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Powell Endorses Obama, Faces Attacks

Just a day after endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has been criticized for not agreeing with GW Bush’s decision to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait militarily., an online publication calling itself a platform for free minds and free markets, takes a swipe at Colin Powell for his criticism of the Iraqi war and for his failure in mobilizing international support for a UN-backed resolution in favour of attacking Iraq.

When he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he opposed George H.W. Bush’s decision to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait militarily, even though the decision was ultimately a sound one. At the end of his term as chairman he advocated a disastrous U.S. operation in Somalia, contradicting his own near unworkable conditions for overseas intervention, the so-called “Powell Doctrine.”

But that seem to be besides the point. The major criticism seems to be caused by Powell’s last minute endorsement, which many feel has only come because the outcome is certain.

With $150 million from his September fundraising, a sure victory should be in sight.



The Audacity of Hope: Obama Does It Again, Raises $150 Million In September


Hello there,

It’s been a heated season for democratic presidential Barrack Obama and his rival John McCain. News that Barrack Obama has raised $150 million from his supporters has raffled feathers in the political establishment.

I am happy Barrack Obama had a fantastic September, with a record amount from his supporters. There is nothing in life as refreshing as seeing the man or candidate of one’s choice ding so well.

That Obama fever has swallowed Kenya, with a Member of Parliament saying that an airport should be ready by 2010, just in case he intends to visit when he becomes US president.

I mean, Obama is just amazing and charming, isn’t he? His controlled temperament has become the subject of press discussion and coverage.

Who, asks CNN, is better prepared to control his temper when voted president? Obama’s cool character and humour is being sighted as one attribute that fits into the jobs demands.

October 24, 2008: Zambia Turns 44….Let’s Celebrate!!!!

Good luck and happy Independence Day on October 24 when Zambia turns 44.

What have the youths achieved? Has the government kept any promises to the youths? You judge.

All I can say is that the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission needs to refocus its objectives. We hear commercial banks, even those that are not small business friendly, have been chosen to disburse funds to eligible citizens.

The criteria, despite several claims of fairness and uniformity, still goes back to the usual bureaucracy that Zambians experience in banks everyday.



Globalization means vulnerability for financial stocks, industry


Recent reports that Iceland’s Glitnir Bank has been taken over by is testimony of the fact that, with globalization, not all of it is pro-growth.

Sometimes it can mean chaos for its players. The Icelanders are now locked in bitter relations with the Gordon Brown government after the British government seemed to be moving towards freezing assets of Icelandic companies.

As that was going on, a bitter feud between Wells Fargo and Citigroup ended with Wells Fargo taking over Wachovia, a troubled industry mate.

In a row that has been running from last week, Vikram Pandit, Citigroup’s boss, has been keen to make a breakthrough in acquiring branches of ailing Wachovia, giving his bank greater access to the latter’s retail banking customers. That dream now seems shattered.

Despite rumours of a looming $60 billion lawsuit, it seems Citigroup will end up dropping the suit against Wachovia, considering that Citigroup’s bid would have been effective only with the backing of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

With the public angry that banks are getting federal support to finance losses, Wells Fargo ability to secure the Wachovia deal seems to have been the best available option ever.  Together, Wells Fargo and Wachovia will have $1.42 trillion in assets, 48 million customers and 280,000 employees.

Europe Falls Victim to Global Crisis; Financial Institutions Seek Govt Support

As US Congress reached an agreement over a $700 billion dollar financing package, European governments rushed in to avert a crisis, injecting billions of dollars into the banking sector.

Iceland agreed to buy a 75 per cent stake in Glitnir Bank hf at a cost of 600 million euros. The European Central Bank extended a special facility for banks to access additional through ‘special’ auctions.

In the UK, the growing anxiety in financial markets stability was reflected in the government’s acquisition of the biggest lender to landlords, Bradford & Bingley Plc.

This is an indication of the volatility of the world’s financial market, despite what is seen as a globalised international trading system.

Mamoun Tazi, an analyst at MF Global Securities Ltd. in London, says a precarious global environment means the weakest links in Europe are now falling. He cautioned that if banks continued lending to each other, failures would continue.



Accusations of “Lies, Calumny & Bribery” to End after Court Injunction

Despite a heavy campaign schedule and accusations that his party bribed New Revolution Party members to endorse his candidacy, there is relief for acting president Rupiah Banda.

A High Court judge has ruled that “The Post” newspaper can no longer carry libelous articles about the MMD’s presidential candidate. The Post newspaper has hitherto enjoyed unrivalled privilege in describing the acting president with all possible words under the sun.

In one instance, he’s been called a Judas Iscariot, a liar, a man unfit to run the country.

The ruling is a complete departure from the everyday attacks he’s been subjected to

Societe Generale shocked by employee

We have all read and heard about Jerome Krievel, the lone banker who traded in so-called ‘vanilla options’ and established a parallel system away from the bank’s risk management system, costing the bank over $7.4bn in losses.
The bank’s chairman and CEO, has said the losses are ‘totally unacceptable’.
These are lessons the banking industry will never learn: After Amaranth’s big crash, there was a general feeling this was the end of it.  Until Steve O’Neill, the former Merrill Lynch CEO who was shown the door when Merrill took over $7.9bn write-downs, $2.4bn higher than was earlier predicated.
“The bottom line is we got it wrong by being over-exposed to sub-prime mortgages,” he said. “I am accountable for the mistakes as I am accountable for the performance of the firm overall and my job, our job, the leadership team’s job, is to address where we went wrong.” said O’Neill
Recent reports indicate Krievel’s residence has been searched, probably for whatever evidence the police can find for any signs of connivance. There are indications Jerome did not lead a life of glamour or brilliance. 
Until control measures move to be hands-on and practical, such crises will continue to rock the finance industry. 
The French president Nicolas Sarkozy has stepped in, saying France’s banking system is intact.

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