22nd, 2001
The European Central Bank insisted Thursday that despite a slumping euro, sinking economies and rising inflation its policies were sound and it had no intention of changing the way it managed the 12-nation economy.

U.K.'s 2-Year Euro Study Pleases Few Fans or Foes
International Herald Tribune June 22nd, 2001
Gordon Brown, Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, on Thursday laid out what he termed his "considered and cautious" approach to jettisoning the venerable pound in favor of the euro.

Fed Is Puzzled by Economy's Weak Response to Rate Moves   Recommended!
International Herald Tribune June 22nd, 2001
As U.S. economic growth remains stubbornly sluggish, some Federal Reserve Board officials are growing increasingly concerned that atypical developments may be blocking the effects of lower interest rates, which normally stimulate the economy.

The time for the euro may never be right
The Times June 22nd, 2001
City dignitaries and lesser folk were treated to two meaty speeches on Britain and the euro at a Mansion House dinner on Wednesday. Gordon Brown appeared to say nothing new on the subject of possible UK entry. To anyone who expected the Chancellor to choose a City audience to fire the opening shots in the euro campaign, however, this was terribly significant.

In the Giant's Shadow   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Wain, B. (Asian Wall Street Journal) June 22nd, 2001
How high a price will Southeast Asian nations have to pay for China's ascendancy to the WTO?

Oh, Those Vacuous Pronouncements on Currencies!   Recommended!
Baum, C. (Bloomberg) June 22nd, 2001
What exactly does it mean when a government official says he will condone or accept the outcome of a market-driven event?

A Not-So-Nice Trade War Between China and Japan
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 22nd, 2001
China has retaliated against Japan's trade policy by slapping a 100 percent punitive tariff on selected Japanese products including automobiles, mobile phones and air conditioners.

It's Greenspan's Fed, and Business Cycle Too
Pesek Jr., W. (Bloomberg) June 22nd, 2001
The U.S. business cycle is dead. Or at least that's what a good number of economists believed up until a year ago, just before the stock-market bubble burst and pulled New Economy enthusiasts kicking and screaming back to reality.

Brazil's Real Rises on Government Plans to Support the Currency
Bloomberg June 22nd, 2001
The Brazilian currency strengthened for a third day after the central bank said it would sell dollars to support the real in a bid to fend off inflation.

Argentina's Currency Plan Can Spur Economy, IMF Says
Bloomberg June 22nd, 2001
The International Monetary Fund backed Argentina's move to increase exports by creating a new exchange rate for trade, saying the system can pull the nation out of recession and doesn't threaten the peso's peg to the dollar.

Tit-for-tat as trade war grows
Asia Times June 22nd, 2001
Stepping up tension between Asia's two largest economies, China on Friday imposed 100 percent import tariffs on Japanese vehicles, mobile phones and air conditioners in retaliation for emergency import curbs Japan placed earlier in the week on Chinese imports of leeks, shiitake mushrooms and rushes used in tatami mats.

Do Plants Have More Genes than Humans?
Messing, J. (HMS Beagle) June 22nd, 2001
Plant gene sequencing yields some surprises.

Comment: Somewhat technical for the non-specialist, but the gist of the argument might be important for the future of biotechnology, in particular genetic sequencing of food products.

Japan's Real Sacred Cow Is the Bank of Japan
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) June 24th, 2001
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Thursday released details of his long-awaited economic reform plan. Bank of Japan Governor Masaru Hayami seemed to like the report. He referred to it as 'Reform without Sacred Cows'.

Spain Urges EU Supply-Side Push for Growth
International Herald Tribune June 25th, 2001
Countering the chorus of calls for lower European interest rates, Deputy Prime Minister Rodrigo Rato of Spain is arguing that the best way to bolster economic growth in the 12-nation euro zone is through "supply-side economic reforms", not rate cuts.

$4 Billion in Exports at Risk as WTO Rules Against Washington   Recommended!
International Herald Tribune June 25th, 2001
The United States has lost a trade dispute that could result in billions of dollars of punitive duties on U.S. exports to the European Union, according to industry and official sources.

Malaysia upstages Singapore, SAR on governance
South China Morning Post June 25th, 2001
Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong have the best corporate governance in Asia, a survey of foreign business executives in the region shows.

Of Mushrooms and Mobile Phones   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Asian Wall Street Journal June 25th, 2001
China shows the zeal of a convert in defending free trade.

Trying to Win a New Name Game
New York Times June 25th, 2001
Now that the dot-com distinction has been tarnished by the technology sector's decline, it is perhaps timely that two new suffixes for Internet addresses are on their way.

Korean Won to Step Out of Yen Shadow: Currency Focus
Bloomberg June 25th, 2001
The Korean won spent the first half of 2001 being pulled down by the Japanese yen. Money manager Desmond Soon says the second half may be different as Korea outstrips Japan in both exports and foreign investment.

China hits Japan where it hurts
Asia Times June 25th, 2001
In a move that has stung Japan, China will impose import tariffs on Japanese mobile telephones, airconditioners and cars. Beijing's latest move is in retaliation to Japan's decision in April to impose temporary curbs on some Chinese agricultural products. The selection of products represents Japan's most prestigious technological products and thus is a huge psychological blow to national pride.

Russia, Nauru and Philippines rapped for dirty money
Asia Times June 25th, 2001
The main international organization that fights money-laundering has issued its annual report blacklisting several countries for allegedly failing to cooperate with global efforts to stop the movement of dirty money. Primary among them are Russia, Nauru and the Philippines.

An online anarchist circus?
Foley, K. (Nua Internet Surveys) June 25th, 2001
Last week, the World Bank announced that its conference on globalization and poverty, which was to have been held in the Spanish city of Barcelona, would be held online instead. While it appeared to be promoting inclusiveness, in reality, the Bank was running scared.

E-Commerce Times: Online retailers finally reaching profit
Nua Internet Surveys June 25th, 2001
In a new report, McKinsey & Company says the age of profitability has begun in the world of ecommerce.

Counting the cost of AIDS
The Economist June 25th, 2001
Plenty of fine rhetoric will be heard at a special session of the UN General Assembly being held on June 25th-27th to consider the HIV/AIDS catastrophe. But so far pledges from donors to boost a global fund to help tackle the epidemic have been disappointing.

Bush Steps Into Thicket With Trade Negotiations Bill
Pine, A. (Bloomberg) June 25th, 2001
President George W. Bush has formally begun his campaign to win 'fast-track' legislation needed to launch a new round of global trade talks. He's already finding that it's a can of worms.

Debt sets record in Tokyo urge to splurge
South China Morning Post June 26th, 2001
Japan's government debt swelled to a record-breaking US$4.3 trillion at the end of March, pressured by the ballooning issue of bonds, according to the finance ministry.

Japan's Space Race: Its Capital Market   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Benes, N. (Asian Wall Street Journal) June 26th, 2001
Prime Minister Koizumi should champion a vision that helps Japan gain its place in the world of corporate finance.

ECB's Duisenberg Sees No Risk of European Economy Falling into Recession
Bloomberg June 26th, 2001
European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg rejected suggestions that a reduction in interest rates was needed to stop European economic growth from petering out.

Is the Euro club losing its lustre in the East?
The Times June 26th, 2001
Legal reforms in EU candidate countries are creating confusion and insecurity.

Go north, go west: growth poles in a reunified Korea   Recommended!
Asia Times June 26th, 2001
While nature has much to do with how and where industry grows, so too has politics, as clearly illustrated in the development of the Korean peninsula. And in a unified Korea, there is likely to be a continued division of labor, with the South keeping high-tech industry while the North does metal-bashing and consumer electronics.

WTO Looks At IPR Flexibility In Access To Medicines
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 24 June 26th, 2001

Brazil-US Reach Agreement in IPR Dispute
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 24 June 26th, 2001

ILO Leads Discussion On Trade and Labour
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 24 June 26th, 2001

Waiting for the Fed: Focus on U.S. Consumers
International Herald Tribune June 27th, 2001
As the U.S. Federal Reserve votes Wednesday on whether to cut interest rates, it confronts the grim prospect that only American consumers may be able to prevent the first simultaneous stall-out in a quarter century in the world's three biggest economies.

Beijing, Tokyo in contact on import dispute
South China Morning Post June 27th, 2001
Beijing says it is "in contact" with Japan about finding a solution to a trade dispute which has led the imposition of steep duties on imported Japanese cars, air conditioners and mobile phones.

Without Nice, There Can Be No Enlargement   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Prodi, R. (Wall Street Journal Europe) June 27th, 2001
The European Commission's president makes the case for ratification of the Nice Treaty.

EU and US Have as a Common Objective the Launch of a New Ambitious Trade Round
European Commission June 27th, 2001
Peter Carl, the European Commission's general director for trade and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Peter Allgeier , held a joint press briefing in Geneva June 25 after their meeting at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Both Carl and Allgeier emphasized that the United States and the European Union share as a common objective the launch of a new "ambitious" round of trade negotiations at the upcoming ministerial in Doha, Qatar. Carl characterized the meetings in Geneva as "part of a broader picture of the U.S. and the European Union developing or strengthening our bilateral relationship and focusing on what we have in common and what is most important for the long term." Allgeier spoke of a "growing convergence between us on issues of principle, on issues of organization, of substance and process." "We also see eye-to-eye with respect to certain basic principles such as the need for a balanced agenda for the inclusion of issues which are of sufficient interest to all members of the WTO," the deputy U.S. trade representative said.

Goldman's Kim: Fed Rate Cut Impact on Asian Currencies
Bloomberg June 27th, 2001
Sun Bae Kim, a regional economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., comments on the impact of the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut on Asian currencies.

Federal Reserve Cuts Overnight Rate to 3.75%, Cites Risk of More Weakness
Bloomberg June 27th, 2001
Federal Reserve policy makers lowered the benchmark U.S. interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the sixth reduction this year, to keep the U.S. economy out of recession.

Bush and Koizumi Unlikely to Talk Currencies
Pesek Jr., W. (Bloomberg) June 27th, 2001
Since taking office in January, President George W. Bush has done lots of talking about the economy. Growth, inflation, productivity, you name it. An issue Bush hasn't tackled is currency policy, all of which makes one wonder why foreign-exchange traders are losing sleep over his meeting on Saturday with Japan's prime minister.

Africa Takes the Lead at AIDS Meeting
International Herald Tribune June 28th, 2001
It was billed as a world assembly on AIDS, but by the time three days of sometimes tumultuous meetings ended Wednesday, the leaders of Africa had seized the moment and made this conference their own, united as never before in this crisis by the horrifying reality that the epidemic was beginning to touch them all.

Consensus at the ECB: Is It a Quixotic Quest?
International Herald Tribune June 28th, 2001
Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the Bank of France and a governor of the European Central Bank, provided a vivid lesson not long ago of how Europe's single currency has not produced a single economic viewpoint.

Westpac's Rennie on Euro, Yen, Fed, Australian Dollar
Bloomberg June 28th, 2001
Robert Rennie, senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp., comments on the prospects for the euro, yen, Australian and New Zealand dollars after the Federal Reserve reduced the benchmark U.S. interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the smallest cut this year. He also comments on today's Bank of Japan policy meeting.

Japan's Economic Crisis Needs Stronger Medicine
Hoagland, J. (International Herald Tribune) June 28th, 2001
The Japanese require politicians to be hardened optimists. Even prime ministers wield little real power in the office, which they are expected to give up after two to four years. To aspire to be a meaningful Number One-san is to choose hope over history. Japan's defeat in World War II soured the Japanese on political leadership strong enough to drag them into military disaster. They have granted their postwar leaders unlimited power only to spend money to reward voters. And that has now helped produce a financial disaster that is moving up Washington's list of urgent problems.

ADB sees lonely bright light on mainland
South China Morning Post June 28th, 2001
China remains the bright spot in an increasingly gloomy region the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday as it unveiled a raft of downgrades to growth estimates for economies across East Asia.

The Euro's Fall Is No Laughing Matter   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Laffer, A.B. (Wall Street Journal Europe) June 28th, 2001
No currency can fall as far as the euro has without inviting inflation sooner or later.

The Wash Cycle   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
The Asian Wall Street Journal June 28th, 2001
Global money laundering puts Asia through the wringer.

Is Asia Heading for 'The Perfect Storm'?   Recommended!
Pine, A. (Bloomberg) June 28th, 2001
When Asia's economies unexpectedly bounced back from the region's 1997-98 economic collapse, not everyone was sanguine about the good news.

Fools in need of institutions
The Economist June 28th, 2001
The next step in China's stockmarket reforms is to bring in investors who know what they are doing.

Older, wiser, webbier   Recommended!
The Economist June 28th, 2001
How firms can and should use the Internet: the greatest impact of the Internet looks like being found in old firms, not new ones.

Microsoft wins a battle
The Economist June 28th, 2001
In the long-running legal contest between Microsoft and American antitrust officials, a US appeals court has handed the company a significant victory. It has ruled against the break-up of the company sought by the government.

Microsoft Breakup Rejected on Appeal   Recommended!
International Herald Tribune June 29th, 2001
Microsoft Corp. won a significant but partial victory on Thursday when an appeals court overturned a decision to split it in two, but the panel upheld a ruling that the software company was a monopolist.

Euro Takes a Tumble as Stocks Rally in U.S.
International Herald Tribune June 29th, 2001
As a glimmer of economic hope flickered through U.S. financial markets Thursday, Europe edged deeper into gloom with the euro suffering its biggest one-day plunge in nearly six months.

China in the WTO: A New Member Will Mean New Problems
Bowring, P. (International Herald Tribune) June 29th, 2001
The last hurdles are being removed. China may be able to join the World Trade Organization in time for the crucial November ministerial meeting in Qatar. But this step forward is likely to make progress on other WTO issues even more difficult.

Gold exchange opens gate to mainland liberalisation
South China Morning Post June 29th, 2001
Shanghai has been given the go-ahead to launch China's first gold exchange, in a significant step towards liberalising the state-controlled market.

Deadly indifference
Asia Times June 29th, 2001
While leaders quarrel over stylistic flourishes in their air-con paradises, funds to fight AIDS are pitiful. Call it the indifference syndrome. Most of sub-Sahara Africa is in a sorry state of deadly decay, and Indonesia, along with the Philippines and Thailand, tend to be presented by the Western media as a collective basket case, while the Caucasus remain basically incomprehensible to the West. These are all indifference syndrome territories, this attitude might come at a very high cost.

BHP Billiton strides onto world stage
Asia Times June 29th, 2001
Goodbye to 'The Big Australian', long seen as the face of business Down Under, and hello to the biggest diversified mining company in the world. But there was little fanfare in Melbourne on Friday as Australia closed the page on a chapter of its history when business icon BHP formally merged its assets and management with Billiton Plc. BHP Billiton Ltd, valued at US$30 billion, now takes its position on the global stage.

Bangladesh: The most corrupt country in the world
Asia Times June 29th, 2001
According to Transparency International, we are today facing a "worldwide corruption crisis". The organization's yearly index showed that Asia as a whole rated poorly, a result that may discourage foreign direct investment. And Bangladesh earned the dishonor of being the world's most corrupt country, with Indonesia close behind.

Yen's 1st Gain in 6 Quarters May Be Exception: Currency Outlook
Bloomberg Jun 29, 2001
The yen had its first quarterly gain since December 1999 during the past three months. The rise may be its last until at least next year, analysts say.

Euro, Yen Won't Recover This Year's Losses: Currency Focus
Bloomberg Jun 29, 2001
The euro will recoup little of the 10 percent it's lost against the dollar this year, while the yen will weaken another 1 percent against the U.S. currency by the end of 2001, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Euro, Yen Seen Little Changed by Year-End: Bloomberg Survey
Bloomberg Jun 29, 2001
The euro will rise about 2 percent against the dollar in the second half of the year after dropping 10 percent in the first half, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, investors and traders.

Has the U.S. Created a Monster By Toughening the WTO?   Recommended!
Pine, A. (Bloomberg) Jun 29, 2001
Through much of the post- World War II era, the United States was frustrated with the way international trade cases were handled. The system was haphazard. Losers could block adverse decisions. Little was legally binding.

Why Are Japanese Officials Talking Up the Dollar?
DeRosa, D. (Bloomberg) Jun 29, 2001
All of a sudden, the Japanese are talking up the dollar. Or - from their perspective - talking down the yen. This could be the start of a significant move in the foreign-exchange market. But that would be just too easy. It could also be downright dangerous to bet against the yen.

First Two New Top-level Domains Become Operational
Computerworld June 30th, 2001
The .biz and .info top-level domains -- two of seven new ones approved for addition to the Internet domain name system -- were activated today after the U.S. Department of Commerce gave its go-ahead.

WTO hits barrier at Mexican standoff
South China Morning Post June 30th, 2001
Differences with Mexico have thrown up an obstacle in China's bid to join the World Trade Organisation, but Australia, Canada, India and Japan also have issues to discuss with Beijing, sources said yesterday.

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