September 30, 2009
All-Electric Navistar Truck Unveiled on Capitol Hill
• Navistar Developing Clean Transportation Technologies.
Photo: At the U.S. Capitol today, U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), on right, inspects Navistar Inc.'s zero emissions, all-electric delivery truck designed for maximum efficiency in urban environments. With help from a $39 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Navistar Inc. initially will build 400 of these clean technology trucks at its facility in Elkhart, Indiana, and expects to be producing several thousand trucks annually within a few years.
Today, members of the U.S. Congress were shown an all-electric commercial truck from Navistar, Inc. that does not depend on oil.
With the help of a $39 million U.S. Department of Energy grant announced by President Obama in August, Navistar will build these high technology trucks, designed for maximum efficiency in urban environments.
Navistar intends to build 400 all-electric delivery trucks in 2010 at its facility in Elkhart County, Indiana, and expects within a few years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually as the market grows.
"The all-electric commercial truck is a concrete example of advanced technology that will be swiftly brought to market with government incentives, just like diesel-hybrid trucks and school buses," said Greg Elliott, senior vice president, Navistar. "We must continue to invest together for the next generation of advanced vehicles with innovative aerodynamic design and greater hybrid and electric market penetration across the nation."
This zero tailpipe emission electric commercial truck is the latest of Navistar's green vehicle advancements.
Navistar International Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans.
September 29, 2009
Equity Analytics: Mergent Announces Launch of Next Generation Platform
• Mergent Inc., in partnership with financial industry veterans Jeff McMains, CFA and Chris Rowberry, CFA have formed Intrinsic Research Systems, Inc. to provide next generation equity analytics applications and databases to the institutional investment management community.
• The Intrinsic Research platform will make its debut at the CFA Institute's Equity Research and Valuation Conference on December 3, 2009 in New York.
According to Mergent, Intrinsic is a desktop research application that is designed to help investment management professionals improve their equity research, portfolio management, economic analysis, and investment strategy decision-making processes.
"Buy-side portfolio management and equity analysis workflow requirements are the building blocks for the design of the powerful yet easy-to-use Intrinsic Research platform which includes an add-in for Microsoft Excel," informs Mergent Inc. "The platform has been built from the ground up, utilizing the latest smart client technology to enhance the end-user experience and simplify IT deployment. Robust graphical valuation analysis capabilities form the cornerstone of the Intrinsic application suite. Intrinsic's integrated central database of clean and deep company, industry, sector, economic and quantitative data has been specially constructed to highlight both short-term and long-term valuation and growth trends."
In addition to fundamental analytics, Intrinsic offers integrated access to various equity analysis modules for quantitative, economic, and technical analysis as well as screening, scoring and report-writing capabilities.
"We are excited to bring to market a dynamic application that covers all aspects of the equity selection process," says Jeff McMains, CFA. "Our clients will embrace a platform that is continually evolving with new features and data, particularly as compared to many of the technically outdated research systems available today."
Jonathan Worrall, CEO of Intrinsic and Mergent adds, "The combined forces of Intrinsic and Mergent provides a bright new choice for portfolio managers and analysts that demand cutting edge equity analytics and highly detailed data. Together, we leverage over a century of data experience and the expertise to transform that data into precise, actionable information that empowers the buy-side community."
Mergent, Inc. is a leading provider of critical business and financial data on global publicly listed companies, indices and exchanges. The company is headquartered in New York, NY, and Charlotte, NC, with sales offices in key North American cities as well as London, Tokyo, Toronto, Sydney and Hong Kong.
Source: Mergent, Inc.
September 28, 2009
Corcoran Gallery Of Art to Exhibit Landscapes by Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky
Photo: Edward Burtynsky, SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006. Chromogenic color print. (© Corcoran Gallery of Art).
Corcoran Gallery of Art has invited the media to an exclusive preview of Edward Burtynsky: Oil.
Organized by the Corcoran, this exhibition will show 56 large-scale color landscapes, many on view for the first time, by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.
The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, October 3, 2009.
Edward Burtynsky: Oil is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and sponsored by the Scotiabank Group.
"For Oil, Burtynsky traveled for more than a decade to chronicle the global production, distribution, and use of oil, the energy source that has shaped the modern world," informs Corcoran. "This world premiere exhibition provides a penetrating look at one of the most important subjects of our time, by one of the most respected and recognized contemporary photographers in the world."
After closing at the Corcoran on December 13, the exhibition will embark on an international tour through 2012.
Source: Corcoran Gallery of Art
September 25, 2009
New York City Green Buildings Program Launch: Building Owners, Union Leader Joined By Mayor Bloomberg
Labor-Management Program to Train 1,000 Building Supers.
Photo: New York Mayor Bloomberg, along with union president Mike Fishman, launched a green building worker training program at an apartment building in Manhattan on Friday, September 25, 2009. The One Year, One Thousand Supers program, said the mayor, "is a smart, practical, effective way to help make the Big apple green.".
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Realty Advisory Board President Jim Berg and 32BJ President Mike Fishman today in launching an ambitious green buildings program to train one thousand superintendents and resident managers in one year in the latest energy efficient practices.
The launch of One Year, One Thousand Green Supers, which took place at a downtown apartment building, was attended by Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management, and James O'Connor, President of Douglas Elliman, two of the first companies to have their employees participate in this labor-management green buildings program.
"By working together, 32BJ and New York's building owners have put into place a smart, practical and effective way to help make the Big Apple green," said Mayor Bloomberg. "One Year, One Thousand Green Supers provides a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, and our environment cleaner, all while saving our city millions of dollars."
"With 77 percent of our city's greenhouse gas emissions generated by buildings, we must all work together to protect the environment," said Mike Fishman. "Making the Big Apple green starts with recognizing the vital role of building service workers."
• With more than 85,000 members in six states and Washington, DC, SEIU Local 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country. The union represents window cleaners, doormen, building maintenance workers, cleaners, porters, and security officers in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.
• One Year, One Thousand Green Supers is part of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The program is a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.
"By learning how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building's common areas, graduates can achieve substantial savings at their buildings," said Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The third and final pilot class of building service workers in the program is set to graduate next week.
• The Fund's programs provide 150,000 hours of industry, academic, and computer courses at over 20 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
• The One Year, One Thousand Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable technologies, green roofs and water reuse.
With a growing demand for greener buildings, smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by twenty to forty percent, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Source: SEIU Local 32BJ
September 22, 2009
Clinton Global Initiative: President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton Address the Opening Plenary Session of the Fifth Annual Meeting
Among others, following are joining President Clinton in Panel Discussion on Global Challenges:
• Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile.
• Mike Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores.
• Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Coca-Cola.
• Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Photo: President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton Greet Each Other on Stage at the Opening Plenary Session of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Today, in New York, President Barack Obama joined President Bill Clinton to open the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.
The meeting is bringing together leaders from the political, corporate, and civil sectors to develop and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) brings together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.
"This week, even as we gather at the United Nations to discuss what governments can do to confront the challenges of our time, even as we're joined tonight by so many presidents and prime ministers - this Global Initiative reminds us what we can do as individuals: that you don't have to hold public office to be a public servant," President Obama said, adding: "That's the beauty of service - anyone can do it and everyone should try."
"In the midst of a global financial crisis, I don't think it's a coincidence that more people are attending this meeting than ever before," President Clinton said. "Since 2005, it has become clear that CGI has found an effective model for addressing challenges around the world. Our members have made more than 1,400 commitments affecting more than 200 million people around the world. Because of their efforts, more than 10 million children have access to a better education, 48 million people have better health care, and more than 12 people million have safe drinking water. But there is still work to be done."
President Clinton announced that more than 60 current and former heads of state, 500 business leaders, and 400 leaders from nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations will be attending the meeting, representing 84 countries.
Photo (Added Sep 23): From left: Diane Sawyer moderates panel including Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, Merlanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women's issues at the U.S. Department of State, Robert Zoellick, president of The World Bank Group, Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International, Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, and Edna Adan, director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital (speaking).
Photo (Added Sept 23): From left to right, Matthew Bishop, New York Bureau Chief and American Business Editor, The Economist, Al Gore, Chairman, The Alliance for Climate Protection, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, The World Bank Group, Jack Ma, Chairman and CEO, Alibaba Group, Judith Robin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank.
Source: Clinton Global Initiative
September 20, 2009
German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel officially opens the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. AutoWeek Editors Honor the Best.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Jean-Marc Gales, PSA (PSA Peugeot CitroÃ«n, France).
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Petra Roth, Mayor of the city of Frankfurt at the inauguration.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of Board, BMW and Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Bernhard Mattes, Management Chairman, Ford.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, VW, Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management, VW (Volkswagen Group).
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany at the stand of VW (Volkswagen Group}.
• The AutoWeek Editors' Choice Awards recognize Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.
Photo: A model at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The AutoWeek editorial staff has announced its 2009 Frankfurt motor show Editors' Choice Award winners.
AutoWeek editors have been walking the show floors in Detroit, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo, selecting winners in four categories: Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.
The 2009 AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award winners for the Best of Frankfurt are:
• BEST IN SHOW: Ferrari 458 Italia
It is rare when there are more than a few in the race for this coveted title, but that was the case at Frankfurt when no fewer than eight manufacturers had vehicles in the final. When the scrapping was over, Ferrari's 458 Italia triumphed. The 458 wears voluptuous, organic shapes tied together with technical and efficient lines. No matter when you see this car in the future -- in five years or 50 years from now on a concours lawn -- it will always be the one that debuted at Frankfurt in 2009.
Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Aston Martin Rapide, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Lamborghini Reventon Spyder, Audi R8 Spyder.
• BEST CONCEPT: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
Maybe the most pure concept car at this year's Frankfurt show, BMW's glimpse into the performance sedan of the future uses technology, and design cues, that we'll see in production BMWs in the near future. Powered by a three-cylinder turbodiesel with a hybrid synchronous motor on the front axle and a full-hybrid system at the rear, this 2+2-seater also reveals some hints as to the exterior design features we'll see on future BMW passenger cars. With a top speed of 155 mph, this car shows that the future emphasis on fuel efficiency can offer a lot of fun as well.
Other Finalists Considered: Peugeot BB1, Citroen REVOLTe, Volkswagen E Up.
Photo: Volkswagen E Up in Frankfurt.
• MOST SIGNIFICANT: Renault EV family of four production electric cars
To think about which manufacturer was making the greatest impact and statement with their exhibit, it had to fall to Renault (and by default, though not exhibiting, its Nissan sister company.) With no fewer than four vehicles destined to come to market in three short years, Renault is putting an electrified stake in the ground and showing the rest of the world that while it might not be all in with this bet, it is not leaving much on the table.
Other Finalists Considered: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, Jaguar XJ, Opel Astra, Saab 9-5, Ford Grand C-Max.
• MOST FUN: Porsche 911 Turbo
As is the case with all of the categories this year, a number of strong contenders vied for the title of Most Fun. When the smoke cleared, the new Porsche 911 Turbo came out on top as the one car whose keys we all wanted for a spirited ride. Surely it would brighten the sourest disposition. How can anyone argue with a choice like this?
Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Peugeot BB1, Mini Roadster, Mazda Superlight, Volkswagen Golf R, Alfa-Romeo Mito Cloverleaf and Lamborghini Reventon Spyder.
• AutoWeek magazine is a fortnightly automotive-enthusiast publication based out of Detroit, Michigan, and is one of nearly 30 titles published by Crain Communications Inc.
Sources: AutoWeek, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
September 17, 2009
'May the Best Car Win' Marketing Campaign from GM
• GM Launches 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee.
• 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year vehicles.
• Covers all vehicles sold by Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
• Program runs Sept. 14 through Nov. 30.
• Offer covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (except medium duty trucks).
• Customers (one per household) can return their vehicle between 31 and 60 days with less than 4,000 miles.
Photo: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V.
Photo: 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL Special Edition.
General Motors has announced that it will offer a Satisfaction Guarantee to eligible buyers of new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The guarantee allows customers to return their vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund of the purchase price for the vehicle.
The announcement is part of a larger "May the Best Car Win" marketing campaign.
• GM says that it is demonstrating its confidence in its vehicles when compared head-to-head with the most competitive vehicles in each vehicle segment.
Photo: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ.
Photo: 2010 GMC Terrain SLE.
"We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices - that's what makes an offer like this possible," said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, Marketing and Communications. "The Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon, the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, for instance, are all outstanding new products. This new marketing effort should help us communicate these facts to consumers.
"We know that we'll need to work very hard to get people's attention and encourage them to give Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC a try. We think the 'May the Best Car Win' campaign and the Satisfaction Guarantee offer should help re-instill confidence in the excellence of our products. We're putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don't absolutely love it, we'll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul," Lutz said.
Source: General Motors Company
"This Sunday, General Motors launched a new marketing campaign, 'May the Best Car Win,' and will offer car buyers a 60-day money-back guarantee. Perhaps a more fitting slogan is 'Taxpayers, You Lose.'
Normally a strategy like this would be a bold move to compete in the marketplace - one that consumers and shareholders ultimately decide to reward or punish. Unfortunately, with this 60 percent government-owned company, taxpayers don't have the option of 'pulling out' of GM and putting their investments elsewhere; unless, of course, they'd like to be prosecuted by the IRS and spend a few years in jail. As a pro-market organization, we would applaud GM's gutsy approach - if only GM hadn't rigged the market in the first place.
Given that rigged market, it's no wonder GM can afford to offer money-back guarantees. After all, it's got $50 billion in bailout money. And it's probably not going to pay it back, according to a report last week from a Congressional Oversight Panel.
Since the federal government owns 60 percent of GM, maybe it ought to consider offering a money-back guarantee to the taxpayers as well. Instead, with this money-back guarantee GM continues to flaunt the enormous taxpayer investment in it.
According to the State of New York Banking Department, a new car loses up to 20 percent of its value the second it drives off a dealer's lot. Should taxpayers be footing this bill for GM's Zipcar-like incentive program?
If GM has money to burn on this type of program, perhaps it doesn't really need the $50 billion it received from the Treasury."
-- NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION, 108 North Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.
Money-Back Guarantee from a Car Manufacturer?
Italian Jewelry Designer Roberto Coin Selects Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns as the Face of the Company
Leading Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin has signed on with advocate, entrepreneur and model Christy Turlington Burns for a second time to shoot his upcoming advertising campaign for 2009-2010. Turlington Burns has graced the covers of over 1,000 top fashion magazines.
For 2009-2010, the Roberto Coin campaign will support CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. According to Roberto Coin, Chairman & Co-Founder of Roberto Coin Inc., "Our previous campaign with Christy was so successful and widely received. We are so pleased to be working with her again. We are proud to be in partnership with an organization such as CARE for all their extraordinary work they have done to empower women worldwide through education, healthcare, increased economic opportunities and human rights."
CARE fights root causes of poverty in the world's poorest communities. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In nearly 70 countries, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.
"At Roberto Coin, we believe that a cause related campaign has much more impact than straight consumer advertising," said Peter Webster, President & Co-Founder. "This campaign recognizes both the work of Christy Turlington Burns and that of CARE."
The campaign was shot by photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, whose past credits include advertising campaigns for Gucci, Givenchy, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein and editorial spreads for the pages of American, French, and Italian Vogue, W, and the New York Times.
The advertisements will appear in October 2009 fashion publications that include Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Town & Country.
Roberto Coin's jewelry designs include his signature Appassionata Collection. According to Coin, his designs have also been worn by celebrities such as Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Brooke Shields, Jennie Garth, Jenna Fischer, Demi Moore, Melissa Etheridge, and Jennifer Hudson.
The company, Roberto Coin, is headquartered in Vicenza, Italy.
September 14, 2009
Dow Corning Celebrates "Solar Day'
• Begins Construction at Solar Monosilanes Facility.
• Unveils Solar Array and Education Center.
Photo: Dow Corning installed solar panels at its corporate headquarters in Michigan that also serve as a testing site for its silicone-based solar materials.
"Autumn may be approaching, but the sun is shining brightly at Dow Corning. And it is waiting for us," said Stephanie A. Burns, Dow Corning's chairman, president and CEO. "There is still much work to do to make solar energy a sustainable energy option for everyone, everywhere. These investments represent our continued commitment to both innovating and using alternative energy technologies."
At an event the company is calling "Solar Day," Dow Corning will announce the start of construction in Thomas Twp., Michigan of a manufacturing plant that will manufacture monosilane gas-a key material used to manufacture thin-film solar cells.
Dow Corning will also unveil a solar panel installation and Solar Discovery Center at its corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan.
Photo: Dow Corning Solar Solutions Researchers.
The Dow Corning Monosilanes facility will manufacture high purity monosilane, a key specialty gas used to manufacture thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays. The Dow Corning Monosilanes facility is expected to be completed in 2011.
"This significant investment to become a leading supplier of monosilane for thin film solar technology will expand our feedstock offering and will further reinforce Dow Corning's position as a material supplier across multiple solar technologies," said Eric Peeters, global executive director, Dow Corning Solar Solutions.
The solar installation at Dow Corning headquarters features 136 solar panels and will produce approximately 30 kilowatt-hours of power--the amount of electricity consumed by approximately seven to 10 homes in a year.
Photo: A Dow Corning lab technician conducting a product performance test.
"It is important for everyone in our community, especially students, to understand both how solar technology works and the opportunity it represents for the world," said Marie N. Eckstein, Dow Corning's vice president and chief administrative officer. "We would like to invite community and student groups to contact us if they're interested in seeing the solar panels and solar education center."
Dow Corning's silicon-based materials are used in solar cell manufacturing, solar module assembly and installation. In the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures, the Hemlock Semiconductor Group, have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning and XIAMETER brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.
Source: Dow Corning Corporation
September 13, 2009
New Global Reserve Currency
• The international monetary system needs reform, but so do the Asian and US economies.
According to thought leaders from the principal world economies, the current international monetary system, reliant on the US dollar, is deeply flawed, but a single viable alternative is not readily apparent.
This was the outcome from the debate at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions on September 12, 2009 at Dalian, People's Republic of China, where they discussed the global currency reserve system.
Photo: Participants captured during the Dalian WorkSpace 2009 at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
Photo: Participants gather at the Education for the Next Wave of Growth session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
Photo: Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County Supervisor, speaks during the North America's Economic Outlook session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
• In March, China's Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan sparked controversy when he proposed that the International Monetary Fund create a new reserve currency - a proposal with enormous implications across Asia, which holds nearly US$ 4 trillion in foreign currency.
"I strongly supported the proposal made by Governor Zhou," said Yu Yongding, Senior Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), People's Republic of China and member of the Forum's Global Agenda Council on International Monetary Systems.
However, panelists agreed that the creation of a new global currency to replace the dollar and other sovereign currencies was not politically viable.
The overwhelming problems facing the Asian and US economies are not based on currency doubts. "Don't kid yourself. This crisis is not about currency problems. This problem is about the failures of policies," said Stephen S. Roach, Chairman, Asia, Morgan Stanley, Hong Kong. "We've had central banks that have just gone along for the ride, driven by ideologies, driven by politics."
Photo: Aron Cramer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), speaks during the Global Redesign Series -- What Is the Basis of a New Social Compact? session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
Photo: Participants captured during the Dalian WorkSpace 2009 at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
Photo: Zhu Min, Group Executive Vice-President, Bank of China, laughs during The Global Economic Outlook session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.
For the global financial system to steady itself, the US must increase exports and Asian economies, China's in particular, must do much more to reorient their growth away from external demand towards domestic consumption. "The most important thing for China is to speed up structural reform," agreed Yu.
When polled informally, participants preferred the yuan over the dollar as an investment but few believed it would replace the dollar as the global reserve. Among the panelists, only Oki Matsumoto, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Japan's Monex Group, was mildly bullish on the dollar.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Source: World Economic Forum
September 8, 2009
World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Rankings: Switzerland Replaces United States at the Top
• Switzerland leads the rankings of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010.
• The United States falls to second place, with weaker financial markets and less macroeconomic stability.
• Singapore moves up to third; Brazil, China and India also post improvements.
Photo: COLOGNY, SWITZERLAND - Cover of the World Economic Forum's The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010. © World Economic Forum.
Switzerland tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, released today (September 8, 2009) by the World Economic Forum ahead of its Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2009 in Dalian, People's Republic of China.
The United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. European economies continue to prevail in the top 10 with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets.
Photo: People exit the World Expo Center at the World Economic Forum's Inaugural Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China on 5 September 2007. (Handout Photo/World Economic Forum/Doug Kanter).
The People's Republic of China continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one place this year, solidifying its position among the top 30. Among the three other large BRIC economies, Brazil and India also improve, while Russia falls by 12 places. Several Asian economies perform strongly with Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, China also in the top 20. In Latin America, Chile is the highest ranked country, followed by Costa Rica and Brazil.
A number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are in the upper half of the rankings, led by Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Tunisia, with particular improvements noted in the Gulf States, which continue their upward trend of recent years. In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Mauritius and Botswana feature in the top half of the rankings, with a number of other countries from the region measurably improving their competitiveness.
Photo: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Koji Endo, Director, Equity Research, Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Limited, Credit Suisse, Japan during the Joint Automotive and Logistics & Transport - World Economic Forum on East Asia 2009. © World Economic Forum. Photo by Oh Jaehyuk.
"The strong interdependence among the world's economies makes this a truly global economic crisis in every sense. Policy-makers are presently struggling with ways of managing these new economic challenges, while preparing their economies to perform well in a future economic landscape characterized by growing uncertainty. In a difficult global economic environment, it is more important than ever for countries to put into place strong fundamentals underpinning economic growth and development," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Photo: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Andy Palmer, Senior Vice-President, Nissan Motor Co., Japan - captured during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Seoul, South Korea, June 19, 2009. © World Economic Forum. Photo by Oh Jaehyuk.
The Global Competitiveness Report is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, providing a comprehensive picture of the competitiveness landscape in countries around the world at all stages of development. The pillars include Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Stability, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and Training, Goods Market Efficiency, Labour Market Efficiency, Financial Market Sophistication, Technological Readiness, Market Size, Business Sophistication, and Innovation.
The Report contains a detailed profile for each of the 133 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the rankings as well as the most prominent competitive advantages and disadvantages of each country/economy based on the analysis used in computing the rankings.
Source: World Economic Forum
September 7, 2009
Nestlé Chocolate Center of Excellence inaugurated in Broc, Switzerland
Nestlé Chocolate Center to combine artistic creativity and cutting-edge science.
Photo © Nestlé S.A.
Nestlé today inaugurated the Chocolate Center of Excellence in Broc, Switzerland, in the presence of Doris Leuthard, Swiss Minister of Economic Affairs, Beat Vonlanthen, Minister of Canton Fribourg, and Stéphane Sudan, Mayor of Broc.
Photo: Nestlé Chocolate Center of Excellence, Broc, Switzerland. Photo © Nestlé S.A.
The Chocolate Center of Excellence builds on Nestlé's chocolate-making heritage and will spearhead its drive in the premium and luxury chocolate segment, which in turn will influence the company's entire chocolate range. The Center combines a team of Nestlé specialists, from fine cocoa bean scientists, sensory experts and chocolatiers to packaging designers and consumer specialists, with the artistic inspiration of a panel of independent chocolatiers.
This spirit of open innovation is further illustrated by the Center's partnership with prestigious external design institutions such as the California Art Center and the ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne.
Photo: Nestlé Chocolate Center of Excellence, Broc, Switzerland. Photo © Nestlé S.A.
The investment of CHF 25 million underlines the strategic importance Nestlé attributes to its chocolate business, especially in the premium and luxury segment. In 2008 the chocolate business reached sales of CHF 9.8 billion, with an organic growth of 7.6%.
While global brands such as Kit Kat reached sales of over CHF 1 billion, 70% of Nestlé's chocolate business comes from local brands. In the premium and luxury segment, which grows above the category average, Nestlé is leader in dark chocolate and is well known for premium brands such as Nestlé Noir, Perugina, Cailler and Nespresso luxury chocolate.
The Chocolate Center of Excellence is part of Nestlé's research and development network, which comprises 28 Centers and employs around 5,000 people worldwide.
Source: Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.
September 4, 2009
Climate Change: Helena Christensen Witnesses its Impacts in Peru
Photo: Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled to Peru with humanitarian organization Oxfam to document the impacts of climate change on poor people ahead of an important global conference on climate. Photo Credit: Jason Mcdonald/Oxfam.
Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled with international humanitarian organization Oxfam to her mother's native country to witness and document the dramatic effects that climate change is having on poor people today in Peru.
"The impacts of climate change are extremely severe in the areas we visited," said Christensen in Peru today. "The farmers we met and talked to are already living very hard lives, and are now being forced to adapt to the effects of the rapidly changing climate."
Christensen has documented the trip with a series of photographs that will be exhibited in New York, Washington, London and at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. A short film of the expedition, captured by award-winning Director Richard Bullock, will also be shown.
"One of the women I spoke to, Elizabeth Ayma, told me that because rainfall are less frequent now and impossible to predict due to the climate changes, this is having a huge effect on crop production," said Christensen. "As a result, her family has less food to eat and less produce to sell, resulting in her not being able to afford her children's school fees. The lack of nutritional vegetables also affects her family's health."
"Climate change in Peru is already devastating and we welcome Helena's commitment to show this to the rest of the world. Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem," said Frank Boeren, Oxfam's coordinator in Peru. "It is crucial that rich leaders do the right thing at Copenhagen so that we can begin to stop run away climate change and protect vulnerable people around the world."
"We are at a critical tipping point. We need to put pressure on our governments in order for them to take the necessary, radical steps that are needed. There's no time left, it is absolutely imperative to act now," said Christensen.
Source: Oxfam America
September 2, 2009
Virtuoso Violinist Itzhak Perlman and New York Philharmonic to Join Rotary's Effort to End Polio
Rotary International is joining violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic, led by Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Daniel Boico, to present the Concert to End Polio. It will be a benefit performance supporting the global effort to eradicate this disabling childhood disease.
The Concert to End Polio will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City. Program information will be announced at a later date.
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. The Orchestra is also renowned around the globe, having appeared in 425 cities in 59 countries on five continents.
Polio eradication resonates strongly with Mr. Perlman, who contracted the disease at age four and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. In this historic, one-night-only performance -- his first with the New York Philharmonic in four years -- Mr. Perlman will help Rotary in its effort to raise $200 million to match a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will fund critical eradication activities in developing countries where polio still threatens children.
Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. Since then, ending polio has been Rotary's top priority, and tremendous progress has been made.
Rotary is an international humanitarian service organization made up of more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, with a total membership of 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.
Source: Rotary International