eK0n0mi taK seriU$ d/h ekonomitakserius@blogspot.com

Maret 31, 2009

tetaplah mencintaiku: BAHKAN DR DOOM terSENYUM…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 4:42 pm

Nouriel Roubini Sounds, GASP, Positive About Economy!

Posted Mar 31, 2009 10:50am EDT by Henry Blodget in Investing, Recession, Banking

NYU professor Nouriel Roubini, you’ll recall, is known as “Dr. Doom,” the most famous of the handful of economists who actually predicted the current debacle. A few days ago, after a speech in Italy, he was quoted as saying he might see some “light at the end of the tunnel.”  And he repeats a similiarly non-apocalyptic outlook on TechTicker in our interview here.

To be clear: Roubini is NOT predicting an imminent recovery. He thinks that most economists are still way too bullish, that the stock market will retest its lows, and that unemployment will eventually rise over 10%. He just thinks that the quarter that is now ending, Q1, will be the worst rate of decline in the economy and that things will gradually stop deteriorating and then get better from here. yahoo finance

in fact, that he was smiling welcoming the new year of 2009 … his dire prediction on banking system on January was not realized … the rough journey is not over yet, but the sky is clearer and clearer … the black thick clouds are still around us … the light though is shining on us, piercing the clouds


Chart for DJ INDUSTR AVERAGE (^DJI)




Rabu, 01/04/2009 07:05 WIB
Maret Jadi Bulan Baik Wall Street
Nurul Qomariyah – detikFinance

Foto: Reuters New York – Sempat dilanda kejatuhan yang parah, bursa Wall Street akhirnya semakin membaik. Bahkan Maret ini menjadi bulan terbaik bagi Wall Street sejak Oktober 2002.

Di akhir perdagangan bulan Maret pada Selasa (31/3/2009), indeks Dow Jones ditutup menguat 86,90 poin (1,16%) ke level 7.608,92. Indeks Standard & Poor’s 500 juga menguat 10,34 poin (1,31% ke level 797,87 dan Nasdaq menguat 26,79 poin (1,78%) ke level 1.528,59.

Indeks S&P 500 selama Maret tercatat menguat 8,5%, atau terbaik sejak Oktober 2002. Namun secara total pada triwulan I-2009, indeks S&P 500 tetap tercatat turun hingga 11,7%.

“Saya tidak berpikir penguatan yang tajam pada Maret akan menjamin kita akan bisa melihat penguatan itu lagi selama sisa tahun ini,” ujar Brian Daley, pialang dari Conifer Securities seperti dikutip dari Reuters, Rabu (1/4/2009).

“Saya kira masih banyak pertanyaan dan banyak hal yang harus dilihat dari sisi bagaimana faktor fundamental akan memainkan perannya selama semester II. Dan itulah yang saya pikir akan difokuskan oleh investor kedepannya,” tambahnya.

Penguatan saham-saham di hari terakhir bulan Maret itu terjadi setelah sebelumnya Wall Street dilanda penurunan tajam. Penguatan saham-saham tetap terjadi meski data-data perekonomian masih tak bisa memberikan inspirasi.

Data terbaru adalah aktivitas bisnis di AS menyusut selama bulan Maret mendekati aktivitas di tahyn 1980. Sementara harga rumah anjlok tajam hingga 19% selama Januari.

Saham-saham sektor finansial yang sebelumnya melemah akhirnya rebound. Saham JPMorgan Chase tercatat naik 7%, Bank of America juga menguat 13,1%. Microsoft tercatat naik 5,1% dan memberikan kontribusi yang besar bagi penguatan Nasdaq.

Perdagangan berjalan dengan aktif, di New York Stock Exchange mencapai 1,64 miliar, di atas rata-rata tahun lalu yang mencapai 1,49 miliar. Sementara di Nasdaq, transaksi mencpai 2,20 miliar, di bawah rata-rata tahun lalu yang mencapai 2,28 miliar.

(qom/qom)

Global stocks set for best month in over 6 years
Tuesday March 31, 2009, 4:32 am EDT
By Dominic Lau

LONDON (Reuters) – World stocks looked set on Tuesday to achieve their best monthly performance in more than six years in March, while commodity prices also rose and the Japanese yen fell.

The MSCI World index (^MIWD00000PUS – News) strengthened 0.6 percent and was on course to record its biggest monthly rise since October 2002. But the global stock index is still down more than 12 percent this quarter after losing 22.7 percent in the October-December period last year.

“The macro landscape has been stabilizing, which has helped equities bounce back from historical lows. But to really improve market sentiment, we need to see the data improving and not just stabilizing,” Jacques Henry, analyst at Louis Capital markets in Paris.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 (^FTEU3 – News) index advanced 1.8 percent, and UK retailer Marks & Spencer (LSE:MKS.L – News) soared 10 percent after reporting a smaller-than-feared drop in fourth quarter underlying sales, lifting other embattled retailers.

The FTSEurofirst 300 is also up for the month, but still down more than 13 percent in the first three months of the year.

Tokyo’s Nikkei average (Osaka:^N225 – News) ended down 1.5 percent, even though the Japanese government is expected to include steps to buy shares from the market as part of its new economic stimulus package.

Japanese blue chips managed to gain more than 7 percent this month as the country’s financial year draws to a close, but were down 8.5 percent in the first quarter.

Japanese unemployment rose to a three-year high in February as a deepening recession put more people out of work, and Prime Minister Taro Aso was expected to outline a new stimulus plan on Tuesday, two days before world leaders gather in London to discuss ways out of the global crisis.

The yen also fell broadly, while the euro rose 0.6 percent to $1.3283.

Metal prices rose, and crude recouped some of the previous session’s 7 percent loss as stock markets edged up.

“Oil is being propped up by firmer stocks and a modest rebound in the euro versus the dollar,” said Michelle Kwek, an analyst at Informa Global Markets in Singapore.

Leaders from the Group of 20 rich and big developing economies will address a crisis that has felled major banks and cost millions of jobs as the world faces its biggest recession since the 1930s. Officials have already acknowledged the G20 summit would fall short of an overhaul of the world economy. U.S. and European leaders have also differed over whether more spending or more regulatory reform would be a better response to the crisis.

Government bonds were mixed. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose by 3 basis points but the euro zone benchmark 10-year bund fell by 1 basis point.

European credit indexes were little changed.

Australian central bank deputy government Ric Battellino said there were some signs that China’s $585 billion stimulus measures to bolster its economy were starting to work.

(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris and Fayen Wong in Perth; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Iklan

tetaplah mencintaiku: SELAMAT DATANG era baru…

Filed under: Terkait Saham BEI — bumi2009fans @ 9:39 am

Chart for Bumi Resources Tbk (BUMI.JK)Chart for Composite Index (^JKSE)

… laporan2 emiten cukup menolong penutupan bursa Q1 2009: positif di atas ambang  psikologis ihsg 1400: 1434 
Chart for Composite Index (^JKSE)
… bahkan sudah pernah berhasil melampaui PUNCAK IHSG (1437) di AWAL JANUARI 2009 (tgl 27 Maret, ihsg = 1462)… ini menunjukkan bahwa peristiwa 2008, yaitu ihsg tidak pernah melampaui puncak ihsg di awal januari 2008 (09 Jan 08: 2830) sudah tidak terjadi lagi … apakah ini pertanda baik? well, sulit memastikan … tapi kalo diliat tren pada Q1 ini jelas selama Jan-Feb adalah periode stagnan dalam tren bearish … masih mungkin terjadi lagi, yaitu stagnan di kisaran 1400 selama 2 bulan: April – Mei 2009 …

ekonomi tak serius: tetaplah mencintaiku: Maret aman, April?

 namun kalo diliat dari historisnya ihsg April dan Mei justru melampaui gain rata2 bulanan Q1 … nah, mana yang lebih kuat pengaruhnya … mungkin kah 2 April lalu dilanjutkan dengan 2 Juli (?), saat G20 berapat, bisa menjadi pendorong stimulus ekonomi sekaligus bursa saham global … well, kita liat aja dah
ekonomi tak serius: tetaplah mencintaiku: mo ikut BELI? buy opportunities…

catatan awal 2009: 

04/01/2009 – 10:42
Inilah IHSG di Awal Tahun 2004-2009!

(inilah.com/Wirasatria)
INILAH.COM, Jakarta – Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan (IHSG) pada awal tahun pada umumnya ditutup dengan sentimen positif pasar. Dalam 5 tahun terakhir (2004-2009) hanya sekali IHSG ini berada di zona merah pada setiap perdagangan awal tahun.

IHSG yang berada di zona merah ini terjadi pada perdagangan 2 Januari 2008 yang ditutup turun 14,316 poin (0,52%) ke 2.731,51. Saat itu semua sektor yang diperdagangkan terlihat anjlok kecuali Agriculture Index.

Sementara, IHSG 2 Januari 2007 naik 30,997 poin (1,72%) di 1.836,52. Semua sektor memperlihatkan kenaikan saat itu.

IHSG 2 Januari 2006 juga naik 9,075 poin (0,78%) ke 1.171,71. Namun untuk sektor-sektor consumer goods, Manufacture Index, Development Board Index, Mining Index, Miscellaneous Index, dan Trade and Service Index terlihat anjlok pada perdagangan saat itu.

IHSG 3 Januari 2005 naik 0,647 poin (0,06%) ke 1.000,88. Agriculture Index, Consumer Goods Index, Development Board Index, Finance Index, Mining Index, dan Miscellaneous Index anjlok saat itu.

IHSG 2 Januari 2004 juga mengalami kenaikan 12,605 poin (1,82%) di 704,5. Semua sektor terlihat naik saat itu.

IHSG 5 Januari besok, masih sulit diprediksi. Sepertinya, sentimen negatif dari finansial global, ditambah serangan militer Israel ke Palestina sepertinya akan sedikit mengguncang IHSG besok.

IHSG diperkirakan masih konsolidasi, naik turunnya tidak akan terlalu tajam. Diprediksikan invetasi asing juga akan berkurang di pasar modal karena masih terjadinya perlambatan ekonomi global.

Sentimen negatif pasar diperkirakan akan terjadi di sektor komoditas. [cms]

ekonomi tak serius: tetaplah MENCINTAIKU: buy opportunities in April … (m-ZERO-p)

ekonomi tak serius: Gw mo aneh dong….

BYE 28TH OCTOBER 2008?! :ekonomi tak serius: seharusnya ihsg juga ijo dong (-4% saat ini)

Berita Vesta
Inflasi dan Laba Emiten Guyur IHSG
Rabu, 01 April 2009

Jakarta
: Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan (IHSG) pada perdagangan saham Rabu (1/4/2009)
diprediksi masih akan mengalami penguatan dengan fokus pada saham tambang dan
bank.

Hal ini didukung oleh pengumuman inflasi Maret oleh Badan
Pusat Statistik (BPS) dan perolehan laba emiten 2008. Pergerakan bursa regional
dan global juga tak luput dari pantauan investor.

Pencapaian laba emiten yang baik terutama sektor tambang dan bank membuat
pelaku pasar percaya diri untuk kembali masuk lantai bursa.

Investor memperkirakan BI akan menjaga level BI Rate di tingkat rendah karena inflasi
Maret tidak akan jauh berbeda dengan inflasi Februari yang sebesar 0,21%.

Pada Rabu pagi ini, indeks saham Nikkei Jepang dibuka menguat 50,31 poin (0,62%)
menjadi 8.159,84. Sepanjang bulan Maret ini menjadi bulan terbaik bagi Wall
Street sejak Oktober 2002.

Di penghujung Maret ini pada Selasa (31/3/2009), indeks Dow Jones ditutup
menguat ke level 7.608,92 yaitu sebesar 86,90 poin (1,16%). Indeks Standard
& Poors 500 juga menguat 10,34 poin (1,31%) ke level 797,87 dan Nasdaq
menguat ke level 1.528,59 yaitu sebesar 26,79 poin (1,78%).

Indeks S&P 500 selama Maret membukukan penguatan terbaik sejak Oktober 2002
yaitu sebesar 8,5%. Namun secara total pada
triwulan I-2009, indeks S&P 500 tetap tercatat turun hingga
11,7%.

Pada Selasa (31/3/2009) IHSG ditutup pada level 1.434,074, naik 14,982 poin
(1,06%). (Ver02Detik.Fin)

tetaplah mencintaiku: investor EQ, investor Risiko Tinggi

Filed under: Investasi Reksa Dana di Indonesia 2009 — bumi2009fans @ 7:23 am

Aset Industri Reksa Dana Fortis Turun 20%
Selasa, 31 Maret 2009 – 13:34 wib
TEXT SIZE :
Ahmad Nabhani – Okezone

kalo bener aset total reksa dana Indonesia adalah Rp.74 T… well, masih lumayan bagus dong, padahal jelas dengan penurunan dahsyat NAB REKSA DANA BERBASIS SAHAM … artinya, telah terjadi KEDEWASAAN INVESTOR REKSA DANA YANG TINGGI … misalnya, dibandingkan pada saat kejatuhan reksa dana 2006, yang pernah anjlok lebih dahsyat dari Rp.100 T ke Rp.70 T … cukup bermutu para investor reksa dana Indonesia saat ini … well, kita liat aja dah
JAKARTA – PT Fortis Investments membukukan aset under management industri reksa dana perusahaan di tahun 2008, mengalami penurunan 20 persen atau tercatat Rp74,04 triliun, dibandingkan periode tahun sebelumnya Rp92,10 triliun.

Kendati demikian, industri reksa dana akan berpotensi kembali baik bilamana ada persepsi yang baik dari para investor terhadap kondisi ekonomi saat ini.

“Persepsi atau optimisme, sangat diperlukan bagi para investor,” ujar Presiden Direktur PT Fortis Investments Eko Priyo Pratomo, saat workshop dengan wartawan bertema belajar dari pengalaman investasi dari tahun lalu, di Jalan Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Selasa (31/3/2009).

Dia pun menegaskan, kinerja dan reputasi yang baik dari fund manager reksa dana adalah salah satu titik poin perhatian bagi para investor. Namun, sejauh ini, kinerja reksa dana di Indonesia mempunyai kinerja yang baik. Tak ayal, dia menilai pasar modal Indonesia bisa pulih dalam waktu tiga tahun ke depan.

Hal tersebut didasarkan hasil kunjungan di beberapa tempat ke beberapa investornya, yang tidak meyakini dan mengetahui akan risiko perlunya investasi jangka panjang.

Dia menambahkan, dana kelolaan Fortis Investment pada tahun 2009 tumbuh 20 persen, dibandingkan dengan tahun 2008 mencapai Rp13 triliun, dengan 16 mitra bank. (css) (ade)

tetaplah mencintaiku: gejolak SEMALAM…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:55 am

Selasa, 31 Maret 2009 | 07:26
SUKU BUNGA PINJAMAN SEMALAM
Suku Bunga Overnight Merangsek Naik

… dugaan gw: karena Maret adalah saat pelaporan pajak dan setoran pajak … tapi juga karena faktor inflasi gaji pns naik … juga mungkin terkait peristiwa mikroekonomi pada kenaikan harga sektor properti … atawa switching positioning pada perbankan yang tidak terlalu memburu BIRate yang akan turun mendekati 7% … pembayaran utang jatuh tempo juga bisa berpengaruh …

JAKARTA. Bunga pinjaman semalam alias overnight menggeliat naik di akhir triwulan pertama 2009. Mengutip Bloomberg, bunga overnight di Pasar Uang Antar Bank (PUAB) terus menanjak sejak pertengahan Maret. Bunga overnight sebesar 7,8% pada 12 Maret mengembang menjadi 8,23% pada 30 Maret.

Kepala Riset Ekonomi Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) Juniman menyebut beberapa sebab kenaikan bunga overnight ini. Di satu sisi, masih ada bank, terutama bank berskala menengah ke bawah, yang menilai likuiditas mereka belum aman untuk kegiatan operasional.

Penyebab lain bank mencari likuiditas adalah keinginan memperbesar penyaluran kredit. Tujuannya agar laba operasional bank tidak minus seperti di awal tahun. Namun untuk melakukan ekspansi kredit, tentu para bankir harus menambah likuiditas masing-masing.

Di sisi lain, bankir yang kelebihan likuiditas semakin berhati-hati dalam memberi pinjaman. Penutupan BPR Tripanca Setiadana oleh Bank Indonesia menjadi alasan baru para bankir untuk bersikap konservatif dalam menyalurkan kelebihan likuiditas. “Khususnya untuk pendanaan linkage program ke bank kecil,” kata Juniman.

Kepala Divisi Treasury BRI Basuki Setyadjid membenarkan, bunga overnight yang tinggi merupakan pertanda permintaan likuiditas di pasar kembali meningkat. “Tapi peningkatan ini hanya sementara. Ini gejala lazim di akhir bulan. Banyak penarikan sementara seperti penyetoran pajak bulanan oleh bank,” tutur Basuki.

Kepala Treasury BCA Branko Windoe menduga, pasokan dana di PUAB berkurang karena banyak dana yang pindah ke pasar sekunder Sertifikat Bank Indonesia (SBI). “Peralihan itu lazim terjadi di tiap akhir triwulan,” ujarnya.

Dyah Megasari, Arthur Gideon KONTAN

Maret 30, 2009

tetaplah mencintaiku: C 2 C…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 11:04 pm

 demo besar2an menyambut G20: CAPITALISTS = CRISIS

tetaplah mencintaiku: LEDAKAN HARAPAN-KEYAKINAN…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 10:57 pm

MARKETWATCH FIRST TAKE

Explosion of optimism

Commentary: Sentiment trends typical of bear-market rallies

By MarketWatch
Last update: 1:51 p.m. EDT March 30, 2009
ANNANDALE, Va. (MarketWatch) — During bear-market rallies, investors and advisers alike are particularly eager to jump on the bullish bandwagon.
Unfortunately for the bulls, that is an accurate description of what has happened since the stock market hit its bear-market low on March 9.
To be sure, this explosion in optimism over the last three weeks doesn’t automatically mean that the market’s rise is nothing more than a bear-market rally.
           Chart of $INDU
But it does increase the odds that it is, especially in light of the market’s weakness that began last Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU
Consider the sentiment index maintained by the American Association of Individual Investors, which is based on a weekly survey taken by members who visit the organization’s website.
That survey deserves special attention right now, since on March 5 it showed the highest level of bearishness in its 24-year history. That coincided almost perfectly with the March 9 market low and, per some contrarian analysts, sparked the powerful rally that ensued.
But this bearish percentage dropped precipitously in that rally. In just two weeks’ time, it was cut nearly in half, from 70.3% to 38.3%. The bullish percentage correspondingly jumped, from 18.9% to 45.1%.
This is not what typically has happened at past major stock market lows, according to contrarians. On those occasions, in contrast to today, pessimism and despair were so widespread and so stubbornly held that the new bull markets’ beginnings were met with a healthy dose of skepticism.
— Mark Hulbert End of Story … bullish period starts agaiN… 

MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2009
FEATURE
barrons
The Latest Bailout Moves: Finally Some Hope
By ANDREW BARY
Treasury offers investors chance for juicy gains by using — of all things — leverage as a lure.

Parsing the PPIP

WALL STREET MAY BE CHAFING at its treatment by a hostile Congress, but the Obama administration’s proposal last week to permit investors to buy as much as $1 trillion of bank loans and mortgage securities using plenty of cheap government borrowing looks like a bonanza to institutional investors. They could earn 30%-plus annual returns from what the Treasury calls its Public-Private Investment Program, or PPIP.

Menyambut Pasar yang Kian Semarak
Senin, 30 Maret 2009 – 10:21 wib
okezone

Artikel ini Disajikan oleh Tim BEI
Hanya lima hari. Tapi waktu yang singkat itu sangat berarti bagi investor atau pelaku pasar di Bursa Efek Indonesia (BEI). Investor seolah memperoleh seteguk air di tengah gurun pasir yang panas. Pelaku pasar yang haus capital gain karena memang jarang sekali menikmatinya pertengahan tahun lalu, tiba-tiba diguyur capital gain yang cukup berlimpah. Dalam waktu lima hari, sejak Rabu (18/3/2009) hingga Selasa (24/3/2009) suasana perdagangan saham di BEI memang berlangsung semarak. Investor melakukan jual beli dengan penuh suka cita.

Jika pada Selasa (17/3/2009) indeks harga saham gabungan (IHSG) BEI masih tampak lemah, tertekan hingga posisi 1.312,09 maka pada Selasa (24/3/2009) IHSG telah melompat ke level 1.436,11. Hanya dalam waktu lima hari bursa, indikator perdagangan BEI terbang 9,45%. Ini bukan angka yang kecil. Dalam waktu lima hari itu, investor saham di BEI seperti mendapatkan energi baru dan termotivasi untuk belanja sejumlah saham yang dianggap favorit.

Berbagai Faktor

Kenaikan harga saham yang memicu kenaikan IHSG di BEI itu memang tidak terlepas dari euforia yang terjadi di Amerika Serikat sebagi respons dari kebijakan pemerintah Obama yang akan membersihkan bank-bank di sana dari aset-aset yang dianggap kotor. Melalui kebijakan yang bertajuk, Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets, pemerintah Obama akan menggelontorkan dana segar senilai USD1 triliun. Kebijakan ini pula yang membuat pelaku di Wall Street meledak dan kembali memborong saham terutama sektor keuangan.

Sebelum rencana itu diumumkan, pelaku bursa sudah dilanda euforia. Harga saham dan indeks Wall Street melesat. Begitu kebijakan itu diumumkan, pada perdagangan Senin (24/3/2009) Indeks Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dan Standard & Poor’s melonjak masing-masing 6,84 persen dan 7 persen. Euforia di Wall Street itulah yang menjadi pemicu utama kenaikan indeks di BEI.

Namun, faktor luar negeri itu bukan satu-satunya. Menkeu Sri Mulyani menyebutkan kenaikan indeks di BEI dan kembalinya investor memburu saham karena kinerja keuangan emiten tidaklah seburuk yang dibayangkan. Ini terbukti pada laporan keuangan sebagian emiten yang sudah mulai dipublikasikan di media massa.

Tentu masih ada investor yang bertanya, sampai kapan suasana semarak ini terus berlangsung. Yang namanya pasar dimanapun selalu berlangsung dinamis, naik dan turun. Jika dalam lima hari tersebut harga saham dan indeks BEI melesat tajam hingga menembus batas psikologis 1.400, bukan tidak mungkin akan mengalami koreksi. Tapi yang harus disimak adalah tren ke depannya. Bagaimana kebijakan yang dilakukan negeri Paman Sam, yang menjadi sumber masalah terhadap krisis keuangan global selama ini, dan bagaimana rapor emiten yang sudah dipublikasikan.

Jika kebijakan pemerintah Obama mampu membangkitkan kembali ekonomi AS, maka suasana pasar yang semarak belum akan berakhir. Bagi investor, pasar yang semarak ini perlu disambut dengan sikap penuh optimistis, sehingga bisa menikmati capital gain. Semoga. (Tim BEI)

(//mbs)

ekonomi tak serius: CUS MDS (MANULIFE DANA SAHAM) Mar 2009

Kamis, 02/04/2009 05:20 WIB

DINAMIKA
‘Perlu konsistensi stimulus’

oleh :

JAKARTA: Kamar Dagang dan Industri mengkhawatirkan tindakan kementerian dan lembaga (K/L) yang terus mengubah-ubah usulan proyek stimulus infrastruktur sehingga jadwal realisasi stimulus fiskal 2009 berpotensi tertunda.

Ketua Komite Tetap Perdagangan Dalam Negeri Kamar Dagang dan Industri Bambang Soesatyo meminta presiden atau wakilnya memberi teguran keras kepada para menteri/pimpinan K/L yang masih mengutak-atik proyek berstimulus itu. “Ini membuktikan belum semua pejabat pemerintah punya sense of crisis,” katanya, kemarin.

Menurut dia, akibat perubahan itu banyak proyek yang terancam gagal dilaksanakan pada bulan ini karena harus dibahas kembali dengan Panitia Anggaran DPR. (Bisnis/16)

bisnis.com

tetaplah mencintaiku: OPPORTUNITIES are availABLE now…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 10:39 pm

US STOCKS-Wall St hits the brakes on autos, bank woes
Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:25pm EDT
* Autos slip as bankruptcy threat looms

* Banks fall on Europe bailouts, Geithner

* Dow off 3.3 pct, S&P off 3.5 pct, Nasdaq off 2.8 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to close)

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday as two major U.S. automakers took a step closer to potential bankruptcy, and a spate of European bank rescues heightened concerns over the financial system’s health, putting the brakes on a recent run-up.

In the latest efforts in its campaign to shore up the economy and struggling corporations, the U.S. administration forced out General Motors Corp’s (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) CEO, pushed Chrysler LLC toward a merger and threatened bankruptcy for both. For more see [ID:nSP207882]. The companies received a government bailout in December.

U.S banks’ stocks slid after Spain, Germany and Britain acted to bolster lenders as the sector felt the impact of rising bad loans, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said over the weekend, some banks still need large amounts of help. The KBW Banks index .BKX fell 10.3 percent.

“The biggest concern is what happens with the U.S. banks and do we have another round of losses to be realized, and I think that’s what’s taking the market down today,” said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust in Chicago.

“The problems that GM faces today in my opinion are significantly exacerbated by the recession and this is a reminder of the cost of trying to repair the economy.”

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI lost 254.16 points, or 3.27 percent, to 7,522.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX tumbled 28.41 points, or 3.48 percent, to 787.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 43.40 points, or 2.81 percent, to 1,501.80.

Before today’s sell-off, stocks had rallied around 20 percent after hitting fresh 12-year lows in early March.

Spain was forced to rescue its first bank since the financial crisis began and Germany and Britain also moved to prop up lenders, sending European markets down.

Geithner said on Sunday the government will have about $135 billion left after other banks give back some of the bailout money, but did not say whether he will ask Congress for more. [ID:nN29303541]

Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) slid 11.8 percent to $2.31 and Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) dropped 17.9 percent to $6.03.

The financials still have major, major issues,” said Bill Strazullo, partner and chief investment strategist at Bell Curve Trading in Boston.

“There are a lot of problems there that aren’t going to go away any time soon. These banks are going to continue to require assistance from the government.”

GM CEO Rick Wagoner, who presided over the company’s rapid decline in the past five years and had run the automaker since 2000, was forced out at the request of the government’s autos panel headed by former investment banker Steven Rattner.

GM shares tumbled 25.4 percent to $2.70, while shares of supplier companies also fell sharply as investors worried that a potential bankruptcy would send ripple effects through the entire economy. Shares of American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sank 22.2 percent to $1.37.

U.S. President Barack Obama tried to soothe investor nerves by saying the government did not want to run GM, but added that Wagoner’s departure reflected the company’s need for a new direction. [ID:nWBT010970].

Fellow automaker Chrysler LLC, owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity company, said it had reached an agreement on Monday on a framework of an alliance with Italian peer Fiat SpA (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that has the support of the U.S. Treasury. For more details see [ID:nN30349323]

Trading was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.51 billion shares changing hands, slightly above last year’s estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 2.04 billion shares traded, below last year’s daily average of 2.28 billion.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of more than seven to one, while on the Nasdaq, about three stocks fell for every one that rose. (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)

wsj:MARCH 30, 2009, 3:16 P.M. ET
Better Late Than Never? You Bet
Next month, American companies will undergo an unpleasant quarterly earnings confessional. April also will mark the 17th month of this recession, making it the longest since the Great Depression.

Yet many investors think it is darkest before the dawn: Since closing at its recent low point on March 9, the S&P 500-stock index has risen 21%. Proto bulls can point to more positive new-home sales and consumer-spending data. Meanwhile, Washington’s latest toxic-asset plan is, at least, a fleshed-out proposal.

wsj:MARCH 30, 2009, 3:32 P.M. ET
Oil Prices Tumble 7.6%, Erasing Recent Gains

wsj:RCH 30, 2009, 4:21 P.M. ET
Buyers Return to Treasurys
NEW YORK — Buying returned to Treasurys Monday afternoon after a brief bout of selling as worries about the health of U.S. auto makers and banks spurred safe-haven demand.

As a sign of rising risk aversion, U.S. stock indexes hit fresh session lows Monday afternoon amid uncertainty about the fate of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were down more than 3.2% for the session.

market watch: 

March 30 2009 6:52 P.M. ET

Investors take a ‘stress test’ 
Financials, autos lead declines; Dow’s down the most since Feb. 10

Obama says U.S. won’t let auto industry ‘vanish’
Shares of GM drop after government says bankruptcy may be needed

By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
Last update: 4:56 p.m. EDT March 30, 2009Comments: 717
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — President Barack Obama on Monday said a failure of leadership had brought General Motors and Chrysler to the brink of collapse and, while vowing not to let the U.S. auto industry disappear, warned that the government was prepared to force the two companies into bankruptcy to speed meaningful restructuring.

Selasa, 31 Maret 2009 | 07:33
BIAYA PENCADANGAN PERBANKAN
Perbankan Mulai Mempertebal Pencadangan

JAKARTA. Krisis keuangan menjadi alasan para bankir berhati-hati. Pengelola bank-bank besar menyiapkan biaya pencadangan dalam jumlah besar untuk mengantisipasi kerugian akibat krisis.

Kondisi ini terlihat di laporan keuangan 2008 dari beberapa bank yang dipublikasikan Senin (30/3). Pencadangan itu mengantisipasi kelesuan bisnis, terutama yang berorientasi ke pasar ekspor.

PT Bank BCA Tbk. termasuk bank yang gesit mempertebal pencadangan. Per akhir Desember 2008, nilai pencadangan BCA setara dengan 408,4% nilai kredit bermasalah alias non-performing loan (NPL), atau setara Rp 2,66 triliun. “Kenaikan pencadangan tak banyak karena pada akhir 2007 lalu, pencadangan kami sudah 351,6% atau sebesar Rp 2,215 triliun,” ujar Presiden Direktur BCA D.E Setijoso, kemarin.

Setijoso juga menampik anggapan cadangan yang besar berarti NPL BCA berpoptensi melaonjak. Ia mengingatkan, rasio NPL BCA per akhir 2008 jika dihitung gross hanya 0,6% dari total kredit.

Di PT Bank BNI Tbk, angka pencadangan juga cukup besar. Per akhir 2008, BNI sudah membukukan biaya pencadangan sebesar 101% dari nilai kredit bermasalah, atau senilai Rp 4,36 triliun. “Ini untuk mengantisipasi kondisi ekonomi yang tidak menentu,” kata Direktur Utama Bank BNI Gatot M. Suwondo.

Langkah serupa juga dilakukan oleh PT Bank Mandiri Tbk. Pencadangan di Mandiri sebesar Rp 2,59 triliun atau 127,1%. Direktur Utama Bank Mandiri Agus Martowardojo menjelaskan, pencadangan yang disiapkan oleh Bank Mandiri ini untuk mengantisipasi kredit macet yang kemungkinan akan meningkat tahun ini.

Laba masih kinclong

Meskipun telah menyisihkan hasil usaha untuk pencadangan dalam jumlah cukup besar, bank-bank tersebut mencetak laba bersih yang tinggi. Bank BRI mencetak rekor laba bersih tertinggi, Rp 5,9 triliun, naik 22,9% dibandingkan laba 2007.

Maklumlah, BRI menguasai pangsa pasar kredit mikro yang memiliki margin penghasilan bunga terbesar, yaitu 10,81%. Sementara rasio dana masyarakat yang tersalur ke kredit atau loan to deposit ratio (LDR) 79,9%.

Bank yang menghasilkan laba terbesar kedua adalah BCA dengan nilai laba bersih Rp 5,8 triliun. “Pemicu kenaikan laba bersih adalah pendapatan bunga dan fee based income,” kata D.E. Setijoso.

Tingkat LDR Bank BCA hanya pada kisaran angka 53,8%, atau meski naik sedikit dari tahun lalu yang hanya 43,6%. Tapi ini masih jauh di bawah angka rata-rata LDR industri perbankan yang mencapai 77% pada tahun lalu.

BCA memang tak mengandalkan penghasilan dari penyaluran kredit, melainkan dari layanan transaksi perbankan. Penghasilan fee based income BCA tahun lalu mencapai Rp 3,9 triliun.

Bank lain yang mengumumkan kinerja 2008 adalah Bank Mandiri. Bank plat merah dengan aset paling gemuk ini membukukan laba bersih Rp 5,3 triliun, naik 22,3% dari tahun sebelumnya. Agus mengklaim, laba tahun lalu terbesar selama 10 tahun Bank Mandiri beroperasi.

Bank plat merah lainnya yakni Bank BNI, pada akhir tahun 2008 juga mencetak laba bersih sebesar Rp 1,22 triliun. Angka tersebut naik sebesar 36,1% jika dibandingkan dengan laba tahun 2007 yang sebesar Rp 898 miliar.

Gatot menyebut, pemicu kenaikan laba bersih di tahun lalu adalah kenaikan pendapatan bunga. BNI berhasil menaikkan pendapatan bunga bersih atawa net interest income (NII). “Pendapatan bunga bersih kami tahun lalu mencapai Rp 9,91%,” kata Gatot, Selasa (30/3).

BNI juga mengklaim, berhasil memperbaiki margin bunga. Gatot menuturkan, sepanjang 2007 margin bunga BNI hanya 5%, sementara pada 2008 lalu, margin bunga melonjak jadi 6,3%.

Satu-satunya bank dalam kelompok lima terbesar yang menurun labanya hanyalah PT Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk. Laba bersih yang diperoleh Bank Danamon sepanjang tahun lalu melorot 28% dari Rp 2,1 triliun pada 2007 menjadi Rp 1,5 triliun tahun 2008. Meskipun begitu, laba yang ditorehkan oleh Bank Danamon masih cukup besar di tengah terpaan krisis.

Arthur Gideon, Dyah Megasari, Dian Pitaloka Saraswati KONTAN

tetaplah mencintaiku: wOrld currency On the way…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 10:35 pm

G20 not ready yet for new world currency debate

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:37pm EDT

By Brian Love – Analysis

PARIS (Reuters) – This week’s G20 summit will demonstrate how fast the balance of power is shifting from the old U.S.-led economic order toward emerging market nations, although it is way too early for a productive debate about a new world currency.

Beijing is pushing for more power in key institutions such as International Monetary Fund and, more dramatically, China and Russia are both saying it is now time to consider shifting away from a dollar-dominated world.

While the immediacy of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression may leave little room for conclusive discussion at the summit, Beijing and Russia have already opened the debate about a more fundamental shift in the global economic order.

In one sense, their timing is right, because the entire world is hit by a crisis that snowballed out of the United States.

In another, it is awful because nobody at the G20 summit really wants to fray financial market nerves any further.

“The rich countries are going to have to move over and make room,” says Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the Washington-based IMF. “It’s not a battle that’s won in two hours but it can start at this G20.”

Moscow has called outright for the G20 to start looking for alternatives to the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev renewed that call over the weekend.

“It is quite obvious that the existing currency system has not coped with the existing challenges,” he told the BBC in an interview, relayed by the Kremlin website. http://www.kremlin.ru

China, key because it is owner of the world’s biggest stock of foreign exchange reserves, went public with much the same argument in a speech delivered last week by central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan.

Does all that mean the idea will start to gain traction any time soon?

Not at the London summit in any case, it seems.

According to an aide of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, it will simply not be discussed by leaders, if only because the summit aim is above all to reassure scared financial markets and voters, not dent the dollar.

“It might be a good thing in the longer term but right now it is perhaps best the dollar doesn’t drop too much,” said the official.

As for the merits of a new reserve currency though, there is no shortage of economists who think it could make sense.

A UN panel published a report last week which said that an alternative reserve currency system based on the SDR, a unit of account used by the IMF, could help contribute to global financial stability and strength.

Indeed, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who headed the panel, believes such a replacement currency system could feasibly start to be phased in within as little as 12 months, even if he acknowledged that was unlikely.

Stephen Green, a China economist at Standard Chartered bank, says Zhou’s speech was a milestone.

“Whether or not the reserve currency question progresses beyond an intellectual debate, it’s clear that China has decided the time is ripe to become proactive in the debate,” Green said in an investment research note to his bank’s clients.

The problem is that despite reaching out to the emerging economic powers, the West is also in essence saying power imposes obligations and that means ‘pay up if you want to play up’, whether it is China, Russia, Brazil, or Saudi Arabia.

British prime minister and summit host Gordon Brown said as much during a G20 promotion pit-stop in New York recently.

Countries that had built up massive currency reserves, such as China, could afford to put them to better use, he said.

“We’ve got 7 trillion (dollars) of reserves around the world. Probably for the sake of financial stability you need maybe only half of these reserves. The rest can actually be far more effective in being used to get growth into your economies.”

“If we could find an insurance policy which guaranteed for these countries action in the event of their currency being in difficulty, that in my view would satisfy half the problem that is being raised by China and Russia,” he said.

(Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

market watch: 

China, Argentina to settle trade in yuan: Xinhua

By MarketWatch
Last update: 5:08 a.m. EDT March 30, 2009
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China and Argentina have agreed to set up a 70 billion yuan ($10.24 billion) currency swap system that will enable trade between the two nations to be settled in the Chinese currency, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.
The agreement, the largest ever between China and a Latin-American country, was signed Sunday in Columbia, Xinhua reported.
The agreement marks Argentina as the fifth nation to sign currency swap agreements with China following similar agreements with South Korea, Malaysia, Belarus and Indonesia. China ranks as Argentina’s second-largest trade partner.
Separately, China and Argentina are set to push for changes to the international financial system at the Group of 20 leader’s summit in London this week, Xinhua reported.
The two nations will seek a bigger representation of emerging nations at reform talks. The report did not specify what reform issues would be discussed. End of Story

tetaplah mencintaiku: O is On the way

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 4:09 pm

Coming down to earth

Mar 26th 2009 
From The Economist print edition

The president has had a bumpy ride in his first two months

Illustration by KAL
Illustration by KAL

TWO months after his inauguration, Barack Obama can already point to some impressive achievements. He has passed a $787 billion stimulus bill—the biggest in American history—and outlined an ambitious agenda for reforming health care and education, tackling entitlements and pushing “green” energy. He has also delighted his admirers at home and abroad by beginning to reverse George Bush’s policies on such controversial subjects as talking to Iran, global warming, the treatment of enemy combatants and stem-cell research.

Unfortunately, Mr Obama’s critics can also point to a striking record of failures. A startling number of his nominees for senior positions have imploded. The upper ranks of the Treasury remain empty in the midst of the most serious recession since the 1930s. Warren Buffett, an early Obama-supporter and a man legendary for holding on to stocks that he has backed, thinks that the president is taking his eye off the ball. Andy Grove, a former head of Intel, describes the administration’s performance as “ineffectual”. Even the commentariat, which swooned over Mr Obama’s campaign, is running out of patience.

Many of Mr Obama’s achievements have a Potemkin quality. He signed a $410 billion spending bill that contains 8,570 earmarks (directing funds to specific projects), despite his pledge to reduce the practice. His budget rests on unrealistic assumptions about America’s future economic growth and about the cost of his spending programmes. He throws out numbers like confetti: Peter Orszag, his usually impressive budget director, made a dismal job of explaining to Congress where Mr Obama intended to find the $634 billion “down payment” he promised for health-care reform.

Mr Obama’s erratic performance is partly the result of the rollercoaster world he finds himself in. Few presidents have come to power with as much political capital. Mr Obama beat John McCain by seven points. His party has majorities of 39 seats in the House of Representatives and ten in the Senate. The administration can also draw on the brainpower and political muscle of a powerful network of liberal think-tanks and pressure-groups that were formed during the Bush years. But this understates his strength. His election represented a turning point in America’s bitter racial history. It also possibly coincided with the end of a conservative era that began with Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980.

At the same time Mr Obama confronts an unusually difficult set of challenges. America is in the grip of a recession that is crushing jobs and reducing demand at an alarming rate. Some of America’s most famous financial institutions have collapsed. General Motors is on the verge of collapse. The unemployment rate, which is already 8.1%, could hit double figures. The American political system is arguably more dysfunctional than ever, with the parties heavily polarised and the 24-hour-news cycle magnifying bad news.

All this means that Mr Obama’s first two months in office are difficult to evaluate. But a few things seem pretty clear. This is a strikingly ambitious president: he wants to be “transformative” in more than just the sense of being the first black president. But so far his presidency has been vitiated by a combination of incompetence and a willingness to fall back on the very tactics that he denounced as a candidate. Indeed, his desire to be “transformative” may be contributing to his problems, distracting him from the economic crisis.

Mr Obama has already outlined the most ambitious agenda for transforming America since the Reagan revolution: proposing universal health care, expanding the role of the federal government in education, tackling global warming and reducing America’s growing inequalities. This has ignited a fierce debate about his ideology. Is he an unreconstructed liberal who will provide the left’s answer to Ronald Reagan? Or is he a New Democrat, as he himself claims? The answer is probably a mixture of the two. Mr Obama is a pragmatic liberal, more confident about big government than Bill Clinton’s New Democrats, but less wedded to liberal solutions than many of the old lions in his party.

He has spent his career, apart from a year or so in business consultancy, in the non-profit sector, first as a community organiser and later as a rising politician. In his memoirs he often speaks disparagingly about the private sector. He draws some of his keenest support from trade unions and liberal pressure-groups. The most influential think-tank in Mr Obama’s Washington, the training ground for many of his top appointees, is the Centre for American Progress, funded by liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Peter Lewis.

But the president also has a pragmatist’s suspicion of ideology. Some of the most prominent figures in his administration are centrists. Kathleen Sebelius, his prospective health secretary, was a popular governor of Kansas, one of the country’s most conservative states. Larry Summers, his chief economic adviser, is a famous gorer of liberal ones. Cass Sunstein, his regulation tsar, argues that the government should use market incentives to “nudge” people rather than bludgeoning them directly.

Mr Obama certainly plans to increase taxes on the rich—but only to their level during Mr Clinton’s administration, which presided over the high-tech boom and a surge in the small-business sector. Mr Obama wants to reform the health-care sector. But he prefers to supplement the private system rather than replace it with a “single-payer” national health service; many of his supporters are business people crushed by the cost of health care. He wants to increase the role of the federal government in education. But he also speaks eloquently about introducing more merit pay and creating more charter schools. “The resources come with a bow tied around them that says ‘reform’,” argues his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The administration’s nervousness about old-fashioned liberalism has contributed to its hesitancy in dealing with the banking crisis. Rather than simply “nationalising” the weakest banks and taking over their bad debt, it has preferred to create an elaborate system of incentives for private investors.

If his domestic policy is a mix of pragmatism and liberal ambition, his foreign policy is a mixture of pragmatism and liberal caution. He has revised the legal regime governing al-Qaeda terrorists, put an end to brutal interrogations and promised to close down Guantánamo Bay, to the delight of the anti-war left. But otherwise his policy is characterised by a combination of realism and caution. Realism when dealing with other powers: he has signalled to the Chinese that he will not make a fuss over human rights, and to Arab rulers that he will take a more balanced approach to the Middle East. Caution when it comes to unwinding the “war on terror”: he has rethought his campaign promise to withdraw America’s troops from Iraq in 16 months, is increasing America’s military presence in Afghanistan and is stepping up strikes into Pakistani territory.

The biggest surprise of Mr Obama’s first two months has not been his policy preferences (most of which he advertised), but a certain lack of competence. The man who earned the sobriquet “No Drama Obama” for running such a disciplined campaign has, since coming to office, slipped on one banana skin after another.

He has lost a remarkable number of nominees: two potential commerce secretaries, Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg; a health secretary-cum-health-reform tsar, Tom Daschle; a chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer; and a head of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman. This has clouded his administration’s claims to ethical purity, not least because two of the nominees, Mr Daschle and Mr Killefer, had tax problems. It has also contributed to the sense of chaos.

Mr Obama is paying a heavy price for securing the nomination of his treasury secretary, Tim Geithner. Mr Geithner’s tax problems meant that the White House had to be super-scrupulous in vetting other Treasury figures. He was uncertain in his early public appearances and slow to produce a plan for sorting out America’s banks. Mr Obama’s confidence in him may at last be paying off; his plan for buying “toxic assets”, released this week, sent the markets soaring, he gave a confident performance before Congress, and the senior ranks of his department are now beginning to fill up. But it would have been nice not to have waited so long for the Treasury to start firing on all cylinders.

The Obama administration has also made a long list of smaller mistakes. Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, ought to be one of Mr Obama’s closest allies in fixing the global financial system, for both ideological and historical reasons. But Mr Obama badly mishandled his meeting with Mr Brown, giving him no more than half an hour and presenting him with a gift of a job lot of DVDs which do not even work in Britain. The G20 meeting in London is the first get-together of all the big industrial countries since Mr Obama came to office. But the administration’s preparations have been cursory.

Many of Mr Obama’s mistakes stem from a single strategic miscalculation: he is trying to do too much too quickly. The financial crisis would overwhelm any administration, let alone one that is still trying to fill key jobs. But Mr Obama has chosen this moment to tackle a collection of problems, such as health care and environmental regulation, that have defeated much less overburdened administrations.

The administration advances two justifications for this, one substantive (you can’t fix America’s economy without also dealing with its long-term problems) and one political (“Never waste a good crisis”). The American economy will certainly be stronger if the country can tame its health-care costs. But health-care inflation has nothing to do with the financial crisis. The problem with never wasting a good crisis is that you alienate potential supporters, particularly Republicans, and risk overloading the system. “Mr Obama likes to say that presidents can do more than one thing at a time,” remarks Peggy Noonan, a Reagan speech writer, “but in fact modern presidents are lucky to do one thing at a time, never mind two.” It is worth remembering that Mr Obama’s idol, Franklin Roosevelt, introduced a broad reform agenda only after he had gained credit for tackling the banking crisis.

There is plenty of evidence that the administration is much too thinly stretched. David Smick, a consultant, argues that Mr Obama has a three-pronged approach to the crisis—“delay, delay, delay”. He announces grand plans only to stint on the details. He promises budgetary discipline only to put off the hard decisions until later. The president pops up with a speech excoriating AIG bonuses (“I am angry”) but fails to explain the thinking behind his economic programme. Mr Buffett has given voice to widespread worries about the administration’s failure to prioritise. “Job one is to win the war, the economic war. Job two is to win the economic war—and job three. And you can’t expect people to unite behind you if you’re trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throat.”

Mr Obama’s decision to announce a big-spending budget just when he is spending billions to rescue the financial system has also reinforced worries about America’s fiscal situation. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that some of Mr Obama’s social policies will be more expensive than the White House claims, and that the economy will grow more slowly. The deficit will be $9.3 trillion over the next decade, averaging 5.3% of GDP a year. Mr Orszag concedes that such a number would be unsustainable.

Almost as striking as the contrast between Mr Obama’s soaring ambition and his frequent incompetence is that between his promise to elevate politics and his willingness to continue with politics-as-usual. All presidents run for office promising to change Washington and end up becoming its captives. But few have reversed themselves as quickly as the Hope-meister.

Take bipartisanship. It is true that Mr Obama has made some bipartisan appointments, keeping Robert Gates at the Pentagon and giving transport to Ray LaHood. He made concessions in stimulus negotiations, and has invited a few Republicans over for cocktails. But his bipartisanship has been mostly of the George Bush variety: he is quite happy for his opponents to endorse his policies.

He has surrounded himself with hardened Democratic “pols” such as Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, and David Axelrod, his campaign strategist-turned-senior adviser. He has filled the top levels of his administration almost exclusively with people from the world of government: a former senator (at State), two former government officials (Treasury and Defence), two former governors (Health and Homeland Security). David Ignatius of the Washington Post points out that this administration is “as thin on business experience as a Hyde Park book club”. This not only limits the range of advice he can hear and the experience he can draw on. It also makes it even more difficult to prevent panic on Wall Street or Main Street.

Illustration by KAL
Illustration by KAL

Mr Obama is now enthusiastically engaged in something that he foreswore as a candidate: the art of the permanent campaign. Senior White House advisers meet every Wednesday night to plot political strategy. Mr Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, is e-mailing millions of Obama supporters to encourage them to put pressure on their congressional representatives to pass the budget. Mr Obama gives a striking share of his set piece speeches in swing states. The Obama team has repeatedly suggested that the Republicans are a party of “no” who owe fealty to Rush Limbaugh, a polarising talk-radio host. In other words, Mr Obama is squandering his political capital doing exactly what Mr Clinton did so often in his presidency: justifying his mistakes, trying to get the better of the 24-hour news cycle, and demonising opponents.

Mr Obama’s decision to restart the campaign engine is a sign of his administration’s troubles. It is desperate to distract attention from the fact that it has broken some of its promises. It is determined to manage the anger stirred up by the huge bonuses paid to various AIG honchos. It is also desperate to make sure that the Republican Party cannot make too much political capital from the chaos at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The result is a downward spiral: the more Mr Obama fails, the more he resorts to the permanent campaign, and the more he resorts to the permanent campaign, the more he becomes just like any other president.

To add to the impression of business as usual, Mr Obama is continuing the long-standing trend of amassing ever more power in the White House. He has appointed a clutch of powerful White House-based tsars to oversee Cabinet offices. These tsars have no accountability to anybody but Mr Obama. They have every incentive to engage in empire building and turf wars. For example, Jim Jones, the national security adviser, is redefining the role of the NSC to oversee everything from traditional foreign policy to climate change. American liberals complained bitterly about the Bush administration’s politicisation of intelligence. But Mr Obama has arguably taken this politicisation to new heights by appointing Leon Panetta, a Democratic loyalist with no roots in the intelligence world, to oversee the CIA.

The president cannot yet be described as a failure. It is still early days. America’s political system, unlike Britain’s elective dictatorship, is designed to be frustrating. Power is divided. Congress uses its position to inject bloat into legislation. Presidents ricochet between success and failure. At this point in the election cycle Mr Clinton was embroiled in the gays-in-the-military fiasco and John Kennedy was heading towards the Bay of Pigs.

The confirmation process has been getting ever longer and more traumatic. Every recent president has seen presidential nominees flame out in disgrace. Polarisation has intensified. The recession raises questions that go to the heart of the ideological division between the parties: should you resort to Keynesian stimulus or Schumpeterian creative destruction? Should you bail out people who have borrowed too much money or let them sink? Even a president who had worked hard at bipartisanship might have been undone by these divisions. Mr Obama’s approval ratings remain in the 60s, despite the pressure of a global crisis, and the Republicans remain unpopular and rudderless.

… wsj: MARCH 30, 2009, 4:34 P.M. ET

Rick Wagoner can take some comfort in his ouster from the top job at General Motors. At least there is now no possibility he will preside over the bankruptcy of a 20th century American icon.

For despite the 60-day stay of execution granted GM by the administration, a Chapter 11 filing remains a distinct possibility, as the auto task force stated explicitly Monday.

During the election campaign Mr Obama was frequently slow to respond to crises. Then, just when his supporters began to despair and his opponents began to smell blood, he would pull himself together and rise to the occasion. Mr Obama has been slow to get the full measure of the presidency. He has failed to establish firm priorities, and has all too often let events dictate his agenda. All in all, his performance has looked shaky. But at last this week there were signs, when he revealed his bank bail-out plan, that he is starting to do what he did so often during the campaign: justifying the enormous faith that has been put in him.

tetaplah mencintaiku: mo ikut BELI? buy opportunities…

Filed under: Contrarian Strategy — bumi2009fans @ 1:45 pm


ekonomi tak serius: CUS MDS (MANULIFE DANA SAHAM) Mar 2009
ekonomi tak serius: tetaplah mencintaiku: Maret aman, April?… karena keberuntungan gw, maka setelah profit taking pada puncak ihsg minggu lalu, maka sekarang TIME TO BUY SEMAKIN DEKAT … mau ikutan? … tampaknya saham2 perbankan dan tambang memimpin pembalikan arah … apakah besok juga? biasanya tema kenaikan atawa penurunan jarang berlanjur dari hari ke hari … liat aja dah

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