Sunday, December 21, 2008


Kini terdapat penyakit yang tidak pernah kedengaran sebelum ini. Terbaru sekali adalah Chikungunya. Penyakit ini merebak di Johor dan di seluruh Semenanjung Tanah Melayu.

Asal usul penyakit ini tidak diketahui. Adakah ini akibat terlalu ramai buruh asing – haram dan sah – di Malaysia sekarang?

Kalau begitu, dari mana datangnya penyakit ini? Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Mynmar, Vietnam, Tepublik Rakyat China, Filpina atau Indonesia?


ALOR STAR 21 Dis. — Kedah mencatatkan peningkatan mendadak jumlah pesakit dijangkiti demam Chikungunya apabila sebanyak 20 kes baru dilaporkan semalam menjadikan jumlah keseluruhan 77 kes berbanding 57 kes sebelum ini.

Timbalan Pengarah Kesihatan Negeri (Kesihatan Awam) Dr Shahidan Hashim berkata sebanyak 18 kes baru dilaporkan di daerah Kuala Muda manakala dua kes di Kampung Watt Padang Peliang di daerah Pendang. - BERNAMA


Mika Angel-0 said...

salaam siber!

"bilamana si-gembala bertapak kaki hitam menguasai dunia, jauhari kenal manikam"
(hadis sahih saya)

saya ini sedang seronok-seronok naik pokok tualang:

1. Ponzi's Scheme: DrM's Vision2020
(che det thinks he can control najib thru muhyiddin and mukhriz)

Madoff fraud rippled around the world
By Diana Henriques

Sunday, December 21, 2008
By the end, the world itself was too small to support the vast Ponzi scheme constructed by Bernard Madoff.

Initially, he tapped local money pulled in from country clubs and charity dinners, where investors sought him out to plead with him to manage their savings so they could start reaping the steady, solid returns their friends were getting.

Then, he and his promoters set their sights on Europe, once more framing the investment as membership in a select club. A Swiss hedge fund manager, Michel Dominicé, still remembers the pitch he got a few years ago from a salesman in Geneva. "He told me the fund was closed, that it was something I couldn't buy," Dominicé said. "But he told me he might have a way to get me in. It was weird."

Madoff's agents next cut a cash-gathering swath through the Gulf, then Southeast Asia. Finally, they were hurtling with undignified speed toward China, with invitations to invest that were more desperate, less exclusive. One Beijing business executive who was approached said it seemed the Madoff funds were being pitched "to anyone who would listen."

The juggernaut began to sputter this autumn as investors, rattled by the financial crisis and scrounging for cash, started taking money out faster than Madoff could bring fresh cash in the door. He was arrested Dec. 11 at his New York apartment and charged with securities fraud, turned in the night before by his sons after he told them his entire business was "a giant Ponzi scheme."

The case is still viewed with more confusion than understanding. But whatever else Madoff's game was, it was certainly this: the first worldwide Ponzi scheme - a fraud that lasted longer, reached wider and cut deeper than any similar scheme in history, entirely eclipsing the puny regional ambitions of Charles Ponzi, the Boston swindler who gave his name to the scheme nearly a century ago.

"Absolutely - there has been nothing like this, nothing that we could call truly global," said Mitchell Zuckoff, author of "Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend," who is a professor at Boston University.

These classic schemes typically take advantage of local trust, he added. "So this says what we increasingly know to be true about the world: The barriers have come down; money knows no borders, no limits," he said.

While many of the known victims of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities are prominent Jewish executives and organizations - the movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, Yeshiva University, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and charities set up by the publisher Mortimer Zuckerman and the Hollywood director Steven Spielberg - it now appears that anyone with money was a potential target. Indeed, at one point, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a large sovereign wealth fund in the Middle East, entrusted about $400 million to Madoff's firm.

Regulators say Madoff himself estimated that $50 billion in personal and institutional wealth from around the world was gone. It vanished from the estates of the North Shore of Long Island, New York, from the beachfront suites of Palm Beach, Florida, from the exclusive enclaves of Europe. Before it evaporated, it helped finance Madoff's coddled lifestyle, with a New York apartment; a beachfront mansion in the Hamptons on Long Island; a small villa overlooking Cap d'Antibes on the French Riviera; a Mayfair office in London; yachts in New York, Florida and the Mediterranean.

Just as the scheme surpassed national borders, it left local regulators far behind. Its lies were translated into a half-dozen languages. Its larceny was denominated in a half-dozen currencies. Its warning signals were missed by enforcement agencies around the globe. And its victims are scattered from Abu Dhabi to Zurich.

Indeed, while the most visible pain may be local - an important charity forced to close, an esteemed university embarrassed, the fabric of community trust shredded - the clearest lesson is universal: When money goes global, fraud does too.

Bernie who?
In 1960, as Wall Street was just shaking off its postwar lethargy and starting to buzz again, Madoff set up his small trading firm. His plan was to make a business out of trading lesser-known over-the-counter stocks on the fringes of the traditional stock market. He was just 22, a graduate of Hofstra, then a small university in the suburbs of New York.

By 1989, Madoff's firm was handling more than 5 percent of the trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange. Financial World ranked him among the highest-paid people on Wall Street - along with two far more famous financiers, the junk bond king Michael Milken and the international investor George Soros.

In 1990, Madoff became the nonexecutive chairman of the Nasdaq market, which at the time was operated as a committee of the National Association of Securities Dealers.

His rise on Wall Street was built on his belief in a visionary notion that seemed bizarre to many at the time: that stocks could be traded by people who never saw each other and were connected only by electronics.

In the mid-1970s, he had spent more than $250,000 to upgrade the computer equipment at the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, where he began offering to buy and sell stocks that were listed on the Big Board. The exchange, in effect, was transformed into the first all-electronic computerized stock exchange.

"He was one of the early innovators," said Michael Ocrant, a journalist who has been a longtime skeptic about Madoff's investing success. "He was known to promote the idea that trading would be going electronic - and that turned out to be true."

Unlike some prominent Wall Street figures who built their fortunes during the heady 1980s and '90s, Madoff never became a household name among U.S. investors. But in the clubby world of Jewish philanthropy in the New York area, his increasing wealth and growing reputation among market insiders added polish to his personal prestige.

He became a generous donor, then a courted board member and, finally, the money manager of choice for many prominent regional charities.

A spokeswoman for the New York Community Trust, Ani Hurwitz, recalled a Long Island couple who asked the trust in 1994 to invest their proposed $20 million fund with Madoff. "We have an investment committee that oversees all investments, and they couldn't get anything out of him, no information, nothing," Hurwitz said. "So we told the donors we wouldn't do it."

But many charities did entrust their money to Madoff, to their eventual grief. The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, for instance, reported that it had lost $5.7 million on an investment with Madoff that was made at the donor's behest. (That donor has pledged to cover the loss for the hospital system, its spokesman said.)

Other groups saw the handsome returns on those initial investments and put more of their money into Madoff's firm, their leaders said. "Look, for years we made money," one said.

Most successful business executives intertwine their personal and professional lives. But those two strands of Madoff's life were practically inseparable. He sometimes used his yacht, Bull, as a floating entertainment center for clients. He used his support of organizations like the Public Theater in New York and the Special Olympics to build a network of trust that began to stretch wider and deeper into the Jewish community.

Through friends, the Madoff network reached well beyond New York. At Oak Ridge Country Club, in Hopkins, Minnesota, known for its prosperous Jewish membership, many who belonged were introduced to the Madoff firm by one of his friends, Mike Engler.

The quiet message became familiar in similar pockets of Jewish wealth and trust: "I know Bernie. I can get you in." Engler died in 1994, but many Oak Ridge members remained clients of Madoff.

One elderly member, who said he was too embarrassed to be named, said he had lost tens of millions of dollars, and had friends who had been "completely wiped out."

Dozens of Madoff investors, now outraged, recall that special lure - the sense that they were being allowed into an inner circle, one that was not available to just anyone. A lawyer would call a client, saying: "I'm setting up a fund for Bernie Madoff. Do you want in?" Or an accountant at a golf club might tell his partner for the day: "I can make an introduction. Let me know." Deals were struck in steakhouses and at charity events, sometimes by Madoff, but with increasing frequency by friends acting on his behalf.

"In a social setting - that's where it always happened," said Jerry Reisman, a lawyer from Garden City, one of the New York suburbs on Long Island, who knew Madoff socially. "Country clubs, golf courses, locker rooms. Recommendations, word-of-mouth. That's how it was done."

With his wife, Ruth Madoff, a nutritionist and cookbook editor, they were considered affable and charming people. "They stood out," Reisman said. "Success, philanthropy, esteem - and, if you were lucky enough to be with him as an investor, money.

"That was the most important thing; he was looked on as someone who could make you money. Really make you money."

The go-betweens
By the mid-1990s, as Madoff's wealth and social standing grew, he had moved far beyond the days when golf-club buddies were setting up side deals to invest with him through their lawyers and accountants. Some of the most prominent figures in the world of Jewish entrepreneurship began to court Madoff - and, through them, he reached a new orbit of wealth.

He could not have had a more effective recruiter than Jacob Ezra Merkin, a lion of Wall Street who was also president of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York.

Philanthropies embraced Merkin. He headed the investment committee for the UJA-Federation of New York for 10 years and was on the boards of Yeshiva University, Carnegie Hall and other organizations. He became the chairman of GMAC, the finance arm that General Motors spun off.

Installed in these lofty positions of trust, Merkin seemed to be a Wall Street wise man who could be trusted completely to manage other people's money. One vehicle through which he did that was a fund called Ascot Partners.

It was one of an unknown number of deals that prominent financial figures set up in recent years and marketed to investors, who thought they were tapping into the acumen of some Wall Street titan, like Merkin.

As it turned out, their money wound up in the same place - Madoff's hands.

These conduits began to steer billions of dollars into the Madoff operation. They operated below the financial radar until Madoff's scheme collapsed, when investors suddenly got letters from the sponsoring titan disclosing that all or most of their money was probably gone.

Ascot itself attracted $1.8 billion in investments, almost all of which was entrusted to Madoff. New York Law School put $3 million into Ascot two years ago and has initiated a lawsuit in U.S. court that accuses Merkin of abdicating his duties to the partnership.

Zuckerman, the billionaire owner of The Daily News in New York, rebuked Merkin in a televised interview, saying he had been misled about what Merkin had done with some $30 million from Zuckerman's charitable foundation.

Behind a wall of lawyers, Merkin did not take calls since sending out a "Dear Limited Partner" letter on Dec. 11. In the letter, he noted that he, too, was one of Madoff's victims and had suffered big losses alongside his investors.

Another conduit was the Fairfield Greenwich Group, started in 1983 by Walter Noel. A courtly native of Tennessee, Noel had spent time at larger firms, notably Chemical Bank, where he started its international private banking practice, before setting out on his own.

The Noel family had access to prestigious social circles. Noel's wife, Monica, was part of the prominent Haegler family of Rio de Janeiro and Zurich, and their daughters married into international families that provided additional connections for the firm.

In 1989, Noel merged his business with a small brokerage house whose general partner was Jeffrey Tucker, a longtime New Yorker who had a law degree from Brooklyn Law School and a résumé that included eight years with the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Again and again, this pedigreed experience was emphasized by Fairfield as it built itself into a fund of funds, investing in other hedge funds. It boasted to its prospects that its investigation of investment options was "deeper and broader" than those of most firms because of Tucker's experience in the regulatory ranks.

Though he is not nearly as prominent as the Noels, who move in the forefront of Connecticut society, Tucker benefited just as much from Fairfield's success. Indeed, last year he led a coalition of thoroughbred racing interests that sought to bid for New York State's horse-racing franchise.

It was Tucker who introduced Fairfield to Madoff. In the early 1990s, Fairfield began placing money with him, according to George Ball, the former president of E.F. Hutton and Prudential-Bache chief executive who knows Noel socially.

That began a long partnership that helped the Fairfield firm earn enviably steady returns, even in down markets - and that lifted Madoff into a global orbit, one that soon extended his reach into some of the most fabled banking centers of Europe.

If the wealthy Jewish world he occupied was his launching pad, the wealthy promoters he cultivated at Fairfield Greenwich were his booster rocket.

Fairfield Sentry was one of several feeder funds that became portals through which money from wealthy foreign investors would flow into Madoff's hands - collecting those exclusive, steady returns that had made him the toast of Palm Beach and the North Shore so many years before.

The Sentry fund quickly became Fairfield's signature product, and it boasted stellar returns. In marketing materials, Fairfield trumpeted Sentry's 11 percent annual return over the past 15 years, with only 13 losing months. It was a track record that grew increasingly attractive as markets grew more volatile in recent years.

Though Fairfield Greenwich has its headquarters in New York and its founder, Noel, operated from his hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut, a wealthy New York suburb, a recent report showed that foreign investors provided 95 percent of its managed assets - with 68 percent in Europe, 6 percent in Asia, and 4 percent in the Middle East.

Friends and associates say that Noel's sons-in-law spent much of their time marketing the firm's funds in either their home countries or regions where they had their own family connections.

Madoff's higher profile in the highly competitive world of hedge fund management intensified the skepticism about his remarkably consistent returns. There were a scattering of inconclusive regulatory investigations - efforts so unavailing that the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington has ordered an internal investigation to determine how the agency could have missed so many red flags and ignored so many credible complaints over the years.

But foreign regulators were not any quicker to notice Madoff's oddities - or the rapidly expanding pool of money entrusted to the various feeder funds he serviced.

Madoff was not well known on the social circuit in Switzerland. Instead, Swiss money managers would go to him, visiting his offices in New York. Indeed, seeing Madoff there was a bit like visiting the Wizard of Oz: Despite his unerring success in generating smooth returns, he seemed quite ordinary, lacking the flamboyance of other well-heeled money managers.

"He did not look like a huge spender, seemed like a family man," said one veteran Geneva banker, whose firm had money with Madoff but insisted on anonymity because of the likelihood of lawsuits from angry clients. "He talked about the markets."

The only thing that struck the Swiss banker as odd was the bull memorabilia strewn about his office. "It seemed strange for a guy to have all these bulls, little sculptures, paintings of bulls," he recalled. "I've seen offices with bears. This was bulls."

But the aura of exclusivity was the constant, he said. "This was the usual spiel: 'It's impossible to get in, but we can get you some if you're nice.' He made it look difficult to get into."

What began as a quietly coveted investment opportunity for the lucky few in the Jewish country clubs of Long Island became, in its final burst of growth, a thoroughly global financial product whose roots were obscured behind legions of well-dressed, multilingual sales representatives in the financial capitals of Europe.

Indeed, often with the assistance of feeder funds, Madoff was now in a position to seek and procure money from Arab investors, too. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, with assets estimated earlier this year to be to be approaching $700 billion, wound up in the same boat as Jewish charities in New York: caught in the collapse of Bernie Madoff.

In early 2005, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had invested approximately $400 million with Madoff, by way of Fairfield Sentry, according to a confidential Fairfield report from 2007. Fairfield Sentry had more than $7 billion invested with Madoff and was his largest investor - and now, it says, his largest victim.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, in turn, was one of Fairfield Sentry's largest investors.

Even after it took two significant redemptions from the fund, in April 2005 and 2006, its stake the following year of $132 million comprised 2 percent of the fund's assets under management.

The 2007 report lists Philip Toub, one of Noel's sons-in-law, as the firm's agent with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority investors. Toub, a partner in Fairfield Greenwich Group, is married to Alix Noel and is the son of Said Toub, a wealthy shipping executive from Switzerland.

Other investors for whom Toub is listed as the agent include the Public Institute for Social Security, apparently a reference to the Kuwaiti government agency; the National Bank of Kuwait; and Safra National Bank of New York, controlled by the Safra family of Brazil.

And Fairfield was finding new fields for Madoff to cultivate. In 2004, the firm turned its eyes to Asia, forming a partnership with Lion Capital of Singapore to create Lion Fairfield Capital Management, a joint venture meant to introduce Asian investors to the firm.

"Many investors believe that Asia holds the best global opportunities for hedge funds over the next two to five years, as compared to the U.S. and Europe," Richard Landsberger, a Fairfield partner and director of Lion Fairfield, told HedgeWorld in 2006.

Yet it appears that Sentry remained Fairfield's chief focus in this new vineyard. Among the institutions that had invested in the fund are Korea Life Insurance, with $30 million to $50 million; Cathay Life Insurance of Taiwan, with about $12 million; and Samsung Investment & Securities, with about $6.3 million.

As it moved into Asia, Fairfield set up another feeder fund, Stellar Absolute Returns, incorporated in Singapore and meant to funnel investors' capital into Sentry. According to data from Bloomberg News, Stellar borrowed $3 for every $1 of investor money it received, in an effort to extract higher returns.

Last year, Tucker went to Asia to educate potential investors in Beijing and Thailand about hedge funds, seeking to allay their concerns about previous blowups in the industry like Long-Term Capital Management, a Connecticut hedge fund that was bailed out under the supervision of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1998 when its exotic derivative investments brought it to the brink of a costly collapse.

"China is moving slowly as the reformers become familiar with what we do," Tucker told HedgeWorld in November 2007. "It's the same thing in Thailand. There are misunderstandings about hedge funds."

Contributing reporting were Alex Berenson, Alison Leigh Cowan, Alan Feuer, Zachery Kouwe, Eric Konigsberg, Nelson D. Schwartz, Michael J. de la Merced, Stephanie Strom and Dirk Johnson.


is mahahtir really thinking of the rakyat's benefit when he opposes the IJN take over? the other day about the Synergy Drive did he make any noise?

So, from what you have written here, Scribe, you opposes the take over of the IJN based on the exact viewpoint as che det. Because che det says so?

Thank You and, Scribe, I have said my peace.

Che Det wishes that P36 byelection is another BN embarassing debacle - BN lost...just because o Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib is happy to go along - Muhyiddin is happy to be in the same boat.

Terima Kasih che det madoff.

2. Liberalkan Urus Niaga Untuk Tarik Pelabur Asing Ke Bursa Malaysia, Kata Ahmad Husni

IPOH, 21 Dis (Bernama) -- Timbalan Menteri Kewangan Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah hari ini menyarankan agar urus niaga saham syarikat tersenarai di Bursa Malaysia (BM) diliberalkan dengan membenarkan penggunaan pelbagai matawang bagi menarik minat syarikat asing untuk melabur.

Beliau berkata ramai pelabur yang sebelum ini menjadikan Amerika Syarikat dan Eropah sebagai tapak perniagaan dan pelaburan kini memikirkan untuk beralih ke negara lain selepas kelembapan ekonomi melanda kawasan berkenaan.

Peluang tersebut seharusnya digunakan sebaik mungkin bagi menarik kedatangan mereka ke negara ini, katanya.

"Transaksi jual beli yang menggunakan pelbagai matawang itu akan membolehkan penduduk dan syarikat dari seluruh dunia membuat transaksi jual beli di Bursa Malaysia.

"Melalui kecekapan dalam pengendalian sistem jual beli yang lebih canggih dan berkesan ini, seluruh dunia akan bertumpu ke sini," katanya dalam sidang akhbar selepas melawat pembinaan bangunan baru Masjid Medan Klebang Restu dekat sini, Ahad.

Beliau berkata syarikat tersenarai di BM juga hendaklah melakukan reformasi bagi mengukuhkan keuntungan, aset dan pengurusan dengan mempertingkatkan prestasi mereka sebagai persediaan menghadapi ketidaktentuan pada masa depan.

Sementara itu Ahmad Husni berkata penurunan kadar simpanan Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) daripada 11 peratus kepada 8 peratus mulai Jan ini dijangka akan membolehkan rakyat negara ini yang terlibat membelanjakan wang sebanyak RM 4.8 bilion sepanjang tahun hadapan.

Beliau berkata wang tersebut serta pakej rangsangan ekonomi RM7 bilion yang diumumkan kerajaan sebelum ini akan mewujudkan kecairan di dalam pasaran yang akan memantapkan perkembangan ekonomi negara.

"Melalui cara ini, perkembangan ekonomi negara akan berjalan berterusan dan semua pihak akan menikmati kehidupan yang sejahtera," katanya


boleh tak anda tanya apa ke jadah dengan Tambun kenyataannya ini?

terima kasih semesra siber

Mika Angel-0 said...

Salaam siber!

cerita bagus:

Perdana Menteri Di Tehran Untuk Perbincangan Dengan Ahmadinejad
Daripada Muin Abdul Majid

TEHRAN, 22 Dis (Bernama) -- Perdana Menteri Malaysia Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi akan mengadakan perbincangan dengan Presiden Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad di Pejabat Presiden di sini Isnin.

Pertemuan itu merupakan antara tumpuan lawatannya selama empat hari ke republik itu.

Pemimpin Malaysia itu, yang ditemani isterinya Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, tiba di lapangan terbang Tehran pada Ahad dan disambut Menteri Luar Iran Manouchehr Mottaki.

Berkenaan lawatan rasmi kedua Abdullah ke Iran sebelum peralihan kuasa di Malaysia pada Mac tahun depan, beliau diiringi beberapa menteri, timbalan menteri, anggota Parlimen Malaysia, tokoh korporat dan pegawai tinggi kerajaan.

Mereka turut disertai Duta Malaysia ke Iran, Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin.

Abdullah melakukan lawatan rasmi pertama ke Iran sebagai Perdana Menteri pada 2005 tetapi sering melakukan lawatan ke negara berkenaan sebelum itu sebagai Menteri Luar Malaysia dan kemudian Timbalan Perdana Menteri.

Pemerhati berkata perbincangan Abdullah-Ahmadinejad akan lebih mendorong perkembangan dalam hubungan antara Malaysia dan Iran, yang ketika ini sangat mesra, termasuk dalam bidang perdagangan dan pelaburan.

Kedua-dua pemimpin itu juga dijangka menyaksikan majlis menandantangani beberapa memorandum persefahaman dan perjanjian, seperti dalam hal memerangi pengedaran dadah, kerjasama sains dan teknologi, program pemasangan kereta Gen-2 Proton di Iran, selain yang berkaitan sektor minyak dan gas.

Abdullah juga dijadualkan melawat Perbandaran Penyelidikan dan Teknologi pada Isnin.

Pada malam Ahad, Abdullah dan Jeanne telah menghadiri jamuan malam anjuran Syed Munshe di kediaman rasmi duta.

tahniah siber kita kepada Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kerana mengikut contoh yang mulia.

namun, siapa calun PAS di P36?

terima kasih tok bisu

nak sebut chi-kun-gunya pun susah, apa pula dengan pe-ta-da - PETA ada, petai pun ada, petah pun sudah. isyarat apa ini? orang bisu pun tak faham.

puteramaya said...

Tuan Mika

Jutaan maaf. Tersilap eja. Dah betulkan pun.

Hal Tambun tu, tak taulah. Dia orang bijak, kita sapa?

Salam takzim - Ruhanie Ahmad

Mika Angel-0 said...

Salaam siber

Alhamdulillah dan Bagus sekalilah sekiranya Tambun begitu. Maka mohon ditanyakan pada Ahmad Husni lima soalan yang digarap dari cerita ini - lima soalan yang sama berpaksikan bajet2009 negera kita.

Answers to five key questions
By Chris Giles
Published: Last updated: November 24 2008 21:33

How bad will the recession get?
It is going to get pretty ugly. The closest the Treasury came to a precise estimate of its expected peak-to-trough loss of output was its forecast that gross domestic product would fall from £641bn in the first half of 2008 to £630bn in the first half of 2009. This implies a 1.7 per cent loss of output. The forecast compares favourably with the recessions of the early 1990s and the early 1980s when the economy contracted by 2.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

The Treasury risks being seen as a Pollyanna with its forecasts. Most independent forecasters are moving to a position where they believe the recession will be at least as bad as the one in the early 1990s. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research expects a 2 per cent drop while the CBI and Capital Economics consultants believe the peak-to-trough fall in national income will be 2.5 per cent. They all believe household spending will be more sluggish for longer, investment will drop by more and unemployment will rise faster. The CBI expects unemployment to reach 2.9m by mid 2010.

Even if the Treasury’s forecasts are accurate, the sharp loss of expected output raises public expenditure as a share of GDP in 2009-10 from the Budget forecast of 41.7 per cent to 44.2 per cent. In contrast, tax revenues will fall much further than the economy. The Treasury expects government revenues as a share of GDP to tumble from 39.2 per cent in 2006-07 to 36.2 per cent in 2009-10, including the fiscal stimulus, implying public sector net borrowing of 8 per cent of GDP, or £118bn.

Public sector net debt balloons on the new Treasury forecasts, hitting 57 per cent of GDP in 2013-14 before it stabilises and slowly declines – a level thought unimaginable in Whitehall as recently as the spring. This blows out of the water Gordon Brown’s fiscal rule to keep debt below 40 per cent of GDP in “each and every year”.

Will the fiscal stimulus help much?
Even with on Monday’s 1 per cent of national income fiscal stimulus, which reduces tax by £15bn a year for a little longer than a year, the Treasury still expects a recession, so Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are not expecting their moves to prevent things getting nasty, only to limit the damage. The £20bn used by the chancellor comes because the stimulus lasts for more than one year.

The Treasury expects the stimulus to limit the downturn by half a percentage point, an assumption that economists generally think is reasonable. Three factors limit the effect of the stimulus. First, some of the benefit from lower prices will be saved rather than spent. Second, foreigners benefit from taxpayers largesse when imported goods are purchased. Third, the Treasury was intending to tighten fiscal policy anyway by a few billions of pounds in 2009-10, so any new measures for next year first have to overcome that hurdle before the government can claim to be boosting economic growth with lower taxes and higher public spending.

Immediately, the Treasury expects the reduction in VAT to cost £3.8bn in 2008-09 and this effect will be augmented in 2009-10 with a further £8.6bn as the reduced rate of VAT extends until the end of next year. Also in 2009-10, the Treasury is bringing forward £2.5bn of public spending from later to create a total package of £15bn added to the economy – which had not already been announced.

To what extent is the downturn permanent?
Much more than the Treasury would usually concede and it has been careful to say that it now thinks that economic output was 4 per cent higher than a sustainable level in mid 2007. That output, the Treasury thinks, will not come back.

This change has a profound effect on the figures presented in the pre-Budget report because the Treasury cannot pretend years of extremely rapid growth will follow the recession.
on Monday Mr Darling’s forecast showed a total loss of output of 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and this is followed by a gain of 0.5 per cent a year from 2011-12 onwards.

With the underlying performance of the British economy worse than thought, unemployment is likely to stay higher for longer and, even if it falls, output and incomes will be lower.

The main effect is a persistent deterioration in the public finances. While the Treasury believed the underlying government borrowing – after stripping out the effects of the economic cycle – would be 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2010-11, it now accepts it will be much worse at 5.6 per cent of GDP. This creates a large hole in the public finances that has to be filled over the next decade.

How does the Treasury plan to restore prudence?
In the short-term, Mr Darling believes profligacy is the new prudence. But after two years – quite possibly when another government is in charge – the watchword in Whitehall and the country will be austerity.

With the government borrowing 8 per cent of GDP in 2009-10, or £118bn, Mr Darling expects to get back to only what he defines as prudence by 2015-16. This is when public sector net borrowing falls below the level of net investment and the Treasury expects the deficit to be about £14bn in that year.

The total reduction needed to restore prudence is, therefore, a £104bn clawback over six years.

The austerity years are split between the effects of rapid economic growth, tax rises, fiscal drag – the process by which revenues grow faster than the economy – and spending restraint.

About a fifth of the explosion in borrowing will be clawed back by rapid economic growth, the Treasury believes. This is, of course, limited by the assumption that the economy was permanently scarred by the credit crunch.

But the rest of the recovery comes from deliberate government action. The government is counting predominantly on three forces: tax increases, fiscal drag and severe public expenditure restraint to reduce the cyclically adjusted budget deficit from 7.2 per cent in 2010-11 to 3.5 per cent in 2013-14.

Tax rises come to about £20bn – a fifth of the total – and comprise the withdrawal of the value added tax reduction, rises in national insurance contributions, higher income tax for rich people and higher excise duties.

The real growth rate of public spending falls to 1 per cent a year – lower than the 1.2 per cent announced by the chancellor because he is freezing capital spending in 2010-11 and all subsequent years, giving the lie to the government’s claims of always protecting infrastructure spending.

Government revenues are forecast to rise very sharply as a share of GDP even though no specific tax increases have been announced. This is because the Treasury is assuming the damage to revenues over the next few years is not permanent. This is a very bold assumption.

Is the Treasury’s plan credible?
Having ignored its existing fiscal rules because Mr Darling says it would be “perverse” to hit them and with years of fudging and fiddling the rules having already undermined their credibility, the Treasury has an uphill battle to regain trust that it will bring public borrowing back down to a sustainable level.

Its strategy is to move away from rules as far as possible and restore credibility through thoroughly believable forecasts for the economy, taxation and public expenditure.

Credibility is enhanced by its assumption that much of the shock to the economy will be permanent. But it will be harmed because few tough decisions have been taken.

Spending restraint is by the stroke of a pen after 2011-12 rather than the difficult process of agreeing and announcing individual departmental budgets. There are relatively few tax increases save for the reversal of the temporary VAT reduction and the rise in tax revenues assumed is certainly aggressive.

There is no formal external monitoring of the government’s economic or revenue forecasts.

So far, investors have retained their appetite for government bonds as the fiscal rules have lost credibility. Mr Darling’s modest reforms to the fiscal framework suggests he thinks investor desire for government debt will continue without a much tighter medium-term framework. That is quite a gamble.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Kita juga maklum Tambun YB Ahmad Husni telah menyatakan dalam dewan rakyat bahawa kementerian kewangan telah menyiapkan bajet 2009 bedasarkan harga minyak mentah berada pada US$120 (RM422.40) satu tong.

Kita juga maklum bahawa baru-baru ini harga minyak mentah berada dibawah paras US$44(RM160.16) dolar setong.

terima kasih tok ghaib

ps change the figures to get our answers, tambun? termasuklah unemployment figures...atau mahu jual muka zeti yang manis