Oct 20, 2008|
Buffett buys stocks, Bush calls for ideas
China slows on global worries
China is starting to slow down or so it seems. The country's GDP grew by 9% YoY in the July-September quarter, the slowest pace in five years. Bloomberg mentions that this underscores concerns that the spreading financial crisis threatens the economy that has been the biggest contributor to global growth over the past few years. China's growth in the second quarter (April-June) and first half (January-June) stood at 10.1% and 10.4% respectively.
Economists now expect Chinese policymakers to cut interest rates to stimulate the economy, especially by way of investment in infrastructure. China has in fact already cut rates twice in this year. Considering that China remains the world's biggest consumer of metals and food grains, its growth is very critical for boosting the world economic growth, especially that of its Southeast Asian peers who have grown strongly over the past few years by exporting their produce to China.
In the meanwhile, the country's stock markets are currently trading weak, down over 1%. Other Asian markets are trading mixed with gains being seen in Hong Kong (up 3%) and Japan (up 0.5%). Crude oil is currently trading under US$ 72 a barrel. Gold is down to US$ 797 an ounce.
Buffett's buying stocks, Bush's calling for ideas
Warren Buffett, in an article he wrote for The New York Times last week, has indicated that he is buying American stocks in his personal account. He says, "If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be 100% in United States equities." Of course, he has issue the usual warning that he is not sure where stocks are headed in the short term.
Another American who is turning heads these days - President George Bush - has indicated that he plans to organise a global conference for discussing the current financial crisis, where leaders from both developed and developing countries would be included. As reported on Bloomberg, the conference agenda will include ideas on how to prevent future crises in a way that preserves the free-market system. Mr. Bush talks about ideas for preserving the foundations of 'democratic capitalism'!
How ironical can that get? The man under whose aegis the US central banking regulators saw and perpetrated the ongoing financial crisis in the first place now wants to know from the world where he went wrong! And this is coming when his presidential term is about to end in a few months.
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