outubro 29, 2008

Estudo do Pew Research Center: parcialidade e falta de objectividade predominam na cobertura eleitoral dos media

The media coverage of the race for president has not so much cast Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed John McCain in a substantially negative one, according to a new study of the media since the two national political conventions ended.

Press treatment of Obama has been somewhat more positive than negative, but not markedly so.

But coverage of McCain has been heavily unfavorable -- and has become more so over time. In the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three-to-one -- the most unfavorable of all four candidates -- according to the study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

For Obama during this period, just over a third of the stories were clearly positive in tone (36%), while a similar number (35%) were neutral or mixed. A smaller number (29%) were negative.

For McCain, by comparison, nearly six-in-ten stories studied were decidedly negative in nature (57%), while fewer than two-in-ten (14%) were positive.

McCain did succeed in erasing one advantage Obama enjoyed earlier in the campaign -- the level of media exposure each candidate received. Since the end of August, the two rivals have been in a virtual dead heat in the amount of attention paid, and when vice presidential candidates are added to the mix the Republican ticket has the edge. This is a striking contrast to the pre-convention period, when Obama enjoyed nearly 50% more coverage.

Much of the increased attention for McCain derived from actions by the senator himself, actions that, in the end, generated mostly negative assessments. In many ways, the arc of the media narrative during this phase of the 2008 general election might be best described as a drama in which John McCain has acted and Barack Obama has reacted.

As for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her coverage had an up and down trajectory, moving from quite positive, to very negative, to more mixed. Driving that tone toward a more unfavorable light were the probing of her public record and her encounters with the press. Little of her trouble came from coverage of her personal traits or family issues. In the end, she also received less than half the coverage of either presidential nominee, though about triple that of her vice presidential counterpart, Joe Biden.

The findings suggest that Palin's portrayal in the press was not the major factor hurting McCain. Her coverage, while tilting negative, was far more positive than her running mate's.

These are some of the findings of the study, which examined 2,412 campaign stories from 48 news outlets, during six critical weeks of the general election phase from the end of the conventions through the final presidential debate. Tone was examined on a subset of this sample, 857 stories from 43 outlets, from those campaign stories that were focused on one of the candidates. Marion Just of Wellesley College served as a consultant on the study. The Project is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Among the findings:

Coverage of Obama began in the negative after the conventions, but the tone switched with the changing direction of the polls. The most positive stories about him were those that were most political -- focused on polling, the electoral map and tactics.
For McCain, coverage began positively, but turned sharply negative with McCain's reaction to the crisis in the financial markets. As he took increasingly bold steps in an effort to reverse the direction of the polls, the coverage only worsened. Attempts to turn the dialogue away from the economy through attacks on Obama's character did hurt Obama's media coverage, but McCain's was even more negative.
Coverage of Palin, in the end, was more negative than positive. In all, 39% of Palin stories carried a negative tone, while 28% were positive and 33% were neutral. Contrary to what some critics have suggested, little of the coverage was about Palin's personal life (5%).
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was nearly the invisible man. His coverage enjoyed just one large moment, the vice presidential debate, which also provided the only positive or neutral contribution to his coverage. Aside from that week, the limited coverage he did receive was far more negative than Palin's, and nearly as negative as McCain's.
The economy was hardly a singular lens through which the media perceived the race. Though it was the No. 1 campaign topic overall, in five out of the six weeks analyzed, other topics drew more media attention, and the economy accounted for not much more of the campaign newshole (18%) than did assessments of the candidates in the four debates (17%).
Horse race reporting, once again, made up the majority of coverage, but less so than earlier in the contest or in previous elections. Since the conventions ended, 53% of the newshole studied has focused on political matters, particularly tactics, strategy and polling -- twice the coverage focused on policy (20%). The focus on tactics and horse race increased in the last three weeks as both campaigns became more negative in their rhetoric.
Tone is an elusive and yet unavoidable question when examining the role of the news media. Who got better coverage, and why?

To examine tone, the Project takes a particularly cautious and conservative approach. Unlike some researchers, we examine not just whether assertions in stories are positive or negative, but also whether they are essentially neutral. This, we believe, provides a much clearer and fairer sense of the tone of coverage than ignoring those balanced or mixed evaluations. Second, we do not simply tally up all the evaluative assertions in stories and compile them into a single measure. Journalists and audiences think about press coverage in stories or segments. They ask themselves, is this story positive or negative or neutral? Hence, the Project measures coverage by story, and for a story to be deemed as having a negative or positive tone, it must be clearly so, not a close call. For example, the negative assertions in a story must outweigh other assertions by a margin of at least 1.5 to 1 for that story to be deemed negative.

One question likely to be posed is whether these findings provide evidence that the news media are pro-Obama. Is there some element in these numbers that reflects a rooting by journalists for Obama and against McCain, unconscious or otherwise? The data do not provide conclusive answers. They do offer a strong suggestion that winning in politics begets winning coverage, thanks in part to the relentless tendency of the press to frame its coverage of national elections as running narratives about the relative position of the candidates in the polls and internal tactical maneuvering to alter those positions. Obama's coverage was negative in tone when he was dropping in the polls, and became positive when he began to rise, and it was just so for McCain as well. Nor are these numbers different than those we have seen before. Obama's numbers are similar to what we saw for John Kerry four years ago as he began rising in the polls, and McCain's numbers are almost identical to those recorded eight years ago for Democrat Al Gore.

What the findings also reveal is the reinforcing -- rather than press-generated -- effects of media. We see a repeating pattern here in which the press first offers a stenographic account of candidate rhetoric and behavior, while also on the watch for misstatements and gaffes. Then, in a secondary reaction, it measures the political impact of what it has reported. This is magnified in particular during presidential races by the prevalence of polling and especially daily tracking polls. While this echo effect exists in all press coverage, it is far more intense in presidential elections, with the explosion of daily tracking polls, state polls, poll aggregation websites and the 24-hour cable debate over their implications. Even coverage of the candidate's policy positions and rhetoric, our reading of these stories suggests, took on the cast of horse race coverage.

JPTF 2008/10/29

outubro 28, 2008

‘O Plano C da UE: Espanha, Bélgica e Grécia expulsas do Euro? in Libertad Digital, 28 de Outubro de 2008

Las quiebras bancarias que se han producido a lo largo de los últimos meses se han ido solventando, por el momento, mediante la aprobación estatal de amplios rescates financieros, basados en la emisión de deuda pública, así como la concesión ilimitada de créditos extraordinarios por parte de los distintos bancos centrales.

Sin embargo, las turbulencias siguen su curso, y el riesgo se cierne ahora sobre la solvencia misma de los Estados debido al elevado coste de los rescates financieros. El primer país en caer fue Islandia. Sin embargo, no ha sido el único. Países del entorno europeo como Hungría o Ucrania ya han solicitado al Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) la concesión de créditos extraordinarios para hacer frente a sus compromisos financieros.

De hecho, una potencia económica de primer nivel como Rusia se está encontrando con serios aprietos para acudir al rescate de sus sistema bancario ya que, en tal caso, la calidad de su deuda pública corre el riesgo de ser degradada, disparando con ello el coste de financiación del país.

La creciente desconfianza de los inversores sobre la solvencia de los países emergentes se está traduciendo en una huída masiva de capital foráneo, con los efectos colaterales que ello está causando en sus respectivas divisas.

De hecho, la deuda pública estadounidense parece ser la única que, de momento, se mantiene como valor refugio ante los desplomes bursátiles. Sin embargo, más allá de los países del Este de Europa, Rusia, países asiáticos, o estados latinoamericanos como Argentina, la incertidumbre se está trasladando igualmente hacia países miembros de la UE, y más concretamente, de la zona euro.

Así, según el diario conservador alemán Die Welt, la elite comunitaria baraja un posible Plan C ante el riesgo de que quiebren algunos países pertenecientes a la Unión. Y es que, el pánico a nuevas quiebras bancarias se está traduciendo en las últimas semanas en un miedo real a nuevas bancarrotas estatales. Tras Islandia, Hungría, Ucrania, Pakistán o la mismísima Rusia, Rumanía podría ser el próximo país en caer.

Rumanía, la siguiente en caer

De hecho, no se descarta que las cuentas públicas de países de la zona euro como Grecia o España puedan resultar afectados igualmente por las turbulencias financieras. Y ello, debido a que presentan un abultado déficit exterior (del 14% y 11% del PIB, respectivamente). Es decir, son las economías europeas más expuestas a la necesidad de financiación exterior, en un contexto caracterizado, precisamente, por una intensa restricción del crédito y la desaparición de facto del mercado interbancario.

En este sentido, la abultada emisión de bonos públicos que han programado las principales economías mundiales incrementa la presión sobre la deuda pública española, ya que no contaría con el suficiente atractivo para los inversores. Es decir, España deberá ofrecer una mayor rentabilidad que los bonos de otros países y, por lo tanto, el coste de tales emisiones será mayor, tal y como avanzó LD. Y ello, por el mal estado de sus cuentas públicas.

Los inversores esperan nuevas bancarrotas estatales

Ha llegado la hora de los Estados soberanos. "Los actores en los mercados financieros empiezan ahora un nuevo juego", afirma Thomas Straubhaar, del Instituto de Economía Mundial de Hamburgo (HWWI). Tras los bancos, "los inversores empiezan a colocar en su punto de mira a algunos países" y comienzan a especular sobre la solvencia de sus cuentas públicas.

Si hasta ahora Islandia pasaba por ser un caso excepcional tras declararse hace un mes en bancarrota, el riesgo afecta ya a una economía perteneciente a la Unión Europea, como es el caso de Hungría. Los Estados bálticos son extremadamente dependientes de los préstamos extranjeros, con lo que son más vulnerables a la crisis financiera. Además, el Banco Central Europeo (BCE) abrió este lunes una línea de financiación extra para el Banco Nacional de Dinamarca de 12.000 millones de euros.

Para apoyar estas medidas, el BCE y el Banco Nacional de Dinamarca establecieron el martes un acuerdo de divisas recíproco por 12.000 millones de euros, que se "mantendrá todo el tiempo que sea necesario", añadió el BCE en un comunicado.

El BCE ha prestado también al Banco Central de Hungría hasta 5.000 millones de euros y lleva a cabo con el Banco Nacional suizo inyecciones de liquidez a corto plazo en francos suizos.

El riesgo de España y Grecia

Los analistas coinciden en que la inexistencia de la Unión Monetaria habría puesto en su sitio a cada moneda nacional de tal forma que, ante la actual situación, el marco alemán se habría revalorizado mientras que las divisas de los países mediterráneos (los denominados PIGS: Portugal, Italia, Grecia y España) estarían en estos momentos sometidas a grandes presiones, tal y como está sucediendo con las monedas de los países emergentes.

Sin embargo, bajo el régimen de la moneda única esta situación no es posible. "El Euro actúa como un pegamento que hace inverosímil el colapso de uno de sus miembros", según indica Klaus Abberger del Instituto de Hamburgo. Según el rotativo, la preocupación de los bancos centrales y algunas autoridades políticas radica en el elevado déficit exterior de algunas economías, en referencia a Bélgica, Grecia y España.

No obstante, España necesitaría devaluar su moneda casi un 30% para reajustar su abultado déficit exterior. Además, durante este verano saltaron las alarmas cuando los bancos alemanes comenzaron a detectar que sus clientes rechazaban los euros procedentes de España, Italia, Grecia y Portugal.

¿Qué pasaría si la economía griega se va abocada a una situación como la de Islandia? Nadie quiere hablar de ello abiertamente, pero tanto ministros como bancos centrales de la Eurozona están profundamente preocupados ante semejante escenario.

El BCE carece de autorización para rescatar a un país miembro, por lo que la alternativa consistiría en solicitar un crédito al FMI o que otros Estados comunitarios acudan al rescate. Y es que, resulta difícil creer que se deje caer a un Estado cuando se ha acudido al rescate de los bancos de inversión en EEUU o al auxilio de la banca regional alemana.

¿Un Plan C?

Pese a ello, en los círculos financieros y políticos germanos se comienza a barajar un Plan C. En caso de que se produzca este caso extremo, resultaría muy difícil hacer entender a los contribuyentes alemanes que, además de tener que sufragar el rescate de su banca, tengan que asumir también el elevado coste de auxiliar las finanzas de otro país.

Por ello, la última opción consistiría en reducir la zona euro a las potencias clave como Alemania o Francia, así como extender el ámbito de la moneda común a los Estados que cumplan estrictamente con el Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento (un déficit público máximo del 3% del PIB y una deuda pública del 60% del PIB).

Y es que, tan sólo los Estados que cuenten con una sólida política económica y financiera estarían en condiciones de encarar el actual huracán de los mercados financieros internacionales, según los analistas. En este sentido, España corre el riesgo de disparar su desequilibrio presupuestario a corto y medio plazo.

El Pacto de Estabilidad nació con el objetivo de controlar el déficit público de los países miembros, sobre todo, los del Sur de Europa. La clave del problema radica en que si el tipo de interés de la deuda pública supera el crecimiento económico del país en cuestión, el volumen de la deuda seguirá in crescendo respecto al PIB, y llegará un punto en el que se hará insostenible. Y ello, provocaría efectos externos negativos sobre el resto de la Unión Monetaria e, incluso, la estabilidad de la propia divisa.

JPTF 2008/10/28

outubro 27, 2008

‘A ascensão dos Obamacons‘ in The Economist, 27 de Outubro de 2008

IN “W.”, his biopic about his Yale classmate, Oliver Stone details Colin Powell’s agonies during George Bush’s first term. Throughout the film Mr Powell repeatedly raises doubts about the invasion of Iraq—and is repeatedly overruled by the ghoulish trio of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove. In one of the final scenes, with his direst warnings proving correct, Mr Powell turns to Mr Cheney and delivers a heartfelt “Fuck you”.

The real Colin Powell used more diplomatic language in endorsing Barack Obama on October 19th, but the impact was much the same. Mr Obama is a “transformational figure”, he mildly said, and his old friend John McCain had erred in choosing a neophyte as a running-mate. But you would have to be naive not to see the endorsement as a verdict on the Bush years.

Mr Powell is now a four-star general in America’s most surprising new army: the Obamacons. The army includes other big names such as Susan Eisenhower, Dwight’s granddaughter, who introduced Mr Obama at the Democratic National Convention and Christopher Buckley, the son of the conservative icon William Buckley, who complains that he has not left the Republican Party: the Republican Party has left him. Chuck Hagel, a Republican senator from Nebraska and one-time bosom buddy of Mr McCain has also flirted heavily with the movement, though he has refrained from issuing an official endorsement.

The biggest brigade in the Obamacon army consists of libertarians, furious with Mr Bush’s big-government conservatism, worried about his commitment to an open-ended “war on terror”, and disgusted by his cavalier way with civil rights. There are two competing “libertarians for Obama” web sites. CaféPress is even offering a “libertarian for Obama” lawn sign for $19.95. Larry Hunter, who helped to devise Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1994, thinks that Mr Obama can free America from the grip of the “zombies” who now run the Republican Party.

But the army has many other brigades, too: repentant neocons such as Francis Fukuyama, legal scholars such as Douglas Kmiec, and conservative talk-show hosts such as Michael Smerconish. And it is picking up unexpected new recruits as the campaign approaches its denouement. Many disillusioned Republicans hoped that Mr McCain would provide a compass for a party that has lost its way, but now feel that the compass has gone haywire. Kenneth Adelman, who once described the invasion of Iraq as a “cakewalk”, decided this week to vote for Mr Obama mainly because he regards Sarah Palin as “not close to being acceptable in high office”.

The rise of the Obamacons is more than a reaction against Mr Bush’s remodelling of the Republican Party and Mr McCain’s desperation: there were plenty of disillusioned Republicans in 2004 who did not warm to John Kerry. It is also a positive verdict on Mr Obama. For many conservatives, Mr Obama embodies qualities that their party has abandoned: pragmatism, competence and respect for the head rather than the heart. Mr Obama’s calm and collected response to the turmoil on Wall Street contrasted sharply with Mr McCain’s grandstanding. Much of Mr Obama’s rhetoric is strikingly conservative, even Reaganesque. He preaches the virtues of personal responsibility and family values, and practises them too. He talks in uplifting terms about the promise of American life. His story also appeals to conservatives: it holds the possibility of freeing America from its racial demons, proving that the country is a race-blind meritocracy and, in the process, bankrupting a race-grievance industry that has produced the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

How much do these Obamacons matter? More than Mr McCain would like to think. The Obamacons are manifestations of a deeper turmoil in the Republican rank-and-file, as the old coalition of small-government activists, social conservatives and business Republicans falls apart. They also influence opinion. This is obvious in the case of Mr Powell: Mr Obama is making liberal use of his endorsement to refute the latest Republican criticism that he is a “socialist”. But it is also true of lesser-known scribblers. At least 27 newspapers that backed Mr Bush in 2004 have endorsed Mr Obama.

Moreover, the revolt of the intellectuals is coinciding with a migration of culturally conservative voters—particularly white working-class voters—into Obamaland. Mr Obama is now level-pegging or leading among swing-groups such as Catholics and working-class whites. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll shows him winning 22% of self-described conservatives, a higher proportion than any Democratic nominee since 1980.

Don’t blame the rats

The more tantalising question is whether the rise of the Obamacons signals a lasting political realignment. In 1980 the rise of the neocons—liberal intellectuals who abandoned a spineless Democratic Party—was reinforced by the birth of working class “Reagan Democrats”. Is the Reagan revolution now going into reverse? There are reasons for scepticism. Will libertarians really stick with “Senator Government”, as Mr McCain labelled Mr Obama in the best slip of the tongue of the campaign? Will economic conservatives cleave to a president who believes in “spreading the wealth around”?

Much depends on how Mr Obama governs if he wins, and how the Republicans behave if they lose. Mr Obama talks about creating an administration of all the talents. He promises to take the cultural anxieties of Reagan Democrats seriously. For their part, hard-core Republicans are handling their party’s travails abysmally, retreating into elite-bashing populism and denouncing the Obamacons as “rats” who are deserting a sinking ship. If the Republican Party continues to think that the problem lies with the rats, rather than the seaworthiness of the ship, then the Obamacons are here to stay.
JPTF 2008/10/27

outubro 24, 2008

‘Um eixo necessitado de petróleo‘, cartoon de Claudio Muñoz para a revista The Economist

O défice de democracia europeu: ‘Exército de 170,000 burocratas trabalha para a UE‘ in Open Europe

170,000 people now work for the EU institutions. As well as those who work for the EU directly, the study finds that there are many more officials working for the EU indirectly. For example: working for the EU agencies; working for the EU overseas; sitting on EU policy committees; or working in the member states' representations to the EU. In total there are far more people working for the EU (170,000) than in the UK army (107,000).

The Commission claims that the EU's bureaucratic employees are "fewer than the number of staff employed by a typical medium-sized city council in Europe." But when the full picture is revealed, in fact, the EU employs the equivalent of the entire population of a medium-sized European city. Swansea, for instance, has roughly the same number of inhabitants as the EU employs.

In fact, the study finds that the EU now employs more people than the combined total of staff working for the Treasury (1,451), the Home Office (25,299), the Department for Work and Pensions (107,998), the Department for Health (3,467), the Foreign Office (16,169), the Department for International Development (1,612), the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (809), and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (7,854).

Open Europe analyst Nick Cosgrove said: "The Commission desperately tries to play down just how many people are now working for the EU. They are extremely secretive about the number of people who are working to churn out regulations."

"These people are not elected, and cannot be held accountable by ordinary citizens. But they have a huge effect on our lives, affecting everything from the price of electricity and food to the way we run the NHS."

"The huge number of people now working for the EU reflects its huge influence. The difficulty of finding out how many officials are working there reflects the EU's wider problem with a lack of transparency. It is a complicated and opaque institution, which leaves it wide open to influence from lobbyists and vested interests."

JPTF 2008/10/24

‘Índia e Iraque elevam a gravidade das perseguições a cristãos no mundo‘ in La Vanguardia, 24 de Outubro de 2008

Los violentos ataques a cristianos en India, el acoso que sufren en el vecino Pakistán, y la persecución de los caldeos en Iraq empeoran el balance de los sesenta países del mundo en que se registran graves violaciones de la libertad religiosa, según el informe anual de la asociación internacional de derecho pontificio Ayuda a la Iglesia Necesitada (AIN).

"Se aprecia un gran riesgo de que resulte comprometida la identidad de India como Estado laico, con una involución hacia un confesionalismo hindú de consecuencias impredecibles", sostienen los autores del informe, presentado ayer en la Asociación de la Prensa Extranjera. A finales del 2007, extremistas hindúes iniciaron la peor persecución anticristiana en India en decenios, sobre todo en el estado de Orissa, que se ha recrudecido desde agosto, con al menos 53 muertos, iglesias y casas arrasadas, y quizá diez mil refugiados, sin que las autoridades hayan intervenido.

En Orissa, incluso las respetadas misioneras de la caridad, la orden fundada por la madre Teresa de Calcuta, han tenido que huir. Además, están proliferando en algunos estados (India tiene estructura federal) las leyes anticonversión, que castigan a quien practica el proselitismo, pero sólo si el converso abandona la fe hindú para adoptar otro credo, no si se convierte al hinduismo.

El caso pakistaní es también gravísimo, a juicio de este informe 2008: "Los ataques suelen tener forma de fetua (veredictos emitidos por tribunales islámicos, pero con poder de condenar a muerte también a los no musulmanes), pero también hay asaltos armados a lugares de culto y secuestro de miembros de las minorías." En instrumento de represión religiosa en Pakistán se ha convertido la ley contra la blasfemia, que castiga con cárcel a quien ofende el Corán, e incluso pena de muerte a quien difama a Mahoma. Según los analistas, esta ley es usada arteramente por fundamentalistas suníes para acosar a la minoría cristiana, y a los Ahmadi, comunidad fundada en 1889 que se autodefine musulmana, pero que el islam juzga herética por sostener que Mahoma no ha sido el último profeta.

En Iraq, donde el islam es la religión oficial, el violento acoso a los cristianos, la mayoría caldeos, ha obligado a familias enteras a huir de Mosul, al ritmo de unas 20.000 familias por semana hasta ahora, según la agencia de noticias misionera AsiaNews. Su director, el religioso Bernardo Cervellera, ve un vínculo entre libertad religiosa y desarrollo económico. "Allí donde los creyentes son sometidos a vejaciones, la ausencia de libertad religiosa se traduce en una penalización para el desarrollo global del país - razonó Cervellera-. En cambio, el aumento de la libertad religiosa se convierte inmediatamente en factor de desarrollo y crecimiento."

Entre los países donde se producen violaciones más graves de la libertad de culto, el informe cita a Eritrea - donde hay dos mil personas detenidas por motivos religiosos-, Sudán, Nigeria, Arabia Saudí, Bangladesh, Indonesia y Egipto, entre otros.

JPTF 2008/10/24

outubro 20, 2008

‘Socorro! A minha reforma está na bolsa...‘ in Le Monde, 20 de Outubro de 2008

L'effondrement des marchés financiers ne menace pas seulement l'économie réelle, la distribution du crédit, l'emploi ou l'épargne investie en Bourse. Dans les pays où la retraite par capitalisation occupe une place prépondérante, comme les Etats-Unis ou le Royaume-Uni, il met en danger le niveau des retraites. De juin 2007 à juin 2008, la tempête financière a déjà réduit de 1 000 milliards de dollars (744 milliards d'euros) - soit environ 10 % - la valeur des actifs détenus par les fonds de pension privés et publics aux Etats-Unis, selon le témoignage de Peter R. Orszag, directeur du Congressionnal Budget Office (CBO, bureau du budget au Congrès américain), sur "les effets du récent trouble sur les marchés financiers sur la sécurité des retraites", mardi 7 octobre, devant le Comité sur l'éducation et le travail de la Chambre des représentants. Avec le krach généralisé subi depuis l'été, cette perte pourrait avoir doublé...

Comme le rappelait le président Antoine Pinay, symbole politique français de la confiance, lors du krach boursier de 1987 : "Tant qu'on n'a pas vendu, on n'a pas perdu." Toutefois, outre la déroute des actions en Bourse, qui constituent l'essentiel des placements des fonds de pension, la dévalorisation marquée de presque tous les actifs financiers dans lesquels ils investissent aussi - les obligations d'entreprises et celles d'Etats émergents, les contrats à terme sur les indices de matières premières, l'immobilier, les parts de fonds spéculatifs, etc. - ainsi que les faillites ou les quasi-faillites en cours dans le secteur des établissements financiers, des fonds spéculatifs ou des entreprises laisseront des traces durables dans tous les portefeuilles. La Bourse de Tokyo vaut aujourd'hui quatre fois moins qu'avant son krach, commencé au début des années 1990 et provoqué par l'éclatement de la bulle financière sur l'immobilier...

Même à court terme, "les fonds de pension sont aujourd'hui touchés par la crise car ils doivent assurer des liquidités jour après jour, au fil des départs à la retraite de leurs adhérents. Or les actifs qu'ils détiennent et qui sont évalués, comme les normes comptables actuelles l'exigent, trimestre par trimestre, ont perdu de leur valeur avec la chute des marchés", ajoute Anne Lavigne, professeur de sciences économiques à l'université d'Orléans.

Dans les pays qui ont opté principalement pour la retraite par capitalisation, les salariés disposent de deux types de dispositifs : soit des fonds de pension publics, d'entreprise ou de branche dits "à prestations définies", qui offrent des retraites selon un mode de calcul prévu à l'avance ; soit des plans de retraite dits "à cotisations définies" qui prévoient seulement le montant des cotisations de l'entreprise et du salarié. La pension dépendra in fine de la façon dont l'épargne a fructifié. Aujourd'hui, le sort des uns comme des autres n'est guère enviable. "Il n'y a pas de mystère. Pour les fonds de pension à prestations définies, les cotisations devront augmenter. Pour ceux dits à cotisations définies, les prestations vont baisser", prévient Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, directrice du Centre d'études prospectives et d'informations internationales (Cepii). "Les retraités et les épargnants perdent fortement avec la crise financière", ajoute-t-elle.

Les fonds à prestations définis sont ceux qui offrent le plus de sécurité aux cotisants. Mais s'ils n'ont pas assez de réserves, il faut les renflouer. Le problème risque de se poser pour les fonds de pension publics : le taux de couverture de leurs engagements est maintenant tombé à 86 %, selon une étude citée par le CBO concernant 85 % d'entre eux. De même, les fonds de pension des 500 premières entreprises américaines cotées à New York ont vu la couverture de leurs engagements de retraite chuter de 108 % en 2007 (un excédent de 95 milliards de dollars) à 91 % actuellement (un déficit de 115 milliards), d'après la banque Goldman Sachs (L'Agefi du 15 octobre). La perte est donc de 205 milliards pour cette catégorie, et de 82 milliards d'euros pour les fonds de pension d'entreprise en Europe, selon la banque Morgan Stanley.

De plus, les Américains étaient déjà, avant le krach récent, "dangereusement impréparés à la retraite", selon une étude de l'agence Standard & Poor's de mai 2008 : seulement 37 % des salariés bénéficiaient encore d'une couverture-retraite traditionnelle d'entreprise en 2004, contre 60 % en 1983. En effet, les plans individuels d'épargne-retraite - plus facilement transportables d'une entreprise à l'autre - se sont fortement développés : il s'agit des "401 (k)", des "403 (b)" - du nom des articles du code fiscal qui accordent une déduction d'impôts sur les versements - et des Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). Les employeurs ont favorisé ces plans à cotisations définies car ils ne les engagent que sur les cotisations et non sur le niveau des retraites futures.

En 2004, les "401 (k)" étaient dotés en moyenne de seulement 60 000 dollars (mais de 157 727 dollars pour les salariés d'au moins 60 ans). Lorsque l'affiliation à ce type de plan est seulement optionnelle dans l'entreprise, sa gestion (choix des actions, des obligations, des mutual funds - les sicav) peut être réalisée directement par le futur retraité, pas toujours avec la plus grande prudence... Enfin, 34 % des ménages ne bénéficiaient en 2004 d'aucun dispositif. Ils devront se contenter de la retraite de la sécurité sociale - équivalent d'un minimum vieillesse, versé à tous les Américains -, et de leurs éventuels bas de laine.

Mais la crise immobilière sévit en même temps, rappelle Mme Lavigne : "Beaucoup de quinquagénaires et de sexagénaires américains ont cédé à la tentation de l'endettement facile, grâce à la politique du crédit mené aux Etats-Unis, et se sont acheté une autre résidence. Ils risquent donc d'être touchés deux fois : par l'éclatement de la bulle immobilière et par les difficultés qui attendent les fonds de pension auxquels ils contribuent."

Enfin, le système par capitalisation reste vulnérable - comme la répartition - aux effets du vieillissement. La génération des baby-boomers va désépargner en touchant sa retraite : " Cela se traduira par un déséquilibre du marché avec une offre excédentaire de titres, ce qui conduira forcément à une baisse des rendements", dit Mme Lavigne. Les pays européens ou émergents étaient censés prendre le relais, soit en développant des systèmes par capitalisation soit via les fonds souverains, mais la crise risque de freiner leur croissance.


JPTF 2008/10/20

outubro 18, 2008

'Eixo do petróleo' forçado a mudar a sua estratégia devido à queda dos preços in Times, 18 de Outubro de 2008

Now those oil-producing powers may be forced to draw in their horns as crude prices tumble. They face austerity budgets that could force them to scale back their military spending and foreign assistance even as falling oil prices fuel domestic dissent.

“All countries heavily dependent on petroleum revenue are nervously watching oil prices as they drop not just far, but quickly,” said Jonathan Elkind, a senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

“That price adjustment is raising questions in all these capitals about the suitability of the economic model that has been making them feel so full of themselves in the recent period.

“It would be a serious mistake for people in the United States or other net consumers to feel a sense of the satisfaction that ‘Happy days are here again',” he said. “They're not.”

Leaders in Tehran, Moscow and Caracas have gloated as the financial crisis has hobbled the United States and its Western allies. Analysts say that the three swaggering petro-states are the most vulnerable oil producers to the steep price declines. From a record high of $147 (£85) a barrel in July, crude oil is now trading at around $70 after dipping to its lowest level since August 2007.

Deutsche Bank estimated in a recent research note that Iran and Venezuela need an oil price of more than $95 a barrel to balance their budgets, and Russia requires a price of $75. That compares to a break-even figure of $55 for Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Venezuela have led so-called oil hawks in recent days to push the producer cartel Opec to bring forward an emergency meeting to next Friday, from mid-November, to discuss cutting output quotas to drive up the price. While Russia has prudently salted away much of its oil windfall in “rainy day” funds, Iran and Venezuela are much worse prepared for the downturn, Mr Elkind said.

The tumbling oil prices are grim news for President Ahmadinejad of Iran as he prepares to fight for re-election next June. The populist son of a blacksmith won a landslide election victory three years ago by pledging to give the poor a fairer share of Iran's oil wealth. Now the economy is his Achilles' heel. His profligate spending of petrodollars from record oil revenues has stoked inflation, which topped 29 per cent last month, compared with 12 per cent when he took power.

Bazaar merchants - a potent middle-class force - went on strike last week for the first time since the run-up to the country's Islamic revolution, forcing Mr Ahmadinejad to scrap plans to impose 3 per cent VAT to help to replenish Iran's coffers.

Iranian reformers are urging the headstrong Mr Ahmadinejad to prepare for lower oil revenues by slashing subsidies on commodities such as sugar, cooking oil and wheat. Instead, with an eye on the elections, he continues to tour the provinces, attempting to buy rural support by dispensing largesse in cash and loans.

In Venezuela the Government has unveiled an austerity budget. Just as in Iran, however, Mr Chávez maintains his populist social spending ahead of municipal and state elections. Economic analysts predict that the Government will be forced to raise taxes and devalue the currency.

First affected may be Venezuela's foreign allies. The country's energy aid to friendly nations, which has bought it influence across the continent, is likely to be reined in. Its generous credit programme for Caribbean partners in the PetroCaribe energy accord has been reduced from 50 to 40 per cent.

Defence spending may also be hit. Venezuela has bought about $4.4 billion-worth of Russian military equipment since 2005. Last month it got a $1 billion Russian loan for more purchases - the first time it has sought financing for arms deals with Moscow.

Russia is best positioned for the crisis, having built up the world's third-largest foreign currency reserves before the crisis, at $580 billion. As its stock market plunged it has been forced to spend more than $32 billion in the past two weeks to prop up the currency and bail out banks. The Kremlin will be forced to plug holes in next year's budget by dipping into the Reserve Fund, a $154 billion repository of windfall oil revenues forecast to grow to $174 billion by 2010, but may now start to shrink instead.

President Medvedev, however, is determined to press on with modernisation of the military and has adopted an increasingly strident tone with the West. He has ordered a renovation of Russia's nuclear deterrent and the creation of new space and missile defence shields by 2020, as well as the “mass production of warships... and multi-purpose submarines”.

Nevertheless, Western diplomats detected signs of a new Russian flexibility during last month's UN General Assembly, when Moscow backed an extension of the Nato mandate in Afghanistan and agreed to a meeting on Iran's nuclear programme.

Frank Verrastro, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, noted that oil prices had only fallen to last year's levels and cautioned that it would take more sustained price falls to trigger long-lasting changes by major oil producers.

“It's premature to say people are radically changing their behaviour,” he said. “I think they will, but not yet.”


JPTF 2008/10/18

outubro 17, 2008

Saltos de humor na bolsa, cartoon de O'Farrell

‘Desarticulada uma célula islamista que facilitou a fuga de terroristas do 11-M‘ in La Vanguardia, 17 de Outubro de 2008

La Policía Nacional ha detenido hoy a otras cuatro personas, que estaban ya en prisión, por estar presuntamente vinculadas con la célula islamista, desarticulada esta mañana, que ayudó a huir a algunos de los implicados en los atentados del 11-M.

Esta mañana, la Policía Nacional ya había detenido a ocho personas en el inicio de esta misma operación contra el terrorismo islamista llevada a cabo de madrugada en varias poblaciones del área de Barcelona, Madrid y Algeciras (Cádiz), según informó el ministro del Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba .

Los detenidos en la operación 'Amat' formaban parte presuntamente de una célula que daba cobertura y apoyo a terroristas de Al Qaeda, entre ellos a algunos de los implicados en los atentados del 11-M.

Inicialmente el delegado del Gobierno en Catalunya, Joan Rangel, informó de 13 detenciones en Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Vilanova i la Geltrú y Badalona. A primera hora de la tarde, el ministro Rubalcaba aclaró que las personas detenidas son ocho (en las provincias de Barcelona, Madrid y Cádiz) y que otras diez están siendo interrogadas.

El conseller de Interior, Joan Saura, se ha felicitado por la operación y ha recalcado que "no parecía que -los detenidos- se plantearan realizar alguna acción terrorista inmediata en Catalunya".

Según las investigaciones policiales, los detenidos acogieron, ocultaron y facilitaron la huida a los fugados tras los atentados de Madrid del año 2004, entre ellos: Mohamed Larbi Ben Sellam, Daoud Ouhnane, Mohamed Afalah, Othman El Mouhib y Abdelilah Hriz.

La operación, puesta en marcha por la Comisaría General de Información del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, en colaboración con las brigadas de información de Barcelona, Madrid y Algeciras, bajo la dirección del Juzgado Central de Instrucción número Cinco de la Audiencia Nacional, es continuación de la operación 'Tigris', desarrollada en el año 2005.

En aquella ocasión se desarticuló una célula que se encargaba del adoctrinamiento, reclutamiento, financiación y envío de terroristas a Iraq, con la misión de cometer acciones suicidas contra las tropas extranjeras y otros objetivos fijados por Al Qaeda.

En el operativo participan agentes del Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO) de la Policía, trasladados desde su sede central en Guadalajara, y efectivos de los TEDAX, como marca el protocolo de actuación en este tipo de operaciones, ante la eventualidad de que pudieran encontrarse sustancias explosivas, algo que no ha ocurrido en esta operación hasta el momento.

Detenciones de última hora
Los últimos detenidos, que se encontraban internados en diferentes centros penitenciarios, son Samir Tahtah, nacido en 1977 en Douar Aknia (Marruecos), Kamal Ahbar, nacido en 1978 en Argelia, Omar Nakhcha, nacido en 1980 en Ksarkebir (Marruecos) y Driss Belhadi, nacido en 1978 en Beni Boufrah (Marruecos).

La Policía, además de detenerles en las celdas de las prisiones del Puerto I (Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz), Teixeiro (La Coruña), Zuera (Zaragoza) y Dueñas (Palencia), respectivamente, ha registrado sus domicilios.

En ellos se han intervenido resguardos de envío de dinero, dinero en metálico en una cantidad aproximada a los 7.000 euros, un ordenador portátil, dos ordenadores personales, varios teléfonos móviles y diversa documentación y material informático.

Estas cuatro últimas detenciones, que se suman a las ocho practicadas esta mañana, se enmarcan en una operación desarrollada en Barcelona, Madrid y Algeciras que ha logrado desmantelar una célula islamista que daba cobertura a terroristas de Al Qaeda.

Todos los detenidos serán puestos a disposición del Juzgado Central de Instrucción número cinco de la Audiencia Nacional.

Sorpresa entre los vecinos
Vecinos de los detenidos en Santa Coloma de Gramenet y Badalona se mostraron sorprendidos. Aseguraron que son "buena gente" y no habían tenido problemas de convivencia.

El propietario de un bar de la calle Sant Eduard de Santa Coloma de Gramenet aseguró que uno de los detenidos le había pedido guardar cajas en el establecimiento. "Decían que eran cajas de libros, pero al final no las bajaron", recordó. Sostuvo que eran "buenos chavales, pero nunca se sabe".

Un vecino del edificio aseguró que se trataba de "muy buena gente y amables". Explicó que la convivencia era "muy buena y nunca había habido queja de los vecinos", y que tenían conocimiento de que en el piso vivían dos jóvenes, que decían ser yeseros. Sin embargo, recordó que, en ocasiones, "se les podía ver a horas" que no concordaban con los horarios de la construcción. Aseguró que cada mes viajaban a Marruecos.

Un vecino de los detenidos en el número 42 de la calle Bellavista de Badalona se quejó del trato de la policía en el registro. "No ha sido normal, en 19 años que llevo en España nunca me había pasado". Dijo que el detenido es "una persona normal", con el que trabajó en un taller de confección, y no cree que "sea de Al Qaeda".

JPTF 2008/10/17

outubro 16, 2008

‘Oito detidos em Espanha por apoiarem o terrorismo islamista‘ in El País, 16 de Outubro de 2008

Agentes del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía han detenido hasta el momento a trece personas por su presunta relación con una trama de financiación y reclutamiento del terrorismo yihadista en España, han informado en fuentes de la investigación. El grueso de la operación, dirigida por el juez Baltasar Garzón, se ha desarrollado en la provincia de Barcelona, pero también se han practicado registros y algún arresto en Madrid y Andalucía.

El delegado del Gobierno en Catalunya, Joan Rangel, ha concretado que la operación policial iniciada esta noche se ha saldado hasta las diez de la mañana con 13 detenidos, todos en la provincia de Barcelona: 8 en Santa Coloma de Gramenet, una en Badalona, dos en Cerdanyola del Vallès y dos en Vilanova i la Geltrú. En total, en esta provincia, los agentes han llevado a cabo al menos siete registros.

La investigación pertenece a la Unidad Central de Información Exterior (UCIE) del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía y está relacionada con otro operativo anterior. Los detenidos han sido trasladados a dependencias policiales, y los agentes de han llevado varias cajas con el material incautado en las viviendas registradas.

En el operativo participan agentes del Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO) de la Policía, trasladados desde su sede central en Guadalajara, y efectivos de los TEDAX, como marca el protocolo de actuación en este tipo de operaciones, ante la eventualidad de que pudieran encontrarse sustancias explosivas, algo que no ha ocurrido en esta operación hasta el momento.

JPTF 2008/10/16

outubro 15, 2008

Leituras em tempo de crise financeira: ‘O Dever da Verdade‘ de Henrique Medina Carreira e Ricardo Costa

‘Britânico convertido ao Islão pretendia efectuar atentado suícida‘ in The Independent, 15 de Outubro de 2008

Stunned detectives listened in horror as a Muslim convert told them he wanted to kill himself and as many others as possible in a suicide attack.

Speaking from his hospital bed just hours after a botched bombing, 22-year-old Nicky Reilly wasted no time outlining his murderous intentions.

Reilly suffered burns to his face and arms when his volatile home-made liquid bomb exploded in his hands in a restaurant toilet cubicle.

Dozens of customers sitting just yards away at the trendy Giraffe cafe escaped without injury.

Reilly was captured on one CCTV camera staggering out of the restaurant in Exeter's £230 million Princesshay shopping complex.

The vulnerable loner's actions brought the terror of the July 2005 London transport bombings to a West Country city.

One senior prosecutor said Reilly, who has a low IQ and history of mental illness, wasted no time telling police what he had done and why.

He said: "He told police he intended to martyr himself and to kill others in the restaurant.

"In his words, this was in retaliation for the oppression of Muslims around the world and in relation to world events of recent years.

"His initial explanation was given in a slightly disjointed way as he was left in shock by the premature explosion."

Detectives believe easily-led Reilly was put on the path to murder by extremists he met near his home in King Street, Plymouth.

But he found details of how to construct his soft drink caustic soda, paraffin and nail bottle bombs on the internet.

On May 22, Reilly took the X38 bus from Plymouth to Exeter carrying several unassembled devices in a rucksack.

Shortly before 1pm, as he attempted to put the bombs together, one of the volatile bottles reacted prematurely and partially exploded.

Reilly was arrested outside as Royal Navy bomb disposal experts were brought in to examine the unexploded devices.

The shopping centre and a number of nearby offices were evacuated for several hours while a massive police operation took place.

In the aftermath of the attack, one senior police officer said the devices could have been powerful enough to blow out the building's glass frontage.

When detectives raided Reilly's home they discovered a suicide note quoting Osama bin Laden and calling on Britain to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sources said counter-terrorist police were aware of Reilly and suspected he had loose links to known Islamic extremists.

Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville took the unusual step of announcing that Reilly was preyed upon by extremists.

It emerged that Reilly adopted Islam five years ago and changed his name to Mohammad Rashid Saeed-Alim in 2007.


JPTF 2008/10/15

outubro 13, 2008

Na ‘democracia‘ europeia só se pode votar sim: ‘UE pressiona a Irlanda para fazer novo referendo em 2009‘ in Open Europe

European Union officials, Euro-MPs and high-level diplomatic contacts are stepping up the pressure on an increasingly isolated Ireland to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Brian Cowen, Ireland's Prime Minister, must explain to a summit of Europe's leaders next Wednesday how he is planning to resuscitate the EU Treaty, which was rejected by Irish voters in June.

While the final decision will be taken in December, Mr Cowen will hear demands from France and Germany that a second referendum take place as early as March 2009, before European elections.

Brussels diplomats have warned Ireland that it is isolated after angering other EU countries, such as Britain, by taking controversial financial crisis measures that benefited Irish banks while "dumping on others".

"The economy might be going into freefall and the Irish really did not help things. Sympathy for their difficulties is running out," said a diplomat.

According to informal briefing notes circulating in Brussels, EU officials are already in the advanced planning stages for a second vote to be held in Ireland in either Spring or Autumn next year.

One document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, cites Irish sources predicting that Ireland will be offered an "opt-out" on EU defence and security cooperation alongside plans to ratify parts of the Treaty in the country's parliament.

A second vote would then be held on "sensitive" aspects of the EU Treaty with "diverse declarations" presented as major concessions to Irish concerns.

Another text even suggests the slogan "if you don't know, learn!" as the basis for a propaganda blitz targeting, what EU officials regard as, a "lack of understanding" among Irish voters.

"We need to change minds by dramatising how serious the consequences of another No will be for Ireland," said one official.

Irish sources have said the campaign will be posed as "put up or shut up" with voters being given the stark choice between the Treaty and membership of the EU.

Margot Wallstrom, European Commission Vice-President responsible for "communicating" the EU, is planning to set up a "rebuttal function" to tackle "misinformation" from No campaigners.

"We cannot treat the Irish 'no' as merely a national issue or only a Treaty ratification problem," she wrote in an internal memorandum.

"The difficulties encountered in explaining to citizens the rationale of the Lisbon Treaty and in clarifying that the EU needs to be equipped for today's and tomorrow's challenges are difficulties which we encounter across the Union."


JPTF 2008/10/13

outubro 12, 2008

Prémio Nobel da Paz atribuído a Martti Ahtisaari duramente criticado pela Rússia in BE92, 11 de Outubro de 2008

Ahtisaari, Finland's former president, was announced earlier on Friday as the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate in recognition of his three decades of worldwide mediation efforts, including in the Balkan province.

A senior Russian lawmaker said Ahtisaari's other achievements outweighed his "failure" in Kosovo, but that failure "meant Serbia's breakup."

"If not his UN mission on Kosovo, which Ahtisaari, let's face it, failed to fulfill, the award would not have given rise to unpleasant feelings among those who consider Kosovo's independence illegitimate," said Mikhail Margelov, head of the upper house's international affairs committee.

He praised Ahtisaari as a highly qualified international official. "He deserves the award no less or no more than the peace prize laureates of previous years," Margelov said.

As UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, Ahtisaari laid out a plan in 2007 proposing "supervised independence" for the Albanian-dominated province. It was backed by the Kosovo government, the U.S. and Europe, but strongly opposed by Serbia and Russia as infringing on the former's territorial integrity.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February and has since been recognized by the United States and the majority of European countries. Russia, Serbia's long-time ally and a veto-wielding UN Security Council member, has refused to follow suit.

A Russian ultranationalist lawmaker also criticized the choice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"He [Ahtisaari] destroyed Serbia. He is like [Mikhail] Gorbachev, who destroyed the Soviet Union and received the peace prize," Vladimir Zhirinovsky said. "Now this Finn receives the prize for helping create a state within Serbia."

"They must be kidding us," Zhirinovsky said.

General Leonid Ivashov, head of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems think tank, said the prize was awarded to Ahtisaari for his role in the annexation of Kosovo from Serbia.

"The politician worked on the U.S. and NATO's side and did everything to destroy Yugoslavia and annex Kosovo," Ivashov said. "The peace prize is obviously an award for his zealous efforts in that shameful process."

Echoing the statement, a leading Russian political scientist said the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision was political and "discredited" the prestigious reward.

"The prize was obviously awarded to Ahtisaari not only for his considerable contribution to peace efforts, but as an acknowledgement of his Kosovo plan, which ... in fact legitimized ethnic cleansing against Serbs," Sergei Markov said.

Markov said the committee's decision in a sense adds to Russia's case of recognizing the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

JPTF 2008/10/11

outubro 10, 2008

‘A caminho de uma recessão global‘ in The Economist, 9 de Outubro de 2008

Deprive a person of oxygen and he will turn blue, collapse and eventually die. Deprive economies of credit and a similar process kicks in. As the financial crisis has broadened and intensified, the global economy has begun to suffocate. That is why the world’s central banks have been administering emergency measures, including a round of co-ordinated interest-rate cuts on Wednesday October 8th. With luck they will prevent catastrophe. They are unlikely to avert a global recession.

According to the IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook, published on Wednesday, the world economy is “entering a major downturn” in the face of “the most dangerous shock” to rich-country financial markets since the 1930s. The fund expects global growth, measured on the basis of purchasing-power parity (PPP), to come down to 3% in 2009, the slowest pace since 2002 and on the verge of what it considers to be a global recession. (The fund’s definition of global recession takes many factors into account, including the rate of population growth.) Given the scale of the financial freeze, the fund’s forecast looks optimistic. Other forecasters are convinced that a global recession is inevitable. Economists at UBS, for instance, expect global growth of only 2.2% in 2009.

The rich world’s economies were either shrinking, or close to it, long before September. Recent weeks have made a rich-world recession all but inevitable. America’s economy lost steam throughout the summer. Temporarily buoyed by fiscal stimulus and strong exports, output grew at a solid 2.8% annualised rate between April and June. But as the stimulus wore off, the job market worsened, credit tightened and consumer spending slid.

That slide became a rout in September. The economy lost 159,000 jobs, the most in a month since 2003. Car sales fell to a 16-year low as would-be buyers were unable to get credit. The economy may already have shrunk in the third quarter. The rest of the year is likely to be worse. Some economists expect consumer spending to fall at its fastest pace since the 1980 recession. Add in other gloomy evidence, such as a survey of purchasing managers that suggests manufacturing is extremely weak, and it is clear that output is now falling. America’s recession may not yet be official, but it is well under way.

In Europe the outlook is equally grim. The British economy, which stalled in the second quarter, is now unmistakably falling into recession. The IMF’s forecasts suggest that Britain will see the worst performance of any big economy in the year to the fourth quarter of 2008. The economies of the euro area, too, are struggling badly. Figures released on Wednesday showed that output in the euro area fell at an annualised rate of 0.8% in the second quarter. GDP shrank in the currency zone’s three largest countries—Germany, France and Italy. The fourth largest, Spain, barely grew.

As elsewhere, the most recent figures have grown grimmer still. Business confidence has turned down and a closely watched survey of purchasing managers points to a further contraction in activity over the summer months. Even the European economies that are less directly affected by housing busts, such as Germany, have been hard hit. The big hope for the euro area was that German shoppers, relatively free of debt and with scope to save a little less, would make up for weakness in debt-laden economies such as Spain. But household spending in Germany has been falling since the end of last year.

Japan, too, is looking weak. Its economy shrank at an annualised rate of 3% in the second quarter as exports fell, investment slowed and high food and fuel prices dented consumer confidence. Japanese banks are less embroiled in the financial crisis than those in Europe and America, but with other economies falling into recession and the yen soaring, the prospects for Japan’s exports and economy are dark.

This gloomy backdrop explains why the co-ordinated rate cuts were so essential. Even without the financial seizure, the case for cheaper money was becoming abundantly clear. With commodity prices falling sharply (the price of a barrel of crude was down to $88 on October 8th) and economies suffering, inflation risks are evaporating in the rich world. If oil prices remain at around today’s levels, headline inflation will be below 1% in America by next summer. Deflation is an increasing risk. That suggests more rate cuts will be needed, particularly in Europe.

All told, the IMF expects the rich-world economies to grow by only 0.5% in 2009. Its forecast of 3% global growth depends on reasonably robust expansion in emerging economies. The fund expects developing countries, as a group, to grow by 6.1% in 2009, more slowly than their blistering 8% pace of recent years, but far from recession. That would imply an unprecedented growth gap between the rich and emerging world (see chart).

Some emerging economies, notably China, have shown remarkable resilience to the financial storm. Many other markets, however, are being hit hard as investors flee risk. Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimate that capital flows to emerging economies could fall to $550 billion in 2009 from around $750 billion in 2007 and 2008. Such a sharp drop would hit economies that rely heavily on foreign finance: more than 80 developing countries are likely to run current-account deficits of more than 5% of GDP this year.

The links in the real economy could also be stronger than many imagine. Exports will be hit as recession grips the rich world. Falling commodity prices bode ill for the countries that produce them, notably in Latin America. The Brazilian real has fallen by more than a quarter against the dollar in the past month. Thanks to more disciplined macroeconomic policies and large cushions of reserves, many emerging economies have strong defences against a rich-world downturn. But they will not escape unscathed. A mild global recession is the best that can be hoped for.

JPTF 2008/10/10

outubro 08, 2008

‘FMI prevê crescimento zero e subida do desemprego para Portugal em 2009‘ in Diário Económico, 8 de Outubro de 2008

No World Economic Outlook, publicado hoje, o FMI voltou a rever em baixa as previsões para a evolução do produto interno bruto (PIB) de Portugal, face aos números publicados há apenas uma semana. Este ano a economia deverá crescer 0,6% (face aos anteriores 0,7%) e em 2009 o ritmo deverá cair para apenas 0,1% (contra os 0,6% antes previstos), indica o Fundo.

Com o ano a ser marcado pela crise financeira – que está a passar rapidamente à economia real – esta já é a terceira vez que o FMI revê em baixa as previsão inicial de 1,3% para o crescimento da economia portuguesa em 2008 e 2009. Na passada sexta-feira, James Daniel, economista do FMI, já tinha indicado esta nova revisão para Portugal sem, no entanto, precisar os números. A consequência mais directa da estagnação será o aumento do desemprego, que o FMI prevê que atinja 7,8% em 2009, face aos 7,6% registados este ano.

A revisão para Portugal acompanha o agravamento das perspectivas para os seus principais parceiros comerciais. Espanha, Itália e o Reino Unido deverão contrair no próximo ano, França terá um crescimento nulo. Ao todo, a economia da zona euro deverá crescer apenas 0,1%, contra os 1,3% anteriormente apontados pelo Fundo.

JPTF 2008/10/08

A derrocada do sector financeiro, cartoon do Financial Times

outubro 07, 2008

‘Reconhecimento do Kosovo: uma política errada e perigosa‘ por Pacheco Pereira in Público, 4 de Outubro de 2008

Tudo indica que o Governo português vai abandonar uma das suas raríssimas manifestações de individualidade em relação à União Europeia em matéria de política externa e reconhecer o Kosovo como país independente. Os grandes partidos europeus, o PSE e o PPE, alinham nesta decisão e, em Portugal, o PS e o PSD vão certamente apoiá-la. É, no entanto, uma decisão errada, uma a mais numa sequência desastrosa de decisões erradas na política externa europeia que conduzem a becos sem saída e ao agravar das condições de instabilidade na Europa Central e do Leste.

Portugal tinha sido um dos poucos países europeus a resistir à corrida pelo reconhecimento, liderada pelos EUA e com resposta pronta dos países que dominam a UE (França, Alemanha, Reino Unido). ( Eu elogiei as reservas portuguesas quanto ao reconhecimento do Kosovo. Seria interessante saber o que mudou.) Não são claras as razões por que o fez, embora tenha de se reconhecer que quer o Presidente da República, quer o ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros, dizendo pouco, diziam certo, porque chamavam a atenção para os riscos deste reconhecimento como precedente e legitimação para outros movimentos de secessão. Presumia-se que falassem do Cáucaso, mas sabia-se que pensavam também em Espanha, outro dos países que não reconheceram o Kosovo, por óbvias razões de precedente para os separatismos basco e mesmo catalão. Esperava-se que Espanha contasse para a diplomacia portuguesa, mas que não fosse apenas a Espanha a contar. A guerra georgiana e o reconhecimento unilateral da Abkházia e da Ossétia pela Rússia mostram os enormes riscos desta política, que pode ainda alastrar-se à Moldova e mesmo à Ucrânia.

Acresce que a independência do Kosovo, separando um território internacionalmente reconhecido como fazendo parte de outro país, a Sérvia, é ilegal à luz do direito internacional e nunca será legitimada pelas Nações Unidas. Se fossem outros os interlocutores, haveria por cá um clamor por mais esta "violação do direito internacional", mas com os dois maiores partidos a concordarem, vai ser mais um assinar de cruz numa decisão "europeia" que nos escapa.

O Kosovo, um protectorado da União Europeia e dos EUA, é mais um "país" independente, sem viabilidade económica, sem autonomia política em relação aos seus patronos, na prática anexada a uma paupérrima Albânia, no centro de um dos mais profícuos centros de tráfico de tudo, mulheres, drogas, armas, mercenários para todos os terrorismos, sede de todas as máfias que actuam com esses produtos. Não é segredo para ninguém, toda a gente sabe. Sabe também que existe uma minoria sérvia que não reconhece a independência e que não participa no processo político do Kosovo e que pede a anexação com a Sérvia, ao mesmo tempo que actua como outras minorias ainda estabelecidas nos Balcãs como a Republica Serpska onde também o Governo da Bósnia não tem poder. Em todas estas situações permanece o potencial de conflito para o futuro, o que obriga a uma permanente estadia de tropas internacionais e a uma capitis diminutio em matérias fundamentais para a soberania, como a justiça, a polícia, a defesa e a política externa.
Esta situação é mais um passo numa política errada que nos Balcãs acentuou sempre a crise endémica após o fim do comunismo jugoslavo, misturando irrealismo, ignorância das condições históricas do conflito, com uma efectiva incapacidade para ter aquilo que conta no terreno nestes conflitos: ter força militar e vontade para a usar. E neste caso, por ironia, um seguidismo em relação à política americana para a região, onde os EUA têm dos últimos aliados, incluindo um membro da Liga Islâmica, a Albânia.

O reconhecimento do Kosovo é um passo a mais nesse processo, mas já é ele próprio uma consequência de uma série de opções políticas que deixaram a UE sem alternativa. Essas opções vêm desde 1991, num crescendo de passos que se atrapalham uns aos outros, num silly walk trágico e com muito pequeno futuro, e para os quais se encontra precedente apenas na política alemã da II Guerra, o que não é de bom agouro. Começa porque os principais países europeus e os EUA têm uma enorme responsabilidade no descalabro dos Balcãs, desde o desmembramento da Jugoslávia até aos dias de hoje. Foi a Alemanha que, decidindo unilateralmente reconhecer os "países" que se separaram da Jugoslávia, retomando, aliás, ligações tradicionais que vinham da II Guerra Mundial, oficializou o fim da Jugoslávia e abriu caminho à guerra civil. Verdade seja que provavelmente o desmembramento da Jugoslávia seria inevitável, mas a decisão precipitou a guerra civil ao favorecer a corrida às fronteiras e as limpezas étnicas que um pouco por todo o lado se verificaram e os massacres que as acompanhavam. Embora pouco lembrada, a maior dessas limpezas étnicas atingiu os sérvios da Krajina e não os croatas, nem os bósnios, nem os kosovares. Como é com os sérvios, ninguém quer saber.

A sucessão de "guerras" entre eslovenos e sérvios, croatas e sérvios, bósnios e sérvios e croatas, e albaneses e sérvios, deixou o maior rasto de destruição na Europa desde a II Guerra Mundial, cuja memória renasceu em muitos dos beligerantes que tinham velhas contas a ajustar. A tentativa de intervenção europeia no solo e americana no ar, sob a égide da ONU, para manter a paz e proteger as populações, tinha regras de envolvimento tão restritivas que tornavam as tropas em pouco mais do que observadores das violências cometidas à sua frente. O receio americano de colocar soldados no chão, limitando-se ao apoio aéreo, e a pouca preparação e falta de motivação das tropas terrestres, aliado a comandos indecisos, actuando mais como diplomatas e políticos do que militares, que queriam acima de tudo evitar baixas nas suas tropas, levaram a uma exibição de fraqueza que militares e milícias endurecidas e cruéis como era o caso dos sérvios entendiam e bem como fraqueza. O massacre de Srebrenica foi cometido à frente de cerca de 400 soldados holandeses sob comando francês. Mais tarde, o Governo holandês veio a admitir responsabilidade parcial pelo falhanço da "protecção" dada aos bósnios e por procedimentos impróprios no plano militar. A verdade é que muitos soldados europeus demoraram a perceber que nos Balcãs as guerras são a sério e meras exibições de força não chegam.

Os acontecimentos que levaram à secessão do Kosovo com a violenta intervenção policial e militar dos sérvios, seguida do êxodo da população albanesa, exacerbada pela existência de uma guerrilha pró-albanesa apoiada pela CIA, cujos dirigentes são hoje os políticos no poder no Kosovo, levaram a uma intervenção militar que incluiu o bombardeamento da Sérvia e à queda de Milosevic, mas deixaram o Kosovo numa terra de ninguém no plano político. Legalmente, o Kosovo é território sérvio, hoje é para os países que o reconheceram um píis independente, na prática é um protectorado da UE e dos EUA, com uma zona maioritariamente albanesa e uma minoria sérvia à volta de Mitrovica dotada de um considerável autogoverno. Isto significa que se a UE não quer ver milícias sérvias a passarem a fronteira para apoiarem os seus "irmãos" cercados pelos albaneses ou uma anexação de facto dos territórios do Norte do Kosovo pela Sérvia, ou, noutra versão possível, os sérvios do Kosovo a terem que fugir das suas terras para a Sérvia noutra limpeza étnica, os militares têm que continuar a lá estar eternamente.

É por isso que a decisão do reconhecimento unilateral do Kosovo é também má para os conflitos internos, porque nos Balcãs estas feridas podem conhecer momentos de aparente cicatrização, mas têm uma longa história de abrir de novo. Por muito que isto possa chocar, se se quer mexer nas fronteiras da ex-Jugoslávia, então faça-se "limpeza étnica" a sério, deixando os novos países com um grau de homogeneidade étnica e religiosa bastante para a questão para eles passar a ser de política externa e não interna.

Não se choquem muito com esta sugestão, porque foi o que a Sociedade das Nações fez com as populações gregas na Anatólia e turcas na Trácia, nos anos vinte e, já que se está numa de "engenharia nacional", mais valia redesenhar tudo, com muito dinheiro e muita negociação, em vez de reconhecer países na base das fronteiras administrativas da antiga Jugoslávia, mantendo todos os problemas por resolver e acicatando os ódios.

JPTF 2008/10/07

Prémio Nobel da Economia 2008, cartoon do jornal Le Temps

Do paraíso ao inferno: ‘economia da Islândia à beira do colapso‘ in Times, 7 de Outubro de 2008

The Icelandic Government seized control of the country’s biggest banks last night in an attempt to fend off wholesale economic collapse.

Turmoil at the banks, whose shares were suspended by the Government yesterday afternoon, had sparked panic in the tiny state, which has a population of 300,000, about the size of Coventry.

Queues formed at petrol stations as Icelanders rushed to fill up before reported fuel shortages, while savers who tried to withdraw money from banks or sell bank shares on the internet found websites were not working.

Meanwhile, fears mounted in Britain that the deterioration of Iceland’s two biggest banks - Kaupthing and Landsbanki - could have disastrous consequences for savers, City staff and the high street.

Sources said that Landsbanki and the country’s third-biggest bank, Glitner, will soon be fully nationalised, while Kaupthing had been forced to take state loans.

In a late-night sitting, parliament approved a Bill giving the Government wideranging powers over the banks, including the ability to seize their assets, force them to merge or compel them to sell off their overseas subsidiaries, many of which are in London.

Icelandic banks have lent hundreds of billions of pounds overseas and their position in the world’s financial system far outweighs the size of the country’s tiny economy, the GDP of which was only $20 billion last year.

The country’s banks have been under pressure for most of the year, struggling with rampant inflation, the collapsing value of the currency and fallout from an overheated economy.

In Reykjavik, the capital, confusion reigned among a public unsure whether their savings and investments were safe, even after the Government moved to guarantee deposits. The country’s state surgeon even warned politicians and the media to ensure that they did not alarm old people.

Savers in Britain also face fallout from the collapse of the Icelandic banking system. Fears mounted yesterday among the 300,000 British savers holding bank accounts with Landsbanki that their deposits were at risk. In the event of a collapse, savers with Kaupthing are entitled to compensation of up to £50,000 from the British authorities - as much as depositors in any British bank - but British savers with Landsbanki are not.

British savers tempted into high-interest Icesave accounts would have to rely on a much smaller Icelandic government fund to guarantee their first £16,317 of savings should Icesave collapse, with Britain only picking up the remaining £33,483 under the government depositor guarantees.

Times readers reported yesterday morning that they could not withdraw their money from Icesave accounts over the internet. But a spokesman for the bank said that Icesave was now operating normally and depositors could withdraw money. He added that the Icelandic Government had ample foreign reserves to cover the £4bn of British deposits in the event of any collapse.

Icelandic banks have lent money to British retailing and pub groups, raising fears that their collapse could lead to a firesale of British assets. Baugur, the Icelandic investment group that owns stakes in House of Fraser, Debenhams, Woolworths, Moss Bros, French Connection and the supermarket chain Iceland, said that its British businesses were not affected. But well-placed City sources said that Baugur had held private discussions about selling some assets and persuading banks to lend fresh money against others. “There are covert conversations taking place,” one source said.

A spokesman for Baugur denied that there had been an increase in such conversations in the past week.

Hundreds of jobs in the City of London are also linked to the fate of Iceland’s banks. Market sources said yesterday that Singer & Friedlander, the asset manager owned by Kaupthing, was being informally offered for sale. Other sources said that Teather & Greenwood, the stockbroker recently sold by Landsbanki to Straumur, another Icelandic bank, could be put up for sale again. Straumur said that it had no plans to sell the broker, but this was before the Icelandic Government had announced its nationalisation plans.

JPTF 2008/10/07

Há um ano atrás... ‘Banca lucrava mais 301 milhões no primeiro semestre‘ in Jonal de Negócios, 20 de Setembro de 2007

Os bancos a operar em Portugal lucraram mais 301 milhões de euros no primeiro semestre deste ano do que no mesmo período do ano passado, de acordo com os dados divulgados pela Associação Portuguesa de Bancos (APB). O número de balcões aumentou em 314 unidades e a banca contratou mais 2.570 empregados.
Os lucros dos bancos que operam em Portugal aumentaram 24,9% para 1.512 milhões de euros, no primeiro semestre deste ano. O produto bancário de exploração cresceu 14,5% para 5.074 milhões de euros.
O resultado financeiro manteve a posição de principal contribuinte na formação do produto bancário (peso de 54,5%) e aumentou 14,3% para 2.765 milhões de euros.
A ABP refere que a evolução dos indicadores de actividade bancária evidenciam um dinamismo "considerável", nomeadamente ao nível do activo líquido, com o crédito a clientes a registar uma variação positiva de 13,6% (incluindo o crédito titularizado o crescimento foi de 13,7%).
Além disso, do lado da captação de fundos registou-se um crescimento de 8,2% para 147,5 mil milhões de euros nos recursos de clientes enquanto as responsabilidades representadas por títulos aumentaram 30,4% para 52,1 mil milhões de euros.
Os dados relativos à captação de fundos sugerem "a crescente utilização do mecanismo de emissão de obrigações de vários tipos, sobretudo em mercados internacionais, como fonte de financiamento da actividade," refere a APB.
Mais balcões e trabalhadores
O número de balcões aumentou em 314 unidades graças ao contributo de várias instituições, Banif, Barclays, BES e BPI.
O sector bancário contratou mais 2.570 empregados, nos primeiros seis meses do ano, totalizando 54.558 funcionários correspondentes a 11 pessoas por balcão. O aumento registado reflecte "o reforço de pessoal destinado ao apoio à expansão da rede".
A Associação destaca a melhoria da eficiência operativa, com o rácio "cost to income" a manter a evolução descendente, caindo 5 pontos percentuais para 50,4%.
A análise da APB incide sobre 38 instituições bancárias a operar em Portugal, não incluindo aquelas que desenvolvem a sua actividade sobretudo no quadro offshore.

JPTF 2008/10/07

outubro 06, 2008

‘Crash nas bolsas europeias‘ in Euronews, 6 de Outubro de 2008

A Europa viveu, neste primeiro dia da semana, uma queda acentuada nos índices bolsistas, aquilo a que muitos já chamam um crash. As praças de Lisboa e Paris foram as que mais perderam na Europa ocidental, com quedas impressionantes, de mais de 9%. O índice pan-europeu eurostoxx 50 perdeu mais de 7%. As outras principais bolsas da Europa, como Londres, Milão, Zurique, Madrid ou Bruxelas, viveram também um dia de quedas há muito não vistas, de entre 6% e 9%. Diz um corretor norte-americano: “Estou aqui há 30 anos e nunca vi uma coisa assim. É desconcertante ver a situação dos mercados. Sempre quisemos uma economia global, mas agora ela voltou-se contra nós. Se a Europa desce, nós descemos com ela”. No caso de Lisboa, foi a maior queda diária de sempre. O sector energético liderou as descidas, com a EDP a perder mais de 16%, a Galp com uma queda de 11% e sector da banca também em queda a pique. O governo português anunciou já que vai juntar-se aos países que garantiram a segurança das poupanças dos particulares, face à crise financeira. A bolsa mais penalizada, nesta segunda-feira negra, foi a de Moscovo. O índice RTS começou a semana com um deslize de mais de 19%, devido aos medos de que a Rússia não consiga fazer face à crise.
JPTF 2008/10/06

‘FTSE cai mais de 7% e a crise financeira global acentua-se‘ in Telegraph, 6 de Outubro de 2008

The UK's index of leading shares initially dropped more than 240 points before recovering slightly to 4,876.56 shortly after the market opened at 8am. In Europe, shares fell in Italy, Germany and France.
Earlier Asian shares fell as deteriorating credit markets prompted European governments to pledge bailouts for troubled banks.
Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Australia's Macquarie dropped more than 6pc after Germany agreed on a $68bn package for Hypo Real Estate Holding and Britain said it's ready to support its banks.
Sumitomo Metal Mining lost 4.1pc after copper and gold prices sank amid concern a $700bn US bank bailout won't prevent a slowdown in global economic growth.
"It will probably be a rough week for global investors as they realize the credit crisis has a long way to play out," said Frederic Dickson, who helps oversee $25bn as chief market strategist at DA Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
"US action was an absolutely essential first step, and global intervention is needed."
The broader MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 2.8pc to 101.68 in Tokyo and is poised for its lowest close since July 27, 2005. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures fell 1.6pc, while the euro fell 0.9pc to $1.3642.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 3.3pc to 10,575.04. Mitsui Fudosan, the country's largest real-estate company, tumbled after UBS AG slashed its recommendation.
All markets open for trading in Asia declined, with benchmark stock indexes in South Korea, Taiwan and Australia falling more than 3pc.
JPTF 2008/10/06

‘Partido Socialista Espanhol perde 1 milhão de votos apenas 7 meses após as eleições‘ in La Razón, 6 de Outubro de 2008

En apenas siete meses, los cuatro puntos de ventaja que los socialistas consiguieron sobre los populares en las elecciones generales del 9 de marzo se han evaporado. Si los comicios se repitiesen ahora, el PSOE volvería a ganar pero por un margen ínfimo. De hecho, ambos partidos quedarían en empate técnico. Según una encuesta de NC Report para LA RAZÓN, la formación de Rodríguez Zapatero lograría el 41,2 por ciento de los votos (10.230.335), mientras que la de Mariano Rajoy se quedaría a sólo dos décimas, con el 41 por ciento (10.168.010).
Los socialistas retroceden en el sondeo 3,1 puntos en intención de voto, desde el 44,4 al 41,2 por ciento de los sufragios, lo que se traduce en una importante pérdida de electores, superior al millón. El principal beneficiario de este descalabro sería el PP, que recogería 670.000 de esos votantes. Mientras, la formación que lidera Rosa Díez, Unión, Progreso y Democracia (UPD), se haría con 240.000 e Izquierda Unida (IU), con otros 175.000.
El aumento de la abstención, previsto en más de dos puntos, también pasa factura al PSOE, sustrayéndole 340.000 votos.
El proyecto de Zapatero ni siquiera seduce a los nuevos votantes o a los electores de otros partidos. Según la encuesta, los socialistas sólo son capaces de atraer a 330.000 votantes del Partido Popular, lo que limita sus pérdidas hasta ese no menos importante millón de votos.
El desplome socialista se traduciría en la pérdida de entre ocho o nueve diputados, pasando de 169 a un arco de entre 160 y 162.
La otra cara de la encuesta son los populares, que mejoran sus resultados de marzo en 0,6 puntos, del 40,4% al 41%, lo que se traduciría en una ganancia de dos o tres escaños -de los 154 actuales a 156 o 157-. Aunque en términos absolutos también pierden apoyos, su caída es de apenas 110.000 votos, lo que permite al partido de Rajoy enjugar casi por completo la ventaja que lograron los socialistas en marzo y reducir la diferencia de votos de algo más de un millón a poco más de 100.000. De hecho, en el intercambio de sufragios entre el PP y el PSOE, los populares conseguirían un saldo favorable de 340.000 sufragios, al trasvasarle a los socialistas 330.000 apoyos y restarle 670.000.
Las pérdidas de los dos grandes partidos contrastan con el crecimiento del resto de formaciones, empezando por IU, que, según el sondeo, sube desde los 969.000 votos a 1.145.000, lo que le permitiría ganar dos o tres diputados con respecto al par (incluyendo el de Iniciativa)que ahora mismo tiene en la Cámara Baja. Aunque la subida más espectacular es, sin duda, la que experimenta UPD. Con apenas cinco meses de vida, el partido de Rosa Díez fue capaz de aglutinar el apoyo de algo más de 300.000 votantes, lo que le reportó un escaño. Ahora, un año después de su nacimiento, se auparía hasta los 670.000 sufragios, lo que incrementaría su representación parlamentaria en uno o dos diputados más.
Entre los partidos nacionalistas, el PNV, tras su descalabro de marzo, apenas si da síntomas de recuperación, y el incremento de su apoyo se limita a 10.000 votantes, insuficientes para añadir algún diputado más a los seis que tiene. CiU gana 20.000 y ERC prosigue su descalabro y, según el sondeo, pierde otros 80.000 votos, aunque mantendría sus tres diputados.
La pérdida de apoyo que sufren los socialistas no es óbice, sin embargo, para que Zapatero sea el líder político mejor valorado, aunque no llegue al aprobado. El presidente del Gobierno consigue un 4,94 sobre diez, seguido de cerca por Mariano Rajoy, con un 4,68. El líder socialista aprueba con un cinco entre los jóvenes de entre 18 y 29 años, mientras que el líder del PP lo hace entre los mayores de 65.
Rosa Díez salta hasta el tercer lugar con un 4,58, mientras que Gaspar Llamazares, que ayer anunció su abandono como coordinador general de IU, apenas logra un 3,97. El peor valorado de todos es el presidente del PNV, Íñigo Urkullu, con un 3,06.

JPTF 2008/10/06